Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 4,660 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 3.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Trainspotting
Lowest review score: 0 That's My Boy
Score distribution:
4660 movie reviews
  1. The most charming comedy in town, writer-director-editor Katsuhito Ishii's 2003 piece is a modern Japanese variation on "You Can't Take It With You," with some lovely fantastical flourishes.
  2. This is not an inspirational drama about finding yourself; it's a Hitchcockian comedy about adultery, murder and losing a corpse.
    • Chicago Tribune
  3. A small film that packs a big wallop.
  4. Exquisitely captures the irony and hopefulness of the era.
  5. The most stylish comics-derived entertainment of the year...It's paced and designed for people who won't shrivel up and die if two or three characters take 45 seconds between combat sequences to have a conversation about world domination, or a dame.
  6. Announces the arrival of an undeniable talent (Meshkini) that has come of age.
  7. O
    A sign of O's effectiveness is that it works regardless of whether you know Shakespeare's play.
    • Chicago Tribune
  8. The film is a remarkable experience on a purely sensory level, and the best of its archival footage - on the track, in private meetings with drivers before the races, from the white-knuckle, over-the-shoulder perspective of Senna himself - is pure gold.
  9. There’s something of the harlequin in Leigh’s conception of this bright, manic young woman.
  10. A powerful symbolic drama.
  11. One of the year's finest documentaries, a remarkable example of the conjunction of a burningly topical and newsworthy subject with a brilliant filmmaker.
  12. It sneaks up on you and shakes you: a tale of the cold hell surging up beneath that windy, sensuous Wyeth landscape.
  13. Manages to find the magic through its documentary style, and manages to find the erotic in the commonplace. Not since the glory days of Italian neo-realism has lust among the peasants looked so good.
  14. J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter just keeps growing up. So do the Potter movies, in size, in ambition and in visual splendor - and with increasingly stunning results.
  15. Think "Mad Max" in wheelchairs.
  16. A triumph that deserves a broad audience.
    • Chicago Tribune
  17. The Human Stain has those qualities we often want but rarely see in our films: intelligence and ambition, decency and humanity, poetry and pity, fire and ice. Watch it and weep.
  18. I can't imagine Anvil! not appealing to anyone interested in any aspect of showbiz, and the drug of fame, and the lives people lead in pursuit of the next fix.
  19. The film seems a mad mix of staid PBS bio-drama, flamboyant musical comedy and surreal cartoon nightmare.
  20. A stark, minimalist near-masterpiece about the creation of a murderer in modern Iran.
  21. A weird, funny, melancholy tribute to movies and movie-going, an opus for film geeks that rang my personal bell. A bizarre minimalist epic that will either transport or infuriate, it's defiantly, exquisitely eccentric.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    All of these folks are damaged souls, trying their best to find purpose and forgiveness.
  22. The film is an anomaly — a confident, slightly square, highly satisfying example of old-school Hollywood craftsmanship, starring a major movie star brandishing a briefcase, and a handkerchief, rather than a pistol.
  23. One of the best of its streamlined, over-produced, double-clutch kind: a high-speed, slicker-than-slick car-chase movie with unexpected deposits of character and comedy.
    • Chicago Tribune
  24. Jenkins and The Visitor”make lovely music together. It’s a case of a veteran character actor slipping on a leading role like the most comfortable pair of pants in the world.
  25. A mad, resplendent peacock of a film, a cinematographic riot of color and sensuality that evokes its era -- the swinging mid-'60s -- as much as any movie made during those giddy years.
  26. One of Morris' swiftest works, yet also one of his saddest, Tabloid reveals among other things what happens when one person's definition of ordinary healthy romance is undone by another's.
  27. A highly satisfying miniature. Its subject may be adolescence, and some of its pot-smoking, kick-back humor is adolescent too--in a good way. But the film's calm and witty visual rhythm offers a rueful awareness of time passing and of time wasted, in ways that people tend not to appreciate fully until long after they've wasted it.
  28. The most visually spectacular, action-packed and surreal of the adventures of Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp).
  29. The Crow imbues its comic brutalism with emotion and satire. Too raw and pulpy, it probably shouldn't be regarded as a memorial to Brandon Lee. But as an obsessive rock 'n' roll comic book movie shocker of loony intensity, it stands, or flies, by itself.
  30. It's a terrific, kinetic experience, and it's also a brilliant showcase for a crackerjack ensemble of great actors.
  31. Here's what I most appreciate about Shannon's work with the writer-director Jeff Nichols: the subtlety.
  32. A true feat of daring and one of the craziest films of the year.
  33. Sometimes, it's exciting to watch a movie formula jell on screen-and that's what you can see happening in The Client, the latest, and best, of three successive films adapted from legal thrillers by John Grisham.
