Baltimore Sun's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,000 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 55% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 42% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Monty Python and the Holy Grail (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Margot at the Wedding
Score distribution:
2,000 movie reviews
  1. A crackerjack thriller, laced with labyrinthine mysteries, moral quandaries and unspeakable evil.
  2. No Country for Old Men is about the kind of amoral madness that can sweep across a country and redefine a landscape. It's so admirably lean and sinewy that it deserves not merely a rave review but a Johnny Cash song about matter-of-fact killings in shady hotels and sun-scoured landscapes.
  3. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly provides an ecstatic lift for movielovers, despite the tragic subject.
  4. One of the favorite sayings of journalists and politicians is "You don't want to see how the sausage is made." Marsh's movie says you do want to see how a miracle is made, even if the details can be just as unsavory.
  5. It's exhilarating in an authentic, pathos-streaked way to see Kearns, through Greg Kinnear's inspired characterization of a wary obsessive, representing himself during his trial against Ford Motor Co. for stealing his design.
  6. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu runs the same 2 1/2 hours as "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," but what a difference a comic-dramatic purpose makes.
  7. A great, lusty movie in the tradition of Bertrand Blier's "Going Places."
  8. Well-acted, lovingly put together and heartbreakingly honest.
  9. Affliction turns the sound on with sudden, crystalline clarity, and echoes with the haunting power of a suppressed truth that has finally been released.
    • Baltimore Sun
  10. Its knockout success is a testament to Gore's eloquence and humanity and to the dexterity of his director, Davis Guggenheim.
  11. This Filthy World does many things, including transform tabloid commentary into comic art. But at its best, it shows that the child is father to the wild man.
  12. Heading South is a hydra-headed love story, as dangerous as it is heated and complex.
  13. A visual masterpiece about a scared little girl's breathtaking journey of self-discovery. All of the fun is getting there.
  14. You'll never see a more tactile expression of the intimacy between artists and their instruments than in Davis Guggenheim's elating It Might Get Loud.
  15. A moral, not a moralistic, movie. It's also a bracing aesthetic achievement, creating a fictional version of a factual case that illuminates as it entertains.
  16. "His eye is incredibly sharp and amazing, in regard to visceral cinema," says Uma Thurman, who has worked with Tarantino on both Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill. "He's a great storyteller. He's very seductive as a filmmaker."
  17. The documentary American Teen is the most realistic movie you will see all summer.
  18. A masterpiece.
  19. The Dixie Chicks may never regain their prolonged eminence on the country charts. However, the art and entertainment value of this movie (and of their latest album) is off the charts in the best way.
  20. Killer of Sheep is a miracle movie because it's receiving its first theatrical release 30 years after it was made and because, as a movie, it's miraculous.
  21. An exhilarating movie about sadness and renewal.
  22. The Sea Inside brings us outside and inside ourselves, and takes us to brave new aesthetic depths.
  23. The movie grows richer as it goes along and contrasting pieces click together.
  24. Howl's Moving Castle is one animated epic that has it all: poetic intensity, potent storytelling, vivid and surprising characters, and intoxicating powers of visual imagination.
  25. Hathaway carries you on an emotional whirligig that can be horrifying and funny, hopeful and devastating.
  26. Venus is a magnificent tribute to actors by filmmakers who know they are the essential human material of theater and the screen.
  27. The Prisoner of Azkaban is to Harry Potter what that other No. 3, "Goldfinger," was to James Bond: the movie that takes the invention and gamesmanship of the series to a whole new giddy peak.
  28. Black and white has never looked more stark.
    • Baltimore Sun
  29. Voluptuous dance about love, pain and the whole damn thing.
  30. A chilling reminder of the precipice the world stands on nowadays, from a man who looked over the edge more than once.
  31. The movie pays tribute to sexual equality and to each gender's agility and strength of character.
  32. One happy surprise after another, even when the content is bittersweet or sad.
  33. A glorious medieval war movie. It's about war as the ultimate pitch of conflict that tries men's souls, and women's, too.
