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 Russian Ark
Lowest review score: 0 From Justin to Kelly
Score distribution:
5576 movie reviews
  1. One of the most compelling films the Holocaust has yet produced.
  2. 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.
  3. Mafioso is the missing link in the mob movie arc.
  4. 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.
  5. Maddin's movies are easy, too. Point your eyes at the screen; the magic follows.
  6. 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.
  7. As a directorial debut, Losing Ground astonishes with its assurance, subtlety, and style.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. A fascination with serendipity, irony, and absurdity like that in Werner Herzog’s documentaries propels “Friends” into unexpected territory.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Eloquent and unapologetically cute.
  17. 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
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Mustang is a damning portrait of the lot of women in rural Turkish society, but its outrage and empathy spill over the sides of the movie to embrace the planet as a whole — anywhere a woman is condemned for all the thoughts others have about her.
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The opening 15 minutes of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World are so well crafted that they restore your faith in commercial cinema.
  21. The film's look makes a divine accessory for its music, which Miles Davis composed. There's not even 20 minutes of it in the film, yet it still defines the atmosphere, transforming a crime yarn into a bebop noir.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Jeff Feuerzeig's film is as good a portrait of the artist as a beloved basket case as you'll see, but it's kept from greatness by the questions it refuses to ask itself.
  22. This one has more in common with Scott’s “Thelma & Louise” in the memorable way it escalates, inevitably but also unexpectedly, into a spin through wilder country, and a meditation on bigger themes.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    This is at bottom a pulp thriller that strains -- sometimes pretentiously, at other times with gutter magnificence -- to reach the level of basic human truths.
  23. So all the handsome shots that turn the city into a toyland and all the superb editing and vibrant art direction - all the formal tricks Daldry uses to whip you up and work you over - risk being too much. After 45 minutes, it can feel like junk on a sundae. But the movie has a human coup.
  24. Ride it out, and you will find the rewards modest but meaningful.
    • Boston Globe
  25. The film isn't about the actor's intelligence. It's about his emotional radiance.
  26. Frears makes every note count for a lot in this beautifully gauged microcosm of big emotions expressed in small gestures.
    • Boston Globe
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    This is a movie that’s 168 minutes only because Quentin Tarantino is an uncontainable Rabelasian. He believes that more is more. And sometimes it is. But a truly great craftsman knows where to locate the line.
  27. A powerful and surehandedly crafted depth charge of a movie.
    • Boston Globe
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Where Pina excels - where it resembles no previous dance film - is in the staging of several of Bausch's signature works for Wenders's cameras.
  28. In short, the film isn't afraid to wear its heart on its sleeve and bring conviction to its focus on feelings. It's written with enough dexterity and wit to make you buy into it. [29 Jan 1999, p.C4]
    • Boston Globe
  29. Carancho is a particularly jaw-dropping example of what this great, cunning city - on film, anyway - is capable of: an exhilarating bummer.
  30. Credit Bowers and company, finally, for making some good calls about where to follow the leads furnished to them by the book and the first movie, and where to get creative.
  31. David Sedaris contributes a story about talking to a hotel clerk over the phone, which doesn’t add much to the discussion but is very funny.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    If you’re going to make a dopey, bawdy, foul-mouthed, predictable lady-buddy-cop movie, you might as well make it funny. And until it overstays its welcome in the final half-hour, The Heat is shamefully funny.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Savages is Oliver Stone's strongest work in years - a stylish, violent, hallucinatory thriller with both a mean streak and a devilish sense of humor.
  32. This pop-up book of a film is an ideal arrangement between director and star.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The Assassin achieves a pitch of the cinematic sublime of which very few filmmakers are capable, but it doesn’t make much traditional sense. Hou could do that, if he wants, but he’s after more rarefied game.
  33. Even when it falls back excessively on coincidence and contrived set pieces, even when it gushes irretrievably over the top in its final act, Washington makes Training Day sizzle.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie never goes as deep as the novel (no movie could), but it's a worthy approximation: a Merchant-Ivory movie that turns in on itself with a lucid and painful sigh.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Abramoff may be in prison but the mindset that produced him -- and the pay-to-play government it needs to survive -- is triumphant.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Rogue Nation unfolds with fluid, twisty, old-school pleasure — you settle into it like a favorite chair.
  34. Like her subject, Kempner’s film doesn’t try to be flashy or stylish. She adheres to the Ken Burns school of old footage, photos, period ads, newspaper stories and cartoons.
  35. Despite this labyrinthine self-consciousness, the film, like its subject, keeps careful note of dates and places.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The film's slick and entertaining, an obvious must-see for musical hounds.
  36. It’s the kind of outrageous comedy that you might even take your folks to, though probably not your kids. Say what you will about Harmony Korine and his demented geriatrics, at least they take their trash seriously.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A damn-near great end-of-the-world zombie movie, terrifying on the basic heebie-jeebie level, respectful toward its B-movie forebears, and all the more unnerving for coming out in this fretful era of SARS and germ warfare.
