Baltimore Sun's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,999 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 1.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 The Edge of Heaven
Lowest review score: 0 The Last House on the Left
Score distribution:
1,999 movie reviews
  1. It's a nightmare that starts like a normal daytime drive and ends in a vortex-like sinkhole.
  2. Bright Star delivers a prismatic depiction - tart, funny and piercing - of the romance between poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne in the three years before he died, in 1821, at age 25.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The coincidences pile up in Career Girls, but by then Leigh has involved us so fully in the emotional lives of his characters that the contrivances are easily dismissed.
  3. This is a movie that's really about how much fun Glenn Milstead had being Divine, and how he — perhaps unexpectedly — found so many fans willing to go along for the ride. That's an American success story worth celebrating.
  4. Nolte brings this movie a piece of his heart, and grants us peace.
  5. Rambles and sometimes wobbles like a runaway movie. But Schreiber's instincts keep the film frolicsome and vital.
  6. Despite the movie's several shortcomings, it leaves us sated. That's because, unlike Oliver's workhouse, it does give "some more" - more emotional breadth, more hardscrabble farce, and more haunting drama.
  7. In a society where athletic competitions are too often likened to war, the recognition that everyone's equal once they're off the playing field is a welcome reminder of that little thing called perspective, not to mention sportsmanship.
  8. Jew or Gentile, a good story well told is a thing to be cherished.
  9. Cool!
  10. Until it detours into dysfunctional-family comedy-drama, Transamerica rides cross-country without ever running low on bracing, cactus-spined surprises.
  11. The most exhilaratingly horrifying movie to come out in years.
  12. A humorous bounty of flesh and fantasy.
  13. When it comes to what's great about King Kong, it's not the harum-scarum. It's the girl.
  14. Both handmade and souped-up, it beautifully renders two types of camaraderie: the bonds among eccentrics and the fellowship of speed.
  15. It does offer that most pleasant and valuable of viewing experiences: A message movie in which story and character come first.
  16. As good as Willis is, he's no match for Mos Def.
  17. Some of the movie's sunniest moments arrive as Chappelle ambles through Ohio. He's an observational comic with a drawling syntax that's almost as sly as Mark Twain's.
  18. The Wachowski Brothers once again they prove themselves our reigning masters of murk.
  19. It twists in on itself mercilessly, rarely pausing to let the viewers catch up, but that's OK. A movie like this depends on staying at least a step ahead of its audience, and this one surely does.
  20. A movie like this could easy slide into Shirley Temple territory, showcasing a child actor so full of sweetness and light and good, old-fashioned spunk that audiences wince. But Palmer, whose enthusiasm and energy never seem forced, avoids all those traps; her Akeelah is never less than believable.
  21. Jacobson and his actors do so much with the characters that they leave an ambiguous residue of blood-streaked regrets and sadness.
  22. By turns grisly and hallucinatory, The Proposition is one of those grand, mythic Westerns, full of wide-open spaces and dank little hellholes, detestable bad guys and virginal women, laconic lawmen and wary natives.
  23. This documentary (like the fact-based 2004 feature Miracle) demonstrates how powerful true sports stories can be when they delve into the mystery of leadership instead of falling back on nostalgia.
  24. The opening half-hour may prove to be a disreputable classic of pedal-to-the-metal filmmaking.
  25. Who Killed the Electric Car? makes you feel that no good idea, let alone good deed, goes unpunished. Only the exuberance of the moviemaking keeps your spirits high.
  26. Will Ferrell does chicken-fried comedy right: with crackpot discipline and stripped-to-the-beer-belly courage.
  27. The film marks Braff as a talent to watch, blessed with the sort of natural, everyman appeal that audiences eat up.
  28. This team has succeeded at making a film that opens a subculture without programming our responses to it.
  29. The triumph of American Hardcore is that it convinces general audiences that there were vast underground reservoirs of angst and anguish to be tapped.
  30. The Guardian is that rarest of cinematic commodities: an action movie displaying brains and heart and the opportunity for its stars to do something more than keep the narrative flowing between explosions.
