Boston Globe's Scores

For 5,153 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 Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Lowest review score: 0 P2
Score distribution:
5,153 movie reviews
    • 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.
  1. 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.
  2. Moonrise Kingdom is Anderson's seventh movie, and it's the first since "Rushmore" that works from the opening shot to the final image.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    She's (Hushpuppy) trying to make sense of this world, and the movie, pitched between realism and fable, is the story of how she finally does. That balance is the key to the movie's magic.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The surface of Oslo, August 31st is as cool and crystalline as a Scandinavian lake, but at its core is a benevolence for the life we all share and tears for the man who can no longer share in it.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie, a simple yet immensely pleasurable tale of a little boy and his undead dog, is good enough on its own. If you know the back story, it's even better.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The best mainstream film since "E.T.," is an uplifting reminder that Hollywood can still produce truly great entertainment...The plot is so exquisitely developed that divulging anything beyond the basic outline might diminish the joyous surprises that await an audience thirsting for originality in a reactionary medium. [03 July 1985, p.57]
    • Boston Globe
  5. 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
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It’s about spycraft, but it goes to the source. If for no other reason, it deserves to be seen for arranging decades of events in the Middle East into a chronology that, to an outsider, makes dreadful sense.
  6. Badlands is one of the great banality-of-evil films. [29 May 1998, p.C9]
    • Boston Globe
    • 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.
    • 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.
  7. Naked is one of the most scorchingly compelling films in years, Mike Leigh's masterpiece, an unflinching vision of civilization in retreat, life as apocalypse. [4 Mar. 1994, p.51]
    • Boston Globe
  8. 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
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    If the first two films belong with the greatest (if talkiest) movie romances of all time, the new film is richer, riskier, and more bleakly perceptive about what it takes for love to endure (or not) over the long haul.
    • 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.
  9. The Act of Killing is one of the most extraordinary films you’ll ever encounter, not to mention one of the craziest filmmaking concepts anywhere.
    • 79 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    All Is Lost works quite brilliantly on its most basic narrative level.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    12 Years a Slave is to the “peculiar institution” what “Schindler’s List” was to the Holocaust: a work that, finally, asks a mainstream audience to confront the worst of what humanity can do to itself. If there’s no Oskar Schindler here, that’s partly the point.
    • 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.
  10. Sensuous and rarefied, elevating its particulars into epiphanies, The Long Day Closes is as joyful as introversion gets. [9 July 1993, p.25]
    • Boston Globe
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Cousin Jules is one of those rare experiences that’s rooted in the past yet feels very much of the moment. On top of that, it’s timeless.
  11. It's more than science, more than biography, more than metaphor. Fusing all three and linking them to a profound human dimension that never cheapens the man or his macrospeculations, it ties them to shared human destiny. As Morris' elliptical style circles and deepens its themes with each pass, A Brief History of Time turns into film's own expanding universe. [14 Sep 1992, p.50]
    • Boston Globe
  12. Hoop Dreams is without peer among sports-oriented documentaries to the extent that it's about people before it's about athletic feats. It respects its subjects' complexity and tenacity while nailing the problematic, double-edged influence of sports in America. In fact, no film has ever combined sports and family values as powerfully as Hoop Dreams. There's simply nothing like it. [21 Oct 1994, p.47]
    • Boston Globe
    • 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.
  13. The government, even under the new, more moderate leadership of President Hassan Rouhani, has reason for concern. Unlike Rasoulof and Panahi’s previous, more metaphorical films, this one confronts its subject head-on with unflinching candor.
  14. Angst-ridden, yet graceful, stylish, and optimistic allegory about swerving off one road and finding your way back via another.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Just don't expect the truth. An extremely bent, highly amusing form of the truth, maybe, but not the truth. 24 Hour Party People shares with the current Robert Evans documentary ''The Kid Stays in the Picture'' an awareness that a good anecdote often trumps the facts, but here the cheats are cheekily laid bare.
  15. Riding a mood that's tilted to the jazzy blues that Eddie prefers to Bobby's blasting rock on the car radio, Diamond Men is a sparkly film that's easy to love.
    • Boston Globe
  16. It's brilliantly precise in its detailing, stylishly jagged and sensual by turns, and utterly unpredictable.
  17. In its dark, relentless, devastatingly ironic way, The Pledge is an exhilarating movie, partly because it isn't afraid to be genuinely challenging.
  18. Throughout the history of film, nothing turns campier faster than dinosaur movies. This one will have a much longer shelf life than most.
    • Boston Globe
  19. Quite apart from wringing the last molecule of vividness from his freewheeling roster of loose cannons, he brings to his direction of Martin a finesse shared by only a few of the directors who have worked with the comedian-actor.
    • Boston Globe
  20. Her face is as much a part of her comedic form as her observations are. It's an amazing slapstick instrument, creating a scrapbook of living mug shots.
  21. With Jackson leading the way, Shaft has style, punch, and street cred. It's a hot cool update.
  22. A terrific little uppercut of a boxing movie and close to a perfect one.
    • Boston Globe
  23. Stark, haunting, epic, and mournful, The Claim is a mountain of a film.
    • Boston Globe
  24. There's plenty of invention and exuberant vigor in the chopsocky, and Wilson's cool, ironic drollery provides the perfect foil for Chan's heroics.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Ynever seen a documentary quite like this one, and aren't likely to again.
    • Boston Globe
  25. Haunting, powerfully acted, penetratingly written, it's about people coming home -- and not coming home -- to their marriages.
  26. A perfect example of a small, well-made, and (in its central role) rivetingly acted film.
    • Boston Globe
  27. Reveals real feelings.
  28. If there is any message in Tarkovsky's work, although as a poet he would never stoop to anything as banal as a message, it is that life is an internal affair, played out in one's soul, not in public.
