Baltimore Sun's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 2,000 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 1.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
Lowest review score: 0 Fame
Score distribution:
2,000 movie reviews
  1. Lovely, heartfelt and unforced.
  2. A rapturous, ruefully funny flight of sympathetic imagination. Featuring the first movie role for Frank Langella that ranks with his best stage parts, it's a rare kind of American movie.
  3. The movie does work, spectacularly.
  4. Thanks to the wonderful performances from both Korzun and Considine, there isn't a forced or dishonest moment on-screen.
  5. Through unexpected and cathartic twists, this movie leaves you with atonement and redemption.
  6. Best of all, Ponyo never ceases to be a genuine odyssey in short pants.
  7. No Man's Land is a 98-minute wonder: this story of three men in a trench renews the meaning of the word "trenchant."
  8. Lasseter's inclusive, utterly distinctive sensibility makes Cars all that it can be. His embrace of the comic-dramatic friction between innovation and tradition infiltrates every aspect of the movie - the look, the characters, the story.
  9. Though I love McCarthy's movie, The Edge of Heaven - with its virtuoso narrative and frames packed to bursting with unruly life - has the potency of "The Visitor" squared.
  10. Borat is a terrific, risky comic creation: a village idiot for the global village.
  11. Without a single gunshot (and just one flick of a switchblade), it turns into an existential suspense film with the highest stakes imaginable: the survival of the human spirit.
  12. The offhand wit and casual self-revelation of Johnston's best words draw you deeper into the mysteries of his character. Feuerzeig is a music-lover to his bones.
  13. Roman Polanski's new movie may be the greatest historical film centered on an enigmatic character since Lawrence of Arabia.
  14. A thoroughly absorbing, even transfixing, journey to a future that may already be upon us.
    • Baltimore Sun
  15. Like "Hairspray," it's not just a spinoff but a wised-up family comedy that's spirited and inventive. It retains the farcical belligerence of the TV comedy but also heightens the series' oddball warmth and expands on its Hellzapoppin' slapstick.
  16. Rarely has combat been portrayed as beautifully as in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Taiwanese director Ang Lee's thoughtful meditation on menace, mortality and the martial arts.
    • Baltimore Sun
  17. A first-person documentary with the subterranean pull of a superb confessional novel.
  18. Full of wit, charm and wonder. It's so hilarious, you might blow a gasket.
  19. The enthralling documentary Crazy Love is about how a high-flying lawyer's obsession with a young beauty blinded her, metaphorically and literally.
  20. 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.
  21. Nolte's gambler-bandit Bob Montagnet is a triumph of imagination, touched with electric existential poetry.
  22. Slumdog Millionaire dives headfirst into something greater than a subculture - the enormous unchronicled culture of India's mega-slums - and achieves even more sweeping impact.
  23. The movie's triumph is that we experience the ending, in which the three girls go mostly separate ways, not as a defeat but as a transition still open to possibilities.
    • Baltimore Sun
  24. Russell's conviction is so total that it tingles the spines of the audience.
  25. Nothing is as it seems in State of Play, a crackerjack political thriller in which no individual, profession or institution gets away clean.
  26. In less accomplished hands, Black Book could have been a hopeless mishmash. But Verhoeven proves a sure-handed storyteller, which might come as a surprise, as well as a terrific visual stylist, which shouldn't.
  27. Great American movies are, these days especially, few and far between, so let's everybody take a deep breath and mark the moment: Hoop Dreams, all three hours' worth, is a great American movie. It's got the sting of drama and the ache of truth; it's even got the sting of truth and the ache of drama.
  28. It leaves you dazed and sated. Compared to the fast food "eye candy" surrounding it these days, Metropolis is a gourmet 20-course meal.
  29. Baadasssss is about feeling pain and frustration, about having a sense of purpose that overwhelms everything else, about great cost and great risk, the pain of isolation and the intoxicating effect of fighting against the odds.
  30. A thriller from the inside out, a romance from the outside in: that's the double-edged brilliance of The Constant Gardener.
  31. Little miracles spring up throughout this picture.
  32. The glory of Japanese Story is that even after a daringly abrupt plot turn, the cast maintains its empathy and lucidity without interruption.
  33. A celebration of movie-studio ohana that should warm the hearts of moviegoers everywhere.
  34. It's like Chekhov with a British accent.
  35. 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.
  36. A film that celebrates the intricacies of life in ways both splendid and mundane, revealing it all with unflinching honesty.
  37. Dark Blue is one of those totally happy surprises that moves so quickly and curves so sharply that it leaves this era's hyped critical hits looking like beached whales.
  38. 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.
  39. Prove(s) once again how ingenious, artful and flat-out entertaining animation can be.
  40. A movie masterpiece -- thrilling, passionate and wise.
  41. The unique, serious fun of this movie - and forbidding reputation aside, it is exhilarating - lies in the way that Wiesler, Dreyman and Sieland end up collaborating unknowingly on their own Design for Living (for a while, it's like Noel Coward for moral cowards).
  42. Beguiling, moving and just plain fun documentary.
  43. British director Mike Leigh has made the first great comedy for our new depression.
  44. Overflowing with comedy and drama, The Boys of Baraka unfolds on the mean streets of Baltimore and in the wide-open spaces of Kenya.
  45. If you didn't know that Martin Scorsese made The Aviator, the enthralling new adventure-biography of Howard Hughes, you might think it was the calling card of a neophyte visual genius.
