Baltimore Sun's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,993 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 1.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Man on the Moon
Lowest review score: 0 Good Luck Chuck
Score distribution:
1,993 movie reviews
  1. It's plenty thrilling, and it appeals to the flag-waving patriot in all of us.
  2. A slice-of-life where being gay is a fact of daily existence, not an excuse for existential dilemmas or grand tragedies.
  3. It's a clear-eyed, unsentimental portrait and indelible for that very reason.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Love, however implausible, is simply beautiful in Venus.
  4. Playing a perpetual victim like Victor (Walken) might be easy, but making audiences want to watch him for 97 minutes isn't.
  5. So understatedly good.
  6. A cautionary tale that's harrowing, heartbreaking and -- especially given the times, when Americans seem all-too-ready to once again judge people as a threat solely by their appearance -- disturbingly resonant.
  7. The giddy excitement of comes from feeling as if you're inside the bubble as it soars into the stratosphere - and pops.
  8. The real hero here is Ghobadi, whose love and respect for the culture in which he was raised shines through every frame.
  9. Romance, intrigue and old-fashioned movie glamour make a dazzling return in Girl on the Bridge, Patrice Leconte's sumptuous love story with a razor-sharp edge.
  10. Winterbottom ("Welcome to Sarajevo," "Go Now") has filmed Wonderland with a hand-held 16 millimeter camera, lending the production an air of scrappy immediacy that is often arrestingly at odds with Michael Nyman's overheated musical score.
  11. A film of so much daring, a film that takes so many chances, it's impossible not to be impressed.
  12. A glamorous, alluring entertainment that revels in the artifice of Hollywood while exposing its corrupt heart, L.A. Confidential pays stylish homage to some of the great film noirs of the distant and recent past.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The film is a thoughtful, but by no means somber, look at an issue that might strike a particular chord with Jews.
  13. But there's a discomfiting side to her comic riffs, because in our all-too-concerned-with-image society, they ring far too true.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Say 'I do' to Best Man.
  14. Like "Anais," the only surprises Breillat has in store for us are bad ones. In the willfully perverse final act, she delivers a sadistic blow to the audience -- with a sledgehammer.
  15. Possesses memorable portrayals of thoroughly original characters and draws a beguilingly bleak portrait of its Rhode Island settings.
  16. Anderson brings real gravitas to the unfortunate Lily Bart, in an Oscar-caliber performance that makes one wonder what Academy voters are looking for.
  17. May be thin, but it's also sharp, like a stiletto.
  18. The Son's Room is the anti-"In the Bedroom." I mean that as a compliment.
  19. An absorbing glimpse not only at the phenomenon of punk rock but also at British social history and the rock star mystique.
  20. Like "Tango," Wang's film also seeks to uncover whether sex without emotion is really possible, or worth the effort.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    This is a video stroll through a family scrapbook.
  21. A gritty, profane and profoundly disturbing look at the American drug culture.
  22. A wonderfully complex character at the center of a gratifyingly satisfying yarn.
  23. Soldini's consistently understated touch, and a poignant turn by Licia Maglietta as the confused and bemused main character, turns Bread and Tulips into a character study worth studying.
  24. Fortunately, this film doesn't have to depend on off-screen dalliances to prove its worth.
  25. A film that immerses its audience in the Indian culture while telling a universally appealing story of grace under pressure.
  26. A wonderfully understated work offering insights to a world where no emotion is simple.
  27. Shower makes for a lovely and poignant journey.
  28. A bawdy, brainy sex comedy geared toward smart people with a sophomoric streak.
  29. It's the talk...and the extraordinarily expressive faces of those who do the talking, that accounts for its engrossing, enchanting powers.
  30. Ultimately, the film can't help but disappoint. Movies where you're continually waiting for the other shoe to drop are never as much fun as those where you never expected the first one to fall.
  31. With a wistful look at the wages of ambition and the failure of promise, Wonder Boys finally celebrates self-awareness, ending on a muted, quietly moving note of triumph.
  32. John Turturro's farce about life and theater that is by turns elegant and bawdy, but always transfixing.
  33. Filled with so much heartbreaking beauty, Bringing Out the Dead might be best described as an artist's sketchbook, a series of tableaux and ideas that provide a telling glimpse of a director whose work is always evolving.
  34. A terrific social drama, the work of an artist, not a pleader.
  35. Arrives as a balm to seared adult psyches that have endured all manner of assaults at the multiplex this season.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Ceaselessly amiable, moving whimsically toward an ending that, while predictable, is a rousing, unfettered joy.
  36. Jet Li and Bridget Fonda form a terrific bond in this action film. And the choreography adds a nice kick, too.
  37. These guys are funny.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Connery and Brown absolutely shine in their roles.
  38. Smith shows the grasp of character and offbeat humor that really registered in "Clerks," and a subtler mastery of film fluidity and professionalism than anything in the cheesy, amateurish "Mallrats."
  39. Romantically nostalgic, a love letter to growing up in simpler times.
  40. By all means, buy a ticket to The Fast Runner, but don't go expecting a masterpiece; actually, in its first hour, the dramaturgy and staging of scenes set in igloos are cramped and amateurish.
  41. A delightful and exuberant bit of romantic comedy and, as a bonus, it breathes new life into a pair of '70s musical chestnuts long off our culture's radar screens.
  42. Performances by Jim Caviezel and Richard Harris make this a great adventure.
  43. At times, Sex and Lucia is too precious for its own good; a movie that demands its own flow chart isn't always a good thing. And events turn on one coincidence too many. But Medem's exquisite craftsmanship and full-throttle eroticism make his film a morass worth the attempt to unravel.
