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 4.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Moving Midway
Lowest review score: 0 Cradle 2 the Grave
Score distribution:
4,348 movie reviews
  1. Still packs a wallop. It's also a movie with no easy passage to its dark heart.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Days of Heaven is the grand climax of the whole "Bonnie and Clyde"-"Badlands" tradition of outlaw-lovers-on-the-run movies. Shot by Nestor Almendros and the uncredited Haskell Wexler, it's a cinematographic masterpiece. [20 March 1998]
  5. 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.
  6. It is a black comedy, among the blackest. It is also more grueling in some stretches than anything in "United 93."
  7. Three Times is great cinema, pop romance that carries a special charge.
  8. A film masterpiece, restored more than three decades after its French release, "Army" remains a superb, coolly accurate portrait of a living hell recalled by two men who knew it well and record it truly, Melville and novelist Joseph Kessel.
  9. Gripping documentary.
  10. 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").
  11. The self-taught man behind the griddle, his wife, Eve, and their five seen-it-all kids emerge as the ensemble of the year.
  12. This is a movie for all cultures and all people, for families and especially for those who have lost them.
  13. Unnervingly good, Little Children is one of the rare American films about adultery that feels right--dangerous, hushed, immediate.
  14. If you haven't gotten hooked already on Michael Apted's series--collectively, one of the great documentaries in the history of the cinema--you should prepare yourself for the latest installment, 49 Up.
  15. Borat is a rarity: a comedy whose middle name is danger, or as the Kazakhs say, kauwip-kater.
  16. 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.
  17. The word masterpiece costs nothing to write and means less than nothing in an age when every third picture and each new Clint Eastwood project is proclaimed as such. After two viewings, however, Letters From Iwo Jima strikes me as the peak achievement in Eastwood's hallowed career.
  18. It's a work by cinematic geniuses that reveals beauty and terror in a long-ago time with a virtuoso intensity. You won't soon forget its mad, lovely sights and sounds.
  19. A brilliant work of the imagination capable of truly seizing and igniting our fantasies.
  20. 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.
  21. A beautiful film, harrowing, tough and rife with grief.
  22. Jafar Panahi of Iran is one of his country's great filmmakers, and Offside is his best movie to date.
  23. This is a picture that may sound sappy but probably will enrapture audiences lucky enough to catch it. [19 May 1995, p.L]
  24. The style is brash, and it works. Tucker and Epperlein illustrate Yunis' account of his eight-month imprisonment, much of that time spent at the notorious Abu Ghraib compound, with literal illustrations--pages seemingly torn out of a Frank Miller graphic novel.
  25. Burnett's documentarian empathy, coupled with his easygoing skill as a dramatic essayist, result in a film that doesn't look, feel or breathe like any American work of its generation.
  26. 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.
  27. It has wit, originality, color, warmth and formal intelligence. It tempers its escapist dash with a touch of darkness, and for all of its playfulness, never departs from a fundamental seriousness.... Something Wild is superbly unpredictable. [7 Nov 1986]
  28. The cast is tremendous; these actors work with Resnais like a well-oiled stock company that knows every trick and can communicate almost telepathically.
  29. Though much of Naked Lunch is flip, hip and hilariously funny, it never wanders far from a profoundly melancholic undertone - Cronenberg's unshakable sense of loneliness, isolation and anxiety. [10 Jan 1992]
  30. David Cronenberg's The Fly is that absolute rarity of the '80s: a film that is at once a pure, personal expression and a superbly successful commercial enterprise. [15 Aug 1986]
  31. One of the most remarkable and moving love stories the movies have recently given us.
  32. It's a movie that's so personal, naked and vulnerable that you can understand why some of its humor seems rough, some of its visuals excessive. But Crooklyn has a quality not as obvious in any Lee film since "Do the Right Thing": the sense of a whole world opening, rich and real, before your eyes. [13 May 1994, p.A]
  33. This remarkable movie is really one-of-a-kind. [15 Dec 1995]
  34. Georgia, written with rare honesty and economy by Leigh's mother, Barbara Turner, and very sensitively directed by Ulu Grosbard, is a tough-minded look at show business and families. [10 Jan 1996]
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    What emerges is a far more accurate, complete and endearingly human portrait of Mozart than any documentary has ever painted.
  35. 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.
  36. 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]
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Armstrong and screenwriter Robin Swicord have pared the work's sentimentality and bolstered its intellectual content, [21 Dec 1994]
  37. A cornball adventure film about a dashing young explorer mixing with New York cafe society types. What a delightfully complicated fantasy film this is. What Woody Allen has done with The Purple Rose of Cairo is create a classic film about our love affair with fantasy. [28 Jun 1985, p.1]
  38. Its sense of humor is more sly, more sophisticated and more interesting than most PG-13 or R-rated comedies at the moment. The film may be animated, and largely taken up with rats, but its pulse is gratifyingly human.
  39. May be the best and saddest film of the year so far.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Gordon's documentary proves better than 90 percent of the manufactured stories out this summer. One can breathe a sigh of relief that it was done right and not cobbled into another bad fictional comedy.
  40. It is a wonder, marked by a sense of wondrous skepticism that has nothing to do with cynicism.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is the kind of film that doesn’t end after the credits roll, and it’s a gold-star example for what a documentary should do: inspire.
  41. 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.
  42. Baumbach’s achievement stings. It also has the sureness of tone and direction of a Chekhov story.
  43. Day-Lewis... the role of a lifetime.
  44. The first great film of the year. It’s beautiful but so much more—full of subtle feeling, framed by a monstrous, eroding landscape.
  45. The result is a mixture of unified atmosphere and lived-in character study, and while Vasiliu’s role is not as indelible as that of her co-stars, Marinca’s Otilia and Ivanov’s steely abortionist are just about perfect.
