Chicago Sun-Times' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 4,719 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 9.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 A Most Violent Year
Lowest review score: 0 Freddy Got Fingered
Score distribution:
4,719 movie reviews
  1. This is an ambitious and sometimes effective but wildly uneven adventure that plays like one extended ego trip for Stiller. It feels like a movie by focus group, struggling to find a place between genuinely creative fantasy and audience-pleasing payoff moments.
  2. There is nothing wrong with the performances. All of the actors are professionals, although none have as much fun as Shelley Winters, who is the actor everyone remembers from the 1972 movie.
  3. Its moments of fascination and its good performances are mired in the morass of romance and melodrama that surrounds it.
  4. One fundamental problem with the movie is that John Travolta is seriously miscast as a nuclear terrorist. Say what you will about the guy, he doesn't come across as a heavy.
  5. Watching this film I reflected that there are only so many Cracker Jacks you can eat before you decide to hell with the toy.
  6. The film itself is on autopilot and overdrive at the same time: It does nothing original, but does it very rapidly.
  7. Jessica Biel all but steals the show as Stacie.
  8. Slap-happy entertainment painted in broad strokes, two coats thick.
  9. An obliquely clinical love story.
  10. There is noting quite so awkward as a film that is one thing while it pretends to be another.
  11. One only wishes Walker had stronger, better developed material instead of a promising drama that eventually unravels and seems overlong even with a running time of 96 minutes.
  12. There's too much contrivance and not enough plausibility, and so finally we're just enjoying the performances and wishing they'd been in a more persuasive movie.
  13. Bride Wars is pretty thin soup. The characters have no depth or personality, no quirks or complications, no conversation.
  14. 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.
  15. The performances by Miller and Graynor are high-spirited enough that you yearn to see them in worthier material. The potential is there. If there's anything more seductive to Manhattanites than sex, it's a cheap apartment overlooking Gramercy Park.
  16. Blanchett, Crudup and Gambon stand above and somehow apart from the absurdities of the screenplay.
  17. Surprisingly good in areas where it doesn't need to be good at all, and pretty awful in areas where it has to succeed.
  18. If you like the comic strip, now in its 56th year, maybe you'll like it, maybe not. Marmaduke's personality isn't nearly as engaging as Garfield's. Then again, if personality is what you're in the market for, maybe you shouldn't be considering a lip-synched talking animal comedy in the first place.
  19. Predictable to its very core, and in a funny way the predictability is part of the fun. The movie is in on the joke of its own recycling.
  20. This modest, low-budget sci-fi thriller is fatally lacking in entertainment value. It’s not original enough to be interesting, despite the presence of a pretty impressive cast, or awful enough to be campy fun. It’s serious enough to be depressing, though, if that’s your idea of a good time.
  21. 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.
  22. The problem with The Baxter is right there at the center of the movie, and maybe it is unavoidable: Showalter makes too good of a baxter. He deserves to be dumped.
  23. The phrase "coming of age," when applied to movies, almost always implies sex, but Girls Can't Swim has nothing useful to say about sex (certainly not compared to Catherine Breillat's brilliant "Fat Girl" from last year), and is too jerky in structure to inspire much empathy from us.
  24. 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.
  25. Outlander is interesting as a collision of genres: the monster movie meets the Viking saga. You have to give it credit for carrying that premise to its ultimate (if not logical) conclusion.
  26. As a viewer, we intuit that it is more, or less, than it seems: That in some sense, the whole project is a scam.
  27. 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.
  28. It's a visually effective and often scary film to watch, but the story is so leaky that we finally just give up.
  29. Because the real world scenes are in 2-D and the dream and fantasy scenes are in 3-D, we get an idea of what the movie would have looked like without the unnecessary dimension. Signs flash on the screen to tell us when to put on and take off our polarizing glasses, and I felt regret every time I had to shut out those colorful images and return to the dim and dreary 3-D world. On DVD, this is going to be a great-looking movie.
  30. A movie that doesn't buy into all the tenets of our national sports religion; the subtext is that winning isn't everything.

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