Boston Globe's Scores

For 5,403 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 0.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Citizenfour
Lowest review score: 0 Bratz
Score distribution:
5,403 movie reviews
  1. A gorgeous autumnal period piece that catches a vanishing proprietary class on the eve of its extinction in Ireland in 1920.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Moves like hot mercury, and it draws a viewer so thoroughly into its world that real life can seem thick and dull when the lights come up.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Foreign intrigue is raised to an art form.
  2. 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Unfolds with the serenity of a fable but underneath it draws intelligent, deeply troubled connections between the personal, political, and spiritual.
  3. We're now far enough from that era that seeing it all again feels like a slap to the face in the same way that watching certain moments in the civil rights epic "Eyes on the Prize" chills your bones. This doesn't have that series' stately magnitude. It's smaller and crasser, but it's comparatively galvanic.
  4. Terrific French film about that most universal of subjects - work.
  5. A deep, exhaustive, and moving piece of do-it-yourself detective work.
  6. Slly, sublime, buoyant mischief that is virtually without parallel in 20th-century art, much less 20th-century film.
    • Boston Globe
    • 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
  7. The atmosphere is hypo-stylized, vividly generic and worse than real, like a doomy Frederick Wiseman documentary.
  8. It's one of the great sister movies and one of the great performance movies. [26 Jan 1996]
    • Boston Globe
  9. Nothing as big and strange and right as The Master should feel as effortless as it does. That's not the same as saying that it's light. It's actually heavy. It weighs more than any American film from this or last year. It's the sort of movie that young men aspiring to write the Great American Novel never actually write.
    • 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.
  10. 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Eloquent, bloody, and daringly simple.
  11. Quiet, powerful, contemplative, respectful of stillness, Eureka is the first film this year in which there is obvious greatness.
    • 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.
  12. This is a movie from the past that's also eerily of a piece with the film culture of now and tomorrow.
  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.
    • 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
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Gorgeously stoic art film.
    • 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.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    To see Au Hasard Balthazar is to understand the limits of religious literalism in movies -- the limits, even, of movies themselves. Bresson pares everything away until all that's left are the things we do and the hole left by the things we could have done but didn't.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    In short, This Is Not a Film is the world within an apartment, and it is quietly devastating.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A film noir? A backstage musical? A whodunit? A comedy? In truth, it's all of the above -- plus a kinky love story, an absorbing melodrama, and a mordantly jaded snapshot of postwar Paris -- and all of them are wonderful.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's a unique trip that flirts with hokeyness at the surface but that grows more compelling, awe-inspiring, and tragic the deeper you go.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Boyhood is a stunt, an epic, a home video, and a benediction. It reminds us of what movies could be and — far more important — what life actually is.
  14. Butler's approach is subtle: His documentary allows the story to unfold elegantly, without embellishment, and it is more powerful for that restraint.
  15. The sly and subtle Minus Man is a wicked little sidewinder of a black comedy.
  16. Hartley's spare dialogue cuts right to the characters' psyches; his terse, laconic style accentuates the everyday horror. [20 Sept 1991]
    • Boston Globe
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Her
    It is a love story. Also a profoundly metaphysical meditation on what it means to be human. Also one of the more touchingly relevant movies to the ways we actually live and may soon live. Oh, and the year’s best film, or at least the one that may stick with you until its story line comes true.
  17. 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
  18. Pan's Labyrinth is a transcendent work of art.
  19. In a crisply restored print, it's as joyous as ever. We loved them - yeah, yeah, yeah. Now we can love them all over again.
    • Boston Globe
  20. But then Being John Malkovich is a brilliant juggling act, too, brilliantly brought off.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    About the search for common ground, among journalists on all sides of the conflict and, through them, between viewers in America and the Arab world. Only within that common ground, Noujaim believes, can something like a workable, personal truth be found.
  21. Few, if any, films this year will approach, let alone equal, Autumn Tale in its subtle sparkle.
  22. [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
  23. Enigmatic as it is, The Intruder dares us to see movies as visual marvels tethered to humanity.
  24. In an age in which it feels as if seemingly pure intimacy no longer exists, this film thrives on nothing but intimate moments.
