Chicago Sun-Times' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 4,528 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 The Social Network
Lowest review score: 0 Freddy Got Fingered
Score distribution:
4,528 movie reviews
  1. Monster-in-Law fails the Gene Siskel Test: "Is this film more interesting than a documentary of the same actors having lunch?"
  2. The philosopher Thomas Hobbes tells us life can be "poor, nasty, brutish and short." So is this movie.
  3. The Perfect Man crawls hand over bloody hand up the stony face of this plot, while we in the audience do not laugh because it is not nice to laugh at those less fortunate than ourselves, and the people in this movie are less fortunate than the people in just about any other movie I can think of, simply because they are in it.
  4. The really good superhero movies, like "Superman," "SpiderMan 2" and "Batman Begins," leave Fantastic Four so far behind that the movie should almost be ashamed to show itself in the same theaters.
  5. A lame-brained, outdated wheeze about a couple of good ol' boys who roar around the back roads of the South in the General Lee, their beloved 1969 Dodge Charger.
  6. Although the movie may appeal to kids in the lower grades, it's pretty slow, flat and dumb.
  7. Underclassman doesn't even try to be good. It knows that it doesn't have to be. It stars Nick Cannon, who has a popular MTV show, and it's a combo cop movie, romance, thriller and high school comedy. That makes the TV ads a slam dunk; they'll generate a Pavlovian response in viewers conditioned to react to their sales triggers (smartass young cop, basketball, sexy babes, fast cars, mockery of adults).
  8. Watching Doom is like visiting Vegas and never leaving your hotel room.
  9. There is not a spark of chemistry between Chris and Jamie, although the plot clearly requires them to fall in love. There is so much chemistry involved with the Anna Faris character, however, that she can set off multiple chain reactions with herself, if you see what I mean.
  10. I found the movie a long, unfunny slog through an impenetrable plot. Kids might like it.
  11. Bad movie. Ugly movie.
  12. During the course of Failure to Launch, characters are bitten by a chipmunk, a dolphin, a lizard and a mockingbird. I am thinking my hardest why this is considered funny, and I confess defeat.
  13. The movie is astonishingly simple-minded, depicting characters who obediently perform their assigned roles as adulterers, cuckolds, etc.
  14. Staying Alive is a big disappointment.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Neither funny nor scary, Buffy ends up as little more than a bunch of stereotypes (Reubens excepted) squaring off with each other as true love triumphs. Maybe it should have been called "Pee-wee's Big Denture," and given people something to sink their teeth into. But for now, Buffy remains lifeless. [31 Jul 1992, p.43]
  15. The movie is unpleasant to look at. It's darker than "Seven," but without sufficient purpose, and my overall memory of it is of people screaming in the shadows. To call this a comedy is a sign of optimism; to call it a comeback for Murphy is a sign of blind faith.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    The Fan would have worked better had it dissected the mechanics that shape celebrity adulation. Instead, The Fan takes a knife-wielding action route that leaves film fans feeling - dare I suggest it - cheated? [16 Aug 1996, p.35]
  16. Renaissance Man is a labored, unconvincing comedy that seems cobbled together out of the half-understood remnants of its betters.
  17. The screenplay is so murky, indeed, that I was never sure whether the Kids hated the Hitler Youth lads because they were Nazis, or simply because they didn't swing.
  18. This project is dead in the water. Read the book. Better still, read "Victory."
  19. Scrooged is one of the most disquieting, unsettling films to come along in quite some time. It was obviously intended as a comedy, but there is little comic about it, and indeed the movie's overriding emotions seem to be pain and anger.
  20. Cool World is a seriously troubled film, so ragged I doubt if even the director can explain the story line.
  21. UHF
    The result is a very unfunny movie. It's routine, predictable, and dumb - real dumb.
  22. I'm Gonna Git You Sucka is a comedy that feeds off the blaxploitation movies, and although, like all good satires, it is cheerfully willing to be offensive, it is almost completely incapable of being funny.
  23. If he wants a future in the movies, Andrew Dice Clay is going to have to play somebody other than himself.
  24. Here is the dirty movie of the year, slimy and scummy, and among its casualties is poor Jessica Alba, who is a cutie and shouldn't have been let out to play with these boys.
  25. Anything that holds our interest can be entertaining, in a way, but the movie seems to have an unwholesome determination to show us the victims being terrified and threatened. When I left the screening, I just didn't feel right.
  26. I recommend that Kelly keep right on cutting until he whittles it down to a ukulele pick.
  27. A movie about two old codgers who are nothing like people, both suffering from cancer that is nothing like cancer, and setting off on adventures that are nothing like possible.
