Baltimore Sun's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,016 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 55% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 43% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Score distribution:
2016 movie reviews
  1. But there's a discomfiting side to her comic riffs, because in our all-too-concerned-with-image society, they ring far too true.
    • Baltimore Sun
  2. A campy riot of retro cool, a warm and fuzzy ode to the '70s buddy cops.
  3. "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.
    • Baltimore Sun
  4. An absorbing glimpse not only at the phenomenon of punk rock but also at British social history and the rock star mystique.
    • Baltimore Sun
  5. An engaging yarn and a moving character study, but it's also a sweet, sad glimpse of everyone's future.
  6. The movie needs more incident and complication; it's modest to a fault.
  7. You won't want to miss it if you care about movies that dare to chart intimacies in our age of spectacle, or about up-and-coming female performers and underused male veterans finding roles worthy of their gifts.
  8. The whole movie aspires to set an Annie Hall vibe, especially when Tom keeps trying to re-create, first with her and then with someone else.
  9. A refreshingly unpredictable and fizzy comic fantasy. It tickles the fancy even when it strains credibility.
  10. Funny, sweet and only mildly offensive.
  11. 9
    Not a perfect 10, but its imperfection is what makes it gripping and bewitching.
  12. While it's certainly too derivative to be a great movie, it's too goodhearted and modest in its aspirations to be denied.
  13. This delightful, if perhaps too calculatedly winsome, comedy presents seniors who are coping with emotional and physical losses and challenges them to act like the young people they still are at heart.
  14. 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.
  15. Charming has devolved into almost a pejorative these days, but Tuck Everlasting is the sort of film that could change that.
    • Baltimore Sun
  16. 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.
  17. The result is a movie that inspires without pontificating and plays on the heartstrings without pounding on them incessantly.
  18. In Hustle & Flow, a star is born playing a star who's born.
  19. It's hard to figure where it's going, and when the movie's over, it's even harder figuring where it's been. But the careening roller-coaster ride calling itself Smokin' Aces is such a hoot to be on, who really cares?
  20. Bergman's creation of family banter that turns irredeemably cruel remains without peer.
  21. Director Daniele Thompson gets the point across so airily and pleasantly, in a film cast to perfection, that it's no problem accepting the message with a shrug, while profoundly enjoying the messenger.
  22. 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.
  23. The Son's Room is the anti-"In the Bedroom." I mean that as a compliment.
  24. A quirky and satisfying love story.
    • Baltimore Sun
  25. When the cast and their director are really cooking, they conjure a bipolar sense of high school-age emotion -- and use it to fuel outrageous fantasy.
  26. 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.
    • Baltimore Sun
  27. A harrowing depiction of a woman's plight under the Taliban.
  28. The movie maintains its comical, rocky equilibrium as long as the screenwriter, Dean Craig, sticks to domestic disasters and a Monty Python parody of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."
  29. What's surprising is that the film has genuine laughs and smart-aleck asides that will keep even nonfans happy (although it helps if you at least like the genre).
  30. There's no denying the raw emotional power of this heart-rending story.
    • Baltimore Sun
  31. A film of so much daring, a film that takes so many chances, it's impossible not to be impressed.
    • Baltimore Sun
  32. The result is a treat for Sandler fans and a revelation for those of us who've spent the last decade wondering what on earth his appeal is.
  33. Isn't a noble story, or even a cautionary one: It just feels pretty painfully real.
  34. The whole thing is too giddy to be taken seriously and too much of a confection to leave much of a lasting impression. But for 140 minutes, at least, it should give non-fanboys at least an idea of what all the fuss is about.
    • 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.
  35. This movie has its own emotional sorcery. In a raw, humorous way, it grasps how hope and desperation spur magical thinking and, sometimes, real magic.
  36. Sets up a mood of tensile suspense from the beginning and never lets it go.
  37. A gritty, profane and profoundly disturbing look at the American drug culture.
    • Baltimore Sun
  38. 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.
    • Baltimore Sun
  39. Few films even try to render the full range of emotions and sensations in female sexuality as the aptly titled Lady Chatterley, directed and co-written by a Frenchwoman, Pascale Ferran.
  40. The most refreshing thing about Man of the Year is its mingling of comedy and suspense with common decency. Levinson asks his countrymen not just to know their limits, but also to reach them.
  41. The whole movie swings broadly from slapstick and mock suspense to song. But the film develops a strong amorous undertow; Kelly's script neatly allows for all the potential couples to get the fate or comeuppance they deserve.
  42. Predictable but utterly engaging, 27 Dresses will likely be remembered as the film that made Katherine Heigl an A-list star.
  43. A welcome anomaly - a shallow hero you root for.
  44. Pearce makes you see why Edie found Warhol as irresistible as he found her. His otherworldly eyes focus on both who she is and what she represents. He sees her as a star.
  45. Uneven and affecting movie.
  46. A terrific social drama, the work of an artist, not a pleader.
  47. With everything this film has going for it - humor, intelligence and a splendid ensemble - Richard Linklater's nightmare drug movie, A Scanner Darkly, should be continually compelling. But it loses its fizz after a strong series of pops.
  48. Better than his previous films, The Day After Tomorrow plays to Emmerich's strengths, making for a thrill ride that rarely disappoints when it matters.
