Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 5,225 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 2.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Do the Right Thing
Lowest review score: 0 Freddy Got Fingered
Score distribution:
5225 movie reviews
  1. Belongs to that brand of sweeping, conflict-era drama epitomized by "Saving Private Ryan," "Gone with the Wind" and TV miniseries "North and South."
  2. Dafoe manages to draw us into the mystery, anguish and joy of the holy life. This is anything but another one of those boring biblical costume epics. There is genuine challenge and hope in this movie. [12 Aug 1988, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  3. A breezy diary from a pair of first-time farmers, as well as a wry rebuke to a nation devoted to eating cheaply but not necessarily well, King Corn makes its points without much finger-wagging.
  4. The movie is a small marvel of contained spaces, exploited beautifully by Kusama and cinematographer Bobby Shore.
  5. Just as Zhao uses his comic gifts to create an affecting human, so Dong's performance as Wu is a triumph of honesty and tact.
  6. A picture about America with the blinders off, a film about heroism that makes you chuckle and feel sad - and a film about childhood that lets us reenter that lost world and see the grass, sky and sunlight the way they once looked, in the golden hours.
    • Chicago Tribune
  7. iIt's a film for art- and foreign-movie devotees. But it's also a movie for audiences who simply want to get turned on.
  8. The oddly beautiful documentary made by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Gray is subtler and richer than its blunt title suggests.
  9. The acting's so true, and Bahrani's so observant, you find yourself caring about everyone onscreen.
  10. It's a strange, fascinating exercise in what Joel Coen once described as "tone management," job No. 1 for any director.
  11. A beautiful, almost defiant film on an unusual subject: love among the elderly.
    • Chicago Tribune
  12. A thoroughly enjoyable Raiders of the Lost Ark inspired adventure film, set in the present and starring Michael Douglas as an American hustler in Columbia who helps uptight romance novelist Kathleen Turner search for buried treasure. [22 June 1984, p.12]
    • Chicago Tribune
  13. It's a genteel film with a gun in its pocket, but it's also a film with a universal chord of feeling that keeps welling up from the dark surfaces and violent byways of the plot-and a final confession that both warms the heart and chills the blood.
  14. From a terrible epidemic comes a beautiful documentary.
  15. Unstrung Heroes is an extremely moving and surprisingly funny love sonnet to family, tolerance and the joys of individuality.... One of the best films of the year. [15 Sep 1995]
    • Chicago Tribune
  16. Does Kaurismaki believe in his own fairy tale? The movie, a humble delight, suggests the answer is yes.
  17. I don't see how you can get away from calling Cage’s performance a great one. [10 November 1995, Friday, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
  18. A beautifully acted and deeply compassionate study of ordinary people coping with the vicissitudes of life.
  19. The film recalls Martin Scorsese's "Mean Streets" and the minimalism of films such as Lars Von Trier's "The Idiots." Eason and cinematographer Didier Gertsch keep the cameras tight on the actors' bodies and faces, creating palpable unease.
  20. Small but sure, the film is like Alejandro himself: quick on its feet, attuned to a harsh life’s hardships and possibilities.
  21. While Streep has a tiny bit too much fun with some of her character's excesses, she's awfully good. So is Hoffman, who walks a fine line between obvious guilt and possible innocence.
  22. A gleefully gory, pitch-perfect parody of George Romero's zombie films. But this isn't a movie about other movies. Shaun of the Dead stands on its own.
  23. The movie is beautiful without wasting its time on cliched beauty. Kogonada, who edited as well as wrote and directed, collaborates intuitively with cinematographer Elisha Christian, who’s as good with faces as he is with sharp modernist edges etched in concrete.
  24. Wonderful spirit, humanity and humor.
  25. John Badham's exciting thriller about an L.A. detective (Roy Scheider) who battles against the government creeps who have created a monstrous helicopter to be used for 1984-style crowd control. Great action in a David-versus-Goliath story. [22 July 1983, p.10]
    • Chicago Tribune
  26. Rivets and amazes, even if it falls just frustratingly short of the mind-expanding grandeur it could have had.
  27. They're lifelike, I suppose, in that you believe and become invested in what happens to everyone. But they're poetic, too, in that Reichardt and her first-rate ensemble find intersections of the mundane and the mysterious all around this broad, blustery landscape.
  28. It may be the most serene and optimistic film Rivette has made in France. Yet even the art-house audience may undervalue it, miss the beauty, style and wit.
  29. This is an inspirational true story worried less about turning dramatic screws than earning its feeling through character.
  30. Hallstrom gives us a genial interpretation and a supremely good-humored film.
  31. What's remarkable as we watch Lilya's plunge (and the brief, false rays of light that illuminate it) is how real Moodysson makes her plight, how intensely he makes us empathize with Lilya.
