Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 4,808 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 3.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Chaos
Score distribution:
4808 movie reviews
  1. A hard-core movie with a soft, light-hearted center and an edge like a knife.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Most important, several elements -- the film's tough, new ending; a sly, fleeting dissolve of a unicorn, not in the original; and a brilliant, trompe d'oeil flicker of life in a shot of a still photograph -- bring Deckard's existential dilemma into focus. [11 Sept 1992]
    • Chicago Tribune
  2. No
    No succeeds, wonderfully, because it knows how to sell itself. It is cool, witty, technically dazzling in a low-key and convincing way.
  3. I loved this movie madly, and so will many of you.
    • Chicago Tribune
  4. Georgia, written with rare honesty and economy by Leigh's mother, Barbara Turner, and very sensitively directed by Ulu Grosbard, is a tough-minded look at show business and families. [10 Jan 1996]
    • Chicago Tribune
  5. Though much of Naked Lunch is flip, hip and hilariously funny, it never wanders far from a profoundly melancholic undertone - Cronenberg's unshakable sense of loneliness, isolation and anxiety. [10 Jan 1992]
    • Chicago Tribune
  6. Day-Lewis... the role of a lifetime.
  7. A kinetic delight, Reprise comes from director Joachim Trier, born in Denmark but raised in Oslo, Norway, and it’s a highlight of the filmgoing year so far.
  8. Like most Godard, it can be watched repeatedly, always yielding new secrets and beauties. Most profound of all, perhaps, are those incredible black-and-white images of Paris.
  9. Moviegoers should be almost as entranced by the teeming, glorious landscapes and dark, bloody battlegrounds of Two Towers: astonishing midpoint of an epic movie fantasy journey for the ages.
  10. "All right" doesn't begin to describe it. The Kids Are All Right is wonderful. Here is a film that respects and enjoys all of its characters, the give-and-take and recklessness and wisdom of any functioning family unit, conventional or un-.
  11. This is a great and necessary document in support of a two-state solution. Even those who don't believe in such a solution may find their minds changed by The Gatekeepers.
  12. This is a sumptuous work, from its unconventional title sequence of a woman dancing hard in the streets to its provocative ending with conflicting quotes from Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr .[30 June 1989, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  13. The word masterpiece costs nothing to write and means less than nothing in an age when every third picture and each new Clint Eastwood project is proclaimed as such. After two viewings, however, Letters From Iwo Jima strikes me as the peak achievement in Eastwood's hallowed career.
  14. It's as thrilling and lushly beautiful a movie as has been released all year, matched only by Zhang's epic "Hero." And I think this film is the more powerful.
  15. An improbable masterpiece -- a bizarre mixture of grandly operatic visuals, grim brutality and sordid violence that keeps wrenching you from one extreme to the other.
  16. A movie about the passions of simple people, and it's done with such extraordinary empathy and commitment that it all but pulls you under. [29 November 1996, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  17. The fans of their best work -- "Blood Simple, "Raising Arizona," "Barton Fink" -- now can add Fargo to the list, pushing the Coens to the first rank of contemporary American filmmakers. [8 March 1996, Friday, p.B]
    • Chicago Tribune
  18. 1966 French masterpiece -- the finest, most deeply personal work of a filmmaker who has been compared, justifiably, to both Dostoyevsky and Bach.
  19. Extremely moving, exceedingly droll, flawlessly voice-acted.
  20. A brilliant work of the imagination capable of truly seizing and igniting our fantasies.
  21. Its sense of humor is more sly, more sophisticated and more interesting than most PG-13 or R-rated comedies at the moment. The film may be animated, and largely taken up with rats, but its pulse is gratifyingly human.
  22. David Cronenberg's The Fly is that absolute rarity of the '80s: a film that is at once a pure, personal expression and a superbly successful commercial enterprise. [15 Aug 1986]
    • Chicago Tribune
  23. A rare example of a literary film that preserves the best of its source while creatively filling up on it.
    • Chicago Tribune
  24. This is a small, tight, starkly claustrophobic film, closer in impact to Elie Wiesel's first-person account of the concentration camps, "Night," than to the artful, slightly suspect emotional catharsis of director Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List."
  25. This French documentary gives us unprecedented intimacy and sweep.
  26. It's a glorious film, in large part because it is a reminder of in what low regard we often hold those of "a certain age." You'll come out of the theater full of respect and admiration for these people.
  27. This one slice of the American experience amounts to one of the best films of the year.
  28. Beautifully wrought, darkly funny and finally devastating, My Own Private Idaho almost single-handedly revives the notion of personal filmmaking in the United States. [18 Oct 1991]
    • Chicago Tribune
  29. Stylish, ingenious and gleaming with charm, wit and malice, it's another expert blend of domestic drama and crime thriller, a vivisection of the bourgeoisie.
