Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 4,531 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 Mystic River
Lowest review score: 0 UHF
Score distribution:
4,531 movie reviews
  1. May not be the greatest dance documentary ever made, but it could well be the most accessible and touching.
  2. Moore's best movie, and one of the most blisteringly effective polemics and documentaries ever.
  3. Of all the movies I've seen in the past several years, this is one of the ones I love the most.
  4. Few Hollywood action pictures are half as exciting or ravishing.
    • Chicago Tribune
  5. A film that sweeps us away into a world of spectacle, beauty and excitement, a realm of fantasy unimaginable without the movies.
  6. 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.
  7. An instant classic and a dramatic beauty, a film that gets us to the core of Greene's chilly, dark and romantic view of the post-war world.
  8. It is personal filmmaking of the highest order, recognized with an Academy Award nomination for best foreign film.
  9. There isn't a bad performance here, but besides Thornton, Luke stands out.
  10. Whiplash is true to its title. It throws you around with impunity, yet Chazelle exerts tight, exacting control over his increasingly feverish and often weirdly comic melodrama.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Many of us may have thought that with the world offering so much vivid horribleness every day, movies had lost the power to give us a good cathartic scare. It's a shock -- and a pleasure -- to discover we were wrong.
  11. The first great film of the year. It’s beautiful but so much more—full of subtle feeling, framed by a monstrous, eroding landscape.
  12. Like all great fantasies and epics, this one leaves you with the sense that its wonders are real, its dreams are palpable.
  13. It all comes together as formidably detailed and easy-breathing craftsmanship.
  14. So what we have in the middle of Back to the Future, this seeming kids' movie full of screeching cars, special effects and lightning storms, is nothing less than an adult reverie. And if families could be persuaded to see this film together, it might touch off a long night of sharing between parents and children. [03 July 1985]
    • Chicago Tribune
  15. It's an uncompromising drama, not easy to watch. And it is one of the year's highlights.
  16. It takes something like a miracle to unlock the magic in his exquisite aggravations, the essence of the human comedy. This film is indeed something like a miracle.
  17. If it's not an actual masterpiece, it's at least the next best thing, a fully characteristic, fully alive work by a master of his art.
  18. What's so funny about Down and Out In Beverly Hills is not its moral imperative to appreciate life's simple, enduring pleasures. True, we get that message, and we appreciate it, but we already know that motto even if we don't live by it. No, what's funny is director Mazursky's extraordinarily fine eye and ear for capturing the way the wealthy residents of Beverly Hills walk, talk, dress and think.
  19. A film poem of sometimes humbling beauty: a movie that opens up a new world to us - in the mountains of Iranian Kurdistan - with an enchanting freshness and austerity of vision.
    • Chicago Tribune
  20. 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
  21. An adventure film that plays like an old-time 12-part serial that you see all at once, instead of Saturday-to-Saturday. It's a modern "Thief of Baghdad." It's the kind of movie that first got you excited about movies when you were a kid. (Translation for today's children: It's better than anything on TV.) [12 June 1981]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Has moments of profound poignance, though it lacks the overall dramatic impact of "The Long Way Home."
    • Chicago Tribune
  22. Some may find the film underpowered. Not me. With elegant understatement, Cohen creates a humane testament to reaching out, whatever our habits and routines.
  23. It's a scintillating comedy-drama and one of Altman's most richly moving and entertaining pictures.
  24. A watershed picture, for both Spielberg and war movies.
  25. Heroin may be a downer, but Trainspotting definitely takes you up…a series of roaring, provocative, outrageous highs. [26 July 1996, Friday, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
  26. The Master is brilliantly, wholly itself for a little more than half of its 137 minutes. Then it chases its own tail a bit and settles for being merely a fascinating metaphoric father-son relationship reaching endgame. It may not all "work," but most of it's remarkable.
  27. A prison movie of unusual richness and jarring power.
  28. The greatest rock concert movie ever made -- and maybe the best rock movie, period.
  29. It's a superb, thoughtful drama that doesn't claim to be a documentary and shouldn't be judged as such. [22 Dec 1995, p.B]
    • Chicago Tribune
  30. A visual and aural feast that combines elements of classic gangster melodramas, crime epics such as "The Godfather" and playful non-linear narratives such as "Amores Perros," City of God explores a deadly culture while feeling more alive than anything that's hit the big screen in years.
  31. Both the movie and Denzel Washington are knockouts.
    • Chicago Tribune
  32. Blends a love of semi-trashy pop entertainment with a love of poetry, art and high moral seriousness. It's a young person's movie (Godard was 34 and Karina 24 in 1964) that retains its mysterious pull even as the film and we get older.
