Christian Science Monitor's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,854 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 3.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 McLibel
Lowest review score: 0 Barb Wire
Score distribution:
3854 movie reviews
  1. Philippe Rousselot's carefully shaded cinematography looks great, but the screenplay is pretentious and there's little to applaud in the top-heavy acting by John Malkovich and Julia Roberts.
  2. The movie's one good performance is given by the house, full of ominous inscriptions, inscrutable chambers, and fiendish machines. The human characters are played with various degrees of manic overacting.
  3. As he showed in the recent "Catch Me if You Can," also a Hanks vehicle, Spielberg has little talent for emotional realism, not to mention psychological suspense. He should scurry back to "Jurassic Park" as soon as the next flight leaves.
  4. The film means well, but each scene gets clobbered by sappy screenwriting.
  5. It's encouraging to see Hollywood tackle themes of faith and religion, but here, too, Shyamalan is timid, reducing them to fuzzy New Age clichés. Add wooden acting, stilted dialogue, and a faux-arty style, and you have a thudding disappointment.
  6. Everyone works hard, but the results are sadly short of style and personality or irony and intelligence.
  7. The gimmick behind the screenplay is clever, but the filmmakers don't rise to the challenge they've set themselves, merely spinning two unimaginative stories for the price of one.
  8. Preposterous plot, bad acting, and dialogue that provokes more laughs than shivers.
  9. Travolta and Jackson have some effective scenes, but Nielsen is lacking in charisma, and James Vanderbilt's screenplay ought to be court-martialed.
  10. The animals are cute and Murphy gives a lively performance, but as with his remake of "The Nutty Professor," the original is still the best.
    • Christian Science Monitor
  11. Has amusing bits of social satire, but they're crowded out of the stable by lots of bathroom and barnyard humor.
  12. Some movies are so flagrantly awful that they achieve classic status. To this rarefied company we must now add The Astronaut Farmer.
  13. Strains to be shockingly original but winds up as cheap and cheesy as its characters.
  14. So sloppily made that it's barely coherent.
  15. In short, this isn't a poignant drama about courage and imagination -- it's a contrived fantasy about courage and imagination.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    The funny scenes are as far apart as oases in the Sahara. [22 May 1987]
    • Christian Science Monitor
  16. Amanda Plummer is even more weirded-out than usual as a serial killer wandering through England with her sadly befuddled girlfriend. [10 May 1996, p.13]
    • Christian Science Monitor
  17. The nasty, sometimes violent story was written by Christian Forte, a newcomer who is clearly under Quentin Tarantino's unpleasant spell, and directed by Kevin Spacey, an unusually gifted actor who doesn't yet show any special talent for filmmaking.
  18. Uninspired thriller-comedy.
  19. The comedy isn't quite as crude as it sounds, but there's not much of value here beyond a little lively acting.
  20. Its main message is that everyone should believe and behave in exactly the same way. Groupthink wins again!
  21. Cartoonish effects and overacting make this more corn than catnip.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    "The idea evolved and expanded," he (Snyder) says, "and took on a life of its own." Unfortunately, all of that life must have dribbled away as the project developed, because the resulting nonsense has none.
  22. Moves at a lumbering pace, peppered with ungainly gags and dramatic moments with little emotional power. The ironic commentary on show-biz superficiality is sabotaged by Niccol's failure to make his own story seem real.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Don't be taken in by Taken.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    A suggestion to screenwriters: Stop telling stalkers that their passion isn't misplaced and that the girl will come around in the end. It is, and she won't. Just give it up.
  23. When promising independent filmmakers decide to jump on the bandwagon and pump up the gore, the results are sure to be touted as visceral and unflinching. Don't be fooled. Kramer has even commented that the movie should be viewed as a modern-day Grimm's fairy tale. It's grim all right.
  24. The special effects are extra special. The screenplay is idiotic, though, and Diesel speaks his dialogue like a Sylvester Stallone clone who never finished third grade.
  25. Cumming's antic acting is the only asset of this boisterous comedy.
  26. The movie is designed to show off Liotta's acting skills, but pointless mayhem and sheer nastiness crowd out any virtues it might have had.

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