Boston Globe's Scores

For 5,576 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: 63
Highest review score: 100 A Separation
Lowest review score: 0 Porky's
Score distribution:
5576 movie reviews
  1. Astounding. It is also bizarre, challenging, and, at times, admirably overreaching. In short, it's the kind of ambitious little film that can leave critics in a swoon and American moviegoers scratching their heads.
    • Boston Globe
  2. Another triumph of modesty from a master who deserves real, paying audiences, not just the adoration of besotted film critics.
    • 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.
  3. Despite its ultimate nuttiness, has a quiet, consuming power that sneaks up on you and doesn't go away. This is something new and ambitious for Von Trier: a work of compassion.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Like a nightmare you recall during waking hours, and then only in its vast outlines, Antichrist has the power to haunt beyond words. For better and for worse, it is exactly the movie von Trier wanted to make and a piece of staggeringly pure cinema.
  4. It's practically a primer on how to rework a literary classic into an impressively restrained movie with something fresh and intelligent to say.
  5. Angst-ridden, yet graceful, stylish, and optimistic allegory about swerving off one road and finding your way back via another.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The director can work wonders within his celluloid universe, but when the time comes to hand us back to reality, he stumbles. With this movie, that hurts.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Does Antarctica attract dreamers or create them? It's a thread that runs throughout the film.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A proudly Calvinist work - I mean the comic strip character, not the philosopher - that understands the delights of deep play.
  6. Brilliantly, the movie becomes a double coming-of-age story. The parents' political awakening parallels their daughter's.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Some movies rest on an actor's face, and The Counterfeiters has a great one.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Self-consciously poetic and shot within a luscious inch of its life, the film's also an engrossing heartbreaker: a family saga that spans continents, political administrations, and decades of travail to arrive at a harder, wiser place.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The ''R'' rating is understandable, but absurd. This is a family film in the most complicated and, ultimately, most cheering sense.
  7. It's hugely entertaining.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    This is one cinematic novella that stays with you for quite a while.
  8. Who knows what movie Lonergan was searching for in all that footage? But what emerges from the tinkering and legal skirmishes is an occasional marvel, a kind of everyday highbrow social X-ray, Paul Mazursky by way of Krzysztof Kieslowski.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    I have seen the future of Hollywood movie stardom, and its name is America Ferrera.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The film is startlingly even-handed.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Please Give is a moral comedy that feels at times like one of the late Eric Rohmer’s deceptively breezy miniatures, or a mid-period Woody Allen movie minus the fussiness.
    • 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.
  9. It's filled with vivid characters and action. Beneath its modesty of gesture, it's one of the year's richest, most humane films.
  10. While it preserves his baseball feats, it looks beyond them to clarify Greenberg's place in American culture.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The Fighter is this close to a triumph: a movie that steeps us in the grit of its time and place - Lowell, Mass., in the 1990s - and electrifyingly dramatizes Ward's battles with the family that almost loved him to death.
  11. In a way, Lipes’s documentary resembles Jonathan Demme and David Byrne’s “Stop Making Sense” (1984) — in which Byrne goes on stage solo with a beat box and the rest of the Talking Heads gather one by one — as much as it does Wiseman’s films.
    • 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Immersive, enlightening documentary.
    • 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
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. A story about the ravages of one war on a single man's soul and psyche becomes an eloquent plea for peace.
    • Boston Globe
  29. What's astonishing is that the movie is not a half-baked production. The spectacle now LOOKS spectacular.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. The world of cinema is richer for the voice of Al Mansour; she speaks for the women of her country, and for people everywhere.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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
  41. 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.
  42. The director is becoming a master of blending the political and the personal with eloquence and deceptive lightness.
  43. 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.
    • 71 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.
  44. It's the kind of romantic comedy that doesn't cheapen the word ''heartwarming.''

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