  34. The movie is a marvel - bold, lucid and succinct (even at 123 minutes). It's also harrowing and moving in its depiction of noncombatant men, women and children caught between terrorism and counter-terrorism.
  35. Enraging and inspiring. It boasts the miraculous quality of finding a letter in a bottle and discovering that its authors are alive.
  36. Mirren brings intellect, humor and romance to the role of Elizabeth II.
  37. A revealing, intimate, quirky and generous portrait of nothing less than the American Dream.
    • Baltimore Sun
  38. The real attraction is watching all these guys and gals on the train, so young, so dedicated to their music, so unconcerned about almost everything else.
  39. A terrifically engrossing war film in which not a single shot is fired, a movie about shaping events rather than being shaped by them.
    • Baltimore Sun
  40. The title captures this film's harrowing qualities, but not its energy, its limpid beauty or its spiritual grace.
  41. Just when you might give up on young American film directors making art the way Bergman and Kurosawa did, along comes Bennett Miller's quiet, tumultuous Capote.
  42. Actually moves, whisking the audience on a funny, sad and extraordinary journey through a singularly compelling moment in American pop culture.
  43. Rififi, with its stark visuals, dark humor and constrained performances, earned Dassin the Best Director nod at the Cannes Film Festival and a secure place in film history.
  44. For Americans, Gomorrah will play like every other Mafia epic - and no other Mafia epic.
  45. Deep Blue is pure bliss. This documentary about ocean life in all its forms achieves its own tidal pull with visual marvels that conjure a Darwinian delirium.
  46. Stops your heart and keeps your belly jiggling with laughter. It's an improbably sunny tragicomedy.
  47. If any movie can rid Americans of "Iraq war fatigue," it's Charles Ferguson's muscular documentary No End in Sight.
  48. It is, at once, among the most riveting and hard-to-watch documentaries of recent years.
  49. As magical as it is realistic.
  50. Unfolds amid the mechanized carnage of World War I. Yet everything in it is personal. That's why it's a masterpiece.
  51. What emerges is a fallen warrior's tale: the inside story of a man bloodied and bowed.
  52. A great adventure.
  53. A pop masterpiece.
  54. It moves so confidently and brightly that it's ticklish as well as chilling - and, in its own dark way, enthralling.
  55. Barbershop 2 makes you want to know what happens next. In its own way, it's the Ivory Soap of sequels: 99 and 44/100% pure.
  56. Supple, eloquent and enchanting.
  57. This smart, fanciful and brilliantly staged comedy takes a truly one-of-a-kind premise and makes it, of all things, a weirdly profound meditation on consciousness, identity, fame, gender and reality.
    • Baltimore Sun
  58. Watching this movie, you can dream with open eyes.
  59. The ovation that Hudson wins from the movie's audience is one of those miraculous moments when a performer's artistry breaks through the screen and makes you feel part of a live audience. I haven't experienced anything like it since Barbra Streisand sang "My Man" at the end of her astonishing debut in Funny Girl.
  60. The result is harrowing and inspiring. As escapist entertainment, it's the movie of the year.
  61. A genuine odyssey: a journey to self-knowledge.
  62. It's a miracle: A tough, honest, bloody film set so far from the bright lights it feels as if it's on a different planet, yet knowable and absolutely compelling from start to finish.
    • Baltimore Sun
  63. Brad Pitt's sensitive performance helps make 'Benjamin Button' a timeless masterpiece.
  64. It's a startling physical transformation, as Noland goes from flabby desk jockey to lean, mean fishing machine. But even more remarkable is the mental transformation Hanks effects.
    • Baltimore Sun
  65. A spellbinder of the rarest kind and quality. It opens audiences up to an infinite variety of emotional and intellectual nuances.
  66. This movie is both sad and inspiring. It offers proof that Lennon's wit and art are everlasting.
  67. Ratatouille is a sublime dish of a movie, and the company's piece de resistance.
  68. A gorgeous flirt of a murder movie.
  69. By turns breathtaking and heartbreaking.
  70. In The History Boys, as in all of Bennett's work, irony is what the characters live and breathe - and I mean irony in its truest sense, of using language to present opposite and often sly alternatives to accepted wisdom.
