Baltimore Sun's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,998 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 Y Tu Mamá También
Lowest review score: 0 Venom
Score distribution:
1,998 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Emily Dickinson wrote, "Hope is the thing with feathers." When Woody Allen published his second collection, he called it Without Feathers. Guest is as sharp and original as Allen, but he hasn't lost hope. For Your Consideration -- disillusioned but also fresh and ticklish -- is a thing with feathers, too.
  4. It's the whole constellation of relationships that Winick and company create in and around the barn that brings the movie its kaleidoscopic charm.
  5. It's first-class entertainment for bookish lads and lasses of all ages - and for those who never have or never will crack a paperback's spine. And it might inspire today's nascent artists to open up their sketch-pads as well as their hearts and minds.
  6. As a filmmaker, Brewer doesn't just yank your chain: He forges a bond with his characters and his audience that produces ecstasy and healing.
  7. It's a courageous, moving, organically funny picture.
  8. Thanks to Hallstrom's slaphappy artistry and a sparkling ensemble, Hoax is a hoot.
  9. 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.
  10. The movie is an inspired comedy-drama about artistic temperament.
  11. So far in this year's cartoon feature sweepstakes, Shrek the Third rules.
  12. There's not a false moment within the film's 88-minute running time, nor many that could be done any better.
  13. Infuriating and funny, the film forges a disturbing diagram from the avarice and chaos of a slapdash, heartless system.
  14. Few films combine a dense and tingling atmosphere with the headlong pacing and adventure of The Bourne Ultimatum.
  15. Fresh, funny and unfailingly observant, Rocket Science is a mood-swinging movie about adolescence that lifts audiences' spirits even when its hero is down in the dumps.
  16. 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.
  17. The rousing new Western 3:10 to Yuma has the sweep of an epic and the economy of a stopwatch.
  18. Even if you have no interest in Joy Division, this picture is worth seeing for the unsentimental empathy and passion of the moviemaking.
  19. 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.
  20. This movie provides no phony catharsis or closure; it develops a vision of people growing in spurts from their most terrible mistakes.
  21. In a stroke of voice-casting genius, the voices of Marjane and her mother are provided by real-life mother and daughter Chiara Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve, respectively, both of whom bring heft and measured emotion to the characters.
  22. The impact is hypnotic.
  23. For 45 minutes, it zings along on perfectly pitched overstatement.
  24. The gritty heist picture The Bank Job has everything adult action fans could want, starting with a grand, fact-inspired gimmick.
  25. Stays true to the spirit and characters of the book while embellishing it to overflowing.
  26. Shine a Light has two maestros, Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger, and once they begin to mesh, around the third or fourth song, they put on a display of showmanship that erases the line between art and entertainment.
  27. Standard Operating Procedure says that human nature abhors moral vacuums - but sometimes humans get sucked into them.
  28. 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.
  29. The movie has been compared, with some reason, to the French New Wave. But it's like "Jules and Jim" or "Band of Outsiders" blended with "A Hard Day's Night."
  30. The title Tell No One recalls the days when ads proclaimed, "No one will be seated after the first 15 minutes" and "Be considerate of your neighbors: Don't give away the ending of this picture." Both rules apply to this canny, refreshingly emotional and intuitive thriller.
  31. It's a summery idyll: his most entertaining picture since "Bullets Over Broadway" (1994) or maybe "Sweet and Lowdown" (1999).
  32. What makes this movie an up is that even when its characters are crying for help, they're also crying for Help!
  33. A marvelously subversive, slyly manipulative effort.
  34. Few directors are able to showcase actors with fast-cutting techniques. Hill is an ace at it because everything about his action is organic.
  35. Promises may want to unite the audience in humanitarian emotions, but it's more useful as a prod to examine what these children are learning from their schools, their leaders, and their media.
  36. The kind of movie that gives mainstream Hollywood star vehicles a good name.
  37. This movie is about the survival of the open-minded. As far as current American independents go, it's the fastest and the funniest.
  38. Ali
    It's one of the most ambitious biographical films ever made in this country, and one of the most unusual, moving and exciting.
  39. The union of thought and feeling becomes flesh and blood thanks to four brilliant performers in Iris.
  40. Scratch will make even the uninitiated believe in the joy and propulsive power of hip-hop.
  41. A remarkable film about a remarkable man who's lived the kind of life usually reserved for adventure novels and pulp fiction.
  42. A thoughtful, engaging film.
  43. All about mood, and not one bit about action - which explains why it's at once both the most passionate film of the year so far, and the most determinedly inert.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    What the film does, brilliantly, is provoke the intelligent fan to wonder if there's a limit to how far the proceedings can go.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    As close to a perfect piece of satire as filmmakers have seen in quite some time.
  44. McTeer delivers a messily cheerful performance as a woman who thinks nothing of brushing her teeth with beer.
  45. In the full-house ensemble of Henry Bromell's Panic, Neve Campbell is the wild card.
  46. The Cider House Rules is about many things -- chance, passivity, free will and self-invention -- but ultimately it comes back to Larch, who emerges as a toweringly noble figure even in his weakest moments.
  47. A frequently hilarious exercise in one sex desperately trying to figure out the other.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    A passionate, heart-wrenching film that is a must-see for any romantic.