  29. In this engaging, understated comedy, it is the journey and not the destination that matters.
    • Boston Globe
  30. Varda's charmingly eccentric amble, wise in its seeming waywardness.
    • Boston Globe
  31. You'll care what happens in this film with more than enough freshness and originality to avoid succumbing to girls-on-the-run cliches.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The Jim Henson folks...come up with another winner.
  32. Nobody's going to think of The Score as trail-blazing, but there's nothing small-time about its dramatic and acting payoff.
  33. In all respects, from choice of material to fullness of execution on every level, The War Zone is an extraordinary piece of work.
  34. The season's brightest piece of counterprogramming.
  35. It's filled with vivid characters and action. Beneath its modesty of gesture, it's one of the year's richest, most humane films.
  36. A witty yet fiery and, in the best sense, provocative play of ideas about freedom of expression.
  37. Bell is utterly persuasive as the boy literally yearning to leap beyond the oppressively apparent confines of his world.
    • Boston Globe
  38. Miraculously, the opera comes off, simultaneously ridiculous and thrilling, in a blaze of pageantry.
    • Boston Globe
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Has the impact of a left-right combination to the chin.
  39. The bleakness of Rosetta will not be for all, but it's one of the best films of the year.
  40. It is haunting in its literal and symbolic meanings, which is the powerful, lingering effect of Yellow Asphalt.
  41. A subtly comic, ultimately moving film about modern adult relationships.
    • Boston Globe
  42. Most of all it's the emotional and spiritual arc of an exile, in all its terrible isolation, that gives ''Before Night Falls'' its power.
    • Boston Globe
  43. Ullmann's film is an achievement of heart and consequence, as full of integrity as Bergman, yet demonstrating more mercy.
    • Boston Globe
  44. A story about the ravages of one war on a single man's soul and psyche becomes an eloquent plea for peace.
    • Boston Globe
  45. It's sweeping yet intimate, stately yet impassioned, stylized yet immediate.
    • Boston Globe
  46. After revitalizing baseball movies with "Field of Dreams" and "Bull Durham," he's now three for three with the funny, quirky, rueful, and richly textured For Love of the Game.
  47. While it preserves his baseball feats, it looks beyond them to clarify Greenberg's place in American culture.
  48. It's much closer to a European film in sensibility than to one of Hollywood's factory products.
  49. There was little mirth or innocence in the world that Wharton was able to write her way out of (she was much happier living in Paris), and Davies and his leading lady lift the silks to reveal it as the minefield it was.
    • Boston Globe
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    A film of great ingenuity and imagination, full of suggestive power, and it deserves to be seen.
  50. Time of Favor, which boasts a haunting score, is an unflinching, complex portrait of a modern Israel that is rarely seen on-screen.
  51. 'Titanic'' was a case of a cheeseball story riding terrific effects. The Perfect Storm is in every important way deeper.
  52. What you're not prepared for in Marziyeh Meshkini's astonishing debut film is the way its central image instantly leaps into the pantheon of world cinema with a rightness and an urgency that glue your eyes to the screen.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    This is a warts 'n' all portrayal - there's no dodging the feelings of both disgust and amusement.
    • Boston Globe
  53. 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.
  54. Has extraordinary depth and insight about the limitations and follies of human beings.
  55. Plays like a dislocated version of ''Death in Venice,'' but in a dryer, higher climate that features exponentially more firepower.
    • Boston Globe
  56. The film's disturbing images are presented matter-of-factly, which makes them more powerful, not less.
  57. It's a meditation on life and death, but it's less somber and more light-handed, subtle, and mischievously funny.
    • Boston Globe
  58. The film's triumph - and it is a triumph - in the end rests on the ability of Hrebejk and his actors to convince us that they never stop being normal people.
    • Boston Globe
    • 62 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Another phantasmagorical tale of life among the Nazis, is upon us. This one works much better.
  59. Like so much Iranian cinema, Blackboards is a work of lyrical propaganda. But its metaphors are opaque enough to avoid didacticism, and the film succeeds as an emotionally accessible, almost mystical work.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Polite but emotionally devastating, How I Killed My Father throws such questions out like smart bombs, and they detonate long after the end-credits have rolled.
  60. Such moral outrage, apart from the artistry in which it is embedded, tells us that the forces of change are stirring in Iran.
    • Boston Globe
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    More movies should be so funny and perceptive, with writing this sharp and acting this believable.
  61. Richly compelling.
    • Boston Globe
  62. Richly textured, beautifully acted.
  63. Magically transports the viewer across time and space. As it does so, it becomes a humbling reminder of the universality of the human experience.
  64. A miracle of data retrieval as the grown schoolchildren are measured against their footage from the earlier films.
  65. As a flawed but lovably lionhearted woman, Barrymore triumphantly comes of age as an actress.
    • Boston Globe
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Mines laughs from the ways in which its antihero's reductive philosophy consistently goes kerflooey in his face, but there's a weary sadness to it as well.
  66. As bloody as any recent film. But it's shot through with a harsh, stony humor that's invigorating enough to be regarded as a slap back at death.
    • Boston Globe
  67. Like its subject, Pollock is a messy creation, but one whose depth of commitment and high attack keeps it on track.
    • Boston Globe
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Cantet's script and direction are flawless, and, matched step-for-step by Jocelyn Pook's mournful score, he builds the tension to near unbearable levels.
  68. 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
  69. Warm, smart, and funny!
    • Boston Globe
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Essential viewing for anyone who wants to know the roots -- and perils -- of modern political dissent.

Top Trailers