Chicago Sun-Times' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 5,125 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 8.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Tsotsi
Lowest review score: 0 Why Him?
Score distribution:
5125 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. It employs depression as a substitute for personality, and believes that if the characters are bitter and morose enough, we won't notice how dull they are.
  6. This movie doesn't contain "offensive language." The offensive language contains the movie.
  7. Here is a movie so concerned with in-jokes and updates for Trekkers that it can barely tear itself away long enough to tell a story. From the weight and attention given to the transfer of command on the Starship Enterprise, you'd think a millennium was ending - which is, by the end of the film, how it feels.
  8. There is a place for whimsy and magic realism, and that place may not be on a cow farm in New Zealand.
  9. Burlesque shows Cher and Christina Aguilera being all that they can be, and that's more than enough.
  10. Ten
    The shame is that more accessible Iranian directors are being neglected in the overpraise of Kiarostami.
  11. If the stream-of-consciousness, imagery-trumps-everything films of Terrence Malick tend to try your patience, this beautifully, beatifically boring imitation by a Malick protégé might be more than the better angels of your nature can endure.
  12. When bodies are buried in cellars and cats are thrown into lighted ovens, the film reveals itself as unworthy of its subject matter.
  13. The movie contains violence and death, but not really very much. For most of its languorous running time, it listens to conversations between Bella and Edward, Bella and David, Edward and David, and Edward and Bella and David. This would play better if any of them were clever conversationalists, but their ideas are limited to simplistic renderings of their desires.
  14. It’s shiny trash that begins with promise but quickly gets tripped up by its own screenplay and grows increasingly ludicrous and melodramatic, to the point where I was barely able to suppress a chuckle at some of the final scenes.
  15. The movie's pleasures are scant, apart from its observance of Gene Siskel's Rule of Swimming Pool Adjacency, which states that when well-dressed people are near a swimming pool, they will - yeah, you got it.
  16. Perhaps it is not supposed to be clear; perhaps the movie's air of confusion is part of its paranoid vision. There are individual moments that create sharp images (shock troops drilling through a ceiling, De Niro wrestling with the almost obscene wiring and tubing inside a wall, the movie's obsession with bizarre duct work), but there seems to be no sure hand at the controls.
  17. The surprise for me is Christina Ricci, who I think of as undernourished and nervous, but who flowers here in warm ripeness.
  18. This Carrie comes off like a Lifetime film, adding little new and nothing substantial to improve on DePalma’s classic.
  19. Volker Schlondorff’s talky drama...is less than persuasive.
  20. A conventional film for an unconventional actor.
  21. It's hard to figure who the movie is intended for. In shape and purpose, it's like a G-rated version of "This Is Spinal Tap," but will its wee target audience understand the joke?
  22. There’s a memorable movie to be made about the amazing, inspiration and controversial life of Jesse Owens. This is not a bad film and it’s a decent history lesson for those that don’t know the story of Owens and the ’36 Games, but it’s a long, long way from greatness.
  23. I confess I felt involved in Unknown until it pulled one too many rabbits out of its hat. At some point, a thriller has to play fair.
  24. The adults at the Hotchkiss reunion are played by an assortment of splendid actors.
  25. This is the kind of movie that ends up playing on the TV set over the bar in a better movie.
  26. The movie lacks a port of entry for young viewers -- a character they can identify with. All of the major characters are adults with adult problems like debt, romance, and running (or swimming away from) the mob.
  27. A Sound of Thunder may not be a success, but it loves its audience and wants us to have a great time.
  28. Firth and Stone, appealing as they are as actors, are so disconnected as potential romantic leads it sometimes appears as if they’re barely in the same scene together.
  29. Not the worst of the countless recent movies about good kids and hidebound, authoritatian older people. It may, however, be the most shameless in its attempt to pander to an adolescent audience.
  30. At times, it’s really funny. More often, it’s “shocking” for the sake of shock value, gross for the sake of being gross, and stupid-goofy without much of a payoff.

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