  34. Most of all, it's a film for moviegoers who love powerful stories and ravishing imagery: timeless, eternal, the kind of tales handed from one generation and culture to the next -- and alive in all of them.
  35. There are many tragedies and accomplishments here, without the engineered uplift afflicting any number of lesser documentaries.
  36. Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro's "Delicatessen" is an exuberantly wacky, perversely droll black comedy with an ample dose of gentle whimsy-"Eating Raoul" out of "Mr. Hulot's Holiday." [17 Apr 1992]
    • Chicago Tribune
  37. The best material, however, keeps returning to the unstable power dynamic between Q-Tip and Dawg.
  38. A film of great spiritual intensity and haunting minimalism that enlarges your concepts of movies and of life. Like the monks of the Carthusian order, it distills something intoxicating through a style that's pure and rigorous.
  39. Here's one of the strongest feature film debuts in a long time, in any genre.
  40. Ablaze with poetry and danger, and suffused with an odd kind of intellectual kitsch.
  41. It's a summit meeting between three brilliant leading men from three generations with three striking on-screen personas.
  42. For any of you who've ever daydreamed of playing hoops with Jordan, Michael Jordan to the Max is almost certainly the closest you'll ever get.
  43. Reynolds and Mendelsohn could not be more different actors, but in this pairing they are perfect.
  44. Mainly it’s a very solid dance picture, which is the point.
  45. Few directors are more adept at playing with all this anguish and exhilaration than Mike Nichols.
  46. If "Nightmare" was a jazzy pop number, "Bride" is a waltz--an elegant, deadly funny bit of macabre matrimony.
  47. Here's a funny, poignant oddball of a movie, existing on a galaxy far, far away from the likes of "Pacific Rim" or "World War Z" or anything whose computer-generated actions speak louder than words.
  48. The movie finds what solace it can in giving voice to those who escaped this church's grasp.
  49. A crackling good movie. [18 Dec 1992]
    • Chicago Tribune
  50. Vivid, assured and extremely suspenseful.
  51. This is an exceptional film about nearly unendurable circumstances, endured. You will come out the other side of it a markedly enriched filmgoer.
  52. The poetry of Last Days has a stoned grandeur.
  53. It's a film for specialized tastes, quiet, delicate. But it suits those tastes beautifully.
  54. The Sea isn't just brooding Scandinavian domestic tragedy, a lesser Bergman-Ibsen pastiche. It's also hilarious and rowdy, and it plays with our sympathies and expectations in such surprising ways, with such brilliant actors, it's easy to see why it won the equivalent of eight Icelandic Oscars.
  55. A witty and psychologically perceptive look at the Parisian literary scene.
  56. A brash, funny, action-packed bit of sci-fi ecstasy--and a giant raspberry to the execs who let "Firefly" fall out of the sky.
  57. A noir with a smile, and after all these years, its deft mixture of darkness and light still makes us smile.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    A bracingly honest, funny movie about death and family that skillfully sidesteps the usual pitfalls of sentimentality and mawkishness. It’s what you might call an awards season miracle.
  58. You probably won't find two more fascinating camera subjects, two livelier conversationalists or two richer, more rewarding, more engaging and inspiring companions in any movie, fiction or non-fiction, this year.
  59. A beautiful, intensely moving film.
  60. As big-budget comic book adaptations go, this one's a gratifying freak--the right kind of conflicted, as well as quick-witted. It's a lot of fun.
  61. It's a nice mix, an elegantly smoky and dangerous cocktail -- just like the old noirs, but in a more modern, shinier glass. And since the basic brew is Elmore Leonard's, it tickles as it goes down. [26 June 1998]
    • Chicago Tribune
  62. This is a first-class muckraking melodrama: an admirable picture.
  63. Chomet himself has written the gentle waltz theme and other music. The piece glides by, effortlessly.
  64. I Am Love makes no apologies for its style. None needed: The film, a two-hour swoon, is a cry for romantic freedom, perched on the edge of self-parody, as all good melodramas are.
  65. Black's retro-noir reminds us why we love movies: because they can surprise us, even when we're ankle deep in bullet casings, bodies and enough twists to tie us in knots.
  66. Muylaert's picture relates to many other South American domestic comedies pitting "the help" against the economic overlords, but this one has the grace to humanize everyone on screen. The results are both smart and curious.
