Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 4,468 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 3.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Gosford Park
Lowest review score: 0 Did You Hear About the Morgans?
Score distribution:
4,468 movie reviews
  1. Falls flat on its face.
  2. A mind-numbing, bloody, ridiculous experience.
    • Chicago Tribune
  3. An almost terminally sappy youth romance.
    • Chicago Tribune
  4. In this bizarre tale of man among the apes and a psychiatrist among madmen -- an over-emotional hybrid of "Gorillas in the Mist" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" -- style buries substance.
  5. Kollek's fondness for whimsical plot turns adds still more random elements to a movie that at times seems edited by a blindfolded monkey.
    • Chicago Tribune
  6. This was a mission that should have been aborted long ago.
  7. Not without its humorous moments, but they are too few and far between.
  8. How is it possible that actors as expert as Close and Depardieu can wind up together in a mostly brainless big-budget stinker?
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 52 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Absurdly unrealistic at times.
    • Chicago Tribune
  9. 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.
  10. This is one of those would-be blockbusters that wants to have it both ways: It includes enough political commentary to have pretensions of seriousness, yet it's engineered to satisfy the explosion cravings of Schwarzenegger action fans, if any are left.
  11. 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
  12. Isn't much more creative than your average gross-out comedy.
    • Chicago Tribune
  13. An oppressively cute Manhattan time-travel romantic comedy that’s lost in time, space and cliches.
  14. Packed with gratuitous dumb moments -- which is too bad, given that the premise has promise.
    • Chicago Tribune
  15. (Kids) are likely to reject Grizzly Falls as though it were a piece of chewed-over bear fat.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 31 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Too bad the movie concentrates on the male point of view because it kicks to life when Zellweger is on screen.
    • Chicago Tribune
  16. All the obligatory plot elements are there. Love and loss, anger and forgiveness, illness and death. But they never flow together to make a coherent story. Instead, they just pop up whenever the script is in trouble. Which is all the time.
    • Chicago Tribune
  17. I can only hope that this film was a lot of fun to make. That way, someone will have enjoyed the experience.
  18. A grotesque slumgullion of kung fu, studio schlock and pseudo-Dumas swashbuckling that leaves you longing for Doug Fairbanks --or even Don Ameche and The Ritz Brothers.
    • Chicago Tribune
  19. So nonsensical you don't understand why anyone would actually make it.
  20. Although Where's Marlowe abounds with many supposedly clever ideas, it's about as badly made as anything you'll see anywhere on television.
  21. We've since seen plenty of self-satisfied smart alecks, and Freddy, as written and played, brings nothing new to the party.
    • Chicago Tribune
  22. 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
  23. That it is a pseudo-hip filmmaking fantasy doesn't make it any less pretentious, or any less a turnoff.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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.
  24. A lame duck.
  25. Falls prey to a boatload of screenwriting cliches that sink it faster than a leaky freighter.
  26. Accomplishes something I would have thought impossible. It made me appreciate its 1994 predecessor, "The Flintstones."
    • Chicago Tribune
  27. Meets the low standards of a mediocre TV movie.
    • Chicago Tribune
  28. Strangely unmoving. So what went wrong?
  29. What we have here is a much less radical movie than writer Hughes probably believes he has created. Yes, he's given us an individualistic girl, but she swoons like a robot after the first reasonably human WASP or WASC asks her for a date. [2 Feb 1986]
    • Chicago Tribune
  30. 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
  31. Let's just say that not revealing this film's idiotic intricacies would be like not divulging that the fish is rotten lest the news spoil the surprise of food poisoning. [28 May 1999, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  32. A fast, slick, outlandish fiasco that starts out well and then seems to drop right off a cliff.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    If the filmmakers wanted to talk so much, they should have just gotten together for a long, anecdote-filled, wine-soaked Spanish dinner party and amused themselves.
  33. Scott treats the material as if it were grist for a 30-second spot or a rowdy music video.
  34. Give David Arquette credit. He shares nearly all his screen time in See Spot Run with a clever canine and a cute kid and still manages to pull off his usual nutty-slapstick routine with gusto.
  35. 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.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Horror movies don't have to make sense in the real world, but when you have to help their internal logic along this much, it's pretty much a cue for heckling -- or checking your watch.
  36. The actors had little to work with in this passe social satire, but sharper performances might have saved Marci from total humorless ruin.
  37. In the end you don't believe what you're watching, and you don't care. This party is a drag.
  38. A comedy murder mystery gone seriously astray, boasts an immensely talented cast .
    • Chicago Tribune
  39. So filled with illogical twists and ridiculous turns, that eventually it evokes unintentional laughs.
  40. A gaudy yet grim science-fiction horror movie of such surpassing silliness, humorless intensity and stylistic overkill that watching it may actually put you in a state of paranoia.
  41. Stumbles from cliche to cliche:
  42. Contains too little of the original's campy spirit and too many whistles, bells, explosions and screams.
  43. Some movies should never have been made, and high on that list is the addled new remake of Rollerball.
  44. Though I would agree it's original -- it's the first aboveground romance movie I've seen in which the heroine is repeatedly spanked, verbally tormented and tied to a chair by her lover--- it's not an experience I much enjoyed.
