Boston Globe's Scores

For 5,368 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 Rififi (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 From Justin to Kelly
Score distribution:
5,368 movie reviews
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Pacific Rim is, hands down, the blockbuster event of the summer — a titanic sci-fi action fantasy that has been invested, against all expectations, with a heart, a brain, and something approximating a soul.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Barry Levinson's Diner is an extremely clever, slick male fantasy that takes some time to work out its mood and tone but ultimately blossoms into a moving film. [16 Apr 1982]
    • Boston Globe
  1. It infuriated me. It broke my heart. It convinced me that Caro, who's from New Zealand, is a strong, clear-voiced filmmaker
  2. They may not be as cool as Bono's fly shades, but the plastic yellow glasses required for viewing U23D supply an amazing fly-on-the-amp view of the Irish rockers in their natural habitat.
  3. Bell is utterly persuasive as the boy literally yearning to leap beyond the oppressively apparent confines of his world.
    • Boston Globe
  4. Is The Story of Film worth 15 hours of your viewing life? Well, that's between you and your kino conscience. The first part certainly is. Cousins is extremely good at laying out the emergence of a film grammar. More important, he communicates the sense of wonder and excitement that characterized the emergence of so astonishing a medium.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Writer-director Coogler could easily have turned Fruitvale Station into a work of agitprop — a film to work you into a froth of anger — but he’s after things that are harder to grasp: the measure of a man’s life and the smaller struggles, satisfactions, and injustices that can fill it.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    What does it add up to? What’s it all about, Wes? In a word: evanescence.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Timothy Treadwell was killed, along with his girlfriend, by a rogue bear in October 2003.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A bleakly comic, brutally Darwinian gangland saga that at times comes close to being this year's "Drive." It also does something that, if you're from around these parts, seems downright perverse. It takes the Boston out of George V. Higgins.
  5. If their movie doesn't float your boat as a work of science-fiction, action, philosophy, heliocentrism, or staggering visual spectacle (although, it really should), then it certainly succeeds as a parable for cinematic ambition.
  6. Really the film is a deft first-person character study with a war zone for a background.
  7. What keeps the film going, and helps it keep its comic tone, is the constant threat of cataclysm - and the deadpan Buster Keaton charm of the ever-responsive Pinon as he combats the giant Rube Goldberg meat-grinder that the house, in effect, is. [17 Apr 1992]
    • Boston Globe
  8. This is a film of our times - paranoid, heartbroken, disillusioned - and the rare recent American movie whose characters react the way actual people might.
  9. Varda's charmingly eccentric amble, wise in its seeming waywardness.
    • Boston Globe
  10. There is a great and perhaps unique French cinematic tradition of braiding together love and manners and the past. Think of "Children of Paradise," "Casque d'Or," "The Earrings of Madame de . . .," "Elena and Her Men." Now one can think of The Princess of Montpensier, too.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Inland Empire may be the most aggressively surreal feature film ever released to movie theaters in this country, and it's possibly close to the movie David Lynch carries around in his head.
  11. Wiseman has made several films about both disability and dance, but this new one might be his most hypnotic, rhythmically assembled observation of corporeal expression.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Among the most insane mainstream movies ever released.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The key to why the new ''American'' is so good and so true, though, is Brendan Fraser as the title character.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The hidden message of The Oath is so inescapable as to be Shakespearean: Character will out.
  12. 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.
  13. The movie observes the general misery of needing serious medical treatment and the particular awfulness of needing medical treatment you can't pay for.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Giants has SO many insistent high points, in fact, that its breathlessness threatens to turn monotonous.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    When The Departed roars to life, as it does in so many of its scenes, you feel like nobody understands movies -- the delirious highs, the unforgiving moral depths -- as well as this man does. Welcome back, Marty.
  14. This is the epidemic from love's point of view, a story as much about how the disease can ravage the heart as it does the body. It is also Téchiné's best film since 1998's superb "Alice et Martin," and 1994's even better "Wild Reeds."
  15. AKA
    The triptych is a device but never a gimmick: three windows into one fractured soul.
  16. 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
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A near-masterpiece of mood and menace, and one that deserves to be seen on the largest screen possible.
