Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 4,502 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 3.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Before Sunset
Lowest review score: 0 UHF
Score distribution:
4,502 movie reviews
  1. Silly, sadistic and finally a little galling, Kingsman: The Secret Service answers the question: What would Colin Firth have been like if he'd played James Bond?
  2. Contains too little of the original's campy spirit and too many whistles, bells, explosions and screams.
  3. It's a seriously withholding action comedy, stingy on the wit, charm, jokes, narrative satisfactions and animals with personalities sharp enough for the big screen, either in 2-D or 3-D.
  4. A movie just begging to go up in the flames of camp. If only somebody had brought a match.
  5. Envy is a shaggy dog-poop story that'll make you wish you could spray something at the screen to make it disappear.
  6. Only the architecturally refined bone structure of Kristin Scott Thomas' face rescues Keeping Mum from full-on tedium.
  7. It's a real shame that most new boxing movies try to copy the crowd-pleasing, sentiment-choked tactics of "Rocky" rather than the stark drama of "Raging Bull" or the realistic grit of "On the Waterfront" and "The Harder They Fall." Against the Ropes is only the latest sorry example. The sad thing is that, with this real-life story and subject, it could have been a contender.
  8. Cheerful but mind-numbing.
  9. Even if the movie's only goal is to preach to the choir, its fondness for hyperbole and lack of discernment is more insult than rallying cry.
  10. The Last Airbender (they couldn't use the series' "Avatar" title because another film got there first, without all the bending) is more about marshaling extras and interpolating tons of computer-generated effects and keeping the factions straight. It's a tough sit.
  11. Leans on just as many stereotypes as it tweaks.
  12. It stars Tom Hanks in his first genuinely dull screen performance.
  13. Ritchie, who shoots and cuts everything in RocknRolla like an ad for a particularly greasy brand of fragrance for men, delivers the beatings and killings in his trademark atmosphere of morally weightless flash.
  14. Might be justified as "mindless fun" if it weren't for the acute lack of fun in its 93 minutes.
  15. There’s nothing wrong with All About Steve that a rewrite couldn’t fix, as long as the rewrite involved a different writer, a different character and a different story.
  16. The Good German is just stiff. When Soderbergh tries one of those patented swoop-in-on-the-diagonal moves at a key dramatic moment, the effect is comic. And at that precise moment, the story starts dying a slow, oxygen-deprived death.
  17. Jakes' characters are points to be made, flesh and blood cautionary tales that don't particularly feel human. His dialogue, even in the mouths of Michelle and her troubled mother, sounds as if it comes straight from the pulpit.
  18. I can only hope that this film was a lot of fun to make. That way, someone will have enjoyed the experience.
  19. Reveals a flash or two of real filmmaking (mostly in a suggestively grotesque birthing sequence), enough to save it from pure lousiness.
  20. I can't think of much that might happen on a date evening that could be more annoying than this movie.
  21. Falls flat on its face.
  22. Worst of all, though, is the movie's moral maneuvering.
  23. Now that Smith has gotten these characters and jokes out of his system, here's hoping he can turn to material that doesn't require winking at the audience.
  24. Technically clever but emotionally bankrupt...it's an almost laughably opportunistic movie.
  25. It may entertain you if you don't mind senseless stories and screaming soundtracks.
  26. Outrageously vapid and overdone movie.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    The Signal combines the inconstancy of an omnibus film with the blandness of art by committee. The end result feels less like a blend of distinct styles than an opportunistic hodgepodge, a second-hand premise wedded to an attention-grabbing gimmick.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Some of the players comport themselves better than others--Barrymore is sweetly wistful in her minor role, while Johansson, as a confident go-getter who sets out to steal her crush object rather than moon over him, is sexier than the whole cast put together.
  27. The wastrel Sparrow ends up both overexploited and underpowered in this fourth outing.
  28. The film is perfectly mediocre, which is heartbreaking, not heartwarming.
    • 12 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    A disjointed film that, but for brief flashes of comedic verve, should skip theatrical release and go straight to video.
  29. Once the credits are done rolling it's a dour, enervated mystery, selling the old cat-and-mouse games.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    It's a high-powered cast, but it has painfully little to work with, apart from widely varying humor.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Sean Anders' derivative gross-out movie Sex Drive is easier to take if you accept that the answer to every baffling plot question is "because it’s a teen sex comedy."
