Boston Globe's Scores

For 5,211 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 Clay Bird
Lowest review score: 0 The Devil Inside
Score distribution:
5,211 movie reviews
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    This is a slacker detective story, emphasis on the slack, and if you can downshift into its loping rhythms, it's pretty wonderful.
  1. 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Epic in scope, ambition, and execution, it's a classic swords-and-samurai film with postmodern blood and guts, and it's completely satisfying.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    There's nothing out there remotely like Meek's Cutoff, for which some viewers may be thankful. The ending seems calculated to drive the literal-minded screaming out of the theater and yet it's the only possible way out.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A mystery, a melodrama, a prison film, and a love story, Incendies is foremost a scream of rage at a society destroyed by religion and by men.
  2. 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.
  3. Here the Japanese senses of honor and of shame are particularly entangled. Later in the film, Lu mounts an Imperial Army parade through the Nanking ruins. It's something to see.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Think of it as "Glee" without music. Without a net, too.
  4. What starts out as a beautifully depopulated filmic exercise - it's 14 minutes into the movie before Guzman introduces any people - becomes toward the end a nearly unbearable examination of good and bad in the human heart.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    What on earth is The Trip, besides hugely enjoyable?
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A fitting, expertly made final chapter, freighted with hard-won emotions, shot through with a sense of farewell, and fully aware of the epic stakes involved.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  5. The movie has you from its nearly wordless opening sequence.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Moneyball is a hilarious and provocative change-up, entertaining without feeling the need to swing for the fences.
  6. It's an imperfect but ambitious film willing to confront an enormous, complex period in this country.
  7. 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.
    • 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.
  8. 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    What Herzog almost accidentally captures in his viewfinder is profound and unsettling: an entire American underclass where at least some prison time is the norm and where only luck and the grace of God keep a person from either wrong end of the shotgun.
  9. The achievement of this movie is that Kaurismäki manages the seemingly impossible task of making a farce about farces. In other words, this is a very good movie in quotation marks and a very good movie.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    I can't think of another movie this year that made me laugh or weep harder for the whole lumpy business of being - the compromises and connections that get us through the day and somehow add up to entire lives.
  10. I've never seen a movie so perfectly balanced between unabashed nerdiness and hipness.
    • 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.
  11. 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The film's an even four-hander, with awful behavior spread evenly among the characters and spellbinding performances by the quartet of co-leads.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Silent Souls is a road movie, a guy movie, a treatise on burial customs in northern Russia. Mostly it's a sigh at the way entire cultures can slip away in the flow of time. It's lovely and slow and melancholic and short - 75 minutes, yet you feel you've been gone for an epoch or two.
  12. Dennis's film attempts something few documentaries have: to inhabit the psyche of its subject.
    • 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.
  13. 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    There's a quiet metaphor here: How do you teach children without touching them - their minds, their souls, their sensitivities?
  14. Eerily tragic and chillingly hard to come to terms with.
    • 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.
  15. 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.
    • 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.
  16. A well-crafted, bravely revealing little film that could be considered essential education for baseball fans. It's just a bonus that the documentary is so entertaining.
    • 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).
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Queen of Versailles is still worthwhile, not because it questions all-American entitlement but because it prompts us to think hard about what, exactly, we believe we're entitled to.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Wake in Fright is a monster movie, and the monster is us.
  17. It's delicately made, yet forceful in its delicacy.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The achievement of this simply told, exceptionally fine film is the clarity with which it portrays the drama of a good soul in an inert body.
  18. The movie captures a kind of tragedy of self.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It makes politics exciting again.
  19. Cooper gives the performance just the right lunacy and doubt.
    • 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.
  20. The movie observes the general misery of needing serious medical treatment and the particular awfulness of needing medical treatment you can't pay for.
  21. 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.
