Boston Globe's Scores

For 5,403 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 Citizenfour
Lowest review score: 0 Bratz
Score distribution:
5,403 movie reviews
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Nolan brings his Batman trilogy to a close with a majestic, almost completely satisfying crash. Everything feels epic about the film: the characters, the effects, the emotional stakes - even the missteps (and there are more than a few).
  1. Has extraordinary depth and insight about the limitations and follies of human beings.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Venus is rollickingly funny at times -- but there's an undercurrent of extraordinarily clear-eyed sadness.
    • 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
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Somers Town, is a trifle: A short black-and-white lark with sharp edges and a soft center. It has its raptures, though, and then some. A disarmingly slight tale of adolescent friendship, Somers Town is one of those rare movies that seems to discover itself as you watch it.
  2. As Apichatpong erases, once again, the barriers between the celestial and terrestrial, he also does away with the cordons between film genres - this is sci-firomancefamilyreligiousthrillercomedyporn. No video service has a section for that. The only suitable shelf is the one in your soul.
  3. Bernstein communicates Ungerer’s manic spirit and his irrepressible creativity by punctuating the conventions of talking-head interviews and archival footage with animated snippets of Ungerer’s thousands of illustrations.
  4. The Mauritanian-born Abderrahmane Sissako, one of the great filmmakers of sub-Saharan Africa, does not need to resort to propaganda in Timbuktu to denounce fanaticism. He has poetry. With subtlety, irony, and even humor, he gradually prepares the viewer for the horror to come.
  5. The film's central drama is not between the former secretary and the filmmaker. It's between McNamara and history.
  6. Ultimately, Bingenheimer seems underwhelmed with himself. The people who know him say, in the movie, that he's a relic. Mayor of the Sunset Strip makes heartbreakingly clear what a glorious relic Bingenheimer is.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    What’s under the film’s surface is intriguing enough, but it’s the surface itself that holds you in a dark trance. A portrait of alienation filmed from the alien’s point of view — or is it just a woman’s? — the movie’s a cinematic Rubik’s Cube that snaps together surprisingly easily, yet whose larger meanings remain tantalizingly out of reach.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    As superbly crafted -- as good -- as this movie is, Condon never really owns up to the cloud of pessimism at its center.
  7. Ullmann's film is an achievement of heart and consequence, as full of integrity as Bergman, yet demonstrating more mercy.
    • Boston Globe
  8. Proves acutely subtle. But its question of what we forgive art in the face of atrocity and immorality is one for the ages.
  9. There's nothing paltry about its poultry.
    • Boston Globe
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A transporting cinematic experience with a churl at its center, and how you feel about the movie may depend on how you feel about the churl.
    • 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
  10. Despite his neuroses, VanDyke displays self-awareness and humility, and a charisma that ranges from the goofiness of Owen Wilson to the grandiosity of his hero, Lawrence of Arabia.
  11. A bleak road movie that often ambles. But its many moments of poetic grace make this haunting and harrowing journey a rewarding one.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    One of the most enjoyable movies I've seen lately, but it has a biting knowledge of that which history gives and history takes away.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It’s all as entertaining as it is outlandish.
  12. Even when its wires are showing, the movie's soul is always evident.
  13. Oasis is that rare miraculous whirlwind romance that moves from attempted rape to reverence without kicking up a lot of dust.
  14. We have lots of terminology for what happens when two male stars appear to have the platonic hots for each other. The genre is called bromance. The feelings are bromantic. The orientation is bromosexuality. What Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum have in 21 Jump Street scrambles, transcends, and explodes all of that.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Tommy Lee Jones makes his feature directing debut here, and the film is as weathered, subtle, and sympathetic as the actor's own face.
  15. Alonso sustains an atmosphere of otherworldly immanence in a vivid setting, with a style involving long takes with characters posed as if in tableaux vivants.
  16. Awash in strangeness, a poem that details what it's like to be 13 at the end of a millennium.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Maddin's Winnipeg is a rich, funky, funny stew of fears and desires, of mangled civic chronology mashed up with hothouse private emotions. This is a secret history, and it's a wonder.
  17. An uncommonly intimate portrait, in large part because the filmmaker, Bradley Beesley, is a longtime neighbor, friend, and collaborator.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Richly provocative entertainment, as heady as a cocktail party with the Manhattan literati and as vaguely troubling as the morning after.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie's still a wickedly droll put-on. Better yet, beneath the fun lurks a dry and weary sigh at life's refusal to match the tidiness of art.
