Baltimore Sun's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,011 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
Highest review score: 100 Hero
Lowest review score: 0 CJ7
Score distribution:
2011 movie reviews
  1. Tautou's kind of talent: priceless.
  2. The genius of Garfield's performance is that he fills him with equal amounts of terror and wonder.
  3. What makes this movie ultra-contemporary is the way Abrams has re-imagined Spock and Kirk as a team of rivals.
  4. A slice-of-life where being gay is a fact of daily existence, not an excuse for existential dilemmas or grand tragedies.
    • 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.
    • Baltimore Sun
  5. Surprisingly moving and intellectually satisfying.
  6. 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.
  7. Your basic Lasse Hallstrom formula-film, featuring people in dire situations who are redeemed when their basic goodness comes to the fore, elevated a notch by a pair of actors displaying sides we don't often see.
  8. 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.
  9. It's exciting and satisfying, even if the chief villain isn't terribly original and the chase scenes are overlong. Bullock is plucky and believable as an average person who must marshal her strength and smarts to get her life back.
  10. 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.
    • Baltimore Sun
  11. Those willing to overlook its emotional grandstanding will find much to admire and even more to think about in this Oscar-nominated Danish drama.
  12. X-Men flies to the rescue with superheroes who have real substance.
  13. This may be the quietest addict ever to hit movie screens, as well the most disturbing.
  14. Luckily, the new The Incredible Hulk is more like those 80-page special issues that comic-book publishers sold in the early 1960s for a quarter, packed with old, favorite story lines.
  15. It has a premise that never stops percolating.
    • Baltimore Sun
  16. An action-adventure flick that could turn into this generation's "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
  17. Serenity may be short on exposition, but it's smart and fun.
  18. Max
    The result is suitably upsetting and intriguing, despite a simultaneously tacky and too-neat climax.
  19. Offers a welcome riff on a well-worn horror standard.
  20. Del Toro stuffs the film with wit and wonderments. Yet, coming out this superhero summer, it plays like a lovingly crafted synthesis of every fantasy saga we've seen in the past decade.
  21. A wonderfully understated work offering insights to a world where no emotion is simple.
  22. Making you feel the presence of absences - of the distant and the departed, of dreams that never quite come true - is the key thing that this uneven film gets exactly right.
  23. The movie is best when everything is up in the air.
  24. The movie is a parable of patriarchal pride as well as a paradigm of how immigrant groups can accomplish goals without any help from their host culture.
  25. Rampling's authority over splintered emotions has the force of revelation.
  26. Romantically nostalgic, a love letter to growing up in simpler times.
  27. The original French title is "La Doublure," but The Valet fits Veber. He has become a one-man service industry when it comes to spreading Gallic barbed humor and good cheer.
  28. The determinedly cynical needn't bother, but just about everyone else should love Eight Below.
  29. It's affable entertainment -- a road movie with a smart map and characters who are unpredictable human beings, not just billboard attractions.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Irresistible, campy fun.
    • Baltimore Sun
  30. Kingsley dims divine Elegy.
  31. This is Forster's show, and he doesn't disappoint.
    • Baltimore Sun
  32. It's a blast!
    • Baltimore Sun
  33. Rocky and Bullwinkle have not only returned, but they've been placed in the hands of filmmakers who know what they're doing.
    • Baltimore Sun
  34. 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.
  35. Because Bar-Lev fails to go the extra mile either as a filmmaker or a friend, My Kid Could Paint That is at best "documentary silver."
  36. Forgetting Sarah Marshall lacks snap, tension and bravura...Yet the movie is novel and big-hearted. It often succeeds at substituting a smorgasbord of psychological confusions for comic architecture.
  37. The cascade of ideas proves to be both pleasurable and frustrating. As the movie retreats into a happy-ever-after ending, even its outrageous lies seem more like little white ones.
  38. Schwartzberg sees the homegrown innovativeness and grit still standing beneath the glossy media version of the American personality.
  39. It's a clear-eyed, unsentimental portrait and indelible for that very reason.
    • Baltimore Sun
  40. These guys are funny.
  41. Takes a great idea -- what if the inhabitants of a museum came to life at night? -- and milks it for every drop of fun it's worth.
  42. 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.
  43. A twisted little comic gem.
  44. Foxx is magnificent, taking a role that could be exorbitantly showy (actors playing the mentally disabled tend to forget the word "restraint") and turning in a performance that's controlled and mesmerizing.
  45. In some ways, Thank You for Smoking does not bemoan smoking as much as it bemoans people's willingness to be duped by smooth-tongued orators.
  46. Buy your ticket, sit yourself down, and let ol' John take you for a ride. You'll have a blast.
  47. It offers top actors in Fiennes and Richardson, plus a rare joint appearance by the sisters Redgrave.
  48. There's a power to Woman Thou Art Loosed that transcends its limitations, a determined, heartfelt belief in the possibility of redemption.
  49. 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.
  50. What proves the validity of Kandahar is that, by the end, all these scenes are human ruins of the same nightmare world.
