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 The Age of Innocence
Lowest review score: 0 Dirty Love
Score distribution:
4,752 movie reviews
  1. For one of the few times in Eastwood’s career as a director, he seems indecisive about what kind of movie he wanted to make.
  2. The exploration of gender politics grows tedious as the gender dynamic between the two leads reverses, and the same points are hammered home again and again.
  3. The film's failure is to get from A to B. We buy both good Sam and bad Sam, but we don't see him making the transition.
  4. There are moments of sudden truth in the film; Freundlich, who also made "The Myth of Fingerprints" (1997), about an almost heroically depressed family at Thanksgiving, can create and write characters, even if he doesn't always know where to take them.
  5. Everyone in The Other Side of the Bed, alas, has the depth of a character in a TV commercial: They're all surface, clothes, hair and attitude, and the men have the obligatory three-day beards.
  6. The beauty of Twilight Zone -- The Movie is the same as the secret of the TV series: It takes ordinary people in ordinary situations and then (can you hear Rod Serling?) zaps them with "next stop -- the Twilight Zone!"
  7. They might have been able to make a nice little thriller out of Antitrust if they'd kept one eye on the Goofy Meter.
  8. Steven Spielberg, a gifted filmmaker, should have reimagined the material, should have seen it through the eyes of someone looking at dinosaurs, rather than through the eyes of someone looking at a box-office sequel.
  9. The actors are splendid, especially Sarah Polley and Sean Penn, but we never feel confident that these two plots fit together, belong together, or work together.
  10. Not a successful movie--it's too stilted and pre-programmed to come alive--but in the center of it McDormand occupies a place for her character and makes that place into a brilliant movie of its own.
  11. Seems conventional in its ideas about where it can go and what it can accomplish. You don't get the idea anyone laughed out loud while writing the screenplay. It lacks a strange light in its eyes. It is too easily satisfied.
  12. Individual moments and lines and events in I Heart Huckabees are funny in and of themselves. Viewers may be mystified but will occasionally be amused. It took boundless optimism and energy for Russell to make the film, but it reminds me of the Buster Keaton short where he builds a boat but doesn't know how to get it out of the basement.
  13. This question, which will instinctively occur to many viewers, is never quite dealt with in the film. The photographers sometimes drive into the middle of violent situations, hold up a camera, and say "press!" - as if that will solve everything.
  14. It's sweet when it should be raunchy, or vice versa, and the result is a movie that seems uneasy with itself.
  15. The movie is mostly about our nasty heroes being attacked by terrifying antagonists in incomprehensible muddles of lightning-fast special effects. It lacks the quiet suspense of the first “Predator,” and please don't even mention the “Alien vs. Predator” pictures, which lacked the subtlety of “Mothra vs. Godzilla.”
  16. 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.
  17. The word preposterous is too moderate to describe Eagle Eye. This film contains not a single plausible moment after the opening sequence, and that's borderline. It's not an assault on intelligence. It's an assault on consciousness.
  18. The movie sidesteps the existence of the Greek gods, turns its heroes into action movie cliches and demonstrates that we're getting tired of computer-generated armies.
  19. There are forces here you couldn't possibly comprehend...You can say that again.
  20. The climactic events are shameless, contrived, and wildly out of tune with the rest of the story. To saddle Costner, Penn and Newman with such goofy melodrama is like hiring Fred Astaire and strapping a tractor on his back.
  21. The movie's strategic error is to set the deadline too far in the future. There is something annoying about a comedy where a guy is strapped to a bomb and nevertheless has time to spare for off-topic shouting matches with his best buddy. A buddy comedy loses some of its charm in a situation like that.
  22. Slight and sometimes wearisome.
  23. The skill of the actors, who invest their characters with small touches of humanity, is useful in distracting us from the emotional manipulations, but it's like they're brightening separate rooms of a haunted house.
  24. Lots of sight gags and one-liners are attempted, but few of them succeed. The cast is talented but stranded in weak material.
  25. Each scene works within itself on its own terms. But there is no whole here. I've rarely seen a narrative film that seemed so reluctant to flow. Nor perhaps one with a more accurate title.
  26. The actors do their best. The problem here is simply a formulaic screenplay and less-than-inspired direction.
  27. As preposterous as the plot was, there was never a line of Hackman dialogue that didn't sound as if he believed it. The same can't be said, alas, for Sharon Stone, who apparently believed that if she played her character as silent, still, impassive and mysterious, we would find that interesting. More swagger might have helped.
  28. Give Shadyac credit: He sells his Pasadena mansion, starts teaching college and moves into a mobile home (in Malibu, it's true). Now he offers us this hopeful if somewhat undigested cut of his findings, in a film as watchable as a really good TV commercial, and just as deep.
  29. There is a curious problem with Birthday Girl, hard to put your finger on: The movie is kind of sour. It wants to be funny and a little nasty, it wants to surprise us and then console us, but what it mostly does is make us restless.
  30. The movie is unconvincing. At the end, Jim is seen going in through a "stage door," and then we hear him telling the story of his descent and recovery. We can't tell if this is supposed to be genuine testimony or a performance. That's the problem with the whole movie.

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