Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 5,178 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 4.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Half Nelson
Lowest review score: 0 Play the Game
Score distribution:
5178 movie reviews
  1. In this lavish adaptation of Lisa See's novel, the complex chronologies of the parallel narratives are skillfully handled by director Wayne Wang, which makes his reliance on unbridled sentimentality all the more irritating.
  2. Reilly's performance here is hilarious: he's located the character in the bursts of shouting he uses to do his job and the warped sense of humor he needs to deal with the weird kids sent his way.
  3. The best thing I can say about this sleep-inducing kiddie comedy is that the need to bring in a PG rating must have precluded the endless series of giant-turd gags promised by the title.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Indie moviemaking reaches some kind of awful zenith of self-indulgence in this scriptless drama, entirely improvised and shot on cellphones.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Rapaport keeps things lively with a hip-hop-tinged aesthetic, shuffling rhythmically between old and new footage. However engaging, though, the visuals have little to say about Tribe's legacy when compared with the original score, contributed by the great producer Madlib.
  4. Morris's trademark device of superimposing giant type over his talking heads - Willing! Manacled Mormon! - often made me wonder if Morris were exposing the world of tabloid journalism or participating in it.
  5. Cinematographer Eduardo Serra underscores the sense of dread with a rich charcoal palette, and the outstanding CGI and 3D effects make the otherworldly threats more corporeal.
  6. Sexual politics, family dynamics, the debate over heredity versus environment, and the dubious ethics of scientific research on animals are rigorously explored in this ambitious, bittersweet work.
  7. Writer-director Michel Leclerc keeps stressing how political all this is (the heroine labels almost everyone a "fascist"), but the movie never really decides what it's about, and its odd-couple romance is stale and unpersuasive.
  8. A major star in Mexico, Bichir is quietly affecting as the father, a humble striver who faces loss at every turn.
  9. The story is so packed with over-the-top characters (including a hit man and hustler played by Jamie Foxx) that no one gets a chance to breathe.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The movie hits a surprising range of emotional grace notes, including several moments of genuine regret, and concludes with an understated moral lesson about the value of self-respect over social status, something that would never happen in an Allen film.
  10. A rare dud from Pixar.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Smug and unconvincing.
  11. As an avid media watcher, I didn't come away from this with any new insights, but the movie is a pretty good snapshot of the daily newspaper business in transition and turmoil.
  12. There's some cute stuff involving Hanks and some teenagers who tool around campus on scooters, but an utter lack of chemistry between him and Roberts dooms the movie.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    If you're going to make a movie in which some of your stars are animated toys and much of downtown Chicago is reduced to rubble, this is the way to do it: shamelessly, with no expense spared and no cliche avoided.
  13. Diaz, costars Jason Segel and Justin Timberlake, and a sharp supporting cast manage to deliver a crappy good time, mercifully devoid of any heart-tugging teacher-student subplots.
  14. This documentary on the history of gospel music can't measure up to George T. Nierenberg's colorful "Say Amen, Somebody" (1982), but it's so jammed with great archival performances, most of them included in their entirety, that it's worth seeing.
  15. Possibly the touchy-feeliest cowboy movie ever made.
  16. This forceful expose shows how area residents are fighting to keep their beloved Coal Mountain pristine, but filmmaker Bill Haney allots too much screen time to environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and barely any to the urban consumers in distant states whose thirst for cheap electric power is part of the problem.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The film is shot with handheld cameras in the standard mockumentary style, but the content is often hilarious, especially when the trolls show up. There's also a marvelous deadpan comic performance by Otto Jespersen as a troll-hunter and tireless dispenser of troll lore.
  17. Throughout the tour O'Brien makes it a point of pride to oblige his fans, though even this comes off as self-centered.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The result is a deadly disappointment, despite Ryan Reynolds's cocky, muscle-flexing charisma as the daredevil test pilot turned intergalactic peacekeeper and Peter Sargaard's movie-stealing turn as a nerdy scientist turned psycho monster.
    • 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.
  18. Like the incessant ringing of cowbells in the first two segments, the film may either hypnotize you or drive you stark staring mad.
  19. Wexler emerges from all this with the commonplace wisdom that laughter and a positive outlook both prolong life and make it worth living, though his vocal concern with his own aging keeps the film from growing pat.
  20. The travelogue sequences indicate how widely Middle Eastern cultures vary, but there are few revealing personal encounters in this well-intentioned but minor film.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The movie is so filled with such optimistic gestures that one wishes it were more convincing; the dialogue is riddled with cliches and the leads are too confident to portray teenage insecurities credibly.
  21. The beloved 1938 children's book about a house painter who becomes guardian to a dozen penguins has been turned into a standard-issue children's comedy with Jim Carrey.

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