Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 4,734 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 3.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The Gleaners & I
Lowest review score: 0 Chaos
Score distribution:
4734 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 1966 French masterpiece -- the finest, most deeply personal work of a filmmaker who has been compared, justifiably, to both Dostoyevsky and Bach.
  3. Brando made Don Vito something we rarely see in movies: a tragicomic villain-hero, a vulnerable hood. The don is so close to a comic character -- the movie itself is so close to comedy -- that Brando's capacity to move us in the role is doubly impressive. At the end, it is the older Godfather's tenderness and sagacity we recall. [21 Mar 1997, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  4. Sumptuous and beautiful, suffused with a serene melancholy and deeply ambivalent love for a long-vanished past, Luchino Visconti's 1963 The Leopard is one of the greatest of all historical costume epics.
  5. In completing this simple, beautiful project Linklater took his time. And he rewards ours.
  6. If the uncut Fanny and Alexander is Bergman's greatest work, as I think, it's because it's his most inclusive. He shows almost everything: all his moods, conflicts, styles and many of his favorite actors.
  7. 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.
  8. A timeless romantic thriller that steeps us in one of those great artificial movie worlds that become more overpowering than reality itself.
  9. A brilliant work of the imagination capable of truly seizing and igniting our fantasies.
  10. Hoop Dreams has the movie equivalent of all-court vision. It picks up everything happening in the gym, in the stands and even outside. It gives us the thrill of the game, but it doesn't cheat on either the vibrant social context or the deep human story.
  11. Trashy and glorious, the restored Metropolis is a pop epic for the ages.
  12. 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.
  13. The result is a mixture of unified atmosphere and lived-in character study, and while Vasiliu’s role is not as indelible as that of her co-stars, Marinca’s Otilia and Ivanov’s steely abortionist are just about perfect.
  14. 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.
  15. Sometimes cinema's highest achievements become clear only in retrospect. Days of Being Wild--now clearly revealed as one of the peaks of Hong Kong filmmaking and a masterwork of contemporary cinema giant Wong.
  16. Ran
    The physical scale of Ran is overwhelming. It's almost as if Kurosawa is saying to all the cassette buyers of America, in a play on Clint Eastwood`s phrase, "Go ahead, ruin your night"--wait to see my film on a small screen and cheat yourself out of what a movie can be.
  17. 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
  18. This landmark movie's madcap humor and terrifying suspense remain undiminished by time.
  19. 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.
  20. One of the most excitingly contemporary musicals ever made.
    • Chicago Tribune
  21. It's a nerve-wracking visual experience of unusual and paradoxical delicacy. And if your stomach can take it, it's truly something to see.
  22. This excellent film works the way Blanchett's characterization of Carol works: It's meticulous about appearances, while fully aware that appearances can deceive.
  23. Is director David Fincher's film the stuff of greatness? Not quite. But the picture is very, very good.
  24. The key American film of 2012 ... Its stance is extremely tricky. It's not a documentary. It's not a load of revenge nonsense. It's not '24.' I'm still arguing with myself over parts of it. And that's a sign that a movie will endure.
  25. The film is a singular achievement, a piece of realist cinema with the pull of a suspense thriller.
  26. Delpy has always challenged Hawke to find a simpler, more direct form of acting in Linklater's films, which gives them their unique suspense and rolling tension.
  27. It's more than a first-rate film showing up and doing its job. It's cathartic, and moving, without any of the usual obvious contrivances or manipulations.
  28. It's a movie full of bewitching images and timeless fun and beauty.
  29. Pulp Fiction isn't just funny. It's outrageously funny. [14 Oct 1994]
    • Chicago Tribune
  30. 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.
  31. Leigh's film — one of the year's best — honors its subject in all his tetchy ambiguity.
  32. Vivid, assured and extremely suspenseful.
  33. 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.
  34. A boisterous, brilliant, heart-warming comedy--strikes me as just about perfect.
  35. Like all great fantasies and epics, this one leaves you with the sense that its wonders are real, its dreams are palpable.
  36. The life of Riley is not exotic; her troubles are not unique. But they are rendered with serious imagination by Docter and company.
  37. Small, sure and stunningly acted, this is a picture of exacting control.
  38. Irons' Von Bulow is easily the most attractive and entertaining movie heavy since James Mason's villain in ''North by Northwest,'' a figure with whom he shares a taste for elegant homes and wry understatement. [17 Oct 1990]
    • Chicago Tribune
  39. Splendid, soaringly ambitious Chinese period fantasy.
    • Chicago Tribune
  40. Director and co-writer Tom McCarthy played a weasel of a journalist in "The Wire." Now he has made a meticulous, exacting procedural on real-life journalists who excelled at their job; had the resources to do it properly; and in early 2002, published the first in a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of grim, carefully detailed stories of pedophile priests.
  41. 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
  42. One of the cinema's true classics.
  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. Nina Paley's delicious Sita Sings the Blues finds solace in autobiography and an animated gold mine in the caverns of an ancient Sanskrit epic.
  45. Days of Heaven is the grand climax of the whole "Bonnie and Clyde"-"Badlands" tradition of outlaw-lovers-on-the-run movies. Shot by Nestor Almendros and the uncredited Haskell Wexler, it's a cinematographic masterpiece. [20 March 1998]
    • Chicago Tribune
  46. The splendid new documentary Crumb, a sympathetic yet woundingly candid portrait, catches the artist with much the same skill. [26 May 1995]
    • Chicago Tribune
  47. Folk standards such "500 Miles," "The Death of Queen Anne" and "Dink's Song" infuse the movie, and as in the Coens' "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" T Bone Burnett has done first-rate work supervising the musical landscape. The film, I think, falls just a tick or two below the Coens' best work, which for me lies inside "A Serious Man" and "Fargo."
