Baltimore Sun's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,998 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 1.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 The Wind That Shakes the Barley
Lowest review score: 0 Deck the Halls
Score distribution:
1,998 movie reviews
  1. If, like me, you're both desperate to see new public-works systems in our own country and sensitive to the possible human and ecological damage, Up the Yangtze provides a devastating view of top-down, broad-stroke social programs.
  2. 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.
  3. This movie leaves 'em laughing - and gasping.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. The movie has a vibrant, sturdy pathos in the manner of Dickens.
  7. 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.
  8. At its best, Tropic Thunder wrings divine madness from wretched excess.
  9. The genius of Garfield's performance is that he fills him with equal amounts of terror and wonder.
  10. A solid, satisfying movie.
  11. Leonardo DiCaprio brings straight-razor reflexes and rooted emotion to the role of a deceptively rugged CIA man.
  12. 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.
  13. Although the movie is unabashedly alarming, it's also intelligent fun.
  14. What makes it all work is that Frank remains a self-made hero.
  15. 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.
  16. 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).
  17. Has buoyancy to spare. It's filled with bumps and scratches. But in the manner of a nicked old LP, its gnarly surface and warps-and-all sound evokes real life.
  18. Too often when actors portray complicated or enigmatic characters, they seem to be flirting with the audience, playing hard to get. Not Williams.
  19. 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.
  20. Wilson, who has never made the film in which he convincingly played sincere, turns out to be a wise choice to play John Grogan.
  21. What gives Notorious its staying power is what happens before AND after its hero's death.
  22. 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.
  23. It's an odd duck: a labor-intensive piece of light entertainment.
  24. May not make adults feel as if they're 10 again, but it will awaken their memories of Saturday matinees that upped children's adrenaline without blinding them with Day-Glo colors or insulting their intelligence.
  25. Amy Adams beguiled audiences in "Junebug" and "Enchanted" and breathed humanity into the histrionic "Doubt." In the eccentric comedy-drama Sunshine Cleaning, set in the least picturesque parts of Albuquerque, N.M., she tops her own proven talent for epiphany.
  26. A sensational date movie.
  27. The sensuousness of Lemon Tree is its glory.
  28. Light, engaging documentary.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. In Julie and Julia, Ephron, like her heroines, has finally found what suits her: a surprising comic and romantic realism.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. Quick and lowdown-delightful. It's also a graveyard or two up in class from the torture films that, in recent years, have redefined horror for the worse.
  35. 9
    Not a perfect 10, but its imperfection is what makes it gripping and bewitching.
  36. The fascination, humor and poignancy of Departures, this year's winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, rests in the Japanese ceremony of preparing bodies for their caskets.
  37. Superior family fare.
  38. This compelling account of the explosive growth of Lyme disease grows to encompass all the peculiar politics, corruption and inertia of American medicine.
  39. 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.
  40. It's affable entertainment -- a road movie with a smart map and characters who are unpredictable human beings, not just billboard attractions.
  41. The symmetry doesn't work. Capitalism is an economic system; democracy, a political system. Perhaps Moore should have come out and said what he really wants to see us adopt: a democratic socialism.
  42. 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.
  43. Extract is an exuberant original...like no other and one of the best comedies of the year.
  44. Without restraint or subtlety, but with a lot of heart and energy, this movie tells a real-life tall tale.
  45. Siegel takes us to the brink of operatic melodrama, then lands us in a tragicomic spot: a psychological landscape of alternate life and make-believe death.
  46. It pulls together diverse residents of the city, from produce vendors to academics, and trains a loving eye on their unique environments and the urban landscapes they all share.
  47. A refreshingly unpredictable and fizzy comic fantasy. It tickles the fancy even when it strains credibility.
  48. What makes this movie ultra-contemporary is the way Abrams has re-imagined Spock and Kirk as a team of rivals.
  49. Aside from Lillard, the stand-out here is Cook, who plays a new breed of post-feminist Cinderella with a convincing mix of seriousness and vulnerability (although just once, it would be nice if Cinderella could keep her glasses on and still be beautiful). With her doe eyes and peaches-and-organic-yogurt complexion, Cook resembles a young Winona Ryder (if that's possible), right down to the appealing blend of sweetness and self-assurance. [29 Jan 1999: 1E]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    La Promesse...presents an unflinching view of the victimization of vulnerable people, but the center of the film is not the immigrant experience. It is the portrayal of a father-son relationship and that turning point where a child must choose between a loved parent and his own sense of morality.
  50. 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.
  51. Bottle Rocket's off-handed, anti-professional humor is extremely amusing and its ability to evoke the bittersweet pangs of love and friendship very poignant.
  52. The Crow, the death-haunted, mega-violent, pulpy, vigorous final film of Brandon Lee, may not qualify as much of a monument to a lost life -- what film could? -- but it's a hell of a movie.
  53. Let's get Sarandon and Jones into another movie soon; they're wonderful. Schumacher can direct and there's probably even a part for Brad Renfro. As for Grisham, he needs a course in remedial plotting.
