Baltimore Sun's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,005 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 0.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Seabiscuit
Lowest review score: 0 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
Score distribution:
2005 movie reviews
  1. Hartley is grasping at, and only fitfully achieving, an overall tone of mordancy - formally called "black humor" - rather than believability. [25 Oct 1990]
    • Baltimore Sun
  2. It may not tell us anything about terror in the new millennium, but the filmmakers' work is solid and affecting. In its own over-emphatic, sometimes clumsy way, it can move an audience to tears, cathartic laughs and cheers.
  3. A twisted little comic gem.
  4. 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.
  5. Has its heart in the right place, and could have been an insightful rumination on corporate shortsightedness and mid-life obsolescence. Instead, it's another one of those Hollywood films whose feel for the workingman's life seems to come exclusively from other movies.
  6. The good news is that Schwarzenegger is more entertaining than ever as the Terminator T-101 cyborg.
  7. In Julie and Julia, Ephron, like her heroines, has finally found what suits her: a surprising comic and romantic realism.
  8. 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.
  9. With Diary of the Dead, Romero goes back to the beginning, only this time the amateurish look is calculated and the resulting film far less effective - if only because a handful of filmmakers have beaten him to the punch.
  10. Manages to pretty much ignore all the strengths of the earlier film while exacerbating all its faults.
    • Baltimore Sun
  11. Auto Focus is a gutless wonder.
  12. Charming has devolved into almost a pejorative these days, but Tuck Everlasting is the sort of film that could change that.
    • Baltimore Sun
  13. 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.
  14. Steadily, stealthily, The Eye works its way into your psyche, playing with your mind and always keeping a surprise or two up its sleeve.
  15. Keeps filmgoers wondering what will happen next even as they are repulsed by what's happening in front of them.
    • Baltimore Sun
  16. A joyful celebration of spirit and endurance.
  17. In the end, there's enough movie magic in The Prestige to keep you guessing, even after the film's over.
  18. Kingsley dims divine Elegy.
  19. As a documentary, the film is woefully underdeveloped.
  20. If you have an ounce of romance in you, you'll sense your own inner Captain Blood emerge when Captain Shakespeare turns him into a dashing figure with a dangerous sword.
  21. This picture is jagged and exciting; it tells several plots imperfectly, yet makes them add up to a great American story about integrity challenged and triumphant.
  22. Dubowski's movie is an act of hope that the basic human needs of the gay Orthodox will someday be reconciled with their faith.
  23. Will Ferrell does chicken-fried comedy right: with crackpot discipline and stripped-to-the-beer-belly courage.
  24. There's no character to root for in this movie, no potential triumphs or resounding failures, just the sense of people going through the motions because they can't bother to think of anything better to do. And that's not a lot to hang your moviegoing hat on.
  25. The documentary American Teen is the most realistic movie you will see all summer.
  26. There are moments, heaven forgive me, that left me chuckling. Not to mention eternally grateful that it's these guys doing this stuff, and not me.
  27. Margot at the Wedding is a Christmas gift for high-class depressives: a compendium of malaise fit for an L.L. Bean catalog.
  28. Until it detours into dysfunctional-family comedy-drama, Transamerica rides cross-country without ever running low on bracing, cactus-spined surprises.
  29. Brosnan turns his typical talent on its head. So does director Boorman, who forsakes his usual tingling virtuosity.
  30. It wants to be like no other movie you've ever seen. It's more like every movie you've ever seen.
    • Baltimore Sun
  31. Cotillard brings honesty to histrionics. She makes Piaf - "the little sparrow" - soar.
  32. Zellweger has a ticklish furriness reminiscent of Jean Arthur in her screwball comic prime.
    • Baltimore Sun
  33. 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
  34. In Spy Kids 2, Rodriguez tries to hold his family-spy saga together with the digital equal of rubber bands and chewing gum.
    • Baltimore Sun
  35. As a movie, Heist is merely an amiable time-killer. But it presents a terrific argument for federalizing airport security.
    • Baltimore Sun
  36. If nothing else, it may make one appreciate the cartoon even more.
  37. This is not a great film by any means, too filled with stock characters in stock situations for such praise. But if offers screen time for some fine young actresses, and addresses its story to an audience of teen girls who deserve something to identify with.
  38. 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.
  39. All Fey does is apply a smattering of wit to the story.
  40. The credits list a couple of dozen medical and scientific consultants. What this film really needed was a script doctor.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A misstep or two aside, you don't have to belong to Mensa to know kids will enjoy it.
    • Baltimore Sun
  41. Steven Soderbergh's Solaris is an uptight movie -- the opposite of his scintillating "Out of Sight."
  42. Sometimes sly and witty, sometimes dull and forced, Coffee and Cigarettes is Jim Jarmusch's testimony to the difficulties and delights of communication.
  43. There's an awful lot of kinetic energy to Chopper, and the violence is portrayed as graphically as imaginable.
    • Baltimore Sun
  44. The word "yuppie" has fallen out of favor from overuse, but Closer's young urban professionals are so vain and superficial they may bring it back as the ultimate putdown. This movie is a yuppie nightmare.
  45. In the Valley of Elah is too inept and diffuse to be a howl against the war in Iraq. At best, it is a manly whimper.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. Even when you're disappointed with the film's predictability, there's something invigorating about the way it embraces literacy and argument.
  50. Bening's performance makes up for a lot of deficiencies.
  51. It sheds the series' famous and influential pastel look and plunges its cast of villains and warriors into the 21st century.