  46. This movie has a tone, look and mood all its own - it's a joyously bittersweet piece of visual music about isolation, melancholy and everyone's yearning for transcendence, through love, art or both.
  47. 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.
  48. It's an experience that blows your mind, clears it and educates it.
  49. Thelma Schoonmaker, a Scorsese collaborator for over a quarter-century, did the bull's-eye editing. The moviemaking throughout is swift, unaffected, masterly.
  50. Bracingly honest and ceaselessly compelling documentary.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Almost everything that happens - and almost everything happens within Flama's apartment - is food for dry humor and very recognizable humanity.
  51. As a writer-director, McCarthy, like the characters and the places that he suffuses with emotion, has poetry in him - and he knows how to let it out. He has a talent for demarcating those spaces in which characters can become whoever they want to be.
  52. 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.
  53. Up
    Everything about Up is an up, in the most visceral and poetic ways.
  54. In America is the most unexpected and personal triumph yet from Jim Sheridan.
  55. The Class ranks with the very best films ever made about teaching, and it's unlike any English or American film about teaching ever made.
  56. It gives you such an intense hit of creativity that afterward you may find yourself trying to jete out of the theater and into the street.
  57. The Hurt Locker redefines war-film electricity.
  58. A vibrant emotional epic.
  59. Plunges into an imaginative landscape as large as all creation - and never slackens its barreling pace or shrinks its panoramic scope.
  60. A marvelous picture and a highly unusual journey in and around the Holocaust.
  61. This audacious hybrid of cinematic styles is pure entertainment.
  62. The title represents size and power, speed and hubris -- the very things the ship has come to stand for and the things that Cameron has restored to the cinema with grand, generous style.
  63. This thoroughly modern movie pulls off a classical feat. It elicits the searing combination of pity and terror that leaves a viewer feeling purged.
  64. There's no cheap uplift to their victory, no pop catharsis. What's great about United 93 is that you never feel it's just a movie - even though, as a movie, it's terrific.
  65. 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.
  66. You go to Good Night, and Good Luck expecting inspiration, and you get it. It's also unexpectedly subtle, tense, and challenging, complex both in its take on its subject and in its craftsmanship. So the movie brings you to your feet - and, at times, to tears.
  67. Lumumba revives the tradition of Pontecorvo's "The Battle of Algiers" and Costa-Gavras' "Z" and "State of Siege." In substance and excitement, it joins their ranks.
    • Baltimore Sun
  68. 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.
  69. A beautiful display of celluloid bungee-jumping.
  70. Brilliant, brutally poignant.
  71. It's cathartic and exhilarating.
  72. Chicago is the zingiest, most inventive movie of its kind since "Cabaret."
  73. Enraging and enthralling.
  74. A down-home-exquisite musical dramedy.
  75. Man on the Train may be a modest film, but it offers privileged glimpses of transcendence.
  76. Views war from the inside out and the outside in. It carries the shock of full disclosure.
  77. If Kill Bill Vol. 1 was bloody exhilarating, Vol. 2 is bloody great. And, as a bonus, not nearly so bloody.
  78. It rises, all on its own, to the realm of masterwork.
  79. You won't see a brighter, truer affirmation of the All-American messed-up improvisational family than Little Miss Sunshine.
  80. True-blue Incredibles is a super tribute to the power of family and the might of imagination.
  81. I love Rabbit-Proof Fence as drama, as protest, as moviemaking and as poetry.
  82. Twisted is an unusual forensic crime film because it's witty and sophisticated as well as taut and creepy.
  83. What Phoenix and Witherspoon accomplish in this movie is transcendent. They act with every bone and inch of flesh and facial plane, and each tone and waver of their voice.
  84. Deep Water is a movie that will connect to anyone whose private fantasies and creative plots have landed them in hot water.
  85. Darger made art as if the lives of his subjects depended on it. That's how Yu has made her movie.
  86. A madcap milestone. Not since Disney's 75-minute Alice In Wonderland (1951) has an animator filled the screen with dazzling flights of random invention that manage to hook up into a swift, brief narrative.
  87. It's still the Holy Grail of crazy comedy.
  88. Seabiscuit revives the sweeping pleasures of movies that address and respect the mass audience, raising the common denominator instead of pandering to it. This crowd-pleaser rouses honest and engulfing cheers.
  89. A scary movie that's also funny, touching and good for you.
  90. A movie that will endure.
    • Baltimore Sun
  91. Takes a chaotic moment in the long history of "the Troubles" and turns it into a keening, air-clearing epic.
  92. The movie's generosity of spirit and artistry swamps its flaws.
  93. A big, fat old-fashioned gush of passion as drawn through a post-modernist prism that makes it less easily comprehensible but more beguiling.
    • Baltimore Sun
  94. It's a topical, iconoclastic documentary with the warmth and pace of a first-rate personal essay.
  95. Park's imagination is as fecund as the bunnies that bob up and down from their rabbit holes in every corner of the Tottington garden.
  96. Uproarious, moving and thrilling.
  97. Saved! is the audacious feel-good satire of 2004.
  98. 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.
  99. The Counterfeiters is in its own smart, trim fashion "The Bridge on the River Kwai" of concentration-camp sagas. Also based (like Kwai) on a real-life story, this movie starts small but becomes a miniature epic of overreach and moral drift.

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