Boston Globe's Scores

For 5,131 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 Vincere
Lowest review score: 0 From Justin to Kelly
Score distribution:
5,131 movie reviews
  1. Lawrence is back on the big screen, and it simply demands to be seen. Yes, again.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    To see Au Hasard Balthazar is to understand the limits of religious literalism in movies -- the limits, even, of movies themselves. Bresson pares everything away until all that's left are the things we do and the hole left by the things we could have done but didn't.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Boyhood is a stunt, an epic, a home video, and a benediction. It reminds us of what movies could be and — far more important — what life actually is.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    One of his (Bergman's) most life-affirming films.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Moves like hot mercury, and it draws a viewer so thoroughly into its world that real life can seem thick and dull when the lights come up.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Why revisit Shoah 25 years after it was first released? Because it matters more a quarter century on, just as it will matter even more in a hundred years, and 200, and - if it and we survive - a thousand.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The results bear witness to a time when sacrifice was bleached of everything but itself.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Foreign intrigue is raised to an art form.
  2. Pan's Labyrinth is a transcendent work of art.
  3. Hoop Dreams is without peer among sports-oriented documentaries to the extent that it's about people before it's about athletic feats. It respects its subjects' complexity and tenacity while nailing the problematic, double-edged influence of sports in America. In fact, no film has ever combined sports and family values as powerfully as Hoop Dreams. There's simply nothing like it. [21 Oct 1994, p.47]
  4. It's terse, atmospheric, fatalistic, with vertiginous camera angles and edits offsetting its gray documentary flatness.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Writer-director Cristian Mungiu confirms the Romanian cinema renaissance while creating a paradoxical marvel: a bleak tale of illegal abortion that powerfully affirms one's faith in people.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    12 Years a Slave is to the “peculiar institution” what “Schindler’s List” was to the Holocaust: a work that, finally, asks a mainstream audience to confront the worst of what humanity can do to itself. If there’s no Oskar Schindler here, that’s partly the point.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The one aspect of the original Producers that still stuns is the roaring, over-the-top, in-your-face thereness of its two lead performances.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Days of Being Wild shows Wong discovering his own cinematic language, and he's as astonished as we are.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Is ''Dr. Strangelove" Kubrick's best movie? Along with ''Paths of Glory," absolutely.
  5. All the voice work here is excellent, especially Oswalt's. He sounds like Paul Giamatti but with a greater capacity for confidence.
  6. In a crisply restored print, it's as joyous as ever. We loved them - yeah, yeah, yeah. Now we can love them all over again.
    • 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.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Chaplin's sentimental politics and peerless comic invention dovetailed more perfectly in this film than in any other he made.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    On the level of craft, the movie's just absurdly enjoyable. Sorkin's dialogue dazzles; the photography is burnished and sleek; the editing confidently sorts out a complex narrative.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's a movie made with the same coolly fanatical attention to craft the lead character displays in her work. Bigelow is now recognized as one of our true filmmaking naturals.
  7. This is a trenchant emotional thriller that you watch in dread, awe, and amazing aggravation. It's entirely predicated upon the outcome of bad decisions - and it is not a comedy. The situation that unfolds approaches the absurdity of farce but denies the relief and release of humor. It's a tragic farce. No option or choice is to be envied.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    If the first two films belong with the greatest (if talkiest) movie romances of all time, the new film is richer, riskier, and more bleakly perceptive about what it takes for love to endure (or not) over the long haul.
  8. Delivers chunks of ''Yellow Submarine'' and ''The Phantom Tollbooth'' -- a vividly timeless oddity suitable for many children and most stoners.
  9. Music for the eyes. That's why it has become a treasured classic. That's why we'll see it again and again.
  10. A milestone of eloquent understatement that captures the daily life of have-nots as few American movies have.
  11. In The Hurt Locker, the thrill is unexpectedly contagious. You don't realize how riveted you are until you're back on American soil observing James in civilian life.
