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 Beat That My Heart Skipped
Lowest review score: 0 Deck the Halls
Score distribution:
1,998 movie reviews
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Love, however implausible, is simply beautiful in Venus.
  1. The film mixes the psychological with the supernatural, the profane with the ridiculous, the self-indulgent with the understated, and dares you to assume anything. It's all great fun.
  2. A withering condemnation of a culture where greed is a virtue, a culture that you don't have to feel guilty for laughing at.
  3. Well, it's better than "The Phantom Menace."
  4. Proves that marionettes can be as foul-mouthed and profane as their cartoon counterparts, but not nearly as clever.
  5. You Kill Me kills you softly with its smiles.
  6. Jarrold's reduction of the story is so archetypal that it's indistinguishable from soap opera.
  7. Long on style and technique, short on substance and plot.
  8. Best of all is Jeff Bridges as the voice of Geek, a laid-back philosopher-penguin who becomes Cody's low-key guru, mentoring him in the ways of the wave.
  9. Handsome and well-acted, yet it can't hold a pawn to Nabokov's harrowing and moving character study.
  10. The movie fails at the primary steps of turning Rejas' mind inside out and dramatizing the contradictions in his heart and soul.
  11. Tykwer made Potente a star in Run Lola Run, and here she repays him 10 times over. Without her force of gravity, this film would waft into the ether.
  12. When Inside Deep Throat is over, it's tough to say which tragic moment lingers longer.
  13. Has been designed to make gentle hearts soar beneath neo-grunge exteriors. It's a mixture of high-SAT humor and high-jinks so crude they're really low-jinks.
  14. This movie is both sad and inspiring. It offers proof that Lennon's wit and art are everlasting.
  15. All it lacks are the crucial things an inspired director could have provided: spark, soul and magic.
  16. Has an unerring capacity for going soft whenever a hard edge is called for.
  17. 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.
  18. Nothing is as it seems in State of Play, a crackerjack political thriller in which no individual, profession or institution gets away clean.
  19. As an action comedy, it's just a bad trip.
  20. Goes down like a single-malt aged for 25 years.
  21. The movie is edited and, worse, narrated in ways that sabotage the magic and even undercut the movie's message.
  22. The movie's best moments belong to Bill Murray,
  23. X-Men flies to the rescue with superheroes who have real substance.
  24. It fails to dig beneath that surface picture and offer up anything in the way of explanation or motivation.
  25. In the end, viewers are left with a nagging feeling that this was a long way to go for the incongruous pleasure of watching 20th-century method acting on a 17th-century stage.
  26. Wedding Crashers is unashamedly profane and, for its first two acts, very funny, a classic guilty pleasure that revels in its basest elements.
  27. There are times when his message threatens to overwhelm his story line, and the last 15 minutes or so of Blood Diamond demonstrate what happens when sentimentality wins out over style and grit.
  28. Freedom Writers is the rare inspirational-teacher film that is filled with genuine, jaw-dropping coups of real-life poetry.
  29. It does offer that most pleasant and valuable of viewing experiences: A message movie in which story and character come first.
  30. You never believe that Paltrow's character is insane, even when she herself does. She has too sturdy a core.
  31. 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.
  32. Full of wit, charm and wonder. It's so hilarious, you might blow a gasket.
  33. At its best, The Mystic Masseur is like a tall tale that grows more beguiling and credible the taller it gets.
  34. Replete with so many wisecracks, puns, double entendres and visual jokes that you almost need a flow chart to keep up with them all. But try; the effort is definitely worthwhile, and the results are hilarious.
  35. If you put the word Tired first, it would perfectly describe the movie.
  36. Shortbus is nothing if not over-the-top, replete with consummated sex acts, both gay and straight.
  37. Fast Food Nation offers no easy answers, but plenty of food for thought.
  38. As good as Willis is, he's no match for Mos Def.
  39. A remarkable film about a remarkable man who's lived the kind of life usually reserved for adventure novels and pulp fiction.
  40. Whenever the movie threatens to become just another visit to hillbilly-land, the music starts up and the film's gentle, irresistible wonder takes hold. Songcatcher is a film very much worth catching.
  41. American movies are generally so skittish about sexuality that Adrian Lyne's appetite --and aptitude -- for exploring it in Unfaithful is a relief.
  42. This compelling account of the explosive growth of Lyme disease grows to encompass all the peculiar politics, corruption and inertia of American medicine.
  43. What's hilarious about the build-up is that Secretary proves to be the softest, most middle-of-the-road movie that could have been made about this subject.
  44. Overblown sanctimony and sentimentalism as corny as the Fourth of July.
  45. For 45 minutes, it zings along on perfectly pitched overstatement.
  46. The shows themselves are extraordinary, especially Japan's Ichigei group, which has the all-out fun and athleticism of a vitaminized Twyla Tharp troupe.
  47. It makes for quite a rumpus, but the material never catches fire.
  48. What sucks the wind out of the movie's sails is the vacuum at its core.
  49. Sarah Silverman says things you wouldn't expect a nice, attractive Jewish girl to say. But that's only half her appeal.
  50. Part irritating, part inspired.
  51. 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.
