Boston Globe's Scores

For 5,857 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 From Justin to Kelly
Score distribution:
5857 movie reviews
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    This is the kind of film that reminds you of what movies, at their best, are capable of.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The impact of this stunning film - and the lessons to be learned from it - are as remarkable as when it was first released 30 years ago.
    • Boston Globe
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The documentary any American with an opinion on our involvement in Iraq owes it to his or her conscience to see.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    When all is said and done, Goodbye to Language may simply be about Jean-Luc Godard exploring 3-D filmmaking, in the same way “The Shining” is really just about Stanley Kubrick wanting to fart around with a Steadicam. Which, honestly, is fine. Great artists use new tools to discover new vehicles for seeing, understanding, living. Be thankful we get to come along for the ride.
  1. It isn't often that lives of quiet desperation are served up with such pearly restraint.
  2. The story is spun forth ravishingly, tenderly, and urgently, with a captivating mix of beauty, spare sophistication, and profound humanity.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The result is something that feels fresh, even revelatory — a work of elegiac bio-doc impressionism. Listen to Me Marlon gets under the skin of the most mysterious performer of the 20th century and forces us to recalibrate all our feelings about him.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Here are great swaths of Baldwin’s prose, read by Samuel L. Jackson in a vocal impersonation that is actually a rather brilliant piece of acting — he convinces you it’s the writer you’re hearing.
  3. It's terse, atmospheric, fatalistic, with vertiginous camera angles and edits offsetting its gray documentary flatness.
  4. Both a staggering realist thriller and a jeremiad.
  5. The rest of the film consists mostly of Akerman talking with her mother, blithely and lovingly, about everyday ephemera and about the past (Natalia was a survivor of Auschwitz), both via Skype and at her mother’s genteel home in Brussels.
  6. "In Cold Blood," "Badlands," "The Executioner's Song," and now, joining those grisly milestones on the heartland hit list, and every bit their equal, is Boys Don't Cry.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    One of the best, most karmically satisfying comedies of the year, much to the chagrin of the people who are in it.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie is pricelessly comic -- the Harvey/Joyce scenes catalog the couple's neuroses with glee -- but it just as often reaches for something richer.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The miracle is that 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is better: tighter, smarter, funnier.
  7. A Bronx Tale is a joy, a film that comes unerringly from someone's heart and experience, and not from a power lunch of agents with clients to be packaged. [1 Oct 1993, p. 49]
    • Boston Globe
  8. The women here aren't afraid to get extreme about love, but in the end, you sense that they are too sound to destroy themselves over the worthless man they have allowed to personify it. That's what lifts Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown from the amusing to the sublime. [23 Dec 1988, p.23]
    • Boston Globe
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie captures that heady adolescent sense of time stopping and the moment mattering while standing far enough back to let us acknowledge all the pitfalls Marieme is moving too fast to see.
  9. 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
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The film that many consider the finest of its decade, Raging Bull, has aged well, and not just because it was filmed in black and white.
  10. A gorgeous autumnal period piece that catches a vanishing proprietary class on the eve of its extinction in Ireland in 1920.
    • 98 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Terrific French film about that most universal of subjects - work.
  14. A deep, exhaustive, and moving piece of do-it-yourself detective work.
  15. 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
  16. The atmosphere is hypo-stylized, vividly generic and worse than real, like a doomy Frederick Wiseman documentary.
  17. It's one of the great sister movies and one of the great performance movies. [26 Jan 1996]
    • Boston Globe
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Quiet, powerful, contemplative, respectful of stillness, Eureka is the first film this year in which there is obvious greatness.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Jackie is a chamber drama rather than an epic; an impressionistic work of emotional opera rather than a chronological parade. What is this movie trying to do? Simply dramatize everything that can go on inside a woman simultaneously marginalized and revered.
    • 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.
  21. This is a movie from the past that's also eerily of a piece with the film culture of now and tomorrow.
  22. 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
    Paterson the movie doesn’t mine the dross and drab of our everyday lives for gold — it says they already are gold, and all you have to do is look. “Say it! No ideas but in things.” See it.
    • 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.
  23. Bi’s singular vision bears comparison to those of other geniuses such as Tarkovsky, Sokurov, David Lynch, Luis Buñuel and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Like those auteurs, he achieves what film is best at but seldom accomplishes — a stirring of a deeper consciousness, a glimpse into a reality transcending the everyday.
    • 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.
  24. Butler's approach is subtle: His documentary allows the story to unfold elegantly, without embellishment, and it is more powerful for that restraint.
  25. The sly and subtle Minus Man is a wicked little sidewinder of a black comedy.
  26. 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.
  27. 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
  28. Pan's Labyrinth is a transcendent work of art.
  29. 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
  30. 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.
  31. Few, if any, films this year will approach, let alone equal, Autumn Tale in its subtle sparkle.
  32. [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
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Carol is a movie to drink in with eyes, ears, and sensibilities.
  33. Enigmatic as it is, The Intruder dares us to see movies as visual marvels tethered to humanity.
  34. In an age in which it feels as if seemingly pure intimacy no longer exists, this film thrives on nothing but intimate moments.
  35. Lawrence is back on the big screen, and it simply demands to be seen. Yes, again.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. Another complex and magnificently acted melodrama.
    • 80 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.
  40. Though the outcome is a matter of public record, it still unfolds like a suspenseful tragedy. Suffice it to say that the wheels of justice turn slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine.
  41. A portrait of two different men whose compulsion for Donkey Kong is hilarious.
  42. 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.
  43. Efficient, cogently argued, and visually compelling documentary.
  44. 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Those who’ve followed Panahi’s career over the decades will catch echoes of and references to his earlier movies, and at times Taxi is as much a tour of his filmography as it is of Tehran.
    • 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.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. The most disorienting and trippiest data-retrieval caper in years.
    • Boston Globe
  49. 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.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. "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.
  53. I've never seen a movie so perfectly balanced between unabashed nerdiness and hipness.
  54. Grace is grace, and however it arrives, there's no denying its presence.
  55. Why do Parker and the other clinic owners and staff persevere despite constant harassment and potential assassination? Not for the money, certainly. Perhaps because no one else will.
  56. 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.

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