Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 5,124 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 4.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Dogtooth
Lowest review score: 0 The Back-up Plan
Score distribution:
5124 movie reviews
  1. Michael Webber's documentary "The Elephant in the Living Room" (2010) makes such a powerful case against private ownership of exotic wild animals that this portrait of circus owner David Balding and his beloved elephant Flora seems sentimental by comparison.
  2. The remake is plenty scary, though any moral inquiry into the cost of revenge seemed to fly over the heads of the screaming, laughing crowd I saw it with.
  3. Ambassador Gregory Peck finds that he's adopted the Antichrist (and he's a cute little feller too), in the slickest of the many demonic thrillers that followed in the wake of The Exorcist. Richard Donner directs more for speed than mood, but there are a few good shocks.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Saldana makes this watchable, James supplies a fitful plausibility, and director Olivier Megaton (a former graffiti artist) keeps things racing along, preposterously.
  4. Missing is most of Tarkovsky's contemplative and mystical poetry (which is why it's 90 minutes shorter), and added are some unfortunate Hollywood-style designer flashbacks -- The story is still strong and haunting, but I'd recommend seeing this, if at all, only after the Tarkovsky.
  5. As usual, the three instrumentalists (Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Robby Krieger) take a backseat to their gorgeous front man, though their nimble, idiosyncratic playing has aged much better than his pretentious poetry.
  6. The characters' behavior isn't always believable, and the jerky rhythm takes some getting used to (there may be more attitude here than observation). But the defiant absence of any conventional plot has a cumulative charm.
  7. On the very edge of coherence -- but I find its decadent erotic poetry irresistible.
  8. Director Kevin Reynolds strikes a good balance between action and romance in this version of the medieval legend, but his leading man is upstaged by the supporting cast.
  9. The first two are total stinkers, but things pick up with Joe Dante's creepy, claustrophobic, and very funny study of a brattish kid who lives in a cartoon universe, and come slamming home with George Miller's final sketch about a paranoid airline passenger.
  10. The climactic sight gag is lifted from Monicelli's movie like a diamond from a jeweler's window.
  11. It's good sleazy fun for a while, jacked up with an assortment of edgy visuals, but the greenish yellow tint favored by action director Tony Scott is a good metaphor for the movie's jaundiced sensibility.
  12. Walter Hill's existential action piece, rendered in a complete stylistic abstraction that will mean tough going for literal-minded audiences. Not quite the clean, elegant creation that his earlier films were, The Warriors admits to failures of conception (occasional) and dialogue (frequent), but there is much of value in Hill's visual elaboration of the material.
  13. In a lumbering way, this depressing feel-good drama about the impact of cancer on two children, their divorced parents, and the father's girlfriend offers some useful insights into how feelings of jealousy and betrayal can limit the potential of family relationships.
  14. Fedja van Huet gives a fascinating performance as two very different twin brothers.
  15. The tone is bleak and the comic-book violence relentless, but the wirework and Yuta Morokaji's stunt choreography are impressive, culminating in a breathless showdown between the title character (Aya Ueto) and 200 foes.
  16. Maybe I've seen too many James Bond movies by now, or maybe the trouble with this 20th installment is that the filmmakers are trying too hard to top the excesses of the predecessors.
  17. This Indiana Jones knockoff goes down smoothly enough, and Jolie isn't bad at all, though every time she opened her mouth I expected Mick Jagger to come dancing down her tongue.
  18. A philosophical comedy about man's place in a universe colonized by Targets and Wal-Marts.
  19. The precredits sequence is exciting--it's the only part of the movie that even begins to use the idea of the vulnerability of a horror-movie audience reflexively. The rest of the story is a straightforward narrative that's threatening only to the ingenues in the cast.
  20. Takes a while to arrive at what it has to say, but some of the performances kept me occupied in the meantime.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    An occasionally touching, more often clumsy variation on the formula of crusty oldster and problem child bonding on a road trip. The main reason to see it is "Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman.
  21. After she's forced to confess, director Marc Rothemund doesn't have much to do but marvel at her heroic defiance, and the film is overtaken by its talkiness, claustrophobia, and polarized morality.
  22. Entertaining but forgettable action flick.
  23. The film asks us to embrace not only the death of beauty but the beauty of death.
  24. The charm of the three leads makes it a movie worth seeing.
  25. Watchable if far-fetched movie is seriously marred by its three leads; only Garrel manages to suggest a person rather than a fashion model dutifully following instructions.
  26. Carefully re-creates the first movie's lightweight romance and mildly cheeky gender comedy.
  27. It's doubtful that the haste with which two actors of the same sex break away from a kiss in this comedy was in the script, but otherwise everybody stays in character, which is impressive given the manic range of some of the roles and the comic monotony of others.
  28. The screenplay becomes annoyingly vague--Byler tries to conjure heavy weather out of Charlotte's mysterious past, but the details are confusing and the ending bewilderingly abrupt.

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