Chicago Sun-Times' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 4,612 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 9.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Oslo, August 31st
Lowest review score: 0 Freddy Got Fingered
Score distribution:
4,612 movie reviews
  1. The skullcap moment appealed to me. It was new. Not much else is new in Survival of the Dead.
  2. A pleasant, genial, good-hearted, sometimes icky comedy that's like spending a weekend with well-meaning people you don't want to see again any time real soon.
  3. 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.
  4. What's lacking is a little more depth. This is a movie that covers a lot of distance in only 87 minutes.
  5. The movie contains violence and death, but not really very much. For most of its languorous running time, it listens to conversations between Bella and Edward, Bella and David, Edward and David, and Edward and Bella and David. This would play better if any of them were clever conversationalists, but their ideas are limited to simplistic renderings of their desires.
  6. The movie is mostly about our nasty heroes being attacked by terrifying antagonists in incomprehensible muddles of lightning-fast special effects. It lacks the quiet suspense of the first “Predator,” and please don't even mention the “Alien vs. Predator” pictures, which lacked the subtlety of “Mothra vs. Godzilla.”
  7. The script fails to persuade me this story needed to be told. It should have been trashier or more operatic, maybe. I dunno. It exists in that middle space of films that accurately reflect that which has little need to be reflected.
  8. The screenplay tries to paper over too many story elements that needed a lot more thought. This movie has been filmed and released, but it has not been finished.
  9. Shameless wish-fulfillment, a Harlequin novel crossed with a mystic travelogue, and it mercifully reverses the life chronology of many people, which is Love Pray Eat.
  10. Somehow isn't as exciting as a duel over a woman should be.
  11. You hear some nostalgia, but with most of them you don't get the idea that if they had the chance they'd do it all again.
  12. I will say that the attempt to reinterpret the memorable closing shot of "Blood Simple" is so gauche and graceless that I involuntarily moaned in disgust. I docked the film another half-star just for that.
  13. The movie's pleasures are scant, apart from its observance of Gene Siskel's Rule of Swimming Pool Adjacency, which states that when well-dressed people are near a swimming pool, they will - yeah, you got it.
  14. RED
    Red is neither a good movie nor a bad one. It features actors we like doing things we wish were more interesting.
  15. There's a way to make a movie like The Tourist, but Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck doesn't find that way.
  16. Burlesque shows Cher and Christina Aguilera being all that they can be, and that's more than enough.
  17. Nothing heats up. The movie doesn't lead us, it simply stays in step.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Reeves has many arrows in his quiver, but screwball comedy isn't one of them.
  28. All of the characters are treated sincerely and played in a straightforward style. It's just that we don't love them enough.
  29. The movie is fun until they set sail.
  30. Is this some kind of a test? The Hangover, Part II plays like a challenge to the audience's capacity for raunchiness.

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