Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 5,173 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 63% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 35% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Toy Story
Lowest review score: 0 Cradle 2 the Grave
Score distribution:
5173 movie reviews
  1. There is only one problem with the excitement generated by this film. After it is over, you will walk out of the theater and, as I did, curse the tedium of your own life. I kept looking for someone who I could throw up against a wall. [8 November 1971]
    • Chicago Tribune
  2. One of the screen's great portrayals of the hell-raising and malaise of young men in their 20s, hit Italy like a comic thunderbolt when it was released there in 1953 -- and it struck the American art-house audience in much the same way when it premiered here in 1956. Now it returns, and unlike its five aging-boy protagonists, this movie hasn't lost its first youth.
  3. In completing this simple, beautiful project Linklater took his time. And he rewards ours.
  4. Achieves a mellowness and melancholy that recalls the jazzy dissonance of director (and here, composer) Eastwood's best work: "The Outlaw Josey Wales," "Bird," "Unforgiven" and "Mystic River."
  5. It is a black comedy, among the blackest. It is also more grueling in some stretches than anything in "United 93."
  6. A landmark movie that becomes a priceless entryway into a distant land and its people, few of whom will ever seem as foreign and far away again.
  7. It's a movie of such jaw-dropping violence, wild improbability and dazzling style it overpowers all resistance.
  8. A movie bull's-eye: noir with an attitude, a thriller packing punches. It gives up its evil secrets with a smile.
  9. A deeply moving blend of cold terror and rapturous hilarity. Lovingly crafted by Italy's top comedian and most popular filmmaker, it's that rare comedy that takes on a daring and ambitious subject and proves worthy of it.
  10. A stunner: a fiercely brilliant film of such wrenching impact, nonstop drive and unpredictability that watching it becomes an exhilarating ride.
  11. Takes the raw truth and makes it jubilantly, terrifically entertaining.
    • Chicago Tribune
  12. The sheer stark speed and measured violence of On the Run catch us up quickly--and the film becomes a searing portrait of a killer-idealist lost out of time.
  13. Nobody Knows, by the often excellent Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, is one of those special movies that can give us a new way of seeing.
  14. Brims with intelligence, compassion and sensuous delight in the textures, sights and sounds of life--all the way from the Taj Mahal to Pearl Jam.
  15. Arnold reminds us that the best thrillers don't settle for taking the audience away from their everyday experience; rather, they burrow inward and, by sheer power of cinematic observation, make it hard for us to look away lest we miss something--on a screen or off.
  16. Yes, for every star there are five more also-rans and maybe-next-times. But there is honor and glory in being part of the blend. And, at the film's midpoint, when Clayton talks about the late-night recording session in 1969 of "Gimme Shelter," the memory takes on the glow of myth.
  17. It's a very small piece, working in a deceptively casual storytelling style. But it's my favorite music film since "Stop Making Sense," and it's more emotionally satisfying than any of the Broadway-to-Hollywood adaptations made in the last 20 years.
  18. Clean up the language, and this little roach of a movie could play the bottom half of a double bill with Rowan and Martin's “The Maltese Bippy.” [26 March 1999, Life, p.9E]
    • Chicago Tribune
  19. Still packs a wallop. It's also a movie with no easy passage to its dark heart.
  20. In this movie, Auteuil ("Jean de Florette") and Binoche ("Chocolat") are such marvelous actors, they can shift us in almost any emotional direction with a speech or a glance.
  21. Her
    A delicate, droll masterwork, writer-director Spike Jonze's Her sticks its neck out, all the way out, asserting that what the world needs now and evermore is love, sweet love. Preferably between humans, but you can't have everything all the time.
  22. With Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, they've flipped the script, creating a feminist party classic that's completely current and doesn't skimp on any of the wild humor. It's also even better than its predecessor.
  23. A masterpiece that can still leave you dizzy with wonder. As much as any movie ever made, this visionary science-fiction tale of space travel and first contact with extraterrestrial life is a spellbinding experience.
