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 point higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Dark Days
Lowest review score: 0 Margot at the Wedding
Score distribution:
1,999 movie reviews
  1. What keeps the picture alive is Ghobadi's surprising, often explosive grasp of visual farce.
  2. Spring, Summer values life, beauty and even human fallibility, ascribing to humanity a nobility we neglect at our own peril.
  3. The real attraction is watching all these guys and gals on the train, so young, so dedicated to their music, so unconcerned about almost everything else.
  4. The movie lives in its small details.
  5. It's a miracle: A tough, honest, bloody film set so far from the bright lights it feels as if it's on a different planet, yet knowable and absolutely compelling from start to finish.
    • Baltimore Sun
  6. Starts out as a barbed, poignant little movie and turns into an excruciating slow-motion car wreck.
  7. The result is a performance film that conjures a vision of American life as moving, funny and rueful as John Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln.
  8. This is Mitchell's show, and his performance lives up to his triple billing as writer, director and star.
    • Baltimore Sun
  9. What makes this movie an up is that even when its characters are crying for help, they're also crying for Help!
    • Baltimore Sun
  10. Through unexpected and cathartic twists, this movie leaves you with atonement and redemption.
  11. In "Jaws," you didn't know whether to laugh or to scream. In The Host, the yocks rarely mesh with the yucks.
  12. A terrific social drama, the work of an artist, not a pleader.
  13. Builds slowly but passionately, not dancing to some Hollywood tune, but finding its characters where they are and letting them be who they are.
  14. At last, a great contemporary holiday movie that's strictly for grown-ups - a holiday movie that really is a moviegoer's holiday from desultory daily fare.
  15. It's both irrefutably concrete and irresistibly uplifting.
  16. As great as the film looks, the story, adapted from a novel by P.D. James, never quite comes into focus.
  17. A revealing, intimate, quirky and generous portrait of nothing less than the American Dream.
    • Baltimore Sun
  18. The Man Without a Past has the slenderness of a folk-tale -- also the clarity and charm.
  19. 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.
  20. Voluptuous dance about love, pain and the whole damn thing.
  21. 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.
  22. It's not a great movie, but it is an enlivening and unusual one: an effervescent political film that also packs a knockout punch.
  23. No Man's Land is a 98-minute wonder: this story of three men in a trench renews the meaning of the word "trenchant."
  24. It's the oddest case yet of the Emperor's New Clothes. After all, the Emperor in the fairy tale was naked. This movie has tons of fabulous clothing. The people disappear within their wardrobes.
  25. Mystic River wants to be a Bruce Springsteen-like anthem of life and death in blue-collar America. It's no more than a doggerel rendition of poetic injustice.
  26. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu runs the same 2 1/2 hours as "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," but what a difference a comic-dramatic purpose makes.
  27. A computer-animated burlesque fairy tale that generates more belly laughs than any live-action comedy since "Best in Show."
    • Baltimore Sun
  28. A spare, trembling lyric poem of a movie that uses stillness and facial blips the way melodramas use showdowns and action films big bangs.
  29. It's a frustrating film in that its characters resolutely defy convention, and its story offers no epiphany, no one moment when everything becomes clear.
  30. Penelope Cruz is sensational in Volver - she's its lifeblood, its raison d'etre and its meaning.
  31. Tells an important story about a story that might never have been told at all.
  32. The result is not a first-class film noir but a top-grade acting class. You admire it without enjoying it.
  33. British director Mike Leigh has made the first great comedy for our new depression.
  34. Some of the movie's sunniest moments arrive as Chappelle ambles through Ohio. He's an observational comic with a drawling syntax that's almost as sly as Mark Twain's.
  35. Takes 20 minutes to burst into fierce, inspired filmmaking.
  36. This thoroughly modern movie pulls off a classical feat. It elicits the searing combination of pity and terror that leaves a viewer feeling purged.
  37. Hero is a movie that lives up to all the nobility of its title, a gift to movie audiences who cherish the opportunity to be transported to a heretofore unimagined world and absorbed totally into what happens there.
  38. A friendly movie, as scruffy and cozy as a woolen watch cap.
  39. Wastes amusing beginnings.
  40. 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.
  41. A headlong pastiche of lower-depth melodrama and absurd black comedy.
  42. A harrowing depiction of a woman's plight under the Taliban.
  43. What makes this movie ultra-contemporary is the way Abrams has re-imagined Spock and Kirk as a team of rivals.
  44. It's like a New York City equivalent of a Third World bazaar: It hums with nerviness and cunning. And this movie presents a tingling vision of a working neighborhood after hours. Night falls in Chop Shop like a comfort, a cloak or a shroud.
  45. There's a good heart beating at the core of Victor Vargas, one that belies its R-rating.
  46. Will be hailed for its macabre imagination and inventive farce. But it also elegantly renders an archetypal teenage tale.
  47. Spider-Man 2 offers one emotional or action-packed aria after another; at the end you feel like giving it a standing O.
  48. Spider as a character is a fantasizing detective, but the movie is no Singing Detective (the high-water mark of the sub-genre). This film rarely rises above a murmur.
  49. Alien, even with some scene tinkering that has left this "director's cut" one minute shorter than its original release, is still one of the creepiest, scariest, most shocking films ever.
  50. This film about fierce competition among classic video-game players is a comic action epic in documentary form. It captures fear -- and heroism -- in a handful of dusty video games.
  51. 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.
  52. As the film opens with, predictably, "Vertigo" and its "Hello, Hello" refrain, it's his steady presence and unforced charisma that anchors each performance, allowing Bono to emote for all he's worth.
