Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 5,028 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 2.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Whiplash
Lowest review score: 0 What Goes Up
Score distribution:
5028 movie reviews
  1. More an argument than a fully fleshed-out drama ... The script is unconvincing; two key narrative twists, one related to the other, are deeply hokey.
  2. Full of interesting little grace notes, and the cast is excellent, yet it grows more and more frustrating.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It remains a diverting, mildly entertaining movie, far short of provoking the controversy (or hysterical laughter) it apparently prompted during its release in Germany.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Let's say you find yourself at the multiplex, and the first 20 minutes of Mr. Woodcock happen to correspond with the 20 minutes you need to waste before your movie of choice begins. Those are the ideal 20 minutes to spend with this marginally promising--but ultimately unfunny--comedy.
  3. Eastwood's foursquare directorial aesthetic tends to heighten, rather than camouflage, a screenplay's shortcomings.
  4. Padding disguised as a feature-length screenplay, adapted from Belber's one-act.
  5. Here and there, the actor invests the kind of feeling that makes The Way come alive in human terms.
  6. An Israeli-on-Arab version of "Shampoo," You Don’t Mess With the Zohan is terrible in many ways, and shoddy in every way that has to do with filmmaking. But politically it's sort of interesting.
  7. In this third outing for the Griswolds - following the dismal "National Lampoon's European Vacation" in 1985 - the satirical edge has given way to sentimentality and a whiff of smugness, while the black humor has degenerated into broad slapstick. It's a tribute to first-time director Jeremiah Chechik's fine sense of timing that the obvious physical gags still generate some substantial laughs, though they arrive almost in spite of Hughes' tired script. [1 Dec 1989, p.Friday A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  8. You've seen worse. The film industry is capable of better.
  9. Willis never develops a rapport with Def, and in the end it's not the predictable action but this lack of chemistry and camaraderie that sinks 16 Blocks.
  10. A manipulative look at dying with dignity and a lame yarn about as realistic as the fantasy in “The Princess Bride.”
  11. No question, the new movie is amiable family entertainment, and Allen is such an affable actor that maybe kids won't begrudge him seeking romantic fulfillment in order to remain their favorite Santa.
  12. The movie, full of talented performers in search of a more propulsive vehicle, settles for workmanlike cover-band status, which makes this a cover-band tribute to a jukebox musical - a long way from true, trashy exhilaration.
  13. As Premonition zigzags toward its solution it loses its head completely, packing a risible final reel with left-field religious disquisitions and heartfelt warnings against infidelity.
  14. The cinematic equivalent of Trix. It's just made to be enjoyed by certain folks more than others. Will girls like it? More than their parents.
  15. Agora has everything except real drama.
  16. Absurdly brutal slapstick is a tough thing to sustain across a feature. I spent a lot of The Three Stooges staring, not laughing. For me this was a stare-out-loud affair.
  17. Exploits the epidemic of kidnapping in Venezuela without offering solutions or insight--only sophomoric platitudes. Jakubowicz's talents as a filmmaker are many, but crafting an articulate, well-examined social theory isn't among them.
  18. The problem with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is this: The closer the many-hands screenplay gets to the Christ-like sufferings and resurrection of Lord Aslan, the lion (voiced by Liam Neeson), the more conflicted the filmmakers' efforts become.
  19. Aims for a sadness and desperation that is crudely announced rather than subtly demonstrated.
  20. Snakes on a Plane represents a fairly craven mixture of deliberate cheese and inadvertent lameness, plus fangs.
  21. Not even the film's occasional bursts of ultra-violence, or the endlessly oozing red clay, or Hiddleston crying a red tear, or Chastain swanning around in one flaming crimson ball gown after another, can infuse this gorgeous bore with anything like red-blooded suspense.
  22. Whitman's a wily cross between Janeane Garofalo and Ellen Page and in her scenes with her motivational-speaker single mother (Allison Janney), you sense a better movie lurking in the shadows.
  23. Despite a few good ideas and the uniformly splendid production and costume designs by Luhrmann's mate and partner, Catherine Martin, this frenzied adaptation of The Great Gatsby is all look and no feel.
  24. The gentle erotic undertow in the friendship of Snow Flower and Lily has been toned down, and replaced by … niceness.
  25. Just about everything in the video-gamey World War I picture Flyboys rings false, although the planes certainly are terrific.
  26. I did like seeing the (fakey-looking) sheep take flying neck-high leaps at various human throats, in scenes recalling the killer rabbit in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." And I enjoyed the Kiwi dialects. And I suspect King's next film will be better.
  27. Plays like it was made by people who are 30 going on 13. The movie is as flighty and mixed up as the adolescent girl at its center.
  28. The whole thing feels a bit desperate.
  29. It sounds fun. It's a little fun. For a while. But Bekmanbetov shoots every killing spree like an addled gamer, working that slow-down-speed-up kill-shot cliche like a maniac.