    • 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
    It's spookily touching to see this massed group of former rock gods gathered to honor one of their fallen. Bald spots and graying shags predominate; the giant velvet lapels of 1969 have given way to sensible sport coats; the granny glasses are for real.
  18. All this desperation and squalor reeks of authenticity. Many of the actors are from the streets themselves, and such locations as a crash pad rented out by a dotty lady could never be dreamed up by a Hollywood screenwriter.
  19. As a flawed but lovably lionhearted woman, Barrymore triumphantly comes of age as an actress.
    • Boston Globe
  20. A slick, twisty, top-of-the-line crime thriller with gorgeously sensual textures and a screenful of wickedly faceted performances.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's a wrenching, ennobling essay on teamwork and the hard struggle to change one's life.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    In many ways, Son of Rambow plays like a pint-size, even cheekier version of the recent Michel Gondry film "Be Kind Rewind." Both are stories about people making movies not because it's their job but because doing so brings a vast sense of play into their lives.
  21. Hollywood filmmaking at its best, brimming over with feeling, texture, spirit, and several kinds of keenness that transmute experience into big pop myth.
    • Boston Globe
  22. 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A straight-up drama and thus the only film in "The Trilogy" not forced into a genre straitjacket -- suspense thriller ("On the Run") or farce ("An Amazing Couple") -- "Life" is also the finest of the three. This isn't a coincidence.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Low-budget, sure of itself, and creepy as hell, the film actually scores quite low on the gore meter. Like the best nightmares, though, it proves nearly impossible to shake.
  23. Haunting, powerfully acted, penetratingly written, it's about people coming home -- and not coming home -- to their marriages.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    "No God and no religion can survive ridicule," wrote Mark Twain, but for once the sage of Hannibal was wrong.
  24. As powerful as it is as social commentary, Gett triumphs most as an examination of human relationships.
  25. Roughly translated, Touchez pas au Grisbi means ''don't touch the loot.'' But in literal terms, this film version of Albert Simonin's blockbuster really couldn't care less who ends up with the cash.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Ida
    The first three-quarters of Ida are as astonishing as anything you’ll see at the movies this year.
  26. 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
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Sloppily made at times and it comes close to wearing out its welcome, but you can't blame Walker for not wanting to let his subjects go. And as the movie progresses, a viewer begins to understand why: These people are literally singing for their lives.
  27. Whatever portion of the alienated teen angst championship Thora Birch left unclaimed after ''American Beauty,'' she nails down brilliantly in Ghost World.
    • Boston Globe
  28. It would violate a taboo to relate how this movie magic, masterfully orchestrated by Weinstein and Measom, is done. Their film is as smooth as Randi’s patter and demonstrates how the documentarian’s camera is quicker than the eye.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    An engaged, engaging voyage of (re)discovery that’s too in love with its subject to qualify as food porn. It’s food romance.
  29. A riveting and sobering way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Director Steven Soderbergh is working very near the top of his game here, and if Magic Mike tells an old, old story about a young man, his talent, his rise, and his fall - see everything from "Saturday Night Fever" to "Boogie Nights" - he brings the confidence of a born filmmaker and a cast that's sharper than their characters and ready to play.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Subtle, it’s not. But it is effective. The days when Al Gore could mobilize a nation with wonky charm and a PowerPoint presentation are over. As Marc Morano says, “keep it short, keep it simple, keep it funny.”
  30. The bleakness of Rosetta will not be for all, but it's one of the best films of the year.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Very few people will take in this spectacle of a society amusing itself to death, of “reality games” and the vapid media hysteria that surrounds them, and not draw a parallel to our own televised bread and circuses. At its best, “Catching Fire” is a blockbuster that bites the culture that made it.
  31. Dennis's film attempts something few documentaries have: to inhabit the psyche of its subject.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A cruelly precise, often bleakly comic account of upper-middle-class privilege coming unglued when the cosmos throws a curveball.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Flattens you with concussive detail and the awfulness of war; it plays like "Saving Private Ryan" as remade by a Continental mathematician flipping out on Ecstasy.
  32. Despite the seeming inevitability of tragedy and despair, In Bloom remains true to its title. Though political and personal upheaval threatens to overwhelm them, Eka and Natia’s clarity and courage resist the ignorance, injustice, and rage all around.
  33. A 2009 film only now getting theatrical distribution in the United States, it is perhaps Farhadi’s richest, most complex and ambitious.