  51. The Summer Olympics may offer more intricate, arduous and high-stakes spectacles, but nothing will top the last half-hour of Gunnin' for That #1 Spot for adrenalized high spirits.
  52. Suffused with a sophomoric sensibility that belies its more serious underpinnings.
    • Baltimore Sun
  53. 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
  54. The performances of Luna and, especially, Reilly, make the film more enthralling than it perhaps deserves to be.
  55. A slick sci-fi thriller that comes complete with enough twists to keep audiences satisfied and enough moral quandaries to keep the thinkers happy.
  56. The film's action doesn't disappoint; if anything, it ups the adrenaline ante considerably.
  57. It wouldn't stick in the memory were it not for Matt Damon's audacious, baggy-pants portrayal of corporate whistle-blower Mark Whitacre, the antihero of this reality-based farce.
  58. Barrymore gives a performance that's nuanced, assured and captivating.
    • Baltimore Sun
  59. A bawdy, brainy sex comedy geared toward smart people with a sophomoric streak.
  60. Possesses moments of fleeting grace, pathos and beauty, even if it ultimately doesn't amount to much.
    • Baltimore Sun
  61. It's a soaper with a high grade of imported soap.
  62. That rare kids' movie that may be even more entertaining for its intended audience's adult companions.
    • Baltimore Sun
  63. 300
    Cinema has once again proven its ability to incorporate every other mass-media art form. Director Zack Snyder and his computer wizards have made the best example yet of the movie-as-comic-book.
  64. Fantasy, not honesty, is the point of The Kid Stays in the Picture.
  65. In his first fiction feature, Zwigoff doesn't forget to bring the funny. But he doesn't bring enough poetry.
  66. For much of its frolicsome, rambling running-time, Son of Rambow is like a guarana-spiked soft drink: It goes down easy and delivers a kick.
  67. Fits squarely into the "exciting" category; it's a white-knuckler of the first order.
  68. It's all done with such good heart, and Stiles is so perfectly appealing as one of cinema's most grounded Cinderellas.
  69. Yes, the characters in Clerks II hardly qualify as role models, but they can be blisteringly funny in an in-your-face, to-heck-with-taste way.
  70. There's comfort in seeing actors we know doing what we've come to expect them to do. But more important, the film surrounds them with supporting characters who are less familiar to us, who act in ways we don't expect.
  71. Will remind filmgoers that one of the chief pleasures of going to the movies is a good old-fashioned swoon
    • Baltimore Sun
  72. Not everyone is going to appreciate the politics of Barbershop, but you've got to admire it for having a political view at all.
    • Baltimore Sun
  73. The Man Without a Past has the slenderness of a folk-tale -- also the clarity and charm.
  74. 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."
  75. The excitingly well-made Death of a President imagines the assassination of President Bush as a way of analyzing political violence. And Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, sight unseen, has labeled it despicable.
  76. This movie doesn't pretend to be anything more than a cheerful night out, and on that count it scores.
  77. Possesses memorable portrayals of thoroughly original characters and draws a beguilingly bleak portrait of its Rhode Island settings.
  78. In an age when light-and-easy racial farces have become mainstream hits, he remains a tough-love comedian.
  79. American movies are generally so skittish about sexuality that Adrian Lyne's appetite --and aptitude -- for exploring it in Unfaithful is a relief.
    • Baltimore Sun
  80. Cheerful and unpretentious.
    • Baltimore Sun
  81. A bravura, resonant performance by Nicolas Cage, combined with some hard questions raised about American responsibility for the worldwide glut of firearms, make the film close to a must-see, if not a must-love.
  82. 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.
  83. 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.
  84. All three actresses are appealing, but Fisher, proving her scene-stealing turn in Wedding Crashers was no fluke, shines brightest.
  85. It's just another modest, unsurprising little heist flick. So why is it so much fun? Newman.
  86. 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.
  87. This is a movie that earns its suspense and validates its emotions, especially its examination of the bond between mother and child.
  88. 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.
  89. Unpretentious and brashly exploitative.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 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.
  90. For those of us who wish that John Hughes' "The Breakfast Club" had kept the cheeky tone of Hughes' "Sixteen Candles," what ensues is the best Hughes farce that Hughes never made about adolescent snobbery and heartbreak as well as adult obtuseness.
  91. May be thin, but it's also sharp, like a stiletto.
  92. The bulk of the film merely yearns for lucidity and magic. At its worst, Respiro resembles My Big Fat Italian Nervous Breakdown.
  93. It's an odd duck: a labor-intensive piece of light entertainment.
  94. In Julie and Julia, Ephron, like her heroines, has finally found what suits her: a surprising comic and romantic realism.
  95. You may feel like you need a drink and a shower when you come out of "Naked," but at least you'll know you've been somewhere new.
  96. Playing a perpetual victim like Victor (Walken) might be easy, but making audiences want to watch him for 97 minutes isn't.
  97. Casino Royale marks a shrewd relaunching of a franchise. But Campbell and company show too much of their sweat. If these movies continue to follow Fleming's profane pilgrim's progress, the next Bond movies should be more emotional and funny, with a bit of brass-knuckled charm.

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