Chicago Sun-Times' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 4,626 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 9.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 L.A. Story
Lowest review score: 0 Slackers
Score distribution:
4,626 movie reviews
  1. Writer/director Carey clearly has some talent, and she and Plaza deserve credit for never pulling their comedic punches. They’re all in. Problem is, it’s mostly a bluff.
  2. The Smurfs 2 probably isn’t any worse than you might expect. On the other hand, it’s almost certainly not any better. It’s just a matter of figuring out how much punishment you’re willing to endure for the sake of the small child you’re taking to the movies.
  3. The big action set pieces fizzle. And that’s not good for a fantasy adventure movie, especially when the fantasy component is frequently undercut by sub-standard special effects.
  4. Planes moves along quickly at a running time of 92 minutes, occasionally taking flight with some pretty nifty flight sequences. The animation is first-rate, and the Corningware colors are soothing eye candy.
  5. The actors do their best. The problem here is simply a formulaic screenplay and less-than-inspired direction.
  6. I think the fault is in the screenplay, which tells a story that can be predicted almost from the opening frames. The people who wrote this movie did not bother, or dare, to give us truly individual Japanese characters; there is only one who is developed with any care.
  7. This is a well-made, topical thriller with a top-notch cast — but the script and the directorial/editing choices undercut nearly every pivotal scene, and every plot twist we can see coming two scenes in advance.
  8. 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.
  9. Things play out in predictable fashion, and we’re more than ready to bid farewell to these people and feel grateful they don’t live on our block.
  10. Muslim comics are correct about not needing to defend their faith in post-9/11 America. Their patriotism is not the point. I just wish they told better jokes.
  11. John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness gets off to an intriguing start. But then the movie loses its way.
  12. Patton lightens the aggravation, for the most part, by combining a likable presence with a knack for physical comedy and a willingness to hop into dumpsters, etc., as needed, making the most of the script’s meager opportunities for comedy.
  13. After an intriguing setup, “Runner Runner” devolves into a by-the-books thriller.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. This Carrie comes off like a Lifetime film, adding little new and nothing substantial to improve on DePalma’s classic.
  19. 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.
  20. Paradise is a ringing disappointment. Cody shows some potential as a director, but her own script lets her down.
  21. 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.
  22. Lost for Words is directed with little originality by Stanley J. Orzel.
  23. It’s a fractured fairy tale, penned in clunky strokes.
  24. 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.
  25. This is a well-made thriller traveling over awfully familiar turf.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. There simply isn’t a whole lot of excitement being generated in this lackluster family adventure, though it tries oh so very hard.

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