Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 4,348 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 64% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Così ridevano
Lowest review score: 0 Bratz
Score distribution:
4,348 movie reviews
  1. It is, for what it is, a work of considerable care and craft. And it's completely soulless.
  2. Just another self-absorbed teen chronicle, with the added twist of a little time travel and a surprise ending.
  3. I find Lars and the Real Girl adorable in the worst way, bailed out only by most every member of its excellent cast.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 12 Critic Score
    The melodramatic clumsiness of the script, and, in one scene, its gratuitous endorsement of marijuana, betrays the youth of its writer, recent UCLA graduate Shane Black. And veteran director Richard Donner, whose credits include another cartoon movie, can't seem to thread the scenes together in any meaningful way. [6 Mar 1987, p.G]
  4. It's a seriously withholding action comedy, stingy on the wit, charm, jokes, narrative satisfactions and animals with personalities sharp enough for the big screen, either in 2-D or 3-D.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 12 Critic Score
    There's no plot here; like the MTV show that spawned it, this movie is just a progression of increasingly disgusting and/or dangerous stunts.
  5. It may well be a hit, but me, I'm waiting for "Iron Man 2."
  6. Strangely unmoving. So what went wrong?
  7. Vincent & Theo is a by-the-numbers art biography that barely succeeds in recapping the best-known events in the life of its subject, Vincent van Gogh. There is something almost chilling in the degree of the director's evident disengagement from his material and the complete lack of craft with which he has filmed it.
  8. Hanna presents the problem of the well-made diversion that is, at its core, repellent.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Williams does a fine job with her role. I was pulling for her throughout her dreary journey. It's too bad it didn't get anywhere.
  9. Maybe this review is more about me than about Conan O'Brien, but I really couldn't get past the odor of self-congratulation emanating from nearly every scene in Conan O'Brien Can't Stop.
  10. Superhero comic book movie with a script so feeble it might have been written with crayons.
  11. The movie plays like a very expanded version of what would make -- and likely has made -- a cute TV newsmagazine segment.
  12. It wanders and putters and follows its main characters around.
  13. Though I would agree it's original -- it's the first aboveground romance movie I've seen in which the heroine is repeatedly spanked, verbally tormented and tied to a chair by her lover--- it's not an experience I much enjoyed.
  14. The camera bobs and weaves like a drunk, frantically. So you have hammering close-ups, combined with woozy insecurity each time more than two people are in the frame. Twenty minutes into the retelling of fugitive Valjean, his monomaniacal pursuer Javert, the torch singers Fantine and Eponine and the rest, I wanted somebody to just nail the damn camera to the ground.
  15. Staggers and wanders and feels far longer than its 85 minutes, and it's best considered a calling card for better things to come.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    The Signal combines the inconstancy of an omnibus film with the blandness of art by committee. The end result feels less like a blend of distinct styles than an opportunistic hodgepodge, a second-hand premise wedded to an attention-grabbing gimmick.
  16. The line between cool and cold is a thin one, however. Cool isn't the word for "Thirteen"; it's just smug.
  17. For me, the mechanics or even the (excellent) designs are not enough. Jeunet's archness keeps conventional empathy or engagement at bay, and by design maintains a tone of artificiality.
  18. The first "H&K" caught people off-guard with its canny idiocy and zigzagging, picaresque treasure hunt premise. By now, there's no catching anyone off-guard with these two, except by way of the most off-color and off-putting means possible.
  19. Largely a disappointment.
  20. In the end, Protocols of Zion is all context--a bit here about Father Coughlin, a minute there about the Holocaust, a stint with "The Passion" and a brief shot of Levin watching the beheading of Daniel Pearl--no soul.
  21. Rendered bland and frustrating by its endless attempts to make the odd odder.
  22. Calling Dredd 3D a movie is sort of a lie. It's a premise, and there are levels to reach, and always there's another grimy hallway to stalk, and then you turn right or left, and then kill some more.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    On your deathbed you will want back the time it takes to see this one.
  23. It lacks a sharp look and satisfyingly fleshed-out story and compensates with one numbing round of insect- or human-based peril after another.
  24. High-minded sleaze, the film deceives you with its first 10 minutes, which are interestingly creepy.
  25. Despite a big budget, lots of technical flair and a good cast headed by Sarah Polley and Ving Rhames, it's mostly a bloody mess.
  26. Easy Virtue may be a bauble, as Larita's described at one point, but Coward's examination of hypocrisy demands real skill. The style should suggest "whipped cream with knives," as Stephen Sondheim once described "A Little Night Music." Elliott's film is more like curdled milk with a spork.