  52. Ali
    It's one of the most ambitious biographical films ever made in this country, and one of the most unusual, moving and exciting.
  53. Ends up neither fish nor fowl. It's a misanthrope's "E.T."
    • Baltimore Sun
  54. Despite the dominant air of foolishness, the filmmaking is lush, lively and intelligent, but the gap between the direction and the script is appalling.
  55. Despite the merry duo of Ford and Connery, The Last Crusade offered a familiar pursuit of the Holy Grail. The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull makes a better move: It goes back to the future. Once again, the Indiana Jones series is the rare franchise that treasures knowledge and embraces the unknown.
  56. Although the structure is clunky, the ensuing parliamentary machinations prove witty and fascinating.
  57. Read like a long, anguished prayer, but on screen it looks an awful lot like blasphemy.
    • Baltimore Sun
  58. Stops your heart and keeps your belly jiggling with laughter. It's an improbably sunny tragicomedy.
  59. In the end, the movie proves to be, like Brosnan's character, a tarted-up cliche: a whoremonger with a heart of gold.
  60. The kind of joyless, over-calculated hit that may leave viewers feeling not haunted but headachy.
  61. The most grievous flaw in Richard Linklater's remake of Michael Ritchie's 1976 misfit juvenile baseball comedy The Bad News Bears is that it over-relies on Thornton's willingness to play an irredeemable degenerate.
  62. 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.
  63. With all its cloying, tone-deaf attempts at genuine emotional warmth, all it really deserves is to be avoided.
  64. There's a wonderfully funny and relentlessly cute 45-minute cartoon within The Powerpuff Girls Movie; unfortunately, it's padded out with almost as much filler.
    • Baltimore Sun
  65. An insightful, clear-headed look at relations within a Chinese-American family.
  66. 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.
  67. 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.
  68. A delirious surprise .
  69. Find Me Guilty flat-lines early.
  70. Unfortunately for Fox, the softer his movie gets, the more Ashkenazi and Berger grow to resemble Ben Stiller and Ashton Kutcher in some unreleased, homo-erotic comic romance.
  71. At times, Sex and Lucia is too precious for its own good; a movie that demands its own flow chart isn't always a good thing. And events turn on one coincidence too many. But Medem's exquisite craftsmanship and full-throttle eroticism make his film a morass worth the attempt to unravel.
    • Baltimore Sun
  72. An uneven, if lively, diversion.
  73. The bulk of the film merely yearns for lucidity and magic. At its worst, Respiro resembles My Big Fat Italian Nervous Breakdown.
  74. Despite the movie's several shortcomings, it leaves us sated. That's because, unlike Oliver's workhouse, it does give "some more" - more emotional breadth, more hardscrabble farce, and more haunting drama.
  75. The movie never generates the authority it needs to be all that it can be.
  76. Indeed, Scream is better than the average slasher film, as its advertisers insist. And, indeed, it is probably Wes Craven's best film, as they also insist. But that is a little like saying the pimple on the left side of your nose is "better" than the pimple on the right side.
  77. L’Auberge Espagnole (The Spanish Hotel) is unexpectedly entertaining because it captures the point in young adulthood when life is unseriously serious, or maybe seriously unserious.
  78. Jacobson and his actors do so much with the characters that they leave an ambiguous residue of blood-streaked regrets and sadness.
  79. This would be an excellent movie from a first-time filmmaker, but from one of America's premiere directors, it's a disappointment.
    • Baltimore Sun
  80. At the end of Napoleon Dynamite, you're glad the geeks have their day (even Kip's chat-mate turns out be a winner); you're also relieved to be rid of them.
  81. Gloriously retro, unashamedly celebratory of the joy of moviemaking and the love of old-fashioned heroism.
  82. It's one big miss.
  83. The Beautiful Country is not a happy film by any means, but it does offer a fragile hope, that beauty exists at the end of every journey, if only one has the strength to finish the trip.
  84. Laura's histrionics sometimes seem forced, and Hines has to struggle to be the heel the screenplay sometimes asks him to be.
  85. Gory but lifeless.
  86. 8 Women would probably be a looser, giddier salute to show-biz ideas of femininity if it were performed by eight drag queens.
    • Baltimore Sun
  87. What's bleakly hilarious about the whole movie is that Bekmambetov directs the nonaction scenes just as hyperbolically.
  88. This movie will be remembered not for the notorious Bettie Page but for its showcase of the burgeoning Gretchen Mol.
  89. 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.
  90. Still, it's hard not to long for the Pooh stories of old, those endearingly anarchic little tales that captured the wonder of a child's world without ever once condescending to it.
  91. 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
  92. American art movies rarely come fancier or emptier than Northfork, a down-home arabesque made of angel fluff.
  93. 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    This is a video stroll through a family scrapbook.
    • Baltimore Sun
  94. The tough beauty of the picture is that it lets each viewer weigh the costs and benefits to Gardner. It's a genuinely transporting inspirational movie because it's also a cautionary tale. It doesn't downplay the hero's occasional clumsiness or pigheadedness.
  95. The determinedly cynical needn't bother, but just about everyone else should love Eight Below.
  96. 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.
  97. Enigma, named for the Nazi secret-coding machine, has everything going for it except a pulse.
  98. There's a dignity to Mondays in the Sun that manages to keep the film buoyant, helping to keep all the despair at bay.

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