  33. This remarkable movie is really one-of-a-kind. [15 Dec 1995]
    • Chicago Tribune
  34. One of those rare films that communicates the exquisite joy of the moviemaking process. [7 October 1994, Friday, p.B]
    • Chicago Tribune
  35. A fierce, brilliant film that breaks (and then mends) your heart.
  36. Sarandon delivers one of her very best performances; her shock at encountering the wrath of the victim's family is registered beautifully. And Sean Penn, who for too long has suffered with the label of being a "bad boy," gives an Oscar-caliber performance.[12 January 1996, Friday, p.B]
    • Chicago Tribune
  37. May show both director and star working at their professional peaks, but I don't think it's as good as that underappreciated masterwork "A.I." It's not as resonant and daring, not as full of magic and marvel. Spielberg stretches himself technically here but not emotionally.
  38. Delicately subversive, hypnotically sardonic, full of terror, banality and wafer-thin lyricism.
  39. Even with its limitations, I find Silent Light spellbinding.
  40. All but sweeps you away with its dazzling technique and shattering emotion. [27 November 1996, Tempo, p.1]
    • Chicago Tribune
  41. 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.
  42. Though it's a sad, somber, deeply questioning work, it's done with a light, loving spirit.
  43. One of the most curious and perversely brilliant films ever made in the American studio system. It's a shining example of qualities we don't normally see in our big theatrical pictures: vast ambition, huge resources and technical genius mated to a unique and compelling vision of life.
  44. Loach is a super-realist, and Sweet Sixteen has the disarming feel of a documentary. It's a film that miraculously catches life on the fly, without apparent embellishment, cliche or melodrama.
  45. Pulp Fiction isn't just funny. It's outrageously funny. [14 Oct 1994]
    • Chicago Tribune
  46. A great, velvety, beautiful anachronism. It's a movie almost drunk on romance, literature and cinema, a splendid period picture that keeps rashly breaking rules and boundaries [17 Sept 1993, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  47. A beautiful film, harrowing, tough and rife with grief.
  48. It is enraging yet nuanced, an elusive combination for any documentary.
  49. The Sun sheds only so much literal light on its chosen subject; it's a film of shadows and silence, the calm before and after the storm. But everything you see and hear carries weight and an eerie poetic undercurrent.
  50. Green is a rare bird in American filmmaking: a humanist who knows how to tell a story.
  51. This is a superb film and one of Nicholson's great performances, tamped down but magnetic.
  52. More than a great love story. It's both a lighthearted and deeply impassioned inspirational lesson about life. [4 April 1986]
    • Chicago Tribune
  53. Sold as a romance, but actually is one of the funniest pictures to come out in quite some time. [15 Jan 1988]
    • Chicago Tribune
  54. It's a joy. Altman does Dallas the way he did "Nashville" in Nashville or Hollywood in "The Player."
    • Chicago Tribune
  55. One of the most beautiful of all recent films on the problems of old age -- and on the interplay of theater and life.
  56. Of all the movies that try to take us into the mind and viewpoint of a child, Carol Reed's 1948 The Fallen Idol, adapted by Graham Greene from his short story, is one of the most ingenious.
  57. A sweet, sharp coming-of-age romance, Adventureland is a little warmer, a little funnier and a lot more truthful than the last 20 or 30 of its ilk. Especially its Hollywood ilk.
  58. Among its many excellences, Vera Drake functions superbly as a pure thriller; the last half is reminiscent in structure and detail of Hitchcock's "The Wrong Man."
  59. Not since Robert Altman took on “Popeye” a generation ago, and lost, has a major director addressed such a well-loved, all-ages title. This time everything works, from tip to tail.
  60. Steering clear of phony melodrama and indie pretense, Baumbach captures a crisis in one family's life that, though it shakes the foundation, leaves all four Berkmans drifting toward highs and lows unknown, each of them only dimly aware that, no matter what the movies tell us, we never really come of age.
  61. If all this potent drama recalls Bergman, the beautifully articulated staging and setting suggest that master of operatic social-sexual drama, Luchino Visconti ("The Leopard").
  62. 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.
  63. Finally! A comedy that works.
  64. A landmark musical movie -- controversial, mercurial, even cheeky. It's the kind of film that wildly divides audiences and critics -- people tend to either love or hate it. I loved it.
  65. It's a spree of a movie, one of the most impishly entertaining of Altman's career. Smart, sparkling, almost sinfully amusing.