  45. Turturro is the one thing that's right with the movie. Perhaps the weakest thing about the new "Deeds" is its utter lack of a strong viewpoint and real emotion.
  46. The movie plays like a very expanded version of what would make -- and likely has made -- a cute TV newsmagazine segment.
  47. Blast is just shooting blanks. [12 February 1999, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  48. An odd little ghoul too cleaned up to survive, a bloodless vampire movie that's mostly lifeless as well.
  49. One hopes that this is Hollywood's last go-round with Swept Away. Watching this fiasco, I kept having nightmares about a possible cartoon version, co-starring Cruella de Vil and Shrek.
  50. 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
  51. It's a movie that puts Samuel Jackson in kilts, Robert Carlyle in a red Jaguar, and the audience -- if they have any sense at all -- out in the lobby, looking for another picture.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Usually what you're laughing at is ugliness, and that leaves a foul taste long before the 85 minutes have expired.
  52. There's almost no reason to see the movie, unless you have no qualms about wasting your time.
  53. An unabashedly bad movie full of cliches, claptrap, fairly good rock 'n' roll and stomach-turning gross-out gags.
  54. Just say no.
    • Chicago Tribune
  55. Superhero comic book movie with a script so feeble it might have been written with crayons.
  56. An overblown clunker full of bad jokes, howling cliches and by-the-numbers action sequences.
  57. Just withers compared with many older, better movies about teen alienation and nihilism, from "Rebel Without a Cause" to "River's Edge."
    • Chicago Tribune
  58. Just a schlock romance pumped with testosterone.
    • Chicago Tribune
  59. Tries mightily to give these warmed-over cliches the proper seasoning, but in the end, these leftovers fail to satisfy. [12 March 1999, Friday, p.L]
    • Chicago Tribune
  60. 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.
  61. The idea may sound like fun, but the movie isn't. It's a travesty of a picture that's a disgrace to the memory of the great film from which it's remade. [5 February 1999, Friday, po.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    A cutesy, heavy-handed morality tale that contains nary a believable moment.
    • Chicago Tribune
  62. Lacks the meanness of so many recent gross-out comedies. With the sparkling Diaz leading the way, the lame humor is much more palatable.
  63. 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.
  64. Like an obnoxious uncle desparately trying to amuse the young'uns with poo-poo humor and dum-dum pratfalls.
  65. Some actors steal scenes. Tom Green just gives them a bad odor. This self-infatuated goofball is far from the only thing wrong with the clumsy comedy.
  66. It's outrageously stereotypical and weirdly personal, so loonily exaggerated it keeps surprising you.
    • Chicago Tribune
  67. Often ridiculous, mostly poorly written and, surprisingly poorly acted too. No matter how many flashy scenes the filmmakers shoot, the bad lines just keep dripping down. [21 Aug 1998]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 24 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    The folks who made this movie apparently had nothing inside their heads, either.
    • Chicago Tribune
  68. This movie is just not cool or hip or in any way extreme. Sitting through Grind is a real grind.
  69. Technically clever but emotionally's an almost laughably opportunistic movie.
  70. The difference between Head of State and a good comedy is like the difference between Chris Rock and a real actor.
    • 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.
  71. What we get, while rarely boring, is a succession of senseless scenes bathed in formula-thriller blue light, full of blazing Uzis, exploding helicopters and sentimental male bonding.
  72. The movie is never more than the sum of its scattershot jokes; it's sloppily put together, with scenes seemingly cut mid-dialogue.
  73. Outrageously vapid and overdone movie.
  74. Leans on just as many stereotypes as it tweaks.
  75. A good-natured but trivial Manhattan romantic comedy.
  76. I can't think of much that might happen on a date evening that could be more annoying than this movie.
  77. 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
  78. A dull, amateurish mixture of the sentimental and the obvious.
  79. The crass sentimentality of American Wedding increasingly fits Norman Mailer's definition: "the emotional promiscuity of the basically unemotional." The jokes are unemotional, uncouth and mostly unfunny.
  80. With such a bang-up cast, this setup could at least elicit some tears, but in its 107 minutes, nary a one welled up in my eyes.
  81. Rendered bland and frustrating by its endless attempts to make the odd odder.
  82. It's a screen adaptation of Busch's stage play of the same name, which never really went anywhere after its 1999 Los Angeles debut -- and doesn't go anywhere here.
  83. Although a literal movie adaptation of Seuss' 1957 classic "The Cat in the Hat" might have run 20 minutes, is it too much to ask that the filmed material preserve the author's sensibility?
  84. It may entertain you if you don't mind senseless stories and screaming soundtracks.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    It's a juicy premise, but the enactment is so dumbed-down -- by turns preposterous and predictable -- that you couldn't possibly fault your jaded children for yawning and rolling their eyes.
  85. 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.
  86. 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.
  87. It's a movie, and certain liberties are bound to be taken, but having Derek stop a moped-driving Brit on the street by pulling out some sort of identification and yelling, "CIA, I need your moped!" is not the way.
  88. Despite a big budget, lots of technical flair and a good cast headed by Sarah Polley and Ving Rhames, it's mostly a bloody mess.
  89. It's one of those movies where talented filmmakers waste time with stale, phony material.
  90. Envy is a shaggy dog-poop story that'll make you wish you could spray something at the screen to make it disappear.

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