Chicago Sun-Times' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 4,792 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 9.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Flags of Our Fathers
Lowest review score: 0 Police Academy
Score distribution:
4,792 movie reviews
  1. A love story about two people with no apparent chemistry, whose lives are changed by a stranger who remains an uninteresting enigma. No wonder it just sits there on the screen.
  2. Princess Kaiulani is much remembered in Hawaii, much forgotten on the mainland, and the subject of this interesting but creaky biopic.
  3. Knowing is among the best science-fiction films I've seen -- frightening, suspenseful, intelligent and, when it needs to be, rather awesome.
  4. This is transcendently goofy. It isn't a "good" movie in the usual sense (or most senses), but it is jolly and good-natured, and Michael Caine and Dwayne Johnson are among the most likable of actors.
  5. The screenplay carries blandness to a point beyond tedium.
  6. Mad Money is astonishingly casual for a movie about three service workers who steal millions from a Federal Reserve Bank. There is little suspense, no true danger; their plan is simple, the complications are few, and they don't get excited much beyond some high-fives and hugs and giggles.
  7. Big Daddy should be reported to the child welfare office.
  8. A cheerful comedy with just enough dark moments to create the illusion it's really about something.
  9. Whom do they make these movies for? What exercise in self-deception inspires them to go to such effort and expense for what is obviously going to be a lame exercise in retreadmanship?
  10. The dialogue and exposition scenes in G.I. Joe are like something out of a Saturday morning cartoon from the 1980s, but the PG-13 violence is a little intense for the 7-year-old boys (and girls) who might love this stuff.
  11. 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.
  12. The nicest touch is that Battleship has an honest-to-God third act, instead of just settling for nonstop fireballs and explosions, as Bay likes to do. I don't want to spoil it for you. Let's say the Greatest Generation still has the right stuff and leave it at that.
  13. The movie is clearly intended for girls between the ages of 9 and 15, and for the more civilized of their brothers, and isn't of much use to anyone else.
  14. There are laughs in the movie, and a lot of good feeling, but it seems more interested in its Italian stereotypes than its gay insights.
  15. The first three minutes convince us we're are looking at a commercial before the feature begins. Then we realize the whole movie will look like this.
  16. "Clerks" spoke with the sure, clear voice of an original filmmaker. In Mallrats the voice is muffled, and we sense instead advice from the tired, the establishment, the timid and other familiar Hollywood executive types.
  17. Little Ashes is absorbing but not compelling. Most of its action is inward.
  18. Sometimes it's all about the casting. The notice of a screening came around, I read the names Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin, and it didn't matter in a way what the movie was about - although it didn't hurt that it was a crime movie.
  19. Time and again, Ride Along comes up with a clichéd setup — and then blows the payoff.
  20. To laugh at parts of this film would indicate one has a streak of Woodcockism in oneself. But to gaze in stupefied fascination is perfectly understandable. That's what makes Thornton such a complex actor.
  21. The story is sometimes overwritten, often overwrought, includes an overheard conversation on the "Nancy Drew" level, and yet holds our attention and contains surprises right until the end.
  22. This is the kind of movie you sort of like, and yet even while you're liking it, you're thinking how much better these characters and this situation could have been with a little more imagination and daring.
  23. A long slog through perplexities and complexities.
  24. A high-speed, high-tech kiddie thriller that's kinda cute but sorta relentless.
  25. The movie is pleasant enough, but never quite reaches critical mass as a comedy.
  26. The movie is astonishingly simple-minded, depicting characters who obediently perform their assigned roles as adulterers, cuckolds, etc.
  27. While Olympus Has Fallen breaks no major new ground in the political thriller genre, Fuqua has directed a sharp, very taut adventure that keeps you engrossed from start to finish.
  28. Kick-Ass 2 is an uninspired retread. All too often it plays like a Comic-Con gone insane, with costumed do-gooders taking on costumed criminals in gratuitously vicious battles.
  29. The ending is an explanation, but not a solution. For a solution we have to think back through the whole film, and now the visual style becomes a guide. It is an illustration of the way the materials of life can be shaped for the purposes of the moment.
  30. It's about change, acceptance and love, and it rounds those three bases very nicely, even if it never quite gets to home.

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