Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 5,469 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 62% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 36% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Tin Men
Lowest review score: 0 Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Score distribution:
5469 movie reviews
  1. The film is ruled by sound and fury signifying an attempt to launch a new franchise.
  2. Ali
    We've seen Ali as the charismatic star of the real-time drama of his life. "Ali," for all its flashy filmmaking, just doesn't compare.
  3. Keener alone finds the truth between the lines of this routine affair. She can't do much about the lines she has to say out loud, but as all first-rate screen performers realize, words are only part of the story.
  4. The glibness of Wiesen's freshman effort wouldn't be a problem if the wit was there.
  5. A limply derivative, disappointingly trivial and hokey fish-out-of-water crime comedy.
  6. Kuzui has imposed a heavily block-lettered feminist message on the movie, suggesting that Buffy discovers her empowerment as a woman by driving huge, phallic stakes through the hearts of her enemies. In this case, having it all means being feminine and bloodthirsty, too. [31 Jul 1992, p.B]
    • Chicago Tribune
  7. Manages to leave the impression that it was funny even though most of its jokes don't score.
  8. Morgan and Eastwood are scrupulous in keeping their notions of the afterlife as general and inoffensive as possible. They have no religious or spiritual worldview to sell. As I say: Many admire this film to no end. I found its use of recent tragic events, including the London underground bombing, to be more than a little cheap.
  9. I wish the film version of Astro Boy provided a stronger antidote to mediocrity.
  10. After bravely lampooning an institution so many consider beyond reproach, Saved! chickens out, imparting its most direct and lasting message in its disappointing conclusion: Don't Offend. Amen.
  11. Weighed down by the presence of Griffith. She plays her satiric part without much gusto or conviction - as if she were afraid we might believe she really is Honey.
    • Chicago Tribune
  12. The ultimate shallowness of this film is reflected in the fact that their key bonding moment occurs when they bungee-jump off a bridge together.
  13. Grant, playing a variation on Simon Cowell, resident meanie on "American Idol" and its inspiration, Britain's "Pop Idol," does what's required with seedy panache. Yet the characterization, both as written and acted, lacks a spark.
  14. Scientology or not, the movie is a battlefield bummer that makes you want to revolt.
    • Chicago Tribune
  15. Carter comes off as compassionate and intelligent. But the complex issues brought up in his book don’t get much more than a superficial debate.
  16. It's outlandishly gory and bluntly political, the latter being more interesting than the former. It wears out its welcome, though, long before la revolucion and sequels are promised.
  17. Here and there an image of spectral beauty, assisted by the 3-D technology, floats into view and captures our imagination. But the script, which really should've been called "Sanctimonium," has a serious case of the bends.
  18. Michael Showalter is a funny man, but … how to put this gently … not a funny movie star.
  19. An oft-told tale.
    • Chicago Tribune
  20. It's Mary Stuart Masterson, bringing a depth and tenacity to her role that nowhere appears in the screenplay, who leaves the lasting impression. She escapes the airiness of Hughes's vision to establish something like a human being. [22 Feb 1987]
    • Chicago Tribune
  21. At its core, a movie for children. There is no hidden adult story line, not much sexual innuendo and very little dry humor.
  22. While no doubt a contribution in terms of historical record, the 2003-2004 timeline of the movie makes it feel out of date. This offers perspective on the insurgents then, but leaves the viewer wondering what they would be thinking and saying four years later.
  23. Green just isn't the superhero color this year.
  24. As a movie, Cry Freedom is little more than an uninspired remake of Attenborough's earlier success. Once again, against a background of exquisitely lit, lushly produced human suffering, a charismatic political figure is changed into a divine hero.
  25. The nuttiest hunk of junk in many months.
  26. Robinson is undone partly by his own workmanlike touch as a writer, and partly by matters of casting. I like Harris, and he's quite moving here, but every time Duchovny reappears the overall energy level sinks to crush depth.
  27. Though this film shows flashes of the electric writer Mamet was to become, Lakeboat is mostly distant thunder over choppy waters.
    • Chicago Tribune
  28. Road House is startling because of the intensity of its violence and because of Swayze`s mindless posturing. A young star has sold himself to become a pinup boy.
  29. A routine Neil Simon comedy with Goldie Hawn ,Chevy Chase, and Charles Grodin mixed up in a story about an innocent bank robber and a power-hungry district attorney. Hawn has been married to both. Not very funny, but the dogs are cute. [19 Dec 1980, p.10]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Not a triumph or a tragedy, but faithful to its subject matter. And faithful, in this case, seems fitting.
  30. Schlock that could and should have been better.
  31. A pretty entertaining case against our current war and question the integrity of our president, but more than that, these docs manipulate imagery, music and sound bites to work their audiences into a frenzy.
  32. What If brings up the distinctions among wit, jokes and robotic banter, and this new romantic comedy has a bit of the first and a few of the second, but it's largely a case of the third.
