Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 4,913 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 Army of Shadows
Lowest review score: 0 Orphan
Score distribution:
4913 movie reviews
  1. Writer-director Jeff Nichols maintains a cagey balancing act for much of the movie, refusing to specify whether his protagonist is a prophet or a madman, yet in the end this doesn't really matter: the storm inside him is plenty real.
  2. This 2005 masterpiece by Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov transforms the story of Emperor Hirohito at the close of World War II into a melancholy meditation on power and its loss.
  3. Coogan delivers a winning comic performance as the pompous impresario, but his story has little dramatic momentum of its own; he functions mostly as a pedantic narrator, imposing some cultural significance on the endless party and pointing out more intriguing personalities.
  4. An E.T. spin-off, but it's a very likable and imaginative one.
  5. Atonement is that rare combo: a good movie based on a good book.
  6. A sense of reconciliation is Malick's great accomplishment in The Tree of Life, affording us equal wonder at grace and nature alike. 
  7. On its deepest level it considers not a particular war but the complex feelings between mothers and the young men they send out into the world to kill or be killed.
  8. The mix of dark humor, creeping suspense, and a sort of apocalyptic tenderness makes this the best horror flick in years.
  9. Jean Gabin wasn't yet 50 when he starred as a big-time, high-style gangster hoping to retire, but he still looks pretty wasted, and this pungent tale about aging and friendship, adapted from a best-selling noir thriller by Albert Simonin, would be hard to imagine without his puffy features.
  10. Out of Sight engaged me less and less, until by the end I no longer cared which of the characters lived or died. Not even the engaging Jennifer Lopez, George Clooney, Albert Brooks, Don Cheadle, and Ving Rhames or the talented secondary cast can survive the abbreviations and last-minute shoehorning their characters receive.
  11. The results are high-spirited, with nice ensemble work from Almodovar's team of regulars, but the playlike structure (originally derived from Cocteau's The Human Voice but drastically reworked) is disappointingly conventional.
  12. The movie premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival, too soon to include a tragic denouement: in April the U.S. command surrendered the Korangal Valley to the Taliban.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Reichardt keeps this so hypnotic from shot to shot that you can easily get wrapped up in it as a sensory experience.
  13. Weir does manage to deliver the goods.
  14. Most fascinating about this PBS documentary is the unflinching look at the dynamics of the three generations involved.
  15. A trio of finely observant performances graces this quiet drama.
  16. Perhaps the most remarkable thing here is Thornton's nuanced performance, but the film has other rare virtues: all the characters are fully and richly fleshed out (with some unexpected turns by John Ritter and singer Dwight Yoakam), and the story's construction is carefully measured.
  17. Characters occasionally address the camera, which helps disentangle the competing story lines of madness, adultery, and betrayal.
  18. The astronaut interviews are fun and occasionally moving, but the real reason to see this is the remastered archival footage, some of it previously unseen and all of it spectacular.
  19. Terse and fatalistic.
  20. The film gradually devolves into action-adventure, then the equivalent of a war movie. But the filmmaking is pungent throughout, and the first half hour is so jaw-dropping in its fleshed-out extrapolation that Cuaron earns the right to coast a bit.
  21. Writer-director Gotz Spielmann (Antares) avoids the clutter and manipulation of most thrillers, escalating tension almost solely through the characters' turbulent emotions.
  22. Often coming across as simultaneously out of control and self-possessed, Borchardt can't have been an easy target, but the filmmakers seem to have nailed him.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki perfects his trademark formula of deadpan humor and arctic circle pathos in this brilliantly ironic 2002 comedy.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As usual, Anderson's densely imagined mise-en-scene contains many allusions to movies, music, and literature (Benjamin Britten's orchestral work being a key touchstone); what's different this time is that most of the cultural references grow naturally from the characterization.
  23. Trained in Sanford Meisner's acting techniques, the director wrests surprisingly emotional disclosures from his subjects.
  24. Leigh displays a passionate affection for and commitment to his leading characters that never precludes a critical distance.
  25. The film represents a studied, sophisticated approach to instinctual emotions: it's carefully, calculatingly naive, and amazingly it works.
  26. Striking for its performances -- especially Anthony LaPaglia.
  27. Provost and cowriter Marc Abdelnour explore the mutable boundaries between spirituality, naivete, genius, and madness, showing how the two outsiders and polar opposites cultivated a mutual understanding.

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