  25. Lawrence is back on the big screen, and it simply demands to be seen. Yes, again.
  26. Guy Maddin is a scholar, poet, prankster, and ferociously devoted classicist who likes to resurrect dead cinemas and deader directors and make them vital all over again.
  27. A heady flow of brilliant stupidity.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    If you look fast, you'll see Waters himself in a cameo (as a flasher; what else?), proof the new film is in touch with its dyed roots.
  28. When a movie about a guy who orders a sex doll off the Internet can turn vice into virtue, something miraculous has occurred. Lars and the Real Girl achieves that kind of miracle.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    If the movie’s about anything, it’s about the tension between what we owe our families and what we owe ourselves.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    O'Horten is a precise, deadpan drama of slapstick existentialism - a Bent Hamer movie, in other words.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A mystery, a melodrama, a prison film, and a love story, Incendies is foremost a scream of rage at a society destroyed by religion and by men.
  29. A portrait of two different men whose compulsion for Donkey Kong is hilarious.
  30. What he's (Brooks) come up with is one of the most humane works ever made about the lives of working mothers.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Confident enough to simply go with the exotica of average middle-class Americans who are well-intentioned, flawed, and dog-paddling like crazy to keep their heads above water. There's nothing at all unusual about them, and that's unusual.
  31. He's (Dafoe) the stuff bad dreams are made of. He's also the best movie vampire since Schreck's original. He deserves a bloody Oscar.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It’s much too easy to call Ajami an Arab-Israeli “Crash,’’ but it’s a pretty good place to start.
  32. The Poe-like atmosphere in Stolen is such a chilling success that when Mashberg says that Gardner would have cracked this case herself, it's impossible to imagine that she isn't out looking for those paintings right now.
  33. The film is rightfully carried by Nico and Dani and under Gay's artful helmsmanship it's carried with remarkable sympathy and believability.
    • Boston Globe
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It’s when Toy Story 3 becomes a jailbreak movie that it comes into its own.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A meditative and intensely beautiful documentary.
  34. Artistically, though, you can’t help but trust him. Like any star turn, Holliday’s performance rings utterly true. It’s that indefinable but unmistakable reality-beyond-reality called art.
  35. The most disorienting and trippiest data-retrieval caper in years.
    • Boston Globe
  36. The kind of richly layered film that Hollywood seldom attempts, much less brings off. But it's more than brought off here in grand, solid style and beautifully crafted detail.
  37. Unstrung Heroes, with its small, detailed brush strokes and its eye for specifics, marks Diane Keaton's directorial breakthrough. [15 Sep 1995]
    • Boston Globe
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Elaborately layered movie about schemes and more schemes that pile up faster than chips on a blackjack table. The other half is realizing, about halfway through the film, that you won't figure it out until it's over.
  38. You can see her (Binoche) effect on Kiarostami's filmmaking: She brings out something new in him, too.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    This is a slacker detective story, emphasis on the slack, and if you can downshift into its loping rhythms, it's pretty wonderful.
  39. "Grin Without a Cat" brilliantly used montage and a wide intellectual scope to speculate about the history of war and revolution. "Grinning Cat" is a more modest achievement, but the director's wisdom remains robust.
  40. I've never seen a movie so perfectly balanced between unabashed nerdiness and hipness.
  41. Grace is grace, and however it arrives, there's no denying its presence.
  42. Henry David Thoreau plays an enigmatic role in Shane Carruth’s hypnotic thriller — an oxymoronic term to describe a film that is truly sui generis.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Remains worth seeing as an achingly nostalgic farewell to youthful idealism, tinged with a kind of loving contempt.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Moore's conception of the character is compelling. She rivets us. She's assisted by the superb performances Redford has elicited from her co- stars, Sutherland and Timothy Hutton, who plays Conrad, the guilt-ridden surviving brother of the dead boy. [26 Sep 1980]
    • Boston Globe
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Whenever a band plays in “Persian Cats,’’ the director treats us to a fast, vibrant montage of Iranian faces and street scenes -- as if to say, look, this is who we REALLY are.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Brokeback may be too polished for some people, too elegantly dispassionate in its study of choked passion.
