Chicago Sun-Times' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 4,559 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 9.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Sideways
Lowest review score: 0 The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)
Score distribution:
4,559 movie reviews
  1. Watching this film I reflected that there are only so many Cracker Jacks you can eat before you decide to hell with the toy.
  2. In the end, I'm conflicted about the film. As an accessible family film, it delivers the goods. But it lives in the shadow of "March of the Penguins." Despite its sad scenes, it sentimentalizes.
  3. The movie is focused on two kinds of chemistry: of the kitchen, and of the heart. The kitchen works better.
  4. If you're a fan of Hector Lavoe and Latin music, or Lopez and Anthony, you'll want to see El Cantante for what's good in it. Otherwise, you may be disappointed. The director (Leon Ichaso) and his co-writers haven't licked a crucial question: Why do we need to see this movie and not just listen to the music?
  5. The whole movie is so solemn, so worshipful toward its theme, that it's finally just silly.
  6. Once you realize it's only going to be so good, you settle back and enjoy that modest degree of goodness, which is at least not badness, and besides, if you're watching Rush Hour 3, you obviously didn't have anything better to do, anyway.
  7. The movie is a first-time directorial effort by Justin Theroux, a splendid actor, son of the writer Phyllis, nephew of the novelist Paul. He might have done better to have taken on something by them.
  8. In The Hottest State, Hawke uses fairly standard childhood motivations for his unhappiness and reveals too little real interest in the Sara character.
  9. This movie, for all its noble intentions, is a bore.
  10. Here is a great story born to be creepy, and the movie churns through it like a road company production. If the first three movies served as parables for their times, this one keeps shooting off parable rockets that fizzle out.
  11. There seem to be two movies going on here at the same time, and December Boys would have been better off going all the way with one of them.
  12. Everything is brought together at the end in a flash of revelation that is spectacularly underwhelming.
  13. Benton has made better movies, but this one has no organic reality.
  14. There are small moments of real humor.
  15. All of this material, written by Seinfeld and writers associated with his television series, tries hard, but never really takes off.
  16. The movie leaves no heartstring untugged. It even has a beloved old dog, and you know what happens to beloved old dogs in movies like this. Or if you don't, I don't have the heart to tell you.
  17. The movie wants to be good-hearted but is somehow sort of grudging. It should have gone all the way. I think Fred Claus should have been meaner if he was going to be funnier, and Santa should have been up to something nefarious, instead of the jolly old ho-ho-ho routine.
  18. 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.
  19. About as good as a movie with these characters can probably be, and I am well aware that I am the wrong audience for this movie.
  20. The identical premise is used in Sidney Lumet's "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," which is like a master class in how Allen goes wrong.
  21. The movie has terrific if completely unbelievable special effects. The actors had fun, I guess. You might, too, if you like goofiness like this.
  22. Consider for a moment how this movie might play if it took itself seriously. Would it be better than as a comedy? I suspect so.
  23. An odd, desperate film, lost in its own audacity, and yet there are passages of surreal beauty and preposterous invention that I have to admire. The film doesn't work, and indeed seems to have no clear idea of what its job is, and yet (sigh) there is the temptation to forgive its trespasses simply because it is utterly, if pointlessly, original.
  24. The movie itself is good and shows promise, except for the ending, when Trier shouldn't have been so poetic. Not only does Reprise generate itself, it contains its own review.
  25. A brave and ambitious but chaotic attempt at political satire.
  26. Children should not be allowed within a mile of this film, but it will appeal to "Jackass" fans and other devotees of the joyously ignorant.
  27. Here is a 145-minute movie containing one (1) line of truly witty dialogue: "Her 40s is the last age at which a bride can be photographed without the unintended Diane Arbus subtext."
  28. 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.
  29. It's one of those off-balance movies that seems searching for the right tone.
  30. This movie wasn't made for me. It was made for the people who will love it, of which there may be a multitude. The stage musical has sold 30 million tickets, and I feel like the grouch at the party.

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