Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 5,063 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 Taxi to the Dark Side
Lowest review score: 0 Miss March
Score distribution:
5063 movie reviews
  1. This 2002 German documentary (in English) by Marta Kudlacek is the best portrait of an experimental filmmaker that I know.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    With its wisecracking screenplay, period-perfect pop score, and Shankman's splashy choreography, this may be the funniest, dancingest screen musical since "Singin' in the Rain."
  2. As clever as he is crude, Cohen alchemizes bad-taste comedy into Strangelovean satire.
  3. The result was one of Bergman's most haunting and suggestive films.
  4. For a movie about the importance of memory, Away From Her is appropriately sophisticated in its treatment of time. Polley has broken the chronological story into three sections of unequal length and woven them together, approximating our own mercurial journeys through the past.
  5. A very sophisticated, very effective piece of work spun from primal images, with an excellent cast.
  6. In a truly great movie the form becomes indistinguishable from the story, and that’s certainly the case here.
  7. Charlie Chaplin finally got around to acknowledging the 20th century in this 1936 film, which substitutes machine-age gags for the fading Victoriana of his other work. Consequently, it's the coldest of his major features, though no less brilliant for it.
  8. Zwigoff not only presents a complex human being and the range of his art but also guides us through a profound and unsettling consideration of what it means to be an American artist. Essential viewing.
  9. The show has been the gold standard for satirical TV ever since it debuted in 1989. This long-awaited movie adaptation has plenty of laughs, plus an assortment of milestones for fans.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Terrific escapist entertainment...It's a polished and exciting thriller, mercifully unburdened with heavy political/philosophical digressions.
  10. Mesmerizing.
  11. The good humor bubbles up from a deep reservoir of affection for Hollywood schlock.
  12. A quantum leap in movie magic; watching it, I began to understand how people in 1933 must have felt when they saw "King Kong."
  13. One of the shining glories of the American musical, this 1952 feature was fabricated (by screenwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green) around a collection of old songs written by producer Arthur Freed and brought to bright, brash, and exuberant life by directors Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly. The setting is Hollywood's troubled transition to sound, and there is just enough self-reflexive content (on the eternal battle between illusion and reality in the movies) to structure the film's superb selection of numbers.
  14. Throughout the film cause and effect, the mainspring of most narratives, is replaced by a sense of spiritual synchronicity.
  15. Like much of Verhoeven's best work, it's shamelessly melodramatic, but in its dark moral complexities it puts "Schindler's List" to shame. Van Houten and Sebastian Koch (The Lives of Others) are only two of the standouts in an exceptional cast.
  16. A ferociously creative 1985 black comedy filled with wild tonal contrasts, swarming details, and unfettered visual invention--every shot carries a charge of surprise and delight.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Streep and Hoffman are pitch-perfect, and Amy Adams is also superb as a young nun caught up in the conflict.
  17. Hou's best film since "The Puppetmaster" (1993). It's also his most minimalist effort to date, slow to reveal its depths and beauties, and it marks a rejuvenation of his art.
  18. Alain Resnais' 2006 adaptation of a British play by Alan Ayckbourn is a world apart from his earlier Ayckbourn adaptation, "Smoking/No Smoking"; that film tried to be as "English" as possible. But this time Resnais looks for precise French equivalents to British culture, and what emerges is one of his most personal works, intermittently recalling the melancholy "Muriel" and "Providence."
  19. The film's superb first two hours, which weave social and historical themes into rich personal drama, turn out to be only a prelude to the magnificent final hour--an extended ballroom sequence that leaves history behind to become one of the most moving meditations on individual mortality in the history of the cinema. (Review of 1983 Release)
  20. Like the best kids' entertainment, this creates a daffy little world all its own.
  21. Elliptical, full of subtle inner rhymes...and profoundly moving, this is the most tightly crafted Kubrick film since "Dr. Strangelove," as well as the most horrific; the first section alone accomplishes most of what "The Shining" failed to do.
  22. Wong Kar-wai's idiosyncratic style first became apparent in this gorgeously moody second feature.
  23. What can you say about the movie that taught you what movies were?...Kane is no longer my favorite Orson Welles film (I'd take "Ambersons," "Falstaff," or "Touch of Evil"), but it is still the best place I know of to start thinking about Welles - or for that matter about movies in general.
  24. Smart, poignant, and utterly beguiling.
  25. After the portentous "No Country for Old Men," Joel and Ethan Coen return to their trademark brand of cruel, misanthropic farce, and for dark laughs and hurtling narrative momentum this spy caper is their best work since "Fargo."
  26. Combines live-action and animation with breathtaking wizardry... Alternately hilarious, frightening, and awesome.
  27. Director Juan José Campanella weaves together two love stories--between the victim and her husband, and the investigator and his former boss (Soledad Villamil)--and creates some masterful set pieces; his breathless chase through a packed soccer stadium is a marvel of choreography and top-notch CGI.

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