Chicago Sun-Times' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 4,752 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 9.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
Lowest review score: 0 The Life of David Gale
Score distribution:
4,752 movie reviews
  1. The racing is spectacular, especially when you consider director Courtney Solomon’s claim that no CGI was used in the crash scenes... Solomon wanted to put the audience in the middle of events and inside the car; he certainly does pull that off. Believe me, your head will spin. After a while it all becomes mind-numbing.
  2. The Higgins performance owes more than a little to Fred Willard's unforgettable dog show commentary in "Best in Show," but it was clear that Willard was part of a telecast.
  3. The movie is simply not clear about where it wants to go and what it wants to do. It is heavy on episode and light on insight, and although it takes courage to bring up touchy topics it would have taken more to treat them frankly.
  4. Director Peter MacDonald keeps the action exploding across the screen, building to a climactic game of "chicken" between Rambo in a Russian tank and the Soviet commander in a helicopter. Gung-ho Rambo fans won't be disappointed. [25 May 1988, p.43]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  5. The movie is a mess: a gassy costume epic with nobody at the center.
  6. Both the lottery scene and the anti-union material seem to be fictionalized versions of material in the powerful documentary "Waiting for Superman," which covered similar material with infinitely greater depth.
  7. A dim-witted but visually intriguing movie.
  8. The more I think about Simon Magus, the less I'm sure what it's trying to say.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Rather than trusting in the verbal powers of this master storyteller, who requires only a desk to sit behind, Soderbergh subjects him to light-show effects, tilted camera angles and projected backdrops -- urban setting, forest, eyeball blowup. [1 August 1997, p.27]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  9. Director Kasper Barfoed defaults to intense replays of surveillance audio recordings, frantic strokes on computer keyboards, and standard-issue chases.
  10. A technically proficient horror movie and well acted.
  11. The film is bold and passionate, but not subtle, and that is its downfall.
  12. A family movie that some will find wholesome and heartwarming and others will find cornball and tiresome. You know who you are. I know who I am. This is not my kind of movie.
  13. I guess there's an audience for it, and Ice Cube has paid dues in better and more positive movies ("Barbershop" among them). But surely laughs can be found in something other than this worked-over material.
  14. The movie is pretty cornball. Little kids would probably enjoy it, but their older brothers and sisters will be rolling their eyes, and their parents will be using their iPods.
  15. The plot is easily summarized: "Dumb and Dumber Meet Dumbbell."
  16. It wants to be "Midnight Run" meets "Planes, Trains and Automobiles," but it carries little of the dramatic heft and real-world semi-plausibility of those much superior efforts.
  17. Unfortunately, I was also convinced that trapped within this 98-minute film is a good 30-minute news report struggling to get out. Shearer, who is bright and funny, comes across here as a solemn lecturer.
  18. We're left with a promising idea for a comedy, which arrives at some laughs but never finds its destination.
  19. The plot becomes a juggling act just when it should be a sprint. And there's another problem: Is it intended as a comedy, or not?
  20. But, lord, the characters are tireless in their peculiarities; it's as if the movie took the most colorful folks in Lake Wobegon, dehydrated them, concentrated the granules, shipped them to Newfoundland, reconstituted them with Molson's and issued them Canadian passports.
  21. Peter Sellers was a genius who somehow made Inspector Clouseau seem as if he really were helplessly incapable of functioning in the real world and somehow incapable of knowing that. Steve Martin is a genius, too, but not at being Clouseau. It seems more like an exercise.
  22. A film that little kids might find perfectly acceptable. Little, little, little kids. My best guess is, above fourth-grade level, you'd be pushing it.
  23. I have never seen anything remotely approaching the mess that the new punk version of "Romeo & Juliet" makes of Shakespeare's tragedy.
  24. You know I am a fan of Nic Cage and Ron Perlman. Here, like cows, they devour the scenery, regurgitate it to a second stomach found only in actors and chew it as cud. It is a noble effort, but I prefer them in their straight-through Human Centipede mode.
  25. Bourdos’ high-minded aspirations are obvious, but his visually satisfying film is dramatically elusive.
  26. Every Secret Thing is a small, well-crafted film with a few chilling moments and some fine performances, but it’s a muddled, pedestrian crime thriller.
  27. Too much self-pity.
  28. Stick It uses the story of a gymnast's comeback attempt as a backdrop for overwrought visual effects, music videos, sitcom dialogue and general pandering. The movie seems to fear that if it pauses long enough to actually be about gymnastics, the audience will grow restless.
  29. Like many other cultural experiments (minimalist art, "Finnegan's Wake," the Chicago Tribune's new Friday section), it is more amusing to talk about than to experience.

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