  27. Squanders a decent comic premise.
  28. The exhausting slapstick violence is the film's chief variation, and it's no fun at all.
  29. A stupid, stylized road picture. [10 Sept 1993]
  30. What we have here is a much less radical movie than writer Hughes probably believes he has created. Yes, he's given us an individualistic girl, but she swoons like a robot after the first reasonably human WASP or WASC asks her for a date. [2 Feb 1986]
    • 57 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    It’s hard to believe that a lineup so stellar could generate so few laughs, but there it is.
  31. It's a serious drag to see how Ritchie has turned Holmes and Dr. Watson into a couple of garden-variety thugs.
  32. It's reductive, insanely violent slapstick, but that's the phenomenon in a nutshell.
  33. John Waters is back with this awfully bawdy, never sexy, rarely funny, actually boring, one-note sex comedy.
  34. Falling Down is an intellectually sloppy, rebellious working-man adventure film that is little more than a set piece for Michael Douglas playing out a revenge-of-the-nerds fantasy. [26 Feb 1993, p.C]
    • 56 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    It's just a watery, undeservedly smug update of the low-budget, kids-stranded-in-the-sticks bloodfests of the 1970s and '80s.
  35. The appeal of the film version, such as it is, relates almost entirely to eye-for-an-eye, severed-limb-for-a-limb vengeance, two hours and 41 minutes of it, with just enough solemnity to make anyone who thought "The Dark Knight" was a little gassy think twice about which superhero myth THEY'RE calling gassy.
  36. I won't pretend there aren't moments of sweetness here--there are, aplenty. But the promise of true emotion goes bust with bad acting, cheap writing and false sentiment.
  37. A remake for schlemiels, or at least easy marks when it comes to formulaic Hollywood comedy. But the film's peculiar sluggishness and nagging hypocrisy probably won't get in the way of its popularity.
  38. It's tough to get on board with these monsters. They don't get the banter they--or we--deserve, and the screenwriters lean on wearying stereotypes.
  39. Yes
    This is the kind of movie that nice people call ambitious. Let's just leave it at that.
  40. This is "Fight Club" without the irony or the metaphysical gaming.
  41. there's no joy in this movie. It's a safe, compromised, even preachy, fable; a wannabe hip romp that never gets going. [07 Jul 1995]
  42. The tragedy is that the performance comes to nothing. Nearly everything else in the film is vile.
  43. Commits the cardinal sin of all bad IMAX films: It favors visuals over narrative, glitter over substance.
  44. Jakes' characters are points to be made, flesh and blood cautionary tales that don't particularly feel human. His dialogue, even in the mouths of Michelle and her troubled mother, sounds as if it comes straight from the pulpit.
  45. Stiller, a DodgeBall producer, is revealing an unfortunate craving for the cheese of his childhood.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Degenerates into a slow-moving game of connect-the-gross-outs.
  46. The movie is never more than the sum of its scattershot jokes; it's sloppily put together, with scenes seemingly cut mid-dialogue.
  47. Even overlooking the fundamental inanity of the movie, one is left to contend with some offensive racial stereotyping.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Are teenagers really supposed to identify with a clumsy caricature such as Charlie, who, in spite of all his expulsions and school crimes, comes across as a gawping, perpetually surprised infant in an adult body?
  48. Gere and Binoche are both terribly miscast--one far too charismatic, the other far too dowdy, which is something for Juliette Binoche. And the spelling bees? Dull. Dreary.
  49. It's a screen adaptation of Busch's stage play of the same name, which never really went anywhere after its 1999 Los Angeles debut -- and doesn't go anywhere here.
  50. Here and there, in the father/son scenes, you see a glimmer of an honest interaction. All in all, I'd rather watch a "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide" rerun.
  51. Limps along on a squirm-inducing fish-out-of-water formula that goes nowhere and goes there very, very slowly.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    The TV episodes invariably embed a character or a bit of dialogue in your brain that you continuously describe or repeat to your friends. No such find in the movie, though the offbeat soundtrack is very gettable.
  52. Tries hard to be sweet but plays like "Pollyanna" with fleas.
  53. Evil isn't this boring.
  54. Ritchie, who shoots and cuts everything in RocknRolla like an ad for a particularly greasy brand of fragrance for men, delivers the beatings and killings in his trademark atmosphere of morally weightless flash.
  55. Only the architecturally refined bone structure of Kristin Scott Thomas' face rescues Keeping Mum from full-on tedium.
  56. This is a fantasy grab bag in which nearly anything can happen.
  57. It's hard to believe how bad this movie is.
  58. Anytime Jaa isn't on screen, The Protector sputters.
  59. Nostalgia has no real point to make here. All that Famuyiwa can hope to accomplish is to tell his story well. In this area he is less than competent.
