Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 4,872 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 3.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Saving Private Ryan
Lowest review score: 0 What Goes Up
Score distribution:
4872 movie reviews
  1. Not a striking film visually. It's deliberately plain looking, focused on the appalling events with an almost documentary immediacy.
  2. 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.
  3. Painful and unforgettable — a serious and honorable form, perhaps the highest, of "gotcha" journalism imaginable.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. It's a thriller that comes at you with gut-clutching ferocity, spewing blood and sex, shaking you up and scrambling your responses.
  7. 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
  8. With an uncredited assist from playwright/screenwriter Howard Korder, Hollywoodland features some tart, lively banter and welcome comedic touches.
  9. One of those small films that will, one hopes, find a larger audience through word of mouth.
  10. 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.
  11. This is an old-fashioned movie done with wit, grace, smarts and style. [19 March 1999, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  12. My Sex Life . . .," one of the best and smartest French comedies in several years, is an epic voyage into paralysis and confusion among the educated young: a witty, brilliantly observed descent into the maelstrom of the modern Groves of Academe.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. As much fun as anything director/co-writer Jane Campion has ever filmed. Holy Smoke lets it all hang out.
    • Chicago Tribune
  16. The writer-director doesn't raise her voice, even as she firmly condemns the injustice. Water seduces us with its beauty and sorrow.
  17. 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
  18. We need films such as Kennedy's as a corrective.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Pretty-near pure gold.
  22. It's a twisty, hell-for-leather crime thriller, and director Carl Franklin gives it all the slick, modern trimmings.
  23. One of the more delightful and satisfying family movies.
  24. 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.
  25. Argentinean filmmaker Lucrecia Martel takes fundamental risks with form and style, and it pays off brilliantly.
  26. Ends up working like a charm.
  27. An animated tale equipped with heart, humor, blazing action and not a sappy song in earshot.
  28. Works better and cuts deeper than the mostly fictionalized "Hoosiers."
  29. The tone of The Host is slippery in the best way; you're never sure if you're in for a joke or a shock, yet nothing feels random.
  30. The beauty of Lion is that it explores and allows for the unique possibilities and power of multiple homes, multiple families and multiple selves.
  31. Malick's nature documentarian impulse has never been more flagrant than in The New World, yet it has never made more organic sense. The film, which is superb on every technical and design level, has both greatness and fuzzy-headedness in it.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Funny, and thoughtful, and deeply, viscerally satisfying.
  32. In The Hudsucker Proxy, the filmmaking Coen brothers make dark, startling, wittily extravagant sport of the American Dream. The movie is opulent and wry, a bitingly intelligent fable about business and romance. [25 Mar 1994, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  33. “Elephant” may have won the Palme d’Or at Cannes but it really didn’t have anything to say about anything. Modest and artful, Paranoid Park says a great deal.
  34. Like a Bach toccata or a frosty drink on a sunlit veranda, a first-class movie spy thriller can offer one of life's cooler, more elegant treats. The Tailor of Panama fits that category.
  35. This film, calm but full of feeling, relays an intriguing story brought to life by some beautiful actors.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It's what we need at the holidays, and it's the modest goal of a modest little picture like this--to capture something heartfelt and real.
  36. Accomplishes what "Snakes on a Plane" did not: It offers a merrily idiotic movie to go with its willfully idiotic title.
  37. With husband and wife starring, you can't help but wonder which details here are autobiographical. No matter: This is obviously a deeply personal work for Attal, whose comic timing and passion can only serve him well both on screen and off.
  38. The Coens' film is a wisenheimer, a mordant black comedy. Eden is utterly different, more muted and humane in tone. It won't be enough for some audiences.
  39. An oddity: an adaptation of a popular novel co-written and directed by the novelist himself. It's also a fine, gentle film love story and a cinematic tribute to the power and manifold benefits of communications between different cultures and nations.
  40. Part Joel & Ethan Coen and part John Millington Synge, this grotty little fairy tale casts a deft line and reels you in. I'd see it again just to hear the drug smugglers argue over the use of the Americanism "good to go."
