Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 5,213 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 56% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 (500) Days of Summer
Lowest review score: 0 Alone in the Dark
Score distribution:
5213 movie reviews
  1. Highly recommended if you want to watch an assortment of rich movie stars feel your pain.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Ineptly realized in everything but its chase scenes (which are, I'll admit, pretty good), the movie is rich in moments of inadvertent surrealism.
  2. This indie drama starts off as a sexy little date movie, but once the lovers have been separated it grows steadily more complicated and mature.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The film is especially comforting if you love old movies, as Kaurismaki does: his deadpan humor and deliberately flattened images evoke silent comedy, as usual, and his rosy depiction of proletarian camaraderie recalls the 30s and 40s work of Marcel Carné (particularly Le Jour se Leve).
  3. This time the quest plot involves Asian-American pals Harold and Kumar chasing after a Christmas tree to replace one they've accidentally burned down, but that's only an excuse for the relentless barrage of tasteless gags, most of them damned funny.
  4. Clever and unsettling.
  5. The result is a problem drama with more problem than drama.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Still, this is irresistible as self-knowing camp: the players ham it up in high fashion and the script crams at least one lurid revelation into every scene.
  6. Despite some scattered moments of bad craziness involving the hero and his drinking buddies (Michael Rispoli, Giovanni Ribisi), the spine of the story is no strange and terrible saga but a conventional morality tale.
  7. Durkin reveals how the sisters have been pulled in opposite directions by the death of their parents. But the story structure also nurtures a creeping, finally unbearable dread that may have you looking over your shoulder all the way home.
  8. It's an edifying art history lesson, but it lacks the showmanship of, for example, Peter Greenaway's "Nightwatching."
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    This one is overblown, over-dressed, and grandiosely dopey, packed with gargantuan sets and ludicrous action scenes and shot in unusually dark and dingy 3-D.
  9. The real problem, however, is the male protagonist and his foul inner life: Almodovar's impressive recent work has focused on the rich emotionality of women, and though the film provides an interesting take on gender and submission, this sort of nastiness just isn't his thing.
  10. Michael Mann was one of the producers, and his daughter Ami Canaan Mann directed; a couple more Manns fill out the credits, which makes you wonder why they couldn't just have a nice picnic and softball game at a state park somewhere.
  11. Chanodr has said that he wanted to portray the 2008 financial meltdown in all its complexity, assigning everyone a fair share of the blame. But the real strength of his debut feature is how persuasively it depicts the fishbowl world of high finance, whose executives seem incapable of seeing past their towering salaries and privileged lives.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Fails to replicate Carpenter's blue-collar humor or carefully modulated suspense.
  12. Director Anne Sewitsky aims for quirky humanism along the lines of Finland's Aki Kaurismaki; she's helped along considerably by Kittelsen's sunny performance, though the film crosses over into Scandinavian kitsch with a series of country-swing interludes sung a capella by a male quartet.
  13. Shepard is the whole show here, as weathered and elemental as the harsh Bolivian locations; the movie's best scenes are those that pit him against Stephen Rea as a former Pinkerton man who tracked the outlaws for years and can't believe Cassidy is still drawing breath.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The movie plays like a slightly degraded version of the original: the dialogue is a little lamer, the acting a little poorer.
  14. A precious scrap of American history.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Though the parallels drawn between therapy and prostitution grow tiresome, the duo's interaction is peppered with inspired comedic moments.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Here's something you don't see every day: a genial, politically correct splatter comedy.
  15. Writer-director Jeff Nichols maintains a cagey balancing act for much of the movie, refusing to specify whether his protagonist is a prophet or a madman, yet in the end this doesn't really matter: the storm inside him is plenty real.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Estevez strains to prove his earnestness at every turn, undermining the film's good intentions with a surfeit of explanatory dialogue and a sappy adult-contemporary soundtrack. But for all his awkwardness Estevez is undeniably sincere, regarding both people and nature with disarming good will and maintaining a steady, soothing pace that allows the life lessons to resonate.
  16. This lacks the heft of "The Insider" (1999) or the snap of "Erin Brockovich" (2000), but it's a thoughtful entry in the growing subgenre of whistle-blower dramas.
  17. Clooney directed with an actor's appetite for vivid star turns, and he certainly gets them from Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Paul Giamatti.
  18. Even in its truncated state, this is pretty gripping stuff; just think of it as an epic commercial for the director's cut DVD.
  19. The story unfolds briskly in the polished mode of a classic horror movie, then tanks after a plot twist at the midpoint alters the mood and slows the pace. Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father) directed an ill-conceived screenplay that could have worked only as camp.
  20. Sentimental, obvious, but well-nigh irresistible, this jubilant comedy equates England's bland cuisine with its sexual inhibition and suggests we could all use something a little more tasty (at dinnertime, that is).
  21. What begins as a one-night stand deepens, over the next two days, into a genuine romance as the young lovers embark on an epic dialogue that touches on the most profound questions of love, commitment, honesty, and identity.

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