Christian Science Monitor's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 4,022 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 56% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 42% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Mrs Henderson Presents
Lowest review score: 0 The Wedding Planner
Score distribution:
4022 movie reviews
  1. It’s a rote piece of work that, oddly, also feels dated even at a time when the press and the White House have rarely been more at odds.
  2. It’s a perplexing, fascinating, maddening movie, not quite like any other film biography of a famous painter, most of which tend to be equal parts ho-hum and hokum.
  3. Most of the film, which also has links to Spike Jonze’s "Being John Malkovich," plays like a variation on some of Spike Lee’s more scabrous racial fantasias like “Bamboozled.” It’s also very much in the vein of films like “Get Out,” which also mixed horror, racial comedy, and social consciousness, though here to far less effect.
  4. It brings the nature versus nurture debate into shattering focus.
  5. Everybody connected to this movie appears to be operating on the same wavelength: They want to do justice to the lives of the people that we see. To a remarkable degree, they do.
  6. McKay is very good where it counts the most: He understands these immigrants from the inside out, and, against all odds, he allows us to rejoice in their hopes.
  7. Zahs, a genial obsessive, is a lot of fun, and so is the movie.
  8. It’s another one of those films, like “Book Club,” in which the cast far outshines the material.
  9. The Catcher Was a Spy, directed by Ben Lewin and starring Paul Rudd as the Ivy-educated Berg, who was fluent in seven languages, is a much more pallid experience than this eminently juicy subject deserves.
  10. Pratt brings a wry derring-do to the mayhem, and the escape from Isla Nublar has its modicum of thrills.
  11. Morgan Neville’s movie is more than just a chronicle of Rogers’s career. In some not-quite-definable way, the film itself is all of a piece with Rogers’s principled gentleness. It’s a love letter, but the sentiment and affection that pour through the film is honestly arrived at, even when, near the end, the film threatens to turn into the cinematic equivalent of a group hug.
  12. Debbie’s assemblage of her crack team has its sly amusements, especially when Cate Blanchett, as Debbie’s hypercynical best friend, and Rihanna, playing a master hacker, show up. But Rihanna, along with Mindy Kaling, who plays a jewelry expert, are vastly underused, as is Awkwafina as a world-class pickpocket. On the other hand, hammy Helena Bonham Carter, as a cash-strapped fashion designer, is overused. Her hats are funnier than her dialogue.
  13. What is missing here is any real sense of what it must have been like for two great writers to be living together, especially in that era, with its push-pull of progressivism and parochialism. This is a movie about fireworks where nothing ignites.
  14. It’s questionable whether this film needs narration at all, or at least whether it needs the faux biblical lyricisms served up here. The panoramas are so glorious that I didn’t ache to hear any highfalutin hoo-ha on the soundtrack.
  15. Rodin, directed by Jacques Doillon and starring Vincent Lindon as the great Parisian sculptor, does not, to put it charitably, add to the very small roster of Great Artist movies (such as “Lust for Life” and “Vincent & Theo”).
  16. Of all the Star Wars-themed movies, this one is the closest to a Saturday afternoon serial/western. Don’t expect more than that. But it could have been less.
  17. Schrader’s chief influence here, as in many of his other films, is the great French director Robert Bresson, especially his “Diary of a Country Priest.” But Bresson’s spare stylistics achieved a sublimity while Schrader’s, though intermittently powerful, too often feel schematic.
  18. The film’s thesis is that the struggle to survive did not end with the camps. Each of the women profiled recounts, with varying degrees of intensity, the difficulties in creating a “normal” life in a world where the concept of “home” can no longer fully resonate.
  19. RBG
    The film makes clear that the soft-spoken, diminutive Ginsburg fought early and hard for gender equality in the courts in her own steadfastly clearsighted way. She’s the opposite of a late bloomer.
  20. The movie is all a bit more airy than it needs to be, but Isabelle’s startlements are like a double take that never lets up.
  21. A privileged sanctimony clings to this movie that is not fully recognized by its filmmakers: After all, not every distraught new mother can afford a self-help guru.
  22. It takes a while to get into the ruminative rhythm of this film. But it’s worth it.
  23. Some of the sequences are undeniably thrilling but, at about 2-1/2 hours, overkill sets in early.
  24. It transcends its genre even as it fulfills it.
  25. I was afraid at first that I would be watching a sobfest. I needn’t have worried. Nothing very grand is being attempted here, but there’s a core of feeling to what we are witnessing that keeps the sentimentality in check.
  26. Spielberg wants us to drop the techno-gadgets and join hands, but it’s the VR world that really juices him. He’s the ultimate fanboy making a movie about the need to move beyond being a fan.
  27. Tomb Raider, sloppily directed by Roar Uthaug, would not be worth watching without Vikander, who darts, leaps, and pummels her way through this mediocre escapade with a winning fierceness that makes you wish she had paired up with Indiana Jones in his heyday.
  28. In a supporting role as Giacometti’s beleaguered wife, who endures her husband’s penchant for prostitutes, the great, undervalued French actress Sylvie Testud strikes the film’s most resonant note.
  29. There is so much to look at in Isle of Dogs that a second viewing is almost mandatory. You can forgive its fetishism. Mania this dedicated deserves its due.
  30. Each man is sharply characterized, and the performances are expert, right down to the cook (Toby Jones).

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