Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 4,911 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 3.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Hot Fuzz
Lowest review score: 0 Event Horizon
Score distribution:
4,911 movie reviews
  1. This curious ecological parable was directed by George Miller (Babe: Pig in the City), who still has an eye and a sense of humor but on this particular outing can't get the script he wrote with three others to make much sense.
  2. Director Jonathan Demme's farcical and broad 1988 comedy, written by Barry Strugatz and Mark R. Burns, doesn't really work, but there are plenty of enjoyable compensations.
  3. Though frustratingly superficial and shot through a nostalgic, rose-colored lens, this enthralling 2010 doc opens a wider window on forgotten world of burlesque shows than anything I've previously seen.
  4. There's some excellent comedy early on involving the mutual incomprehension of Africans and Americans, though this eventually gives way to solemn, ethnocentric mush about one African's reading of the story of Jesus, demonstrating as usual that sustained subtlety is hardly Spielberg's forte.
  5. Lacks the scariness, the mystery, and even much of the curiosity of Rivette's better work.
  6. The script by producer David Franzoni, John Logan, and William Nicholson is serviceable but not exactly inspired.
  7. Streisand is stunning, but the film is a trial, particularly when the music disappears somewhere around the 90-minute mark and all that's left is leaden melodrama.
  8. There are some striking visuals and Hartnett is a magnetic presence.
  9. Helms's screen persona-the stiff-necked nerd who triumphs through sheer doggedness-is heavily reminiscent of Harold Lloyd's, though Lloyd was handsome and endearing enough to succeed as a romantic lead.
  10. Wears its art, as well as its heart, on its sleeve -- so much so that I feel guilty for not liking it more.
  11. Storper is pretty good at playing with and against certain western cliches in his treatment of the good guys (including Annette Bening's character), but resorts to pure cliche when it comes to the villians (e.g., Gambon and James Russo).
  12. A mainly routine Hong Kong action film from fleet and floppy-haired action hero Jackie Chan. It's light on plot and character, but the stunts are well staged.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    If you can tolerate the overbearing music (think John Williams at his most manipulative), this is relatively painless, thanks to a lighthearted tone and some energetic lead performances.
  13. Foreigners who argue that Americans are Neanderthal savages can point to this movie as persuasive evidence.
  14. Whether the story's bald ironies are historical cliches or just dramatic ones, they convey only platitudes about gender, sexuality, and power.
  15. At 116 minutes, it's a test not of speed but endurance.
  16. Soggy and predictable screenplay.
  17. The action is exciting, but the rapid-fire narration jumps around too quickly, making it difficult to keep straight the personalities meant to hold the film together.
  18. If the Disney animated original (1961) -- adapted from Dodie Smith's novel -- tried to approximate live action, this 1996 Disney live-action remake often tries to evoke cartoon.
  19. Vigilant viewers may spend many of the 101 minutes fixating on tiny holes in the plot, but I was busy being moved by the premise and the filmmakers' confidence in the power of their metaphor: a little boy who's disappointed in the man he grew up to be.
  20. Formulaic but fairly well-done.
  21. I kind of liked this slow, stoner comedy.
  22. A pleasure.
  23. Unafraid to look absurd but lacks the self-conviction needed to come off as camp.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The film preserves many of Ellis's amoral one liners (best delivered by Malkovich and by Richard Dreyfuss as one of the villains), though as in much of his writing, the fun is discolored by a profound cynicism.
  24. Enjoyable but thin.
  25. The eroticism is powerful, and the documentary candor and directness of the sex scenes make this well worth seeing.
  26. Even though I appreciate this movie's craft, I wish I hadn't seen it. It's a heady, progressive -- or perhaps elaborately conservative? -- romance, but it's also a tale of terrible suffering.
  27. A realist mode that strains credibility; it's tenuous and inflexible -- and easily ruptured by the contrived irony in Jimmy McGovern's screenplay.
  28. The efforts to plant this story in a contemporary vernacular are not always successful but the performances are uniformly fine in their adherence to the material, and consistently avoid any vulgarity or showboating.

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