  32. Such a triumph of simplicity, subtlety and tact--and of the eroticism in words, looks and glances--that the actors ravish us with sheer talent and intelligence.
  33. Even with its limitations it's one of the necessary films of 2013.
  34. Disney TV star Bridgit Mendler brings an effective if limited friendliness to Arrietty; Will Arnett and Amy Poehler are relatively restrained as her parents; Carol Burnett runs through a career's worth of vocal flourishes and aural panic attacks as the housekeeper.
  35. A classy triple shot of film erotica from three brilliant writer-directors.
  36. It's funny, moving and true, and it respects the audience's intelligence as much as the characters'. That combination, no matter the movie's label, deserves to be treasured.
  37. A rich and surprisingly old-fashioned musical biopic, The Runaways has neither the bloat nor the blather of your average Hollywood treatment of stars on the rise.
  38. It's a small story set in a memorably desolate location. The actors, all quite magnificent, enlarge it, just as cinematographer Mikhail Krichman illuminates the vistas and roadways and even the furtive kitchen table glances between clandestine lovers.
  39. Yes, Steve Carell can carry a movie. Yes, Judd Apatow can direct a movie. Yes, we'll all relate to a middle-aged virgin. And yes, when an aesthetician yells to her assistant "we're gonna need more wax," you best run.
  40. Intoxicatingly well-crafted entertainment about hunting down your enemy.
  41. Swift, vicious and grimly imaginative, the zombie film 28 Weeks Later exceeds its predecessor, "28 Days Later," in every way.
  42. Bone-dry but completely assured, both in its visual strategy and its wry deconstruction of the workplace comedy genre.
  43. The acting -- especially by Borrows, Ian Hart and Hackett -- is strong and transparent, utterly convincing. The whole movie has a seamless flow and an utterly convincing sense of time and place.
  44. It's a movie drama with a surface so bleak and an interior so hot with eroticism that it twists your guts to watch it.
  45. Creates an atmosphere of frenzy that is both powerful and unforgettable, providing neither solace nor comfort.
  46. Whereas Stallone with "Rambo" is messing around with real places and real events, in Rocky IV we all know that this is pure Hollywood, pure fantasy. And very well made Hollywood fantasy, indeed.
  47. The new film works. It's rousing.
  48. Ron Howard's first-rate dramatic comedy Parenthood, with Steve Martin headlining a first-rate cast in a most clever script about the joy and pain of being both a parent and a child. [4 Aug 1989, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  49. For some of us, Anderson's LA lamentation is a siren song, and there's no more ardent and poetic chronicler of California mythology.
  50. Matt Damon narrates, and I do wish the narration didn't end on such a generalized, throw-the-bums-out note, over footage of the Statue of Liberty.
  51. In relation to the well-made and sensitive confines of "The Messenger," Rampart required a more unruly visual approach. Beginning and ending with Harrelson, this sophomore effort is full of malignant life.
  52. This film--one of the best and most memorable documentaries of the year so far--brings that truth-teller to us once again.
  53. It is a fine little old-school thriller.
  54. Once again, as love dies and illusions crumble, this natural actress (Isabelle Huppert) shines with human fire. [26 March 1999, Friday, p.B]
  55. It's a movie imbued with a fierce intimacy -- a tone and style similar to cinema verite documentary -- but it's not a banal realism, even if the characters and settings in contemporary working-class Liege initially seem mundane.
  56. It feels fresh and unpredictable, as quietly strange as the remarkable musical score from first-time feature film composer Mica Levi.
  57. It's a wonderful New York story, and Eastwood takes care to make it a story about the many different people who made it a miracle. That is the emotional core of the film, a celebration of the simple act of reaching out a helping hand without a second thought.
  58. The beauty of The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack lies in its ability to transform itself into a sad tale of loss, regret and missed opportunities while it also remains a solid documentary about a once-influential artist seeking his place in the sun.
    • Chicago Tribune
  59. One of those welcome visitors, a movie that turns out to be much more than we expected.
  60. The movie scrambles our responses and covers so much ground, with such zest, that its two and a half hours race past like a firestorm.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Perhaps the most startling part is the realization that, in the turn-off-your-brain season of summer, you've just experienced an uncommonly serious-minded movie that's brave enough to engage our deepest emotions on issues of death, madness, illusion and forgiveness. That's the biggest thrill of them all.
  61. Infusion of comedy elements keeps the story light, without dragging it into the cartoonish.
  62. An old nightmare, made shiny new.
  63. Amuses and unnerves in equal measure.
  64. A smart, funny and hip adventure film in a summer of car wrecks and explosions. [4 July 1997]
    • Chicago Tribune
  65. It's a film objet d'art to contemplate and treasure.
  66. Honest, poignant and very funny, full of memorable, moving moments.
    • Chicago Tribune
  67. This magnificent pair are the heart of Techine's film, and the sense of frayed, aging beauty and handsomeness they now carry helps project the picture's main theme: the imperishability of true love.
