Boston Globe's Scores

For 5,429 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 Raging Bull
Lowest review score: 0 All About Steve
Score distribution:
5,429 movie reviews
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing is just about the sloppiest Shakespeare ever put on the screen. It may also be the most exhilarating — a profound trifle that reminds you how close Shakespeare’s comedies verge on darkness before pirouetting back into the light.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It makes politics exciting again.
  1. Che
    The labor applied to Che is apparent, but it would be wrong to characterize the movie as laborious the way it was in, say, 2006's "The Good German," where Soderbergh took great pains to re-create 1940s Hollywood wartime glamour.
    • 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
  2. Magically transports the viewer across time and space. As it does so, it becomes a humbling reminder of the universality of the human experience.
    • 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.
  3. 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.
  4. A miracle of data retrieval as the grown schoolchildren are measured against their footage from the earlier films.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Shine a Light did something I didn't think was possible. It got me caring about the Rolling Stones again.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The director's cut has been getting a much warmer critical reception than the original release, but not necessarily because it's significantly better.
  5. 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Ends on a note of triumphant populism, but the film’s bitter aftertaste hints that when we ignore the details, we only ensure they’ll be repeated.
  6. A League of Their Own may not boost its material into the level of pop myth as, say, last year's great female buddy movie, "Thelma & Louise," did. It's a bit too concerned with being likable to make that kind of bold leap. But if A League of Their Own doesn't knock the ball out of the park, it's a clean hit, with extra bases written all over it. [1 July 1992, p.41]
    • Boston Globe
  7. 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
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    At its best, The Sleeping Beauty reclaims fairy tales as a kind of oral folk REM state, chewing over anxieties about adulthood, behavior, sex, and belonging in potent symbolic form.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Screenwriter Kaufman is in fine meta-fettle here, even if he's still losing control of his material toward the end, and while it's too soon to tell whether Clooney has the stuff of a great director, he certainly knows who to hire.
  8. 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
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Utterly adorable.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Turns out to be one of the finer peeks into the creative process of staging a play. Granted, that's a tiny genre, and the film's core audience -- theater majors and the people who love them -- is narrow. The lessons, however, are big.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie's a must for baseball fans in general and Red Sox fans in particular - if nothing else, it will help remove the battery-acid taste of the season now stumbling to a close.
  9. 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
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Take Shelter plays Curtis's unraveling at daring length. The film will be too slow and dark for some, and it's definitely overlong.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Bright Star is a thing of beauty and a joy for a movie season that needs it.
  10. The Mill and the Cross captures the wish that some of us have had while standing in front of a great painting. What hangs before us is so striking, beautiful, strange, vast, horrifying, ethereal, lifelike - so alive - that we're desperate to enter the other side of the canvas, to be inside the painting.
  11. The film is a tower of literary and cinematic references, tangential yet somehow essential characters, and one fantastic performance after another. It's a simple movie yet is anything but.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A quieter, less melodramatic piece of work than last year's "Crash," and arguably a better one.
  12. As goofy action comedies go, Shaolin Soccer is one of the best.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The Dardennes resist the expected cliches: The climactic scenes gather force and purpose and the movie seems headed for a breakthrough of some sort, but then it glides softly and unexpectedly to a halt.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A stunningly well-acted drama for grown-ups.
  13. Burshtein has achieved a gripping film without victims or villains, an ambiguous tragedy drawing on universal themes of love and loss, self-sacrifice and self-preservation.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Fully realizes its ambitions as a tale about confronting and navigating life's land mines with humor, tenacity, and hope.
    • Boston Globe
  14. A smartly observed, unpretentious, and unconventional comedy of manners -- or more properly, it's a comedy of mannerisms.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Burma VJ’ retorts that eyes and ears are everywhere in our ever-tightening global communications mesh. Voices, too, and they get heard. The generals and the ayatollahs have every right to be scared.
  15. Like "Life Is Sweet," "Secrets & Lies," and yes, 1971's "Bleak Moments," to name but three of Leigh's 10 semi-improvised character studies, Another Year is another frowning comedy.
  16. A story about the ravages of one war on a single man's soul and psyche becomes an eloquent plea for peace.
    • Boston Globe
  17. What's astonishing is that the movie is not a half-baked production. The spectacle now LOOKS spectacular.
  18. The movie isn't a critique of zoo life. But it's possible we have on our hands, in Nénette's captivity, a microcosm of celebrity star-gazing.
  19. lluminating and exceptional docu-portrait.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Korine wants to give us a portrait of our nation’s children — the girls, especially — as beautifully depraved sharks, pleasure-seeking killers oblivious to the comedy and horror of their existence. And damned if he doesn’t pull it off, or come close enough.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Why revisit Shoah 25 years after it was first released? Because it matters more a quarter century on, just as it will matter even more in a hundred years, and 200, and - if it and we survive - a thousand.
  20. Though “Berberian” bogs down a bit in its infernal spiral, Strickland proves himself to be a rising talent — a master of sound and fury both.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's Cronenberg's finest film, it's star Ralph Fiennes's riskiest role, it's a tour de force for actress Miranda Richardson.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Spare and elegant and harrowing, it's an ode to childhood trust being stretched until it snaps.
  21. 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
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    He (Cretton) just loves this place and these people so much, he wanted to give us more of them. For that, we should be grateful.
  22. 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.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie’s an astonishingly detailed, visually painstaking state-of-the-art production that advances what the cinema can show us—even as the human story at its center feels a little thin after a while.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Brick is Bogart goes to high school, in other words, but that thumbnail description doesn't begin to convey the lasting pleasures of Rian Johnson's directorial debut.