    • 94 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The best American film of the year to date.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The Battle of Algiers is a thinking person's action film in which there are winners -- but no heroes.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    So clear-eyed and three-dimensional that it makes the recent ''Pearl Harbor'' look like a bunch of kids playing dress up. Aspects of the film have dated, but in the important things it's more mature than anything proposed lately by modern Hollywood.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's a performance (Giamatti's) so nuanced and so real in its everyday pain that it doesn't stand a chance of winning an Oscar. But it should.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Yet what I felt when the lights came up at the end of this visionary, titanic, relentless experience was something different: a strange relief that it was, at last, over.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    What happens between two people? Only the chemistry that keeps us from stumbling through the chaos by ourselves. Is that an illusion, too? Amour says it doesn't much matter. There is no dignity in life except love.
  12. Slly, sublime, buoyant mischief that is virtually without parallel in 20th-century art, much less 20th-century film.
  13. Watching it is a nonstop high.
  14. Freshly viewed, the movie's melancholy seems to fit uncannily well in the moment we find ourselves now. In the film there are mentions of nuclear annihilation and worries that heedless lust and wanton partying could bring Rome a second fall.
    • 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]
    • 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.
  15. He even calls the majestic view from one of the hospital landings his Cinecittà, after the legendary Italian film studio. The movie is a Cinecittà of the mind.
  16. I was much more disheartened leaving the movie the first time I saw it than I was the second. Its richness resides in its apparent objectivity. Without sacrificing a sense of hope, Cantet suggests that the school system is just like a certain vexing grammatical tense: imperfect but still fighting against irrelevance.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The film that many consider the finest of its decade, Raging Bull, has aged well, and not just because it was filmed in black and white.
  17. I liked these characters, and suddenly not having them in my life anymore, simply because Denis has decided to start the closing credits, devastated me.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Remains worth seeing as an achingly nostalgic farewell to youthful idealism, tinged with a kind of loving contempt.
  18. There Will Be Blood" is anti-state of the art. It's the work of an analog filmmaker railing against an increasingly digitized world. In that sense, the movie is idiosyncratic, too: vintage visionary stuff.
  19. 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.
  20. Not since the original ''Star Wars'' trilogy has film dipped into myth and emerged with the kind of weight and heft seen in Peter Jackson's first installment of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It’s when Toy Story 3 becomes a jailbreak movie that it comes into its own.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's worth stressing how deeply pleasurable Moolaad is to watch.
  21. Magically transports the viewer across time and space. As it does so, it becomes a humbling reminder of the universality of the human experience.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    All you really need to enjoy "Triplets" is a taste for the weird and the wonderful.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    For some of us, this constitutes a religious event.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A subtle, often very funny, ultimately touching tragedy of royal manners and meaning.
  22. This is the first, smallest, and most essential planet in the Van Sant solar system. The seediness of "Drugstore Cowboy " started here. So did the one-way crushes in "My Own Private Idaho " and the gorgeously epic longueurs of "Last Days. "
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Waltz With Bashir not only breathes but it howls - and sobs and curses and croons and, in the end, when sound proves useless in the face of calamity, falls into awful silence.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The Coens also understand the stark immediacy of this tale, and they visualize it with brilliantly judged details.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It’s about spycraft, but it goes to the source. If for no other reason, it deserves to be seen for arranging decades of events in the Middle East into a chronology that, to an outsider, makes dreadful sense.
  23. This is a world where people still put out wash to dry on fire escapes, watermelon has seeds, amusement park rides cost 9 cents. Joey is the little fugitive of the title, of course, but at the heart of the movie, as its makers could never have imagined 60 years ago, is a much bigger fugitive: time itself.
  24. It’s imperfect, but it’s daring, bold, and from a director who isn’t scared of anything.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's those noir bones that give this social-realist drama its punch, as if Humphrey Bogart had been recast as a 17-year-old girl and dropped into the poorest corner of America.
  25. The best film of 2001 was made in 1979.
  26. 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Gorgeously stoic art film.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Her
    It is a love story. Also a profoundly metaphysical meditation on what it means to be human. Also one of the more touchingly relevant movies to the ways we actually live and may soon live. Oh, and the year’s best film, or at least the one that may stick with you until its story line comes true.
  27. Badlands is one of the great banality-of-evil films. [29 May 1998, p.C9]
  28. Nobody ever placed brilliance in the service of silliness quite the way the Python gang did. Monty Python and the Holy Grail is stuffed with both.
