Boston Globe's Scores

For 5,356 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 Citizenfour
Lowest review score: 0 Gigli
Score distribution:
5,356 movie reviews
  1. A delightful alternative to most current multiplex fare, which wouldn't recognize a juicy bon mot if it tripped over one in the aisle.
  2. Argo is absurdly suspenseful for both of its hours. I've never been this stressed-out watching people shred documents.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Because it’s a Hollywood movie from a major corporation looking fondly at itself, it concludes that, while art may heal our psychic wounds, craftsmanship and commerce heal them better.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    For every line of dialogue that's truly, glitteringly acid, though, there are five that are merely clever, and Lee, likable as he is, never really taps into the misery of the teen misfit.
  3. Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey don't simply star in this movie; they tag-team it out of the Freddie Prinze Jr. --Julia Stiles puppy-love ghetto.
  4. A solid, humane, old-fashioned film in the best sense of the term.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Green unquestionably has a rare, intermittent knack for rapture.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Absurdly entertaining even after it disappears up its own hindquarters in the last act, and it gives some of our weirder actors ample room to play.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Merely grand old-school fun - a rollicking class reunion that stands as the second best entry in the venerable series.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    An almost fetishistic re-creation of a horror-suspense movie from around 1978.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Mostly it’s a footloose tour through the noise and sun of a summer metropolis and an unassumingly wise portrait of a friendship.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The new film isn’t nearly as bleak as Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman (in general, Marvel seems more risk-averse when it comes to fiddling with the crown jewels), but it still creates an action-movie landscape torn between patriotic ideals and harsh post-9/11 realpolitik.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    “Days” is fast, smart, well-acted, and intermittently inspired, and if you don’t know or care who Beast or Blink or Storm are, you can safely skip it.
  5. It’s a surprisingly humorous and humane film — a lyrical little oddity that stands as a welcome return to form.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The actor is magnificent -- ravaged, desperate, aware -- and no more so than in a scene toward the end when Bob's cardsharp cool finally breaks. It's a risky scene, the one note of corn, but Nolte brings it home. Too bad the movie doesn't.
  6. The gusto in the flying bullets, the fleeing lovers, and the flowing music will make you want to hang around until the party is over.
  7. The Signal is like a Romero zombie movie in which the zombies aren't dead, they're just really temperamental. Evil here is technology-born. Maybe our cellphones and satellite dishes are giving us all the crazy.
  8. If this is an unusually sentimental outing for Jia, it’s also characteristically tinged with woe. He’s just added a touch of sweetness to these otherwise sugarless lives.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    If you were alive in 1991, the televised images may still stick in your mind and your craw.
  9. A sweetly acted and neatly executed social comedy.
  10. The animals are so magically entertaining to watch here (helped by some gently mischievous narrative assists), the educational treatment is a fun time in its own right.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's a bit of a mess but strong stuff nevertheless -- a mournful, often wickedly funny religious satire that suggests what Kafka might have come up with had he been raised Catholic.
  11. Isn't as trippy, scary, handmade-looking, or environmentally aware as some of Miyazaki's pictures. But it shares their dreaminess. Even at its most ingenious, not even Pixar does that.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Proof is proof that you can drain most of the juice out of a play and still have an enjoyable night at the movies.
  12. In addition to being very funny, In a World . . . also makes a case for women to be, well, heard. But in terms of cohesion and narrative, it doesn’t quite come together as a movie.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's to the "Lethal Weapon" movies what left-hand driving on a country lane is to a freeway chase: pokey, more than a little daft, but with a bloody surprise around every hedge.
  13. Waste Land is just what the film's website says it is: "stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit."
  14. Another gorgeous and immensely satisfying reminder that there are few better directors than Téchiné when it comes to capturing the vagaries of the heart.
  15. Part of the reason for the comic surehandedness is the obvious chemistry between Shannon, Ferrell, and director Bruce McCulloch.
  16. I've never seen a movie like this. Not on purpose. Daniels isn't saying he's tasteful. He's just saying that his tasteless trash is as deserving of our attention as the tasteful trash we feel like we have to see. The whole thing's a crazy fantasy, like watching a porno dream it can win the Oscar.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Darker, leaner, less expansive , and meaner, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is all business, and it casts a spell utterly unlike the first four films.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    If you've got some very small fry on your hands and 75 minutes to kill, this is as bright, colorful, and fuzzy as you're going to get.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Referencing the popular song, the movie's title reminds us that "the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat." That, in a rind, is Riklis's deeply frustrated view of his country's stalemate, but you can only take a metaphor so far before it falters in the face of endless geopolitical complexity.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    There’s still enough to chew on to recommend the movie, not least the oddly touching sight of two siblings whose very identities have been altered by surgery.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Vol. II is less focused than “Vol. I” — less funny, too, although there are a few dank laughs — and you feel Von Trier’s inspiration and energy start to flag during the final laps.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The filmmakers bank against their impulse toward melodrama and deliver a reconciliation that is heartbreakingly understated.
