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 Citizenfour
Lowest review score: 0 The Skulls
Score distribution:
5,429 movie reviews
    • 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.
  1. It's much closer to a European film in sensibility than to one of Hollywood's factory products.
  2. 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.
  3. In its dark, relentless, devastatingly ironic way, The Pledge is an exhilarating movie, partly because it isn't afraid to be genuinely challenging.
  4. A rarity among modern movies: a coming-of-age tale without cliche or sentimentality. Bolstered by a luminous lead performance from Lauren Ambrose.
  5. If you thought ''Moulin Rouge,'' or, for that matter, ''Tommy,'' was trippy, Hedwig, with its glorious convergence of material and performer, will show you what you've been missing.
    • Boston Globe
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    That smart, hip, human comedy you've been waiting for all year.
  6. The film's bountiful warmth and gusto do their work. By the end, we feel part of the family, too.
  7. A taut, expertly constructed, and suspenseful police procedural, it also explores the issues of loyalty, trust, betrayal, and revenge that those engaged in such morally ambiguous if essential activities would prefer not to think about.
  8. 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.
  9. In a sense, there can be nothing ordinary about such an extraordinary place. Furthermore, Wiseman’s special gift as a filmmaker has been to show how searching attention reveals that there really is no such thing as ordinariness.
  10. Of all the great monster mothers in cinema history, Cornelia Keneres (Luminita Gheorghiu, who sets the standard other performances should be judged by this year) ranks high on the list.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The Lunchbox isn’t an example of bravura moviemaking or cutting-edge style but simply a tale told with intelligence, restraint, and respect.
  11. Serendipity returns us, if only for a couple of hours, to the Manhattan of our dreams.
    • Boston Globe
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Horror movie Rule #1: The only way to kill a zombie is to shoot it in the brain. George Romero himself laid this maxim down with his first film, the endlessly influential 1968 gutter classic "Night of the Living Dead." Forty years later, with George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead, the venerable filmmaker has done something almost as startling: He has put brains back into the zombie genre.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A tremendous human drama, with each stage of its characters' journey a white-knuckle thriller in miniature.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    She’s a diva — she knows it, we know it, the director knows it — but over the years Stritch seems to have learned that the only way to deal with that is honestly. So she’s a paradox: a diva with no illusions about herself.
    • 82 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?
  12. In all respects, from choice of material to fullness of execution on every level, The War Zone is an extraordinary piece of work.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    In Standard Operating Procedure, Errol Morris does something inconceivable and, at first glance, ill-advised. He gives the US soldiers of Abu Ghraib back their humanity.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The real deal, an often awkward but nonetheless terrifically compelling high-stakes human drama.
  13. In short, Almodovar opens some new doors to his artists here, and they respond in surprising, captivating ways. [29 Mar 1996]
    • Boston Globe
  14. Soderbergh's sleekly malignant Underneath is a nasty little winner. [28 April 1995, p.81]
    • Boston Globe
  15. It’s imperfect, but it’s daring, bold, and from a director who isn’t scared of anything.
  16. This is a modest marvel of grace and framing that unfolds with the patience of a cloud and is driven more by wonder than pure emotion. It doesn't have the exuberance of Francois Truffaut 's "Small Change." Instead, it's that movie's antonym, yet just as wondrous.
  17. It is a delight for flamenco fans and provides a fascinating introduction for those unfamiliar with the music. But as cinema, despite the lush cinematography of Vittorio Storaro, it is lacking.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Reprise is exceptionally smart about the crushing expectations brought to the table by those who love us.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie's strength is its refusal to offer easy answers.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Another phantasmagorical tale of life among the Nazis, is upon us. This one works much better.
  18. 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.”
  19. The opening and closing scenes of this film evoke those in “Crimson Gold.” They are long shots of the outside as seen through a security gate. In “Crimson Gold,” the view is of a chaotic street in Tehran. Here, it is the empty sea. This difference demonstrates what Panahi has been deprived of, and what the world has lost because of it.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Tarantino may have nicked the title first, but this is the real ''Pulp Fiction," with all the drama and the dead ends that implies.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Rich Hill might fairly be called “Boyhood: The Documentary,” and, not surprisingly, it offers a reality harsher than — if just as compassionate as — Richard Linklater’s dreamy time-lapse drama.
  20. Nicholson, Hunt, and Kinnear will win you over as they turn the film into a valentine to New York's walking wounded.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Land Ho! is a hot spring of a movie: It fizzes a lot, and you come out feeling better than you went in.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The filmmakers are smart to cut between their primary interview and later footage of Junge watching that interview and offering further commentary -- living footnotes, as it were.
  21. If Keane is a downer, it's a stupendously well-conceived one.
  22. The film has the perverse intelligence of Cronenberg's other movies. It's not his best, but it is certainly his most accessible, least stagy work, obeying the laws of chronology and serving up characters whom we recognize as people.
  23. The movie Quentin Tarantino has written and directed is corkscrewed, inside-out, upside-down, simultaneously clear-eyed and completely out of its mind.
  24. A fresh perspective on one of the world’s longest conflicts.
  25. That commendable sense of balance, which Dolgin and Franco use to approach this family reunion, ultimately makes the finished product devastating.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Does what too many independent American movies only pretend to do: Takes you to an unnoticed corner of our country and shows what it's like to actually live there.
  26. Delightful and original, the film conjures up a corner of Paris distinct and specific, yet fairy-tale fanciful.
    • Boston Globe
    • 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.
