Boston Globe's Scores

For 5,215 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 0.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 The Black Stallion
Lowest review score: 0 The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)
Score distribution:
5,215 movie reviews
  1. A marvelous, uncommonly observant, and unexpectedly rousing group portrait.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Murderball is a paradox: a movie about quadriplegics that insists we look beyond their disability.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Exhilaratingly slow, which for many will simply mean SLOW... Those who can downshift appropriately, however, stand to be enraptured.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The new film lives up to expectations and, indeed, pushes past them into virtually unmapped territory.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    What's most shocking about The Passenger 30 years later? Seeing Jack Nicholson at the lean, sardonic height of his youthful powers? Finding a Michelangelo Antonioni movie with an actual plot?
  2. This is a movie from the past that's also eerily of a piece with the film culture of now and tomorrow.
  3. Jane Austen's novel has been rejiggered into a jaunty romantic comedy that leaves us as incandescently happy as its characters.
    • 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?
  4. Maurice Bénichou does the most heartbreaking work in the movie, playing a friend of Georges's. It's a character and a performance I'll have a tough time getting out of my dreams.
  5. Enigmatic as it is, The Intruder dares us to see movies as visual marvels tethered to humanity.
    • 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."
  6. The movie they've assembled is in the vein of 1973's "Wattstax," but it's much more than a concert documentary. It's a jubilant, civic-minded lollapalooza.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's one of the small, pitch-perfect treasures of the movie year.
  7. A watchful, winding-down tragedy of a movie that delivers what it promises. As commentary, it's grim. As filmmaking, it's a powerfully disturbing odyssey through the Bucharest health care system.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The results bear witness to a time when sacrifice was bleached of everything but itself.
  8. It's a thrill to watch Posey incorporate, at last, some true emotion into her exuberant screwball wit.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The documentary any American with an opinion on our involvement in Iraq owes it to his or her conscience to see.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A subtle, often very funny, ultimately touching tragedy of royal manners and meaning.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    No matter their wealth or social status, these people share disappointments and elations and a sense that life, in the end, may be what life is about.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It is harrowing, heartbreaking, cheering, and unforgettable.
    • 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.
  9. It's one of the great movies on the vicissitudes of love, commitment, and attraction.
  10. 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Eloquent, bloody, and daringly simple.
  11. This is an extraordinary artistic breakthrough from a Mexican director who was already fearlessly good to begin with.
  12. Pan's Labyrinth is a transcendent work of art.
  13. As demonstrated in his previous film, a plangent snapshot of subsistence called "Waiting for Happiness," Sissako is a poet, and the filmmaking in this new picture is stuff of a deserving laureate.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    One of the transporting film experiences of this or any other year.
  14. With its beautifully crafted starburst of colors and themes spanning its requisite Victorian gravity, A Little Princess is a beguiling little supernova of a movie I can't imagine anyone not loving. [19 May 1995, p.64]
    • Boston Globe
  15. A milestone of eloquent understatement that captures the daily life of have-nots as few American movies have.
  16. A Bronx Tale is a joy, a film that comes unerringly from someone's heart and experience, and not from a power lunch of agents with clients to be packaged. [1 Oct 1993, p. 49]
    • Boston Globe
    • 59 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The filmmaking team of director James Ivory, screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and producer Ismail Merchant, remained loyal to James, assembled a brilliant cast and created one of the best films of the year. [10 Aug 1984]
    • Boston Globe
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Fly is that rare species of movie - a remake that far surpasses the original and, quite frankly, all expectations. [15 Aug 1986]
    • Boston Globe
  17. The women here aren't afraid to get extreme about love, but in the end, you sense that they are too sound to destroy themselves over the worthless man they have allowed to personify it. That's what lifts Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown from the amusing to the sublime. [23 Dec 1988, p.23]
    • Boston Globe
    • 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
  18. It rates a resounding yes because it doesn't insult our emotional intelligence. [23 Nov 1983]
    • Boston Globe
  19. It's one of the great sister movies and one of the great performance movies. [26 Jan 1996]
    • Boston Globe
  20. Astonishing.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Tootsie, the story of a man who liberates himself by masquerading as a woman, is the funniest, most revealing comedy since "Annie Hall." [17 Dec 1982]
    • Boston Globe
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Once is the first rock musical that actually makes sense. People don't burst into song in this movie because the orchestra's swelling out of nowhere. The guy and the girl are working musicians -- or they'd like to be, if they could make a living at it -- and they're played by working musicians.
