Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 4,348 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 4.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The Fast Runner (Atanarjuat)
Lowest review score: 0 A Good Old Fashioned Orgy
Score distribution:
4,348 movie reviews
  1. Beautifully wrought, darkly funny and finally devastating, My Own Private Idaho almost single-handedly revives the notion of personal filmmaking in the United States. [18 Oct 1991]
  2. It's so thoroughly engaging, so beautifully made, strikingly shot and chock-full of humor and humanity, I can't imagine any intelligent audience not falling in love with it - if only they take the leap of faith to see it.
  3. It's a joy. Altman does Dallas the way he did "Nashville" in Nashville or Hollywood in "The Player."
  4. Vibrating with humanity, it's a potent portrait of love, ranging from the purely carnal to the impurely sublime.
  5. Takes the raw truth and makes it jubilantly, terrifically entertaining.
  6. The greatest rock concert movie ever made -- and maybe the best rock movie, period.
  7. 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.
  8. A rare example of a literary film that preserves the best of its source while creatively filling up on it.
  9. Both the movie and Denzel Washington are knockouts.
  10. Of all the movies I've seen in the past several years, this is one of the ones I love the most.
  11. This is a movie about the world at war with itself, and the result is riveting, sublime and unforgettable.
  12. Kaufman's startling Quills gives us an anatomy of fear, images both silken swift and molten hot, scenes that disrupt and inflame the imagination.
  13. 82-year-old Ingmar Bergman takes one of the most painful, shameful episodes of his own life and, writing for director Liv Ullmann, transmutes it into magical, brilliant artistry.
  14. Bravo!
  15. Great, bittersweet family drama.
  16. A spectacular, engrossing, big-hearted film based on one of Korea's great national epics and made by that country's top filmmaker.
  17. A movie bull's-eye: noir with an attitude, a thriller packing punches. It gives up its evil secrets with a smile.
  18. Such a sour, mindlessly inflated experience that seeing it may temporarily put you off historical movies.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Has moments of profound poignance, though it lacks the overall dramatic impact of "The Long Way Home."
  19. This is a film precisely constructed, brilliantly imagined.
  20. Moretti gives us something different but very important. He shows us how life goes on.
  21. 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.
  22. This is one not to be missed.
  23. A beautiful and genuinely spirit-lifting film about poverty and education.
  24. A film which should gratify any audience starved for intelligent dialogue, realistic portrayals of romance and lovely, non-cliched open-air photography.
  25. As we watch, we can sense, once again, the eye of a painter, the dreams of a poet and, tying them together, the vision of a master.
  26. 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.
  27. Blazes up constantly with a stunning, off-kilter brilliance, an incandescent force that sometimes explodes the space between us and the screen.
  28. An absolute delight, one of the most sheerly pleasurable movies Altman has ever made. It's wry, jokey and sexy, a tart and delectable entertainment. And, like most of Altman's best work, it's graced with a top-notch ensemble of first-class [9 April 1999, Friday, p.A]
  29. 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.
  30. A timeless romantic thriller that steeps us in one of those great artificial movie worlds that become more overpowering than reality itself.
  31. A wildly original movie with astonishingly varied moods and influences.
  32. A movie I loved on first sight and, even more important, love in remembrance. Taken all in all, there's only one last thing to say about it. Go.
  33. You can't praise highly enough the contributions of the ensemble--De Niro and Pesci especially--but it's Scorsese's triumph. [22 November 1995, Tempo, p.1]
  34. One of those rare films that communicates the exquisite joy of the moviemaking process. [7 October 1994, Friday, p.B]
  35. A movie about the passions of simple people, and it's done with such extraordinary empathy and commitment that it all but pulls you under. [29 November 1996, Friday, p.A]
  36. 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.
  37. 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]
  38. 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]
  39. A stunner: a fiercely brilliant film of such wrenching impact, nonstop drive and unpredictability that watching it becomes an exhilarating ride.
  40. Some movies can lay claim to being the best thing around in a week, a month, a year. Robert Altman's Short Cuts is closer to being one of the all-time bests, among the finest American films since the advent of sound. [22 Oct 1993]
  41. A fierce, brilliant film that breaks (and then mends) your heart.
  42. Be forewarned: Dog Days, like many of Seidel's films, will drive some moviegoers to rage and walkouts with its unrelentingly depressing tone. But it also a remarkable, deeply disturbing work by a brilliant filmmaker.
  43. Moore's best movie, and one of the most blisteringly effective polemics and documentaries ever.
  44. In Jan Campion's The Piano, the emotions are deep, fierce, primordial. Sexuality overwhelms the film's characters like ocean waves blasting against a cliffside. [19 Nov 1993]
  45. 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.
  46. Brilliant documentary.
  47. One of the most beautiful of all recent films on the problems of old age -- and on the interplay of theater and life.
  48. Extraordinary film, one that, like the museum itself, captures and shows three centuries of Russian culture and history in all its beauty, confusion, terror and majesty.