  17. Enormously enjoyable.
  18. Revanche was a foreign-language Oscar nominee this year, and it's a better movie than most of the films in the main race. The word "revanche" means "revenge" in German, but "waiting" would have been just as good.
  19. In The Hurt Locker, the thrill is unexpectedly contagious. You don't realize how riveted you are until you're back on American soil observing James in civilian life.
  20. Moore's roving essay feels even more urgent now than it did when the jury had to make up an award to honor it at the Cannes film festival in May.
  21. As savage and as epic as film gets.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Too often the movies view the problems of Africa through Western eyes, but "Devil" turns that weakness to a literal strength, because Steidle could do nothing in his position except take photographs.
  22. Fighting has real grit and excellent acting. In other words, there is gold in that dirt.
  23. 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
  24. Antal is a professional who respects your dollars. In a season where the blockbusters are as flat as month-old soda, that’s the most romantic gesture a commercial filmmaker can make.
  25. It's a treat to encounter the deadpan light-handedness with which Mamet goes about his business.
  26. As casually insensitive and careless as you might expect from a film of this era, but it's also surprisingly crafty about finding ways to incite discussion
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    There’s a lot, in fact, that keeps this film from greatness. One performance alone recommends it. That’s enough.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    In its unstated cynicism, beauty, and self-pity, Last Days fits the myth of Cobain like a torn pair of jeans.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Goblet of Fire is the entry in which Rowling finally took off the gloves.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The most playful film to come out of the French New Wave, it's also the last time Jean-Luc Godard appeared to have any fun.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Set two years later, the sequel's the better film.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Smartly written and beautifully played, The Savages is about that point in life where you look around and realize that where you are is probably as far as you're going to get. In spite of this, the movie's a comedy, dry and humane.
  27. "Angélica" feels most like the film that argues Oliveira is this close to the beyond without ever bothering to knock first at death's door.
  28. Nobody's going to think of The Score as trail-blazing, but there's nothing small-time about its dramatic and acting payoff.
  29. Washington hasn't been this relaxed in years. When he feels like it he can be the most charismatic star in the movies.
  30. A chillingly effective documentary.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Elena reveals a filmmaker in full command of his art and not much interested in catering to an audience. If you want this film, you have to meet it more than halfway.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A puzzle: a hermetically sealed period piece so intensely relevant to our current state of affairs that it takes your breath away.
  31. Frankly, the story isn’t remotely as interesting as Cage. Nothing is. In Ferrara’s movie, Keitel emptied himself out. But there’s a hellion’s joy in Cage’s cop.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Rabbit Hole is a personal project for Kidman - she produced the film after falling in love with the play - and it seems to have revived the quickness in her. That ice-blue gaze has found its focus again, and it looks deep into the one thing none of us want to face.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Waltz With Bashir not only breathes but it howls - and sobs and curses and croons and, in the end, when sound proves useless in the face of calamity, falls into awful silence.
  32. This is also the first of Martel’s films to build in a direction other than up. The film’s lateral movement continues a kind of class commentary.
  33. Never settling for mere irony, High Hopes becomes a small banner of sanity and good humor among the social ruins. Leigh never shies away from his unflinching dead-end class view of contemporary London. Nor does he wallow in '60s nostalgia. Which is part of the reason his passionate, life-embracing High Hopes is so exhilarating. [31 Mar. 1989, p.30]
    • Boston Globe
  34. A terrific little uppercut of a boxing movie and close to a perfect one.
    • Boston Globe
  35. From Marber's fiercely polished writing, Nichols wrings every drop of acid, yet it's a show of the director's goodness that a movie fundamentally preoccupied with interpersonal ugliness is allowed to end on a convincing note of beauty.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The film confirms director Audiard as a master of visual mood, in this case one of barely expressed emotional panic.
  36. Miraculously, the opera comes off, simultaneously ridiculous and thrilling, in a blaze of pageantry.
    • Boston Globe
    • 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
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    That film remains an electrifying testament to pop music as a communal creative act.
  37. Heymann's film was originally a six-part series for Israeli TV. The feature he and his crew have made smoothly truncates those three hours into a rich, discretely damning 85-minute portrait of intolerance.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Builds slowly and naturally to an unbearable personal crisis.