  33. The results aren't gothic and bloody, as they were in the Lauren Bacall film "The Fan," or elegant and ironic as in the Bette Davis classic "All About Eve"--though the plot suggests a bit of both.
  34. Fans of “The Room” — they’re everywhere — will get something out of it, though I’d argue not enough; director Franco’s camera sense is neither quite in synch with Wiseau’s (thank God) or quite distinct enough in its own style.
  35. At 79 minutes, Love and Other Catastrophes is more of a snack than a meal -- one that could use a little less sugar. Now that Croghan has figured out how to bring characters she likes to the screen, her next lesson is to learn how to flesh them out without resorting to emotional shorthand.
  36. There's about 10 good minutes out of 85.
  37. Hellboy's adventures may take him to you-know-where and back, but the movie remains in limbo.
  38. Oscillates between pragmatist genius and B-movie mediocrity.
  39. Classic Bay, except it's missing the crass director's fine-tuned rhythm, his feel for adrenaline, his breakneck edits and sense of humor.
  40. If you want a relationship comedy that feels like last year's stuff, doesn't go far enough in any direction and is made watchable only by an overqualified ensemble, there's The Ex.
  41. LaBeouf's quivering instability creates the impression that his performance is constantly buffering on us. He's never dull — he is, in fact, a compelling actor in any circumstance — but the material ends up cheapening the experiences of so many real-life veterans, which surely was not the filmmakers' intention.
  42. I doubt even rabid fans of the first two will consider Shrek the Third a worthy addition to the franchise.
  43. The Lara Croft reboot Tomb Raider isn’t half bad for an hour. Then there’s another hour. That hour is quite bad.
  44. My God is this script predictable. Each relapse and betrayal shows up announced, and then announced again, a little louder, by the dialogue equivalent of an aggravating doorman.
  45. This one's just OK, but at midnight, after who knows what, OK might be enough.
  46. Splashes its drama all over the screen, subjecting its audience and characters to action that feels not only manufactured, but also so false you can see the filmmakers' puppet strings.
  47. If more of the picture had the inventively grotesque payoff of the scene set at the gymnastics tryout, capped by a female character's inarguably poor dismount, we might have something to puke home about.
  48. It's a shame that these actors, stars already in the Latino community, with most also having played small parts in Hollywood's more white-bread movies, got such a poorly written script for their American coming-out party.
  49. The skillful quartet at the center of Drinking Buddies reveals the weaknesses in the material.
  50. Greenaway's regard is certainly unblinking, though it's hard to see where the seriousness and compassion come in. The thematic oppositions are primitive and are not fleshed out by the characters, who remain flat and puppetlike. [6 Apr 1990, p.G2]
    • Chicago Tribune
  51. Keanu Reeves plays Klaatu, confining his usual two-and-a-half-note vocal range to half that.
  52. Hiddleston, his eyes full of fire and melancholy longing, was an inspired choice. Everything not-quite-right with most movies, however, goes wrong long before the actors arrive on set.
  53. Assuming your psycho-pigtailed-killer memories extend back as far as "The Bad Seed," Maxwell Anderson's play filmed by director Mervyn LeRoy in 1956, Orphan may remind you of the icon made famous by Patty McCormack.
  54. A wild, wanton and wasteful western farce that's so overblown and underwritten it almost makes you cringe to watch it.
  55. It isn't hard to take, but Harry and the Hendersons seems a bit familiar.
  56. An odd mix itself, of contemporary sexual realism and unabashed romantic fantasy. If "Days" works, it's mostly on a sheer fantasy level.
  57. More than anything Minkoff's project feels like a protracted episode of "Jimmy Neutron," a show with characters for whom I don't have the same affection.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There isn't enough heft to the story to pull everything together. Watching it is like trying to assemble a puzzle that's missing pieces.
  58. Kirk Douglas' so strong and inspiring it's a shame there isn't a better movie around it.
    • Chicago Tribune
  59. This predictable, uninspired third installment to the endless saga won't win over non-believers.
  60. Standard action fare with a false overlay of social conscience. [3 Apr 1998, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  61. Half the time I wasn't sure what Lee was going for in terms of tone, or style, or focus. It was a tricky assignment to begin with, because McBride's novel, and his screenplay, is part socio-historical corrective, part magical-realist folklore, part wartime procedural.
  62. A dumb and purposefully cheesy version of the comic strip space hero. Although the film has a few early moments of put-on humor, the story has nowhere to go. Sam Jones is not very bright as Flash. Only Max von Sydow as Ming the Merciless brings any style to the adventure. Only for the juvenile set. [19 Dec 1980, p.10]
    • Chicago Tribune
  63. How is that Vikander, who played the robot in the recent (and worthwhile) "Ex Machina," was twice as lively and five times as human in that picture than in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.?
