Boston Globe's Scores

For 5,255 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 0.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
Lowest review score: 0 The Skulls
Score distribution:
5,255 movie reviews
  1. Another triumph of modesty from a master who deserves real, paying audiences, not just the adoration of besotted film critics.
    • 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.
  2. Comes on as both a rebuke to male vanity and a chic metaphor for midlife panic.
  3. Like its stunt work, the movie is both ridiculously hyperactive and a muscular feat of absolute confidence. I don't expect to have a more adrenalizing time at the movies this summer.
  4. Really the film is a deft first-person character study with a war zone for a background.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's a wrenching, ennobling essay on teamwork and the hard struggle to change one's life.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Australian rocker Nick Cave talks of how discovering Cohen during his small-town youth "just changed things." Bono calls the singer "our Shelley, our Byron."
  5. Enormously enjoyable.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A quieter, less melodramatic piece of work than last year's "Crash," and arguably a better one.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A movie called Snakes on a Plane had better be one of two things: So bad it's good or so good it's great. Darned if it isn't a little bit of both.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Gosling may be the soul of Half Nelson, but Epps is the film's heart.
  6. 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.
  7. Kurt and Mark's trip to those hot springs is a figurative return to Eden. Anyone who's had a disillusioning reunion with a moony old friend knows what Mark discovers: They're too old to stay that innocent. None of this hit me until after the movie ended. But it hit me hard: You can't go home again.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It isn't often you get to meet the devil in all his glory, but here he is in Deliver Us From Evil, and his name is Father Oliver O'Grady.
  8. Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck's film is a fascinating look at the intersection of commerce, celebrity, and controversy.
  9. 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.
  10. A shrewdly acted, bittersweet comedy.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The Lives of Others has similarities to Francis Ford Coppola's 1974 classic "The Conversation" but with undercurrents that resound across an entire century of European political history.
  11. A movingly acted, terrifically old-fashioned World War II picture rethought as a post-colonial rebuke.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    I don't think I've seen a mainstream movie get fatherhood so right since "Kramer vs . Kramer": the fear, the indulgence, the snappishness, the pre-occupied "uh-huhs" as a child natters about his day, the steamrolling waves of love.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Venus is rollickingly funny at times -- but there's an undercurrent of extraordinarily clear-eyed sadness.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Notes on a Scandal is a nice mug of poisoned eggnog for the holiday season -- a movie so smart and entertaining you almost don't feel its chill sicken your bones.
  12. "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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Seesawing between despair and soul-affirming inspiration, God Grew Tired of Us is a documentary to make you proud of what America offers to the rest of the world and worried that it can't keep its promises.
  13. A parody of and winking homage to the history of Thai melodrama, Wisit Sasanatieng's uproarious filmmaking debut exuberantly combines pop and kitsch with a wholesome belief in the thrills of bad art.
  14. Mafioso is the missing link in the mob movie arc.
  15. A rousing, sometimes funny, frequently depressing documentary.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A compelling and eerily effective little drama.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The Namesake has a deep, alluvial poetry to it, like a mighty river reaching the sea. It's mysterious and ordinary, insightful and banal, rambling and precise, and it is altogether unexpected.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The most startling achievement of The Last Emperor is that it accomplishes what seems to have eluded Bertolucci for some time. He has found the small in the large and, in many ways, he has created what many thought impossible -- an intimate epic. [18 Dec 1987, p.95]
    • Boston Globe
  16. Even when its wires are showing, the movie's soul is always evident.
  17. As funny as it is sharp.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Black Book takes the conventions of the WWII epic -- the prison breaks, the interrogation scenes -- and undermines them with craft and muscle and the ripe lack of restraint we've come to expect from this director.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Tarantino and Rodriguez want you to cover your eyes in disbelief and get the unholy giggles at the same time. You do, but in two very different ways, and that's the movie's strength.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A tart, smart, closely observed satire of the television industry.
