Chicago Sun-Times' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 5,832 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 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Bleak Moments
Lowest review score: 0 I Spit on Your Grave
Score distribution:
5832 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. It fails to make us care, even a little, about the characters and what happens to them. There is nothing at stake.
  3. As we switched relentlessly back and forth between A and B, I found that I wasn't looking forward to either story.
  4. The plot is simple-minded and disappointing, and the chase and action scenes are pretty much routine for movies in the sci-fi CGI genre. The robots never seem to have the heft and weight of actual metallic machines, and make boring villains.
  5. The acting is actually pretty solid. These characters are never in the same room, so the performances amount to a collection of solo scenes. But these kids aren’t likable. Perhaps director Gabriadze and writer Nelson Greaves intended to create a Social Media “Scream” and a commentary on cyber-bullying, but Unfriended comes across as disdainful of millennials.
  6. Benshis were the Japanese performers who stood next to the screen during silent films and explained the plot to the audience. If ever a benshi were needed in a modern movie, Night Watch is that film.
  7. 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.
  8. If you have seen ads or trailers suggesting that horrible things pounce on people, and they make you think you want to see this movie, you will be correct. It is a competently made Horrible Things Pouncing on People Movie. If you think Frank Darabont has equaled the "Shawshank" and "Green Mile" track record, you will be sadly mistaken.
  9. Its characters are bloodless, their speech monotone. If there are people like this, I hope David Cronenberg's film is as close as I ever get to them. You couldn't pay me to see it again.
  10. Disclosure contains an inspiring terrific shot of Demi Moore's cleavage in a Wonderbra, surrounded by 125 minutes of pure goofiness leading up to, and resulting from, this moment.
  11. Emma Roberts and Dave Franco are just fine, but there’s no huge onscreen spark between them. Most of the supporting roles are thinly drawn and forgettable.
  12. Don't ever let this happen again to James Bond. Quantum of Solace is his 22nd film and he will survive it, but for the 23rd it is necessary to go back to the drawing board and redesign from the ground up. Please understand: James Bond is not an action hero!
  13. Roman J. Israel, Esq. has pockets of intrigue, and writer-director Gilroy and Washington have teamed up to create a promising dramatic character. We just never get full delivery on that promise.
  14. There's nothing much wrong with the film; my complaint is that there's nothing much right about it.
  15. 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.
  16. The movie contains violence and death, but not really very much. For most of its languorous running time, it listens to conversations between Bella and Edward, Bella and David, Edward and David, and Edward and Bella and David. This would play better if any of them were clever conversationalists, but their ideas are limited to simplistic renderings of their desires.
  17. Troche's tone is so relentlessly, depressingly monotonous that the characters seem trapped in a narrow emotional range. They live out their miserable lives in one lachrymose sequence after another, and for us there is no relief.
  18. Seems Like Old Times is another one of those near-misses that leaves a movie critic in a quandary. It's a funny movie, and it made me laugh out loud a lot, but in the final analysis it just didn't quite edge over the mystical line into success.
  19. There's a lot of potential charm here, but the director, Emma-Kate Croghan, is so distracted by stylistic quirks that the characters are forever being upstaged by the shots they're in.
  20. There is undoubtedly a movie to be made about this material -- a different movie.
  21. The Finest Hours feels stitched together. None of the three main plot lines is particularly powerful or moving.
  22. At times, it’s really funny. More often, it’s “shocking” for the sake of shock value, gross for the sake of being gross, and stupid-goofy without much of a payoff.
  23. There are moments of surprising tenderness in Fading Gigolo, and Turturro gives us some beautiful shots of a city he clearly loves. But this film is all over the map, veering from pathos to absurdist comedy to romance to weirdness for the sake of weirdness.
  24. 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.
  25. The film indulges in sentimental and sensational tropes. The manipulative touches do more than dis­­­­­­tract, they irk. This story could have been retold without resorting to all the unfortunate formulas used in prime-time and cable fare.
  26. The kind of dread dark horror film where you better hope nobody in the audience snickers, because the film teeters right on the edge of the ridiculous.
  27. I will say that the attempt to reinterpret the memorable closing shot of "Blood Simple" is so gauche and graceless that I involuntarily moaned in disgust. I docked the film another half-star just for that.
  28. Jennifer Garner is indeed a charmer, but she's the victim of a charmless treatment in 13 Going on 30.
  29. The film chronicles their criminal career in a low-key, meandering way; we're hanging out with them more than we're being told a story.
  30. This is a fairly bad movie, and yet at the same time maybe about as good as it could be. There may not be an 8-year-old alive who would not love it.

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