Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 5,087 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 Dr T and the Women
Lowest review score: 0 I Spit on Your Grave
Score distribution:
5087 movie reviews
  1. It's perhaps only because it can't be seen in its full glory on television that "Lawrence" isn't ranked more highly on some recent all-time "best film" lists. But it belongs near the very top. It's an astonishing, unrepeatable epic.
  2. 1966 French masterpiece -- the finest, most deeply personal work of a filmmaker who has been compared, justifiably, to both Dostoyevsky and Bach.
  3. Kieslowski's beautiful, sad and clear-eyed The Decalogue -- an overwhelming psychological and spiritual epic for our times -- faces the darkness, sends out a song against the storm.
  4. Brando made Don Vito something we rarely see in movies: a tragicomic villain-hero, a vulnerable hood. The don is so close to a comic character -- the movie itself is so close to comedy -- that Brando's capacity to move us in the role is doubly impressive. At the end, it is the older Godfather's tenderness and sagacity we recall. [21 Mar 1997, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  5. Sumptuous and beautiful, suffused with a serene melancholy and deeply ambivalent love for a long-vanished past, Luchino Visconti's 1963 The Leopard is one of the greatest of all historical costume epics.
  6. Nobody ever gathered together a sharper, more pungent international "Golden Age" cast (including Claude Rains, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Paul Henreid, Conrad Veidt, S.Z. Sakall, Marcel Dalio, Leonid Kinskey, John Qualen and Curt Bois) in a more imperishable exotic movieland cabaret (Rick's) than Warner Bros. producer Hal Wallis and director Michael Curtiz did in this greatest of all Hollywood World War II adventure romances.
  7. In completing this simple, beautiful project Linklater took his time. And he rewards ours.
  8. If the uncut Fanny and Alexander is Bergman's greatest work, as I think, it's because it's his most inclusive. He shows almost everything: all his moods, conflicts, styles and many of his favorite actors.
  9. The reason it's distinctive has less to do with raw emotion, or a relentless assault on your tear ducts, and more to do with the film medium's secret weapons: restraint, quiet honesty, fluid imagery and an observant, uncompromised way of imagining one outsider's world so that it becomes our own.
  10. 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.
  11. A timeless romantic thriller that steeps us in one of those great artificial movie worlds that become more overpowering than reality itself.
  12. A brilliant work of the imagination capable of truly seizing and igniting our fantasies.
  13. Hoop Dreams has the movie equivalent of all-court vision. It picks up everything happening in the gym, in the stands and even outside. It gives us the thrill of the game, but it doesn't cheat on either the vibrant social context or the deep human story.
  14. Trashy and glorious, the restored Metropolis is a pop epic for the ages.
  15. My Left Foot celebrates the nurturing, healing power of the family unit while avoiding every cliche about the disabled. [2 Feb 1990, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
  16. No matter how many heists you've seen, how many gangs you've watched fall apart or how many aging crooks you've seen walk up a mean street to a violent destiny, Rififi never loses its ruthless grace and force.
  17. 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.
  18. Sometimes cinema's highest achievements become clear only in retrospect. Days of Being Wild--now clearly revealed as one of the peaks of Hong Kong filmmaking and a masterwork of contemporary cinema giant Wong.
  19. Ran
    The physical scale of Ran is overwhelming. It's almost as if Kurosawa is saying to all the cassette buyers of America, in a play on Clint Eastwood`s phrase, "Go ahead, ruin your night"--wait to see my film on a small screen and cheat yourself out of what a movie can be.
  20. While this is very much a McQueen picture, with visual flourishes and motifs unmistakably his, the historical urgency and staggering injustice of the events keep McQueen and company utterly honest in their approach and in their collective act of imagining Solomon Northup's odyssey to hell and back.
  21. The movie's neither hopeful in contrived ways, nor hopeless in different contrived ways. Somehow it manages to be wonderful.
  22. There is only one problem with the excitement generated by this film. After it is over, you will walk out of the theater and, as I did, curse the tedium of your own life. I kept looking for someone who I could throw up against a wall. [8 November 1971]
    • Chicago Tribune
  23. This landmark movie's madcap humor and terrifying suspense remain undiminished by time.
  24. 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.
  25. One of the most excitingly contemporary musicals ever made.
    • Chicago Tribune
  26. It's a nerve-wracking visual experience of unusual and paradoxical delicacy. And if your stomach can take it, it's truly something to see.
  27. It's a movie full of bewitching images and timeless fun and beauty.
  28. The beautiful title song, performed poignantly by the richly textured voice of Angela Lansbury, makes the case for all lovers to look past their partners' faults and into their hearts.
  29. This excellent film works the way Blanchett's characterization of Carol works: It's meticulous about appearances, while fully aware that appearances can deceive.