  44. Barrymore gives a performance that's nuanced, assured and captivating.
  45. Delivers deliciously low blows at corporate America, office politics and the lengths people will go to avoid work.
  46. Foster is strident, Vincent D'Onofrio has little to do but chain-smoke thoughtfully as an accessible priest, and the physical atmosphere is hazy.
  47. A more honest version of "Summer of '42."
  48. Campbell Scott creates a new movie anti-hero -- the weak silent type -- and goes all the way with it in The Secret Lives of Dentists.
  49. The performers are tremendous, particularly Deschanel, who can travel to the end of an emotional tether and then suggest the mysteries of change and growth that lie beyond.
  50. Black Hawk Down, in the end, is a docudrama. But it's sensationally well done, and it opens up a battlefield that needed to be documented.
  51. Whenever the movie threatens to become just another visit to hillbilly-land, the music starts up and the film's gentle, irresistible wonder takes hold. Songcatcher is a film very much worth catching.
  52. Sets up a mood of tensile suspense from the beginning and never lets it go.
  53. Isn't nearly the landmark comedy it thinks it is, but its quirkiness should appeal to the highbrow funny bone in all of us.
  54. Clearly a spiritual descendant of the old Looney Toons cartoons; it's not hard to imagine Daffy, Bugs, Porky and their pals in the starring roles here. And that's a cinematic pedigree worth cherishing.
  55. In an age when light-and-easy racial farces have become mainstream hits, he remains a tough-love comedian.
  56. Fantasy, not honesty, is the point of The Kid Stays in the Picture.
  57. Malibu's Most Wanted mines a well-worn comedic vein, but does so with a consistent good humor and surprisingly deft touch.
  58. Like its predecessor, Jeepers Creepers 2 is that rare modern horror film that remembers audiences are scared far more by what they don't see than by what they do. For that alone, horror fans should be thankful.
  59. A murder caper that could have been written by Agatha Christie during a pub-crawl.
  60. It's a soaper with a high grade of imported soap.
  61. The Disney cartoon feature Treasure Planet is shot through with ingenuity. It outlandishly, cleverly moves Robert Louis Stevenson's seminal swashbuckler Treasure Island to outer space. The movie's affection for its source may be enough to get youngsters to crack open the original.
  62. Charming has devolved into almost a pejorative these days, but Tuck Everlasting is the sort of film that could change that.
  63. Avoids pretension by never trying to be more than it is -- an acknowledgment that things frequently are not as bad as they seem. That's a concept that deserves a little spreading.
  64. Crammed, cheek to jowl, with bleak moments, high hopes, sweetness and naked emotion.
  65. A quirky and satisfying love story.
  66. Whenever its noble aims miss, Bruce Willis saves it.
  67. Reaches the highest comic heights when the show itself starts.
  68. Builds slowly but passionately, not dancing to some Hollywood tune, but finding its characters where they are and letting them be who they are.
  69. Tells an important story about a story that might never have been told at all.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It's the performances of Ulrich and Gooding, in particular, that lift Chill Factor out of the derivative. Gooding possesses so much boundless energy that he practically dares you not to care, not to get involved, not to root for his success.
  70. That rare kids' movie that may be even more entertaining for its intended audience's adult companions.
  71. You may find Va Savoir pleasant to sit through, but will it stay with you the next morning? Who knows?
  72. A comic-book rock band starring in a film that actually makes a point? Now that's something worth singing about.
  73. American movies are generally so skittish about sexuality that Adrian Lyne's appetite --and aptitude -- for exploring it in Unfaithful is a relief.
  74. Lively and inspirational, with terrific performances from a big star and a host of supporting players.
  75. Seinfeld is the perfect figure to center a documentary called, generically, Comedian.
  76. What proves the validity of Kandahar is that, by the end, all these scenes are human ruins of the same nightmare world.
  77. The results are sometimes too frenetic, the laughs too obvious and predictable. But director Joel Zwick paces things well, and leavens the lunacy with enough seriousness (including a wonderfully poignant exchange between Toula and her brother) to keep the film grounded in the real.
  78. A withering condemnation of a culture where greed is a virtue, a culture that you don't have to feel guilty for laughing at.
  79. A lively, compulsively watchable but ultimately sobering film about the men who make their living off prostitution.
  80. Max
    The result is suitably upsetting and intriguing, despite a simultaneously tacky and too-neat climax.
  81. Modest, tasty, and it goes down easy, like home cooking.
  82. Swimming is perceptive and, ultimately, embraceable. Like the adolescent it so lovingly depicts, this is a movie you want only the best for.
  83. "Happy Accidents" should retire Tomei's status as part of a show-biz urban legend and establish her once and for all as one of our most versatile and engaging performers.
  84. It has a premise that never stops percolating.
  85. Not everyone is going to appreciate the politics of Barbershop, but you've got to admire it for having a political view at all.
  86. An engaging yarn and a moving character study, but it's also a sweet, sad glimpse of everyone's future.
  87. Almodovar has created an ecstatic homage to the women who have inspired him all his life.
  88. The story seems fresh and alive. They also had the good sense to cast Dunst, at 19 already one of Hollywood's finest and most consistent actresses.
  89. A good film that, with a little extra care, could have been great.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Wildly entertaining.
  90. X-Men flies to the rescue with superheroes who have real substance.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Irresistible, campy fun.
  91. As they've proven before and doubtless will prove again, Soderbergh and his cast are capable of better, weightier, more substantial stuff. But for now, slumming has rarely seemed more appealing.

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