Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 4,965 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 4.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Burn After Reading
Lowest review score: 0 Old Dogs
Score distribution:
4965 movie reviews
  1. Masterfully charted and acted.
  2. Much as Emile de Antonio's neglected "In the Year of the Pig" (1968) may be the only major documentary about Vietnam that actually considers the Vietnamese, this film allows the people of Iraq to speak, and what they say is fascinating throughout.
  3. Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 masterpiece blends a brutal manipulation of audience identification and an incredibly dense, allusive visual style to create the most morally unsettling film ever made. The case for Hitchcock as a modern Conrad rests on this ruthless investigation of the heart of darkness, but the film is uniquely Hitchcockian in its positioning of the godlike mother figure. It's a deeply serious and deeply disturbing work, but Hitchcock, with his characteristic perversity, insisted on telling interviewers that it was a "fun" picture.
  4. Leone brought back a masterpiece, a film that expands his baroque, cartoonish style into genuine grandeur, weaving dozens of thematic variations and narrative arabesques around a classical western foundation myth.(Review of Original Release)
  5. Sharp, entertaining, and convincing--discursive, but with a sense of structure and control that Coppola hasn't achieved since.
  6. The result is a film that hovers just beyond our grasp--mysterious, beautiful, and, very possibly, a masterpiece.
  7. Directed by John Hillcoat, this Aussie feature perfectly re-creates the charbroiled landscapes and cruel psychodrama of the old Sergio Leone westerns, with John Hurt particularly fine as a raging old mountain goat.
  8. Jarmusch has said that the film's odd, generally slow rhythm -- hypnotic if you're captivated by it, as I am, and probably unendurable if you're not--was influenced by classical Japanese period movies by Kenji Mizoguchi and Akira Kurosawa.
  9. The best documentary to date about the military occupation of Iraq.
  10. This drama about an obese, illiterate black teen in Harlem practically guarantees some emotional uplift. But when it arrives, eventually, its authority is unimpeachable, so deeply has director Lee Daniels (Monster's Ball) immersed us in the depths of human ugliness.
  11. David Lynch's first digital video, almost three hours long, resists synopsizing more than anything else he's done. Some viewers have complained, understandably, that it's incomprehensible, but it's never boring, and the emotions Lynch is expressing are never in doubt.
  12. One of the most perfect endings of any film that comes to mind.
  13. Masterpiece.
  14. Such is the extraordinary achievement of The Hurt Locker: it has the perspective of years when those years have yet to pass.
  15. A sense of reconciliation is Malick's great accomplishment in The Tree of Life, affording us equal wonder at grace and nature alike. 
  16. Of course no Western director can make a movie about Africa without being accused of colonialism himself, and some critics have faulted The Last King of Scotland for focusing on its white hero as black corpses pile up around him. But although the movie takes place on an international political stage, it's still a drama of individual allegiance.
  17. A lush piece of romanticism.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Every frame is dense with life, with children and animals running in and out, yet it's not messy. Instead it's highly focused--and something of a small masterpiece.
  18. Visually witty, flawlessly played romantic comedy.
  19. The result is both thrilling and thoughtful.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Makes a powerful statement about the plight of unwanted children. But it also incorporates elements of melodrama, film noir, and even the fairy tale that engage our empathy and confirm the Dardennes' great compassion.
  20. Samuel Maoz drew from his own war experiences to write and direct this searing drama, which ranks alongside "Platoon" and "No Man's Land" as an antiwar statement and recalls the claustrophobic despair of "Das Boot."
  21. The period details and performances are uniformly superb (Bob Hoskins is especially good as MGM executive Eddie Mannix), and the major characters are even more complex than those in "Chinatown."
  22. Extraordinary 2008 French drama.
  23. An enduring masterpiece--dark, deep, beautiful, aglow.
  24. All-expert cast.
  25. At the very least, it's more honest and involved in its portraiture of American soldiers in Iraq than anything TV news of any political persuasion has given us.
  26. The mix of dark humor, creeping suspense, and a sort of apocalyptic tenderness makes this the best horror flick in years.
  27. Riveting cinematic essay.
  28. It's hard to think of many more galvanizing definitions of what it means to be an American than Cho's volcanic self-assessments.

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