  38. The movie is a perfect blend of calm execution and uninflected farce.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Stylish and only superficially superficial, Happily Ever After plunks us down with three male friends as they dance on the edge of their 40s.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie is hard going, not least in the sense of powerlessness it leaves in an audience that knows exactly what will happen. And yet you come out feeling that the filmmakers have done the right thing by these people, and by this day.
  39. One of the things that make [Branagh's] Henry V so thrilling is his audacity in trying to turn it into an antiwar play - a view that would have astounded Shakespeare. Astonishingly, he pretty much brings it off, emerging with steadily growing power as the young king who isn't afraid to bloody his hands. [15 Dec 1989]
    • Boston Globe
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    This is art paying homage to art.
  40. A lively, invigorating comedy: a near-perfect mix of fresh characters, well-cast voices, superb visuals, and a fast-paced, fantasy-adventure plot.
    • Boston Globe
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    After a while, you may suspect that things aren’t adding up. Later still, you begin to realize they may never add up.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Coriolanus leaves an acrid, unfinished taste. Fiennes, making his directorial debut, gets into the meat of the thing, and he takes advantage of the bluntness of the text; even Shakespeare newcomers will be able to follow along.
  41. It's lively, edgy, full of zigs and zags, juicy performances, and offbeat fun.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    What Maisie Knew flirts with sentimentality but mostly keeps it at bay until the very end, at which point the filmmakers and we realize the kid has probably earned it.
  42. More a bleak docu-melodrama than an esoteric morality play.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The film that director Morten Tyldum has made from Hodges’s book is a shinier, less trustworthy thing, but it’s ripping old-school Oscar bait, and if it sends moviegoers off to check the facts, all the better.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Selma is at its very best when it gets into the nitty-gritty of the SCLC’s arrival in Selma amid colliding factions and forces.
  43. Whether or not Hawke got any answers to his questions about the purpose of being artist, seeking them under the guidance of a teacher like Bernstein resulted in this work of art.
  44. It's an imperfect but ambitious film willing to confront an enormous, complex period in this country.
  45. It's delicately made, yet forceful in its delicacy.
  46. 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It looks at the all-American obsession with winning and chortles darkly. You still come out of the movie wanting to give your family a hug.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    A remarkable look at the people behind an organization that understands its limitations.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    On the level of a popcorn thrill ride, Snowpiercer is a beaut.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Earnhart's fundamental compassion toward his subjects elevates a riveting work that feels like a hybrid of ''Crumb'' and ''Nashville,'' with maybe a side of ''King of the Hill'' tossed on the barbecue.
  47. The movie captures a kind of tragedy of self.
  48. 9
    Any optimism in 9, which is bound to try the fortitude of meeker children, feels hard-won. It actually ends in a bittersweet mystery.
  49. You walk out amazed and refreshed by the way it kicks the assumptions out from under the genre.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Mostly, though, it's "Godzilla" with a severe case of Murphy's Law, and it is never less than bizarrely delightful.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Osama works simply as the story of one unlucky young girl.
  50. You'll care what happens in this film with more than enough freshness and originality to avoid succumbing to girls-on-the-run cliches.
  51. A tender genuflection to the women's energies that keep that spinning world from keeling over.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Yet what I felt when the lights came up at the end of this visionary, titanic, relentless experience was something different: a strange relief that it was, at last, over.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    One of those lovely little movies that starts out being about a handful of people and ends up being about all of us. That’s a tricky act to pull off and the talented writer-director Ira Sachs stumbles occasionally over moments of self-conscious lyricism. But then the film recovers its balance, looks at its characters with fondness and with faith, and quietly soars.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    An engrossing and enraging drama of one chimpanzee and his life's journey across a landscape of human folly.
  52. It's a meditation on life and death, but it's less somber and more light-handed, subtle, and mischievously funny.
    • Boston Globe
  53. Volver brims with personal and cinematic allusions, but no one hungry for a well-told tale from a master storyteller is required to understand them.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Poised at the midway point between an ultraviolent video game and a neo-classic dance musical. As midnight-movie mash-ups go, it's pretty amazing.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Such smart, whiz-bang fun that you may not realize what it's about until you're safely home.

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