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 1.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Fargo
Lowest review score: 0 Crossroads
Score distribution:
1,999 movie reviews
  1. A masterpiece.
  2. With a surgical saw instead of a hatchet, del Toro takes apart patriarchy and opportunistic religion as well as fascism.
  3. 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.
  4. It leaves you dazed and sated. Compared to the fast food "eye candy" surrounding it these days, Metropolis is a gourmet 20-course meal.
  5. Rififi, with its stark visuals, dark humor and constrained performances, earned Dassin the Best Director nod at the Cannes Film Festival and a secure place in film history.
  6. 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.
  7. Ratatouille is a sublime dish of a movie, and the company's piece de resistance.
  8. A non-stop cinematic funhouse impossible to resist.
    • Baltimore Sun
  9. A visual masterpiece about a scared little girl's breathtaking journey of self-discovery. All of the fun is getting there.
  10. The least fussy great movie ever made.
    • Baltimore Sun
  11. Killer of Sheep is a miracle movie because it's receiving its first theatrical release 30 years after it was made and because, as a movie, it's miraculous.
  12. The Hurt Locker redefines war-film electricity.
  13. The movie does work, spectacularly.
  14. The movie is a marvel - bold, lucid and succinct (even at 123 minutes). It's also harrowing and moving in its depiction of noncombatant men, women and children caught between terrorism and counter-terrorism.
  15. A film that celebrates the intricacies of life in ways both splendid and mundane, revealing it all with unflinching honesty.
  16. It rises, all on its own, to the realm of masterwork.
  17. 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
  18. Except for the Mozart music and Tharp movements around the edges, Amadeus plays like a monument to mediocrity. The movie belongs to Salieri.
  19. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly provides an ecstatic lift for movielovers, despite the tragic subject.
  20. 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.
  21. Anderson and Day-Lewis strip themselves of their natural talents for invention and poetry, as if any hint of romance, nobility or fun would soften the film.
  22. A movie masterpiece -- thrilling, passionate and wise.
  23. By all means, buy a ticket to The Fast Runner, but don't go expecting a masterpiece; actually, in its first hour, the dramaturgy and staging of scenes set in igloos are cramped and amateurish.
    • Baltimore Sun
  24. 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.
  25. Mirren brings intellect, humor and romance to the role of Elizabeth II.
  26. Views war from the inside out and the outside in. It carries the shock of full disclosure.
  27. Crammed, cheek to jowl, with bleak moments, high hopes, sweetness and naked emotion.
  28. No Country for Old Men is about the kind of amoral madness that can sweep across a country and redefine a landscape. It's so admirably lean and sinewy that it deserves not merely a rave review but a Johnny Cash song about matter-of-fact killings in shady hotels and sun-scoured landscapes.
  29. A glamorous, alluring entertainment that revels in the artifice of Hollywood while exposing its corrupt heart, L.A. Confidential pays stylish homage to some of the great film noirs of the distant and recent past.
  30. The movie's jabbing originality is what sticks in your memory.
  31. Greengrass and his tremendously smart and emotionally agile lead actor, James Nesbitt, paint their portrait of a good politician without illusion or sentimentality.
  32. It's still the Holy Grail of crazy comedy.
  33. The movie's generosity of spirit and artistry swamps its flaws.
  34. This smart, fanciful and brilliantly staged comedy takes a truly one-of-a-kind premise and makes it, of all things, a weirdly profound meditation on consciousness, identity, fame, gender and reality.
    • Baltimore Sun
  35. A vibrant emotional epic.
  36. True-blue Incredibles is a super tribute to the power of family and the might of imagination.
  37. Has the sentiment and sweetness of a good coming-of-age movie but lacks the drive and pulse that makes for a great rock and roll movie.
    • Baltimore Sun
  38. One genuine small triumph of American Splendor is that the title isn't ironic. The movie is a splendid, inventive piece of urban Americana about that hardboiled original, Harvey Pekar.
  39. What a relief to see a movie in which an audience responds with peals of laughter to subtle facial shifts as well as punch lines.
  40. 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.
  41. A spellbinder of the rarest kind and quality. It opens audiences up to an infinite variety of emotional and intellectual nuances.
  42. In a stroke of voice-casting genius, the voices of Marjane and her mother are provided by real-life mother and daughter Chiara Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve, respectively, both of whom bring heft and measured emotion to the characters.
  43. This movie registers like a pop song that enters the mind only in fragments because, as a whole, it lacks the style or substance to be memorable.
  44. 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).
  45. By turns breathtaking and heartbreaking.
  46. Funny Girl is old-fashioned; it is also exhilarating.
    • Baltimore Sun
  47. One of the favorite sayings of journalists and politicians is "You don't want to see how the sausage is made." Marsh's movie says you do want to see how a miracle is made, even if the details can be just as unsavory.
