Pros: Definitive Voice of American Chess, applicable to all levels.
Cons: A little room to improve in terms of balance and general appeal.
Chess Life is the official magazine of the United State Chess Federation. A serious chess player cannot be without it.
It appeals to all levels of players, both experienced experts and masters as well as beginners. Even elementary school players will find resources here they can use and learn from.
In terms of the quality of production, it is growing and improving and pretty decent now, though that was not always the case before.
While compared to world-wide standards, Chess Life is fairly tame, you will be surprised however, by the amount of politics and jockeying found in the upper levels. FIDE is the real area, to see this at work, but the USCF has it tempests in tea pots as well.
Chess players can be passionate, and while arguing and jockeying for the strength of particular lines of play in analytical variations, combined with arguments over the fairness of tournament settings and how they affect one's country or favorite players, you may feel at times like you're watching a session of the United Nations! Fun, but it can be disconcerting for someone not used to it.
I almost gave it 5 stars, and I wish I could give it 4 1/2, but there's just some room for improvement still and I hope they continue to advance and grow and find some more balance.
I certainly recommend subscribing to it however, if you want to improve and grow in your chess.