Boston Globe's Scores

For 5,368 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 0.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Moolaadé
Lowest review score: 0 Porky's
Score distribution:
5,368 movie reviews
  1. Films that achieve the dimension of seraphic embrace achieved by 'Innocence, as it explores a return to first love, are the rarest of the rare.
    • Boston Globe
  2. Sensuous and rarefied, elevating its particulars into epiphanies, The Long Day Closes is as joyful as introversion gets. [9 July 1993, p.25]
    • Boston Globe
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The new film lives up to expectations and, indeed, pushes past them into virtually unmapped territory.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    An exhilarating tale of magic, machines, memories, and dreams, Martin Scorsese pulls off the neatest trick of all. He marshals the marvels of modern movie technology - up to and including the dreaded 3-D - to create a love letter to the earliest of movies and, by extension, to every movie from then to now.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    She's (Hushpuppy) trying to make sense of this world, and the movie, pitched between realism and fable, is the story of how she finally does. That balance is the key to the movie's magic.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    There are three Poles in The Pianist -- Szpilman, Polanski, and Frederic Chopin. Of the three, fittingly, Chopin speaks the loudest.
  3. Not about crashing into walls or crashing into other people. It's about crashing into yourself and living to tell the tale.
  4. Music for the eyes. That's why it has become a treasured classic. That's why we'll see it again and again.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    All Is Lost works quite brilliantly on its most basic narrative level.
  5. The ends remain loose in The White Ribbon.’ But that lack of closure is thrilling. Haneke lays his movie and its mysteries at our feet, leaving us to ask, “What in tarnation?’’
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The best American film of the year to date.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    12 Years a Slave is to the “peculiar institution” what “Schindler’s List” was to the Holocaust: a work that, finally, asks a mainstream audience to confront the worst of what humanity can do to itself. If there’s no Oskar Schindler here, that’s partly the point.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    On the level of craft, the movie's just absurdly enjoyable. Sorkin's dialogue dazzles; the photography is burnished and sleek; the editing confidently sorts out a complex narrative.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Writer-director Cristian Mungiu confirms the Romanian cinema renaissance while creating a paradoxical marvel: a bleak tale of illegal abortion that powerfully affirms one's faith in people.
  6. With impeccable skill, Akin has made a film roiling with cruelty but guided by tough political optimism. No, we can't all get along, but some us of are trying.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Generations from now, when people talk about horse movies, they won't be talking about "National Velvet" or "My Friend Flicka," they'll be talking about the majestic beauty of Carroll Ballard's The Black Stallion. [07 Feb 1980]
    • Boston Globe
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Chaplin's sentimental politics and peerless comic invention dovetailed more perfectly in this film than in any other he made.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    As the Friedmans split apart like fissile neutrons, their story becomes five stories, none of which is remotely like the others.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's those noir bones that give this social-realist drama its punch, as if Humphrey Bogart had been recast as a 17-year-old girl and dropped into the poorest corner of America.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Cousin Jules is one of those rare experiences that’s rooted in the past yet feels very much of the moment. On top of that, it’s timeless.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The one aspect of the original Producers that still stuns is the roaring, over-the-top, in-your-face thereness of its two lead performances.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The chance to watch a four-star classic the way it was meant to be seen -- fresh print, big screen -- is so rare as to be worth the trip.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A comic put-on of awe-inspiring crudity and death-defying satire and by a long shot the funniest film of the year. It is "Jackass" with a brain and Mark Twain with full frontal male nudity.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    One of his (Bergman's) most life-affirming films.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It’s a work of cruel comic genius, in some ways even crueler than “No Country for Old Men.’’
  7. Bonello takes on the point of view of Saint Laurent himself, exposing a visionary world seen from within that is as strange and wonderful as that of a magnificently stitched garment turned inside out.
  8. Watching it is a nonstop high.
    • Boston Globe
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's an altogether satisfying drama -- the sort of movie some people complain they don't make anymore. So here it is; what's your excuse?
  9. One of the truest, most beautiful movies ever made about two strangers.
  10. Such miserable people; why should we care? Maybe because Ceylan does. By staging this petulant misery in a snow-filled world of melancholy, unearthly beauty, he underscores their tragedy.
  11. The government, even under the new, more moderate leadership of President Hassan Rouhani, has reason for concern. Unlike Rasoulof and Panahi’s previous, more metaphorical films, this one confronts its subject head-on with unflinching candor.
  12. It's more than science, more than biography, more than metaphor. Fusing all three and linking them to a profound human dimension that never cheapens the man or his macrospeculations, it ties them to shared human destiny. As Morris' elliptical style circles and deepens its themes with each pass, A Brief History of Time turns into film's own expanding universe. [14 Sep 1992, p.50]
    • Boston Globe
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    If the first two films belong with the greatest (if talkiest) movie romances of all time, the new film is richer, riskier, and more bleakly perceptive about what it takes for love to endure (or not) over the long haul.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    In his masterful and haunting documentary Up the Yangtze, Yung Chang shows the old China drowning helplessly under the weight of the new.
