Boston Globe's Scores

For 5,456 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 How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Lowest review score: 0 The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)
Score distribution:
5,456 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. This intimate, warmly made family portrait always feels true. The performances are particularly good.
  4. Circo offers a fascinating mix of backstage drama and family dynamics.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Despite the lumps in the batter, Love & Mercy ends up involving and affecting, because the performances are honest and the stories it tells are inherently dramatic.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. “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.
  13. A train worth catching.
  14. 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."
  15. An odd but original, at times even poetic, film about a vanished world.
  16. 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.
  17. Spy
    The character is sweetly sympathetic — less “Tammy” than “Mike & Molly” — and the laughs and chaos are all the more infectious for it.
    • 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie clips are luscious, as you'd expect, and Cardiff's own "home movies," shot on various movie sets with a 16mm camera, catch the gods during downtime.
  20. A warmly made, slightly offbeat movie about friendly devotion. It also happens to be a western, and every man in it is grizzled or wizened or both.
  21. Brims with forboding, but it pulses with candy colors and the hum of neon signs.
  22. The movie could also teach something to the makers of "Pirates of the Caribbean" about delivering a story quirky enough to actually stick with you.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The film isn't especially deep, but it's mostly delightful.
  23. A lovely piece of filmmaking, a gripping, minimalist marriage of sound and image.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Not all of it works - and not all of it works the way the target audience of jacked-up young males might want it to - but the movie is hugely provocative fun, and I'm pretty sure that's on purpose.
  24. A powerful portrait of modern journalism and the nobility -- and futility -- of chronicling modern war.
  25. This is not “Death of a Salesman’’ or “Save the Tiger’’ (in the case of the latter, thank God). But how refreshing to see a movie about a mother’s struggles that doesn’t culminate in her lying on her back to make ends meet.
  26. What's refreshing about the Danish movie is how direct the girls are.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Despicable Me has enough visual novelty and high spirits to keep the kiddies diverted and just enough wit to placate the parents.
  27. Weirdly enthralling film.
  28. Silva doesn’t resort to any fancy tricks to depict his characters’ inner experiences. But something happens nonetheless, a bonding of sorts that is almost, if not quite, convincing.
  29. Executed on a pretty broad level, but if characterization is slighted, the ensemble is so rich, with such depth, that every few minutes another juicy turn keeps coming our way to divert us.
  30. Everything you could want in a sequel. It satisfyingly regenerates the characters and qualities that made the first film so popular. And then it moves them forward into newer, fresher, more elaborate, more involving territory.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The reason to see The Merchant of Venice is Al Pacino.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Don't see the movie if you can't handle two rather sexy senior citizens threatening to meet in body and mind.
  31. Combines an insider's perspective with what can only be described as gutsy cinematography.
  32. Employs both eloquent and down-to-earth methods to explain the complex reasons why so many of the world's developing countries remain caught in an economic quagmire that prevents them from becoming self-sufficient.
  33. Anyone looking for sleek futuristic action and production design should keep walking.
  34. The best that can be said of the men in Coline Serreau's Chaos is that some of them are pimps.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Behind the cool, nonjudgmental gaze of Cartel Land is a despair that never comes to terms with itself.
  35. The closer you get to sorting out the truth, the less likely you are to believe it, let alone comprehend it. The latter half of this movie is as outlandish as a Mexican soap opera.
  36. Sweetly macabre charmer.
  37. With its wry take on the manic triviality of the industry, it's not only the most sparklingly jaundiced showbiz entertainment since "All About Eve." It's also the gutsiest mother-daughter story since "Terms of Endearment." Call it "Terms of Endurement," plan on laughing a lot, and you won't be far off. [13 Sep 1990, p.97]
    • Boston Globe
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The Armstrong Lie is one for the time capsule, because it preserves for future generations a very particular modern response to scandal: confession without remorse.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It’s the best Tyler Perry movie to date - the writer/director/actor/mogul’s most confident and competent mixture of uplifting black middle-class melodrama and low-down comedy.
  38. Director Wayne Wang and his screenwriters sometimes ape ''Pretty Woman." But Latifah's obvious forebear is Pearl Bailey, who was just as regal and straight-up.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    There isn't much to The Housekeeper, really, but it plumbs depths of male unease that louder and less wise movies strain to reach.
  39. The film delivers a concise history of Western eating habits, with graphs and charts punctuated by entertaining real-life experiences.