    • 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.
  23. MC5 is everything a rockumentary should be and usually isn't. Then again, MC5 was everything a rock band should be and usually isn't.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Filmed with a cold, poetic beauty, The Return slowly strips away motivation until it arrives at a place of myth both private and oddly universal.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Fair warning: I had to see The Girlfriend Experience twice before its pieces settled into coherent shape.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The music is terrific, as it should be in a movie where T Bone Burnett wrote the songs with Stephen Bruton.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Remarkably, ''Me and You" doesn't shock so much as soothe.
  24. The world of cinema is richer for the voice of Al Mansour; she speaks for the women of her country, and for people everywhere.
  25. In his eloquent, evenhanded, and meticulously constructed debut documentary, Jason Osder stirs the ashes of this tragedy and sheds new heat and light on such timely issues as the abuse of authority and the violation of the rights of citizens, especially the marginalized and powerless.
  26. 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
    • 93 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    As much as this tale of bent love runs in the ruts of its maker’s obsessions, it has an undertow that’s impossible to shake. [22 Nov. 2012]
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A visually overwhelming labor of love, a hand-drawn medieval adventure tale that seeks and finds cosmic connections.
  27. Plympton will be cheated if Cheatin’ doesn’t at least get nominated for a best animated feature Oscar.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It is Bowie's alter ego as the androgynous Martian rock star that remains, 30 years later, his most enduring artistic achievement.
  28. 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
    • 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
  29. A definitive, low-tech stomping of every sci-fi clone that has sprung up in the original's wake.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    They're both tales of growing up in the shadow of Islamic fundamentalism, but Persepolis is everything "The Kite Runner" is not. It's a personal memoir rather than fiction, coolly observant instead of melodramatic, female rather than male in sensibility and sense of humor - it has a sense of humor.
  30. The director is becoming a master of blending the political and the personal with eloquence and deceptive lightness.
  31. 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It’s a galling and provocative experience to viewers of any political persuasion, and a reminder to the left of how easily idealism can run amok.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie is more pure, profane enjoyment than a body should have in the dog days of August.
  32. It's the kind of romantic comedy that doesn't cheapen the word ''heartwarming.''
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A slowly flowering miracle: an epic of normal life.
  33. The Turin Horse is in a very gray black and white. It looks the same way it feels: bleak, pure, forbidding, transfixing. Watching it, frankly, can be a bit of an ordeal. There's hardly anything in The Turin Horse you would describe as entertaining, but there is a very great deal that's beautiful and absorbing.
  34. It's brilliantly precise in its detailing, stylishly jagged and sensual by turns, and utterly unpredictable.
  35. The film's disturbing images are presented matter-of-factly, which makes them more powerful, not less.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Scorsese and his team of Grade A talents are working on an operatic scale here, and like many operas, this is long, overwrought, sprawling, and more than frequently brilliant. It also hits just enough discordant notes to keep it from greatness.
  36. It's sweeping yet intimate, stately yet impassioned, stylized yet immediate.
    • Boston Globe
    • 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.
  37. 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a foodie's delight, obviously, and best seen either on a full stomach or with restaurant reservations immediately following.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie's an unexpected end-of-summer tonic: a trash guilty pleasure with a healthy (if really violent) sense of outrage. It's also Rodriguez's freest movie yet, and possibly his best.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    As taut and suspenseful as any fictional mystery.
  38. A collection of beautifully acted encounters, conversations, symbols, and vignettes woven into an evocative and unforgettably surreal garment.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Sensual, funny, and moving film.
    • 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."
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    In its attention to detail and awareness of betrayals both political and human, "Tinker Tailor'' is a movie for grown-ups.
  39. Comes on as both a rebuke to male vanity and a chic metaphor for midlife panic.
  40. What an amazing presence Gorintin has. Never mind her hunched back and white hair, she's no crone. She makes Eka needy for happiness but susceptible to heartbreak. It's a great performance, full of both joy and the quiet, disappointing parts of being alive that come with knowing change is part of life.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Entertaining and enraging.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A tart, smart, closely observed satire of the television industry.
  41. An ambitious mix of politics, religion, art, and human drama.
  42. All the gears, in fact, are shamelessly visible, yet they lock smoothly and resonantly into place. If Akeelah and the Bee is a generic, well-oiled commercial contraption, it is the first to credibly dramatize the plight of a truly gifted, poor black child.
  43. Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck's film is a fascinating look at the intersection of commerce, celebrity, and controversy.
  44. To say the least, the film is awkward, like a piece of badly assembled Ikea furniture. Still, editor Bernadine Colish weaves together all that C-SPAN footage into a disturbing procedural indictment. Legislators use the same language - often the president's - to justify the rush to war. The repetition is comical until it's scary: They're parroting.
  45. This is the best thing Mortensen's ever done. His slow, paunchy, hairy Freud has a cavalier authority and a capacity for drollery. He's also seductively wise in a way that makes both Fassbender and Knightley, as very good as they are, also seem uncharacteristically callow.
  46. [Cuaron]'s a visionary and crafty storyteller who rewards your patience, not with twists in the plot, though the movie has its share, but with pure feeling. Deploying wit, grace, and artistry, he's whisked a kid flick into adolescence.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The seductively gripping cinematic stunt that calls itself Locke bears a slight resemblance to the recent “All Is Lost.”

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