  30. The choicest dialogue in Burlesque provokes the sort of laughter that other, intentionally funny films only dream of generating.
  31. Like its parade of predecessors, this Halloween is a gory slash-fest. It can't escape its past, and it doesn't want to.
  32. Despite honorable work from Theron, Robb and Stahl, Sleepwalking makes good on its title in a not-so-good way.
  33. Just say no.
    • Chicago Tribune
  34. How big a bastard can Woody Allen build a screenplay around and still generate a modicum of audience goodwill? The answer: not this big.
  35. Sluggish and preposterous, full of violence and cliches.
  36. The movie suffers from a devastating flaw for a comedy: It isn't very funny.
  37. Nostalgia has no real point to make here. All that Famuyiwa can hope to accomplish is to tell his story well. In this area he is less than competent.
  38. A work of ineffable soullessness and persistent moral idiocy.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Nobody expects every holiday film to ascend to classic status; in fact, we're happy to let most fade from memory as soon as the decorations are taken off the trees. We can, however, demand they live up to a certain level of fun, thereby allowing parents to watch along with their kids without plotting the most direct route to the exit.
  39. What isn't scary--or exciting, amusing or fun--is XXX: State of the Union, a movie so preposterous, cliché-packed and over the top that it makes the original "XXX" seem as good as the original "State of the Union."
  40. An odd little ghoul too cleaned up to survive, a bloodless vampire movie that's mostly lifeless as well.
  41. It's a serious drag to see how Ritchie has turned Holmes and Dr. Watson into a couple of garden-variety thugs.
  42. It's all neat and sweet and one-dimensional, more the moral to a story than a story.
  43. One more movie comedy about how love can turn you into an idiot. And its major flaw, among many others, is that the idiocy takes over the movie.
    • Chicago Tribune
  44. The upside is that they're likable and play well together...The downside is that they're all still communicating roughly the same message, which lies somewhere between a wink and a nudge.
  45. Ferrell may well shoulder the blame for Land of the Lost, even if he doesn't deserve it. He did, however, willingly participate in this coarse, sloppy big-screen version of the old Saturday-morning time-warp adventure.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Children's films can be thrilling affairs for parents and kids. Unfortunately, this film is not likely to thrill either group.
  46. The best thing about star and co-writer David Spade's Dickie Roberts, Former Child Star is the end-title sequence, a big, sassy sing-along in which dozens of old TV child stars spew out defiant jokes about their old careers and fame's fickle fingers.
  47. The movie is never more than the sum of its scattershot jokes; it's sloppily put together, with scenes seemingly cut mid-dialogue.
  48. Tries hard to be sweet but plays like "Pollyanna" with fleas.
  49. It's all very "Scarface"--the De Palma remake of "Scarface," not the Hawks original. In other words, it doesn't feel modern at all. It feels about a generation late and 400 years short.
  50. It's not particularly funny or trenchant, and its portrayal of noxious high school cliques never amounts to more than was shown in "Heathers." [19 Feb 1999]
    • Chicago Tribune
  51. Against "Whale Rider's" well-acted, intimate story, Gordon's film feels like an endless spiral of sub-par soap-opera acting, mired in trite, predictable dialogue.
  52. The cast is quite good. But Peaceful Warrior, which is basically "The Karate Kid" with a bigger kid and a bigger mentor, represents a journey of predictability, rather than a destination worth the trouble.
  53. So nonsensical you don't understand why anyone would actually make it.
  54. Wedding Date is neither good art, good entertainment nor even good trash.
  55. A flashy-looking low-budget indie about drugs, love and crime in small-town Iowa. But, speaking as an ex-small-town Midwesterner, I found it hard to buy.
  56. Some movies should never have been made, and high on that list is the addled new remake of Rollerball.
  57. Hangover II is more like a spitball meeting, a series of ideas that might, in theory, be good enough for a sequel, than it is an actual movie.
  58. Like an obnoxious uncle desparately trying to amuse the young'uns with poo-poo humor and dum-dum pratfalls.
  59. Doesn't provoke bittersweet inquiries regarding one poor actress' grisly fate. Nor does it stir up much provocation on the matter of why, as a popular audience, we're still taken with this lurid symbol of sex and dread and desire. Rather, the movie raises a much simpler question: Huh?
  60. This is "Fight Club" without the irony or the metaphysical gaming.
  61. When a movie is structured around the unveiling of secrets, you ought to care what the answers are. But writer-director Adam Brooks (Almost You), never offers any compelling reason to do so.