  40. Though the narrative of “Marnie” bogs down toward the end, this does not diminish its spell.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's a soapy, simplistic, but surprisingly affecting ambisexual melodrama that plays a little like Pedro Almodovar without the surreal frills.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Becomes a creepy yet amusing look at how he tries to take control of the film being made about him.
    • Boston Globe
  41. Whaley's self-effacing but strongly etched and wrenchingly effective film.
  42. While no individual plot strand is vividly compelling, their interplay makes for a hearty and humanistic mix, carried by the performances.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The film's comic observations are rich, droll, and more than a little sad: Everyone in this isolated community seems beaten down by life.
  43. Aims its big, bold mother-daughter conflicts straight at the heart by way of the tear ducts, and connects.
  44. Kennedy doesn't take the character any deeper than a caricature of rich, nonblack fans of hip-hop culture. But as a caricature, he's fantastic.
  45. There's enchanting delicacy and irresistible quirkiness in Anthony Minghella's allegory of grief. And humane comedy, too, in this fable about a woman flattened by inconsolable loss, then rejoining the world. [24 May 1991]
    • Boston Globe
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    One of the major problems facing Hollywood today is the lack of will and energy to make movies that can charm youngsters without boring their parents. Popeye is an important contribution toward the solution. It's not a sophisticated film. But it's a gratifyingly engaging one. [12 Dec 1980, p.1]
    • Boston Globe
  46. The result is an extended home movie that is also a sociological experiment.
  47. Boldly goes where Hollywood rarely treads: into the passionate, intense, and complex world of girls at the point in their lives when self-discovery is combined with enormous vulnerability.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    In short, “Imaginarium’’ is a Terry Gilliam movie and it’s a mess, which over the years have come to mean much the same thing. It’s one of his better messes, though, or at least this critic was won over by its ramshackle whimsies.
  48. The surprise here is how thrillingly bad things get.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A romantic comedy with an adult sensibility, a film that avoids characters-as-caricatures (with one exception), and deftly mixes cynicism and hope.
  49. What Merchant, Ivory and Co. arrive at is a sort of handsomely illustrated Cliffs Notes version of the novel.
    • Boston Globe
  50. Told in a serenely observational fashion.
  51. There's something elegiac in Redford's spy who knows he's a dinosaur but still has a few moves left.
    • Boston Globe
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's like an After-School Special version of "Pan's Labyrinth ," and I actually mean that as a compliment.
  52. This is a movie that feels in all its vividness, specificity, and honesty - and in its amateurish screenwriting, too - like something found from the early- to mid-1990s, when American independent moviemaking encouraged far more conversations about the sexuality of young, brown girls in movies like "Just Another Girl on the I.R.T.'' and "I Like It Like That.''
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    As female-bonding comfort food goes, ''Sisterhood" is that rare meal both adolescent girls and their mothers will be able to agree on.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Mrs. Henderson Presents is a very old hat, and Judi Dench wears it beautifully.
  53. Go
    "Pulp Fiction" wannabes don't get much slicker or edgier than Go.
  54. Has to be appreciated simply for doing its job, for being the only thriller I've seen recently that made me wonder how my knuckles ended up in my mouth.
  55. In American movies, the iconic question usually is, can men and women be friends without the sex part getting in the way? Here it's, can a husband appreciate his wife as a woman? The movie's success in Italy is partly a matter of frustration: Women need their men to grow up.
  56. The Brown Bunny is certainly about how vain Gallo is. Yet rarely has narcissism produced such a handsome work of cinema.
  57. Career Girls is a film that knows how wounding and complicated life can be, yet still believes in, and convincingly renders, the healing power of friendship. [15 Aug. 1997, p.D4]
    • Boston Globe
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The Academy accepts submissions only from real countries, and Palestine isn't one. This is as good a joke, and as dark, as anything in the movie.
  58. The rare ecological documentary that doesn’t nag us to run out of the movie theater and change the world.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Grabsky’s goal appears to have been more circumscribed: an introduction to the composer that speaks to both the classical newcomer and someone who has loved this music for years but pieced together its back story only from hundreds of disconnected program notes.
  59. Reliable, standard Disney animated fare, with enough creative energy and wit to entertain all ages.
    • Boston Globe
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie's still shameless; the difference is you don't mind.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    “Venus in Fur,” the 2010 David Ives play that conquered off-Broadway in 2010 and Broadway in 2011, has been thoroughly and maliciously Romanized.
  60. A big, silly party.
  61. It takes a personal rather than a political perspective, exploring the ambiguities of truth and individual identity rather than the complexities of an ongoing historical calamity. And though the human drama is hypnotically gripping, it comes at the expense of the bigger picture.

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