  30. Planes has practically no visual distinction, it's a complete knockoff, but I think it'll get by with the kids.
  31. The dialogue comes straight out of "The Benny Goodman Story." That look, someone says to a staring, pausing Kutcher, "tells me you're on to something big." Nobody talks in this movie; everyone speechifies or take turns sloganing one another to death.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The sole saving grace of Wrong Turn is its honesty. You get exactly what you expect -- blood, guts and people being taken to the killing floor. But just because it's honest doesn't make it good.
  32. Disappointing... Jack Nicholson parodies himself while Kubrick fails to provide any thrills. [11 July 1980, p.8]
    • Chicago Tribune
  33. Woodley is an ace at handling laughter through tears — "my favorite emotion," as a character in "Steel Magnolias" once said. She improves with each new film, even when the films themselves aren't much.
  34. Dances in circles until you tire of admiring it.
    • Chicago Tribune
  35. Clarke has loads of talent, but in Me Before You she's undermined by director Sharrock's technique, and an endless slew of overeager reaction shots (She's clumsy! She's twinkling!) exacerbated by editor John Wilson.
  36. There is a good movie here--Strait actually sings the songs that stand on their own, and he's appealing, despite the rock movie cliches.
  37. Predators, plural, starts well and ends poorly, and in the middle it's in the middle.
  38. Levy surely knew that the script at hand didn't warrant a full two-hour running time; even if you enjoy The Internship, as my son did, it feels 20 minutes over-full at least. Cut out half of the "Flashdance" and "X-Men" references, and you're halfway there.
  39. One of those movies that promises much but doesn't deliver. Despite a lot of misplaced talent, this movie is as silly and forced as its title.
  40. There's nothing wrong with Paranoia that a stronger director, livelier leading actors and several hundred fewer narrative conveniences wouldn't cure.
  41. It's not much to hijack. But playing a lovelorn version of himself, in love with Adam Sandler in a dress, a lisp and breasts, Al Pacino holds a gun to the head of the comedy Jack and Jill and says: I now pronounce you mine.
  42. Maybe Georgia Rule should be required viewing for Paris Hilton during her term in the slammer. But not for us.
  43. Nearly two hours long, 30 Days of Night makes you feel the cold (though it was shot in New Zealand) and feel the fangs, but it also makes you feel like 30 days is a pretty long time.
  44. It’s an unabashed feel-good weeper, and those eager for that type of fare might as well settle for this one. But an equal number will be put off by the bad dialogue, transparent manipulation and saccharine overkill.
  45. The movie grows more cloying and repetitive as it stretches well beyond two hours. Almost every main character boasts the same bashful, puppy-dog attitude toward romance.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It is Templeton's doubts that stir Graham's crisis of faith in 1949 before his first crusade in Los Angeles. And it is that compelling story line that is the movie's saving grace.
  46. Both Jackson and Levy are better than director Les Mayfield's ("Blue Streak") meandering comedy.
  47. What are Jolie and Freeman and McAvoy doing here, besides acting cooler than Clive Owen in "Shoot ’Em Up"? Cashing a check, that's what. Bekmametov may have talent, but the arrested-adolescent "escapism" of this picture emits a pretty bad odor.
  48. Just sit, feel a little blue and watch Parker Posey wander through New York in an ugly conservative suit. In "Blade," at least she'll get a snazzier wardrobe.
  49. The Eye is a feast to behold, but it lacks substance and will leave most viewers wholly unsatisfied.
  50. It's really a crock: a coming-of-age boys' prison film that has only a fanciful link with Behan's life. The film is a bastard grandchild of Tony Richardson's 1962 "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner."
  51. John Wick 2 stages its gun-fu melees sleekly and sometimes well, from the catacombs of Rome to the subway platforms of New York City.
  52. Cinematographer Zhao Xiaoding manages some lovely images, and some of Spottiswoode’s compositions remind you he's capable of fine work. But Hogg never comes to life, on the page or on the screen.
  53. It's a middling film that wastes a lot of good opportunities, as well as two fine, charming co-stars.
  54. Unexpectedly sour, The Dilemma barely qualifies as a comedy.
  55. About overcoming adversity and one's innermost fears. On this count, Paxton hits the ball squarely in capturing the psychology of his characters, but hooks it into the sand trap of effects and thematic overselling.
  56. The results are distressingly flat, frequently patronizing and, for a topical comedy, strangely out of it.
  57. For one thing, and it's a big thing, it's filmed all wrong. Director Taylor and cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen favor handheld, Rachel's-eye-view close-ups, by the woozy hundreds. The toggling editing rhythms get to be a bit of a chore.
  58. Cusack puts in work as Paul, an old-fashioned hero. But he seems miscast and can't quite modulate the levels of camp in his performance.