  64. This movie's all over the place, trying too hard to be all Westerns to all sensibilities.
  65. A sappy, often absurd disappointment, another would-be inspirational romance that, like Costner's overwrought "Message in a Bottle," is impossible to swallow.
  66. I like Duhamel, and in her first straight-up dramatic role Hough does well enough, though her singing and/dancing career thus far has trained her to oversell, as opposed to sell, as opposed to act naturally.
  67. Kids may love the movie, and even kids who love the books may like it. For me, though, an astonishing percentage of the books' appeal has vanished.
  68. With her arresting, off-kilter look of bruised desire, Michelle Williams ends up being the most interesting aspect of this somber corn.
  69. It's one thing for a script to set the framework for an action film -- it's quite another when the script gets in the way.
    • Chicago Tribune
  70. With his brazen gifts for mimicry, Eddie Murphy may now be the Peter Sellers of blockbuster toilet comedy movies.
  71. All that — and yet, dull. Why?
  72. Its gorgeous black-and-white photography, dirty and matte, will almost convince you that anything this slow, small and bereft of dialogue must be important.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Extremely slow--unbearably so at certain points. And even when there's no action, there's very little dialogue, and we're asked to follow the disjointed and dreamlike story line without the help of anything resembling a narrative.
  73. To my taste there's too much of everything. The soundtrack never shuts up with the wind, the murmurings, the shudderings. And while director Nixey has talent, his indiscriminately roving camera tends to diffuse the tension, not heighten it.
  74. If you can simply get lost in the crushing splendor of the waves themselves, the script might not leave you so seasick.
  75. What these men endured is remarkable, and the logistics of the rescue are remarkable as well. The 33 settles for an unremarkable chronicle of that endurance test.
  76. So it’s one of those Hip, Now updates, albeit with jokes riffing on pop-cult artifacts that are already Then. I mean: “Jerry Maguire”? Moratorium!
  77. Clooney's attempt to honor unsung real-life heroes while recapturing the ensemble pleasures of some well-remembered Hollywood war pictures, notably "The Great Escape" and "The Guns of Navarone," comes off as a modestly accomplished forgery at best.
  78. The steady Costner gives a competent enough performance this time out as he dances with foxes, or at least one, while Grammy winner Houston is quite impressive in her feature debut, displaying both hot and cool emotion as well as performing six new songs...Unfortunately, she is assigned to handle lines like, "You're a hard one to figure out, Frank Farmer," and "I've never felt this safe before." Unfortunately, too, the romance gets in the way of the thriller, and when the two principals finally take to their bed, so does the movie. [25 Nov 1992, p.C2]
    • Chicago Tribune
  79. Good actors and a talented director doing what they can to bring the truth to a script that's mostly bogus.
  80. True Story is a case of a well-crafted film, made by a first-time feature director with an impressive theatrical pedigree, that nonetheless struggles to locate the reasons for telling its story.
  81. The director's lack of restraint and overabundance of ambition makes "Altar Boys" not boring, but troubled.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's perhaps best suited for genre vets who can be satisfied with spot-the-reference games and Chan and Li's chemistry, or for undiscriminating kids who'll enjoy the "Karate Kid" vibe. But it's less a culmination of Li and Chan's careers than a passable footnote to better things.
  82. When classy, pedigreed British actors go hog-wild under the flowering dogwood trees of a Southern Gothic setting, often the results are good. Just as often they're so bad they're good. And sometimes, as is the case with Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson in Beautiful Creatures, they're simply doing the best they can under the circumstances.
  83. This one's worth the ticket price only if you are a showbiz-aholic.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Follows a common horror flick recipe (people under siege from hungry monsters--so much for Greenlight's search for originality), adding a dash of humor to keep things from becoming too much of a checklist.
  84. Not a picture that makes you think very much -- except to wonder why the studios keep making movies like this.
  85. Not bad, not good, Ice Age 3 may be OK enough to do what it was engineered to do, i.e., baby-sit your kid for a while and rake in the dough.
  86. Has the potential to be much more than it is, especially with the collection of able actors on hand.
  87. Quickly and fatally, the overlooked form peels away from the slight, frail content, and the film starts to look like an episode of "Hee Haw" directed by an amphetamine-crazed Orson Welles. [20 March 1987]
    • Chicago Tribune
  88. A dumb movie, but it's also a knowing one: a cheap castle of lewd trivia and corny excitement built on The Rock.
  89. I fear Spielberg and Jackson hitched their wagon to the wrong technological star here.
  90. The overall picture doesn't have the kind of true wow factor that would make this one stand out from the rest of the pack.
  91. It is less a film than a puny trampoline -- an occasion, though a grim one, for this most fervently movie-mad of American directors to show off his love for the various pulp genres mooshed together by the 2003 Dennis Lehane novel.
  92. First-time director Paul Hunter delivers a quick-cut, loud movie that betrays his MTV roots -- but then again, the script never demands that he do much more than exactly that.

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