Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 4,348 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 64% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Così ridevano
Lowest review score: 0 Bratz
Score distribution:
4,348 movie reviews
  1. It's a movie of uncommon eloquence and elegance, acted by a truly gifted cast.
  2. It's a nice mix, an elegantly smoky and dangerous cocktail -- just like the old noirs, but in a more modern, shinier glass. And since the basic brew is Elmore Leonard's, it tickles as it goes down. [26 June 1998]
  3. Kidman crafts a characterization of breathtakingly controlled artifice, dead-on timing, dizzyingly precise humor. Her part is a knockout--in every sense of the word. [6 Oct 1995]
  4. Thompson clearly loves this story, and, even though, she's playing the less spontaneous of the older Dashwood sisters, responsible Elinor, you can feel her spirit rising out to embrace the part. It makes her beautiful to watch. [13 December 1995]
  5. A smart, funny and hip adventure film in a summer of car wrecks and explosions. [4 July 1997]
  6. It's rare to find an American movie that works so well structurally from beginning to end, including a second act that withstands the plethora of fast-moving action, and a climax that is satisfying and well earned.
  7. A fine, exciting film that makes a bloody historical event live all over again by showing it through the eyes of children on the edges of the conflict.
  8. 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.
  9. You probably won't find two more fascinating camera subjects, two livelier conversationalists or two richer, more rewarding, more engaging and inspiring companions in any movie, fiction or non-fiction, this year.
  10. A beautiful, intensely moving film.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    All of these folks are damaged souls, trying their best to find purpose and forgiveness.
  11. One of the more delightful and satisfying family movies.
  12. A stirring, large-souled movie.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    An irresistible Irish comedy, lovingly told, beautifully acted and graced with the perfect balance of chuckles and bittersweet heartache.
  13. One of those sweet, intelligent, nicely made films.
  14. Allen gives us at least half a classic comedy - more than we usually get at the movies these days - while having some elegant fun with an idea that has intrigued poets and smart alecks through the ages: the interchangeability of comedy and tragedy.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Watching Nina's Tragedies, an Israeli film that pocketed 11 of its country's Oscar-equivalents, is a rare but almost perverse experience.
  15. Sin City is an evil place, full of awful people, an obsessive movie full of monomaniacal tough guys. Yet when Miller and Rodriguez move it into gear, noir lives.
  16. A highly exciting, visually alive thriller.
  17. A witty and psychologically perceptive look at the Parisian literary scene.
  18. As beautifully designed, swift and sleek as a classic sports car, throbbing with emotion and intelligence, it's a neat suspense film that's also dramatically and sociologically potent, with two supremely talented stars, Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, delivering beyond the emotional call of duty.
  19. A classy triple shot of film erotica from three brilliant writer-directors.
  20. All three men turn in superb and understated performances.
  21. With husband and wife starring, you can't help but wonder which details here are autobiographical. No matter: This is obviously a deeply personal work for Attal, whose comic timing and passion can only serve him well both on screen and off.
  22. Should hold you spellbound.
  23. Takes a potentially explosive subject and does it subtly and perceptively.
  24. A gargantuan epic, a historical adventure-drama of overwhelming visual grandeur.
  25. Don't let the fast-and-loose vibe fool you: Right up to its operatic finale, this is one tight one last job.
  26. One of the year's best documentaries.
  27. Hilarious, inspired, frenzied.
  28. It's a film objet d'art to contemplate and treasure.
  29. It's a familiar dance, but something only July could invent, a vignette much like her characters: beautiful, flawed, organic--fine alone but better with the others.
  30. Rivets and amazes, even if it falls just frustratingly short of the mind-expanding grandeur it could have had.
  31. It's a thriller that comes at you with gut-clutching ferocity, spewing blood and sex, shaking you up and scrambling your responses.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    This is an all-Latino film--a rarity and a pleasure--but what's most curious and refreshing is that Cordero allows the Latinos to naturally embrace their nationalities, accents and cultural peculiarities.
  32. Most of all, it's a film for moviegoers who love powerful stories and ravishing imagery: timeless, eternal, the kind of tales handed from one generation and culture to the next -- and alive in all of them.
  33. For a film that points out so much wrong with German society and shows such dubious, dangerous behavior, it leaves the audience with high spirits and a sense of crazy exhilaration.