  60. Black Snake Moan strikes me as hogwash. It fundamentally does not work; its consciously far-fetched, out-there notions of the things damaged people do in the name of love are reductive and go only so far. It's as if the premise were tethered to a radiator or something.
  61. A gaudy yet grim science-fiction horror movie of such surpassing silliness, humorless intensity and stylistic overkill that watching it may actually put you in a state of paranoia.
  62. Against the rest of his dramatically flimsy crew, Snipes' sunglasses-at-midnight strut conveys an almost lifelike sheen. Almost. He's more alive than the movie, which is dead on arrival.
  63. The ratings board gets all twisted up about sex and skin, yet it cannot give you or your kids enough ax blades to the cranium. This week's evidence: the remake of the old Wes Craven horror item, The Hills Have Eyes, which should not be rated R. It should be rated NC-17, or ITTS-OW, which stands for Is This Thing Sadistic, Or What?
    • 52 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Absurdly unrealistic at times.
  64. Laughing at the freaks and then feeling bad about it is the sole reason for the existence of this pale little film.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    It's almost always rewarding to watch an underdog triumph--what else could explain why movies exactly like this keep being made?--but Longshots is one underdog that's hard to love and harder still to champion.
  65. Boasts one moment, perhaps three or four seconds in length, so delightfully intense and uncharacteristically juicy that the rest of the film - most of the rest of the whole series, in fact - looks pretty pale by comparison. Not vampire pale. Paler.
  66. With such a bang-up cast, this setup could at least elicit some tears, but in its 107 minutes, nary a one welled up in my eyes.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    There are flashes of grim humor interspersed with the murders, but not enough wit to elevate this movie beyond its primary identity: grisly revenge fantasy.
  67. The Producers on screen, as a musical, does not work. It is not very funny. It doesn't look right. It's depressing.
  68. It sounds like standard Cinderella stuff (and the script comes complete with plenty of allusions to princesses in towers), but it's played here with an emphasis on possessions and possessing that borders on the obscene… It's a pretty ugly movie. [23 Mar 1990, Friday, p.C]
  69. Lapica isn't yet enough of a writer or director (or an actor) to make the dramatic arc unpredictable in any way. It may be effective for some as therapy. It is far less so as cinematic storytelling.
  70. The pathos really are shameless, arriving with killing regularity and false humility.
  71. A contemporary teen summer romance with a modern sexual twist--though in many ways, it's just the same old malarkey.
  72. Now that Smith has gotten these characters and jokes out of his system, here's hoping he can turn to material that doesn't require winking at the audience.
  73. A movie as unsubtle as its title suggests, Fear is too seriously intended to work as trash and too ungainly and ugly to register as entertainment. [15 Apr 1996]
  74. It's all very "Scarface"--the De Palma remake of "Scarface," not the Hawks original. In other words, it doesn't feel modern at all. It feels about a generation late and 400 years short.
  75. The kind of fascinatingly bad film only a really gifted and fearless moviemaker could make: a 92-minute long raggedy-raunchy vision of sex, transit and alienation in which Gallo focuses on himself so obsessively, it's as if he'd become his own stalker.
  76. The Favor is a sex comedy without sex-and pretty much without comedy. [29 Apr 1994]
  77. Aiming for a piece with the raw impact of "Precious," on which he served as executive producer, he (Perry) ends up with 134 minutes of misjudged intensity.
  78. Hit & Run is pretty rancid as comedy. Worse, the chases are strictly amateur hour, all shortcut editing and no gut satisfaction.
  79. What an enormous waste of talent and money is Labyrinth. [30 Jun 1986, p.3]
  80. In making a movie that preaches love for odd ducks, Schumacher has turned Flawless into the oddest duck of all.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 12 Critic Score
    Shot in the same style as “Spinal Tap,” Electric Apricot fails to wow in every way possible, but the music disappoints the most.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    If an erotic portrayal of John and Elizabeth's sexual inclinations was all director Adrian Lyne had wanted to accomplish, he might have succeeded. But he was not satisfied with that. [21 Feb 1986, p.A]
  81. Because The Campaign tries to say something about truth vs. hogwash in election season, it's doubly sad the efforts of screenwriters Chris Henchy and Shawn Harwell come to so little.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    The Ten changes tone every few minutes, ranging from lowbrow gross-out gags to elevated language to a big, sloppy musical number.
  82. You'd have to go back to "My Stepmother Is an Alien" to find a male fantasy/nightmare this off-putting.
  83. To say this movie's premise is bonkers is putting it mildly.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Sean Anders' derivative gross-out movie Sex Drive is easier to take if you accept that the answer to every baffling plot question is "because it’s a teen sex comedy."

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