Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 4,913 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 4.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 The Interrupters
Lowest review score: 0 The Flintstones
Score distribution:
4913 movie reviews
  1. The founding of Facebook becomes a tale for our times in this masterful social drama.
  2. An early voice-over segment about the Casbah itself, before Gabin makes an appearance, is so pungent you can almost taste the place, even though the filming was clearly done in a studio.
  3. Duvall’s direction of a mix of professional and nonprofessional actors, especially in the extended church sessions, is never less than masterful.
  4. A triumph not of reporting but of synthesis.
  5. So accessible and entertaining.
  6. The effect is riveting and telling--not always realistic (none of the characters carry cell phones) but often enlightening.
  7. "Heathers" may view teenagers more caustically, but this movie, incomparably better, actually delivers the goods.
  8. 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.
  9. The grafting of 40s hard-boiled detective story with SF thriller creates some dysfunctional overlaps, and the movie loses some force whenever violence takes over, yet this remains a truly extraordinary, densely imagined version of both the future and the present, with a look and taste all its own.
  10. Frightening, funny, profound, and mysterious.
  11. A dedicated, charismatic, crack-addicted history teacher is the most believable protagonist in an American movie this year.
  12. The overall mood is stately and melancholy, the selective use of color is ravishing, and some of the natural views are breathtaking.
  13. Though The Kids Are All Right sometimes smacks of political correctness, Cholodenko succeeds brilliantly in making her little clan seem completely run-of-the-mill.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    For all its references to defeat, however, the movie still conveys a sense of rapture with the process of image-making, if not necessarily filmmaking.
  14. Though ordained from the beginning, the three-way showdown that climaxes the film is tense and thoroughly astonishing.
  15. 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.
  16. A film that might make you cry watching it is just as likely to give you the creeps thinking about it afterward, which is as it should be.
  17. Zhang weaves in both thrilling martial-arts set pieces and stunning studies of period silk tapestry and costume.
  18. This masterpiece, an art film deftly masquerading as a thriller, seems to celebrate small-town pastoralism and critique big-city violence, but this position turns out to be double-edged.
  19. Perhaps the greatest and most revolutionary of Bresson's films, Balthazar is a difficult but transcendently rewarding experience, never to be missed.
  20. An exhilarating update of "Flash Gordon," very much in the same half-jokey, half-earnest mood, but backed by special effects that, for once, really work and are intelligently integrated with the story.
  21. Unlike most horror movies, this chiller gives equal prominence to reality and fantasy, though the reality is far more frightening. The only precedent that comes to mind in terms of a lyrical treatment of a child's experience of terror is "The Night of the Hunter."
  22. One reason Bamako feels like a blast of sanity is that the theoretical debates about the state of the world, particularly Africa and more particularly Mali, are only half of its agenda. The other half, broadly speaking, is the life of everyday Africans.
  23. Maddin takes on his first commissioned feature--an adaptation of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's production of Dracula--and succeeds brilliantly, making it his own while offering what may be the most faithful screen version to date of Bram Stoker's novel.
  24. 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.
  25. The stylized physiques and movements of the characters in this exciting animated musical-romance-adventure are at once realist and fantastic.
  26. The only person who seems to understand the angry teen is mom's new boyfriend (Michael Fassbender of Hunger), though their friendship oscillates between intimate and vaguely creepy.
  27. The movie is hugely compelling on a moral and emotional level - I was completely hooked - yet it also revealed to me in numerous small and concrete ways what it's like to live in a contemporary theocracy.
  28. A highly emotional epic about what it means to be both Chinese and American.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Superbly rendered CGI animation.

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