  41. It's a powerhouse, demanding film that sometimes stretches the limits of credibility. But it's done with such consistent technical brilliance--and with such a first-rate cast and company.
  42. There's a gentleness and open-mindedness in that touch and throughout the film that's a little at odds with the shallower script. But, in the end, that humanity pays. [27 Dec 1996]
    • Chicago Tribune
  43. A violent, improbable movie done in tersely elegant style, and it may be the last action movie for one of the cinema's great action stars, Clint Eastwood.
  44. The movie is full, assured and extremely wry.
  45. These are some terrifically funny and gutsy guys who want to draw attention to what they see as the natural limit of WTO policy.
  46. It's this balance of vivid performance and directorial detachment that allows Leigh to move freely between delicate sentiment and highly caustic wit; even in his most harshly satirical moments, he never denies the humanity of his characters.
  47. It's the film in which an entertainer at last becomes an artist, dealing with manifestly personal, painful emotions and casting them in a form that gives them philosophical perspective and universal affect. It's Spielberg's finest achievement, a film that will look better and better with the passage of time. [22 Dec. 1989]
    • Chicago Tribune
  48. You always get more than one genre with this filmmaker. Volver draws upon all sorts of influences -- a little Hitchcock, a little Douglas Sirk, a little telenovela -- but from those sources Almodovar and his collaborators, both on screen and behind the camera, make an improbably organic whole.
  49. The result is both engrossing and moving, a poem about a love that breaks barriers and passes understanding.
  50. The movie has a deliberately screw-loose feel.
  51. It's hard to breathe in Andrew Lau and Alan Mak's Infernal Affairs, a relentlessly taut Hong Kong cop thriller that, unlike many of its cinematic peers, doesn't burn off tension in choreographed action sequences.
  52. It's one of the most faithful movie adaptations of any Dick story to date, and it comes from the scariest of all his books, as well as the truest.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Generous in spirit and always engaging as it demonstrates that no matter how difficult life may become, there's no excuse for being drab.
    • Chicago Tribune
  53. One of the best realistic dramas of the year.
  54. Cooper's performance is his best yet. As is Lawrence's (the more crucial role, in fact).
  55. You will not forget The Piano Teacher. Nor will you forget Isabelle Huppert, a brave, brilliant actress who here plays her masterpiece.
  56. Folk standards such "500 Miles," "The Death of Queen Anne" and "Dink's Song" infuse the movie, and as in the Coens' "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" T Bone Burnett has done first-rate work supervising the musical landscape. The film, I think, falls just a tick or two below the Coens' best work, which for me lies inside "A Serious Man" and "Fargo."
  57. The new Kong is just different enough to be terrific screen company. His relationship with his leading lady, played with heart and panache by Naomi Watts, doesn't feel like an old story retold. It feels like a brand new story.
  58. Mamet is a writer who turns off some audiences, and almost everything that might bother them is in Edmond: foul language, raging machismo, violence and seemingly bigoted tirades. But almost everything audiences like about him is there too: candor, suspense, ideas, crackling slang, vivid characters.
  59. David Fincher's film version of the Gillian Flynn bestseller Gone Girl is a stealthy, snake-like achievement. It's everything the book was and more — more, certainly, in its sinister, brackish atmosphere dominated by mustard-yellow fluorescence, designed to make you squint, recoil and then lean in a little closer.
  60. Certain things in Three Monkeys can only be described as brilliant.
  61. A real gem: a deadpan fantasy that turns into one of the best pictures ever about the post-"Star Wars" studio moviemaking era.
  62. The result is not a movie of peekaboo titillation, but a studied, original portrait of sexuality and its role in human relationships.
  63. Warts, entrails and all, I had a ball at Zombieland. It’s 81 minutes of my kind of stupid.
  64. There's scarcely a scene in which the actors, action and sound track aren't cranked up to maximum intensity.
    • Chicago Tribune
  65. Duma, at its best, reminded me exactly why we loved movies as children: because they told stories like this, with images just as rhapsodically colorful and exciting.