  18. In short, Almodovar opens some new doors to his artists here, and they respond in surprising, captivating ways. [29 Mar 1996]
    • Boston Globe
  19. Jude is a modernized version of Hardy, but a handsome, fluid and red-blooded one that has no difficulty finding correlatives to the prejudice and hatred of wit and spirit against which Hardy, in his gimlet-eyed way, so passionately attacked. [25 Oct 1996]
    • Boston Globe
  20. Unstrung Heroes, with its small, detailed brush strokes and its eye for specifics, marks Diane Keaton's directorial breakthrough. [15 Sep 1995]
    • Boston Globe
  21. Gray's haunted, obsessional riffs are absorbing theater. Because Demme had the good sense to lay back and not beat them over the head with his cameras, they're equally compelling on film. [27 Mar 1987]
    • Boston Globe
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The team of producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory has created another classy film of a classic novel with their stunning adaptation of E.M. Forster's Maurice. [24 Sep 1987]
    • Boston Globe
  22. It's also [Coppola's] most gloriously extravagant film since "One from the Heart." [12 Aug 1988]
    • Boston Globe
    • 50 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    This rather simple story, played with stunning conviction by Rourke and Basinger, achieves its apex through director Adrian Lyne's steamy direction. Yet, it's not nasty enough. [14 Mar 1986, p.11]
    • Boston Globe
  23. Tamblyn's surprisingly measured performance commands attention.
    • 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.
  24. Drugstore Cowboy, Gus Van Sant's fresh, gutsy societal underbelly film, never wallows in picturesque down-and-outism, except at the end, when Dillon's character, frightened by the death of a girl he didn't like much and spooked by his own paranoiac suspicion, checks into a seedy hotel while trying to go cold turkey and not yield to the influence of a junkie priest drolly played by William Burroughs. [27 Oct 1989]
    • Boston Globe
  25. Kevin Costner's epic Wyatt Earp literally and figuratively gives you more of the legendary lawman than any of the other famous movies about him. [24 Jun 1994, p.47]
    • Boston Globe
  26. Beyond its fresh twists on the cop and romance genres, Witness is, above all, an anti-consumption film. [08 Feb 1985]
    • Boston Globe
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Set two years later, the sequel's the better film.
  27. Friday is funnier and funkier than "Bad Boys," more homegrown-seeming, less manufactured. It plays like "House Party" with attitude. [26 Apr 1995]
    • Boston Globe
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The script is biting and timely.
  28. The movie is a block of paper that, when Tsai's finished with it, becomes a chain of snowflakes. Loneliness doesn't often get such a gorgeously ornate tribute.
    • 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
  29. It's easily the best of the movies I've seen by the various "Saturday Night Live" alumni, and part of the reason it's funny and satisfying is that it doesn't strain. [09 Jun 1983]
    • Boston Globe
  30. Mad Dog and Glory is the funniest and most original studio comedy since "White Men Can't Jump." What makes it fun is its ability to find new ways to do old things. [5 Mar 1993, p.61]
    • Boston Globe
  31. What Gibson gives us is a portrait of a man behaving gracefully under several kinds of pressure, some of it shamefully unfair. It's a solid acting achievement, and his directing, which never calls attention to itself, is right on the money, too. The Man Without a Face is an affecting evocation of a man of principle who teaches a boy what's important. [25 Aug 1993, p.53]
    • Boston Globe
  32. Natural Born Killers is going to be a love-it or hate-it film. But it's an important film. Pumped up, jumped up, yet asking the right questions, [it] is more than an attention-grabber. It's a grenade pitched into the media tent. [26 Aug 1994, p.51]
    • Boston Globe
  33. Bug
    Engrossingly manic version of Tracy Letts's great stage play.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Someone walking cold into a movie theater showing Paprika might be excused for thinking the screen was having a Technicolor seizure. Fans of Japanese anime and filmmaker Satoshi Kon will simply feel dazzlingly at home.
  34. Stone's film rolls off the screen with affection and authority, even when Morrison's life enters its sodden, bummed-out finale, and Val Kilmer does an uncanny job of identifying with Morrison. [01 Mar 1991]
    • Boston Globe
  35. Director Penny Marshall's choreography encompasses emotional as well as physical ebbs and flows. Awakenings lives up to its title. [11 Jan 1991]
    • Boston Globe
  36. 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
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Crazy Love doesn't downplay the awfulness of what happened , but it also knows a good media circus when it sees one.