  21. Hartley's spare dialogue cuts right to the characters' psyches; his terse, laconic style accentuates the everyday horror. [20 Sept 1991]
    • Boston Globe
    • 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
  22. It's so hypnotically breathtaking, you don't realize you're not breathing. By the final shot, you don't realize you're crying either, but there go the tears.
  23. 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
  24. [The novel's] themes have never not been fresh and they gleam here under the sympathetic and enlivening touch of Armstrong and her cast, who move through the events with sunny assurance and complete immersion in character. [21 Dec 1994]
    • Boston Globe
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Broadcast News grows in your memory. It recalls an era when movies were made by, for and with three-dimensional characters you cared about. Let's hope it doesn't take James L. Brooks another four years to make another one. We can't wait that long. [25 Dec 1987, p.53]
    • Boston Globe
    • 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
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    An eloquent ecological warning.
  25. In short, A Christmas Story isn't just about Christmas; it's about childhood and it recaptures a time and place with love and wonder. It seems an instant classic, a film that will give pleasure to people not only this Christmas, but for many Christmases to come. [19 Nov 1983, p.1]
    • Boston Globe
  26. Ferguson's film is a clear-sighted counterpoint to the former secretary of defense's impression. As the title suggests, it's a seemingly infinite mess.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The Coens also understand the stark immediacy of this tale, and they visualize it with brilliantly judged details.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The strangest thing about Todd Haynes's new movie isn't that he cast six actors to play the various faces and phases of Bob Dylan. It's that he needed only six.
  27. There Will Be Blood" is anti-state of the art. It's the work of an analog filmmaker railing against an increasingly digitized world. In that sense, the movie is idiosyncratic, too: vintage visionary stuff.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  28. 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The best American film of the year to date.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The sight is magical and heartbreaking in equal measure. Look, the movie says: Where so many would fall, a man walks on air.
    • 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.
  29. This is the most significant feature about poor black life since Charles Burnett's 1977 "Killer of Sheep."
    • 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?
    • 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.
  30. By nearly every measure, Milk is a beautifully made, far less conventional movie biography than most.
    • 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.
  31. 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.
  32. Takes one man, his children, their spouses and babies, his ex-wife, his girlfriend, her daughter, and his friends and turns it all into a masterpiece about the strange power of food - to heal, unite, exasperate.
    • 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.
  33. Both a staggering realist thriller and a jeremiad.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    In its unhurried fashion, Sugar can take its place with the best baseball movies. Where most focus on the grand slam, this one's about the life that surrounds the game and everything that comes after.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    One of the most hopeful and heart-rending movies I've seen this year.
  34. The movie is also more extraordinary than a mere scenic slideshow.
  35. 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.
    • 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.’’
  36. 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?’’
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    One of the best, most karmically satisfying comedies of the year, much to the chagrin of the people who are in it.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    In the pop high it delivers, this is the greatest prequel ever made.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Movies like The Kids Are All Right -- beautifully written, impeccably played, funny and randy and true -- don't come along very often.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's the only film that exists of the Ghetto, and it's both revelatory and profoundly suspect.
    • 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.
  39. The result is a masterpiece of investigative nonfiction moviemaking - a scathing, outrageous, depressing, comical, horrifying report on what and who brought on the crisis.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A strange and very beautiful documentary about the gray area between obsession and art.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A handcrafted jewel of a movie, The Illusionist understands the illusions that sustain us in youth and that we have to let slip in the end. It's the rare work of art that cherishes both the magic and the trick.
  40. This is a movie whose power comes from the alignment both of Mija's discovery with ours and of a tremendous writer and director with his star.
  41. Offers a surprising and revealing look at Russia's past and present.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    There's humor in "Le Quattro Volte," and then a deep, abiding sadness, and beyond that a larger, more graceful comedy that extends to the horizons.
  42. An innovative hybrid of documentary, staged reading, fictional feature, and confessional, The Arbor defies categorization not merely for art's sake - although its artistry is without question - but because conventional forms seem inadequate for such a harrowing story.
  43. In an age in which it feels as if seemingly pure intimacy no longer exists, this film thrives on nothing but intimate moments.
  44. 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.
  45. 3
    It's a funny, fearless, suspenseful sex comedy that, in drawing on science and philosophy and art and death, risks accusations of pretentiousness. But, even in its romantic idealism, the movie proceeds according to recognizable rhythms of how some people live.
  46. One of the truest, most beautiful movies ever made about two strangers.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Michael Hazanavicius's love letter to classic cinema isn't perfect but it's close enough to make just about anyone who sees it ridiculously happy - and that includes children and grown-ups who have never come across a silent film.
  47. 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The Dardennes achieve lyricism without seeming to try.

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