Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 4,931 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 Kundun
Lowest review score: 0 Event Horizon
Score distribution:
4931 movie reviews
  1. [An] unsatisfying mess.
  2. Kubrick is after a cool, sunlit vision of hell, born in the bosom of the nuclear family, but his imagery--with its compulsive symmetry and brightness--is too banal to sustain interest, while the incredibly slack narrative line forestalls suspense.
  3. Not a movie, just one gigantic commercial for Hasbro.
  4. Hughes invokes the classical unities of time, place, and plot symmetry, yet he trashes his careful structure every time he needs a gag - destroying the integrity of his characters, shattering the plausibility of his situations.
  5. This blunt comedy suffers from poor pacing, colorless dialogue, and subpar performances by the two leads that reveal just how much a director contributes to our perception of what a star is.
  6. Despite the 138-minute running time, Temple holds all the artists to one song (or less), devoting about half the movie to kaleidoscopic--and ultimately wearying--montage of festivalgoers past and present.
  7. The usual Spielberg rhetoric about the sanctity of childhood and the beauty of dreams seems wholly factitious in this crass context, which even includes a commercial--in the form of a rock video--for the tie-in merchandise.
  8. It's a failure, less because the odd stylistic mix doesn't take (it does from time to time, and to striking effect) than because Landis hasn't bothered to put his story into any kind of satisfying shape.
  9. I can think of only one bit of Tin Cup that's beautiful, imaginative, and different, and it lasts for only a few seconds: a speech delivered by Russo, before her character is transformed into the standard-issue cheerleader, is broken into fragments by jump cuts.
  10. The movie not only indicts the country's embrace of capitalism by showing how low people will sink to make money, it also denigrates the agrarian class--once celebrated as heroic under Mao--by portraying its members as illiterate barbarians concerned only with continuing their family lines.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Smug and unconvincing.
  11. Simpleminded indictment of every senator who voted "yea."
  12. Rodriguez retreats into gruesome violence and flaccid comedy, grasping feebly for topical relevance by referencing the current immigration fracas.
  13. An epic about the Irish patriot (Liam Neeson) during the last years of his life (1916-'22), it clearly represents a lot of thought on Jordan's part, yet it's dramatic and cinematic sludge.
  14. Bored me for most of its 178 minutes and then infuriated me with its cheap cynicism once it belatedly became interesting--which may be a tribute to writer-director Lars von Trier's gifts as a provocateur.
  15. With no personalities established and nothing at stake, it's no more interesting than a pickup game on your local court.
  16. You get the plot, all right, but that's all you get - no body, no texture, no rhythm, no shading.
  17. The film's a swell way of torturing yourself for 108 minutes.
  18. Every effect is so calculated that only the conscious minds of filmmakers and viewers are engaged--and not by very much or for very long.
  19. The indifference of the proceedings and the hero's slapstick behavior to the everyday realities of the camps borders on the nauseating.
  20. A story that holds little suspense; we know exactly how happily this animated musical will end--and the wait isn't very diverting.
  21. Even Herzog loyalists will have to concede that this fact-based 2009 hostage drama is a serious dud.
  22. A tedious movie about excitement.
  23. The wit is too weak to sustain a film, and the songs all sound the same.
  24. Jarhead virtually begins with a rip-off of the basic-training sequence that opens Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket."
  25. Tautly directed by David Slade, this drama probably offers more sadism than anyone could possibly want...The characters are absurd, but if you're up for this sort of thing, then surely you can con yourself into accepting them. Personally, I'd rather have this movie obliterated from my memory.
  26. This is a new form of obscenity that might be called suicide porn. It's not just the voyeuristic surveillance that's obscene, but the use of suicide footage as counterpoint to other stories as they're told. Steel shows no special insight into the subject, though even that couldn't justify such hideousness.
  27. Cohen probably thinks he's Charlie Chaplin lampooning Hitler, but of course Hitler was still on top of the world when "The Great Dictator" came out in 1940; Cohen is actually Chaplin's antithesis, a first-world bully content to target the Other.
  28. George Roy Hill's 1969 film moves with steady, stupid grace from oozy sentimentality to nihilistic violence.
  29. As effective as MacDowell was in sex, lies, and videotape, she's clearly no match for the talented Depardieu; perhaps she'd seem less out of her depth if the script wasn't so implausible and threadbare.

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