  49. Moviegoers should be almost as entranced by the teeming, glorious landscapes and dark, bloody battlegrounds of Two Towers: astonishing midpoint of an epic movie fantasy journey for the ages.
  50. Re-released now in a digitally enhanced, sonically improved and slightly longer version, the movie is even better than it was in 1973.
  51. One of the most excitingly contemporary musicals ever made.
  52. 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]
  53. Brilliantly funny, bracingly smart and surprisingly moving. [22 June 1988]
  54. This is one of those films that encapsulate most of its maker's key thoughts and feelings while also connecting us vividly to a fascinating past. No one who loves French film (or movies in general) should miss it.
  55. This dark, melancholic film is a reminder -- never more necessary than now -- of what the American cinema is capable of, in the way of expressing a mature, morally complex and challenging view of the world. [7 Aug 1992]
  56. In the remarkable, ferociously intelligent new film No Man's Land, Bosnian writer-director Danis Tanovic gives us a movie portrait of the Bosnian War, a conflict that has devastated his country, friends and neighbors -- and found in it both shocking humor and searing, relentless tragedy.
  57. It is a movie about the gradual erosion of life's seeming certainties, and it's also about the destructive immorality that may lie beneath the most exquisitely composed veneer. As we watch "Chocolat," this great director and his great actress, Huppert, convince us: Evil is.
  58. 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]
  59. Moves us now because it's so playful and the players are so young - and because later, when Godard tried to play for keeps, in his self-consciously radical films of the late '60s and '70s, he began to lose his game.
  60. This is the Paris -- and the mad, beautiful young Parisienne -- we look for in dreams.
  61. A great movie on a powerful, essential subject -- the Holocaust years in Poland -- directed with such artistry and skill that, as we watch, the barriers of the screen seem to melt away.
  62. 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.
  63. The film is truly special, truly different -- a wondrous talky roundelay about and for people who love life.
  64. 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]
  65. Always a magical film. For its anniversary rerelease, though, it's been extensively restored and even partly reshot by Spielberg. It now looks better than it did back then.
  66. 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.
  67. A brash romantic comedy that has a serious purpose at its core.
  68. 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.
  69. I loved this movie madly, and so will many of you.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    You can't ask for a family film to do more than Toy Story 2. It's smart and playful enough to entertain adults, yet it never aims above the heads of kids.
  70. 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.
  71. Astonishing, crazily delightful.
  72. Few Hollywood action pictures are half as exciting or ravishing.
  73. 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.
  74. Another masterpiece from one of the world's more neglected great directors, a master artist who here reveals the soul of another.
  75. A hard-core movie with a soft, light-hearted center and an edge like a knife.
  76. A great love story and a deeply moving celebration of simple lives.
  77. Some scholars may scowl, some lowbrows may scoff. But, like wordwise Will, these filmmakers know how to win a crowd -- from the queen down to the groundlings, from the sky above to the stage below. Bravo! [5 December 1998, Friday, p.A]
  78. 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.
  79. The fans of their best work -- "Blood Simple, "Raising Arizona," "Barton Fink" -- now can add Fargo to the list, pushing the Coens to the first rank of contemporary American filmmakers. [8 March 1996, Friday, p.B]
  80. 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.
  81. 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]
  82. A great, haunting film; it affects us in ways we're not used to...it is capable of both lifting our hearts and chilling us to the bone.
  83. Raunchy, smart, ebullient, melancholy, insightful, surprising, funny, frank and sexy as all get-out.
  84. This is a superb film and one of Nicholson's great performances, tamped down but magnetic.
  85. It put a smile on my face that never left for 117 minutes.
  86. More than a great love story. It's both a lighthearted and deeply impassioned inspirational lesson about life. [4 April 1986]
  87. Trashy and glorious, the restored Metropolis is a pop epic for the ages.
  88. A film that sweeps us away into a world of spectacle, beauty and excitement, a realm of fantasy unimaginable without the movies.
  89. A spellbinder: provocatively conceived, gorgeously shot and masterfully executed.
  90. It's a scintillating comedy-drama and one of Altman's most richly moving and entertaining pictures.
    • 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.
  91. A shockingly powerful screed against racism that also manages to be so well performed and directed that it is entertaining as well. [30 October 1998, Friday, p.A]
  92. 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.
  93. Heroin may be a downer, but Trainspotting definitely takes you up…a series of roaring, provocative, outrageous highs. [26 July 1996, Friday, p.C]
  94. By re-imagining a pivotal, terrible 24 hours, Greengrass has made a must-see film that is timely - and timeless.
  95. Like "Memento," Mulholland Drive is an amnesiac noir in the tradition that goes back to "Spellbound" and "Somewhere in the Night."
  96. This is a terrific movie: jolting, savage, horrifically funny, nightmarishly exciting but also brainy and compassionate.
  97. All of the performances are first-rate; Pesci stands out, though, with his seemingly unscripted manner. GoodFellas is easily one of the year's best films. [21 September 1990, Friday, p.C]

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