  24. Ida
    One of the year's gems.
  25. A magnificent throwback to an almost vanished era of epic filmmaking by great filmmakers in thrall to their own passions, rather than to the studio bookkeepers.
  26. It balances bloodshed with charm, spectacle with childlike glee. It's a near flawless movie of its kind.
    • Chicago Tribune
  27. Vibrating with humanity, it's a potent portrait of love, ranging from the purely carnal to the impurely sublime.
  28. With rich irony, The World juxtaposes the teasing, grand images of the outside world's wonders with the insular community and the mundane lives of the park employees.
  29. A cornball adventure film about a dashing young explorer mixing with New York cafe society types. What a delightfully complicated fantasy film this is. What Woody Allen has done with The Purple Rose of Cairo is create a classic film about our love affair with fantasy. [28 Jun 1985, p.1]
    • Chicago Tribune
  30. Like "Memento," Mulholland Drive is an amnesiac noir in the tradition that goes back to "Spellbound" and "Somewhere in the Night."
  31. This excellent film works the way Blanchett's characterization of Carol works: It's meticulous about appearances, while fully aware that appearances can deceive.
  32. This movie, the subject of controversy, is a defiantly personal statement on what the war really is--laced with that now-familiar "Roger and Me" mix of homespun wit, pop culture playfulness, populist heart twisting and "gotcha" guerilla film-making tactics.
  33. A major cinema event of the year, a masterpiece of Italian film traditions in social/political realism and historical family epic.
  34. There's an incongruous but ravishing beauty in Far From Heaven, and in its three excellent central performances, that counteracts the seeming kitschiness of the story.
  35. The Russian film The Return is a stunning contemporary fable about a divided family in the wilderness - a simple, riveting film that almost achieves greatness.
  36. A film that lets life flood into our souls.
  37. While this is very much a McQueen picture, with visual flourishes and motifs unmistakably his, the historical urgency and staggering injustice of the events keep McQueen and company utterly honest in their approach and in their collective act of imagining Solomon Northup's odyssey to hell and back.
  38. Raunchy, smart, ebullient, melancholy, insightful, surprising, funny, frank and sexy as all get-out.
  39. It is a wonder, marked by a sense of wondrous skepticism that has nothing to do with cynicism.
  40. Be forewarned: Dog Days, like many of Seidel's films, will drive some moviegoers to rage and walkouts with its unrelentingly depressing tone. But it also a remarkable, deeply disturbing work by a brilliant filmmaker.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    In its 98 minutes, film critic Godfrey Cheshire’s documentary Moving Midway records an amazing architectural feat, and that’s the least of its virtues.
  41. This is a superb picture, sharp, open-minded, wised-up and cinematically accomplished.
  42. It’s one of the most imaginative and provocative documentaries on any topic I’ve seen this year.
  43. It still soars, but now it seems richer, more expansive. Amadeus reminds us that movies can be lyrical as well as vulgar, ambitious as well as playful, brilliant as well as down and dirty -- just like Amadeus himself.
  44. A Chekhovian tale of major artistic power.
  45. This is one of the finest achievements of the year, and while it's easy to lose your way in the labyrinth, I don't think Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is most interesting for its narrative pretzels. Rather, it's about what this sort of life does to the average human soul.
  46. It has found a considerable, gratefully discombobulated audience all around the world, and it deserves one here.
  47. To miss this film is to cheat yourself and your family of a memorable moviegoing experience.
  48. Perfect for anyone with a youthful heart and a rich imagination.
  49. This is a movie about the world at war with itself, and the result is riveting, sublime and unforgettable.
  50. A spectacular, engrossing, big-hearted film based on one of Korea's great national epics and made by that country's top filmmaker.
    • Chicago Tribune
  51. Extraordinary film, one that, like the museum itself, captures and shows three centuries of Russian culture and history in all its beauty, confusion, terror and majesty.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    What emerges is a far more accurate, complete and endearingly human portrait of Mozart than any documentary has ever painted.