  68. One of the most remarkable English-language feature debuts of recent years.
    • Chicago Tribune
  69. Ten
    A film made by a master, with a simplicity that is really revolutionary. It's a work capable of changing the ways you look at the movies - and at life.
  70. While the protracted third act doesn't kill the two-hour, 23-minute picture, "Casino Royale" remains the best of the recent Bonds, with Skyfall just a notch below it.
  71. Everything about Kung Fu Panda is a little better, a little sharper, a little funnier than the animated run of the mill.
  72. Delivers the perfect union - a vivid, sublime parody and valentine to the superhero genre.
  73. Overall, Baadasssss! succeeds marvelously at evoking the passion and frantic energy behind "Sweetback" and putting it all in the context of its politically charged era.
  74. A contemporary Russian movie that you could honestly call revolutionary, more for its style than its politics.
  75. The splendid new documentary Crumb, a sympathetic yet woundingly candid portrait, catches the artist with much the same skill. [26 May 1995]
    • Chicago Tribune
  76. It's an odd, hermetic and fascinating picture.
  77. A movie with surprises, some of which you should discover for yourself. But its main surprises may be the power of Collette's performance and the beautifully controlled mood and atmosphere Brooks creates.
  78. With braces on her teeth and preteen gawkiness, Eliza's a nerdy girl on the surface, but her backbone and chutzpah manage to save human and animal family alike. Move over Bond; this girl deserves a sequel.
  79. Best of all: the musical score by Alfonso de Vilallonga. It's terrific — witty, symphonically lush and shrewdly informed by flamenco strains throughout.
  80. The beauties of Shower lie in its human observation, in its funny interplay, candor, lusty acting and hearty simplicity - and also in its warm imagery and the fascinating symbolic use it makes of water.
  81. It's hard to watch and listen to Together without, in some sense, having your heart lifted by its music.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The four stars of Sisterhood are back for this smart, confident second act, based on novels by Anne Brashares.
  82. I greatly prefer this cleverly sustained and efficiently relentless remake to the '73 edition. It is lean and simple.
  83. In The Weather Man, Nicolas Cage, a great oddball movie star who sometimes takes enormous risks, has a good, risky part again.
  84. For a film that points out so much wrong with German society and shows such dubious, dangerous behavior, it leaves the audience with high spirits and a sense of crazy exhilaration.
  85. A film that art-house audiences in 1959 loved madly. And who can blame them? A buoyant, searingly colorful retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth set in Rio de Janiero, writer-director's Marcel Camus' movie is a romance heightened by its backdrop.
  86. A riveting adaptation of Scott Turow`s novel about a prosecutor prosecuted for murder. When this film works best, which is often, everything about it seems cramped and uptight and dark.
  87. The movie looks like far more than a million dollars and it offers the kind of smart, picaresque good time you get from books like "The Reivers" and "Huckleberry Finn" and movies like "Bronco Billy" and "Bonnie and Clyde."
  88. The storytelling is episodic, and the film takes a little while to get going, but it hits its stride.
  89. A gargantuan epic, a historical adventure-drama of overwhelming visual grandeur.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Features colorful song-and-dance numbers that look and sound best in surround sound and on a huge screen.
  90. The Wrestler works for the same reason "Rachel Getting Married" works. The way they're acted, shot, edited and scored, both films deploy a loose, rough-hewn documentary style to great dramatic advantage. The corn isn't hyped. The performances click without going for the jugular.
  91. This century's Planet of the Apes is a rouser, a screaming-banshee fun house.
  92. These are real characters, fully observed, gutsily written, beautifully acted by the two leads.
  93. Has the kind of super-cinematic qualities and bravura acting that make up for almost anything.
  94. Charlie, who owes an obvious debt to Chuck Jones' Wile E. Coyote, comes equipped with one of the most expressive faces in cartoon history: Bluth keeps his features-ears, snout, mouth, eyes-in constant flux, a beautiful blend of line and volume that represents the pinnacle of the animator's art. [17 Nov 1989]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Rarely does any film, animated or otherwise, immerse you in such a vivid landscape and engage your senses so strongly.
  95. So intense and warm are Leigh's feelings for his characters, that we may remember Hannah and Annie long afterward as old friends -- imperfect yet lovable, pals with whom we've suffered and laughed a lot.
  96. Showing us a world through a child's eyes, A Time for Drunken Horses speaks so truthfully and well that it breaks the heart and scars the conscience.

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