  34. The poetry of Last Days has a stoned grandeur.
  35. It's a film for specialized tastes, quiet, delicate. But it suits those tastes beautifully.
  36. An oddity: an adaptation of a popular novel co-written and directed by the novelist himself. It's also a fine, gentle film love story and a cinematic tribute to the power and manifold benefits of communications between different cultures and nations.
  37. A dark subject certainly, but in Murray's bouquet-bearing hands, it can still hand us a laugh.
  38. 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.
  39. Duma, at its best, reminded me exactly why we loved movies as children: because they told stories like this, with images just as rhapsodically colorful and exciting.
  40. It's a horror movie for aficionados. But it's also for people who don't usually like horror movies at all, who regard them as cheap, crude and over-obvious.There's nothing cheap or crude in Pulse," a fine, shivery movie about the terror of solitude and emptiness.
  41. Yes, Steve Carell can carry a movie. Yes, Judd Apatow can direct a movie. Yes, we'll all relate to a middle-aged virgin. And yes, when an aesthetician yells to her assistant "we're gonna need more wax," you best run.
  42. Since Reel Paradise doesn't make the mistake of lionizing Pierson while it keeps up with him and his family, the results stay with you, like memories of an unexpected and surprising vacation.
  43. It's great fun, propelled by a terrific musical score by Roque Banos that combines the hammering doom of Bernard Herrmann, the antic jollity of Nino Rota and the urgent sprints of Lalo "Mission: Impossible" Schifrin--often in the same crazy scene.
  44. The movie itself is as slick, fast and terrifyingly violent as a top-grade American crime thriller, but a lot smarter than most.
  45. A disturbingly frank look at people and relationships in contemporary Los Angeles and a thrilling dramatic showcase for a brilliant cast.
  46. In The Weather Man, Nicolas Cage, a great oddball movie star who sometimes takes enormous risks, has a good, risky part again.
  47. At the end, director Wright wraps the whole thing up with a fairy-tale coda more Shakespearean than Austen-tine. Yet it all works.
  48. J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter just keeps growing up. So do the Potter movies, in size, in ambition and in visual splendor - and with increasingly stunning results.
  49. The ending is a stunner. Like those '30 classics it suggests, Gilles' Wife seduces us with true cinematic magic: rich characters, great acting and that rapturous old French blend of realism and theatricality.
  50. There are many tragedies and accomplishments here, without the engineered uplift afflicting any number of lesser documentaries.
  51. A good and eloquent Wyoming-set love story with a great performance at its heart.
  52. A dear film, sentimental and fond, full of beautifully acted British resolve.
  53. The new Kong is just different enough to be terrific screen company. His relationship with his leading lady, played with heart and panache by Naomi Watts, doesn't feel like an old story retold. It feels like a brand new story.
  54. Jones' film actually takes you somewhere you haven't visited in a million other movies. It has a wonderful sense of place, and space, and carries the bite and tang of a good short story.
  55. Fast, funny, big-hearted.
  56. It's a very classy, finely made film, and, as one watches it -- particularly those last sweeping scenes of political turbulence and escape -- one feels both pain at their (Merchant-Ivory) parting and grateful for what, together, they achieved.
  57. Hallstrom gives us a genial interpretation and a supremely good-humored film.
  58. Malick's nature documentarian impulse has never been more flagrant than in The New World, yet it has never made more organic sense. The film, which is superb on every technical and design level, has both greatness and fuzzy-headedness in it.
  59. It's a work that sears the heart and conscience. The events are annihilating, the way they're told both beautiful and terrifying.
  60. It's a little bit "Tom Jones," a little bit "Adaptation," a smidge of Monty Python and a dash of Fellini's "861/2," right down to Winterbottom's use of music by the brilliant Fellini composer, Nino Rota.
  61. Shot with a Peter Greenaway-like austere impudence and edited brilliantly (by Jed Parker), this is an entertaining movie, and a moving one--even if, like me, you're not especially fond of these paintings or that scene.
  62. Pretty-near pure gold.
  63. A contemporary Russian movie that you could honestly call revolutionary, more for its style than its politics.
  64. A film that art-house audiences in 1959 loved madly. And who can blame them? A buoyant, searingly colorful retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth set in Rio de Janiero, writer-director's Marcel Camus' movie is a romance heightened by its backdrop.