  71. For audiences, two things keep the tension from becoming too excruciating: the presence of the survivors in front of us and the knowledge that in the grip of Macdonald's humane, lucid filmmaking, we're in the best of hands.
  72. The least fussy great movie ever made.
    • Baltimore Sun
  73. Smart, funny and often viciously cruel, this is a romantic comedy for people who are too old to believe in fairyales but wise enough to accept a happy ending when that's what life gives them.
    • Baltimore Sun
  74. Spider-Man 2 offers one emotional or action-packed aria after another; at the end you feel like giving it a standing O.
  75. Funny Girl is old-fashioned; it is also exhilarating.
    • Baltimore Sun
  76. A non-stop cinematic funhouse impossible to resist.
    • Baltimore Sun
  77. When it comes to the oft-doomed genre of seafaring adventure, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a spectacular throwback and a great leap forward.
  78. Compulsion, self-deception and the slippery nature of evil are explored with fidelity and supreme control .
    • Baltimore Sun
  79. With a surgical saw instead of a hatchet, del Toro takes apart patriarchy and opportunistic religion as well as fascism.
  80. In its entirety, Hairspray has the funny tilt that only a director-choreographer like Shankman can give to a movie.
  81. It's both irrefutably concrete and irresistibly uplifting.
  82. Strangers With Candy -- a perfect title -- is filled with straight-faced loonies. It's a nutcake you actually want to eat.
  83. This film about fierce competition among classic video-game players is a comic action epic in documentary form. It captures fear -- and heroism -- in a handful of dusty video games.
  84. Mirrormask is a gorgeous psychedelic cameo of a movie.
  85. Even if you have no interest in Joy Division, this picture is worth seeing for the unsentimental empathy and passion of the moviemaking.
  86. Wristcutters: A Love Story is a lousy title for a lovely-loony picture about an afterlife for suicides. It's an off-road "road movie" about people who off themselves.
  87. It's not hard to imagine these characters in a straight-faced Hollywood blockbuster. And that's the source of Hot Fuzz's genius, pointing out the thin line that separates convention from farce when Hollywood starts throwing its special effects around.
  88. A lovely, mischievous Casanova that will sweep you off your feet.
  89. In a feat of performing imagination, Ferrell turns his usual extroversion inside out and his usual zaniness into precision, and makes it all work for him.
  90. The only thing that tops Cave here is Cohen himself at the end, singing "Tower of Song" with U2.
  91. Russian Dolls never resorts to sitcom moments as it explores the transformation of friendship into love. All the characters here are believably appealing and refreshingly three-dimensional, and the situations they find themselves in have the ring of truth. You leave this film wanting to know these people, wanting the best for them.
  92. Ask the Dust is more than an amorous period piece. It's a strongly bitter, strongly sweet poem in prose and motion.
  93. It's the whole constellation of relationships that Winick and company create in and around the barn that brings the movie its kaleidoscopic charm.
  94. It's an authentic, harrowing tale of heroism.
  95. Downey and Favreau and the special-effects team transform the trying-out of the armor and its powers into slapstick cadenzas. But equally entertaining is Stark's and Potts' recognition that they share more than a mere working chemistry.
  96. It's a courageous, moving, organically funny picture.
  97. This movie provides no phony catharsis or closure; it develops a vision of people growing in spurts from their most terrible mistakes.
  98. Jumping off from the brilliant novel by Giles Foden and changing a key character entirely, it dramatizes and wrings humor from the way a white Western renegade can view a self-made Third World despot like Amin as a superman blowing fresh air into a fetid atmosphere.
  99. Despite its haphazard rhythms and longueurs, The New World achieves an emotional payoff unlike anything else in Malick's work. It's all you think his movies are, and more.
  100. Thanks to Hallstrom's slaphappy artistry and a sparkling ensemble, Hoax is a hoot.

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