Christian Science Monitor's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,964 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 3.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Strange Fruit
Lowest review score: 0 Vegas Vacation
Score distribution:
3964 movie reviews
  1. The result is more of an illustrated storybook of a cherished classic than a living thing in its own right.
  2. The film targets the spinmeisters, hired by or associated with corporate interests, whose job, despite their lack of scientific training, is to discredit the science of climate change doomsayers. The fact that some of these spinmeisters proudly base their method on the machinations of tobacco-industry lobbyists is doubly damning.
  3. If Hollywood must have franchises, we could do worse than one highlighting people who have lived a long life and are not on altogether friendly terms with technology. But imagine what this cast could do with something less tutti-frutti!
  4. For western fans, watching this movie is like encountering an old friend after a long absence.
  5. '71
    Within its limited compass, ’71 packs a punch, and the lack of political bias does give it a more encompassing feel.
  6. This is the kind of movie where we’re not supposed to know at any time who is playing whom, but since the characterizations are glossy and paper-thin, it’s difficult to get worked up about who gets fleeced.
  7. The saving grace of Queen and Country is that its nostalgia is not laced with sentimentality. Even working in this conventional mode, Boorman doesn’t try to strong-arm us into blubberiness.
  8. If you’ve ever fantasized about busting up somebody’s nuptials, this movie is for you.
  9. The fact that it's based on a true story doesn't alter the fact that, like most such Hollywood movies, it seems fabricated.
  10. Essentially a Harlequin Romance with pulleys, E.L. James’s novel is not exactly “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” but the movie, directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and written by Kelly Marcel takes itself so seriously that it almost cries out to be lampooned. I’m sure the “Saturday Night Live” crew is already on the case.
  11. Sissako, a Muslim, frames his story as a cry against religious intolerance. One of the characters, speaking of jihadism, says, “Where is piety? Where is God in all this?” It is the central question of this movie – and of much more now than this movie.
  12. I suppose the relationship is Oedipal or primal or something or other, but mostly it’s just an excuse for Dolan to stage a series of gaudy shout-fests.
  13. I enjoyed this movie more than the last two films from the Wachowskis, the interminable "Cloud Atlas" and "Speed Racer." On the other hand, "The Matrix" it's not.
  14. Audiences knowing nothing about hockey will still be able to appreciate this movie as a somewhat jaunty take on the cold war and its aftermath – and resurgence. A curious kind of cold-war nostalgia can be felt in the West these days; President Vladimir Putin is the kind of comprehensible villain Americans feel comfortable with.
  15. A standout is Ben Mendelsohn’s Aussie nutcase.
  16. Winter Sleep, winner of last year’s Palme d’Or in Cannes, runs almost 3-1/2 hours. These will be some of the best three-plus hours you will spend at any movie this year. I’ve seen movies half that length that felt twice as long.
  17. One of those movies designed as an Oscar make-over for its star. It didn’t work in this case. Aniston was not nominated for Best Actress, perhaps because the film is so obvious about what it’s up to.
  18. Pacino still gets a blast out of acting. His performance in this film about a blocked performer is gloriously unblocked – a valentine to vanity.
  19. Watching actors tap out code as big buzzing screens of digital data flash on the screen just doesn’t cut it.
  20. The plot may be a bit too busy, but a great wash of transcendent imagery floods the screen. If I had to recommend the best children’s film out there for all ages, this one, and “The Tale of Princess Kaguya,” would easily top the charts.
  21. In a series of deft vignettes, the Dardennes offer up a microcosm of an entire working-class contingent, and each vignette is a universe all to itself.
  22. Leviathan is, in the widest sense, a horror film.
  23. It’s a gangster movie that tries to be more than that, not always successfully. In his own small-scale way, Chandor wants to expand the reach of his vision to “Godfather” status, with Abel as his shining (tainted) knight.
  24. The best thing about the movie is David Oyelowo’s performance as King. He doesn’t simply portray King; he inhabits him.
  25. We’re left with an enigma that is insufficiently probed: How does art this banal nevertheless capture us?
  26. Clint Eastwood’s second film this year, American Sniper, about the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, is considerably better than his first, “The Jersey Boys.” As a piece of direction, it’s as taut as anything he’s ever done.
  27. Zamperini’s life story is genuinely inspirational, but the movie seems fashioned as a standard-issue profile in courage, with Zamperini, after a troubled youth, transformed into an almost saintlike figure. He would have been every bit as inspirational, even more so, without the halo.
  28. Although its first hour is more stunning than its second, this is a movie musical that, for a change, never degenerates into a false wholesomeness. It’s one of the rare musicals that both children and adults can enjoy, though for somewhat different reasons.
  29. It’s a painfully uneven movie, but its best moments are ravishingly good.
  30. Even if the film were sharper, even if it was made by satirists on the order of Stanley Kubrick and Terry Southern in their “Dr. Strangelove” days, I would still argue that greenlighting such a film is a blunder. The exercise of free speech does not exempt one from the consequences of stupidity.

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