  67. If Beyond the Gates were merely a well-intentioned bore, the reality might seem jarring. As is, the coda fits and feels like the only possible ending--proof that surviving to help tell the story of a genocidal nightmare is the best revenge.
  68. As a director Hedges is smart enough to allow his actors to share the frame and interact and let the material breathe.
  69. The Witnesses may be schematic, but it lets each character live and breathe. The film captures a time and place that seems very distant now.
  70. The concerts are hypnotic, the music is swell, and the entire package moves along at just the right pace.
    • Chicago Tribune
  71. German emigre Dupont directs all this with the style, flair and tension he brought to his 1925 Emil Jannings classic, "Variety." But it is Wong, shimmering with charisma, who gives Piccadilly its unforgettable center.
  72. Tone is everything here. While likely influenced by Chilean absurdists of another era, such as playwright Egon Wolff, in The Maid Silva treads an ultra-fine line between caricature and character, leaning toward the latter without weighing down an essentially featherweight creation.
  73. Amy
    Amy stays above the tabloid fray, up to a point. Kapadia hasn't made a groundbreaking documentary; it's more like a classy, high-end edition of "Behind the Music."
  74. It is not an easy film to watch, nor should it be. It is, however, beautifully made. Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern, the co-directors, wrangle their information and lay it out clearly, vividly and with a sharp sense of focus.
  75. Not a striking film visually. It's deliberately plain looking, focused on the appalling events with an almost documentary immediacy.
  76. Even if you have no interest in documentaries or the facade that is New York City, The Cruise transcends its artistic boundaries to becomes something strange and unique.
  77. Painful and unforgettable — a serious and honorable form, perhaps the highest, of "gotcha" journalism imaginable.
  78. This is the first film the Dardennes shot in the summertime. Excellent choice of seasons. I'm not sure I could've handled Cyril's travails without it, or without de France's smile.
  79. Delivers that rare combination of winning traits. It's a low-key comedy with a risque hook -- a seemingly straight woman dabbles in lesbianism -- yet it maintains an old-fashioned faith in literate dialogue, believable behavior and themes that reach beyond the plot points.
  80. It's a thriller that comes at you with gut-clutching ferocity, spewing blood and sex, shaking you up and scrambling your responses.
  81. Not too many actors last year bettered or equaled Beatty and Schreiber here, separately or (better yet) together. It's a pleasure and a privilege to watch them work.
    • Chicago Tribune
  82. With an uncredited assist from playwright/screenwriter Howard Korder, Hollywoodland features some tart, lively banter and welcome comedic touches.
  83. One of those small films that will, one hopes, find a larger audience through word of mouth.
  84. This may be the most overtly Christian mainstream picture since "The Passion of the Christ." Unlike that one, though, Malick's comes with a generosity of spirit large enough to get all sorts of people (including non-believers) thinking about the nature of faith and what it's all about.
  85. This is an old-fashioned movie done with wit, grace, smarts and style. [19 March 1999, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  86. Farmiga's film doesn't state things directly, but we sense what is happening to Corinne, and how some turn to fundamentalism for complex and interconnected reasons.
  87. Revanche has an unusual rhythm: Once it leaves the grotty urban despair behind for the deceptive calm of the countryside, it relaxes and explores the character’s interior lives.
  88. As much fun as anything director/co-writer Jane Campion has ever filmed. Holy Smoke lets it all hang out.
    • Chicago Tribune
  89. The writer-director doesn't raise her voice, even as she firmly condemns the injustice. Water seduces us with its beauty and sorrow.
  90. By the time the film is over, you may not feel differently about the key issues than you first did, but you will have many more facts (sound) and opinions (fury) to consider.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Never mind the gorgeous wilderness backdrop, the 18th-Century details, the carefully voiced and subtitled American Indian dialogue. From its very first frame until seconds before closing credits, "Mohicans" is an action movie. [25 Sep 1992]
    • Chicago Tribune
  91. We need films such as Kennedy's as a corrective.
  92. The acting in Durkin's feature is excellent. Olsen is utilized largely as an object for camera adoration, but not in the usual glamorizing way. Olsen, Hawkes and company play slippery figures with lovely assurance.
  93. Wiseman's film allows everyone their say, so that In Jackson Heights becomes one of the truest images of gentrification and its costs on film.
  94. Pretty-near pure gold.
  95. It's a twisty, hell-for-leather crime thriller, and director Carl Franklin gives it all the slick, modern trimmings.
  96. One of the more delightful and satisfying family movies.
  97. The film's strength is director Jim McBride's seemingly easy way of presenting us with a New Orleans that is more malevolent and intoxicating than the tourist trap that some think it to be.

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