Boston Globe's Scores

For 5,263 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 Amour
Lowest review score: 0 From Justin to Kelly
Score distribution:
5,263 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. The observations coalesce into a cogent whole, providing insights that are never overtly stated.
  3. The miraculous thing about Let's Get Lost is that Weber has managed to create something that's both impossibly stylized and unmistakably moral (not judgmental, moral).
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    An electrifying, at times heartbreaking documentary from the Egyptian-born, Harvard-educated documentarian Jehane Noujaim (“Control Room”).
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    If the movie’s about anything, it’s about the tension between what we owe our families and what we owe ourselves.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The first great cinematic experience of 2014.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Should you see it? Of course you should. Anything Miyazaki does is worth your time. But the movie’s a gorgeous, problematic anomaly in an illustrious career.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The deeper Tim’s Vermeer takes you, the peskier and more profound the questions get.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    What does it add up to? What’s it all about, Wes? In a word: evanescence.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    In retrospect, it’s obvious why the film was never produced: The director was a lunatic.
  6. His film aspires to a poetry about barbarism that will not let us forget.
  7. “The Fog of War” (2003), about McNamara, won Morris a best documentary feature Oscar. The Unknown Known takes its title from a favorite phrase of Rumsfeld. It also accurately describes its subject, whose smiling inscrutability makes him consistently fascinating and often maddening.
    • 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.
  8. 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.
  9. A fresh perspective on one of the world’s longest conflicts.
    • 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.”
    • 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.
    • 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.
  10. The characters look as if they’d be more comfortable with intertitles than spoken dialogue. And the faces — Marion Cotillard as Ewa, the beleaguered Polish immigrant of the title, holds a close-up as well as Lillian Gish or Louise Brooks.
  11. Compared to his previous films, The Dance of Reality offers a nearly coherent narrative and a gentle, reconciliatory tone.
    • 90 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.
  12. 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    On the level of a popcorn thrill ride, Snowpiercer is a beaut.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The great pleasure of le Carré-land — for some, it’s the frustration — is that one’s own moral certainties are quickly stood on their head.
  13. 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  14. Huppert’s amazing performance not only masters the physical rigors and deformations of her character, but more importantly captures her cold capriciousness and the enigmatic innocence that one of Maud’s friend’s labels “perverse.”
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    If The Trip to Italy begins shakily, it ends with expansive bliss, a father and son reconnecting off the shores of Capri as Gustav Mahler’s art song “Ich Bin Der Welt Abhanden Gekommen (I Am Lost to the World)” sends everyone heart-stoppingly home.
  15. Some might find the dual conclusions too blunt in their irony, but “Norte” does not try to be consoling. Crazy as Fabian’s ideas seem, they might be the ones that prevail.
  16. Maybe not entirely depersonalized, however. Hogg has a point of view and a point to make, cryptic though they may be.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    One of those lovely little movies that starts out being about a handful of people and ends up being about all of us. That’s a tricky act to pull off and the talented writer-director Ira Sachs stumbles occasionally over moments of self-conscious lyricism. But then the film recovers its balance, looks at its characters with fondness and with faith, and quietly soars.
  17. The performances ratchet up to giddy near-hysteria, as Hilde toys with Solness’s randiness and repressed memory.
  18. At once riveting and heartbreaking. This youngest daughter of Robert F. Kennedy has the good sense — far rarer among documentarians than you’d like to think — not to get in the way of her material.
  19. Signe Baumane opens her sardonically hilarious, sneakily moving, autobiographical animated feature, Rocks in My Pocket, with what looks like a darker version of one of those chipper psycho-pharmaceutical ads.
  20. Add to those John Curran’s adaptation of Robyn Davidson’s autobiographical book “Tracks.” In it he presents a vision of nature that shimmers with uncanny beauty and eerie solitude, transcended by Mia Wasikowska in one of the best performances of the year.
  21. By the movie’s end, viewers will have had a soul-searing brush with the unthinkable that far exceeds any real horror film of recent memory, and surpasses in its impact more traditional features and documentaries about the subject.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Jason Schwartzman is a fine actor, but he has a knack for creating characters you want to punch in the face, and Philip, who has a second novel coming out and is intent on burning all his bridges, is almost marvelously obnoxious.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
    • 82 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Like the children’s films of Iranian directors Abbas Kiarostami and Jafar Panahi, Bad Hair explores such social pathology, in part, in the guise of a kids’ movie. But it also takes on the intensity of more pointed films such as “Bicycle Thieves” (1948) and even Hector Babenco’s sensationalistic “Pixote” (1981).
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The Babadook remains a potent journey through the fears, anxieties, and repressed rages of motherhood. The ending, remarkably, gets to have it both ways, reminding us that some of the scariest monsters are the ones we learn to live with.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    As the title implies, though, Keep on Keepin’ On has more on its mind. The film’s as much about the young Kauflin’s struggles — as a 21st-century Asian-American naïf trying to succeed in a 20th-century art form created by African-Americans, as a blind man navigating the often callous New York jazz scene. It’s also about the ongoing health of jazz itself as the music recedes further from the mainstream into the protective world of festivals and small clubs.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The film that director Morten Tyldum has made from Hodges’s book is a shinier, less trustworthy thing, but it’s ripping old-school Oscar bait, and if it sends moviegoers off to check the facts, all the better.