  28. Myers has made some funny movies, but this film could have been written on toilet walls by callow adolescents.
  29. The movie was executive produced by Quentin Tarantino. Shame on him. He intends it no doubt as another homage to grindhouse pictures, but I've seen a lot of them, and they were nowhere near this bad. "Hell's Angels on Wheels," for example: pretty good.
  30. The Spirit is mannered to the point of madness. There is not a trace of human emotion in it. To call the characters cardboard is to insult a useful packing material.
  31. House of the Sleeping Beauties has missed its ideal release window by about 40 years. It might -- might -- have found an audience in that transitional period between soft- and hard-core.
  32. Here is a movie that will do for cheerleading what "Friday the 13th" did for summer camp.
  33. A dreary experience.
  34. A horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments.
  35. It’s badly written and inertly directed, with actors who don’t have a clue what drives their characters. This is one of those rare films that contains no chemistry at all. None. The actors scarcely seem to be in the same scenes together.
  36. The Twilight Saga: New Moon takes the tepid achievement of "Twilight" (1988), guts it, and leaves it for undead.
  37. Stupefying dimwitted.
  38. An idiotic ode to macho horseshite (to employ an ancient Irish word). It is however distinguished by superb cinematography.
  39. Will I seem hopelessly square if I find Kick-Ass morally reprehensible and will I appear to have missed the point? Let’s say you’re a big fan of the original comic book, and you think the move does it justice. You know what? You inhabit a world I am so very not interested in.
  40. Some movies are no better than second-rate sitcoms. Other movies are no better than third-rate sitcoms. The Back-up Plan doesn't deserve comparison with sitcoms. It plays like an unendurable TV commercial about beautiful people with great lifestyles and not a thought in their empty little heads.
  41. I stared at A Nightmare on Elm Street with weary resignation. The movie consists of a series of teenagers who are introduced, haunted by nightmares and then slashed to death by Freddy. So what? Are we supposed to be scared?
  42. Some of these people make my skin crawl. The characters of Sex and the City 2 are flyweight bubbleheads living in a world which rarely requires three sentences in a row.
  43. From what dark night of the soul emerged the wretched idea for The Nutcracker in 3D? Who considered it even remotely a plausible idea for a movie?
  44. An almost unendurable demonstration of a movie with nothing to be about.
  45. The people in this movie are dumber than a box of Tinkertoys.
  46. The result is not merely a bad film, but a waste of an opportunity. As he approaches 85, Winters is still active, funny, enthusiastically involved in painting and could have been the subject of a good film. This isn't it.
  47. Has the added inconvenience of being dreadfully serious about a plot so preposterous, it demands to be filmed by Monty Python.
  48. Your Highness is a juvenile excrescence that feels like the work of 11-year-old boys in love with dungeons, dragons, warrior women, pot, boobs and four-letter words.
  49. Now I am faced with this movie, the most anticlimactic non-event since Geraldo Rivera broke into Al Capone's vault.
  50. This film is an affront. It is incoherent, maddening, deliberately opaque and heedless of the ways in which people watch movies.
  51. A visually ugly film with an incoherent plot, wooden characters and inane dialog. It provided me with one of the more unpleasant experiences I've had at the movies.
  52. No one in the movie has a morsel of intelligence. They all seem to be channeling more successful characters in better comedies. This would be touching if it were not so desperate.
  53. I would rather eat a golf ball than see this movie again.
  54. Inexplicably, there are people who still haven't had enough of these movies. The first was a nifty novelty. Now the appeal has worn threadbare.
  55. New Year's Eve is a dreary plod through the sands of time until finally the last grain has trickled through the hourglass of cinematic sludge. How is it possible to assemble more than two dozen stars in a movie and find nothing interesting for any of them to do?
  56. I am so very, very tired of movies like this. Does the story line strike you as original? It sounds to me like another slice off the cheesecake of dreck.
  57. This film is about violence. All violence. Wall-to-wall violence. Against many of those walls, heads are pounded again and again into a pulpy mass. If I estimated the film has 10 minutes of dialogue, that would be generous.
  58. It is depressing to reflect on the wealth of talent that conspired to make this inert and listless movie.
  59. Utterly clueless about its tone and has no idea how relentlessly it is undercutting itself. By the time we arrive at the obligatory happy ending, which is perfunctory and automatic, I felt sort of insulted. If Chandrasekhar thinks his audience will laugh at his vulgarity, why does he believe it requires a feel-good ending?
  60. V/H/S is an example of the genre at its least compelling.
  61. A film is a terrible thing to waste. For Roman Coppola to waste one on A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III is a sad sight to behold. I'll go further. For Charlie Sheen to waste a role in it is also a great pity. I stop not: For Bill Murray to occupy his time in this dreck sandwich is a calamity.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    The Condemned is nothing but a creaky façade.
