Chicago Sun-Times' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 5,151 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 8.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Three Colors: Red
Lowest review score: 0 Fist Fight
Score distribution:
5151 movie reviews
  1. The plot becomes a juggling act just when it should be a sprint. And there's another problem: Is it intended as a comedy, or not?
  2. But, lord, the characters are tireless in their peculiarities; it's as if the movie took the most colorful folks in Lake Wobegon, dehydrated them, concentrated the granules, shipped them to Newfoundland, reconstituted them with Molson's and issued them Canadian passports.
  3. Peter Sellers was a genius who somehow made Inspector Clouseau seem as if he really were helplessly incapable of functioning in the real world and somehow incapable of knowing that. Steve Martin is a genius, too, but not at being Clouseau. It seems more like an exercise.
  4. A film that little kids might find perfectly acceptable. Little, little, little kids. My best guess is, above fourth-grade level, you'd be pushing it.
  5. I have never seen anything remotely approaching the mess that the new punk version of "Romeo & Juliet" makes of Shakespeare's tragedy.
  6. 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.
  7. The problem with Ferrell’s character is he goes from bland to desperate to off the rails — and very little about that transition is genuinely funny. The problem with Wahlberg’s character is he never seems all that dangerous or mysterious.
  8. Bourdos’ high-minded aspirations are obvious, but his visually satisfying film is dramatically elusive.
  9. Every Secret Thing is a small, well-crafted film with a few chilling moments and some fine performances, but it’s a muddled, pedestrian crime thriller.
  10. Too much self-pity.
  11. Stick It uses the story of a gymnast's comeback attempt as a backdrop for overwrought visual effects, music videos, sitcom dialogue and general pandering. The movie seems to fear that if it pauses long enough to actually be about gymnastics, the audience will grow restless.
  12. Like many other cultural experiments (minimalist art, "Finnegan's Wake," the Chicago Tribune's new Friday section), it is more amusing to talk about than to experience.
  13. People may go to see Eddie Murphy once, twice, three or even six times in disposable movies like Harlem Nights, but if he wants to realize his potential he needs to work with a better writer and director than himself.
  14. The Choice is classic Sparks, and by that I mean it’s a mediocre, well-photographed, undeniably heart-tugging, annoyingly manipulative and dramatically predictable star-crossed romance.
  15. There’s some first-rate camerawork aboard the sub, that strong lead performance from Law and one nifty plot twist. It’s a shame the script gives us one of the most incompetent and ridiculous submarine crews this side of “Down Periscope.”
  16. The whole movie is so solemn, so worshipful toward its theme, that it's finally just silly.
  17. It is always a problem in a love story when the rival seems more interesting than the hero, and that's what happens here.
  18. It's a thriller, a bad thriller, completely lacking in psychological or emotional truth.
  19. Since the scenes where they're together are so much less convincing than the ones where they fall apart, watching the movie is like being on a double-date from hell.
  20. There are laughs, to be sure, and some gleeful supporting performances, but after a promising start the movie sinks in a bog of sentiment.
  21. After an intriguing setup, “Runner Runner” devolves into a by-the-books thriller.
  22. The performances are strong, although undermined a little by Anselmo's peculiar style of dialogue, which sometimes sounds more like experimental poetry or song lyrics than like speech.
  23. The movie is only 84 minutes long, including credit cookies, but that is quite long enough. All the same, it's fitfully amusing and I have the sense that Spanish-speaking audiences will like it more than I did, although whether they'll be laughing with it or at it, I cannot say.
  24. Language of a Broken Heart has the Lifetime Network written all over it. It’s a fitting entry for that venue but as a theatrical feature, it’s simply not up to the task.
  25. Strongly told stories have a way of carrying their characters along with them. But here we have an undefined character in an aimless story. Too bad.
  26. The script must have been a funny read. It's the movie that somehow never achieves takeoff speed.
  27. Director Jose Padilha (the “Elite Squad” movies) knows how to create slick, sometimes clever fast-moving battle sequences... But other than Keaton’s Sellars, the bad guys are mostly generic nitwits.
  28. The film indulges in sentimental and sensational tropes. The manipulative touches do more than dis­­­­­­tract, they irk. This story could have been retold without resorting to all the unfortunate formulas used in prime-time and cable fare.
  29. Did I care if Largo Winch won his struggle for control of Winch International? Not at all. Did I care about him? No, because all of his action and dialogue were shunted into narrow corridors of movie formulas.
  30. The film is competently made, and the attractive cast emotes and screams energetically.

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