  17. Intoxicating fun.
  18. A patient, suspenseful exercise in genre craftsmanship
  19. For a studio so clearly willing to take risks with so many of its movies, this particular movie has a whiff of exploitation. Rowling wrote one epic funeral that Warner Bros. requires us to attend twice.
  20. The idea is to share with us that this show happened. But gluttons for these artists and for music festivals in general might wonder, as I have, whether there's any way the filmmakers might share more of the remaining 123 1/2 hours.
  21. The movie shouldn't work, yet it does.
  22. A lot of the credit for what's right with 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin goes to the screenplay, which Carell and Apatow wrote. They like these characters and, when it matters, they dare to give them feelings, none truer than Andy's.
  23. They're as special as special effects get.
    • Boston Globe
  24. Magnolia is "Short Cuts" with hope. It's my kind of mess.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Cloverfield is content to be a creature feature; that's what makes it bearable and what keeps it from greatness. The genre, not the script, does the psychological heavy lifting.
  25. Elf
    The movie sets Ferrell's assaultive and juvenile physical comedy in a less-combative playground, and the result might leave the Ferrell-intolerant exiting the theater on a high.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    This is a film lover's film, and as if to underscore the point, Bon Voyage opens and closes in a movie theater.
  26. What Stranger by the Lake lacks in suspense and back story it makes up for in atmosphere: It’s a subtle exercise in the pathetic fallacy.
  27. The endearing and cheeky ensemble works hard, and Ken Scott's script finds ways of wringing irreverence from the apparent good nature of the situation.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Gorgeously shot (by Lee Hyung Duk) and well worth seeing for Jeon's deceptively simple performance. Unlike its heroine, though, it gets away without a scratch.
  28. Filmmaker Joe Berlinger isn’t so much inspired as disgusted by the notorious gangster in his newest documentary.
  29. What Little Children understands so well, and so poignantly, is a kind of parental existentialism that hits 30- somethings with kids: How does having children make you such a less interesting adult?
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A hilarious, touching, and (except for a dip into melodrama near the end) skillful blend of subtle emotional depths and a dazzlingly playful surface.
  30. The film's indefatigable holiday spirit is infectious.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Freeman portrays Mandela not as a saint but as a man who knows he has the political freedom of being seen as one; it’s a majestically two-dimensional performance with glimpses of a third dimension peeking through.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It has been said before but it’s worth saying again: Gore Vidal was born to the toga, even if he never actually wore one.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Visually, this movie is big, bold, often awe-inspiring.
  31. This is a movie about the marriage between sound and image, and the sound is wearing the pants in the relationship.
  32. With Dosunmu, African culture thrives in a demographically shifting but historically African-American part of town. If the idea is that Nollywood could work in Manhattan, this is the director who can show us how.
  33. The magic of their perfectly shaded performances is that you always have to wonder ... Is she really that bad?
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    An epic film in every respect.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It spreads the punishment around, from the executive suites of Hollywood to the mean streets of Baghdad. Everyone here comes out smelling bad - that's why the film's so good.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Perfectly fine summer folderol, epic enough on its own terms if not quite big enough to expand beyond its genre and matter to people who find it difficult to care about characters who spit gobs of flaming phlegm. I realize there are fewer and fewer of us, but we're a hardy band and stubborn.
  34. This is an action movie that nods to Hayao Miyazaki and those sleeky dumb European chase thrillers with guys like Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson.
  35. It's also the first apocalypse-minded franchise that's earned its downbeat mood. The action, for starters, is post-Cold War, post-Chernobyl, post-perestroika. Darkness is so much a part of the Russian psyche it must be nice to see a local movie try to put its hand toward the Light.
  36. You won't see a more humane and delicately moving riff this year on the theme of getting clean.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Shut Up is intentionally slapdash, with jumbly hand-held cameras and random bursts of feedback. But there's a beguiling sense of quiet to it, too.