  31. Shortbus is nothing if not over-the-top, replete with consummated sex acts, both gay and straight.
  32. Both a condemnation of torture as a political tool and a tribute to the bravery that exists within everyone.
  33. Penelope Cruz is sensational in Volver - she's its lifeblood, its raison d'etre and its meaning.
  34. Fast Food Nation offers no easy answers, but plenty of food for thought.
  35. The film's impact and poignancy are undeniable.
  36. There are times when his message threatens to overwhelm his story line, and the last 15 minutes or so of Blood Diamond demonstrate what happens when sentimentality wins out over style and grit.
  37. Only David Lynch could make the incomprehensible so compelling.
  38. No one has caught the pride, remorse and pain of an unloved and possibly unlovable husband better than Edward Norton in The Painted Veil.
  39. Vanya's journey to find his mom is not easy or picturesque or heartwarming. But it's also never without hope.
  40. In every important way, Breach isn't just a solid thriller; it's also an ambitious and engrossing piece of narrative journalism.
  41. Like Brian De Palma's 1981 masterpiece "Blow-Out," this movie contains cutting perceptions of obsession, institutional and professional myopia, misplaced loyalty in experts, misreadings of evidence and the kind of confusion that leads to conspiracy theories. But Fincher's movie falls short of masterpiece status.
  42. The Breakfast Club meets Rear Window. The result should satisfy dating crowds from high school to night school.
  43. A quiet, heartfelt story of love and loss.
  44. Best of all is Jeff Bridges as the voice of Geek, a laid-back philosopher-penguin who becomes Cody's low-key guru, mentoring him in the ways of the wave.
  45. Cotillard brings honesty to histrionics. She makes Piaf - "the little sparrow" - soar.
  46. Bright semi-adult entertainment.
  47. The scenes between Dengler and Duane, between a force of nature and a force of reason, are the real heart of the film.
  48. The whole film is about innocence and experience, and if it isn't a Blakean song, it is a sturdy and vibrant piece of prose.
  49. Kasi Lemmons' movie is called Talk to Me, but what it really does is sing to you, in the argot and cadences of soul, jazz, rock and rhythm and blues.
  50. Live-In Maid is a lived-in movie. Its cataclysms may be small in scale, but the movie brings us so far into these women's lives that a shattered cup creates an earthquake.
  51. If you have an ounce of romance in you, you'll sense your own inner Captain Blood emerge when Captain Shakespeare turns him into a dashing figure with a dangerous sword.
  52. With Joan Allen bringing a crisp intelligence to the sharp, unsentimental narration, it's both awful and fascinating to follow Hitler's warped growth from frustrated painter to self-appointed arbiter of Germanic art.
  53. Berg doesn't let up on the tension, even when the action is bloodless.
  54. In the strongest scenes, Ben Affleck gets his lead actors to extract the bitter juice from Lehane's wood-alcohol prose. The movie has its horrifying Gothic twists and turns, but it's never better than when it takes these two into places where the underclass goes to forget or be forgotten or get lost.
  55. This Christmas is the rare movie about a cozy household at holiday time that's as funny and dramatic and poignant as any seasonal family get-together should be.
  56. The stripped-down filmmaking preserves the abruptness and surprise of the happy (and unhappy) accidents Reverend Billy finds at every stop along the way, from Manhattan to Anaheim.
  57. Philip Seymour Hoffman steals the movie.
  58. Tightly scripted and intricately plotted, the buddy film manages the neat two-step of being simultaneously profane and engaging.
  59. The Duchess of Langeais is a romantic dance of death.
  60. It's like a New York City equivalent of a Third World bazaar: It hums with nerviness and cunning. And this movie presents a tingling vision of a working neighborhood after hours. Night falls in Chop Shop like a comfort, a cloak or a shroud.
  61. It's an unusual and engaging romantic comedy because it's mostly about how these women ready each other for real love.
  62. The shows themselves are extraordinary, especially Japan's Ichigei group, which has the all-out fun and athleticism of a vitaminized Twyla Tharp troupe.
  63. There's little time for nuance in Stop-Loss, and it doesn't deny any of the film's power to wish Peirce would occasionally slow things down enough to let her audience ponder what they're seeing.
  64. What gives the film a haunting and sometimes droll poetic unity is the way co-directors Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen trace all their characters moving in a jellyfish-like fashion.
  65. Kung fu purists may scoff, but escapists with a sense of humor should romp through The Forbidden Kingdom.
  66. By far the most purely entertaining of all his films to reach these shores, Roman de Gare is the rare trick film in which all the tricks reveal something amusing, involving or poignant about its characters.
