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 3.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Apocalypse Now Redux
Lowest review score: 0 Gulliver's Travels
Score distribution:
3964 movie reviews
  1. Trophy is a documentary that can make the stomach turn and the head spin. It’s about the big-stakes world of hunting and conservationism, and what’s surprising is how morally intertwined the two activities are.
  2. Both as a writer and as a man, Salinger was nothing if not unconventional. Rebel in the Rye is so tasteful that it practically slides off the screen.
  3. The movie often seems on the verge of being interesting but repeatedly retreats into a formless vapidity.
  4. Barely engaging spy thriller.
  5. Marjorie Prime, which has a soulful score by Mica Levi, is essentially a chamber drama, and yet it rarely feels stifled or stagey.
  6. It’s often enjoyable and very forgettable, which may be as good as it gets for movies released in August.
  7. The overlong but charming documentary California Typewriter is an ode to the iconic writing instrument. I have to say I feel kind of guilty celebrating it on my word processor.
  8. The funny thing about this series is that, although we are regularly shown the most exquisite dishes, neither Coogan nor Brydon has much to say about them beyond the mandatory oohs and aahs. Winterbottom works in some midlife crises material, as he also did in “The Trip to Italy,” but to less effect here.
  9. The film is gracefully directed around the edges, but the core story, a kind of existential murder mystery, is swallowed up by a series of increasingly outlandish plot devices involving drug runners and Tarantino-esque shootouts.
  10. One aspect of this story that could have been more deeply underscored: The steroid use that ultimately banned so many Russian Olympians was not just about winning. It was about winning under threat of disgrace or death.
  11. The direction is fairly formulaic, the special effects are nothing special, and except for Elba and McConaughey, who square off against each other in a series of ho-hum set pieces, the cast is forgettable. So is the movie.
  12. If the film had focused on more than the Algiers Motel incident, if, as it starts out to do, it had attempted to convey a comprehensive and incendiary portrait of a city in crisis, it would have rendered far more justice to those times – and our own.
  13. Hayek gives one of her better performances, though – she makes it clear that Beatriz may be righteous, but she’s also more than a bit unhinged – and Lithgow is so good at playing CEO oiliness that you have to smile. He’s the man you love to hate.
  14. The documentary is like the cinematic equivalent of humblebragging. But it does provide one great “told you so” moment.
  15. What is strikingly brought home in “Rumble” is how the vast stew of influences in American music, rather than diluting everything, makes the music all the more powerful.
  16. Dunkirk, with its scaled-to-be-a-masterpiece visual grandiosity, aims to be an epic of the spirit, but there is something weirdly underpowered about it. It’s a series of riveting tableaux, but the human center is lacking.
  17. It’s a great introduction to French cinema for all those who have yet to make its acquaintance.
  18. The film could have been improved by dropping a few battles, and I wish Caesar were not the only ape with the power of human speech. I, for one, would love to hear what Maurice the orangutan sounds like spouting the King’s English.
  19. At times, “Homecoming” resembles a very good after-school special embedded in a cacophonous franchise flick. That’s probably not the demographic the filmmakers were most hoping to please.
  20. A nutty, awkward, oddly impassioned parable that mashes together so many different genres that calling it “unclassifiable” doesn’t really explain very much.
  21. The “what if?” aspects of this true-life drama are so tantalizing that the movie’s workmanlike execution is doubly dissatisfying.
  22. A few of the performances, especially Nicole Kidman’s, as the lady in charge, and Kirsten Dunst’s, as the teacher pining to flee with the corporal, have some bite, but not enough to make much of an imprint in this brittle, vaporous chamber piece.
  23. As a man flummoxed by circumstance and the rifts in his own marriage, Romano is deeply touching in the role. As for Hunter, this is her best work since “Broadcast News.”
  24. An unconvincing talkathon that might have worked better on the stage as a two-man showpiece.
  25. The odd-couple pairing does yield its occasional rewards, though. The collision between Everett’s monosyllabic gruffness and Maud’s chatty ditherings is inherently funny, and so is her insistence on marriage before sex, which he finds confounding.
  26. So how good/bad is Cars 3? If we’re talking Pixar threepeats here, it’s certainly no “Toy Story 3.” Instead, it’s a reasonably diverting, somewhat sluggish attempt to reinstall the “heart” of the first installment.
  27. The rise and fall of Dawson City, intimately tied to the vagaries of climate and man’s greed, is heartbreakingly rendered.
  28. She (Weisz) accomplishes the near-impossible here: She humanizes a Gothic conceit and, in so doing, turns stage blood into real blood.
  29. Too often Churchill feels more like an exposé than a deep-dish psychological exploration
  30. The best parts of Wonder Woman are frivolous in the best way.

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