Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 5,043 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 Elephant
Lowest review score: 0 Suddenly
Score distribution:
5043 movie reviews
  1. Unfortunately the allegory tends to overpower the characterizations even as it deepens them.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's odd that a movie featuring a great classical director is notable for some extremely contemporary acting.
  2. While its slender plot (stripper Karina wants a baby and turns to Belmondo when her boyfriend Brialy won't oblige her) can irritate in spots, the film's high spirits may still win you over.
  3. The performances are strong, but the spectator often feels adrift in an overly busy intrigue.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The movie's sympathy is often disarming. Unfortunately the director can be generous to a fault, repeating certain moments and letting others run on after he's made his point.
  4. The science is compelling, though Cameron and codirector Steven Quale undermine the movie's scholarship with a silly sci-fi ending.
  5. This absorbing documentary by George Hickenlooper (Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse) spends too much time on the celebrities in Bingenheimer's life for its analysis of fame and fandom to rise above the banal.
  6. Ken Hanes's witty script shows its origins in his stage play, with the repartee often a bit too thick and fast for the screen.
  7. Based on two of his previous shorts, this lurid vision is good for a few laughs-some intended, some not.
  8. Though it strives for broad humor, pushing cuteness and light irony, this bland 1998 movie isn't exactly a comedy.
  9. This mild 1984 comedy about a mermaid (Daryl Hannah) who falls in love with a New York City yuppie (Tom Hanks) isn't at all hard to take (John Candy, in a supporting role, is hilarious and original, and Hannah has a pleasant naive charm), but its appeal is based almost entirely on regression—a thematic regression to infancy (now endemic to the American cinema) and a stylistic regression to the most lulling kind of TV blandness. No wonder it's relaxing: it's a lullaby.
  10. Scenes of harvested frogs provide an apt metaphor for Brazil's miserable have-nots, so apt that Kohn can't resist beating it to death.
  11. This intermittently effective UK horror thriller carefully establishes the psychological relationships among the women, then squanders this calibrated and generally plausible setup with a series of crude, implausible, and scattershot horror effects.
  12. There's little originality in the joy rides, first kisses, and clashes with bullies, yet this 2005 debut feature by writer-director Michael Kang captures the small triumphs of a boy becoming a man.
  13. The clunky plot is set in Santa Fe, and includes a foil character who might as well wear a sign on his forehead.
  14. The movie, which leans too heavily on the metaphorical value of the two historic events, dives from heady romance into heavy moralizing.
  15. There are strong turns by Michael Caine as Alfred the butler and Tom Wilkinson as a ruthless crime boss.
  16. [An] amiable, rambunctious New World production, aimed ostensibly at the teen trade but more obliquely and effectively at the new wave cult...It's more cleverly cut than shot—which means that it moves quickly and energetically even as the concepts and characters disintegrate.
  17. Norbu tries too hard to please and charm, but his film at least carries the advantages of unactorly faces and a premise based on actual events that dramatizes the issue of religious vocation in a secular world.
  18. Compensates with a sharp sense of rhythm, using hip-hop and turntablist sounds by Zoel to fuel Anthony Hardwick and Tony Wolberg's aggressive cinematography.
  19. Overall it's what it aspires to be--a pleasant time-waster.
  20. Argentinean writer-director Daniel Burman uses a shaky handheld camera and voice-over narration to take us inside Ariel's head, which gets a bit exhausting, even in the more emotionally satisfying second half.
  21. Thanks to the performers (including Andie MacDowell and John Turturro), this has a certain amount of charm and warmth, but the period ambience feels both remote and uncertain.
  22. This pretentious 2005 art movie is somewhat interesting for its wide-screen photography of the striking locale, but the storytelling is awkward and confusing.
  23. Jayasundara dispenses with conventional story pacing to alternate long, static scenes with moments of revelatory lust or violence; as a press release states, the movie is "composed of uncanny set pieces portraying sex, death, and waiting," though its aesthetic achievement may lie in making all three feel like the same thing.
  24. It's hard to tell whether these characters are meant to seem as staunchly symbolic as they do when they deliver some of the back-story-heavy dialogue.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Rebecca Miller's second feature shows her to be a careful but somewhat schematic scenarist; her shaky directorial skills are partly offset by her skill at eliciting convincing portrayals from actors.
  25. The real problem, however, is the male protagonist and his foul inner life: Almodovar's impressive recent work has focused on the rich emotionality of women, and though the film provides an interesting take on gender and submission, this sort of nastiness just isn't his thing.
  26. The movie has plenty to engage one's interest but little to sustain it.
  27. The problem is that once they do connect, their passion isn't believable.

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