  49. The Clearing reminds us what a riveting presence he (Redford) can be.
  50. It's the pushiest film around - "in your face" is still in-your-face, even if the dancers are in white-face.
  51. The martial arts wizard shows a nice feel for the Butch and Sundance thing.
  52. Anderson brings real gravitas to the unfortunate Lily Bart, in an Oscar-caliber performance that makes one wonder what Academy voters are looking for.
    • Baltimore Sun
  53. 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
  54. Delivers deliciously low blows at corporate America, office politics and the lengths people will go to avoid work.
    • Baltimore Sun
  55. Enough flair and conviction to keep the movie buoyant even when its plot is abrupt and its emotionality conventional.
    • Baltimore Sun
  56. Fortunately, this film doesn't have to depend on off-screen dalliances to prove its worth.
    • Baltimore Sun
  57. There's enough wit to keep audiences of whatever age happy.
  58. Has a vitality and novelty rare in any youth movie, let alone one that claps fresh eyes on a cliched vision of a model minority.
  59. Cheeky, brass-knuckles British crime film.
  60. 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.
    • Baltimore Sun
  61. A love letter to the time, and the period, and the legend that has grown around both. Maybe it's all too wonderful to be true, but that's OK. If Taking Woodstock is a fantasy, then it's a most benevolent one, and more power to it.
  62. The story may be about cold-blooded murder, but Bullock's pulsating performance is about the getting of wisdom.
  63. Zellweger has a ticklish furriness reminiscent of Jean Arthur in her screwball comic prime.
    • Baltimore Sun
  64. 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."
    • Baltimore Sun
  65. Pointed and satiric. Best of all, one must hasten to admit, it's pretty funny.
  66. 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
  67. The movie is full of holes - it lacks the precision and verve of a Francis Veber farce like "The Dinner Game" - but the two actors brew up a sane kind of comedy from their fractious rapport.
  68. Redacted is a bristling act of protest that obliterates a target it isn't aiming for.
  69. The story line meanders and too many scenes drone on; Knocked Up is in serious need of a good editor. But the laughs are plentiful, and it's the rare movie these days where one doesn't feel guilty about finding the whole thing funny.
  70. John Turturro's farce about life and theater that is by turns elegant and bawdy, but always transfixing.
    • Baltimore Sun
  71. Chilling doesn't begin to describe Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple...But the film never gets behind the chill.
  72. Foster is strident, Vincent D'Onofrio has little to do but chain-smoke thoughtfully as an accessible priest, and the physical atmosphere is hazy.
  73. The American writer and poet Charles Bukowski is certainly an acquired taste, and Factotum may be just the film for determining whether one wants to acquire it.
  74. Extract is an exuberant no other and one of the best comedies of the year.
  75. For movie fans who despair of the state of American cinema, the in-jokes are hilarious.
    • Baltimore Sun
  76. This compelling account of the explosive growth of Lyme disease grows to encompass all the peculiar politics, corruption and inertia of American medicine.
  77. Seinfeld is the perfect figure to center a documentary called, generically, Comedian.
  78. For all his excesses and wrong turns, Lee has made a grown-up movie with an adult sense of loss and an adult sense of hope. He may be addicted to broad flourishes, but he has the big emotions to back them up.
  79. Sometimes sly and witty, sometimes dull and forced, Coffee and Cigarettes is Jim Jarmusch's testimony to the difficulties and delights of communication.
  80. Semi-Pro is so shabbily staged, shot and edited that it hardly ranks as a movie, much less a sports film, but hilarious people keep turning up in it.
  81. Like "Tango," Wang's film also seeks to uncover whether sex without emotion is really possible, or worth the effort.
    • Baltimore Sun
  82. You Kill Me kills you softly with its smiles.
  83. Superior family fare.
  84. In the end, this is a movie that doesn't respect its own power. Less of a stacked deck would have left Vera Drake to play a far more effective hand.
  85. The best moments in Paper Clips - and there are plenty - come when it doesn't resort to mundane cliches or calculated emotions to make its point.
  86. Earns few points for originality, but scads for good-hearted exuberance.
  87. Jet Li and Bridget Fonda form a terrific bond in this action film. And the choreography adds a nice kick, too.
  88. 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.
    • Baltimore Sun
  89. The Bourne Identity keeps you in a state of nervous excitation from the opening shot to the fade-out and has a thread of deadpan humor that vibrates alongside the main action like a third rail quivering next to a hurtling train.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Say 'I do' to Best Man.
    • Baltimore Sun
  90. 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.
  91. Touching and insightful.
  92. Fairly bursts with the exuberance and youthful energy that must have attended its creation.
    • Baltimore Sun
  93. Modest, tasty, and it goes down easy, like home cooking.
  94. Hellboy is, to borrow a phrase, one helluva good time.
  95. The movie doesn't add up to much, but it's an effervescent expression of an odd brute-hummingbird sensibility.
  96. It was a time in history eminently worth celebrating on film.
    • Baltimore Sun
  97. Queen Latifah, the star of Barbershop 2 and Beauty Shop, and thus our reigning monarch of big-screen beauty stylists, should fund and narrate a sequel. Because The Beauty Academy of Kabul is good enough to make you want to know how they do.
  98. This comedy of stereotypes pokes fun at poker buddies and coffee klatches only to make room for variations on more recent stereotypes. Some of the boldest 'types provide the funniest bits, such as Jon Favreau's embodiment of an upscale Stanley Kowalski who treats all-male card games as clan rites.

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