  62. Part 2 seems even more like a Stallone vehicle than the first movie. I'm not even sure it's intended as a comedy. It's filled wall to wall with the kind of routine action and violence that Hollywood extrudes by the yard and shrink-wraps to order.
  63. This isn't a strict remake of Sam Raimi's hugely influential 1981 horror classic, but it does include the basic framework and some visual nods to the original. On its own, it's an irredeemable, sadistic torture chamber reveling in the bloody, cringe-inducing deaths of some of the stupidest people ever to spend a rainy night in a remote cabin in the woods.
  64. Quite simply, this is one of the worst films of 2013.
  65. Stargate is like a film school exercise. Assignment: Conceive of the weirdest plot you can think of, and reduce it as quickly as possible to action movie cliches.
  66. There’s not much difference between this nudity-packed yet remarkably dull crime drama and the ’90s-vintage, sleazy pay-cable erotic thrillers it’s referencing, if not emulating.
  67. Winter’s Tale is a good old-fashioned train wreck of a film. This is one of those deals where all the ingredients are Grade A, but the final product is a dud.
  68. What it looks like is warmed-over Tarantino mixed with a third-rate tribute to the Coen brothers with a dose of David Lynch-ian madness, two decades late to the party.
  69. It’s only mid-April, but I’m making an early reservation for The Other Woman to appear on my list of the 10 Worst Films of 2014.
  70. This is a clichéd, cynical, occasionally offensive, pandering, idiotic film that redefines shameless.
  71. The Expendables 3 is proof a movie can be exceedingly loud and excruciatingly dull.
  72. Dreadful...Maybe another 200 cigarettes would have helped; coughing would be better than some of this dialogue.
  73. An ideal first movie for infants, who can enjoy the bright colors on the screen and wave their tiny hands to the music.
  74. So bad in so many different ways that perhaps you should see it, as an example of the lowest slopes of the bell-shaped curve.
  75. A vanity production beyond all reason. I am not sure, however, than the vanity is Dylan's. I don't have any idea what to think about him.
  76. An incoherent mess, a jumble of footage in search of plot, meaning, rhythm and sense.
  77. Through superhuman effort of the will, I did not walk out of The Hot Chick, but reader, I confess I could not sit through the credits.
  78. Not bad so much as inexplicable. You watch in puzzlement: How did this train wreck happen?
  79. It's an arch, awkward, ill-timed, forced political comedy set in 1959 and seemingly stranded there.
  80. Josie and the Pussycats are not dumber than the Spice Girls, but they're as dumb as the Spice Girls, which is dumb enough.
  81. The film has the obnoxious tone of a boring home movie narrated by a guy shouting in your ear.
  82. A truly dreadful film, a lifeless, massive, lumbering exercise in failed comedy. Elaine May, the director, has mounted a multimillion-dollar expedition in search of a plot so thin that it hardly could support a five-minute TV sketch.
  83. A dead zone of comedy. The concept is exhausted, the ideas are tired, the physical gags are routine, the story is labored, the actors look like they can barely contain their doubts about the project.
  84. Awful in so many different ways.
  85. To make a film this awful, you have to have enormous ambition and confidence, and dream big dreams.
  86. Jason X sucks on the levels of storytelling, character development, suspense, special effects, originality, punctuation, neatness and aptness of thought. Only its title works.
  87. The movie is a chaotic mess, overloaded with special effects and explosions, light on continuity, sanity and coherence.
  88. It's a movie without a brain. Charlie's Angels is like the trailer for a video game movie, lacking only the video game, and the movie.
  89. One element of Sorority Boys is undeniably good, and that is the title. Pause by the poster on the way into the theater. That will be your high point.
  90. Not that the film is outrageous. That would be asking too much. It is dim-witted, unfunny, too shallow to be offensive.
  91. A comedy so listless, leisurely and unspirited that it was an act of the will for me to care about it, even while I was watching it.
  92. It goes through the motions of an action thriller, but there is a deadness at its center, a feeling that no one connected with it loved what they were doing.
  93. They're so detached they can't even successfully lip-synch their own songs.
  94. This is a dishonest, quease-inducing "comedy" that had me feeling uneasy and then unclean. Who in the world read this script and thought it was acceptable?
  95. An utterly meaningless waste of time...It is a dead zone, a film without interest, wit, imagination or even entertaining violence and special effects.
  96. The very soul of sophomorism. It is callow, gauche, obvious and awkward, and designed to appeal to those with similar qualities.
  97. The movie has three tones: overwrought, boring, laughable.

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