Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 6,311 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 1.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 The Barbarian Invasions
Lowest review score: 0 Hostel: Part II
Score distribution:
6311 movie reviews
  1. It’s an efficient, well-acted thriller from the writing-directing team — relative newcomers to features — of Danielle Krudy and Bridget Savage Cole.
  2. Predictably, it descends into a meaningless blur of gravity-defying physics and robotic limbs by the end, where a lot of violence is happening but you’re never sure exactly why or even how.
  3. It’s a lame and weaselly thing, made strangely more frustrating by some excellent performers.
  4. In Reichardt films ranging from “Wendy and Lucy” to “Meek’s Cutoff” to “Certain Women,” the lives of outsiders are defined by the natural world, economic circumstance and by their own dreams of connection. First Cow is one of her very best.
  5. With The Way Back, Ben Affleck didn’t have to deliver his biggest or most attention-getting performance, simply — and simplicity is hard — his truest.
  6. Does it work? It’s one busy movie, though without much variety in its rhythm or much breathing room in its perils.
  7. The film is about bargains made and broken and re-negotiated. You watch it in an anxious, protective state, regarding the fate of these characters, and this fallout.
  8. The latest film version loosely adapting the Wells story exploits it both ways, subtly and crassly. It works, thanks largely to a riveting and fearsomely committed Elisabeth Moss mining writer-director Leigh Whannell’s stalker scenario for all sorts of psychological nuance.
  9. The latest “Emma,” marking the feature directorial debut of Autumn de Wilde, is a little edgier, driven by a more ambiguous and emotionally guarded portrayal of the blithe young matchmaker played by Anya Taylor-Joy.
  10. Not much music finds its way on the soundtrack, but what’s there is crucial. Vivaldi’s “Violin Concerto in G Minor," heard twice and strategically, ends up crystallizing the love story in ways we don’t see coming.
  11. There isn't much nuance or complexity to be found in The Call of the Wild, but it's an old-fashioned animal-friendly adventure flick for kids, a modern-day and high-tech “Benji” based on a classic piece of literature.
  12. Seriously, the running time of Fantasy Island should be listed as “sometime tomorrow."
  13. The Photograph treats all its characters with some decency and understanding, in a genre where straw villains and cardboard adversaries typically run rampant. The plaintive, jazz-inflected musical score by Robert Glasper establishes the right vibe and level of drama, which is to say: more like life and less like the movies.
  14. The themes that are unspoken, gestured at and repressed in “Force Majeure” are drawn out and made broad, obvious and slapstick in Downhill, which spoon-feeds the lessons of the dark-ish comedy and cuts short the plot for the easiest-to-digest ending.
  15. Christina Hodson’s script is a madcap, irreverent roller coaster ride, the story relayed in a loopy, looping, nonlinear fashion through Harley’s hyperactive storytelling style.
  16. Besides being the best American film of our new year, writer-director Kitty Green’s drama The Assistant confounds expectations and has the strange effect (on me, anyway) of simultaneously chilling and boiling the viewer’s blood.
  17. The movie is made well, if you’re buying what it’s selling, and if you don’t consider a story or a script as crucial to the quality of a thriller.
  18. It may not work for everyone, but those for whom it works will find much to savor and puzzle over in The Turning.
  19. What The Last Full Measure demonstrates is how powerful it can be to shed light on these experiences, through testimony, bearing witness and yes, ceremonial recognition.
  20. The Gentlemen is so blinkered by its outdated (and often offensive) alpha male perspective that it's blind to the elements that could have made it great.
  21. It’s not straight-up realism; nor is it the usual moralizing, candy-coated melodrama. It’s just very, very good, and the scenes between Tenille and Perrier are very, very easily among the plaintive screen highlights of this new year.
  22. The problems begin and end with the script, credited to three writers. “Dolittle” turns its title character into an eccentric and wearying blur of tics, tacked onto a character who comports himself like a bullying, egocentric A-lister rather than someone who, you know, actually enjoys the company of animals.
  23. Bad Boys for Life may be a frantic visual blur but it’s razor-sharp thematically. Its mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make a jaded 2020 audience glad to see these guys again. The movie’s not the point. The boys are the point.
  24. Conceived and developed shortly after Haddish scored, deservedly, with “Girls Trip,”” the movie is a mechanical series of witless yeast infection jokes, or thereabouts. While director Miguel Arteta has made some interesting work in the past, including “The Good Girl” and “Beatriz at Dinner,” his way with low physical comedy here is pretty artless.
  25. Underwater never quite breaches the surface from good to great, though this well-appointed creature feature proves to be an excellent showcase for Stewart’s screen presence.
  26. What’s missing, I think, is a sense of human complication within an inhuman judicial sphere. While Foxx works wonders, especially in his scenes with Jordan, Just Mercy rarely gets under the skin or behind the eyes of McMillian.
  27. A strange tonal mashup that turns the hypermasculine and hyperviolent world of glamorous spies, in the vein of James Bond or “Mission: Impossible,” and turns it into kid-friendly family entertainment.
  28. The latest nerve-shredder from Josh and Benny Safdie is worth seeing, even if it’s not their finest two hours, and even if half of any given audience will resent the hell out of it. Adam Sandler’s excellent.
  29. Is it the worst film of 2019, or simply the most recent misfire of 2019? Reader, I swear on a stack of pancakes: “Cats” cannot be beat for sheer folly and misjudgment and audience-reaction-to-“Springtime for Hitler”-in-“The Producers” stupefaction.
  30. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker does the job. It wraps up the trio of trilogies begun in 1977 in a confident, soothingly predictable way, doing all that cinematically possible to avoid poking the bear otherwise known as tradition-minded quadrants of the “Star Wars” fan base.

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