Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 5,298 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 4.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 The Interrupters
Lowest review score: 0 Chaos
Score distribution:
5298 movie reviews
  1. The behind-the-scenes access to professional kitchens, the intricacy of the desserts, the venerable traditions, and above all the camaraderie and respect the chefs extend each other reveal the craftsmen at their civilized best; think of this movie as the antidote to Gordon Ramsay.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    As a drama this is rote, as a musical it's uninspired, and as a comedy it's adolescent; ultimately it's a mess, unsure what it wants to be.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The wrestling scenes are the best part of this drama.
  2. True to series form, plot is nearly indiscernible, but this fourth installment in the sci-fi/horror/action franchise created by writer-director Paul W.S. Anderson is the sleekest so far, thanks to 3D and star Milla Jovovich's body-hugging catsuit.
  3. To judge from this agonizing documentary, sniveling man-child Joaquin Phoenix was put on earth to make us appreciate Crispin Glover for the level-headed fellow he is.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Truly compelling, however, is the material about Gould's innovative studio recordings and radio documentaries.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The movie contemporizes teen-sex comedies like "Porky's" and "American Pie": when the witless nerd gets caught with his proverbial pants down, the footage ends up on YouTube with an astonishing number of hits.
  4. It's fun to watch the habitually intense Duris relax somewhat in a light comedy role, and director Pascal Chaumeil gets good mileage out of the team's ridiculously elaborate con games.
  5. Vincent Cassel sets a new standard for Gallic cool as the title character.
  6. There's also some gallows humor about the record and newspaper industries, but overall this is a light, genial comedy about denial and self-defense.
  7. Rodriguez retreats into gruesome violence and flaccid comedy, grasping feebly for topical relevance by referencing the current immigration fracas.
  8. The result is an uneasy mix of Coen-style laughs (particularly evident in the big comic close-ups) and Zhang's majestic imagery (in one shot the couple's divorce papers shatter into a burst of confetti).
  9. Disappointment, inhuman work schedules, sluggish exports, and the crush of a two-day rail journey ratchet up the familial tensions, which finally explode over a holiday dinner.
  10. George Clooney produced and stars in this international spy thriller, which he probably thought of as existential but which registers onscreen as a giant bore.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Patrick Fabian is charming as Marcus, and director Daniel Stamm delivers a series of surefooted scares as the staged possession turns real. But the movie is still unsatisfying; in its eagerness to deliver familiar genre pleasures, it somehow misplaces its soul.
  11. Comparisons with Michael Mann's recent Dillinger biopic "Public Enemies" are inevitable, and mostly flattering to this project: director Jean-Francois Richet and screenwriter Abdel Raouf Dafri take advantage of the additional screen time (about 100 minutes more than Mann had) to flesh out their protagonist, who fancies himself an honorable thief and even a left-wing revolutionary but ultimately turns out to be something much simpler: a man who loves his work.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There's little here about soldiers and mercenaries that isn't lifted from other movies, though Marshall elicits a steady seriousness from his actors (especially Michael Fassbender, in an introverted lead performance), which generally keeps the movie from sliding into camp.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Distinguishes itself with three-dimensional characters and an engaging storyline.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    No doubt the characters are stereotypes, but the performances are handled with a knowing wink and a great deal of fun-particularly Mike Epps, who shines as a hammy Little Richard-style preacher.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Moderately entertaining popcorn thriller.
  12. Bar-Lev ponders myth in both senses of the word-as a web of lies, but also as a psychological construct that gives life purpose. An atheist and critical thinker, Pat Tillman had no use for either.
  13. Akin perfectly captures the antic pace, eccentric personalities, and fickle fortunes of the restaurant game, and his vision of the Soul Kitchen as an all-night bacchanal is irresistible.
  14. How can a romantic drama tailor-made for Julia Roberts from Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir about self-actualization--shot against alluring locales in Italy, India, and Bali, and directed by the acclaimed Ryan Murphy (TV's Nip/Tuck and Glee)--go so ass-numbingly wrong?
  15. Michael Cera elevates deadpan to an art, starring as a slacker turned action hero in this wildly inventive comedy that's one of the most vivid and spirited adaptations of a comic book since Spider-Man--and one of the hippest since Ghost World.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Stallone directs a bloodbath that borrows liberally from such male-bonding classics as Robert Aldrich's "The Dirty Dozen" and Sam Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch," but offers not a whiff of the tragic fatalism and astute critique of machismo that inform those superior dramas.
  16. A densely textured moral universe that makes good on his metaphoric title-and in this case, the animals are perfectly willing to eat their young.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The most riveting interview subject is the unrepentant Killen, who granted the filmmakers surprisingly broad access to his personal life.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Michael Keaton is a stitch as an emasculated police captain moonlighting as a retail store manager.
  17. With Mallick as one of the producers, this Boogie Nights wannabe benefits from an insider's knowledge of how online commerce was born but suffers from a seemingly endless voice-over by the Wilson/Mallick character steering our sympathies in his direction (it's the sort of middle man the movie could have done without).
  18. Director Jon Chu (Step Up 2 the Streets) ably exploits the 3D format, constantly moving the action forward and upward. The color and music also pop, as do scene stealers Martin and Facundo Lombard, Argentine twins whose comedic talents nearly match their dizzying footwork.

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