  48. Borat is a terrific, risky comic creation: a village idiot for the global village.
  49. If any movie can rid Americans of "Iraq war fatigue," it's Charles Ferguson's muscular documentary No End in Sight.
  50. It's intelligent and emotional, not studied or sappy.
  51. Wants to be a bittersweet comedy about erotic loss and memory loss. But it doesn't have the heart or brain.
  52. A gorgeous flirt of a murder movie.
  53. Even with the great Ken Watanabe lending command and compassion to the role of General Kuribayashi, it's a formless slog across a treacherous field.
  54. There's not a false moment within the film's 88-minute running time, nor many that could be done any better.
  55. In his first fiction feature, Zwigoff doesn't forget to bring the funny. But he doesn't bring enough poetry.
  56. A great, lusty movie in the tradition of Bertrand Blier's "Going Places."
  57. Just when you might give up on young American film directors making art the way Bergman and Kurosawa did, along comes Bennett Miller's quiet, tumultuous Capote.
  58. If the movie has a flaw, it's that the working out of Vincent's psychology is too perfect.
    • Baltimore Sun
  59. A quiet, heartfelt story of love and loss.
  60. A masterpiece of psychological suspense.
  61. The result is harrowing and inspiring. As escapist entertainment, it's the movie of the year.
  62. That rare kids' movie that may be even more entertaining for its intended audience's adult companions.
    • Baltimore Sun
  63. Up
    Everything about Up is an up, in the most visceral and poetic ways.
  64. Prove(s) once again how ingenious, artful and flat-out entertaining animation can be.
  65. Kore-eda expresses the terror of the kids' predicament with a touch that's equally tender and dispassionate.
  66. Thanks to a combination of fluid camerawork and careful pacing, the Belgian writer-directors have produced a compelling narrative that sounds, if not a cautionary note, a worried one.
  67. The best part of Little Women is that it tells a great big story. [24 Dec 1994]
    • Baltimore Sun
  68. For Americans, Gomorrah will play like every other Mafia epic - and no other Mafia epic.
  69. Little miracles spring up throughout this picture.
  70. 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.
  71. The true heartbreak of Maria Full of Grace is that it never comes.
  72. A chilling reminder of the precipice the world stands on nowadays, from a man who looked over the edge more than once.
  73. Romanticism fights stoicism to a draw, and the movie grows ever more static, too. Down to the quasi-ambiguous hate-crime finish, Brokeback Mountain comes as close to being a still life as you can get with human characters.
  74. Bracingly honest and ceaselessly compelling documentary.
  75. Hard to take in its particulars.
  76. There's an element of the nature film to Grizzly Man, and those passages are truly stunning, offering an up-close look at these magnificent animals.
  77. Almodovar has created an ecstatic homage to the women who have inspired him all his life.
    • Baltimore Sun
  78. 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
  79. Sokurov, for all his accomplishment, is less a bold innovator than a raider of lost art.
  80. 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.
  81. Offers a welcome continuation of what has proven a fascinating journey both for the film's 11 subjects (three of the 14 opted out of the project this go-round) and its audience.
    • Baltimore Sun
  82. An engaging yarn and a moving character study, but it's also a sweet, sad glimpse of everyone's future.
  83. In a boxing soap-opera way, Eastwood is trying to do for himself as a performer what Sergio Leone did for him in a spaghetti-western way: douse his rough-hewn banality with reflected emotional coloration.
  84. Too sketchy about her protagonist's interior life, and too fast and loose with the details of this story, to make much of an impact beyond its initial shock.
    • Baltimore Sun
  85. Rampling's authority over splintered emotions has the force of revelation.
  86. It's every bit as thrilling and engrossing as the best spy thriller or cop flick.
  87. The movie's cinematography is sumptuous, in its own intimate way. But all that's glorious about this film is the flesh tones. There isn't enough flesh and blood.
  88. In its peak moments, the movie delivers, all at once, genuine street wisdom and psychology and wrenching expressions of family and friendship.
  89. Thelma Schoonmaker, a Scorsese collaborator for over a quarter-century, did the bull's-eye editing. The moviemaking throughout is swift, unaffected, masterly.
  90. Best of all, Ponyo never ceases to be a genuine odyssey in short pants.
  91. A movie that will endure.
    • Baltimore Sun
  92. A thoughtful, bittersweet film biography of the Cuban writer that captures both his irrepressible spirit and his sometimes overwhelming melancholy.
    • Baltimore Sun
  93. Few films combine a dense and tingling atmosphere with the headlong pacing and adventure of The Bourne Ultimatum.
  94. Roman Polanski's new movie may be the greatest historical film centered on an enigmatic character since Lawrence of Arabia.
  95. A grand, sweeping nostalgia trip that evokes the sickness of an era even as it tries to find its essential humanity.
    • Baltimore Sun
  96. 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.
  97. This movie provides no phony catharsis or closure; it develops a vision of people growing in spurts from their most terrible mistakes.
  98. A great adventure.
  99. All about mood, and not one bit about action - which explains why it's at once both the most passionate film of the year so far, and the most determinedly inert.
    • Baltimore Sun
  100. The story line meanders and too many scenes drone on; Knocked Up is in serious need of a good editor. But the laughs are plentiful, and it's the rare movie these days where one doesn't feel guilty about finding the whole thing funny.

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