  54. 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.
  55. The film is the work of a visual genius who may have overextended his storytelling ability, but with fascinating results.
  56. You never believe that Paltrow's character is insane, even when she herself does. She has too sturdy a core.
  57. Fellowes sets the screen for a tale of subterfuge in the upper crust, a la Agatha Christie.
  58. At best, North Country just inspires you to read the book.
  59. There's an honesty to the film that elevates it a cut above standard slasher fare.
  60. While the film is obviously meant as a call to arms, the very single-mindedness of the approach could work against it.
  61. Director Joe Wright's new movie version of Pride and Prejudice is more Gene Kelly than Fred Astaire: more earthy and athletic than balletic.
  62. Too bad the bulk of Rowling's humor goes down a black-magic drain.
  63. At over two hours, Breakfast on Pluto is too much of a merely pretty and pretty good thing.
  64. It's a rhythmless, graceless piece of filmmaking. But if you have an ounce of misanthropy in your body, a picture like this can draw it to the surface the way a leech draws blood.
  65. If the movie were as funny as it is well-meaning, this would be one for the ages.
  66. It's the wrestling match between the banker and the bad guy that fuels the audience's adrenaline.
  67. Refreshingly, the movie never wavers in the importance it places on friendship over just about anything else.
  68. It rarely strikes the right tone and ultimately falls short of what one would expect from a collaboration between director Wim Wenders and writer Sam Shepard.
  69. ATL
    Unlike so many movies directed at teens, ATL is not interested in exploiting its audience.
  70. Anna Faris, her deadpan comic timing still a joy to watch, returns as Cindy Campbell, one of two main holdovers from the first three movies.
  71. RV
    What makes RV work are some genuinely funny bits (one of which is not an overlong sequence in which Bob has trouble emptying the R.V.'s toilet) that should ring especially true to any parent forced to cajole a recalcitrant child into having a good time.
  72. A film that climaxes in Shanghai shouldn't go down like a meal in Shanghai. But an hour after you see M:i:III, you may be hungry for a real movie.
  73. Watching The Lost City is like falling into a delirious dream on a marathon train ride only to be roused every 15 minutes by a conductor punching your ticket or barking out the next stop.
  74. It's infuriating in more ways than one. Yet it's also somehow touching in its melange of melodrama and modernism.
  75. Whether the entry is good, great or (in this case) indifferent, it's always stimulating to return to the high-flying X-Men series.
  76. The emotions seem genuine enough, even if Sandler is not a talented-enough actor to always pull them all off.
  77. What it does have is the laughs.
  78. A derivative little tale with enough good intentions to recommend it, but not enough substance to embrace it.
  79. The film may not be art, but it's got a beat and you can definitely dance to it.
  80. This Film Is Not Yet Rated performs a great service, though not especially well.
  81. De Palma's direction shines, but noir script doesn't match his gifts.
  82. Once you get past the movie's needlessly fragmented framing device and its protracted introduction to a xenophobic rural Minnesota town, the core story gains some traction in your mind.
  83. Comes across as more willfully clever than profound, leaving us to applaud the message while pondering why the messenger had to strain so hard to get it across.
  84. Apart from the movie's moments of flesh and fantasy, it lacks the lyric impulse that would make the swank fantasy take flight.
  85. The film is tense and engrossing. But it lacks exactly what the title advertises: the sense of inexplicable familiarity that should haunt you as the story unfolds and leave you all a-tingle when it ends.
  86. No matter how good-natured, The Holiday ends up a glutted farce.
  87. It may not advance the art form, but it's a movie with pleasures for the whole family, and nowadays that's saying something.
  88. As great as the film looks, the story, adapted from a novel by P.D. James, never quite comes into focus.
  89. Alpha Dog may well go down as the most dispiriting film of 2007.
  90. Although the structure is clunky, the ensuing parliamentary machinations prove witty and fascinating.
  91. Things may work out predictably, but The Ultimate Gift does not yank on the heartstrings so much as pluck them gently.
  92. The timing couldn't be better for a thriller that focuses on assassination, international war scandals and U.S. agencies of enormous influence and wildly varying competence.
  93. This is Ferrell's movie, and one's tolerance for it will most likely be in direct proportion to one's tolerance for its star's vanity-free fearlessness.
  94. The way Frank structures and directs this film, it's too predictably "unpredictable."
  95. White throws in a dog-in-peril shot to ensure the audience's sympathies. The ploy works, perhaps too well, turning Year of the Dog less into the askew character study it wants to be than a showcase of lovable-dog shots.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    A mangy-looking mongrel with a lot of familiar markings and a little more on the ball than you'd expect at first glance.
  96. There's more than a trace of James Dean in Gosling, except that he's a rebel with a cause.
  97. The sprawling canvas ultimately dwarfs the plucky title figure and makes him seem too small in every way.
  98. Journey is weary, yet imaginative.

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