  30. As magnificent as a high-masted 19th-century British warship, as explosive as a Napoleonic-era ocean battle seen above the cannon's mouth... probably the best movie of its kind ever made.
  31. One of the most excitingly contemporary musicals ever made.
    • Chicago Tribune
  32. It's Chekhovian screwball, a perfect little tale of love (or thereabouts) in bloom among the weeds of an ordinary life. It feels like a classic already.
  33. I love it, not simply because I love Chekhov or because I've loved so much of Ceylan's earlier work. I love it because the director, having come into his own as a master international filmmaker years ago, gives us so much to see and think about, so many astringent observations about life's compromises and longings.
  34. While I may argue with the little guy's taste in musicals, it's remarkable to see any film, in any genre, blend honest sentiment with genuine wit and a visual landscape unlike any other.
  35. A wildly original movie with astonishingly varied moods and influences.
  36. Leigh is an artist not at all blind to the world's darkness and pain. But the generosity and togetherness he and his company show in Secrets and Lies is something the movies -- and the world -- truly need. [25 October 1996, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  37. This dark, melancholic film is a reminder -- never more necessary than now -- of what the American cinema is capable of, in the way of expressing a mature, morally complex and challenging view of the world. [7 Aug 1992]
    • Chicago Tribune
  38. The film is a singular achievement, a piece of realist cinema with the pull of a suspense thriller.
  39. Brilliant documentary.
  40. An indelible portrait of an American family at its most blithely macabre.
  41. This is the Paris -- and the mad, beautiful young Parisienne -- we look for in dreams.
  42. Davies has said that he loves the "poetry of the ordinary." In that sense, he doesn't just wax nostalgic about the good old days, but rather, he makes us question and reevaluate those things we may not remember so readily-not the general, but the specific.
  43. This is a picture that may sound sappy but probably will enrapture audiences lucky enough to catch it. [19 May 1995, p.L]
    • Chicago Tribune
  44. Sensational, grandly sinister and not for the kids, The Dark Knight elevates pulp to a very high level.
  45. It's perhaps only because it can't be seen in its full glory on television that "Lawrence" isn't ranked more highly on some recent all-time "best film" lists. But it belongs near the very top. It's an astonishing, unrepeatable epic.
  46. A film which should gratify any audience starved for intelligent dialogue, realistic portrayals of romance and lovely, non-cliched open-air photography.
  47. Borat is a rarity: a comedy whose middle name is danger, or as the Kazakhs say, kauwip-kater.
  48. From its initial first-person, behind-the-wheel viewpoint to its final implication of all-pervasive surveillance, Panahi creates a fascinating hybrid that becomes a microcosm of Tehran.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Gordon's documentary proves better than 90 percent of the manufactured stories out this summer. One can breathe a sigh of relief that it was done right and not cobbled into another bad fictional comedy.
  49. I have written elsewhere that love stories seem to be in short supply these days, as they have been in the last decade of American movies. . . . But the hunger for love on the screen is there, and director Spielberg gives it to us in "E.T.," and because the lovers are a little boy and a little creature, we accept it. Of such simple concepts, timeless entertainments are made.
  50. A spellbinder: provocatively conceived, gorgeously shot and masterfully executed.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Armstrong and screenwriter Robin Swicord have pared the work's sentimentality and bolstered its intellectual content, [21 Dec 1994]
    • Chicago Tribune
  51. It's tantalizing, delectable and randy, a movie of melting eroticism and toothsome humor.
    • Chicago Tribune
  52. A brash romantic comedy that has a serious purpose at its core.
    • Chicago Tribune
  53. This is a terrific movie: jolting, savage, horrifically funny, nightmarishly exciting but also brainy and compassionate.
  54. Takes a simple story and molds it into something eloquent and menacing.
  55. With humor, honesty and awe, Feuerzeig's portrait may love Daniel Johnston, but it won't give his parents much hope.
  56. Two suggestions as you watch it: Never take anything for granted, and keep your hand on your wallet as you leave the theater.
  57. Much of the action takes place in the couple's haphazard apartment, but the movie really does feel like a movie, with Farhadi's camera unobtrusively energizing the close-quarters exchanges, both verbal and non-verbal. The acting is splendid.
  58. It's a movie of uncommon eloquence and elegance, acted by a truly gifted cast.
  59. There's a zest and brilliance in Neil Jordan's racy heist thriller The Good Thief that makes it almost intoxicating to watch.
  60. An off-center but exceptional boxing film I prefer in every aspect, especially one: It feels like it comes from real life as well as the movies.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    As Nirvana's Kurt Cobain acknowledges in the opening quote, without the Pixies there would be no "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
  61. Has some of the wit, sass and sexual candor of an "Annie Hall." But it covers the same kind of territory with more bite and bile.