  30. Toy Story is a complete joy.
  31. Is director David Fincher's film the stuff of greatness? Not quite. But the picture is very, very good.
  32. This movie isn't just a tribute to Baldwin. It's a warning bell regarding leaders who, in Baldwin's words, care only about "their safety and their profits."
  33. The key American film of 2012 ... Its stance is extremely tricky. It's not a documentary. It's not a load of revenge nonsense. It's not '24.' I'm still arguing with myself over parts of it. And that's a sign that a movie will endure.
  34. The film is a singular achievement, a piece of realist cinema with the pull of a suspense thriller.
  35. 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.
  36. Delpy has always challenged Hawke to find a simpler, more direct form of acting in Linklater's films, which gives them their unique suspense and rolling tension.
  37. It's more than a first-rate film showing up and doing its job. It's cathartic, and moving, without any of the usual obvious contrivances or manipulations.
  38. With a bare minimum of dialogue, and a brutal maximum of scenes depicting near-drowning situations in and around Dunkirk, France, in late May and early June 1940, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is a unique waterboarding of a film experience.
  39. Pulp Fiction isn't just funny. It's outrageously funny. [14 Oct 1994]
    • Chicago Tribune
  40. 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.
  41. Leigh's film — one of the year's best — honors its subject in all his tetchy ambiguity.
  42. Vivid, assured and extremely suspenseful.
  43. The life of Riley is not exotic; her troubles are not unique. But they are rendered with serious imagination by Docter and company.
  44. A boisterous, brilliant, heart-warming comedy--strikes me as just about perfect.
  45. Like all great fantasies and epics, this one leaves you with the sense that its wonders are real, its dreams are palpable.
  46. Small, sure and stunningly acted, this is a picture of exacting control.
  47. Irons' Von Bulow is easily the most attractive and entertaining movie heavy since James Mason's villain in ''North by Northwest,'' a figure with whom he shares a taste for elegant homes and wry understatement. [17 Oct 1990]
    • Chicago Tribune
  48. Splendid, soaringly ambitious Chinese period fantasy.
    • Chicago Tribune
  49. It has found a considerable, gratefully discombobulated audience all around the world, and it deserves one here.
  50. Director and co-writer Tom McCarthy played a weasel of a journalist in "The Wire." Now he has made a meticulous, exacting procedural on real-life journalists who excelled at their job; had the resources to do it properly; and in early 2002, published the first in a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of grim, carefully detailed stories of pedophile priests.
  51. What is surprising is how well Spielberg captures the horror, moving his camera with the fury of a combat photographer on the run. [17 Dec 1993]
    • Chicago Tribune
  52. Great, bittersweet family drama.
  53. Stone is spectacular, and she's reason enough to see La La Land. Chazelle is a born filmmaker, and he doesn't settle for rehashing familiar bits from musicals we already love. He's too busy giving us reasons to fall for this one.
  54. 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."
  55. One of the cinema's true classics.
  56. Day-Lewis... the role of a lifetime.
  57. It still soars, but now it seems richer, more expansive. Amadeus reminds us that movies can be lyrical as well as vulgar, ambitious as well as playful, brilliant as well as down and dirty -- just like Amadeus himself.
  58. Nina Paley's delicious Sita Sings the Blues finds solace in autobiography and an animated gold mine in the caverns of an ancient Sanskrit epic.
  59. 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]
    • Chicago Tribune
  60. An incredibly silly film of great humor, brilliant design and epic insanity.
  61. The splendid new documentary Crumb, a sympathetic yet woundingly candid portrait, catches the artist with much the same skill. [26 May 1995]
    • Chicago Tribune
  62. 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.
  63. This is one of the screen's most rewarding explorations of the teacher/student relationship in any language.
  64. Filmed in black-and-white and shockingly well acted by De Niro, Raging Bull suggests that if you are looking for the source of evil in the world, you don't have to look any further than yourself. It's inside you or it isn't. And it comes out or it doesn't. [19 Dec 1980]
    • Chicago Tribune
  65. Platoon is filled with one fine performance after another, and one can only wish that every person who saw the cartoonish war fantasy that was Rambo would buy a ticket to Platoon and bear witness to something closer to the truth.
  66. Star Wars is not a great movie in the sense that it describes the human condition. It simply is a fun picture that will appeal to those who enjoy Buck Rogers-style adventures. What places it a sizable cut about the routine is its spectacular visual effects, the best since Stanley Kubrick's "2001." [27 May 1977]
    • Chicago Tribune
  67. A film that lets life flood into our souls.
  68. One of the quintessential '60s foreign art films, a bizarre melange of pop music, revolution, sex, movie allusions and poetry. It's a masterpiece of sorts by one of the most important European filmmakers of that era. But it's also a movie that can drive you crazy.
