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 Quai des Orfèvres
Lowest review score: 0 Death Race
Score distribution:
1,999 movie reviews
  1. 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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  2. It's a blast!
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  3. It's deliciously warped, deceptively smart and undeniably funny. Isn't that enough?
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  4. This may be the quietest addict ever to hit movie screens, as well the most disturbing.
  5. Overall, you're left wondering why every big novel needs to be a movie. White Oleander would work better as a four-part miniseries -- or at least as a less conventional screenplay.
  6. Nobody does this stuff better than Disney, and there's plenty here to like.
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  7. Fairly bursts with the exuberance and youthful energy that must have attended its creation.
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  8. Its effects don't linger long enough to seriously detract from the raunchy good time had by all.
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  9. Isn't a noble story, or even a cautionary one: It just feels pretty painfully real.
  10. Rampling's authority over splintered emotions has the force of revelation.
  11. The heartbreak comes not from watching her fail, but from realizing how easy it would be for her to succeed. If only she knew better how to try.
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  12. Veggie Tales is one amusing salad.
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  13. Buy your ticket, sit yourself down, and let ol' John take you for a ride. You'll have a blast.
  14. The Bread, My Sweet is not for the cynical, who will doubtlessly find themselves gasping for air before the film's over and demanding a reality check of anyone who actually likes it. Their loss.
  15. Once you get the hang of Figgis' own brand of coercion -- one based on an intricate sound design and musical score -- you find yourself happily going along for the ride.
  16. 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.
  17. Romanek does such a nice job of calibrating his film's squirm factor, it's possible to overlook some flaws that would sink a lesser film.
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  18. The bulk of the film merely yearns for lucidity and magic. At its worst, Respiro resembles My Big Fat Italian Nervous Breakdown.
  19. 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
  20. It's the ideal capper for a cop comedy with a refreshingly wry, adult and humane attitude.
  21. There is undeniable power in Magnolia, in which small moments of truth are given epic gravitas, not just by Anderson's adroit cinematic style (no one's camera is more restless or inquisitive), but by the wisdom and compassion of the characters he creates.
  22. The film's strengths can't be separated from its shortcomings. Despite its heavyweight supporting cast, Stone Reader mostly pays tribute to the enthusiasm and purity of the amateur.
  23. Fits squarely into the "exciting" category; it's a white-knuckler of the first order.
  24. This picture is absorbing -- and eye-filling -- whether the prose and the passion are connecting or running on parallel tracks.
  25. Chaos, in miring itself in the inequities (not to mention obscenities) of male-dominated culture, is after greater truths.
  26. Rocky and Bullwinkle have not only returned, but they've been placed in the hands of filmmakers who know what they're doing.
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  27. The movie dazzles with its slick lines, but there's a situational intelligence at play too -- little vignettes involving minor characters are begun at one wedding and then evolve into major events at the next.
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  28. There's pleasure to be had in a film that suggests teen life can be hard without necessarily being tragic.
  29. Enough flair and conviction to keep the movie buoyant even when its plot is abrupt and its emotionality conventional.
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  30. The Man Without a Past has the slenderness of a folk-tale -- also the clarity and charm.
  31. Steadily, stealthily, The Eye works its way into your psyche, playing with your mind and always keeping a surprise or two up its sleeve.
  32. The beauty, vibrancy and complexity of Indian culture is on addictive display in Monsoon Wedding. If only there were more to the film.
    • Baltimore Sun
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. Wastes amusing beginnings.
  36. 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.
  37. The story may be about cold-blooded murder, but Bullock's pulsating performance is about the getting of wisdom.
  38. The movie may be Nine Queens, but it slakes your thirst for surprises and thrills because of its Nine Jokers.
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  39. Possesses moments of fleeting grace, pathos and beauty, even if it ultimately doesn't amount to much.
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  40. There's no denying the raw emotional power of this heart-rending story.
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  41. In his first fiction feature, Zwigoff doesn't forget to bring the funny. But he doesn't bring enough poetry.
  42. McConaughey and (especially) Hudson manage to make it all work, maintaining their likability even in situations where they inevitably end up acting like jerks.
  43. It's impossible not to be exhilarated by the energy and determination that infuses every frame.
  44. Cabin Fever may not be a horror classic, but it's definitely an ideal midnight movie.
  45. With Anything Else, Woody Allen proves himself an old dog capable of thinking up some new tricks.
  46. An action-adventure flick that could turn into this generation's "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
  47. The picture captures a contemporary mood-blend of cynicism, anger and woefully disappointed idealism. Runaway Jury may be just a classy potboiler, but Fleder spices up the stock and keeps it at full boil.
  48. The highest compliment I can pay Pieces of April is that it brings to mind a Paul Simon lyric: "the mother and child reunion is only a motion away."
  49. Benton's version of The Human Stain feels under-energized and modest to a fault. Yet it still delivers a genuine sad sting.
  50. Elf
    Elf tries so hard to be a holiday classic, to be a sweet-natured, charming little piece of holiday gloss, it's tempting to declare it so and simply go with it.
  51. Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton are so good in Something's Gotta Give, it's a shame writer-director Nancy Meyers couldn't rein herself in a little more.
  52. What makes the movie potent, though, has nothing to do with metaphor or parable. It's that the story provides Connelly, Kingsley and Shohreh Aghdashloo as Kingsley's wife with all the tools they need to resurrect, flesh out, revamp and criticize outmoded male and female roles.
