Chicago Reader's Scores

  • Movies
For 5,365 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 56% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 American Graffiti
Lowest review score: 0 Blindness
Score distribution:
5365 movie reviews
  1. Anne Dorval gives an extraordinary performance as the mother, who lashes out at the boy but can't disguise her own suffering when he lands an emotional punch; their scenes together reminded me of Paul Schrader's Affliction for their sense of familial love gone hopelessly sour.
  2. The original antimarijuana film, offering the true inside story of the devil weed that drives men to savage lusts and women to unspeakable depravities, along with a little bit of dumb fun.
    • Chicago Reader
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The twist of making Bronson a genuine working man adds interest to the action-revenge formula, but not enough to lift this out of the programmer category.
  3. This packaged tour through the great man's career is unenlightening and obfuscating, despite an adept lead performance by Robert Downey Jr.
  4. Dismal Stanley Kramer morality play about a middle-class couple facing the prospect of their daughter's marriage to a black man (Sidney Poitier). A disaster on all counts.
  5. On the whole there's not a lot of flesh on these cynically haphazard bones.
  6. This isn't a major Dante effort, but his ability to make a good-natured satire that allows an audience to read it several ways at once is as strong as ever, and many of the sidelong genre notations are especially funny.
  7. In the end, his deadliest weapon turns out to be other people’s trust, something with grimmer philosophical implications than all his acts of violence combined.
  8. Buñuel conjures with Freudian imagery, outrageous humor, and a quiet, lyrical camera style to create one of his most complex and complete works, a film that continues to disturb and transfix.
  9. The script, by Nolan and his brother Jonathan, takes a few vague pokes at Wall Street and the financial elite but mainly revives the ponderous psychodrama of the first movie.
  10. Winterbottom, a Brit who's shot several films in India, carefully notes the local customs and mores that contribute to the young woman's tragic fall.
  11. Jannicke Systad Jacobsen, a documentary maker directing her first fiction film, demonstrates a sure sense of tone, and Bergsholm is memorable as the misfit teen.
  12. "The whole universe depends on everything fitting together just right," declares Hushpuppy, the fierce, nappy-headed girl at the center of this extraordinary southern gothic.
  13. The true schism here, however, is between the brainless fun of the action plot and Stone's cheap exploitation of the cartels' real-life sadism.
  14. Unfortunately for Polley, Take This Waltz is a good film serving mainly to remind us that "Away From Her" is a great one.
  15. This fourth installment is a complete reboot, returning to the web-slinger's creation story, and Garfield, more than any other factor, contributes to the sense of a bleaker vision along the lines of "The Dark Knight."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The dance numbers, choreographed by Allison Faulk, are inventive and athletic, but not really erotic; Soderbergh never lets you forget that, for these men, dancing is above all a job.
  16. Ted
    MacFarlane gets an impressive amount of comic mileage from having a plush toy talk like a Boston low-life, though for gut laughs nothing compares to the brutal, frantic, and completely wordless fight scene between Wahlberg and his little buddy in a cheap hotel room.
  17. The movie develops into a painful story of one generation inflicting its selfish compromises on the next. The three leads are uniformly excellent, and the strong supporting cast includes Mark Duplass and Philip Baker Hall.
  18. Dick focuses on a handful of women who were sexually assaulted while on active duty, but they're only the tip of the iceberg; according to the film, which draws all its statistics from government reports, more than 20 percent of female veterans have been assaulted.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Unlike most literary adaptations this one actually conveys the pleasure of fiction, lingering suggestively on small details of character and place. The movie casts such a seductive air of mystery that the resolution feels anticlimactic, yet there's plenty to enjoy along the way.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The supposedly cunning protagonist registers as a cipher, and the directors' tendency to shoot dialogue scenes in close-up blunts any understanding of the social milieu he's trying to conquer.
  19. In movies like "Happiness" and "Storytelling," Todd Solondz has staged some pretty horrifying courtships, but the one in this seventh feature is surprisingly gentle.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    However gritty this indie comedy may look (cinematographer Steve Calitri seems to be aping William Eggleston's photographs of the American south), it isn't all that different from an Adam Sandler vehicle: writer-director Robbie Pickering spends much of the movie mocking his characters' stupidity, then pulls an about-face with a sentimental conclusion that feels unearned.
  20. Scafaria, making her feature debut as writer-director, scores numerous laughs off the social dislocation that follows as people realize the apocalypse is imminent (there's a funny sequence at a suburban house party where no taboo goes unbroken).
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Director-cowriter Nathan Adloff displays real sensitivity toward the central characters, yet he hasn't crafted a story in which his observations might carry any weight.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Despite their assorted vulgarities and lack of polish, the films of Adam Sandler are remarkably consistent in their own particular way. This one's no different.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Where the narrative and characterization work, the visuals are lacking. Director Colin Trevorrow's digital cinematography occasionally resembles a YouTube video in mid-buffer, making the gorgeous and picturesque setting of the Pacific Northwest coastline appear bland and texture-less.
  21. The thing runs more than two hours, but this is the sort of project that's indemnified against charges of excess.
  22. In some mumblecore movies the semi-improvised dialogue can be engulfed by hipster irony, but the acting here is so skilled, and the emotional terrain so rocky, that Shelton manages to break past the genre's narrow social parameters to a moving story of grief, betrayal, and devotion.

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