  62. Haneke’s vision is gripping. The craftsmanship, classically shaped narrative and icy visual beauty cannot be denied.
  63. A good and eloquent Wyoming-set love story with a great performance at its heart.
  64. With 20 additional minutes of screen time, the director's cut of Richard Kelly's genre-splicing "Donnie Darko" offers new viewers a second chance to discover his mind-bending masterwork.
  65. It's a lot. But if you're at all inclined, it's just right.
  66. Young Goethe in Love wants only to engage an audience with a capital-R Romantic ideal of Goethe's first love. It does so very well. And it was well worth the effort.
  67. This is a true New York movie, though in its ear and eye for atmospheric beauty it feels more French.
  68. Had this ambitious head trip come to pass, it might've made Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" look like "Go, Dog. Go!"
  69. It's a brutally convincing movie about two hell-bent young Turkish-German lovers dancing on the edge of destruction in a Hamburg underworld of drugs and casual sex. Yet it's also compassionate and even tender.
  70. Chabrol's final picture was designed with Depardieu in mind. It's a small work. Yet it's so pleasurably well-made, so obviously the work of major talents in a comfortable groove, why carp about the scale or ambition of the project?
  71. Belongs to that brand of sweeping, conflict-era drama epitomized by "Saving Private Ryan," "Gone with the Wind" and TV miniseries "North and South."
  72. Dafoe manages to draw us into the mystery, anguish and joy of the holy life. This is anything but another one of those boring biblical costume epics. There is genuine challenge and hope in this movie. [12 Aug 1988, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  73. A breezy diary from a pair of first-time farmers, as well as a wry rebuke to a nation devoted to eating cheaply but not necessarily well, King Corn makes its points without much finger-wagging.
  74. The movie is a small marvel of contained spaces, exploited beautifully by Kusama and cinematographer Bobby Shore.
  75. Just as Zhao uses his comic gifts to create an affecting human, so Dong's performance as Wu is a triumph of honesty and tact.
  76. A picture about America with the blinders off, a film about heroism that makes you chuckle and feel sad - and a film about childhood that lets us reenter that lost world and see the grass, sky and sunlight the way they once looked, in the golden hours.
    • Chicago Tribune
  77. iIt's a film for art- and foreign-movie devotees. But it's also a movie for audiences who simply want to get turned on.
  78. The oddly beautiful documentary made by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Gray is subtler and richer than its blunt title suggests.
  79. The acting's so true, and Bahrani's so observant, you find yourself caring about everyone onscreen.
  80. It's a strange, fascinating exercise in what Joel Coen once described as "tone management," job No. 1 for any director.
  81. A beautiful, almost defiant film on an unusual subject: love among the elderly.
    • Chicago Tribune
  82. It's a genteel film with a gun in its pocket, but it's also a film with a universal chord of feeling that keeps welling up from the dark surfaces and violent byways of the plot-and a final confession that both warms the heart and chills the blood.
  83. From a terrible epidemic comes a beautiful documentary.
  84. Unstrung Heroes is an extremely moving and surprisingly funny love sonnet to family, tolerance and the joys of individuality.... One of the best films of the year. [15 Sep 1995]
    • Chicago Tribune
  85. Does Kaurismaki believe in his own fairy tale? The movie, a humble delight, suggests the answer is yes.
  86. I don't see how you can get away from calling Cage’s performance a great one. [10 November 1995, Friday, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
  87. A beautifully acted and deeply compassionate study of ordinary people coping with the vicissitudes of life.
  88. The film recalls Martin Scorsese's "Mean Streets" and the minimalism of films such as Lars Von Trier's "The Idiots." Eason and cinematographer Didier Gertsch keep the cameras tight on the actors' bodies and faces, creating palpable unease.
  89. Small but sure, the film is like Alejandro himself: quick on its feet, attuned to a harsh life’s hardships and possibilities.
  90. While Streep has a tiny bit too much fun with some of her character's excesses, she's awfully good. So is Hoffman, who walks a fine line between obvious guilt and possible innocence.
  91. A gleefully gory, pitch-perfect parody of George Romero's zombie films. But this isn't a movie about other movies. Shaun of the Dead stands on its own.
  92. Wonderful spirit, humanity and humor.
  93. Rivets and amazes, even if it falls just frustratingly short of the mind-expanding grandeur it could have had.
  94. They're lifelike, I suppose, in that you believe and become invested in what happens to everyone. But they're poetic, too, in that Reichardt and her first-rate ensemble find intersections of the mundane and the mysterious all around this broad, blustery landscape.
  95. It may be the most serene and optimistic film Rivette has made in France. Yet even the art-house audience may undervalue it, miss the beauty, style and wit.
  96. This is an inspirational true story worried less about turning dramatic screws than earning its feeling through character.

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