  52. A film masterpiece, restored more than three decades after its French release, "Army" remains a superb, coolly accurate portrait of a living hell recalled by two men who knew it well and record it truly, Melville and novelist Joseph Kessel.
  53. What "M.A.S.H." did to service comedies, what "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" did to westerns, what "The Long Goodbye" did to detective pictures, The Player does the to Hollywood success story. [24 April 1992]
    • Chicago Tribune
  54. The Natural is a fairy tale from start to finish, full of wildly implausible scenes that win over our emotions because, frankly, that's the way we'd like life to be. Being a baseball fan involves repeatedly experiencing exquisite pain and exquisite joy. Well, there's a lot of both in The Natural.
  55. 82-year-old Ingmar Bergman takes one of the most painful, shameful episodes of his own life and, writing for director Liv Ullmann, transmutes it into magical, brilliant artistry.
    • Chicago Tribune
  56. Attack of the Clones celebrates a certain youthful spirit in both moviemaking and movie watching; because it's as much phenomenon as movie, audiences will either ride with or reject it. I was happy to take the ride.
  57. The naked emotions, when they finally break loose, carry serious weight, akin to a John Cassavetes psychodrama.
  58. Badlands is about a landscape as much as the couple fleeing across it. Watching it, you sense that Malick finds his outlaw lovers beautiful and terrible, pathetic and monstrous, funny and overwhelmingly sad. [27 March 1998]
  59. Beautifully remastered and containing Cocteau's long-unseen special prologue and credits -- is as much a feat of feverish delight as it was in the dark days of Vichy and WWII.
  60. Another masterpiece from one of the world's more neglected great directors, a master artist who here reveals the soul of another.
  61. Kieslowski's beautiful, sad and clear-eyed The Decalogue -- an overwhelming psychological and spiritual epic for our times -- faces the darkness, sends out a song against the storm.
  62. Told with such sadness and exaltation, such mastery of image and sound, that watching it makes you feel renewed and hopeful.
  63. Some movies delight you. Some stimulate and provoke. Some enlighten and inform. And some simply hand you a rousing good time-- does all of that and more.
  64. A shockingly powerful screed against racism that also manages to be so well performed and directed that it is entertaining as well. [30 October 1998, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Fabulous for many reasons. Most important, this movie is Chiyoko's story, not an anime adventure. It's animated, but it's human and will touch the soul of anyone who has loved deeply.
  65. The reason it's distinctive has less to do with raw emotion, or a relentless assault on your tear ducts, and more to do with the film medium's secret weapons: restraint, quiet honesty, fluid imagery and an observant, uncompromised way of imagining one outsider's world so that it becomes our own.
  66. Burnett's documentarian empathy, coupled with his easygoing skill as a dramatic essayist, result in a film that doesn't look, feel or breathe like any American work of its generation.
  67. In both theatrical environments and open-air ones, with Wenders paying close attention to the geometrics as well as the psychology of the movement, Pina is the best possible tribute to Bausch, and to adventurous image-making.
  68. Kansas City is a wonderful film, done with all Altman's offbeat virtuosity, maverick humor and creative daring -- plus the acid nip that runs through all his recent works.
  69. Trouble the Water is so much better and truer and deeper and more illuminating than either of them ("Bowling for Columbine"/"Fahrenheit 9/11").
  70. If you haven't gotten hooked already on Michael Apted's series--collectively, one of the great documentaries in the history of the cinema--you should prepare yourself for the latest installment, 49 Up.
  71. Small, sure and stunningly acted, this is a picture of exacting control.
  72. The cave exists to provoke awe in mere mortals. The camera pauses at one point to take in a stalagmite reaching up to touch, nearly, a stalactite and the inevitable association is with Michelangelo's Adam and the hand of God.
