Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 5,077 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 4.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 National Lampoon's Gold Diggers
Score distribution:
5077 movie reviews
  1. For all its minimalism, Tsai Ming-liang's 81-minute masterpiece manages to be many things at once.
  2. This is superior family entertainment--warm, thoughtful, and connected to the landscape.
  3. Fernando Meirelles stresses old-fashioned storytelling and takes full advantage of his cast, including Danny Huston.
  4. This movie has its share of laughs, but it's also Ron Howard's most personal film, and clearly his most ambitious--a multifaceted essay in fictional form about the diverse snares of child rearing.
  5. This is a drama of shifting values and compromised ideals, arriving at a view of life that's wise, complicated, and tinged with melancholy.
  6. As frequently happens in both Loach films and history, the betrayal of ideals, socialist and otherwise, leaves a harsh aftertaste, which made me feel sadder but not much wiser.
  7. Woo's third Hollywood movie, Face/Off, is the first to balance his visual imagination with the emotional intensity of his Hong Kong films.
  8. The movie flames to life whenever Donald Sutherland moves into frame as the young ladies' relaxed, humorous, and magnificently rueful father.
  9. Like the painter, it's painstakingly serious about what it's up to.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    You're scared witless much of the time, even if you conclude afterward that this 1973 movie was really pretty amateurish and simpleminded.
  10. The most astounding cinematic testament to flock mentality since Hitchcock's "The Birds."
  11. The implied critique of progressive, bohemian parenting is devastating--wise and nuanced, with the painful hilarity of truth.
  12. The kids, all real musicians performing, are wonderful, and so is Black; Joan Cusack is both charming and funny as the principal.
  13. After trying her hand at Thackeray with "Vanity Fair," director Mira Nair has found a literary property much closer to her heart: Jhumpa Lahiri's best-selling novel about a Bengali couple and their children trying to find their place in American culture.
  14. I've never read Stella Gibbons's popular English novel of 1932--a parody of the romantic rural novels that Mary Webb wrote during the 20s--but director John Schlesinger and adapter Malcolm Bradbury have gotten plenty of enjoyable mileage out of it.
  15. The fulcrum of this deeply humanist work is an extended two-shot of the strike's leader, Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender), as he converses with a priest (Liam Cunningham); the virtuosic sequence encapsulates the whole sorry history of a horrific civil war.
  16. Gervasi has tapped into a powerful if much-overlooked truth: humanity rocks.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The movie offers enough good one-liners, both comic and ruminative, to hold one's interest, but don't expect much else.
  17. Like the first two movies, this is loaded with computer-generated imagery, but for the first time there's a sense of dramatic proportion balancing the spectacle and the story line.
  18. Like "The Verdict," this is a big, crowd-pleasing Hollywood redemption drama in which the lonely hero not only thwarts the corporate villains in the end but silences them with a killer riposte.
  19. Under the harsh lights of the meticulously re-created, claustrophobic bunker, that scrutiny is relentless.
  20. The Scandinavian moodiness of the first half gives way to a series of jolting set pieces in the second.
  21. A triumph not of reporting but of synthesis.
  22. There’s no denying this is a coldly commanding tale in which Haneke’s signature obsessions--bourgeois control, sexual repression, emotional cruelty, cathartic violence--simmer quietly as subtext before bursting into the open in the final reels.
  23. The visuals are wild, the sound track has the audacity to underscore the subtext instead of just echoing the obvious, the comedy is irreverent and occasionally slapstick, and the metaphorical details are consistently strong.
  24. Something of a tour de force, this adaptation of Joe Simpson's nonfiction book about his climbing the 21,000-foot Siula Grande mountain in Peru, breaking a leg, and eventually making it back alive is remarkable simply because the story seems unfilmable.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Demme's moving documentary turns the story of his dead friend into the story of Haiti.
  25. It's not a terribly disciplined exercise--the rehearsal dinner and wedding ceremony go on so long I felt like I was watching "The Deer Hunter"--but the performances are outstanding, especially Hathaway's and Debra Winger's in a small but devastating turn as her chilly, resentful mother.
    • 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).
  26. So fraught with unresolved issues of class, sexuality, and spiritual need, and so carefully observed by Pawlikowski, that it opens out like the movie's West Yorkshire countryside.

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