Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 5,126 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 Beasts of the Southern Wild
Lowest review score: 0 I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Score distribution:
5126 movie reviews
  1. Jarhead virtually begins with a rip-off of the basic-training sequence that opens Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket."
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. George Roy Hill's 1969 film moves with steady, stupid grace from oozy sentimentality to nihilistic violence.
  6. 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.
  7. A murky, directionless plot sinks this big-budget fantasy despite Martin Laing's elaborate production design; the dark, industrial-looking sets often recall "Brazil" but without that film's thrilling sense of an imagination run amok.
  8. There is hardly any point in discussing the direction of a picture like this, in which almost every shot has been predetermined by the requirements of the special effects, yet director Richard Marquand fluffs the two or three real opportunities he has, rendering the long-delayed character climaxes with a chilly indifference.
  9. This is the art-house equivalent of a Clive Barker splatterfest, punctuated by mildly amusing stabs at Lynchian absurdity and compromised by an incoherent plot twist that would leave M. Night Shyamalan rolling his eyes.
  10. One more sluggish, artfully framed thriller with Rembrandt lighting set in a New York borough--a kind of picture that's awfully hard to do in a fresh manner.
  11. At first I thought this was a Michael Haneke knockoff, but it's more depressing and less edifying than most of those narrative experiments, which is why I eventually tuned it out.
  12. Cathartically disgusting adventure movie.
  13. It's an utter waste of Watts; there's not a trace here of the talent on display in Mulholland Drive, perhaps because the script doesn't bother to give her a character.
  14. Carpenter's direction is slow, dark, and stately; he seems to be aiming for an enveloping, novelistic kind of effect, but all he gets is heaviness.
  15. What's left is a curiously disconnected illustration of American racism, which nevertheless fails to realize the power and irony inherent in its pop-Marxist analysis.
  16. Tedious mockumentary.
  17. Well, it really is a stinker, a compendium of The Deer Hunter's weaknesses (of plotting, narration, dialogue, and character) with few of its lyrical strengths.
  18. A muddled, talky affair, part soap opera, part undercover police procedural.
  19. Even the most shocking elements of the story are made bland by childish overkill.
  20. A rare dud from Pixar.
  21. Smirky, gum-in-your-hair humor dominates this dreadful 2005 feature.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    If you're curious about the whole-foods movement, try Michael Pollan's book "In Defense of Food," which addresses the subject from a wider variety of perspectives and does so in a far less insulting manner than this extended infomercial, with its muzak score, entire sequences lifted from network TV news, and bar graphs illustrating every other scene.
  22. Unlike Michael Jordan, this 45-minute large-format movie demonstrates mostly unrealized potential.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Suffers from clumsy acting (mainly Hispanic amateurs), an obvious screenplay by Paul Laverty, and a simplistic view of the characters.
  23. The very idea of handing him over to professional lad Guy Ritchie (who directed Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels), to be played as a punch-throwing quipster by Robert Downey Jr., is so profoundly stupid one can only step back in dismay.
  24. At its core this is just another piece of big-studio nothingness. The characters are so underwritten they barely qualify as types, and the movie is badly paced, bookended by high-ordnance action sequences but painfully static in the middle.
  25. Insipid, TV-bland drama.
  26. The talentless but irrepressibly trendy Luc Besson ("Subway," "The Big Blue") dreamed up this idiotic story that seems vaguely inspired by Kubrick's (not Anthony Burgess's) "A Clockwork Orange."
  27. Writer Barry McEvoy and director Barry Levinson might want to brush up on the use of metaphor.
  28. If a bullet hadn't killed John Lennon, this Beatles-scored musical might have.

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