Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 4,910 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 3.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Far from Heaven
Lowest review score: 0 National Lampoon's Gold Diggers
Score distribution:
4,910 movie reviews
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A masterpiece, one of Michelangelo Antonioni's finest works. (Review of Original Release)
  1. If "Ratatouille" taught the world that rats have feelings too, Persepolis teaches the same thing about the people of Iran, who in the current political climate are probably in greater danger of being eradicated.
  2. Coppola does a fair job of capturing the fish-tank ambience of nocturnal, upscale Tokyo and showing how it feels to be a stranger in that world, and an excellent job of getting the most from her lead actors. Unfortunately, I'm not sure she accomplishes anything else.
  3. The story unfolds at such length and over so many years that politics tend to fade into the wallpaper, leaving an exceptionally rich family story.
  4. The fictional story here, set between 1984 and 1991, focuses on the investigation of a popular and patriotic playwright (Sebastian Koch); that the captain assigned to his case (touchingly played by Ulrich Mühe) is mainly sympathetic and working surreptitiously on the playwright's behalf only makes this more disturbing.
  5. There isn't an ounce of flab or hype, and the story it tells is profoundly affecting.
  6. Zhang weaves in both thrilling martial-arts set pieces and stunning studies of period silk tapestry and costume.
  7. Streisand is stunning, but the film is a trial, particularly when the music disappears somewhere around the 90-minute mark and all that's left is leaden melodrama.
  8. In archival photos Petit seems to float between the towers, a tiny black figure against a vivid blue sky; the images are all the more poignant for the unstated fact that Petit is still around when the buildings aren't.
  9. Koreeda was inspired by his guilt over having neglected his own parents, and the story is remarkable for the quiet, seemingly casual way he depicts the fallout of bitterness and grief.
  10. As clever as he is crude, Cohen alchemizes bad-taste comedy into Strangelovean satire.
  11. Ferguson is admirably tenacious in assigning blame for the boneheaded mistakes that have doomed Iraqi reconstruction. Paul Bremer, former head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, is hung out to dry.
  12. The emotion here is genuine, but the outlook is tough: in Bahrani's movies we're all aliens to each other.
  13. It's 88 minutes of solid, inventive music, filmed in a straightforward manner that neither deifies the performers nor encourages an illusory intimacy, but presents the musicians simply as people doing their job and enjoying it.
  14. The premise of this South Korean import may call to mind that of another, Bong Joon-ho's recent suspense film "Mother," but Poetry is another bird entirely: true to the title, writer-director Lee Chang-dong is principally concerned with rendering emotions that seem inexpressible.
  15. This effort often manages to duplicate the magical pantomime of the era; a lovely scene in which Bejo drapes herself in the arms of a hung jacket as if it were a human lover could have come straight out of a Marion Davies picture.
  16. "Sweetie" and "An Angel at My Table" have taught us to expect startling as well as beautiful things from Jane Campion, and this assured and provocative third feature offers yet another lush parable--albeit a bit more calculated and commercially minded--about the perils and paradoxes of female self-expression.
  17. Stylistically, it's a remarkable effort -- with a continuous sense of gliding motion -- and the film is entertaining and gripping throughout.
  18. A Chayefsky movie isn't hard to identify, but I think it's safe to say that these days a Charlie Kaufman movie is even more recognizable.
  19. This remarkable British silent (1929) is special in many ways.
  20. Some of the results ring false, but the memorable theme song and some equally memorable character acting (by Thomas Mitchell and Lon Chaney Jr. more than Lloyd Bridges and Katy Jurado) help things along.
  21. It has few stars familiar to Americans, and it shares with "Pan's Labyrinth" the rare distinction of being a mainstream commercial movie with subtitles.
  22. The songs don't advance the narrative lyrically so much as follow the two characters' uncertain relationship through the slow realization of their themes; in particular a scene in which they first jam together in the back room of a music store is a gem.
  23. Despite Scorsese's efforts, there just isn't much to look at, and the film plays less like a movie than an illustrated record album.
  24. If, like me, you've been wondering how Terry Zwigoff, the brilliant documentary filmmaker who made "Crumb," would negotiate his shift to fiction filmmaking, here's your answer: brilliantly.
  25. A ferociously creative 1985 black comedy filled with wild tonal contrasts, swarming details, and unfettered visual invention--every shot carries a charge of surprise and delight.
  26. The depictions of novelist Harper Lee (Catherine Keener) and editor William Shawn (Bob Balaban) aren't convincing, but Miller is mainly interested in Capote's identification and duplicitous relationship with Perry Smith, one of the murderers he was writing about, and that story rings true.
  27. A winner of the Cannes film festival's Un Certain Regard prize, this stayed with me, though I wasn't always happy to stay with it; the incessant braying of sheep, camels, and children may send you racing from the theater in search of the nearest martini lounge.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Reeks with decay and sexuality.
  28. Powerful.

Top Trailers