  48. Great, bittersweet family drama.
  49. It is wonderful: a rhapsodic adaptation of a memoir, a visual marvel that wraps its subject in screen romanticism without romanticizing his affliction. It left me feeling euphoric.
  50. This is one of the screen's most rewarding explorations of the teacher/student relationship in any language.
  51. 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
  52. Star Wars is not a great movie in the sense that it describes the human condition. It simply is a fun picture that will appeal to those who enjoy Buck Rogers-style adventures. What places it a sizable cut about the routine is its spectacular visual effects, the best since Stanley Kubrick's "2001." [27 May 1977]
    • Chicago Tribune
  53. A film that lets life flood into our souls.
  54. One of the quintessential '60s foreign art films, a bizarre melange of pop music, revolution, sex, movie allusions and poetry. It's a masterpiece of sorts by one of the most important European filmmakers of that era. But it's also a movie that can drive you crazy.
  55. Day-Lewis... the role of a lifetime.
  56. 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.
  57. An extraordinary work, grandly conceived, brilliantly executed and wildly entertaining. It's a hobbit's dream, a wizard's delight. And, of course, it's only the beginning.
  58. It's a small story set in a memorably desolate location. The actors, all quite magnificent, enlarge it, just as cinematographer Mikhail Krichman illuminates the vistas and roadways and even the furtive kitchen table glances between clandestine lovers.
  59. Though uneven and less witty than the first two, Toy Story 3 delivers quite enough in two dimensions.
  60. Painful and unforgettable — a serious and honorable form, perhaps the highest, of "gotcha" journalism imaginable.
  61. A beautiful picture with a great heart, a classic-to-be with a common touch.
  62. 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.
  63. Watching Le Cercle Rouge, we're caught up in a world that, however improbable some of its twists and turns seem, strikes us as a perfect, imaginative creation.
  64. 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.
  65. 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.
  66. 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.
  67. 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
  68. You may not like Beau Travail - which is, after all, a quintessential "critic's film" - but I think you'll have to admit it's been almost perfectly executed.
  69. It is personal filmmaking of the highest order, recognized with an Academy Award nomination for best foreign film.
  70. 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
  71. 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.
  72. As pure craftsmanship, No Country for Old Men is as good as we’ve ever gotten from Joel and Ethan Coen. Only “Fargo” is more satisfying (it’s also a comedy, which this one isn’t).
  73. 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.
  74. Ida
    One of the year's gems.
  75. A crackling good movie. [18 Dec 1992]
    • Chicago Tribune
  76. A watershed picture, for both Spielberg and war movies.
  77. The way Lawrence captures a young woman's fear and resolve, often non-verbally, well … this is a considerable talent well on her way to a great career. It's for performances like this that moviegoers find themselves taking a chance on a title that doesn't have a fast-food tie-in.
  78. A movie bull's-eye: noir with an attitude, a thriller packing punches. It gives up its evil secrets with a smile.
  79. Magnificent to look at, thrilling, ingenious, spellbinding and superbly done on every level, this is not just one of the best films of the year or the decade, but of all time.
  80. By re-imagining a pivotal, terrible 24 hours, Greengrass has made a must-see film that is timely - and timeless.
  81. 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.
  82. 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.
  83. 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]
  84. An amazing celluloid poem by a filmmaker whom Ingmar Bergman called "the greatest." He very nearly was. He was also, perhaps, too pure a creator and reckless a citizen to survive unscathed.
  85. Masterpiece is the right word for The Sweet Hereafter. It is extraordinary: a poem of familial pain, a song of broken embraces. [25 December 1997, Tempo, p.1]
    • Chicago Tribune
  86. An incredibly silly film of great humor, brilliant design and epic insanity.
  87. Finding Nemo and its Pixar predecessors tap into the shared gene among the kids and adults that delights in imagination-engaging, eye-tickling and wit-filled storytelling. You connect to these sea creatures as you rarely do with humans in big-screen adventures. The result: a true sunken treasure.
  88. 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.
  89. Weird to the max, smart, sneaky as a Wall Street pickpocket and revved up with cruel wit and brazen imagination, Being John Malkovich is a dark movie comedy that you couldn't forget if you tried.
    • Chicago Tribune
  90. This is a romance with minimal physical contact and sex--and that's part of what makes it work so well as a love story.
  91. Delivers the perfect union - a vivid, sublime parody and valentine to the superhero genre.
  92. A Prophet pushes its protagonist into circumstances he did not choose but in which he watches and learns and kills and eventually becomes all he can be, albeit criminally. Certainly Muslims living in France have embraced the movie and Malik, played by Rahim
  93. I loved this movie madly, and so will many of you.
    • Chicago Tribune
  94. Such a stylistic inconsistency might be bothersome in another film, but here it's just part of the texture.
  95. A joy to behold, a complex film that never loses either its sense of purpose or sense of humor. [7 February 1986, Friday, p.33]
    • Chicago Tribune
  96. It's a scintillating comedy-drama and one of Altman's most richly moving and entertaining pictures.
  97. The superb United 93, from the British writer-director Paul Greengrass, does not waste time defining the undefinable. Nor does it strain for poetry when, with this story, prose is enough.
  98. The creator of the original "Mad Max" trilogy has whipped up a gargantuan grunge symphony of vehicular mayhem that makes "Furious 7" look like "Curious George."
  99. Delicately subversive, hypnotically sardonic, full of terror, banality and wafer-thin lyricism.
  100. The more you learn, the more questions you have about life in that Great Neck house. Leo Tolstoy wrote that "every unhappy family is unhappy in its own fashion," but not even he could have invented the Friedmans.

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