  52. There's tremendous energy in How She Move, so much that the audience can't help but be swept up.
  53. We don't experience the drama from the inside out because everything is on the surface. Redford is the only one who supplies internal life to Spy Game.
  54. Despite the cunning mixture of live-action footage and animatronic effects in Two Brothers, there's more imagination and wonder in a good old Sabu picture like "The Jungle Book" (1942). Two Brothers is more like a tacky jungle comic book.
  55. To discover why movie fans are screaming for more Will Ferrell, and to savor the work of improv wizards like Carell, go see Anchorman.
  56. The result is a film that plays like a creaking melodrama, with good guys and bad guys and precious little in between.
  57. The original Rocky would have found a way to ground that encounter in reality, to engender honest emotion and give audiences an Everyman hero both noble and believable. This film is too busy worshiping its hero to bother.
  58. A first-rate sail into Adventureland.
  59. The Assassination of Richard Nixon makes Bicke suffer the greatest indignity: it turns him into a relentless bore.
  60. Drags on and on and could frighten little kids. But Kenneth Branaugh is one bright light in Chamber of Secrets.
  61. Stripped of texture, even the sharpest comments come off as bromides.
  62. It's an unusual and engaging romantic comedy because it's mostly about how these women ready each other for real love.
  63. This movie's biggest contribution to film history will be resurrecting Davies' reputation as a natural comedian stuck in deadly costume pictures because her lover wanted her placed on a pedestal.
  64. The year's most unsettling movie experience - and in this case, that's a very good thing.
  65. This movie asks us to "accept the good" in life - not a bad message. But to overpraise Things We Lost in the Fire would be to accept the mediocre.
  66. It's doubly disappointing that all the subplots about Ace and Wallace and their fathers intertwine in increasingly predictable ways.
  67. Yet it's pretty in all the wrong ways: pretty slight, pretty preachy and pretty affected.
  68. Short on details and long on extreme, unflattering close-ups.
  69. Screwball farce, romance, domestic tragicomedy and literary frolic rolled into one.
  70. Original, unfailingly entertaining marital-breakup movie.
  71. With all the good will in the world, I couldn't warm up to Kit Kittredge. The movie is like a 1930s or 1940s short about Americans pulling together, stretched out to feature length.
  72. This Christmas is the rare movie about a cozy household at holiday time that's as funny and dramatic and poignant as any seasonal family get-together should be.
  73. The script is clever and would be brilliant if it worked.
  74. The movie contains few surprises but has plenty of heart.
  75. Blessed with some outstanding performances, among them Ribisi's.
  76. Bubble is the moviemaking equivalent of the worst narrative journalism. Every bit of "human interest" is so painstakingly planted, so determined to be applauded for its observation and sensitivity, it ends up seeming as slick and bogus as the worst Hollywood blockbuster.
  77. ATL
    Unlike so many movies directed at teens, ATL is not interested in exploiting its audience.
  78. An only fitfully engaging L.A. soap opera.
  79. Thank heaven for William H. Macy, whose portrayal of Happy's sheriff strikes the only honest note in a film that earns its laughs the cheap way.
  80. The Wachowski Brothers once again they prove themselves our reigning masters of murk.
  81. A glorious medieval war movie. It's about war as the ultimate pitch of conflict that tries men's souls, and women's, too.
  82. A film not nearly as intriguing as it should have been, centering on a death that isn't nearly as intricately fascinating as the filmmakers think. Exacerbating the problem is a cast of actors who seem too self-consciously playacting.
  83. The Breakfast Club meets Rear Window. The result should satisfy dating crowds from high school to night school.
  84. Possesses memorable portrayals of thoroughly original characters and draws a beguilingly bleak portrait of its Rhode Island settings.
  85. Sort of feel-good lesson kids will enjoy and parents should welcome.
  86. This team has succeeded at making a film that opens a subculture without programming our responses to it.
  87. Wristcutters: A Love Story is a lousy title for a lovely-loony picture about an afterlife for suicides. It's an off-road "road movie" about people who off themselves.
  88. 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.
  89. Martin's script offers plenty of opportunities, but Martin the actor never takes advantage of them.
  90. Both a condemnation of torture as a political tool and a tribute to the bravery that exists within everyone.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It has enough humanity to let the humor tickle, and a subject that will evoke memories for anyone who has ever smoked a joint or just said no.
  91. Suffused with a sophomoric sensibility that belies its more serious underpinnings.
  92. Made is an amateur-hour buddy movie.
  93. Outside of a strong (and largely misused) cast and an abundance of moody atmosphere, there's precious little to recommend this exploitative mess.
  94. The pleasures of Ocean's Thirteen are so slight as to be eminently forgettable. Most of the "twists" in the plot are of the ho-hum variety; it's not that one sees them coming, but that they don't amount to much when they show up.
  95. The problem isn't the history that the filmmakers leave in, but how much they leave out.
  96. Some adults may find the film unbearably simplistic, or its pace burdensomely slow. But it would be a shame if movie audiences have become so hyper-adrenalized that they can't appreciate a charmer like Curious George.
  97. A good film that, with a little extra care, could have been great.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Wildly entertaining.

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