  46. Green is a rare bird in American filmmaking: a humanist who knows how to tell a story.
  47. It's unlike any other war film, in any language.
  48. A gem made by a filmmaker who loves life, and knows how to capture its ebb and flow and sweet complication.
  49. A kinetic delight, Reprise comes from director Joachim Trier, born in Denmark but raised in Oslo, Norway, and it’s a highlight of the filmgoing year so far.
  50. While I may argue with the little guy's taste in musicals, it's remarkable to see any film, in any genre, blend honest sentiment with genuine wit and a visual landscape unlike any other.
  51. Sensational, grandly sinister and not for the kids, The Dark Knight elevates pulp to a very high level.
  52. This is a superb picture, sharp, open-minded, wised-up and cinematically accomplished.
  53. The film itself is perfectly poised between artistry and audacity. It's beautiful.
  54. Trouble the Water is so much better and truer and deeper and more illuminating than either of them ("Bowling for Columbine"/"Fahrenheit 9/11").
  55. It works from a specific place and lets audiences relate to that place, and the people in it, like trusted intimates.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    In its 98 minutes, film critic Godfrey Cheshire’s documentary Moving Midway records an amazing architectural feat, and that’s the least of its virtues.
  56. Ballast strikes me as one of the few American pictures of 2008 to say what it wants to say, visually and narratively, about a specific situation and part of the country, in a way that transcends regional specifics.
  57. This is one of the real finds of 2008.
  58. Desplechin's films are great, chaotic, unsettling fun. This one's scored, elegantly, to a mixture of standards and classics and original music by Gregoire Hetzel.
  59. This is one of the screen's most rewarding explorations of the teacher/student relationship in any language.
  60. It is personal filmmaking of the highest order, recognized with an Academy Award nomination for best foreign film.
  61. Even with its limitations, I find Silent Light spellbinding.
  62. Up
    Some of the comic inventions are inspired: Muntz has a pack of dogs equipped with electronic voice boxes, which means they're talking dogs, only they speak as if they've learned English from a poorly translated Berlitz guide.
  63. The characters in Gomorrah may lack an extra dramatic dimension: Garrone errs, if anything, on the side of detachment. Yet that detachment is also the key to the film's success. There's so little hooey and melodramatic head-banging here.
  64. 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.
  65. This one slice of the American experience amounts to one of the best films of the year.
  66. It all comes together as formidably detailed and easy-breathing craftsmanship.
  67. 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.
  68. The stories we hear in 24 City belong to its specific place, but they are universal.
  69. A tart, brilliantly acted fable of life’s little cosmic difficulties, a Coen brothers comedy with a darker philosophical outlook than “No Country for Old Men” but with a script rich in verbal wit.
  70. 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.
  71. Some films aren't revelations, exactly, but they burrow so deeply into old truths about love and loss and the mess and thrill of life, they seem new anyway. A Single Man is one such film, one of the best of 2009
  72. It's not for all tastes; it requires some patience. The more your own job involves absurd, time-consuming bits of minutiae, the more familiar (and amusing) it'll seem.
  73. Extraordinary.
  74. What are the odds that the year's most compelling mystery would end up hanging its hat on the year's richest love story
  75. One of the most searing, heartbreaking and ultimately triumphant mother/daughter stories ever put on film.
  76. Exceptionally clever, hilariously gloomy and bitingly subversive.
  77. Chow's savagely funny cinematic love letter places Hong Kong legends Yuen Wah, Leung Siu Lung and former Bond girl Yuen Qiu in well-cast pivotal parts, establishing Kung Fu Hustle not only as an endearing homage to a genre's history, but an astonishing piece of cinema in its own right.
  78. A sweaty, vital masterpiece that's always one step ahead of its audience.
  79. "All right" doesn't begin to describe it. The Kids Are All Right is wonderful. Here is a film that respects and enjoys all of its characters, the give-and-take and recklessness and wisdom of any functioning family unit, conventional or un-.
  80. It's an uncompromising drama, not easy to watch. And it is one of the year's highlights.
  81. 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.
  82. It is enraging yet nuanced, an elusive combination for any documentary.
  83. Extremely moving, exceedingly droll, flawlessly voice-acted.
  84. 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.
  85. The cave exists to provoke awe in mere mortals. The camera pauses at one point to take in a stalagmite reaching up to touch, nearly, a stalactite and the inevitable association is with Michelangelo's Adam and the hand of God.
  86. Whether Kundun is a perfect movie or not, it's an important and beautiful one. Scorsese's movie takes us into a world we've rarely seen with this kind of sympathy or detail: a magical-looking society built on Buddhism and centuries of art and tradition.
  87. Moneyball is the perfect sports movie for these cash-strapped times of efficiency maximization.
  88. It's one of the year's most pleasurable American movies.
  89. This is one of the finest achievements of the year, and while it's easy to lose your way in the labyrinth, I don't think Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is most interesting for its narrative pretzels. Rather, it's about what this sort of life does to the average human soul.
  90. In both theatrical environments and open-air ones, with Wenders paying close attention to the geometrics as well as the psychology of the movement, Pina is the best possible tribute to Bausch, and to adventurous image-making.
  91. The film is a singular achievement, a piece of realist cinema with the pull of a suspense thriller.
  92. The wondrous cinematography is by Gokhan Tiryaki. It is not an easy picture. Not many masterpieces are.
  93. An indelible portrait of an American family at its most blithely macabre.
  94. 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.
  95. Flight is exciting - terrific, really - because in addition to the sophisticated storytelling techniques by which it keeps us hooked, it doesn't drag audience sympathies around by the nose, telling us what to think or how to judge the reckless, charismatic protagonist played by Denzel Washington.

Top Trailers