  69. Beautifully remastered and containing Cocteau's long-unseen special prologue and credits -- is as much a feat of feverish delight as it was in the dark days of Vichy and WWII.
  70. An extraordinary work, grandly conceived, brilliantly executed and wildly entertaining. It's a hobbit's dream, a wizard's delight. And, of course, it's only the beginning.
  71. 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.
  72. Though uneven and less witty than the first two, Toy Story 3 delivers quite enough in two dimensions.
  73. Painful and unforgettable — a serious and honorable form, perhaps the highest, of "gotcha" journalism imaginable.
  74. A beautiful picture with a great heart, a classic-to-be with a common touch.
  75. A landmark movie that becomes a priceless entryway into a distant land and its people, few of whom will ever seem as foreign and far away again.
  76. One of the most beautiful and profound films to emerge from Japan during the past decade.
  77. I have written elsewhere that love stories seem to be in short supply these days, as they have been in the last decade of American movies. . . . But the hunger for love on the screen is there, and director Spielberg gives it to us in "E.T.," and because the lovers are a little boy and a little creature, we accept it. Of such simple concepts, timeless entertainments are made.
  78. Watching Le Cercle Rouge, we're caught up in a world that, however improbable some of its twists and turns seem, strikes us as a perfect, imaginative creation.
  79. The film goes pretty easy on the royals in the end, and it's a flattering portrait of Blair. But it's not credulous. Frears may swim in the political mainstream with The Queen but he does so like a champion channel crosser.
  80. From its initial first-person, behind-the-wheel viewpoint to its final implication of all-pervasive surveillance, Panahi creates a fascinating hybrid that becomes a microcosm of Tehran.
  81. This is a sumptuous work, from its unconventional title sequence of a woman dancing hard in the streets to its provocative ending with conflicting quotes from Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr .[30 June 1989, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  82. You may not like Beau Travail - which is, after all, a quintessential "critic's film" - but I think you'll have to admit it's been almost perfectly executed.
  83. It is personal filmmaking of the highest order, recognized with an Academy Award nomination for best foreign film.
  84. Leigh is an artist not at all blind to the world's darkness and pain. But the generosity and togetherness he and his company show in Secrets and Lies is something the movies -- and the world -- truly need. [25 October 1996, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
  85. The movie holds up far better than its detractors guessed - splendidly, in fact - not only thanks to Scott's spellbinding acting, but to the epic imagery, Coppola's (and Edmund North's) highly intelligent script and Schaffner's lucid, perfectly controlled direction.
  86. 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).
  87. This is a great and necessary document in support of a two-state solution. Even those who don't believe in such a solution may find their minds changed by The Gatekeepers.
  88. Ida
    One of the year's gems.
  89. A crackling good movie. [18 Dec 1992]
    • Chicago Tribune
  90. The way Lawrence captures a young woman's fear and resolve, often non-verbally, well … this is a considerable talent well on her way to a great career. It's for performances like this that moviegoers find themselves taking a chance on a title that doesn't have a fast-food tie-in.
  91. A movie bull's-eye: noir with an attitude, a thriller packing punches. It gives up its evil secrets with a smile.
  92. Magnificent to look at, thrilling, ingenious, spellbinding and superbly done on every level, this is not just one of the best films of the year or the decade, but of all time.
  93. By re-imagining a pivotal, terrible 24 hours, Greengrass has made a must-see film that is timely - and timeless.
  94. An improbable masterpiece -- a bizarre mixture of grandly operatic visuals, grim brutality and sordid violence that keeps wrenching you from one extreme to the other.
  95. Her
    A delicate, droll masterwork, writer-director Spike Jonze's Her sticks its neck out, all the way out, asserting that what the world needs now and evermore is love, sweet love. Preferably between humans, but you can't have everything all the time.
  96. Badlands is about a landscape as much as the couple fleeing across it. Watching it, you sense that Malick finds his outlaw lovers beautiful and terrible, pathetic and monstrous, funny and overwhelmingly sad. [27 March 1998]
  97. A watershed picture, for both Spielberg and war movies.
  98. An amazing celluloid poem by a filmmaker whom Ingmar Bergman called "the greatest." He very nearly was. He was also, perhaps, too pure a creator and reckless a citizen to survive unscathed.
  99. Masterpiece is the right word for The Sweet Hereafter. It is extraordinary: a poem of familial pain, a song of broken embraces. [25 December 1997, Tempo, p.1]
    • Chicago Tribune
  100. Finding Nemo and its Pixar predecessors tap into the shared gene among the kids and adults that delights in imagination-engaging, eye-tickling and wit-filled storytelling. You connect to these sea creatures as you rarely do with humans in big-screen adventures. The result: a true sunken treasure.

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