Chicago Sun-Times' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 5,476 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 8.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 The Fault in Our Stars
Lowest review score: 0 Chaos
Score distribution:
5476 movie reviews
  1. It's one of the smartest and most merciless comedies to come along in a while. It centers on an area of fairly narrow interest, but in its study of human nature, it is deep and takes no prisoners.
  2. There are scenes as true as movies can make them, and even when the story develops thriller elements, they are redeemed, because the movie isn't about what happens, but about why.
  3. Chariots of Fire is one of the best films of recent years, a memory of a time when men still believed you could win a race if only you wanted to badly enough.
  4. After "Monster," here is another extraordinary role from an actress [Theron] who has the beauty of a fashion model but has found resources within herself for these powerful roles about unglamorous women in the world of men.
  5. What a bewilderingly brilliant and entertaining movie this is.
  6. Juan Jose Campanella is the writer-director, and here is a man who creates a complete, engrossing, lovingly crafted film. He is filled with his stories. The Secret in Their Eyes is a rebuke to formula screenplays. We grow to know the characters, and the story pays due respect to their complexities and needs.
  7. Ballast inexorably grows and deepens and gathers power and absorbs us. I always say I hardly ever cry at sad films, but I sometimes do, just a little, at films about good people.
  8. High Hopes is an alive and challenging film, one that throws our own assumptions and evasions back at us. Leigh sees his characters and their lifestyles so vividly, so mercilessly and with such a sharp satirical edge, that the movie achieves a neat trick: We start by laughing at the others, and end by feeling uncomfortable about ourselves.
  9. Here is a movie that knows its women, listens to them, doesn't give them a pass, allows them to be real: It's a rebuke to the shallow "Ya-Ya Sisterhood."
  10. This is Mike Leigh's funniest film since "Life Is Sweet" (1991). Of course he hasn't ever made a completely funny film, and Happy-Go-Lucky has scenes that are not funny, not at all.
  11. Up
    This is another masterwork from Pixar, which is leading the charge in modern animation.
  12. The movie plays like a textbook for directors interested in how lens choices affect mood.
  13. It's one of those ageless movies, like "Casablanca" or "The Third Man," that improves with age. Some movies, even good ones, should only be seen once. When we know how they turn out, they've surrendered their mystery and appeal. Other movies can be viewed an indefinite number of times. Like great music, they improve with familiarity. It's a Wonderful Life falls in the second category.
  14. The documentary is an uncommon meeting between Treadwell's loony idealism, and Herzog's bleak worldview.
  15. Larry Clark's Bully calls the bluff of movies that pretend to be about murder but are really about entertainment. His film has all the sadness and shabbiness, all the mess and cruelty and thoughtless stupidity of the real thing.
  16. Putty Hill makes no statement. It looks. It looks with as much perception and sympathy as it is possible for a film to look. It is surprisingly effective.
  17. It’s a beautifully filmed, wonderfully challenging, multi-layered tale of trickery upon trickery, short con upon long con, deception upon deception.
  18. Campbell's performance is carnal, verbally facile, physically uninhibited and charged with intelligence.
  19. The wedding sequence... is a virtuoso stretch of filmmaking: Coppola brings his large cast onstage so artfully that we are drawn at once into the Godfather's world.
  20. This is a great act of filmmaking and acting. I don't believe I would be able to see it twice.
  21. In America is not unsentimental about its new arrivals (the movie has a warm heart and frankly wants to move us), but it is perceptive about the countless ways in which it is hard to be poor and a stranger in a new land.
  22. I liked these characters precisely because they were not designed to be likable -- or, more precisely, because they were likable in spite of being exasperating, unorganized, self-destructive and impervious to good advice.
  23. Above all one of the most beautiful films ever made. Malick's purpose is not to tell a story of melodrama, but one of loss. His tone is elegiac. He evokes the loneliness and beauty of the limitless Texas prairie. [7 Dec. 1997]
  24. Mr. Turner is far more than merely an explosion of color and toned nuance for the eye. The real reason to make this a must-see of this holiday season is to wallow in the Oscar-worthy acting talent of Leigh’s veteran player Timothy Spall.
  25. The movie is funny, but it's more than funny, it's exhilarating.
  26. A powerful but quiet film, constructed of hidden thoughts and secret desires.
  27. The film works as well as it does due to the genius of Benedict Cumberbatch and the way he has inhabited Alan Turing’s persona.
  28. It is a spellbinding enigma, and one of the damnedest films Morris has ever made.
  29. The Band’s Visit has not provided any of the narrative payoffs we might have expected, but has provided something more valuable: An interlude involving two “enemies,” Arabs and Israelis, that shows them both as only ordinary people with ordinary hopes, lives and disappointments. It has also shown us two souls with rare beauty.
  30. No one is better at this kind of performance than Nicolas Cage. He's a fearless actor. He doesn't care if you think he goes over the top. If a film calls for it, he will crawl to the top hand over hand with bleeding fingernails.

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