Boston Globe's Scores

For 5,884 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 0.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Gomorrah
Lowest review score: 0 The Black Waters of Echo's Pond
Score distribution:
5884 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. Never has a film taken such relish in between-the-wars malice as Gosford Park.
  5. This is a brilliantly structured hall of mirrors that wraps Catholicism and the movie industry into a tasty film noir.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Over and over in The Look of Silence, we hear people tell the filmmakers, “The past is past.” The wound is healed, they say, and if you don’t want trouble, don’t reopen it. The movie itself proves otherwise.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Blistering and brilliant work.
  6. Spacey is diamond-brilliant in a role that plays as if custom-made for him.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    All you really need to enjoy "Triplets" is a taste for the weird and the wonderful.
  7. It's an instant classic, in every way the equal of the great Disney animations of the past. [22 Nov 1991, p.33]
    • Boston Globe
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The Dardennes achieve lyricism without seeming to try.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    20 Feet From Stardom may possibly be the happiest time you’ll have at the movies all summer, but it comes with a heavy load of frustration. The joy...is in the sound of women singing their big, beautiful hearts out. The pain comes from the anonymity they’ve spent their lives working under and fighting against.
  8. We're in a golden age of comedy, and one of the reasons is Margaret Cho.
    • Boston Globe
  9. Astonishing.
  10. A sweet screenful of quirky chaos.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie’s a funny, dark, increasingly razor-sharp inquiry into the metaphysics of modern fame — how the dream of “being seen” and thus validated on some primal level can completely unhinge the average schmo.
  11. One of the year's most winning performances, Logue's Dex will grow on you as he stumbles toward emotional fullness.
  12. What makes Toy Story such a dazzling surprise is that while technological novelty is partly what it's about, it transcends technology. [22 Nov 1995, p.29]
    • Boston Globe
  13. Stillman has become a master at escalating the laughter by waiting an extra beat and then understating something devastatingly funny, as when someone looks Chris Eigeman's club manager, Des, in the eye and says, "I consider you a person of integrity - except, you know, in the matter of women."
  14. Vincent and Theo is one of the great Robert Altman films... It's Altman's most structurally conventional film, although it's filled with such trademarks as overlapping conversations. It's also his most personal and deeply felt. [16 Nov 1990, p.81]
    • Boston Globe
  15. Nobody ever placed brilliance in the service of silliness quite the way the Python gang did. Monty Python and the Holy Grail is stuffed with both.
    • Boston Globe
  16. After a period of creative drought, Zhang’s homecoming is a cause for celebration.
  17. 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.
  18. It takes a few minutes to catch on, and it would be indiscrete to specify what it is, but once you figure out what’s really strange about it you have entered the solipsistic prison of a tormented mind.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Birdman finds Iñárritu in the mood for play, and with a mighty cast that fields every pitch he throws.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The arrival of Raúl Ruiz’s final work, Night Across the Street, brings the total to four, an elegant, clear-eyed bridge game of artists playing their last trump cards.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    At Sundance, Whiplash quickly picked up the nickname “Full Metal Juilliard” on the basis of scenes in which Andrew, plucked from a late-night practice session to be the orchestra’s drummer, is raked over the coals by his new mentor. Horrifying as they are, these sequences are dazzling exercises in total humiliation.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The result is one of the most unforgiving ground-level documentaries about the music business ever made -- the six-string equivalent of "Hoop Dreams."
  19. It's one of the great movies on the vicissitudes of love, commitment, and attraction.
  20. 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.
    • 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.
  21. Driving Miss Daisy, about the deepening relationship between a Jewish matron in Atlanta and her black chauffeur, is a luminous joy of a film, heartbreakingly delicate, effortlessly able through indirection to invoke the civil rights era without ever once slipping into portentous pronouncements. [12 Jan. 1990, p.35]
    • Boston Globe
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    In the pop high it delivers, this is the greatest prequel ever made.
  22. As often happens in films about putting on plays, life imitates art, but in this instance obliquely.
  23. This is an extraordinary artistic breakthrough from a Mexican director who was already fearlessly good to begin with.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's worth stressing how deeply pleasurable Moolaad is to watch.
  24. You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of works in any given year to which one is moved to apply the word ''masterpiece.'' Raul Ruiz's Time Regained is one of them.
  25. Jane Austen's novel has been rejiggered into a jaunty romantic comedy that leaves us as incandescently happy as its characters.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Room unfolds with the privilege of seeing and experiencing the world for the very first time, which is maybe the best we can ever expect from a medium like the cinema.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's a movie made with the same coolly fanatical attention to craft the lead character displays in her work. Bigelow is now recognized as one of our true filmmaking naturals.
