Chicago Sun-Times' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 6,093 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 73% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 25% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 The Sweet Hereafter
Lowest review score: 0 Police Academy
Score distribution:
6093 movie reviews
  1. Director Green isn’t trying to reinvent the squeal. Halloween, the 2018 version, is the B-movie sequel “Halloween,” the 1978 version, has always deserved.
  2. The Hate U Give is indeed a message movie, and yes, there are a few times when certain characters come close to becoming caricatures. But those are minor drawbacks to a story filled with immediacy and urgency but also so much heart and soul.
  3. Sometimes it’s a creepy thriller. Sometimes it’s a gripping and heartbreaking story of a man losing his memory. Sometimes it’s drive-in movie about a charismatic and thoroughly reprehensible cult leader. And then, from time to time, it’s for all intents and purposes a musical.
  4. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who has consistently delivered good work in countless genres on TV and in the movies, delivers one of her most memorable performances as the title character, who is smart and cool and infuriating and sympathetic and odious and entertaining and so much more.
  5. What makes the movie so memorable, so good, so strong, is the unvarnished, warts-and-all perspective.
  6. Tom Hardy is one of the best actors in the world, but as he flounders his way through Venom, we’re reminded even the finest talents can sink under the weight of a terrible movie.
  7. It’s a carefully crafted, almost reverential character study of man and music Hawke clearly and greatly admires.
  8. Forrest Tucker’s swan song moments in The Old Man & the Gun are well tailored for Robert Redford’s swan song as an actor. It’s a damn good performance that also serves as a fitting curtain call.
  9. One of the many wonderful surprises in A Star is Born is how director/co-writer/leading man Cooper strikes the perfect balance between a showbiz fable with emotional histrionics and performance numbers and a finely honed, intimate story with universal truths and experiences hardly unique to the entertainment world.
  10. It’s not often an animated children’s movie features lessons about critical thinking, especially when the movie on the whole is a zippy, silly, zany, cheery little tale with the obligatory upbeat musical numbers, wonderfully entertaining voice work from the eclectic cast, and a gentle, PG tone with nary a sequence that will have the little ones scurrying for cover under your wing.
  11. D’Apolito does a beautiful job of honoring Radner, but I found myself wishing Love, Gilda was a two-part, four-hour documentary, a la Judd Apatow’s “The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling.” There’s just too much Gilda greatness — on and off camera — to be contained in an 86-minute box.
  12. This is an extra-cheesy and terrible film.
  13. In the case of the awkwardly titled, swing-and-a-big-miss workplace comedy A Happening of Monumental Proportions, there are numerous scenes so tone-deaf, so off-putting and fundamentally unsound in structure and dialogue, the execution of those sequences is doomed from the get-go.
  14. Life Itself begins with a cinematic shell game, with Fogelman pulling a short con on the viewer for no discernible reason.
  15. We know where Moore stands on the political spectrum, but Fahrenheit 11/9 isn’t an anti-Republican screed. He’s arguing, quite convincingly, it’s the system that’s broken, with career politicians on both sides of the aisle culpable and accountable.
  16. [Stern] comes across as a sincere presence who is almost too polite and doesn’t challenge some interviewees who make wildly inaccurate and sometimes racist assertions based on ignorant viewpoints. But it could be argued his gentle, respectful style of an effective tool to get his subjects to reveal their true selves.
  17. Thanks to the stylish direction by Paul Feig, a whip-smart screenplay by Jessica Sharzer (adapting Darcey Bells’ novel) and performances that pop from the screen, A Simple Favor is a sharp-edged delight.
  18. The problem is, despite the efforts of the talented cast, the supposedly lovable former soldiers aren’t all that lovable, the primary human villain is a cocky fool with cloudy motives — and the predators don’t seem all that intimidating compared to a lot of the Earth-loathing alien invaders we see at the movies these days.
  19. Slice is schlock, but that’s kind of the point. It doesn’t have a tenth of the production values of, say, last week’s violent thriller “Peppermint” (and no doubt it was made for even less than a tenth of that film’s budget). But it has originality, and originality goes a long way.
  20. Writer-director Victor Levin takes an interesting although ultimately tedious and distracting approach to nearly every scene.
  21. In the stylishly directed but gratuitously nasty and cliché-riddled Peppermint, Garner plays essentially two characters cut from the same person.
  22. Everything unfolds pretty much as we anticipate, and at times “Operation Finale” IS gripping and involving — but more often, the story slows to a crawl and actually becomes less involving just when we should be holding our breath. This is a well-made but formulaic, by-the-numbers drama.
  23. The editing is brilliant, as we jump back in forth in time, seeing these three as kids and then as young men, marveling at their skateboard moves and smiling at their rebellious spirit, and wondering if there’s any hope for any of them given all they’ve been through in their young lives.
  24. At times The Little Stranger is frustratingly vague, and some of the developments don’t add up … Until they do. Quite nicely and quite eerily.
  25. The Wife is visually arresting, but Runge wisely opts for a straightforward approach overall, giving center stage to the dialogue and the actors.
  26. It is an impressively staged and appropriately rain-soaked, mud-splattered, bone-crunching tale, more violent and filled with rougher language than its predecessor, if not quite as powerful or moving.
  27. Hope began to die about five minutes into this off-putting, cheap-looking, virtually laugh-free disaster. Hope was dead at the 10-minute mark.
  28. Down a Dark Hall eventually goes Down a Convoluted Tunnel, with some admittedly creepy but also just plain crazy sequences that play like “Eyes Wide Shut” meets “The Shining.”
  29. The real support group at this place is the one formed by a small band of students, who lean on each other and reinforce each other in the face of the small-minded bigotry of the so-called adults in their lives.
  30. Though it crackles with energy and has some impressive albeit gratuitously bloody kill sequences, the Big Picture plot is a dud, up to and including the preposterous final scenes.

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