Chicago Sun-Times' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 4,420 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 10 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Schindler's List
Lowest review score: 0 White House Down
Score distribution:
4,420 movie reviews
  1. Burlesque shows Cher and Christina Aguilera being all that they can be, and that's more than enough.
  2. Nothing heats up. The movie doesn't lead us, it simply stays in step.
  3. You know I am a fan of Nic Cage and Ron Perlman. Here, like cows, they devour the scenery, regurgitate it to a second stomach found only in actors and chew it as cud. It is a noble effort, but I prefer them in their straight-through Human Centipede mode.
  4. The movie is rated R, but it's the most watery R I've seen. It's more of a PG-13 playing dress-up.
  5. An intriguing plot is established, a new character is brought on with a complex set of problems, and then all the groundwork disintegrates into the usual hash of preposterous action sequences.
  6. I confess I felt involved in Unknown until it pulled one too many rabbits out of its hat. At some point, a thriller has to play fair.
  7. Here is an exercise in deliberate vulgarity, gross excess, and the pornography of violence, not to forget garden variety pornography. You get your money's worth.
  8. I'm all for movies that create unease, but I prefer them to appear to know why they're doing that. Super is a film ending in narrative anarchy, exercising a destructive impulse to no greater purpose than to mess with us.
  9. All through the movie, Scream 4 lets us know that it knows exactly what it's up to - and then goes right ahead and gets up to it.
  10. This question, which will instinctively occur to many viewers, is never quite dealt with in the film. The photographers sometimes drive into the middle of violent situations, hold up a camera, and say "press!" - as if that will solve everything.
  11. Give Shadyac credit: He sells his Pasadena mansion, starts teaching college and moves into a mobile home (in Malibu, it's true). Now he offers us this hopeful if somewhat undigested cut of his findings, in a film as watchable as a really good TV commercial, and just as deep.
  12. Reeves has many arrows in his quiver, but screwball comedy isn't one of them.
  13. All of the characters are treated sincerely and played in a straightforward style. It's just that we don't love them enough.
  14. The movie is fun until they set sail.
  15. Is this some kind of a test? The Hangover, Part II plays like a challenge to the audience's capacity for raunchiness.
  16. Seems curiously unfinished, as if director John Landis spent all his energy on spectacular set pieces and then didn't want to bother with things like transitions, character development, or an ending.
  17. Unfortunately, I was also convinced that trapped within this 98-minute film is a good 30-minute news report struggling to get out. Shearer, who is bright and funny, comes across here as a solemn lecturer.
  18. A film that little kids might find perfectly acceptable. Little, little, little kids. My best guess is, above fourth-grade level, you'd be pushing it.
  19. Of these characters, the rival played by Lucy Punch is the most colorful, because she's the most driven and obsessed. The others seem curiously inconsequential, content to materialize in a scene, perform a necessary function and vaporize.
  20. It's chirpy, it's bright, there are pretty locations and lots happens. This is the kind of movie that can briefly hold the attention of a cat.
  21. The screenplay carries blandness to a point beyond tedium.
  22. Soppy and sentimental, it evokes "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" without improving on it.
  23. Each scene works within itself on its own terms. But there is no whole here. I've rarely seen a narrative film that seemed so reluctant to flow. Nor perhaps one with a more accurate title.
  24. The movie's strategic error is to set the deadline too far in the future. There is something annoying about a comedy where a guy is strapped to a bomb and nevertheless has time to spare for off-topic shouting matches with his best buddy. A buddy comedy loses some of its charm in a situation like that.
  25. They (fans) know what they enjoy. They don't want no damn movies with damn surprises. I am always pleased when moviegoers have a good time; perhaps they will return to a theater and someday see a good movie by accident, and it will start them thinking.
  26. He seems fueled more by anger and ego than spirituality and essentially abandons his family to play with his guns. It's intriguing, however, how well Butler enlists our sympathy for the character.
  27. The screenplay shows signs of being inspired by personal memories that still hurt and are still piling up in Michael's mind. Fair enough, but the film doesn't sort this out clearly, and we experience vignettes in search of a story arc.
  28. The first-time director is Mateo Gil, known for the screenplays of "Open Your Eyes," "The Sea Inside" and "Agora." Ironic, that the film's weakness is its screenplay.
  29. A home invasion thriller that may set a record for the number of times the characters point loaded pistols at one another's heads. First we're afraid somebody will get shot. Then we're afraid nobody will be.
  30. There is nothing to complain about except the film's deadening predictability and the bland, shallow characters.

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