  29. Offers a surprising and revealing look at Russia's past and present.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Pixar is so good at what it does that every other kiddie-entertainment purveyor -- including parent company Disney -- flounders in comparison.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    In short, This Is Not a Film is the world within an apartment, and it is quietly devastating.
  30. In the end, it's the snatches of music, mangled as it is, and the mechanics of staging it, in the absence of Leigh's usual raw, urgent psychic collisions, that keep Topsy-Turvy from seeming merely a gorgeous wax museum.
  31. But then Being John Malkovich is a brilliant juggling act, too, brilliantly brought off.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    That rose in the desert, a sequel that improves in every way upon its beloved predecessor and a romance that slowly builds a fire from embers thought dead.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Such smart, whiz-bang fun that you may not realize what it's about until you're safely home.
  32. Hollywood filmmaking at its best, brimming over with feeling, texture, spirit, and several kinds of keenness that transmute experience into big pop myth.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie is pricelessly comic -- the Harvey/Joyce scenes catalog the couple's neuroses with glee -- but it just as often reaches for something richer.
  33. Never has a film taken such relish in between-the-wars malice as Gosford Park.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The movie is hard going, not least in the sense of powerlessness it leaves in an audience that knows exactly what will happen. And yet you come out feeling that the filmmakers have done the right thing by these people, and by this day.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    As the Friedmans split apart like fissile neutrons, their story becomes five stories, none of which is remotely like the others.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It’s a juggling act that Russell can’t sustain and doesn’t: The last 20 minutes feel aimless, and the movie doesn’t end so much as coast to a halt. And still you walk away giddy and full. American Hustle takes your money and makes you glad you were fleeced.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    What's most shocking about The Passenger 30 years later? Seeing Jack Nicholson at the lean, sardonic height of his youthful powers? Finding a Michelangelo Antonioni movie with an actual plot?
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    They're both tales of growing up in the shadow of Islamic fundamentalism, but Persepolis is everything "The Kite Runner" is not. It's a personal memoir rather than fiction, coolly observant instead of melodramatic, female rather than male in sensibility and sense of humor - it has a sense of humor.
  34. The Act of Killing is one of the most extraordinary films you’ll ever encounter, not to mention one of the craziest filmmaking concepts anywhere.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Longer on atmosphere and observation than on story, but you don't mind: Coppola maintains her quietly charged tone with a certainty that would be unbelievable in a second film if you didn't suspect genetics had a hand.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A slowly flowering miracle: an epic of normal life.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The Lives of Others has similarities to Francis Ford Coppola's 1974 classic "The Conversation" but with undercurrents that resound across an entire century of European political history.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    It's a perfect example of how far production design and editing WON'T take you when the story's not there.
    • 89 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    The sight is magical and heartbreaking in equal measure. Look, the movie says: Where so many would fall, a man walks on air.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    There’s nothing static about Still Walking.’ The presence of three kids sees to that, as does the eloquence of Kore-eda’s framing and compositions.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A comic put-on of awe-inspiring crudity and death-defying satire and by a long shot the funniest film of the year. It is "Jackass" with a brain and Mark Twain with full frontal male nudity.
  35. Ferguson's film is a clear-sighted counterpoint to the former secretary of defense's impression. As the title suggests, it's a seemingly infinite mess.
  36. It sounds like the old unstoppable-force-meets-immovable-object trick. Ramin Bahrani's Goodbye Solo has the trappings of such a story, but, mercifully, none of the follow-through.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    But as good as it is, the film falls short of translating the exaltation and near-gospel music feel of the band in full flight. [2 Nov 1984]
  37. This is a movie whose power comes from the alignment both of Mija's discovery with ours and of a tremendous writer and director with his star.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    Michael Hazanavicius's love letter to classic cinema isn't perfect but it's close enough to make just about anyone who sees it ridiculously happy - and that includes children and grown-ups who have never come across a silent film.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    This is the art-film Carrey: repressed, lovesick, unshaven. Essentially he's doing the same intellectual sad sack played by John Cusack in "Malkovich" and Nicolas Cage in "Adaptation"
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ty Burr
    A film noir? A backstage musical? A whodunit? A comedy? In truth, it's all of the above -- plus a kinky love story, an absorbing melodrama, and a mordantly jaded snapshot of postwar Paris -- and all of them are wonderful.

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