Chicago Sun-Times' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 5,883 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 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 A Serious Man
Lowest review score: 0 Dirty Love
Score distribution:
5883 movie reviews
  1. Plays like an anthology of the best parts from all the Saturday matinee serials ever made.
  2. Pocahontas was given the gift of sensing the whole picture, and that is what Malick founds his film on, not tawdry stories of love and adventure. He is a visionary, and this story requires one.
  3. The first time I saw The Straight Story, I focused on the foreground and liked it. The second time I focused on the background, too, and loved it.
  4. Put the two parts together, and Tarantino has made a masterful saga that celebrates the martial arts genre while kidding it, loving it, and transcending it.
  5. The most accurate movie about campus life that I can remember.
  6. It takes on the resonance of classic tragedy. Tragedy requires the fall of a hero, and one of the achievements of Nixon is to show that greatness was within his reach.
  7. Shot in beautiful tones of black and white (and silver and gray), Nebraska is steeped in nostalgia, regret and bittersweet moments. Yet it’s also a pitch-perfect cinematic poem about the times we live in.
  8. Son of Saul is lasting work of art — difficult to watch, impossible to forget.
  9. No Way Out is a superior example of the genre, a film in which a simple situation grows more and more complex until it turns into a nightmare not only for the hero but also for everyone associated with him. At the same time, it respects the audience's intelligence, gives us a great deal of information, trusts us to put it together and makes the intellectual analysis of the situation one of the movie's great pleasures.
  10. Unflinchingly directed by Steve McQueen, led by Ejiofor’s magnificent work, 12 Years a Slave is what we talk about when we talk about greatness in film.
  11. Like Water for Chocolate creates its own intense world of passion and romance, and adds a little comedy and a lot of quail, garlic, honey, chiles, mole, cilantro, rose petals and corn meal.
  12. It is a film with a political point of view, but often its characters lose sight of that, in their fascination with each other and with the girl.
  13. 'Return of the Jedi' is fun, magnificent fun. The movie is a complete entertainment, a feast for the eyes and a delight for the fancy. It's a little amazing how Lucas and his associates keep topping themselves.
  14. David Schwimmer has made one of the year's best films: Powerfully emotional, yes, but also very perceptive.
  15. They are adults, for the most part outside organized religion, faced with situations in their own lives that require them to make moral choices. You shouldn’t watch the films all at once, but one at a time. Then if you are lucky and have someone to talk with, you discuss them, and learn about yourself. Or if you are alone, you discuss them with yourself, as so many of Kieslowski’s characters do.
  16. A smart, intense and moving film that isn't so much about sports as about the war between intuition and statistics. I walked in knowing what the movie was about, but unprepared for its intelligence and depth.
  17. That could have been a good movie, but predictable. Mike Nichols' Silkwood is not predictable.... We realize this is a lot more movie than perhaps we were expecting.
  18. What is important about this film is not that it serves as a history lesson (although it does) but that, at a time when the threat of nuclear holocaust hangs ominously in the air, it reminds us that we are, after all, human, and thus capable of the most extraordinary and wonderful achievements, simply through the use of our imagination, our will, and our sense of right.
  19. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is probably the best film of its sort since The Wizard of Oz. It is everything that family movies usually claim to be, but aren't: Delightful, funny, scary, exciting, and, most of all, a genuine work of imagination. Willy Wonka is such a surely and wonderfully spun fantasy that it works on all kinds of minds, and it is fascinating because, like all classic fantasy, it is fascinated with itself.
  20. A family film of limitless imagination and surprising joy.
  21. One of the greatest of all American films, but has never received the attention it deserves because of its lack of the proper trappings. Many "great movies'' are by great directors, but Laughton directed only this one film, which was a critical and commercial failure long overshadowed by his acting career.
  22. Annie Hall is a movie about a man who is always looking for the loopholes in perfection. Who can turn everything into a joke, and wishes he couldn't.
  23. Spacey, an actor who embodies intelligence in his eyes and voice, is the right choice for Lester Burnham.
  24. Spielberg has taken an important but largely forgotten and hardly action-packed slice of the Cold War and turned it into a gripping character study and thriller that feels a bit like a John Le Carre adaptation if Frank Capra were at the controls.
  25. Nolan has crafted a tight, gripping, deeply involving and unforgettable film that ranks about the best war movies of the decade.
  26. Powerfully, painfully honest.
  27. Not only does this second movie match the charm, wit, animation skill and intelligent storytelling of the original, I think it even exceeds it.
  28. The other key character is McCarthy himself, and Clooney uses a masterstroke: He employs actual news footage of McCarthy, who therefore plays himself.
  29. Leconte brings his film to transcendent closure without relying on stale plot devices or the clanking of the plot. He resorts to a kind of poetry. After the film is over, you want to sigh with joy, that in this rude world such civilization is still possible.
  30. Animals is a stark, brilliant, uncompromising, beautifully acted piece of work that deserves to be mentioned with “Panic in Needle Park” and “Requiem for a Dream” as a cautionary tale about drug addiction that doesn’t glamorize but also steers clear of proselytizing.

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