  53. If Kill Bill Vol. 1 was bloody exhilarating, Vol. 2 is bloody great. And, as a bonus, not nearly so bloody.
  54. 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.
  55. Cache is the feel-guilty movie of the new millennium.
  56. The picture has immediacy, force and humanity. It's a muckraking work of art.
  57. What emerges is a fallen warrior's tale: the inside story of a man bloodied and bowed.
  58. Enraging and inspiring. It boasts the miraculous quality of finding a letter in a bottle and discovering that its authors are alive.
  59. The impact is hypnotic.
  60. Isn't a noble story, or even a cautionary one: It just feels pretty painfully real.
  61. Venus is a magnificent tribute to actors by filmmakers who know they are the essential human material of theater and the screen.
  62. In its own quiet, voluptuous way, Rivers and Tides, an unpretentiously brilliant documentary, uses the work of Scottish sculptor Andy Goldsworthy to open up the hidden drama of the natural universe.
  63. The title Tell No One recalls the days when ads proclaimed, "No one will be seated after the first 15 minutes" and "Be considerate of your neighbors: Don't give away the ending of this picture." Both rules apply to this canny, refreshingly emotional and intuitive thriller.
  64. The movie grows richer as it goes along and contrasting pieces click together.
  65. A thriller from the inside out, a romance from the outside in: that's the double-edged brilliance of The Constant Gardener.
  66. Sugar is a near-great movie with qualities more unusual than some all-time classics. It resists cliche at every turn and puts something solid in its place: raw yet controlled observation that gives the film the form of a flexing muscle.
  67. Takes a chaotic moment in the long history of "the Troubles" and turns it into a keening, air-clearing epic.
  68. Director Joe Wright's new movie version of Pride and Prejudice is more Gene Kelly than Fred Astaire: more earthy and athletic than balletic.
  69. Watching this movie, you can dream with open eyes.
  70. Bitterly funny about divorce, it's even sharper and more original about intellectuals and their discontent.
  71. Like the particular brand of music Dewey espouses, this is a movie more concerned with exploiting rock than understanding it.
  72. 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.
  73. The Prisoner of Azkaban is to Harry Potter what that other No. 3, "Goldfinger," was to James Bond: the movie that takes the invention and gamesmanship of the series to a whole new giddy peak.
    • 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.
  74. That's the problem of Downfall in a nutshell: It provokes insufficient emotional and intellectual responses to a grotesque and atrocious dictatorship. Instead of the banality of evil, it gives us the banality of banality.
  75. Most contemporary horror films derive shocks from mere torture. Let the Right One In locates most of its fright-power in the needs and confusions of people who are usually overlooked.
  76. It is, at once, among the most riveting and hard-to-watch documentaries of recent years.
  77. This audacious hybrid of cinematic styles is pure entertainment.
  78. For audiences, two things keep the tension from becoming too excruciating: the presence of the survivors in front of us and the knowledge that in the grip of Macdonald's humane, lucid filmmaking, we're in the best of hands.
  79. As a documentary, The Agronomist, in its excitingly fractured, modern manner, does what Lawrence of Arabia and The Leopard do: It traces the upheaval of a civilization in the profile of a magnificent individual. It's a 90-minute nonfiction film with the impact and the greatness of an epic.
  80. Hathaway carries you on an emotional whirligig that can be horrifying and funny, hopeful and devastating.
  81. Pawlikowski's heart may be with Mona, but his art is closer to Tamsin. He luxuriates in his sensibility without delivering a movie that pays off in originality or insight.
  82. An unconventional and engrossing French thriller.
  83. Strip away the portentous style and lush views of nature in The Return and all you've got is a slender nightmare of a family gone haywire in an outing that turns into survival camp.
  84. A handsome, accomplished piece of work, but it drove me from absorption to excruciation within 20 minutes, and then it went on for two hours more.
  85. A solid, satisfying movie.
  86. Until the final shot, the movie keeps you wondering how it will turn out.
    • Baltimore Sun
  87. A beautiful display of celluloid bungee-jumping.
  88. Chicago is the zingiest, most inventive movie of its kind since "Cabaret."
  89. An absorbing glimpse not only at the phenomenon of punk rock but also at British social history and the rock star mystique.
    • Baltimore Sun
  90. Eastern Promises is intensely anti-dramatic.
  91. A History of Violence is a hollow story from an empty graphic novel.
  92. A dizzying - sometimes frustrating - marvel of moviemaking instinct and ingenuity.
  93. The triumph of A Mighty Wind is that it makes an audience love the sing-along catchiness of folk and still break up at its banalities. This tiny titan of a movie is a perfect melding of form and content.
  94. The movie has been hailed and marketed as this year's Little Miss Sunshine, but it has none of that movie's empathy and comic surprise. Too much of it is like a subpar episode of Freaks and Geeks, padded out to 92 minutes with pseudo-witty dialogue.
  95. 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.
    • Baltimore Sun
  96. When it comes to the oft-doomed genre of seafaring adventure, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a spectacular throwback and a great leap forward.
  97. The Station Agent has craft and pace and that far rarer quality, fellow-feeling.
  98. It's the talk...and the extraordinarily expressive faces of those who do the talking, that accounts for its engrossing, enchanting powers.
    • Baltimore Sun
  99. Bright Star delivers a prismatic depiction - tart, funny and piercing - of the romance between poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne in the three years before he died, in 1821, at age 25.

Top Trailers