  59. It is awkward and dull, a capital crime for an aspiring noir.
    • Chicago Tribune
  60. Perhaps it is time for the folks at Jim Henson Productions to start thinking up original stories again, or at least find material that lends itself to the Muppets' overall strengths, instead of playing into their weaknesses. [16 Feb 1996, p.F]
    • Chicago Tribune
  61. Too much. Too numbing. Too coy. And ultimately too violent.
  62. A mild off-season cinematic bid for the young and the restless.
  63. Paul Verhoeven's RoboCop is a stylish piece of work that leaves a sour aftertaste. [17 Jul 1987]
    • Chicago Tribune
  64. The film is sober, serious-minded and paced like a funeral march.
  65. This contrived mashup of "Proof" (earth-shaking algorithms), "Kramer vs. Kramer" (nerve-wracking custody battles) and "Little Man Tate" really isn't much.
  66. Surprising less moldy and trite than the last two.
  67. The jokes are sodden, relying on tired wordplay and sarcastic delivery to draw the faintest of laughs.
  68. Doom, the film, aspires to be more than just a gory shoot em' up--though it'd still be a stretch to call it a thinking man's action movie.
  69. Jonah may resemble an 83-minute Sunday school lesson, but at least it's a playful, colorful one, with spunky peas and tomatoes, chirpy kids' tune-- and bright animation that may not rival "Monsters, Inc." or "Shrek" but gets its points across.
  70. A movie that keeps reminding you of its antecedents, all the way back to 1984 and the comic adventure “Romancing the Stone.”
  71. Falls into a familiar trap, resembling a neatly wrapped made-for-TV homily. [26 February 1999, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  72. By throwing so much weight to the love story and increasingly contrived setups, the movie does what you secretly, guiltily hope it will do: It lets you off the hook.
  73. The Canyons may not work, and the sex (as well as the synthesized glop on the soundtrack) may be tragically unhip, but it was made by a director who still cares.
  74. The film works a bit better than the 2004 "Punisher" installment, the one starring surly, dislikable Thomas Jane as Frank Castle.
  75. Trashy porno pretending to be deep.
  76. The results feel a little harried, as if the focus issues were never really solved.
  77. The story ceases to make sense. It sounds clever on paper, but on screen it degenerates into a series of random scenes that don't connect until, by the end, there are more questions than answers, and more goo than resolution. [03 Feb 1995, p.J]
    • Chicago Tribune
  78. I like the end-credits sequence best, which has nothing to do with hoary complications or the miseries of stardom or the magical spellbinding powers of a cheap wig.
  79. House Party aims for the mainstream and hits it- perhaps too often.
  80. Unfortunately it’s all a bit dull.
  81. Gyllenhaal certainly holds the screen; at this point in his career, he has found a way to rise above whatever needs rising above. But midway through Demolition, I longed for a sequel to "Nightcrawler" instead.
  82. Shipp nails the energetic, motor-mouthed cadence of the outspoken Shakur. But the film surrounding Shipp is rough going.
  83. Self/less hews closely enough to the premise of the 1966 John Frankenheimer thriller "Seconds" to qualify as an unofficial remake. Then again, anyone who remembers that one is not in the target audience for this one.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Certainly no comedic masterpiece, but it does offer a few fine moments of biting satire.
    • Chicago Tribune
  84. Gray’s writing lacks the punch and zing that might take your mind off such rickety plotting.
  85. The movie's sole selling point turns out to be its sweetness. Sandler, Segal and writer George Wing obviously like all of the characters despite the constant ribbing, and Sandler and Barrymore are as cuddly as a pair of love-struck walruses. But only a sucker would get too close.
  86. By forcing definition on Flux, the filmmakers rob her of any allure. What do they offer instead? Clumsy exposition, bland PG-13 gunfights and subpar computer animation.
  87. This isn't a particularly good movie, and it's offensive in the way mid-range low-budget slasher shows usually are. But it works better than some, largely because Etheredge-Ouzts has a more original slant and a deeper sense of character than horror movies usually allow.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There's nothing here that's outrageous, startling or daring enough to give your funny bone a jolt.
  88. The story should have made for charming results on screen. Instead - and I truly don't enjoy saying so - co-adapter and director Rob Reiner's picture lands somewhere between synthetic nostalgia and the texture of real life.
  89. The finished product feels tonally indistinct and plays as a bit of a grind.
  90. This is the sort of film where a character says “Here we are, having a high-minded debate ...” and you wonder if countless moviegoers will be rolling their eyes in unison.
  91. The flabbergasting scenes here-written by a team of "Tonight Show" and "David Letterman Show" writers and directed by hot, young TV-commercial and music-video director Michael Bay-are slick, fast, loud, mostly derived from other movies and often senseless.
  92. Compared with Martin's first "Dozen" and the recent mega-family movie "Yours, Mine and Ours," this sequel is Academy Award material.
  93. The film is finally impersonal, almost anonymous; it's a chilly, lumbering project that carries little of the mark of lived experience. [25 Dec 1992]
    • Chicago Tribune
  94. Frame by frame, Crudup is fascinating.

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