  37. That’s the key to this movie — the way Thérèse looks at things; it’s a rare film that focuses on a woman actually looking and how she responds to what she sees.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    I'm still not sure what "source code" means here. I suspect the actors, the director, and the screenwriter haven't a clue either. But the thing keeps you watching.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    What The Shaggy Dog feels like, more than anything, is an old-fashioned Disney movie.
  38. Much of Meru is about that second attempt, filmed with such grandeur and intimacy that sometimes attempting to figure out how they made the incredible shots almost spoils them.
  39. It's a grand outdoor spectacle (the only real interiors are within tents, and those are hard to come by) and a perfectly juicy melodrama.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie's an uncategorizable mixture of the tacky and profound, and on some weird level, you have to respect it.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie is almost willfully dull, for its real subject is everything we never say to our parents, or they to us.
  40. It’s simultaneously silly and progressive, a familiar movie moment reserved for the girl you’d least expect.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Becoming Traviata might make you feel you’ve seen Verdi’s opera, or it might make you want to see it.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Korengal is a more diffuse film than “Restrepo,” less reportorial, and not nearly as emotionally overpowering.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A gorgeous, meandering travelogue that only gradually bares its teeth.
  41. Is it a romantic comedy? Is it a chick flick? This is silly, since, in truth, it's neither. It's simply a Julia Roberts movie, often a lovely one.
  42. The same underdog formulas and sunny disposition that turned it into an unexpected Thai box-office hit should win it friends here, too.
    • Boston Globe
  43. Involvingly acted, surehandedly crafted.
  44. It could have been shorter, some of its exchanges misfire, but I respect The Last Temptation of Christ, and I'm much more for it than against it. It's the most spiritual biblical movie of our times. [2 Sep 1988, p.25]
    • Boston Globe
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Turns out to be a sweetly grim lark: a road film through Limbo. It takes the self-pity associated with ending one's life and uses it for the purposes of mordantly aware comic fantasy.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Expendables is the closest thing to movie Viagra yet invented. It's reprehensible. It's stoopid violent. It's a lot of unholy fun.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    You come away impressed, oppressed, provoked, and beaten down, holding on to Ledger's squirrelly incandescence as a beacon in the darkness.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Low budget, self-distributed, awkwardly charming, it's the kind of midrange Hollywood entertainment that's supposed to be extinct in this modern age. It makes you want to support your local vintner and your local moviemaker.
  45. The last word in good-time mayhem.
  46. Gere is a pleasure, smiling and spinning and high-fiving his two classmates -- played by Bobby Cannavale and Omar Miller -- and the movie is happy and extremely likable.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    "Bad Santa" it's not. Bumptiously entertaining it is.
  47. In a dismal summer for movies, Osmosis Jones is a fresh breath of foul air.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The result is both a surprisingly lucid portrayal of clinical depression and dramatically a bit stiff.
  48. The movie is actually a softer treatment of the similar sibling anguish in Sidney Lumet's "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead." Allen isn't enough of a great dark artist to pull off a full-scale tragedy the way Lumet does.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Even if you think Cruise has never had a moment of doubt in his life, he makes Nathan's self-loathing palpable, and the character's regeneration has a hoarse, cautious purposefulness that's striking.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Jarecki's not remotely in Scorsese's league yet, but he knows New York and he has seen the dark soul of man. Maybe next time he won't blink.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It's a refreshing alternative to hipper-than-thou moviemaking.
    • Boston Globe
  49. At heart, Sylvia is constructed as a psychological suspense film framed around the ambiguities of Hughes's infidelity and Plath's resulting paranoia. So at its strangest, the movie is a potboiler.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    World War Z is epically realized entertainment that feeds on our fears of apocalypse, but it’s just fast enough and smart enough — and, more importantly, human enough — to keep an audience on edge from start to finish.
  50. Avoids the potentially suffocating pall of uplift hovering over its quite exhilarating story.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie balances cardboard comic bad-guys with believable teenagers, has the courage to avoid romance, and unlike most Hollywood films suggests parents can be helpful and loving as well as clueless.
  51. The best parts of Flicka are its pinch-me optimism and its old-fashioned-movie flourishes.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie is of this precise moment and you should probably see it now, since it will be dated by next Tuesday.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The period ambience, comforting yet urgent, is the best part of Kit Kittredge - that and Breslin, who never once gets actressy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Less a documentary than a cry of outrage -- a series of exotic images that slowly turn horrifying.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Unmistaken Child stands as a window on a beautiful and mysterious world. The questions it leaves hanging are for us to untangle.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    There is a palpable edge-of-the-seat tension and a number of complex ethnic issues that linger after the movie ends.

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