Christian Science Monitor's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,478 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 4.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The Truman Show
Lowest review score: 0 The Wedding Planner
Score distribution:
3,478 movie reviews
  1. The acting is sincere and the camera work is pretty, but this art-movie variation on "The Sixth Sense" doesn't have enough energy to fulfill the high promise of Berliner's previous picture, the enchanting "Ma vie en rose."
  2. In all, it's “Diner,'' female style. Directed by Donald Petrie from a blatantly manipulative screenplay that took four people to cook up. [24 Oct 1988]
  3. The message of the film is that life isn't neat and predictable like a well-arranged business trip; yet everything in the picture is so calculated that there's no life to it. [23 Dec 1988, A& L, p.19]
  4. Armageddon may sell tickets, thanks largely to a high-powered marketing machine that's been conducting its own countdown for the past several months. But it's not a pretty picture.
  5. The Abyss' isn't abysmal, but it's a replay of hits we've already seen - a recycled "close encounters of the wet kind'' with far too few ideas of its own. [18 Aug 1989, Arts, p.10]
  6. Verhoeven's lurid thriller has moments of welcome self-parody, but most of the action manages to be sensationalistic, homophobic, and tedious at the same time. [20 Mar 1992, Arts, p.12]
  7. John Hughes pours his usual slickness and sentimentality all over everything. [27 Feb 1987]
  8. Judged by the standards of ordinary filmmaking, it's as strange, suggestive, and surreal as other Lynch pictures have been. Judged by the standards of Lynch's own career, however, it's amazingly stale and second-hand… [and] contains not a single moment of genuinely felt emotion. [1 Sept 1992]
  9. The main performances are generally weak, although the smaller ones are sometimes brilliant, and the yarn never builds much momentum as it leapfrogs from one subplot to another. [28 Dec 1990, Arts, p.14]
  10. A second-rate adaptation of the second-rate Choderlos de Laclos novel: two hours of pretty people sitting in pretty rooms and talking about sex. [23 Dec 1988, A& L, p.19]
  11. As before, the movie is more impressive for its finely detailed vision of Los Angeles as a futuristic slum than for its story, acting, or message. It's all downhill after the first few eye-dazzling minutes. [2 Oct 1992]
  12. The director, Taylor Hackford, doesn't have the cinematic savvy to sustain so many tensions in a meaningful way; and the screenplay strays far over the line between incisive political comment and heavy-handed Red-baiting.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Punchy, cleverly stylized, but utterly empty yarn about a feisty young woman who welds by day, disco-dances by night, and dreams of the day when she can devote her life to her art.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    The story is mostly a rehash of the original "48 Hrs.," with the same hard-boiled mixture of violence and wisecracks. Directed by Walter Hill, who specializes in this kind of thing and gives it a certain conviction, if little else. [13 Jul 1990, p.10]
  13. Blending animation and live action, this ferocious fantasy is hopelessly vulgar in ways never dreamed of by "Who Framed Roger Rabbit."
  14. While the production is attractive in a calendar-photo sort of way, there's not a speck of genuine feeling in its glossy images.
  15. The stagebound setting gets boring; the action doesn't build a steady momentum; and the characters do far too much hanging around until the camera's ready to point at them again.
  16. The combination of caveman dialogue, overcooked action, and anything-for-an-effect performances is maddeningly crude even by cop-movie standards. [22 May 1987, p.23]
  17. Parker is bland throughout. Maybe all those episodes of "Sex and the City" have soured her on this sort of thing.
  18. If, as the ads would lead you to believe, you go to see The Break-Up expecting a romantic comedy, you will be severely disappointed. If you go to it expecting a good movie, you will also be severely disappointed.
  19. Its wasted cast includes Dyan Cannon, Sally Kellerman, Len Cariou, and Brenda Vaccaro, who miraculously manages to give a fine performance in this malarkey.
  20. Just because The Fountain is different doesn't mean it's good. In fact, it's borderline unwatchable, though this hasn't prevented the Oscar buzz from buzzing.
  21. The movie often seems glib in the face of tragedy. And when, near the end, Shepard tries to pour on the hearts and flowers by showing us just what made Simon crack up on camera, the bathos is icky. The whole movie is icky.
  22. The end result, at best, is high-toned pulp.
  23. Even by Farrelly standards, the film is a washout.
  24. Few things are more dispiriting than a holiday movie straining to become a perennial. Such is the case with Fred Claus, an insipid Christmas comedy.
  25. Poetic conceits only work if they're poetic.
  26. The Bucket List is a movie for oldsters that, paradoxically, looks as if it was made for 15-year-olds. If this is what is meant in Hollywood as "thinking outside the box," then it's time to get a new box.
  27. The best thing you can say about Mad Money is that it has a good cast. The worst thing you can say about it is that the cast is extremely ill-used.
  28. This business of the 88 minutes ticking away is a pale imitation of the old "High Noon" ploy of playing out suspense in real time. After a while, though, I began to take a perverse pleasure in wallowing in the awfulness of it all.

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