Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 5,078 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 Avatar
Lowest review score: 0 Jawbreaker
Score distribution:
5078 movie reviews
  1. Some of the results ring false, but the memorable theme song and some equally memorable character acting (by Thomas Mitchell and Lon Chaney Jr. more than Lloyd Bridges and Katy Jurado) help things along.
  2. It has few stars familiar to Americans, and it shares with "Pan's Labyrinth" the rare distinction of being a mainstream commercial movie with subtitles.
  3. The songs don't advance the narrative lyrically so much as follow the two characters' uncertain relationship through the slow realization of their themes; in particular a scene in which they first jam together in the back room of a music store is a gem.
  4. Despite Scorsese's efforts, there just isn't much to look at, and the film plays less like a movie than an illustrated record album.
  5. If, like me, you've been wondering how Terry Zwigoff, the brilliant documentary filmmaker who made "Crumb," would negotiate his shift to fiction filmmaking, here's your answer: brilliantly.
  6. A ferociously creative 1985 black comedy filled with wild tonal contrasts, swarming details, and unfettered visual invention--every shot carries a charge of surprise and delight.
  7. A genuine rarity: a sex comedy with brains.
  8. It's hard to deny that Marlon Brando's performance as a dock worker and ex-fighter who finally decides to rat on his gangster brother (Rod Steiger) is pretty terrific.
  9. The depictions of novelist Harper Lee (Catherine Keener) and editor William Shawn (Bob Balaban) aren't convincing, but Miller is mainly interested in Capote's identification and duplicitous relationship with Perry Smith, one of the murderers he was writing about, and that story rings true.
  10. A winner of the Cannes film festival's Un Certain Regard prize, this stayed with me, though I wasn't always happy to stay with it; the incessant braying of sheep, camels, and children may send you racing from the theater in search of the nearest martini lounge.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Reeks with decay and sexuality.
  11. Powerful.
  12. Classic genre movies may be a scarce commodity, but this gutsy crime thriller and female buddy movie qualifies in spades.
  13. This remains one of Godard's most appealing and underrated films, relatively relaxed and strangely optimistic.
  14. For a movie about the importance of memory, Away From Her is appropriately sophisticated in its treatment of time. Polley has broken the chronological story into three sections of unequal length and woven them together, approximating our own mercurial journeys through the past.
  15. A more visually conscious stylist than most Italian commercial directors of the period, Lattuada remains largely unknown in the U.S., though in Europe he's been touted as the great eclectic talent of the postwar Italian cinema.
  16. "American Casino" and Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" offered more striking images of the human wreckage, but Ferguson is more successful at nailing the perpetrators in New York and their gullible accomplices in Washington.
  17. One of cinema's most absorbing fantasies.
  18. A scene set inside the chicken-pie-making machinery proves that the Rube Goldberg formula is infallible.
  19. This surreal, subversive teen drama tanked at the box office but has since become a cult favorite, prompting this new release with 20 minutes of additional footage.
  20. The two leads keep the movie afloat with their light-footed class warfare. This Anglican buddy romance is buoyed by a spicy history lesson about the scandalous marriage of the duke's elder brother, Edward VIII, to the twice-divorced Wallis Simpson.
  21. Up
    Writer-directors Pete Docter and Bob Peterson present hilarious insights into bird brains and canine psychology and treat thornier human emotions deftly.
  22. Though it's a good half hour too long, this belated, overblown spin-off of the 60s TV show otherwise adds up to a pretty good suspense thriller.
  23. Robert Redford's best and richest directorial effort.
  24. Directors Turner Ross and Bill Ross IV, brothers and native sons of Sidney, find poetry in images of the mundane.
  25. Some powerful dialogue.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Yuya Yagira, winner of the best actor award at Cannes this year, is superb as the protective eldest child; he and his other nonprofessional costars are quietly heartbreaking.
  26. Whether the title refers to the baby or the thief remains an open question, and the viewer is left to decide whether the theme of redemption should be perceived in Christian terms. This builds to a suspenseful climax, and as in Hitchcock's best work, that suspense is morally inflected.
  27. Made for pennies in Pittsburgh. Its premise—the unburied dead arise and eat the living—is a powerful combination of the fantastic and the dumbly literal. Over its short, furious course, the picture violates so many strong taboos—cannibalism, incest, necrophilia—that it leaves audiences giddy and hysterical.
  28. The film has a fresh and imaginative feel for period detail that the talented cast - which also features Gabriel Byrne, Christian Bale, Eric Stoltz, John Neville, and Mary Wickes - obviously benefits from.

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