Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 5,064 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 Reversal of Fortune
Lowest review score: 0 Bad Boys
Score distribution:
5064 movie reviews
  1. Sleekly tooled but eminently forgettable thriller.
  2. Each set piece is effectively executed, but the characters and their motivations become progressively dimmer and more confused.
  3. It's not easy keeping track of all the contradictory tensions, and the film seems forever on the verge of spinning totally out of control, though whose control—Hunter's? Elmes's? anyone's?—it's hard to say. Still, it's more a success than a failure, if only because the confusions are so protean.
  4. Succeeds at least in being offbeat, but its inanities and glib pretensions are so thick that it mainly comes across as tacky and contrived.
  5. Ray
    Differs from other authorized Hollywood musical biopics in one striking detail: its subject, still alive when most of this was made, is almost never shown as a likable person.
  6. Carell and Apatow collaborated on the script; it does manage a few laughs, but the characters seldom progress beyond the two-dimensional.
  7. It's all so overdetermined -- each encounter of the present-day lovers mirrors some moment from the long-ago day when they parted -- that it reduces their whole affair to a matter of last-minute revisionism.
  8. There's not much humor to keep it all life-size, and by the final stretch it's become bloated, mechanical, and tiresome.
  9. Newly updated but shamelessly hokey, Steven Spielberg's version of the 1898 H.G. Wells yarn about murderous invaders from outer space starts off as a nimble scare show like "Jaws."
  10. Sadly, the technical logistics seem to have impeded the dreamlike flow a movie like this requires.
  11. With her large, expressive eyes, abundant warmth, and radiant energy, Faour commands our sympathy, even through some weak dialogue and even weaker plot points.
  12. Only August's assured direction and the leads' solid performances elevate this above a TV "disease of the week" movie.
  13. I suspect an account of all the complex business transactions would be more fun than anything in the movie, where you can't see a blue sky that isn't made up to resemble the Dreamworks logo.
  14. The husband learns nothing, and his monstrous behavior makes the movie relentlessly downbeat. No one, including the viewer, achieves catharsis.
  15. Lee has tried hard to give this shapeless picture some visual patterning though the cluttered effect created by his mistrust of silence is even more harmful than in the past.
  16. Considering that none of the characters is fresh or interesting, it's a commendable achievement that the quality of the storytelling alone keeps the movie watchable and likable.
  17. Billy Wilder's 1954 version of the Samuel Taylor staple was a perfect vehicle for Audrey Hepburn, though the cut is too tight for her costars, Humphrey Bogart and William Holden. [Review of re-release]
  18. Eastwood is still a primal force on-screen, but his unusual practice of shooting scripts as written, which served him well on "Unforgiven" and "Million Dollar Baby," here leaves him exposed to Nick Schenk's familiar situations and awkward dialogue.
  19. Maybe the magic will work for those who loved the book, but I found this film stultifyingly self-important and, despite the regularity with which it cuts to the chase, weirdly static.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It keeps the gag quotient lower than Reds but has a similar effect: more urgent in its desire to make us care about the events it depicts, it nonetheless reduces the war in Bosnia to mere scenery for the hackneyed journey of a world-weary journalist from cynicism to caring activism.
  20. Singer draws heavily on the 1978 hit that launched the Warner Brothers franchise, with Brandon Routh dully impersonating Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel, Kevin Spacey getting all the good lines as the villainous Lex Luthor, and stock footage of Marlon Brando proving that death isn't always a good career move.
  21. Sincere, capable, at times moving, but overextended, this picture is seriously hampered by its tendency to linger over everything--especially landscapes with silhouetted figures, and not excluding its own good intentions.
  22. Like her previous feature, "Look at Me" (2004), this relationship drama is mature and intelligent, but the character conflicts are so decorously handled that after a while the whole enterprise begins to seem more like a good waiter than a good story.
  23. Nora Ephron, who wrote and directed this, repeatedly alludes to the 1957 "An Affair to Remember" as her principal point of reference, yet at no point does she indicate any awareness of what makes that tragicomic love story sublime and this one merely cutesy.
  24. Pretty dispensable, though it has one of the best homosexual-panic gags I've ever seen.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Where the narrative and characterization work, the visuals are lacking. Director Colin Trevorrow's digital cinematography occasionally resembles a YouTube video in mid-buffer, making the gorgeous and picturesque setting of the Pacific Northwest coastline appear bland and texture-less.
  25. Cheerful mess of a pulp-fiction parody.
  26. Glodell seems to be reaching for the nihilistic buddy romance of a movie like "Mean Streets" (1973), but without the serious intent; despite all the roiling emotions, this begins to feel like a pile-up of macho fetish items and stylistic affectations.
  27. Writer-director J.J. Abrams overloads this sci-fi adventure with so many homages to his co-producer Steven Spielberg that it plays like the elder director's greatest hits, minus his characteristic scares and sense of wonder.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    This may seem slick and sentimental, but beneath the surface is a film every bit as morbid as "A.I. Artificial Intelligence," which also used a nonhuman protagonist to contemplate human death on a mass scale.

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