  37. Fred Claus sells you something you didn't know you wanted: a Vince Vaughn Christmas movie. Vaughn is not the hook. Neither is the holiday. The script, by Dan Fogelman, is smarter than that.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    To appreciate Solaris, the new film by Steven Soderbergh, it helps to downshift your moviegoing metabolism to a level approaching the cryogenically frozen: The movie's that cerebral, that contemplative, that slow.
  38. The best thing about Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone is that it really is the story of Fishbone. It's a hearty, thoughtful, smartly assembled, vaguely complete documentary about a rock band that, even by the standards of out-there musical acts, seemed out there both in the mid-1980s and even now.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A honey, but your response to it may depend on where you fall on life's big curve.
  39. This intimate, warmly made family portrait always feels true. The performances are particularly good.
  40. Circo offers a fascinating mix of backstage drama and family dynamics.
  41. Mother's peace crusade ennobles Irish Town.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Knappenberger can’t paint his subject as an imperfect human being because Swartz simply means too much to too many people right now. He’s a focal point for social and political change, with communal grief as its engine.
  42. fully devotes itself to painting a family portrait seldom allowed such rich cinematic detail.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's like "The Illusionist" crossed with a really hard Sudoku.
  43. Miss Bala signals the rise of a director to watch, as Naranjo offers a grim subject with neither flash nor sentiment. It is a sober film done with style.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Turns out to be thoughtful, creative, and generally worthy of its subject, with sins that are more of ambition and miscalculation than of execution.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    There's an evenhanded humanism flowing through The Edukators that may strike doctrinaire viewers on either side of the divide as mushy, but it's tough enough for the rest of us to chew on for a long time.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Too much of the show, though, feels like frenetic movement for its own sake, as though Conan were one of those cartoon characters who runs off a cliff and stays in the air through the ceaseless pumping of his legs.
  44. Like other offbeat and original efforts such as Spike Jonze’s “Her,” Jonathan Glazer’s “Under the Skin,” and Richard Ayaode’s dour “The Double,” it juggles genres, reverses expectations, and resorts to fantasy in order to explore the enigmas of gender, identity, and love.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Think low-budget ''Moonstruck'' but think again: A regional dish in the most heartwarming sense.
  45. In the end, though, Weiland ("Made of Honor") pours so much heart into his autobiographically "true-ish" story that accessibility is a nonissue.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    As the title character in Albert Nobbs, Glenn Close skulks through Edwardian-era Dublin like a eunuch on a stealth mission.
  46. The scope of the ’toon espionage-adventure goings-on is surprisingly limited. But the filmmakers so clearly love working on these characters, their creative joy is infectious.
  47. Wattstax is a disorienting and ironic moviegoing experience. It's a film about the curative powers of rhythm-and-blues music that sets out to frustrate your sense of rhythm in its insistence on the blues.
  48. “Happy” isn’t meant ironically. Herzog, who narrates, clearly loves, and envies, the trappers’ elemental existence and connection to nature.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    In rock, it's about the attitude as much as the music. In some cases, more so. And the Runaways were all attitude.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    You can feel her (Bening) drag Being Julia uphill for an hour and a half until the final 15 minutes, when the ground finally levels out and the picture becomes fine, vengeful fun.
  49. A train worth catching.
  50. Both a lovingly crafted remembrance of things past and a deliberate broadening and darkening of the canvas Levinson previously filled in "Diner," "Tin Men," and "Avalon."
  51. An odd but original, at times even poetic, film about a vanished world.
  52. It's also a message movie, about as weighty as Lara Flynn Boyle and twice as absurd. But I'd like to report that I had an excellent time.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Using a refreshingly gentle FX touch, Ball has successfully transposed the decaying, vine-covered concrete jungle look of his short onto this gorgeously-designed feature. The neophyte knows how to direct heart-pumping chase scenes and has coaxed surprisingly solid performances from his young ensemble cast, especially O’Brien and Poulter.
  53. The movie's sense of inspiration is realistic. It never implies a future of glamour, only hard-won success.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    As Hopkins's Lecter is concerned, it's official: He's Freddy Krueger.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It pleases me to report, then, that Downey brings his brain, his wit, and his gift for intelligent underplaying, even as he understands he has been hired to play Sherlock Holmes, action hero.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Does what an exploitation movie should: It gets in, it scares you silly, and it gets out, all while playing fair by the audience.
  54. Sentimental and has its heart on its sleeve, but never heavy-handedly so, and its delicacy and tenderness will get to you if you give it half a chance.
    • Boston Globe

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