  13. Nothing momentous happens here, but Philibert has a magical sense of how to find the simple poetry lurking in the universal routine of being a kid. A lot of the film's lyricism is extracurricular.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    So clear-eyed and three-dimensional that it makes the recent ''Pearl Harbor'' look like a bunch of kids playing dress up. Aspects of the film have dated, but in the important things it's more mature than anything proposed lately by modern Hollywood.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    You may even feel like dancing in the aisles yourself. Sure, the real world doesn't always work this way. Have you forgotten that this is one of the reasons why we go to movies in the first place?
  14. Ten
    The new Abbas Kiarostami film is called Ten, and in it something amazing happens: nothing.
  15. Satisfying in every respect, it's a piece of blue-collar chamber music, never treating the characters cheaply, allowing them a complex entwinement of emotions.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The Wrestler is a character study, no more and no less, yet it's open-ended enough to function as many things.
  16. Deeper and richer in humanity than all but a handful of the American films released this year.
  17. This is a trenchant emotional thriller that you watch in dread, awe, and amazing aggravation. It's entirely predicated upon the outcome of bad decisions - and it is not a comedy. The situation that unfolds approaches the absurdity of farce but denies the relief and release of humor. It's a tragic farce. No option or choice is to be envied.
  18. The usual emphasis in a detective film is upended so that procedure, thrillingly, is more important than action. In its own way, this is one of the most intense cop movies you'll see.
  19. Its breadth, profundity, and stunningly rendered vision make idealism seem renewed and breathtaking again.
  20. Beautifully crafted and brutally honest.
  21. The surehandedly wrought, beautifully acted, almost unbearably tense In the Bedroom is a rare film, not to be missed.
    • Boston Globe
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    For some of us, this constitutes a religious event.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Days of Being Wild shows Wong discovering his own cinematic language, and he's as astonished as we are.
  22. The Act of Killing is one of the most extraordinary films you’ll ever encounter, not to mention one of the craziest filmmaking concepts anywhere.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Compact, nasty, and altogether wonderful, a tale of brotherly greed and New York comeuppance that shows an old dog dusting off old tricks using new technology.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's a performance (Giamatti's) so nuanced and so real in its everyday pain that it doesn't stand a chance of winning an Oscar. But it should.
  23. Hoop Dreams is without peer among sports-oriented documentaries to the extent that it's about people before it's about athletic feats. It respects its subjects' complexity and tenacity while nailing the problematic, double-edged influence of sports in America. In fact, no film has ever combined sports and family values as powerfully as Hoop Dreams. There's simply nothing like it. [21 Oct 1994, p.47]
    • Boston Globe
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Citzenfour is prosaic in its presentation and profoundly chilling in its details, and if you think Snowden is a traitor, you should probably see it. If you think he’s a hero, you should probably see it. If you haven’t made up your mind — well, you get the idea.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Is ''Dr. Strangelove" Kubrick's best movie? Along with ''Paths of Glory," absolutely.
  24. Freshly viewed, the movie's melancholy seems to fit uncannily well in the moment we find ourselves now. In the film there are mentions of nuclear annihilation and worries that heedless lust and wanton partying could bring Rome a second fall.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    One of the most hopeful and heart-rending movies I've seen this year.
  25. Affecting, troubling, dazzling film.
  26. Through patience, skill, discretion, and trust, Jesse Moss has taken a seemingly small town story and turned it into both a microcosm of today’s most urgent issues and a portrait of a single suffering soul.
  27. This is the most significant feature about poor black life since Charles Burnett's 1977 "Killer of Sheep."
  28. Setting aside, just for a moment, his general loathsomeness, there is a case to be made for a less apparent aspect of Benito Mussolini: He was once really hot.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    As its title implies, This Is England isn't a hyperstylized head-trip a la "Trainspotting" but a straightforward calling to account.
  29. This is the first beautiful performance in the year's first great movie.
  30. Like no movie before it, Adaptation risks everything -- its cool, its credibility, its very soul -- to expose the horror of making art for the business of entertainment.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Up
    On the most basic level the new film is pure vaudeville: a loopy flyaway fantasy that's hysterically funny if only to keep the darkness at bay.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    With at least nine primary characters and running two and a half hours, it's a big, fat novel of a movie - a domestic epic that fuses bitterness and forgiveness in completely satisfying ways.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    For a film about a gaggle of slackers, Beautiful Losers is remarkably polished; with its quicksilver editing and fastidious mise-en-scene, it's as tight as the artists are slack.
  31. The result is a masterpiece of investigative nonfiction moviemaking - a scathing, outrageous, depressing, comical, horrifying report on what and who brought on the crisis.