  67. Despite the merry duo of Ford and Connery, The Last Crusade offered a familiar pursuit of the Holy Grail. The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull makes a better move: It goes back to the future. Once again, the Indiana Jones series is the rare franchise that treasures knowledge and embraces the unknown.
  68. What's bleakly hilarious about the whole movie is that Bekmambetov directs the nonaction scenes just as hyperbolically.
  69. The Last Mistress turns the melodramatic pieties of films like Fatal Attraction inside out. The anti-heroine acts like a vampire in reverse: Even when she drinks the anti-hero's blood, she makes him feel more alive.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Breaks no new ground in romantic comedy. But it finds ways to make the tried and true scenes -- a hilarious break-up in a restaurant, a nearly disrupted wedding -- new and funny.
    • Baltimore Sun
  70. The cast of Rain is first-rate, especially Wierzbicki and Peirse, whose tense relationship is as loving as it is competitive.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    OK, so some of the scenes are a sham, but the mountain of suspense and adventure is enough to keep you captivated.
  71. This is Forster's show, and he doesn't disappoint.
    • Baltimore Sun
  72. Nicholson is terrific here, in a role that demands he act, rather than just be Jack.
    • Baltimore Sun
  73. There's good trash: throwaway, intellectually undemanding action movies that, despite their heavy body counts and hard edges, are executed with a touch of class and a sunny disposition.
  74. The film has a lot of right in it, including an ending that's suitably uncertain, but fraught with possibilities.
    • Baltimore Sun
  75. It was a time in history eminently worth celebrating on film.
    • Baltimore Sun
  76. For movie fans who despair of the state of American cinema, the in-jokes are hilarious.
    • Baltimore Sun
  77. A kinetically charged gridiron drama that is enormous fun to watch.
    • Baltimore Sun
  78. The martial arts wizard shows a nice feel for the Butch and Sundance thing.
  79. Zellweger has a ticklish furriness reminiscent of Jean Arthur in her screwball comic prime.
    • Baltimore Sun
  80. Keeps its eye on the big picture even when focusing on the small scene.
    • Baltimore Sun
  81. Grisly, stylish and often weirdly funny, Blood Simple is a reminder of how rarely an original artistic sensibility is announced to the world and how much better movies are when that sensibility is allowed to keep going its own way.
    • Baltimore Sun
  82. A welcome anomaly - a shallow hero you root for.
  83. Suffused with a sophomoric sensibility that belies its more serious underpinnings.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It has enough humanity to let the humor tickle, and a subject that will evoke memories for anyone who has ever smoked a joint or just said no.
  84. If The Eyes of Tammy Faye is skimpy, it's still an important correction to the record about this fascinating and misunderstood woman, who turns out to be much more than just her makeup.
    • Baltimore Sun
  85. A quietly resonant movie about the painful alliance between single mothers and their daughters, and the complicated drama of separation.
    • Baltimore Sun
  86. Jewison's focus on the Canadians' dogged do-gooderism might have actually prevented a good movie from being a great one.
    • Baltimore Sun
  87. One of the unique virtues of the cinema is its ability to bring history to life with engrossing detail and gripping immediacy; East-West does this.
    • Baltimore Sun
  88. An enjoyably complex sci-fi suspense thriller.
    • Baltimore Sun
  89. Cheerful and unpretentious.
    • Baltimore Sun
  90. There's a moving, complicated love story at the center of Angel Eyes. It's too bad a peripheral plot line draws attention away from it.
    • Baltimore Sun
  91. Will remind filmgoers that one of the chief pleasures of going to the movies is a good old-fashioned swoon
    • Baltimore Sun
  92. Elmo graciously shares the stage with a cast of players who will not only delight youngsters but will come as sweet relief to grown-ups.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Gordon deserves credit for at least attempting to deal with political themes, and the tension isn't bad either.
  93. There's a lot of talk about sex in Sidewalks of New York, but precious little of it. And that's part of the point.
    • Baltimore Sun
  94. Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow are so immensely appealing, and their chemistry together is so unforced, that their presence alone makes a movie worth seeing. Thankfully, Bounce has even more going for it.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 43 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Much of Light It Up has a familiar feel. But there are enough redeeming insights to make the time you spend at this school worthwhile.

Top Trailers