  28. A grand, dark, grave, severe piece of first-rate cinema.
    • Boston Globe
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    An eloquent ecological warning.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A heart-rending account of people trying to dodge the hurdles that politics puts in front of them. By the end of this humanist epic, some are ennobled by their struggle. Most are exhausted.
    • 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.
  29. This is a love letter from one auteur to another that doesn't feel like a term paper. Instead, Far From Heaven is an honest-to-God drama with resonance all its own.
  30. Simple, but loaded. It celebrates the humanity and humanism at the heart of Iran's remarkable flow of films, but it's also more of a rebuke to materialistic values than any ideologue could ever hope to be.
  31. 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.
    • 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?
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Longer on atmosphere and observation than on story, but you don't mind: Coppola maintains her quietly charged tone with a certainty that would be unbelievable in a second film if you didn't suspect genetics had a hand.
  32. The movie is also more extraordinary than a mere scenic slideshow.
  33. 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.
  34. An invigoratingly mordant comedy that proves that Alexander Payne's rambunctious debut, "Citizen Ruth," was no fluke.
    • 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.
  35. First and foremost, Good Will Hunting is a film riding young, exuberant energies.
    • 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
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    This is a small, compassionate gem of a movie, one that’s rooted in details of people and place but that keeps opening up onto the universal.
  36. Roberts and Erin Brockovich have Oscar contender written all over them.
  37. Mesmerizing and unforgettable.
  38. 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A strange and very beautiful documentary about the gray area between obsession and art.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Reflective, haunting, hilarious documentary.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    What happens between two people? Only the chemistry that keeps us from stumbling through the chaos by ourselves. Is that an illusion, too? Amour says it doesn't much matter. There is no dignity in life except love.
  39. A civilized delight.
    • Boston Globe
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    More than "Unforgiven," more than "Mystic River," it is Clint Eastwood's autumnal masterpiece.
  40. 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
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    At its most unsettling level, Spellbound asks us to consider what words are for and what childhood should be. It's as profound as anything you'll see this year, and, yes, it should have won the Oscar.
  41. Who most of these exquisitely costumed people are I have no idea, but they brush past the camera in such rapids of jubilation it's a wonder they don't knock the thing over. I watched most of the film exhilarated, but depressed that I'm not a big Russophile.
    • 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
  42. The worst thing about the first Quentin Tarantino picture in five years is that after 93 minutes of some of the most luscious violence and spellbinding storytelling you're likely to see this year, Kill Bill ends.
    • 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.
  43. It's all we ask of a film but almost never get, as it first makes us squirm, then makes us cheer.
  44. The best film of 2001 was made in 1979.
  45. 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    If Leviathan takes the Academy Award on the 22nd — and it’s considered the front-runner by some — it’ll be a win for great filmmaking and a loss for the Putin government.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The results bear witness to a time when sacrifice was bleached of everything but itself.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Elegantly depraved and immaculately degenerate, Park Chan Wook’s The Handmaiden is an astonishment. The filmmaking is masterful, very near to Hitchcock in its sly, controlled teasing of the audience.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    You could argue that Gandolfini doesn’t have enough screen time, but what’s there is, as they say, cherce. The scenes in which Albert and Eva get to know each other are delightful miniatures of emotional intimacy, two bruised romantics amazed to find someone still on their wavelength.
    • 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.
  46. Badlands is one of the great banality-of-evil films. [29 May 1998, p.C9]
    • Boston Globe
  47. Offers a surprising and revealing look at Russia's past and present.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  48. A masterpiece.
  49. Not only exhilarating and cathartic. It's too funny to be ignored.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The heroine’s voice-overs, delivered into the microphone of a Bell & Howell tape recorder in Minnie’s bedroom, are the movie’s motor. They’re proud and insecure, profanely comic, dripping with adolescent wisdom and self-absorption.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Implicitly acknowledges and celebrates the glorious chicanery and self-delusion of this most American of businesses, and for that reason it may be the most oddly honest Hollywood document of all.
  50. A milestone of eloquent understatement that captures the daily life of have-nots as few American movies have.
  51. By nearly every measure, Milk is a beautifully made, far less conventional movie biography than most.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A subtle, often very funny, ultimately touching tragedy of royal manners and meaning.
  52. With Carrey hitting a career peak, this Grinch doesn't steal Christmas; it restores the season by helping energize us enough to make it through the whole thing.
    • Boston Globe
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The Battle of Algiers is a thinking person's action film in which there are winners -- but no heroes.

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