    • Chicago Tribune
  62. This movie is phony, phony, phony -- from its Disneyland version of the Deep South to its pious lessons about the values of simple rural living.
  63. Diane Keaton--now there’s a trouper for you. She will not be caught giving less than 110 percent, even in a drab little heist comedy.
  64. I enjoyed Eliza Dushku's mad poetess, probably for the wrong reasons, but with a project this meager, you take your artful sneers and scenic diversions where you can get them.
  65. The situations and jokes are as predictable and as lowbrow as the endless pratfalls the boys take in their high heels.
  66. If "Mean Girls" was Lohan's debutante ball, "Herbie" sits her back at the kiddie table. She's matured, and no longer fits in the Disney mold.
  67. A mind-numbing, bloody, ridiculous experience.
    • Chicago Tribune
  68. It's outrageously stereotypical and weirdly personal, so loonily exaggerated it keeps surprising you.
    • Chicago Tribune
  69. The British intelligence operation at Bletchley Park that cracked the Enigma code is truly the stuff of great drama. But that story doesn't offer Matt LeBlanc in a wig and heels.
  70. One of those frustrating movies that takes forever to get where it's going, and once arriving, the frustration is increased because one realizes how much better it should have been.
    • Chicago Tribune
  71. Although Where's Marlowe abounds with many supposedly clever ideas, it's about as badly made as anything you'll see anywhere on television.
  72. Blast is just shooting blanks. [12 February 1999, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  73. They once again trot out the same cynical, numbing formula: bullets, bonding and bravado tempered with self-congratulatory humor.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 39 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    As a pocket history of the battles over Jerusalem in the ’40s, O Jerusalem is serviceable enough. But all the melodrama cheapens the real drama, and turns a war-torn region into a soap-opera stage.
  74. Led by a trio of dumb, dumber and dumbest, Without a Paddle is a testosterone comedy that might just as well be titled "Without a Brain Cell."
    • 59 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    On your deathbed you will want back the time it takes to see this one.
  75. A movie as unsubtle as its title suggests, Fear is too seriously intended to work as trash and too ungainly and ugly to register as entertainment. [15 Apr 1996]
    • Chicago Tribune
  76. Their (The Brothers Strause) effects are pretty good, on a fairly limited budget. And that's about all you can say for Skyline.
  77. A comedy murder mystery gone seriously astray, boasts an immensely talented cast .
    • Chicago Tribune
  78. Fox's cleavage is the only camera object that catches Bay's attention for more than a millisecond.
  79. The stalwart American hero of Turistas comes off as a dislikable blank in the hands of Josh Duhamel, of the TV series "Las Vegas." More relaxed is Melissa George, who co-stars as the Aussie.
  80. The overall vibe of this folly is curdled and utterly blase; it's a 118-minute foregone conclusion, finesse-free and perilously low on the simple performance pleasures we look for in any musical, of any period.
  81. Rendered bland and frustrating by its endless attempts to make the odd odder.
  82. As robust and clever an actor as Cox is, he can't make Jacques any less of a blowhard; Kari's wit simply doesn't come through in English, at least with this script.
  83. Just withers compared with many older, better movies about teen alienation and nihilism, from "Rebel Without a Cause" to "River's Edge."
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 52 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    It's almost always rewarding to watch an underdog triumph--what else could explain why movies exactly like this keep being made?--but Longshots is one underdog that's hard to love and harder still to champion.
  84. The movie itself is hyperactive and a jumble.
  85. Packed with gratuitous dumb moments -- which is too bad, given that the premise has promise.
    • Chicago Tribune
  86. It's no better, no worse and essentially no different from the jocular, clodhopping brutality of the first one.
  87. I wish The Boy Next Door were a different, zingier sort of mediocrity, but whenever it threatens to go the full Zalman King "Two Moon Junction" route, it pulls back and behaves itself and settles for a grindingly predictable series of escalations.
  88. Recycling the regressive humor of his (Sandler’s) previous films, it piles on so much sentimentality that you wonder how anyone could consider him a renegade. [25 June 1999, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  89. A fast, slick, outlandish fiasco that starts out well and then seems to drop right off a cliff.
  90. An unabashedly bad movie full of cliches, claptrap, fairly good rock 'n' roll and stomach-turning gross-out gags.

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