  26. Sentimental and has its heart on its sleeve, but never heavy-handedly so, and its delicacy and tenderness will get to you if you give it half a chance.
    • Boston Globe
  27. As each scientist chronicles his or her story, one is impressed by the place that unswerving motivation and determination has assumed in the work.
    • Boston Globe
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Jensen's charming film, is perhaps one of the first in which the actors are credited not by the size of their salaries and egos, but by their vocal ranges.
    • Boston Globe
  28. In the end, Fighter, despite its newsreel footage, is less a document of wartime experience than of the mentality one needs to maintain in order to be a fighter.
    • Boston Globe
  29. It's not afraid to play cornball when it isn't playing baseball, but The Rookie gets away with it.
  30. For an anonymous Saturday afternoon, it's the best lump of coal Hollywood can jam in your stocking.
  31. Reminds us that the human dynamic can do a lot that explosions can't, even when the film flirts with formula.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It's messy, but in the end satisfying, a film worth making, a journey worth taking.
    • Boston Globe
    • 35 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    In addition to the film's two extremely likable stars, the strong supporting cast features a who's who of rising African-American actors.
  32. Apologies to Conrad Rooks, but the only reason his 1972 film, Siddhartha, is getting a 30th-anniversary rerelease is the appeal of seeing Sven Nykvist's amazing cinematography restored to its full splendor.
  33. It isn't afraid to genuflect to heroes and heroism and has everything it needs to connect with the resurgence of patriotism after Sept. 11.
    • Boston Globe
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Takes you inside a kingdom you've never seen the likes of before. Not only is it an IMAX film, with all the superlatives (six-story screen, 12,000 seat-rumbling watts of digital sound) this implies, but it's also computer-generated 3D animation.
  34. A comedy of chaos, an ensemble comedy, with characters swirling around one another unaware, in their uniform desperation, of how funny they are.
    • Boston Globe
  35. Sometimes gets bogged down in its own wordiness.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Doesn't try to be anything it's not. It's happy being a funny, shoot-'em-up, run-for-your-life, green-guts monster movie. And as green-guts monster movies go, it's a beaut.
  36. Small, sharply written, incisive comedy examines, with smarts and style and sexiness, the very nature of modern romance - gay, straight, and in between.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    There's death, domestic violence, alcoholism, racism, attempted suicide, and a mental breakdown. Naturally, it's a comedy about the eccentricities of Southern women.
  37. The story is a mess. But On Guard was directed by the reliable Philippe de Broca, who imbues the whole affair with high-calorie silliness.
  38. The kind of film that could easily be undone by its own high-minded ambitions and dissolve in a pall of uplift. But it stays the course and gives the season two of its notable performances.
  39. A steadily engaging and winningly humane film that loves its characters.
    • Boston Globe
  40. It is Close's performance that gives the movie its oomph and will leave adults with smiles as wide as the kids'.
    • Boston Globe
  41. Ali
    Ali, in short, is far from a seamless success, but it does get the big things right and it respects a subject who commands respect.
    • Boston Globe
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A chick flick of a particularly intelligent, ruthless, and loving sort.
  42. Warm, wry, endearing.
    • Boston Globe
  43. The film not only works better than expected but gets the important things right, starting, of course, with Zellweger's Bridget and Bridget's mind-set.
    • Boston Globe
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    An illuminating and entertaining study of an underground culture that has become part of the American mainstream.
    • Boston Globe
  44. It's a charmer.
    • Boston Globe
  45. Full of elegance but hampered by lack of depth.
  46. Has that rarest of qualities in movies that think of themselves as religious. I'm talking about the vision thing. And the ability to make morality entertaining.
  47. A solid two-bagger, not a home run.
    • Boston Globe
  48. Cleverly mocks the modern chronicler, raising questions that linger long after the film is finished.
    • Boston Globe
  49. Stylish and arrives at a satisfying cumulative weight, even if it isn't Austen pure.
  50. A lively and affectionate cross between an infomercial and a genuflection.
    • Boston Globe
  51. Engrossing and eye-opening in several respects and even, when you least expect it, humorous.
    • Boston Globe
  52. A solid, humane, old-fashioned film in the best sense of the term.
  53. Aims its big, bold mother-daughter conflicts straight at the heart by way of the tear ducts, and connects.
  54. (Washington's is) an astonishing performance, partly because it's so devoid of histrionics, and it has Oscar nomination written all over it.
    • Boston Globe
  55. Wrestling gets in America's face and Blaustein gets in wrestling's face. It's a fascinating tango.
    • Boston Globe
  56. Enough originality and emotional weight to keep you engrossed even when it lapses into some pretty standard moves at the end.
    • Boston Globe

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