  37. What sets Tequila Sunrise apart is its layering, its existential dimension. The characters played by Gibson and Russell have been sanded down by a kind of fatalism we normally associate with characters in French gangster movies. There's more than one facet to them. They're entertaining. And urgent. Even when they're just going through routine genre moves, they put laid-back spin on them. [2 Dec 1988, p.29]
    • Boston Globe
  38. 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
  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
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    For all its pessimism, the movie prompts a viewer to search his or her own memories for actions rather than reactions, and to mull over the differences between the two. It's a dark little ride, but at the end the lights hesitantly flicker back on.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Big
    Big is an example of what has become rare in Hollywood -- a self-confident comedy that transforms an old gimmick into a new, vivid experience. It's as funny for the kids as it is for adults and, for that reason alone, can't be recommended too highly. [3 Jun 1988, p.33]
    • Boston Globe
  40. The Pillow Book is Peter Greenaway's most stunning and accessible film since "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover." Dense, gorgeous and inexorable - once you give yourself over to its logic - it's a boldly erotic explosion of Asian chic, taken to places no film has gone before. [20 Jun 1997]
    • Boston Globe
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    This is music to gorge on, raw ethnic survival in the form of sound.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The Neverending Story, Wolfgang Petersen's sophisticated fantasy film, is so wonderfully appropriate to children that it seems to have been made by kids. But there is enough artistic merit in the tale to enchant adults equally. [20 Jul 1984, p.1]
    • Boston Globe
  41. It's a celebration of free expression that treats youth like a fierce and beautiful animal, and never attempts to tame it. In Pump Up the Volume, the "why-bother" generation finds a voice, and begins to bother. [22 Aug 1990, p.47]
    • Boston Globe
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Pascale Ferran's Lady Chatterley is sensual in escalating degrees of heat, but the film's eroticism, which is substantial, is laid on with a caress. The movie's a slow-motion swoon back into Eden -- a nature documentary about humans -- and it's hypnotic.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Sicko is Moore's best, most focused movie to date -- much more persuasive than the enraged and self-righteous "Fahrenheit 9/11."
  42. All the voice work here is excellent, especially Oswalt's. He sounds like Paul Giamatti but with a greater capacity for confidence.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The question remains: Why would Herzog want to dramatize what he has already captured as nonfiction? To better control the material, I think, and to bring it in line with his own obsessions.
    • 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.
  43. 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.
  44. Brilliantly, the movie becomes a double coming-of-age story. The parents' political awakening parallels their daughter's.
  45. The movies are smart -- smarter than you, but not in an off-putting way. Their basic appeal, especially this new one, is that Matt Damon’s killing machine, Jason Bourne, is the cleverest man on earth. And we thrill to his sense of superiority.
    • 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.
  46. The word bears repeating, so everyone from Andrew Weil to Stephen Hawking to Mikhail Gorbachev is here to speak the still-inconvenient truth. The filmmaking, however, is far more relentless than in that Oscar-winning Al Gore slide show.
  47. A portrait of two different men whose compulsion for Donkey Kong is hilarious.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Both actors are among the best, most intuitively creative we have, and whatever transpires offscreen in Crowe’s case, onscreen they only serve their characters. Neither man showboats here, and it’s a thrill to watch them work.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    This is the first time, though, his (Mortensen)performance seemed so much bigger than the film surrounding it. That he manages the feat with so few wasted gestures puts him in line with the greats.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    After 152 epic minutes, ‘Lake of Fire’ comes down to this: If you’re not living this woman’s life, maybe you shouldn’t tell her what to do.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Michael Clayton is about the gap between predatory professionalism and the sins of real life - about how those sins can corrode the hardest business suit of armor.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The joke's on us, it turns out; as a director, Affleck has come through with a sharp, morally ambiguous piece of pulp crackerjack.
  48. 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.
  49. Outrageous controversialist meets brilliant attorney, and fact intertwines with fiction.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The triumph of this fond, uncontainable documentary is that it lets you hear that voice again loud and clear.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    This War/Dance is among the most affecting films I've seen all year; it cuts to the core of being and gives individual faces to sorrow and to hope.
    • 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.
  50. He even calls the majestic view from one of the hospital landings his Cinecittà, after the legendary Italian film studio. The movie is a Cinecittà of the mind.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    That smart, hip, human comedy you've been waiting for all year.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Thorough and sadly engrossing documentary.

Top Trailers