  27. 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
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    One of the smarter, more unexpectedly touching documentaries of the year, and I recommend it to you whether you love Rivers or loathe the very thought of her.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A hugely enjoyable shambles. It’s a comic deconstruction of that most useless of Hollywood artifacts — the blockbuster sequel — that refuses to take itself seriously on any level, which, face it, is just what we need as the summer boom-boom season shifts into high gear.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    As sagas of endurance in the face of ridiculous odds go, this story is up there with Shackleton and ''Into Thin Air.''
    • 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.
  28. A shrewdly acted, bittersweet comedy.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    I don't usually make recommendations of this kind, but if you or your kids have gone to a burger joint in the last few weeks, you really do need to see this movie.
  29. An elegy for a vanishing emblem of what once characterized this country's vitality.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    By forgoing actual human beings, the director has made his most charming, least annoyingly fey film - a thing of lovely comic wisdom.
  30. Reveals real feelings.
  31. From start to finish there's a shimmer of discovery about it - our discovery of it, Coppola's discovery of how much she can do.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A messy, congenial empowerment story that knows how aggravating adolescence can be when you refuse to fit in.
  32. Plays like a dislocated version of ''Death in Venice,'' but in a dryer, higher climate that features exponentially more firepower.
    • Boston Globe
  33. 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
  34. It's deeply stylized, but there's an accompanying patience and gravity that are hard to shake. They're the architecture of a lingering, unsentimental sadness.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A meditation on fame, acting, aging, and acceptance, “Clouds” is a multilayered rapture on the subject of woman, performing. Not only does the film demand repeat viewings, it rewards them.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Rambles without apparent purpose, and yet it blooms in emotional impact as it goes.
    • 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.
  35. All the voice work here is excellent, especially Oswalt's. He sounds like Paul Giamatti but with a greater capacity for confidence.
    • 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.
  36. One of the most compelling films the Holocaust has yet produced.
  37. Watching it is like being lost in somebody's richly moody campfire story -- it's so good, in fact, that only once it's over do you realize you've been holding your marshmallows too close to the flame.
  38. Mafioso is the missing link in the mob movie arc.
  39. What Christlieb and Kijak do so well is keeping these folks from not seeming like loons.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    One of the funniest yet most depressing movies in Martin Scorsese’s long career — a celebration and evisceration of male savagery, financial division. It’s like “GoodFellas,” only (slightly) more legal, which is very much the point.
  40. Maddin's movies are easy, too. Point your eyes at the screen; the magic follows.
  41. This sounds like it could be austere and schematic, but the affecting, authentic performances from the first-time actors make these characters thoroughly authentic.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A comedy, and for all its cliches and clumsiness, close to a great one.
  42. As a directorial debut, Losing Ground astonishes with its assurance, subtlety, and style.
  43. Like a whacked pinata, it spills over with treasures - and one of the best things to fall out is Steve Buscemi, doing a riotously meek variation on the mad-scientist-with-cracked-lenses-and-lab-coat bit.
  44. Souffle-light and airily playful.
    • Boston Globe
    • 93 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The film, dazzling and poignant and five years in the making, retells the ancient Indian epic "The Ramayana" from a gentle but insistent feminist perspective.
  45. Richly compelling.
    • Boston Globe
    • 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.
  46. 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
    • 94 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Carlos moves like a greyhound out of the gate, fleet and assured and focused on the business at hand. It's a subtle, ultimately staggering portrayal of a bloody-minded ideologue who convinced only himself.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie’s a chocolate box of nougaty performances, from Christopher Plummer’s delightful depiction of Tolstoy as a ribald old naïf to Paul Giamatti twirling his waxed mustache and playing to the gallery as Vladimir Chertkov.
  47. Intimidated by the words "avant-garde film"? Then hand yourself over, without reservation, to the skills of documentarian Martina Kudlacek and her astonishingly accessible primer, In the Mirror of Maya Deren.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A rambunctious joy.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    As a ranking cabinet minister in the brutally funny political satire In the Loop, actor Peter Capaldi unfurls dazzling verbal ribbons of the foulest language imaginable, thunderbolts of vulgarity that carry the force of precision carpet-bombing.
  48. The film is conducted in a delirious cinema-verite style; most of what you see has a brutal, you-are-there immediacy. You're not merely watching history, you're engulfed by it.
  49. Merry, filthy, unstoppably hormonal, Serbis feels very much like the sort of movie that happens when no one is minding the store.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The Jim Henson folks...come up with another winner.
  50. Eloquent and unapologetically cute.
  51. The performances ratchet up to giddy near-hysteria, as Hilde toys with Solness’s randiness and repressed memory.
    • 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
  52. I can't pretend to know fully what Charlie Kaufman is up to in Synecdoche, New York, with all the doubled characters, dreamy reenactments, comical minutiae, and personal unhappiness. But I got a great deal of pleasure out of watching him mount his fantasia about an artist suffering not simply for his art, but because of it.
  53. The film's most endearing trait is that these people sincerely love movies, and they truly love their own idiosyncrasies. And is that not the greatest love of all?
    • Boston Globe
  54. The film makes more apparent than ever that Howard is quite underrated as a filmmaker, possibly because he's been hidden in full view in the mainstream for so long.
    • Boston Globe
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The Past, the new film from Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, is taut, quiet, democratic, observant — a fine meal made with rare and subtle ingredients.

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