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 Thirteen Days
Lowest review score: 0 Good Luck Chuck
Score distribution:
1,998 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.
  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.
  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.
  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. A movie masterpiece -- thrilling, passionate and wise.
  22. 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.
  23. Mirren brings intellect, humor and romance to the role of Elizabeth II.
  24. Views war from the inside out and the outside in. It carries the shock of full disclosure.
  25. 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.
  26. The movie's jabbing originality is what sticks in your memory.
  27. Greengrass and his tremendously smart and emotionally agile lead actor, James Nesbitt, paint their portrait of a good politician without illusion or sentimentality.
  28. It's still the Holy Grail of crazy comedy.
  29. The movie's generosity of spirit and artistry swamps its flaws.
  30. 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.
  31. A vibrant emotional epic.
  32. True-blue Incredibles is a super tribute to the power of family and the might of imagination.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. A spellbinder of the rarest kind and quality. It opens audiences up to an infinite variety of emotional and intellectual nuances.
  37. 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.
  38. 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).
  39. By turns breathtaking and heartbreaking.
  40. Funny Girl is old-fashioned; it is also exhilarating.
  41. 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.
  42. Borat is a terrific, risky comic creation: a village idiot for the global village.
  43. If any movie can rid Americans of "Iraq war fatigue," it's Charles Ferguson's muscular documentary No End in Sight.
  44. It's intelligent and emotional, not studied or sappy.
  45. A gorgeous flirt of a murder movie.
  46. There's not a false moment within the film's 88-minute running time, nor many that could be done any better.
  47. A great, lusty movie in the tradition of Bertrand Blier's "Going Places."
  48. 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.
  49. If the movie has a flaw, it's that the working out of Vincent's psychology is too perfect.
  50. A quiet, heartfelt story of love and loss.
  51. A masterpiece of psychological suspense.
  52. The result is harrowing and inspiring. As escapist entertainment, it's the movie of the year.
  53. Up
    Everything about Up is an up, in the most visceral and poetic ways.
  54. Prove(s) once again how ingenious, artful and flat-out entertaining animation can be.
  55. Kore-eda expresses the terror of the kids' predicament with a touch that's equally tender and dispassionate.
  56. 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.
  57. For Americans, Gomorrah will play like every other Mafia epic - and no other Mafia epic.
  58. 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.
  59. The true heartbreak of Maria Full of Grace is that it never comes.
  60. A chilling reminder of the precipice the world stands on nowadays, from a man who looked over the edge more than once.
  61. Bracingly honest and ceaselessly compelling documentary.
  62. Hard to take in its particulars.
  63. 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.
  64. A big, fat old-fashioned gush of passion as drawn through a post-modernist prism that makes it less easily comprehensible but more beguiling.
  65. 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.
  66. 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.
  67. Little miracles spring up throughout this picture.
  68. It's every bit as thrilling and engrossing as the best spy thriller or cop flick.
  69. In its peak moments, the movie delivers, all at once, genuine street wisdom and psychology and wrenching expressions of family and friendship.
  70. Thelma Schoonmaker, a Scorsese collaborator for over a quarter-century, did the bull's-eye editing. The moviemaking throughout is swift, unaffected, masterly.
  71. Best of all, Ponyo never ceases to be a genuine odyssey in short pants.
  72. A movie that will endure.
  73. A thoughtful, bittersweet film biography of the Cuban writer that captures both his irrepressible spirit and his sometimes overwhelming melancholy.
  74. Few films combine a dense and tingling atmosphere with the headlong pacing and adventure of The Bourne Ultimatum.
  75. Roman Polanski's new movie may be the greatest historical film centered on an enigmatic character since Lawrence of Arabia.
  76. A grand, sweeping nostalgia trip that evokes the sickness of an era even as it tries to find its essential humanity.
  77. 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.
  78. This movie provides no phony catharsis or closure; it develops a vision of people growing in spurts from their most terrible mistakes.
  79. A great adventure.
  80. 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.
  81. Spring, Summer values life, beauty and even human fallibility, ascribing to humanity a nobility we neglect at our own peril.
  82. 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.
  83. The movie lives in its small details.
  84. 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.
  85. 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.
  86. This is Mitchell's show, and his performance lives up to his triple billing as writer, director and star.
  87. What makes this movie an up is that even when its characters are crying for help, they're also crying for Help!
  88. Through unexpected and cathartic twists, this movie leaves you with atonement and redemption.
  89. 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.
  90. It's both irrefutably concrete and irresistibly uplifting.
  91. A revealing, intimate, quirky and generous portrait of nothing less than the American Dream.
  92. Voluptuous dance about love, pain and the whole damn thing.
  93. It's not a great movie, but it is an enlivening and unusual one: an effervescent political film that also packs a knockout punch.
  94. No Man's Land is a 98-minute wonder: this story of three men in a trench renews the meaning of the word "trenchant."
  95. 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.
  96. A computer-animated burlesque fairy tale that generates more belly laughs than any live-action comedy since "Best in Show."
  97. A spare, trembling lyric poem of a movie that uses stillness and facial blips the way melodramas use showdowns and action films big bangs.
  98. 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.
  99. Penelope Cruz is sensational in Volver - she's its lifeblood, its raison d'etre and its meaning.
  100. British director Mike Leigh has made the first great comedy for our new depression.

Top Trailers