Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 5,107 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 4.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Private Fears in Public Places
Lowest review score: 0 The Flintstones
Score distribution:
5107 movie reviews
  1. Thanks to a fairly good script, this thriller about a Soviet cop sent to Chicago to apprehend a Soviet drug dealer is a respectable enough star vehicle.
  2. The movie evokes Howard Hawks (in spirit if not to the letter) with its tight focus on a snug, obsessive world of insiders and camp followers where the exchanges between buddies and sexes have a euphoric stylishness and a giddy sense of ritual.
  3. Big
    Once again, the overall premise is milked for some mild titillation involving the hero's sexual innocence, making one wonder if the genre's popularity might involve some deeply sublimated form of kiddie porn--arguably the distilled ideological essence of squeaky-clean Reaganism.
  4. This is pretty much the Lucas mixture as usual, this time in a Tolkien mode, with everything from the Old Testament to Kurosawa to Disney fed into a blender and turned into wallpaper. For easy-to-please five-year-olds of all ages.
  5. The conceit gets a little out of hand after one of the angels falls in love with the trapeze artist and decides to become human; but prior to this, Wings of Desire is one of Wenders's most stunning achievements.
  6. Narrative continuity and momentum have never been among Hopper's strong points, and this time the choppiness of the storytelling diffuses the dramatic impact without offering a shapely mosaic effect (as in [his] previous films) to compensate for it.
  7. Only about half of the disconnected gags and oddball conceits pay off, but their gleeful delivery takes up most of the slack.
  8. Not only Waters's best movie, but a crossover gesture that expands his appeal without compromising his vision one iota; Ricki Lake as the hefty young heroine is especially delightful.
  9. It opens promisingly, with a fine sense of the disorientation of a monolingual tourist abroad and in trouble. But instead of things building from there, the energy gradually dissipates, and by the time the mystery is solved, it's difficult to care very much.
  10. Genuinely frightening...it's nice for a change to see some of the virtues of old-fashioned horror films—moody dream sequences, unsettling poetic images, and passages that suggest more than they show—rather than the usual splatter shocks and special effects (far from absent, but employed with relative economy).
  11. The broad Italian family humor gets so thick at times that you could cut it with a bread knife.
  12. Bernardo Bertolucci's visually ravishing spectacle about the life of Pu Yi is a genuine rarity: a blockbuster that manages to be historically instructive and intensely personal at the same time.
  13. The film is full of relevant insights into the kinds of compromises, trade-offs, and combinations of skills and personalities that produce media, and the personal stories are deftly integrated.
  14. Leslie Dixon's script and TV sitcom specialist Garry Marshall's direction are basically warm, funny, and lighthearted, and the relaxed amiability of the two leads—as well as Chicagoan Michael Hagerty and Roddy McDowall (who doubles as executive producer)—helps to make this good family entertainment.
  15. The sensibility of this movie is so adolescent that it's hard to take it as seriously as the filmmakers intend us to.
  16. The pseudomystical vagueness that seems to be Spielberg's stock-in-trade stifles most of the particularity of the source.
  17. Pretty dispensable, though it has one of the best homosexual-panic gags I've ever seen.
  18. Not even the crude ethnic humor--Billy Crystal's Mel Brooks-ish Miracle Max--pricks the dream bubble, and the spirited cast has a field day.
  19. The dissection of Edwardian repression never gets beyond the dutiful, tasteful obviousness of a BBC miniseries.
  20. While billed as a romance and a thriller, the film strictly qualifies as neither, appealing to our prurience, guilt, hatred, and dread.
  21. Minor grisly fun, but don't expect the movie to linger when it's over.
  22. Before the movie collapses into the utopian nonsense that seems obligatory to this subgenre, a surprising amount of sensitivity and satirical insight emerges from Eleanor Bergstein's script and Emile Ardolino's direction.
  23. This taut thriller adds so many twists of its own it might be more appropriately cross-referenced with The Manchurian Candidate, even though it isn't nearly as daffy or as mercurial.
  24. Another early youth ensemble pic from St. Elmo's Fire director Joel Schumacher, with an aspiring-to-hipness cast.
  25. Timothy Dalton stars as the 1987 model James Bond in this 15th entry in the series, with the usual assortment of dope smugglers, KGB operatives, and criminal psychos providing a few anxious moments at the welcoming party. Expect the expected.
  26. By ordinary movie standards it's awful, but fans of cinematic dementia should have fun for about half an hour.
  27. There's a brooding, agonized quality to the violence that almost seems subversive, as if Verhoeven were both appalled and fascinated by his complicity in the toxic action rot.
  28. Angry fish travels to the Bahamas for the Christmas holidays, plotting revenge against the family of a vacationing New England widow (Lorraine Gary). Noel, noel, a charming gift idea with suggestions of inverted seasonal myth—until director Joseph Sargent swamps it all in antimythical literalism and predictable lunchtime theater.
  29. The plot is standard fantasy-adventure pulp, though director Joe Dante (Gremlins, Explorers) has so many screwball things going on in it that the comedy all but overwhelms the formulaic line of action.
  30. Elliptical, full of subtle inner rhymes...and profoundly moving, this is the most tightly crafted Kubrick film since "Dr. Strangelove," as well as the most horrific; the first section alone accomplishes most of what "The Shining" failed to do.

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