Chicago Sun-Times' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 4,734 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 9.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Lowest review score: 0 Dirty Love
Score distribution:
4,734 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. As a viewer, we intuit that it is more, or less, than it seems: That in some sense, the whole project is a scam.
  8. 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.
  9. It's a visually effective and often scary film to watch, but the story is so leaky that we finally just give up.
  10. 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.
  11. A movie that doesn't buy into all the tenets of our national sports religion; the subtext is that winning isn't everything.
  12. The movie tells us nothing we haven't heard before.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    But the later Rocky movies have been low on inspiration and eager to repeat the same formula, in which everything leads up to a climactic fight scene and a triumphant fadeout. Stallone is smart enough that he could have made this series into a meditation on sports celebrity in America, but that theme has always been at the edge of the stories; the formula takes center ring. If Rocky seems to be running on autopilot, that's also the case for the other characters. [16 Nov 1990, p.49]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  13. Love may or may not be endless, but there’s no limit to what can be contrived in a movie like this.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Lost for Words is directed with little originality by Stanley J. Orzel.
  17. The characters are all over the map, there are too many unclear story threads, our sympathies are confused, and there's an unconvincing showdown in which the story's lovingly developed ambiguities are lost.
  18. You can enjoy U-571 as a big, dumb war movie without a brain in its head.
  19. There is a certain lackluster feeling to the way the key characters debate the issues, and perhaps that reflects the suspicion of the filmmakers that they have hitched their wagon to the wrong cause.
  20. All this is presented in an expensive, good-looking film that is well-made by Scott Derrickson, but to no avail.
  21. The original "Carrie'' worked because it was a skillful teenage drama grafted onto a horror ending. Also, of course, because De Palma and his star, Sissy Spacek, made the story convincing. The Rage: Carrie 2 is more like a shadow.
  22. The special effects are all there, nicely in place, and the production values are sound, but the movie is dead in the water. It tells an amazing and preposterous story, and it seems bored by it.
  23. The Rover does have a central nervous system that crackles and pops with suspense, but in the end it’s not enough to jump-start the lack of narrative. Too much story is missing, and that is simply distracting.
  24. Sweet and warm-hearted, but there is another film with a similar story that is boundlessly better, and that is "My Dog Skip" (2000).
  25. There are better movies opening this weekend. There are better movies opening every weekend. But Slither has a competence to it, an ability to manipulate obligatory horror scenes in a way that works.
  26. It’s a fractured fairy tale, penned in clunky strokes.
  27. The movie doesn't seem sure what tone to adopt, veering uncertainly from horror to laughs to romance.
  28. It isn't a great movie, but it looks terrific and makes me look forward to the next film by its director, David Ren. He has a good eye.
  29. Muslim comics are correct about not needing to defend their faith in post-9/11 America. Their patriotism is not the point. I just wish they told better jokes.

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