  43. With Jackson leading the way, Shaft has style, punch, and street cred. It's a hot cool update.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    With a tranquil fearlessness, it goes beyond the death of memory, to see what might be found in the unexplored country beyond. The answer is both frightening and comforting: More love. Unspecified love. Universal love.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A history lesson for a country and a people forced to forget at gunpoint.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    If there's a larger theme in Zatoichi, it's that nobody is quite who he or she seems.
  44. It is part Rorschach test and part theme park ride as the filmmakers shoot from the strangest places and from such odd perspectives that much of the film consists of trying to figure out what the heck is going on.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie's masterstroke is to avoid interviewing the usual anti-globalist suspects and let solid, hard-working middle Americans speak.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    A film of great ingenuity and imagination, full of suggestive power, and it deserves to be seen.
  45. Warm, smart, and funny!
    • Boston Globe
  46. An upsetting landmark. Don't take the children.
    • Boston Globe
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Queen of Versailles is still worthwhile, not because it questions all-American entitlement but because it prompts us to think hard about what, exactly, we believe we're entitled to.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    An entertainment to be not just seen but absorbed on a molecular level; it's as close to a full-body experience as we'll get until they invent the holo-suits. Cameron aims for sheer wonderment, and he delivers.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A work of quiet, crystalline empathy, I’ll See You in My Dreams is notable for reasons that nearly overshadow its modest yet indisputable charms. It’s a drama about the kind of people invisible to the movies and much of our culture — senior citizens in the early evening of their lives — and it grants its characters individuality in ways that are almost wholly free of cliché.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It is a joy for audiences seeking entertainment, an ingenious work of craft for those paying close attention, and a wallop of feeling that’s still too rare coming from a cartoon.
  47. Everything about Chop Shop is modest - the movie's scale, the characters' ambitions. Another director might have tried to nudge the film's grim detours toward tragedy. And that might have worked, too. But Bahrani is a refreshingly deceptive director in that sense.
  48. Adults should find its simmering drama at least as compelling as teens will, even if parental figures are only slightly more present here than in a " Peanuts" comic strip.
  49. Here the Japanese senses of honor and of shame are particularly entangled. Later in the film, Lu mounts an Imperial Army parade through the Nanking ruins. It's something to see.
  50. It's the best drug-busting movie since ''The French Connection.''
  51. Like the children’s films of Iranian directors Abbas Kiarostami and Jafar Panahi, Bad Hair explores such social pathology, in part, in the guise of a kids’ movie. But it also takes on the intensity of more pointed films such as “Bicycle Thieves” (1948) and even Hector Babenco’s sensationalistic “Pixote” (1981).
  52. It sounds like the old unstoppable-force-meets-immovable-object trick. Ramin Bahrani's Goodbye Solo has the trappings of such a story, but, mercifully, none of the follow-through.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Think of it as "Glee" without music. Without a net, too.
  53. Huppert’s amazing performance not only masters the physical rigors and deformations of her character, but more importantly captures her cold capriciousness and the enigmatic innocence that one of Maud’s friend’s labels “perverse.”
  54. It is haunting in its literal and symbolic meanings, which is the powerful, lingering effect of Yellow Asphalt.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The great pleasure of le Carré-land — for some, it’s the frustration — is that one’s own moral certainties are quickly stood on their head.
  55. Funny, gritty, filled with surprising stabs of feeling, Parenthood is a stretch for Ron Howard, its director. This new adult comedy has the generosity of "Cocoon" and "Splash," but it takes Howard into deeper, darker, messier territory. [2 Aug 1989, p.57]
    • Boston Globe
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The only question his movie doesn't ask is "What do you want your next car to run on?" That's up to you.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Essential viewing for anyone who wants to know the roots -- and perils -- of modern political dissent.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A compelling and eerily effective little drama.

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