  32. It's a thrill to watch Posey incorporate, at last, some true emotion into her exuberant screwball wit.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Murderball is a paradox: a movie about quadriplegics that insists we look beyond their disability.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's one of the small, pitch-perfect treasures of the movie year.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    One of the transporting film experiences of this or any other year.
  33. Bizarre, shadowy, enticingly eerie...more poetic, more tantalizingly original.
  34. Not since the original ''Star Wars'' trilogy has film dipped into myth and emerged with the kind of weight and heft seen in Peter Jackson's first installment of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy.
    • Boston Globe
  35. A marvelous, uncommonly observant, and unexpectedly rousing group portrait.
  36. I was much more disheartened leaving the movie the first time I saw it than I was the second. Its richness resides in its apparent objectivity. Without sacrificing a sense of hope, Cantet suggests that the school system is just like a certain vexing grammatical tense: imperfect but still fighting against irrelevance.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The shock, really, is how tender Mad Max: Fury Road ultimately becomes. The film just wraps that tenderness in one of the most epic action extravaganzas of recent years. It's enough to renew your faith in movies.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    That rose in the desert, a sequel that improves in every way upon its beloved predecessor and a romance that slowly builds a fire from embers thought dead.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie, a simple yet immensely pleasurable tale of a little boy and his undead dog, is good enough on its own. If you know the back story, it's even better.
  37. The immediacy and caprice of violence in The Interrupters are just as strong as in nearly every documentary I've seen about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  38. Farnsworth's embodiment of old American values, with their combination of delicacy, reserve, and stand-alone independence, is a one-of-a-kind treasure.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It is harrowing, heartbreaking, cheering, and unforgettable.
  39. Fast Food Nation has the dramatic flatness and willful lack of personality of some documentaries -- or at least how Linklater thinks a documentary should be. The movie nonetheless feels like both a work of investigative journalism and an immense human-interest story, veering into muckraking, horror, teen comedy, and what passes for "Twilight Zone" science fiction.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Ghobadi shows us a world where a village pond can hold both rare goldfish and unforgivable evil, and where every step is onto booby-trapped terrain.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's an account of what helplessness does to a man whose philosophy of life has been founded on decisive action.
  40. Moonrise Kingdom is Anderson's seventh movie, and it's the first since "Rushmore" that works from the opening shot to the final image.
  41. Riveting tale of family dynamics packed with as much drama, conflict, and poignancy as the best feature film.
    • Boston Globe
  42. It rates a resounding yes because it doesn't insult our emotional intelligence. [23 Nov 1983]
    • Boston Globe
  43. Intriguing, arresting, delightfully refusing to be pigeonholed.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The movie masterfully evokes, through stunning direction and magnificent performances, the heat and passion of desperate people living in desperate times. [18 Feb 1983]
    • Boston Globe
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The best mainstream film since "E.T.," is an uplifting reminder that Hollywood can still produce truly great entertainment...The plot is so exquisitely developed that divulging anything beyond the basic outline might diminish the joyous surprises that await an audience thirsting for originality in a reactionary medium. [03 July 1985, p.57]
    • Boston Globe
  44. This movie catalogs a wealth of human ugliness. It’s even been made to look ugly, presumably to underscore the horror movie that is Precious’s life.
  45. The entire movie is pitched at a scream. But the screaming is more Janis Joplin, Axl Rose, or Mary J. Blige than Jamie Lee Curtis. All the tears I shed were hard-earned. So were all the laughing and clapping and eye-covering. In each case, it was involuntary.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A life is not plot; plot is not life. By scrupulously sticking not just to the accuracies of Turner’s life as we know them but to the tiniest of details, the chipped mugs on kitchen tables, the pantaloons on a passing merchant, the spray of storm surf across the bow of a ship, Leigh wants us to truly see the world Turner moved through. Only by seeing that world can we see how he saw and painted it.
  46. Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July is a knockout, a huge angry howl of movie that uses a crippled Vietnam veteran's disability as metaphor for a country's paralysis. [5 Jan 1990, p.67]
    • Boston Globe
  47. Never has a film taken such relish in between-the-wars malice as Gosford Park.
  48. This is a brilliantly structured hall of mirrors that wraps Catholicism and the movie industry into a tasty film noir.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The result is insanely good, and the best time I've had at the movies in ages.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Fueled by Meryl Streep's performance in the title role, energized by Nora Ephron and Alice Arlen's script and tempered by Mike Nichols' understated direction, Silkwood is a brilliant movie that puts art above polemics, and the facts above speculation. [14 Dec 1983]
    • Boston Globe
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The New World is something I don't think I've ever seen before on a movie screen: an epic lyrical dialectic. Self-indulgent, gorgeous, maddening, grueling, ultimately transcendent, it's a Terrence Malick movie all the way, and possibly the director's most sustained work since 1972's "Badlands."
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Alison Klayman's documentary is one of the most engagingly powerful movies of the year almost completely on the strength of Ai's rumpled charisma and the confusion it creates in the bureaucratic mindset of the Chinese Communist Party.

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