Chicago Sun-Times' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 4,794 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 74% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 24% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 9.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 The Leopard (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Jupiter Ascending
Score distribution:
4,794 movie reviews
  1. The plot is lame, but that doesn't matter, because Dumb and Dumber is essentially pitched at the level of an "Airplane!"-style movie, with rapid-fire sight gags.
  2. My own feeling is that the film is one more assault on the notion that young American audiences might be expected to enjoy films with at least some subtlety and depth and pacing and occasional quietness. The filmmakers apparently believe their audience suffers from ADD, and so they supply breakneck action and screaming sound volumes at all times.
  3. A sometimes wickedly funny but ultimately sour, loud, draining tale of one of the most dysfunctional families in modern American drama. And that’s saying a lot.
  4. Director Scott Derrickson and his co-writer, Paul Harris Boardman, deliver a routine procedural with unremarkable frights.
  5. The Distinguished Gentleman prefers to give us measured laughs at a leisurely pace, and then it settles for the sellout upbeat ending. Ho hum.
  6. A few loopholes I can forgive. But when a plot is riddled with them -- I get distracted.
  7. Soppy and sentimental, it evokes "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" without improving on it.
  8. On a technical level, there's a lot to be said for Die Hard. It's when we get to some of the unnecessary adornments of the script that the movie shoots itself in the foot.
  9. House of Wax is not a good movie but it is an efficient one, and will deliver most of what anyone attending House of Wax could reasonably expect, assuming it would be unreasonable to expect very much.
  10. A big, clunky movie containing some sensational sights but lacking the zest and joyous energy we expect from Steven Spielberg.
  11. All very nice, sometimes we smile, but there's nothing compelling.
  12. The kind of movie where you walk in, watch the first 10 minutes, know exactly where it's going, and hope devoutly that you're wrong.
  13. This is a very far from perfect movie, and it ends on an unsatisfactory note.
  14. Black somehow feels reigned in; shaved and barbered, he's lost his anarchic passion and is merely playing a comic role instead of transforming it into a personal mission.
  15. Because the film is well-acted and written with intelligence, it might be worth seeing, despite my objections. I suspect my own feelings.
  16. It's an overwrought Gothic melodrama that has a nice first act before it descends into shameless absurdity.
  17. Until the plot becomes intolerably cornball, there's charm in the story.
  18. The movie wants to be good-hearted but is somehow sort of grudging. It should have gone all the way. I think Fred Claus should have been meaner if he was going to be funnier, and Santa should have been up to something nefarious, instead of the jolly old ho-ho-ho routine.
  19. If I found it creepy beyond all reason, that is no doubt because I have been hopelessly corrupted by the decadent society I inhabit.
  20. The actors cannot be faulted. They bring more to the story than it really deserves.
  21. But when you think of the "Babe" pictures, and indeed even an animated cartoon like "Home on the Range," you realize Stripes is on autopilot with all of the usual elements: a heroine missing one parent, an animal missing both, an underdog (or underzebra), cute animals, the big race.
  22. The movie was more of a revue than a narrative, more about moments than an organizing purpose, and cute to the point that I yearned for some corrosive wit from its second cousin, the Monty Python universe.
  23. The movie has been directed and acted so well, in fact, that almost all my questions have to do with the script: Why was the hero made so uncompromisingly hateful?
  24. Dear John exists only to coddle the sentiments of undemanding dreamers, and plunge us into a world where the only evil is the interruption of the good.
  25. The movie is fun until they set sail.
  26. The movie itself is genial and unfocused and tired.
  27. Lacking a smarter screenplay, it milks the genuine skills of its actors and director for more than it deserves, and then runs off the rails in an ending more laughable than scary.
  28. Benshis were the Japanese performers who stood next to the screen during silent films and explained the plot to the audience. If ever a benshi were needed in a modern movie, Night Watch is that film.
  29. Davis (who was an executive producer on the film) gives a strong performance, as if she were acting in one of those many prestige projects lighting up her resume. It’s a noble try, but this dreck is beyond saving.
  30. Entertaining if you understand exactly what it is: if you see it as a film made by friends out of the materials presented by their lives and with the freedom to not push too hard.

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