  48. A thoughtful, bittersweet film biography of the Cuban writer that captures both his irrepressible spirit and his sometimes overwhelming melancholy.
  49. Levinson's quirky caper is rich with laughs.
  50. Filled with delightful sequences.
  51. Well worth the wait.
  52. Brosnan turns his typical talent on its head. So does director Boorman, who forsakes his usual tingling virtuosity.
  53. Accomplishes a delicate balancing act, that of entertaining the audience with the thrills and adventure of the Andrea Gail's final journey.
  54. Takes 20 minutes to burst into fierce, inspired filmmaking.
  55. Paints a vivid and darkly humorous picture of a world where directors are all-powerful and vampires are real; whether you want to buy into either fantasy is up to you. I did, and had a grand old time.
  56. The movie's steady good humor and respect for character is pleasing - even energizing.
  57. The potential for action never lets up; you never know what's coming around the next corner.
  58. A movie of unforced nobility and quiet pleasures, Butterfly works on all sorts of levels.
  59. The Cockettes is a grand place to visit, even for those who wouldn't want to live there.
  60. Until the final shot, the movie keeps you wondering how it will turn out.
  61. Himalaya does for yak caravans what "Red River" did for cattle drives: it sees them as the stuff of epic conquest.
  62. Offers a welcome continuation of what has proven a fascinating journey both for the film's 11 subjects (three of the 14 opted out of the project this go-round) and its audience.
  63. Experiencing this film is like hurtling down a verbal slalom.
  64. A souped-up roadster of a film, a relentless action flick that looks great and moves with more grace and speed than seems possible.
  65. A headlong pastiche of lower-depth melodrama and absurd black comedy.
  66. If the movie has a flaw, it's that the working out of Vincent's psychology is too perfect.
  67. The picture has immediacy, force and humanity. It's a muckraking work of art.
  68. The movie has dual strengths that silence most objections. Even more than "X-2" or "American Splendor," it is, in a good way, the most comic-booky movie of the year. It's also the human Winged Migration.
  69. Offers a welcome perspective, reminding us that extremism in the name of a values system is nothing new -- not even on these shores.
  70. One genuine small triumph of American Splendor is that the title isn't ironic. The movie is a splendid, inventive piece of urban Americana about that hardboiled original, Harvey Pekar.
  71. The movie may not be perfect, but it's jam-packed with goodies -- like a breakfast cereal fun-pack with a prize on every box-top.
  72. The movie's best moments belong to Bill Murray,
  73. Except for the Mozart music and Tharp movements around the edges, Amadeus plays like a monument to mediocrity. The movie belongs to Salieri.
  74. The film mixes the psychological with the supernatural, the profane with the ridiculous, the self-indulgent with the understated, and dares you to assume anything. It's all great fun.
  75. There's a good heart beating at the core of Victor Vargas, one that belies its R-rating.
  76. The movie never undercuts his brilliance and his unexpected charisma. No matter how high his degree of malevolence, he cuts a bigger figure after you see the movie than he did before.
  77. This documentary could have been a simple downer. Instead, it's a giddy, manic-depressive roller coaster - because it brings us eye to eye with Gilliam.
  78. There's great action moviemaking here: You learn what it means to "carve" a pool, as you learn what it means to "close off" the boxing ring in Ali.
  79. A sophisticated thrill. And incandescent Thandie Newton is a worthy successor to Audrey Hepburn in 'Charade.'
  80. The movie's jabbing originality is what sticks in your memory.
  81. The images here are graphic and disturbing. But Miike somehow manages to stop just short of disgusting.
  82. Although it's in the same genre as "The English Patient," it's a vastly better movie --more surprising and original, more rigorous and sympathetic. This film is oddly shaped. It is also heartbreaking and exhilarating.
  83. Absorbing, artfully executed.
  84. It's sometimes said that the greatest test of a chef is cooking something cheap and simple, like a piece of chicken or a hamburger. In a movie that testifies to simple pleasures, Taylor and company pass that test again and again.
  85. This is a marvelous film, a look at the strange, exasperatingly labyrinthine process of adolescence and the diverse ways people find to deal with it.
  86. It gets under your skin and into your head, and you don't want it to leave.
  87. This picture is jagged and exciting; it tells several plots imperfectly, yet makes them add up to a great American story about integrity challenged and triumphant.
  88. The perfect film for anyone who finds the Keystone Cops a little too understated and I mean that as a compliment.
  89. Italian for Beginners, on its own small scale, is a one-of-a-kind movie: a baggy-pants spiritual comedy.
  90. Turns the kleig lights around to produce a wry and dead-on commentary on the film industry and the journalists who cover it.
  91. Isn't an act of expiation but a gift of understanding.
  92. It's a deft sleight-of-story Aniston, White and Arteta pull off, giving us a character who seems more than she is, but is really less than she appears.
  93. Passionately acted and grittily convincing.
  94. A grand, sweeping nostalgia trip that evokes the sickness of an era even as it tries to find its essential humanity.
  95. It's the rare film that trusts both its audience's intelligence and its emotions.
  96. In its peak moments, the movie delivers, all at once, genuine street wisdom and psychology and wrenching expressions of family and friendship.
  97. Nothing seriously detracts from the film's overall brilliance.

Top Trailers