  66. Griffith gives the fullest performance of her career; Weaver, the most likable, even though she's the villain of the piece. Michael Nichols directs his best film in years. [23 Dec 1988, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  67. Greenaway is a unique filmmaker in that he layers images upon one another in a single frame and doesn't require dialogue to make his films arresting. [18 Jul 1997]
    • Chicago Tribune
  68. Engrossing and weirdly funny.
  69. The Trip isn't much, but it's more than enough.
  70. Be forewarned: The movie lasts three hours and 16 minutes, and nearly all of it deals with subjects that polite society (and even rude society) tends to ignore or evade.
  71. You could say that Seraphim Falls, was no better than the typical Westerns of the 1950s and '60s--which I think underrates it. But those typical Westerns were pretty darn good, and so is Seraphim Falls.
  72. Elegant, cheerfully cynical fun of the kind we used to get regularly from Billy Wilder, Howard Hawks and other masters of the classic Hollywood screwball comedy -- all those '30s-'40s movies about rich people sloshed, or acting crazy and running romantically amok.
  73. There's something simple yet miraculous about watching these beautiful animals interact with the wild and each other, even if their actions are being manipulated for the sake of drama. Annaud has taken his film's message to heart: He knows when to get out of nature's way.
  74. Most of the performers have limited acting experience, but they are perfect for their parts, exhibiting the courage, stamina and wariness essential to live in such a harsh environment.
  75. A fine French comedy-drama.
    • Chicago Tribune
  76. The filmmaker's documentary training pays off in detail after detail.
  77. The film version of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” came out in the year in which An Education is set, and beyond the hairstyles, there’s something of the willful, gleeful Golightly reinvention expert about Jenny.
  78. I don't know if what the Safdies endured growing up was akin to what audiences experience in Daddy Longlegs. But I'm very glad they survived to make a very good film about it.
  79. A story of faith and redemption, as viewed through the blurry and bloodshot eyes of a young man.
  80. A word of warning. Big Fish is so strange and so literary that audiences seeking conventional fare may get impatient with it. But it always takes effort to catch the big ones. This one is worth it.
  81. It's also gorgeously acted by all, and while this may not be one of Kiarostami's finest, the craftsmanship nonetheless is so high, it makes everything else currently in theaters look slovenly.
  82. Allen gives us at least half a classic comedy - more than we usually get at the movies these days - while having some elegant fun with an idea that has intrigued poets and smart alecks through the ages: the interchangeability of comedy and tragedy.
  83. An often-wondrous comedy, just as rich and surprising as "L.A. Confidential" but considerably less dark.
  84. Knocked Up is more verbally adroit than it is visually. But Apatow's awfully sharp as a chronicler of contemporary romantic anxieties.
  85. A three-hour delight… The movie generates much of its power by being so life-affirming at a time when people feel nervous about the future. [9 Nov 1990, Friday, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
  86. I've got to admit it's a stunner.
    • Chicago Tribune
  87. The latest, meticulously atmospheric and wonderfully acted Potter adventure lands happily--broodingly, but happily---near the top of the series heap, just behind Alfonso Cuaron's "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban."
  88. You buy the concept, from start to finish, because it feels strong and purposeful and in sync with Shakespeare's own vision of a malleable, fickle populace and a leader raised by the ultimate stage mother.
  89. Soderbergh pretty much failed in trying to evoke a noir-like nightmare world in the 1919 Prague of "Kafka," his 1991 terror film. But here, he dazzlingly hews out a noir landscape in more unlikely territory: modern-day Austin, Texas. [28 April 1995]
    • Chicago Tribune
  90. Don't let the fast-and-loose vibe fool you: Right up to its operatic finale, this is one tight one last job.
  91. Watching this movie has an almost hypnotic effect, like being carried along on a river past terrains both familiar and inexplicably, maddeningly odd.
  92. An uplifting, funny and engaging star-studded affair.
  93. Remarkable documentary filmmaking, unflinching and full of unlikely grace.
  94. The funniest American comedy of the summer.
  95. Vast, riveting, madly audacious movie biography.
  96. In a time when American TV is full of stories of missing loved ones, Abduction keenly explores the reactions of an altogether different society and also examines the universal, excruciating pain suffered by such victims and their families everywhere.

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