  22. The movie Quentin Tarantino has written and directed is corkscrewed, inside-out, upside-down, simultaneously clear-eyed and completely out of its mind.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Moore's conception of the character is compelling. She rivets us. She's assisted by the superb performances Redford has elicited from her co- stars, Sutherland and Timothy Hutton, who plays Conrad, the guilt-ridden surviving brother of the dead boy. [26 Sep 1980]
    • Boston Globe
  23. Soderbergh's sleekly malignant Underneath is a nasty little winner. [28 April 1995, p.81]
    • 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]
  24. The film works because Raimi's motor-rhythmed pop sensibility was ready to take off in this movie, and does, in a series of wonderfully hyperkinetic comic-strip lurches. [24 Aug. 1990, p.34]
    • Boston Globe
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    No
    No is a comedy, but of a dangerous sort. Its eyes are open and the laughs tend to stick in your throat.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    I’m not sure Lore holds up to repeated viewings — Shortland’s style is so feverish it could quickly turn precious — but it demands to be seen at least once.
  25. An elegy for a vanishing emblem of what once characterized this country's vitality.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The new film is slender, and it plays obliquely with the style of the 20th-century Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu: simple shots of simple people revealing universal truths.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    While the “Paradise Lost” films captured events as they unfolded in the heat of battle, West of Memphis has the luxury of at least partial closure.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    War Witch deals with a reality so horrific that the film’s touches of magical realism are welcome, even necessary — the only way to retain one’s bearings and sanity in a world without signposts.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It’s a deceptively impersonal style, because Beyond the Hills seethes with astonishment and rage at a broken society marooned between the 21st century and the 16th.
  26. Henry David Thoreau plays an enigmatic role in Shane Carruth’s hypnotic thriller — an oxymoronic term to describe a film that is truly sui generis.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Watching Room 237 is like being stuck on an airplane next to a stranger hellbent on convincing you of his very detailed, very paranoid theory of the universe. Actually, it’s like being stuck on a plane full of those guys, each with a different yet compellingly insane take on reality. And the in-flight entertainment features only one movie: “The Shining.”
  27. Melding history, science, and up-to-the-minute urgency, A Fierce Green Fire is a clarion call that’s passionate and provocative.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    All Abrams wants to do is give us a great ride while holding firm to our longstanding emotional investment in these characters.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Stories We Tell is one of those movies you watch on a screen and replay in your head for days, moving between its many levels of inquiry and touched, always, by Polley’s compassion toward her relatives in particular and people in general.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Creative, colorful, and unexpectedly wise, The Painting is the latest offshore animation to show to kids burned out on computer-generated Hollywood toons.
  28. It is part Rorschach test and part theme park ride as the filmmakers shoot from the strangest places and from such odd perspectives that much of the film consists of trying to figure out what the heck is going on.
  29. You expect virtuosic technique from Spielberg, and it's there, in spades. What you don't expect is heartfelt romanticism. But that's there, too... Always is a terrific-looking throwback to those large-scale '40s cinematic stews of romantic longing. [22 Dec. 1989, p.43]
    • Boston Globe
  30. Hurtling from the screen with a vigor and importance that are all but absent from contemporary film, it's a deeply moving social drama, raw and gritty in style, shining with moral purpose as it delivers a scathing take-it-into-the-streets critique of feral capitalism and racism. [18 July 1997, p.D1]
    • Boston Globe
  31. 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
    • 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A Hijacking tells a simple story whose ripples ultimately turn into tidal waves.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A meditative and intensely beautiful documentary.
    • 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.
  34. 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.
    • 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.
  35. What’s on camera is both damning and expertly assembled, a filmmaking effort worthy of standing with 2009’s Oscar-winning documentary about dolphin abuse, “The Cove.”
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The Butler is a remarkable, even exhilarating movie not for its inherent Gump-itude but for the social portrait that gimmick allows.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A cleareyed, disarmingly tender adolescent romance that bears comparison with the best of its genre.
    • 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.
  36. Artistically, though, you can’t help but trust him. Like any star turn, Holliday’s performance rings utterly true. It’s that indefinable but unmistakable reality-beyond-reality called art.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    In a way, Howard has made a philosophical drama about the way men move through the world. It’s just a really, really fast drama.
    • 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.
  37. The world of cinema is richer for the voice of Al Mansour; she speaks for the women of her country, and for people everywhere.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Director Paul Greengrass creates an aura of urgency so compelling, so rooted in detail, that we temporarily forget what we know and hold our breaths for two-plus hours of tightening suspense.
  38. This sounds like it could be austere and schematic, but the affecting, authentic performances from the first-time actors make these characters thoroughly authentic.
  39. 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.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It’s a movie that floods you with emotion when you least expect it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Philomena is a tearjerker of rare honesty and craft.

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