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 4.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Killer of Sheep
Lowest review score: 0 Cocktail
Score distribution:
4913 movie reviews
  1. A seemingly mad dog periodically turns into a well-trained pet.
  2. This 1985 western does a decent job of developing some dry 80s humor without completely undermining the genre, yet Kasdan's considerable skills as a plot carpenter seem to desert him as soon as the story moves to the town of the title--the action turns choppy, confused, and arbitrary.
  3. Like "The Hustler," this absorbing Las Vegas story about a professional poker player (Eric Bana) uses gambling to tell a tale of moral regeneration. But Bana can't carry a picture like Paul Newman, and poker proves less photogenic than pool.
  4. Cox's style is a step beyond camp into a comedy of pure disgust; much of the film is churlishly unpleasant, but there's a core of genuine anger that gives the project an emotional validation lacking in the flabby American comedies of the early 80s.
  5. The film may never fully attain the emotional resonance it seems to be striving for, but it's still an accomplished and interesting piece of work.
  6. By accident or design, the resolution here is morally ambiguous and vaguely distasteful, which may be the reason I liked it.
  7. The dual point of view is used effectively, though it's less valid as social criticism (where Penn's observations tend toward facile revisionism) than as an index of the uncertainty that characterizes most of Penn's heroes.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Capable, if slightly show-offy, performances by McTeer and Brown give this Sundance favorite a little sparkle.
  8. This arty and moody account of her formation as an artist, as its subtitle declares, is basically invented. Its nerviness only pays off in a few details and in Nicole Kidman's resourcefulness.
  9. The film's relaxed pace, unassuming tone, and respect for its characters all recall the films of Abbas Kiarostami, who provided the story idea, but director Ali Reza Raisian adds a slightly more dramatic and emotional edge.
  10. The film's elliptical structure seems little more than a device to compensate for the thin dramatic material, but it's saved by a fine ensemble cast and Akhavan's convincing transformation from a naive romantic to a disturbing reactionary.
  11. The cultural cock-strutting gets to be a bit much, but Neville handily captures the excitement of an art scene percolating, breaking wide open, and finally burning itself out.
  12. Making Shakur the narrator works pretty well at first...But once he becomes an overnight star at age 20, his relentless self-articulation to Tabitha Soren begins to sound like the usual white noise of celebrity, his ideas about race and power in America potent but undeveloped.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Like most of Perry's movies, this one oscillates wildly and shamelessly between raunch and pathos, leaving plenty of room for the performers to work. The lively ensemble includes a scene-stealing Cassi Davis as pothead Aunt Bam.
  13. The results are easy to watch, though awfully familiar and simpleminded.
  14. 8MM
    I can't say I warmed to the results, but I was solidly held for the film's two hours.
  15. Singer draws heavily on the 1978 hit that launched the Warner Brothers franchise, with Brandon Routh dully impersonating Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel, Kevin Spacey getting all the good lines as the villainous Lex Luthor, and stock footage of Marlon Brando proving that death isn't always a good career move.
  16. Ken Hanes's witty script shows its origins in his stage play, with the repartee often a bit too thick and fast for the screen.
  17. Against the lush backdrop of the Andes, Crowe and Caruso define on-screen cool: good guys in a match of wits and firepower who even talk about their emotions.
  18. The fun hardens into Fun after he's (Mr. Incredible) lured out of retirement and imprisoned in a remote island compound, though the sleek computer animation is spellbinding as usual.
  19. A mildly psychological suspense thriller with military trappings.
  20. If, like the filmmakers, you're willing to settle for a myth that flatters your sensibilities and shortchanges the past, you're likely to find some agreeable kicks here.
  21. The contrast between Tucker's motormouth and Chan's man of few words should be funnier, but the plot -- which is cliched without quite becoming self-reflexive -- and the uneven pace dampen most of their moments.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A trio of stridently weird performances--from Nicolas Cage, William Fichtner, and David Morse--brighten this otherwise rote actioner.
  22. The performances are strong, but the spectator often feels adrift in an overly busy intrigue.
  23. If you like being shaken up and don't care too much why or how, this is probably for you; Huppert gives her all to the part, and you won't be bored.
  24. I guessed the big plot twist as soon as Franklin began setting it up, which gave me a good 40 minutes to appreciate the fine supporting cast and weathered coastal Florida locations while waiting for Washington's character to catch up with me.
  25. Passably creepy chiller.
  26. Hovers just this side of "Ghost Whisperer" kitsch but remains compulsively watchable thanks to its smart ensemble cast
  27. This has its sappy moments, but both women give wonderfully detailed performances, aided by Michael Learned as Hunt's mother and Chris Sarandon as the calm, cold minister.

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