Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 4,917 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 The Secret of the Grain
Lowest review score: 0 Cocktail
Score distribution:
4917 movie reviews
  1. The script is funny and observant, full of shocks of recognition, but for all his progress as a writer, Allen's direction remains disconcertingly amateurish. Still, it remains perhaps the only film in which Allen has been able to successfully imagine a personality other than his own.
  2. As a moral reconsideration of the role of violence in previous Eastwood films, this is strong and sure, and characters who play against genre expectations give the film a provocative aftertaste. The only limitation, really, is that the picture hasn't much dramatic urgency apart from its revisionist context.
  3. Doesn't add up to much more than a series of pretty pictures, and Goldsworthy's gnomic statements about the "energy" he perceives in "the plants and the land" are never fully explored.
  4. A relatively mindless thrill ride that would have made the old NBC execs grin from ear to ear.
  5. I seem to be in a distinct minority in finding the satire toothless, obvious, and insufferably glib -- Still, I found genuine pleasure in watching Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, and John C. Reilly try their hands at singing and dancing.
  6. The result is grimly "effective," but it made me long for Hollywood junk.
  7. Gentle, muted film of limited aesthetic ambition.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The nonsensationalistic results are also somewhat ho-hum--and oddly less convincing than Friedkin's lurid mess, let alone the elegant satanism sagas of Tourneur and Polanski.
  8. The script dawdles, and in spite of a good cast--Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton (who's especially resourceful), Bridget Fonda, and Brent Briscoe--the movie tends to amble around its points rather than drive straight toward the heart of the matter.
  9. The overall feel is phantasmagoric--pitched, like most of Maddin's work, in the style of a half-remembered late silent feature or early talkie.
  10. Half-funny mockumentary.
  11. Maybe you'll enjoy it, but don't expect to remember it ten minutes later, or even to believe in the characters while you're watching them.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Mills pulls off the nonchronological structure with uncommon sensitivity; unfortunately, he also confuses sensitivity with preciousness (recurring scenes show the hero confiding in a Jack Russell terrier).
  12. Everyone who likes this movie calls it "disturbing," but what disturbs me most is the self-loathing laughter it provokes, similar to what one often hears at Woody Allen and Michael Moore comedies.
  13. This sort of thing was considered high art not so long ago; now it seems forced and ponderously symbolic.
  14. Remains mired in a smart-alecky film-school sensibility.
  15. The three actors manage to get a lot of mileage out of the material: although one never quite believes that Tandy's character is Jewish, she is remarkable in every other respect, and Freeman and Aykroyd are wonderful throughout.
  16. Mainly it's marking time: the characters take a definite backseat to the special effects, and much of the action seems gratuitous, leading nowhere.
  17. The results are watchable enough--sometimes funny, sometimes over the top--and fairly fresh, though also a bit calculated.
  18. The project was produced in association with National Geographic World Films, a relationship borne out by the movie's cultural detail, rich earth-toned cinematography (by Falorni), and almost complete lack of dramatic tension.
  19. Unfortunately, as in many such big-screen comic books, the backstory beats the hell out of the present-tense plot.
  20. The efforts to plant this story in a contemporary vernacular are not always successful but the performances are uniformly fine in their adherence to the material, and consistently avoid any vulgarity or showboating.
  21. The material is powerful--one boxer has been accused of a crime and the trial conflicts with a crucial competition--but much of it feels predigested, the themes inadvertently one-dimensional.
  22. Has its awkward and square moments directorially, but it's also uncommonly honest and serious.
  23. Originally a two-part film running about three hours, this treacle has been reduced by almost a third, though it still seems to run on forever -- a bit like life but much less interesting.
  24. The performances are perfectly distilled, but the traits I dislike in Bergman are all here -- self-pity, brutality, spiritual constipation, and an unwillingness to try to overcome these difficulties.
  25. A strong example of the cinema verite style at work, yet few films of the school show up the crisis of its "noninvolvement" policy more tellingly.
  26. Despite some sentimentality and occasional directorial missteps, this is a respectable piece of work--evocative, very funny in spots, and obviously keenly felt. With Francis Capra, Taral Hicks, and Katherine Narducci.
  27. This 1998 film held my interest for two hours, even taking on an epic feel when it turns into a road movie. It's not bad by any means, but it also happens to resemble a lot of other movies.
  28. The film adopts, somewhat insidiously, the myth that life was simpler back in 1953 and '54, and it offers Murrow as a lesson for today.

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