Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 5,384 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 62% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 36% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The Exorcist
Lowest review score: 0 The Hitcher
Score distribution:
5384 movie reviews
  1. The movie has a deliberately screw-loose feel.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. It is, in the best Disney tradition, a story of childhood's end, of leaving the family and accepting adult responsibilities. Bluth relates it through a smooth counterpoint of humor, sadness and horror.
  5. One of the best realistic dramas of the year.
  6. Cooper's performance is his best yet. As is Lawrence's (the more crucial role, in fact).
  7. Director Maya Angelou, the celebrated author, makes an impressive filmmaking debut by pacing her story slowly enough to make Woodard's transformation credible. [25 Dec 1998, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  8. You will not forget The Piano Teacher. Nor will you forget Isabelle Huppert, a brave, brilliant actress who here plays her masterpiece.
  9. 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."
  10. An upbeat, thoroughly entertaining street film about an entertainment revolution in the depressed South Bronx, featuring break dancing, graffiti art and record mixing. A black and Puerto Rican version of Saturday Night Fever. [08 June 1984, p.12]
    • Chicago Tribune
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Poison is not a film that will play the shopping malls, but it remains a most imaginative, exquisite and compassionate piece of work.
  15. Certain things in Three Monkeys can only be described as brilliant.
  16. A real gem: a deadpan fantasy that turns into one of the best pictures ever about the post-"Star Wars" studio moviemaking era.
  17. The result is not a movie of peekaboo titillation, but a studied, original portrait of sexuality and its role in human relationships.
  18. Warts, entrails and all, I had a ball at Zombieland. It’s 81 minutes of my kind of stupid.
  19. There's scarcely a scene in which the actors, action and sound track aren't cranked up to maximum intensity.
    • Chicago Tribune
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. Engrossing and weirdly funny.
  24. Even more enjoyable than the original. [19 June 1981]
    • Chicago Tribune
  25. The Trip isn't much, but it's more than enough.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. It fascinates both as film history and as a sobering reminder of how little credit a woman like Lamarr received, even at the peak of her popularity.
  32. A fine French comedy-drama.
    • Chicago Tribune
  33. The filmmaker's documentary training pays off in detail after detail.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. A story of faith and redemption, as viewed through the blurry and bloodshot eyes of a young man.
  37. The film is mostly light and funny, but it also has a wistful ending that lingers in the mind. Both lead actors are sensational. [21 Oct 1988, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. A charming, adult-oriented saga of the famous cartoon character that comes alive only when Popeye finds his baby, Swee'pea. [19 Dec 1980, p.10]
    • Chicago Tribune
  42. An often-wondrous comedy, just as rich and surprising as "L.A. Confidential" but considerably less dark.
  43. Knocked Up is more verbally adroit than it is visually. But Apatow's awfully sharp as a chronicler of contemporary romantic anxieties.
  44. 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
  45. I've got to admit it's a stunner.
    • Chicago Tribune
  46. 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."
  47. 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.
  48. 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
  49. Don't let the fast-and-loose vibe fool you: Right up to its operatic finale, this is one tight one last job.
  50. Watching this movie has an almost hypnotic effect, like being carried along on a river past terrains both familiar and inexplicably, maddeningly odd.
  51. An uplifting, funny and engaging star-studded affair.
  52. Remarkable documentary filmmaking, unflinching and full of unlikely grace.
  53. The funniest American comedy of the summer.
  54. Vast, riveting, madly audacious movie biography.
  55. 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.
  56. An incredibly silly film of great humor, brilliant design and epic insanity.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Bell confronts Smelly, labeling him a cheater. But he also sympathizes with him, explaining, "There is a clash in America between doing the right thing and being the best."
  57. The Artist may not be great art, but it's pearly entertainment.
  58. It's an old lesson, but one well told with fresh faces in Mask.
  59. Blessed with one of the strongest casts of any American movie this year, this bravura film, with its radical structure, is full of risk and reward.
  60. The foulest holiday movie I've ever seen -- and the funniest.
  61. Ultimately, p.s. confirms Kidd's talent without expanding it or achieving the comic/dramatic heights of "Roger Dodger."
  62. One of the best films ever about that game, one of the most exciting, instructive and sheerly entertaining of all chess films.
  63. It makes you sweat, laugh, squirm and self explore like few films -- fictional or documentary -- can.
  64. Daring and beautifully made, Zhang Yang's Quitting plays like a Chinese "Rebel Without a Cause."
  65. As pure craftsmanship, No Country for Old Men is as good as we’ve ever gotten from Joel and Ethan Coen. Only “Fargo” is more satisfying (it’s also a comedy, which this one isn’t).