  73. A peach of a story delightfully imagined by Dahl and lushly realized by Burton. It's full of witty or awesome scenes, flights of fancy and characters either totally, lovably sweet or outrageously, humorously rotten.
  74. What is surprising is how well Spielberg captures the horror, moving his camera with the fury of a combat photographer on the run. [17 Dec 1993]
    • Chicago Tribune
  75. An absolute delight, one of the most sheerly pleasurable movies Altman has ever made. It's wry, jokey and sexy, a tart and delectable entertainment. And, like most of Altman's best work, it's graced with a top-notch ensemble of first-class [9 April 1999, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  76. The movie holds up far better than its detractors guessed - splendidly, in fact - not only thanks to Scott's spellbinding acting, but to the epic imagery, Coppola's (and Edmund North's) highly intelligent script and Schaffner's lucid, perfectly controlled direction.
  77. This is one not to be missed.
  78. The movie's excellence, a stylistic world apart from the strikingly photographed but rather hysterical 1967 film version of Capote's masterwork, is in capturing its subject without pinning him down.
  79. Moneyball is the perfect sports movie for these cash-strapped times of efficiency maximization.
  80. Filmed in black-and-white and shockingly well acted by De Niro, Raging Bull suggests that if you are looking for the source of evil in the world, you don't have to look any further than yourself. It's inside you or it isn't. And it comes out or it doesn't. [19 Dec 1980]
    • Chicago Tribune
  81. It blends cinematic Americana with something grubbier and more interesting than Americana, and it does not look, act or behave like the usual perception of a Spielberg epic. It is smaller and quieter than that.
  82. The characters in Gomorrah may lack an extra dramatic dimension: Garrone errs, if anything, on the side of detachment. Yet that detachment is also the key to the film's success. There's so little hooey and melodramatic head-banging here.
  83. No matter how many heists you've seen, how many gangs you've watched fall apart or how many aging crooks you've seen walk up a mean street to a violent destiny, Rififi never loses its ruthless grace and force.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is the kind of film that doesn’t end after the credits roll, and it’s a gold-star example for what a documentary should do: inspire.
  84. A powerful film made with minimal means, it's a story of poor people on the fringes of society, done without sentimentality or condescension but with wicked humor.
  85. The third film, After the Life, much like "On the Run," mixes a hard-edged, relentless and stripped-down crime tale with a compassionate overview.
  86. It's the best musical biopic in decades.
  87. even in the notable ranks of Leigh's movie, TV and theater work-an oeuvre embracing high comedy, biting comment and shivering pathos-Naked is extraordinary. In the hands of Leigh and his magnificently gifted, gutsy cast, these days and nights on London's streets burn themselves on our minds.
  88. Whether Kundun is a perfect movie or not, it's an important and beautiful one. Scorsese's movie takes us into a world we've rarely seen with this kind of sympathy or detail: a magical-looking society built on Buddhism and centuries of art and tradition.
  89. The self-taught man behind the griddle, his wife, Eve, and their five seen-it-all kids emerge as the ensemble of the year.
  90. This movie isn't just a tribute to Baldwin. It's a warning bell regarding leaders who, in Baldwin's words, care only about "their safety and their profits."
  91. It's a magical film which manages to transport and rivet us in the same highly-imaginitive, breezily playful way "Amelie" did.
  92. Pure magic, a three-act movie fantasy that transports us -- as the best films do -- to a world of its own, a place of ambiguous joy and delirious terror.
    • Chicago Tribune
  93. Heaven Knows What, will not appeal to the majority of casual moviegoers. Likewise, I have no doubts regarding the film's remarkable achievement.
  94. May be the best and saddest film of the year so far.
  95. Moore documents both the doomed effort to turn Flint into a tourist center and the sorry leadership of the United Auto Workers, born in Flint, which appears co-opted by management. The film uses humor to make the point that in the rush to make money in the '80s we have forgotten the common man. [12 Jan 1990, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune

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