  34. The film quickly becomes one of the most powerful, carefully researched investigations of the moral-legal side effects of current American military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. It's terrifying in a way that sneaks up on you.
  35. Bernal, with his sweet man-boy looks, makes Padre Amaro's portrait of corruption all the more flabbergasting in its irony.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    More movies should be so funny and perceptive, with writing this sharp and acting this believable.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It’s a gentle epic, based on a 10th-century Japanese folk tale, that uses pencils, ink, and impressionistic washes of color to convey a glowing visual otherworld, one that stands in contrast both to Takahata’s earlier work and the hard-edged lines and bright tones of much anime.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The attitude of many “UP” fans hovers between voyeurism and concern, between cherishing these people as distant friends and as extensions of ourselves. They’re canaries in the coal mine of human existence.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Turns out to be a grade-A B-movie that grounds its thrills in particulars of time, place, and character, so that when the time comes to make the leap into the wholly preposterous, we do so willingly. This is a movie that earns our trust -- and then happily abuses it.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    What on earth is The Trip, besides hugely enjoyable?
  36. I have not seen the film “Fifty Shades of Grey” but I doubt that it evokes the mystery, wit, and eroticism that Peter Strickland’s sumptuously claustrophobic fable of women in love does. All without nudity, bad dialogue, or the requisite wooden acting.
  37. The beauty of Let the Right One In resides in the way the horror remains grounded in a tragic kind of love.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    With a minimum of melodrama and a fluid camera style that weaves restlessly in and out of the throng, Something in the Air is attentive to the users and the used in this generation of supposed equals. There’s no anger to the film, though, and what sometimes feels like passivity is really just the fond, unromantic gaze of an artist carefully considering his younger self.
  38. As funny as it is sharp.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Deeper, darker currents move through Momma's Man, eddying around fears of letting go on both sides of the generational divide.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    May not be the best movie ever made about the perils of family life, but it is among the most ruthlessly comic.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Does a terrific job of evoking the electric magic of an extraordinary era.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Quiet, observant, and intensely moving whenever Heiskanen is on screen, and it has a valedictory sweep that feels like a summing up.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Terrifically compelling and, more than that, unexpectedly moving.
  39. Her face is as much a part of her comedic form as her observations are. It's an amazing slapstick instrument, creating a scrapbook of living mug shots.
  40. 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower finds an unexpectedly moving freshness in the old clichés by remaining attentive to the nuances of what happens within and between unhappy teenagers.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A haunting experience, one that requires patience (and then some) but that offers spiritual, philosophical, and aesthetic rewards beyond the immediate power of words to describe.
  41. The arrival of closing credits feels like a trap door. The film is over, and, suddenly, we have to leave these people. The directors make no guarantee for their futures, but the strength of their filmmaking inspires you to hope for the best.
  42. If the second hour or so isn't as strong as the first, it's because the filmmaking fails to rise to the injustice that's befallen its subjects since their exoneration. It can't, really.
  43. Wendy Carroll is a character we rarely see in movies anymore, a woman left alone with her thoughts. That a moviegoer would care what she's thinking testifies to the power in Williams's brand of solitude.
  44. In ''Trials,'' Hitchens is almost endearing, stalking Kissinger from one event to the next like a bleary-eyed Michael Moore.
  45. Sad, funny, brilliant.
    • Boston Globe
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Haneke has become known as a dour modern master of cinematic pain, and in this movie he scrubs civilization down to the root level.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Seems calculated to shock, but what’s most disquieting about Nymph()maniac is how funny, tender, thoughtful, and truthful it is, even as it pushes into genuinely seamy aspects of onscreen sexuality. Obnoxious he may be, but von Trier knows how to burrow into our ids.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Gosling may be the soul of Half Nelson, but Epps is the film's heart.
  46. 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
    • 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.
  47. 'Titanic'' was a case of a cheeseball story riding terrific effects. The Perfect Storm is in every important way deeper.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie’s tone is hushed, restrained; emotional damage is crammed way back where no one can see it yet defines everything through a murky prism.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The film is at its most quietly powerful, though, when telling the story of a group of African-American high school kids who took their discontent to the highest court in the land.
  48. It's much closer to a European film in sensibility than to one of Hollywood's factory products.
  49. Cooper gives the performance just the right lunacy and doubt.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The subject is the privileged state of childhood itself - how we're all lucky to have had it and how it so easily floats away from our grasp.

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