Chicago Sun-Times' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 5,024 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 8.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Lowest review score: 0 Police Academy
Score distribution:
5024 movie reviews
  1. Fat Kid Rules the World is a movie with a title that might be misleading: It's a lot better than it sounds like it has any right to be.
  2. The movie has a sweetness and tenderness for these characters, poor lambs, blissfully unaware that they're about to be flattened by World War II.
  3. Although there are moments when the characters in Dear White People sound as if they’re reciting different sections of a thesis, overall Simien’s screenplay is tight, funny, smart and insightful, and his direction has just enough indie feel without becoming too self-conscious or preachy.
  4. The Secret of the Grain never slows, always engages, may continue too long, but ends too soon. It is made of life itself.
  5. Never Die Alone is [Dickerson's] best work to date, with the complexity of serious fiction and the nerve to start dark and stay dark, to follow the logic of its story right down to its inevitable end.
  6. Moon is a superior example of that threatened genre, hard science-fiction, which is often about the interface between humans and alien intelligence of one kind of or other, including digital.
  7. It’s a big puzzle that the filmmakers piece together in an intriguing and engrossing way.
  8. In Sacrifice, about a father who loses his son to the power of the state, it is difficult to miss the parallels with Chen's own life.
  9. The performances have a gravity about them that is unusual in the movies. How you respond to Butterfly Kiss depends on what you bring to it, and how much empathy you are willing to extend to these sad and horrifying women.
  10. Foxcatcher is a disturbing and memorable film.
  11. There's an unlikelihood so large in Future Weather that it nearly derails the film. That was what I admired the most about it.
  12. The movie was directed by Ted Demme, with a light touch that allows the humor to survive in spite of the gloomy thoughts and the bleak, dark, frozen winter landscape.
  13. George Tillman says Soul Food is based in part on his own family, and I believe him, because he seems to know the characters so well; by the film's end, so do we.
  14. The director, Joseph Ruben ("The Stepfather," "Sleeping With the Enemy"), uses a kind of flat, logical storytelling that leads us inexorably toward his conclusions.
  15. Sit through the entire credits. There's one more shot still to come. Not that you wouldn't be content without it.
  16. A sweet and delicate comedy, a film to make you hold your breath, it is so precisely devised. It has big laughs, but it never seems to make an effort for them.
  17. I laughed all the way through, in fact. This is the best comedy since "The Hangover," and although it's almost a scene-by-scene remake of a 2007 British movie with the same title, it's funnier than the original.
  18. Oddly enough, Crimson Tide develops into an actors' picture, not just an action movie. There are a lot of special effects, high-tech gadgets and violent standoffs, yes, but the movie is really a battle between two wills.
  19. I saw it a third time. By then I had moved beyond the immediate shock of the material and was able to focus on what a well-made film it was; how concisely Solondz gets the effects he's after.
  20. For me, it is too clever by half, creating full-bodied characters but inserting them into a story that is thin soup.
  21. It is not about memories but memory. Yours, mine, Proust's. Memory makes us human.
  22. The movie is astonishingly foul-mouthed, but in a fluent, confident way where the point isn't the dirty words, but the flow and rhythm, and the deep, sad yearning they represent.
  23. What happens would not make sense in many households, but in this one, it represents a certain continuity, and confirms deep currents we sensed almost from the first.
  24. Starts out with the materials of an ordinary movie and becomes a rather special one.
  25. Amores Perros will be too much for some filmgoers, just as "Pulp Fiction" was and "Santa Sangre" certainly was, but it contains the spark of inspiration.
  26. Sixty seconds of wondering if someone is about to kiss you is more entertaining than 60 minutes of kissing. By understanding that, Mamet is able to deliver a G-rated film that is largely about adult sexuality.
  27. Tomboy is tender and affectionate. It shows us Laure/Mikael in an adventure that may be forgotten in adulthood or may form her adulthood.
  28. A love story about two strong-willed people who find exhilaration in testing each other. It is not about sexual love, or even romantic love, really, but about that kind of love based on challenge and fascination.
  29. Bad Words is the kind of pitch-black dark comedy that makes you wince even as you give up on stifling the chuckles.
  30. If you’re going to go all-in with the gorgeous and chilling and sometimes ludicrous Ex Machina, if you’re going to buy into the lofty debates and the wiggy humor and the borderline misogynistic notion of the perfect woman, you’ll have to check your logic at the ticket counter.

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