  66. Three Times is great cinema, pop romance that carries a special charge.
  67. Like all the Coens' movies, "Man" is supremely self-aware and darkly, hellishly funny. It's also brilliantly written and acted to a fare-thee-well by an outrageously good cast.
  68. Moretti gives us something different but very important. He shows us how life goes on.
  69. 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.
  70. Incendies is no mere riff on a Greek mainstay. It is its own entity, delicate and fierce. Already I've risked making it sound like homework. It's not; it's an enthralling drama of survival.
  71. Great, bittersweet family drama.
  72. Great filmmakers push their ideas and characters to the limit, unafraid of consequences - which is what Pedro Almodovar has done in Talk To Her, his latest film and, I think, his best.
  73. A beautiful picture with a great heart, a classic-to-be with a common touch.
  74. The beauty of the Turkish film Climates, a small but indelible masterpiece, is more than skin-deep. No 2006 film meant more to me. It's as sharp and lovely as the best Chekhov short stories.
  75. The film itself is perfectly poised between artistry and audacity. It's beautiful.
  76. What distinguishes The Deer Hunter most is its many rich characters and the size of its vision. This is a big film, dealing with big issues, made on a grand scale. Much of it, including some casting decisions, suggest inspiration by "The Godfather." [9 Mar 1979]
    • Chicago Tribune
  77. A grand ride. Sleek, beautiful and packed with emotion, not too flashy but full of heart, this is a movie worthy of its unlikely yet glorious subject: Depression-era America's best-loved racehorse and the two races that made him a legend.
  78. 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
  79. One of the screen's great portrayals of the hell-raising and malaise of young men in their 20s, hit Italy like a comic thunderbolt when it was released there in 1953 -- and it struck the American art-house audience in much the same way when it premiered here in 1956. Now it returns, and unlike its five aging-boy protagonists, this movie hasn't lost its first youth.
  80. In completing this simple, beautiful project Linklater took his time. And he rewards ours.
  81. Achieves a mellowness and melancholy that recalls the jazzy dissonance of director (and here, composer) Eastwood's best work: "The Outlaw Josey Wales," "Bird," "Unforgiven" and "Mystic River."
  82. It is a black comedy, among the blackest. It is also more grueling in some stretches than anything in "United 93."
  83. 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.
  84. It's a movie of such jaw-dropping violence, wild improbability and dazzling style it overpowers all resistance.
  85. A movie bull's-eye: noir with an attitude, a thriller packing punches. It gives up its evil secrets with a smile.
  86. 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.
  87. A deeply moving blend of cold terror and rapturous hilarity. Lovingly crafted by Italy's top comedian and most popular filmmaker, it's that rare comedy that takes on a daring and ambitious subject and proves worthy of it.
  88. A stunner: a fiercely brilliant film of such wrenching impact, nonstop drive and unpredictability that watching it becomes an exhilarating ride.
  89. Takes the raw truth and makes it jubilantly, terrifically entertaining.
    • Chicago Tribune
  90. The sheer stark speed and measured violence of On the Run catch us up quickly--and the film becomes a searing portrait of a killer-idealist lost out of time.
  91. Nobody Knows, by the often excellent Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, is one of those special movies that can give us a new way of seeing.
  92. Brims with intelligence, compassion and sensuous delight in the textures, sights and sounds of life--all the way from the Taj Mahal to Pearl Jam.
  93. Arnold reminds us that the best thrillers don't settle for taking the audience away from their everyday experience; rather, they burrow inward and, by sheer power of cinematic observation, make it hard for us to look away lest we miss something--on a screen or off.
  94. Yes, for every star there are five more also-rans and maybe-next-times. But there is honor and glory in being part of the blend. And, at the film's midpoint, when Clayton talks about the late-night recording session in 1969 of "Gimme Shelter," the memory takes on the glow of myth.
  95. It's a very small piece, working in a deceptively casual storytelling style. But it's my favorite music film since "Stop Making Sense," and it's more emotionally satisfying than any of the Broadway-to-Hollywood adaptations made in the last 20 years.
  96. Clean up the language, and this little roach of a movie could play the bottom half of a double bill with Rowan and Martin's “The Maltese Bippy.” [26 March 1999, Life, p.9E]
    • Chicago Tribune
  97. Still packs a wallop. It's also a movie with no easy passage to its dark heart.
  98. In this movie, Auteuil ("Jean de Florette") and Binoche ("Chocolat") are such marvelous actors, they can shift us in almost any emotional direction with a speech or a glance.

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