  65. An uplifting, funny and engaging star-studded affair.
  66. Though it's not the great film "Grand Illusion" is, and though it may strike some as a little schmaltzy, it still has some of that earlier film's deep feeling and empathy for soldiers trapped in the jaws of war and for the joys of Christmas--for believers and non-believers alike.
  67. A highly satisfying miniature. Its subject may be adolescence, and some of its pot-smoking, kick-back humor is adolescent too--in a good way. But the film's calm and witty visual rhythm offers a rueful awareness of time passing and of time wasted, in ways that people tend not to appreciate fully until long after they've wasted it.
  68. The power of art to redeem the pain and cruelty of life is demonstrated to enormous effect inShakespeare Behind Bars.
  69. The first film in a long time with a true gift of gab. A lot of the time people actually talk fast in it. Its wisecracks actually crack wise.
  70. An extraordinarily truthful and piercing drama.
  71. Like all the Dardenne s' films, L'Enfant embraces a peculiarly ascetic brand of what, in other filmmakers' hands, might seem like cheap melodrama.
  72. With humor, honesty and awe, Feuerzeig's portrait may love Daniel Johnston, but it won't give his parents much hope.
  73. A powerful symbolic drama.
  74. Acutely perceptive and slyly quick-witted.
  75. This largely non-verbal picture uses only as many words (spoken in Mandarin and Tibetan, with English subtitles) as necessary, and draws you in as surely as one of his characters, in an amazing sequence, is drawn into.
  76. The writer-director doesn't raise her voice, even as she firmly condemns the injustice. Water seduces us with its beauty and sorrow.
  77. It's a terrific, kinetic experience, and it's also a brilliant showcase for a crackerjack ensemble of great actors.
  78. If you or any kid over the age of 10 has even a half-interest in the definition of the word "teamwork," as well as the words "real-life suspense," this is the movie.
  79. A stark, lyrical and affecting portrait of war's aftermath.
  80. It's one of the most faithful movie adaptations of any Dick story to date, and it comes from the scariest of all his books, as well as the truest.
  81. This magnificent pair are the heart of Techine's film, and the sense of frayed, aging beauty and handsomeness they now carry helps project the picture's main theme: the imperishability of true love.
  82. Mamet is a writer who turns off some audiences, and almost everything that might bother them is in Edmond: foul language, raging machismo, violence and seemingly bigoted tirades. But almost everything audiences like about him is there too: candor, suspense, ideas, crackling slang, vivid characters.
  83. It's a modest but highly enjoyable tribute.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Funny, and thoughtful, and deeply, viscerally satisfying.
  84. A classic of realistic terror, in which passion and murder can't lie buried.
  85. No halves about it: Half Nelson is a wholly absorbing and delicately shaded portrait of an educator played by Ryan Gosling, a young man harboring an offstage secret.
  86. With an uncredited assist from playwright/screenwriter Howard Korder, Hollywoodland features some tart, lively banter and welcome comedic touches.
  87. The new Lassie is faithful to Knight's story, capturing its sweep, Dickensian social contrasts and high emotion. All that is enhanced by a splendid cast.
  88. The film goes pretty easy on the royals in the end, and it's a flattering portrait of Blair. But it's not credulous. Frears may swim in the political mainstream with The Queen but he does so like a champion channel crosser.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The movie is awash in great performances by actors known and otherwise.
    • 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."
  89. Deliver Us From Evil has a few things wrong with it, including an egregious musical score, but without resorting to sucker punches, it takes your breath away while making your skin crawl.
  90. An exorcism movie for the rest of us, the gripping German drama Requiem contains not a single special effect. It doesn't need one. It has terrific actors fully invested in a casual-seeming, docudramatic brand of storytelling, notably Sandra Hueller.
  91. It's a powerhouse, demanding film that sometimes stretches the limits of credibility. But it's done with such consistent technical brilliance--and with such a first-rate cast and company.
  92. A seriously entertaining highlight of the fall season.
  93. You always get more than one genre with this filmmaker. Volver draws upon all sorts of influences -- a little Hitchcock, a little Douglas Sirk, a little telenovela -- but from those sources Almodovar and his collaborators, both on screen and behind the camera, make an improbably organic whole.

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