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 Open Water
Lowest review score: 0 Wild Hogs
Score distribution:
4022 movie reviews
  1. Allow me a quick lament: Do we really want to see a great actor like Cumberbatch, not to mention Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tilda Swinton, entombed in yet another superhero franchise?
  2. The film, some of which looks staged, is too slick, and its feminist emphasis, complete with Australian performer Sia singing “You can do anything” on the soundtrack, grates. But Aisholpan triumphs over these excesses.
  3. There’s something borderline dishonest about the way Rosi intercuts the oblivious, life-goes-on Lampedusans with the harrowing, too-brief footage of Africans inside the immigration center and aboard the rescue ships. His stylistics keep these two groups cruelly apart, but who knows if this is the way things actually play out?
  4. So few unexploitative movies are made about young black men, especially young black gay men, that the overpraise for this frail, sweet, discursive fantasia is understandable – and forgivable. It’s a beautiful film around the edges.
  5. Unless you are a Dante scholar, and perhaps not even then, following Inferno is a wild goose chase – without the goose.
  6. The film is a dutiful attempt to convey some of the vehemence of the novel – of the counterculture of the 1960s and early ’70s especially – but McGregor, making his directorial debut, lacks the temperament to do this era justice. He’s an innocent bystander in the melee.
  7. It should all resemble a vanity project except for one thing: The film lays out the case for reform with steadfast rigor.
  8. This is a movie about people trying to make sense out of the senselessness of what happened.
  9. It’s to Hall’s credit that, in the end, we see Chubbuck as a victim of no one so much as herself.
  10. Director Gavin O’Connor and screenwriter Bill Dubuque have made a textbook example of the "what were they thinking?" movie genre. Judging from the befogged look on some of the actors’ faces, they must have been wondering the same thing.
  11. A central dictum of any mystery thriller is this: Make your protagonists, especially your villains, worth caring about. The Girl on the Train, directed by Tate Taylor from a script by Erin Cressida Wilson, falls down on the job.
  12. An actor making his directorial debut, Parker, who plays Turner and also co-wrote the script with Jean McGianni Celestin, has taken hold of an incendiary subject and coarsened its complexities into agitprop.
  13. Wilkinson’s acting is likely to be undervalued simply because it seems effortless.
  14. Their chief adversary is the greedy, heedless BP executive played by John Malkovich in his finest slinky-slimy mode. At its best, the movie is like “The Towering Inferno” but without all the sudsy subplots that doused that film’s fires.
  15. The children are under the aegis of Miss Peregrine – played with divaesque triumphalism by Eva Green – who is capable of transforming herself into a falcon.
  16. Well, it is shameless, and it tugs the heart in all the obvious places, but it has a winning vivaciousness and a trio of performances by its lead actors that transcend its “inspirational” niche.
  17. The film has so many moodswings that watching it induces whiplash, and just about everybody in it, from Winslet on down to Judy Davis, playing the dressmaker’s crotchety mother, flagrantly overdoes it.
  18. Well-observed and unassuming as this film is, it glides along rather too blandly.
  19. Laura Poitras’s Oscar-winning 2014 Snowden documentary “Citizenfour” is, almost inevitably, a stronger experience. That, too, was a species of political thriller but, unlike Stone’s film, it’s actually thrilling.
  20. Starts slowly and ominously and gradually accelerates into a frenzy.
  21. The great Ennio Morricone, still going strong at 87, wrote the marvelous film score.
  22. The linkages between these mostly brief snippets is somewhat haphazard, but, given the waywardness of her travels, that’s appropriate.
  23. There are many kinds of heroism, of course, but the version on display in Sully is, well, unsullied, and that sort of thing is more suitable for a monument than a movie.
  24. A lean, efficient modern Western that is so satisfyingly constructed I’m tempted to say it’s just about perfect. There’s a special pleasure in watching a movie that knows exactly what it’s after and then, in scene after scene, gets it.
  25. It doesn’t help that most of the film is shot in a thick gray-green overlay that sets an immediate tone of abject dreariness. I’m not implying that Portman should have included high-kicking musical numbers to lighten the mood, but there is a Jewish tradition of mining the black comedy in tragedy that the film would have done well to avail itself of.
  26. The most interesting character in Imperium is not even Nate. It’s Gerry Conway (Sam Trammell), a seemingly normal family man who reads the great philosophers and loves the music of Brahms and Tchaikovsky, even making an exception for the recordings of Jewish maestro Leonard Bernstein. Terrorists come in all flavors.
  27. As Judah Ben-Hur – full names, please – Huston is serviceable, but he’s a finer actor than this costumed kitsch allow him to be. As Judah’s boyhood best friend and adoptive brother, Messala, against whom Judah will eventually square off in the Roman Circus, Toby Kebbell has even less to work with than Huston, and he bears a disconcerting resemblance to motivational guru Tony Robbins.
  28. War Dogs ends up being no better than its protagonists at delivering the goods.
  29. Florence Foster Jenkins isn’t really about how passion trumps art. It’s about how life is more important than art.
  30. Director Ira Sachs, who co-wrote with Mauricio Zacharias, has a plangent feeling for the small-scale travails of “ordinary” people – who, of course, are only ordinary on the surface.

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