  53. Equal parts fantasy and cautionary tale, a film that manages to be uplifting and off-putting simultaneously -- fortunately, more the former than the latter.
  54. Even at its most hyperactive, Peter Pan has a core of good and bad feeling that will hit home to kids and to adults with honest memories.
  55. A harrowing depiction of a woman's plight under the Taliban.
  56. Funny, sweet and only mildly offensive.
  57. A campy riot of retro cool, a warm and fuzzy ode to the '70s buddy cops.
  58. Don't go expecting a good time to be had. But by all means, go to revel in a movie that, for about two-thirds of its length, is Mamet at the top of his game -- intelligent, tightly crafted, densely layered.
  59. At its best, the movie combines the musical and psychological meanings of a fugue. Sons and daughters and mother take up themes of dislocation and identity loss, and deepen them at every turn.
  60. Dawn of the Dead may depict the end of the world as we know it, but rarely has watching doom proved such a kick.
  61. Hellboy is, to borrow a phrase, one helluva good time.
  62. It's all done with such good heart, and Stiles is so perfectly appealing as one of cinema's most grounded Cinderellas.
  63. Quirky and enjoyable.
  64. Spurlock's movie is the real-life slapstick record of a kamikaze Mac attack. Schlosser's book is the contemporary equal of Upton Sinclair's classic meatpacking muckraker "The Jungle."
  65. Sometimes sly and witty, sometimes dull and forced, Coffee and Cigarettes is Jim Jarmusch's testimony to the difficulties and delights of communication.
  66. Gripping footage about the controversial Qatar-based Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel, which transmits news to 40 million Arabs. But the movie offers neither lucid analyses of the channel nor probing portraits of its journalists.
  67. 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Some of the most affecting moments in the film show Bukowski walking the streets of his Los Angeles, a barren suburban hell, as he reads his poems and the words appear on and then fade from the screen.
  68. Pointed and satiric. Best of all, one must hasten to admit, it's pretty funny.
  69. The Clearing reminds us what a riveting presence he (Redford) can be.
  70. Schwartzberg sees the homegrown innovativeness and grit still standing beneath the glossy media version of the American personality.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    You don't have to be a Metallica junkie to get this film.
  71. Moves along with great speed and verve, and it's got just enough of a sci-fi sheen to make things interesting, if not provocative. Philosophers and true believers may be disappointed, but for movie fans, I, Robot mostly delivers the goods.
  72. Washington is wisely cast as Marco; few actors command more instant respect, and the movie uses that to make his character both believable and sympathetic.
  73. The year's most unsettling movie experience - and in this case, that's a very good thing.
  74. The weirdly exhilarating thing about Wicker Park is the reckless abandon with which it embraces the convenience of coincidence, and then the extreme measures it takes to reassure the audience that it's not a movie about coincidence at all.
  75. The performances of Luna and, especially, Reilly, make the film more enthralling than it perhaps deserves to be.
  76. Offers a welcome riff on a well-worn horror standard.
  77. This is a movie that earns its suspense and validates its emotions, especially its examination of the bond between mother and child.
  78. Celebrates heroes without turning them into saints.
  79. There's a power to Woman Thou Art Loosed that transcends its limitations, a determined, heartfelt belief in the possibility of redemption.
  80. The movie may be too precious for mass consumption, but its filmmakers' willingness to assume the best of their audience, combined with its Everyman origins, suggest a movie that deserves a chance.
  81. 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.
  82. Bening's performance makes up for a lot of deficiencies.
  83. The only character with any personality in The Grudge is a Tokyo house, but not to worry - it's got enough mean in it to keep any horror movie afloat.
  84. A wholesome, headlong extravaganza - a sort of North by Northeast sans high style and erotic innuendo.
  85. An opportunity to enjoy the pure adrenaline rush that has always been the hallmark of martial-arts cinema.
  86. 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.
  87. A slick sci-fi thriller that comes complete with enough twists to keep audiences satisfied and enough moral quandaries to keep the thinkers happy.
  88. There's plenty to like about Adrenaline Drive, including the appealing, sympathetic performances of its two young stars and the tongue-in-cheek humor that pervades the film.
    • Baltimore Sun
  89. It's just another modest, unsurprising little heist flick. So why is it so much fun? Newman.
  90. What makes the "Dolittle" movies stand out from this menagerie is the superb casting and matching of the animals and their human voices.
  91. Electric as Elektra, Jennifer Garner does a high-powered, blade-thrusting star turn as Marvel Comics' ninja-inspired superheroine, bringing such unbridled energy and sexuality to her performance, one barely notices the movie itself.
  92. When Inside Deep Throat is over, it's tough to say which tragic moment lingers longer.
  93. For anyone who has ever had to balance what the heart yearns for against what the head insists must be, this film should hit home.
  94. The people are just a little too calculatedly quirky in Off the Map, an otherwise engaging comedy.
  95. But the fine performances of all three leads rise above the cliches, giving the film a sense of reality that both impresses and inspires.
  96. The movie's main strengths are its use of the real United Nations as its prime location and Pollack's ability to stud this movie (as he also did "The Firm") with players who do supporting-character equivalents of star turns.
  97. Kung Fu Hustle is to "House of Flying Daggers" what "Blazing Saddles" is to "Unforgiven."
  98. While it's certainly too derivative to be a great movie, it's too goodhearted and modest in its aspirations to be denied.

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