  66. Shine a Light is one of those lions-in-winter affairs, and Jagger, who has a body fat count of negative 67, can still dance like a maniacal popinjay, and Richards still looks like a satyr who has stayed up all night every night of his adult life.
  67. Each performance in this plaintive work is superb, but Kyoko Koizumi's gently melancholy portrait of the businessman's wife keeps Tokyo Sonata true and affecting, even when the later passages go a little nuts.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    This is an all-Latino film--a rarity and a pleasure--but what's most curious and refreshing is that Cordero allows the Latinos to naturally embrace their nationalities, accents and cultural peculiarities.
  68. Panahi's simplicity accentuates the movie's power: its sense of life caught unobserved.
  69. Revives the art of smart, scathing movie conversation as it skewers Manhattan's singles scene while providing a goodly number of laughs. Like its subject, the movie may have its prickly moments, but it's awfully fun to watch.
  70. The movie is madly, wonderfully at odds with itself.
  71. A finely written, superbly acted offbeat thriller.
  72. A stirring, large-souled movie.
  73. This complicated but absorbing tale is not told through primarily American eyes ( Willem Dafoe plays a CIA. figurehead); primarily it's about French and Soviet brinksmanship, and those who succeeded at it, or failed, and one man who died for the risks he took.
  74. Lovely, heart-stirring film.
  75. To millions, Stritch is the Emmy-winning actress who did "30 Rock," playing Alec Baldwin's mom. Those people who don't know the rest of her story should take the 82 minutes to see this.
  76. The moments between mother and son are some of the most intimate and moving of the film.
  77. This movie, a diary of a freewheeling, far-flung installation art project, combines chance and intuition and a humane eye.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Explores an unheralded but emotionally affecting issue in a straight-forward and engaging manner.
  78. The movie is the cinematic equivalent of a near-perfect three-minute pop song. It makes you laugh, smile and tap your toes over a brisk 88 minutes, and when it's finished, you're ready to hit repeat.
  79. One of the year's best documentaries.
  80. At the end, director Wright wraps the whole thing up with a fairy-tale coda more Shakespearean than Austen-tine. Yet it all works.
  81. Much will be resolved by the final chapter of the trilogy, to be directed by Abrams. As much as I enjoy his brand of canny populism, I prefer Rian Johnson’s wilder, generous, far-flung imagination.
  82. Mad Dog and Glory was directed by John McNaughton, who wisely lets many scenes run to the point of being uncomfortable, just like his characters are with each other. Everything about this movie seems fresh. [5 Mar 1993, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
  83. Mamet takes exactly those qualities that we most prize in genre movies -- characters, cleverness and high style -- and refines them to a high shine.
    • Chicago Tribune
  84. Though "Keys" is not Amelio's best, it has an emotional power almost equal to anything he's done.
  85. This is a movie with every facet shining in place, every word charged and resonant. [23 Sept 1994]
    • Chicago Tribune
  86. Anton, because after watching your tantrums, abuse and addiction in DIG! I went straight to the record store to buy your music. And that's something.
  87. It's fresh, funny, biting, fast-paced and reasonably perceptive about people and their problems.
  88. Michael Clayton is a here’s-how-it-happened drama, cleverly but not over-elaborately structured.
  89. Swift and compelling, winner of this year’s Oscar for best foreign-language picture, The Counterfeiters may not be destined for the large international audience that embraced last year’s winner, “The Lives of Others.” But it’s the better, tougher film, with a more provocative moral dilemma at its center.
  90. Keeps you off-balance as it establishes a world where every conversation is a flirtation, and trouble and heartbreak sneak in on little cat feet when no one's looking.
  91. A spellbinding piece of Japanese anime from one of the form's new masters, director-writer Satoshi Kon.
  92. It's fascinating and unexpected both in its simple, looming images and its storytelling priorities, which may not intersect with the priorities of audiences who couldn't get enough of "Se7en."
  93. The songs are joyful, and the plant is a foul-mouthed wonder when it begins to talk. Director Frank Oz deserves credit for staging a musical in classic form, creating nothing less than one of the year's most entertaining films. [19 Dec 1986, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  94. (The film is) one of the most anguished, intense and weirdly brilliant of the year.
    • Chicago Tribune
  95. The performances, including a sweetly sincere and easygoing turn from the deaf actress Simmonds, become the audience’s way into Wonderstruck.
  96. Starts out hilarious and then turns very, very grim.
    • Chicago Tribune

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