Chicago Sun-Times' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 4,533 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 75% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 23% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 9.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 The Book Thief
Lowest review score: 0 September Dawn
Score distribution:
4,533 movie reviews
  1. After an intriguing setup, “Runner Runner” devolves into a by-the-books thriller.
  2. Despite an excellent ensemble cast of comedic treasures as well as veterans of drama taking a walk down a lighter aisle, A.C.O.D (i.e. Adult Children of Divorce) delivers only a few sporadic chuckles amidst a slew of clunky scenes.
  3. Unfortunately, the film’s more moving and memorable moments are mixed in with a king-size (if not quite K2-size) jumble of too much information.
  4. The harder everyone tries to wring laughs out of the next hail of bullets or the next ridiculous plot twist or the next comedic decapitation, the duller the edge of the humor.
  5. It clearly aspires to be something more than another story about empty-headed teenagers in a remote cabin who get picked off one by one in gruesome fashion — but at the end of the day, that’s pretty much what we’re getting.
  6. This Carrie comes off like a Lifetime film, adding little new and nothing substantial to improve on DePalma’s classic.
  7. Sure, it’s fun to see the Governator and the Italian Stallion he-manning it up together feature-length for the first time — the screen is barely big enough to contain the two of them — but the prison-break movie Escape Plan is unworthy of the momentous occasion.
  8. Paradise is a ringing disappointment. Cody shows some potential as a director, but her own script lets her down.
  9. Once you get past the amazement this thing was made at all, the movie itself is an intermittently clever but mostly tedious, convoluted David Lynch knockoff that wanders all over the place.
  10. Lost for Words is directed with little originality by Stanley J. Orzel.
  11. It’s a fractured fairy tale, penned in clunky strokes.
  12. Reprising his writing/directing chores from the original, Ken Scott gives us an uneven mishmash that alternates between easy gags, shameless sentimentality and some just plain bizarre choices.
  13. This is a well-made thriller traveling over awfully familiar turf.
  14. One only wishes Walker had stronger, better developed material instead of a promising drama that eventually unravels and seems overlong even with a running time of 96 minutes.
  15. This modest, low-budget sci-fi thriller is fatally lacking in entertainment value. It’s not original enough to be interesting, despite the presence of a pretty impressive cast, or awful enough to be campy fun. It’s serious enough to be depressing, though, if that’s your idea of a good time.
  16. This is an ambitious and sometimes effective but wildly uneven adventure that plays like one extended ego trip for Stiller. It feels like a movie by focus group, struggling to find a place between genuinely creative fantasy and audience-pleasing payoff moments.
  17. 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.
  18. There simply isn’t a whole lot of excitement being generated in this lackluster family adventure, though it tries oh so very hard.
  19. Director Jose Padilha (the “Elite Squad” movies) knows how to create slick, sometimes clever fast-moving battle sequences... But other than Keaton’s Sellars, the bad guys are mostly generic nitwits.
  20. Love may or may not be endless, but there’s no limit to what can be contrived in a movie like this.
  21. Yelchin is agreeably offbeat and convincingly two-fisted in the role, and Sommers, who’s always had a knack for fast-paced action with a light, comic touch, provides a few entertaining scenes here and there. Unfortunately, the horrific stuff in Odd Thomas seems gorily incompatible with the film’s otherwise breezy screenplay.
  22. It’s like a low-budget, Canadian version of “Ocean’s 11,” with about half as many characters and about one-tenth the charm and style.
  23. As a movie, Veronica Mars looks and feels, well, like a glorified TV movie, with just decent production values, mostly unexceptional performances and ridiculous plot developments no more innovative than you’d see on a dozen network TV detective shows.
  24. Nymphomaniac Part 1 grows flat and monotonous, and comes across as just what it is: half a film.
  25. There’s a glint of a clever idea here, but writer-director Ramin Niami’s reliance on tired rom-com tropes only serve to drag down the film, which plays out like a Harlequin romance.
  26. We’re just watching Jude Law, who gained some 30 pounds for this role, acting his rear end off but also spinning his wheels in a story that never amounts to more than a collection of vignettes about Dom’s life after prison.
  27. As earnest and heartfelt as a movie can be, Walking With the Enemy is, unfortunately, a plodding and clunky drama that never misses an opportunity to embrace a cliché.
  28. There are moments of surprising tenderness in Fading Gigolo, and Turturro gives us some beautiful shots of a city he clearly loves. But this film is all over the map, veering from pathos to absurdist comedy to romance to weirdness for the sake of weirdness.
  29. Despite the fine performance by Witherspoon and a number of the supporting players, Devil’s Knot comes across as a cinematic, slightly dramatized Cliffs Notes edition of a story that’s been told often, and almost always more effectively, in other formats.
  30. Nearly everything in this movie feels borrowed from other movies and ever so slightly reshaped, and almost never for the better.

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