Christian Science Monitor's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,568 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 4.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Bolt
Lowest review score: 0 The Bounty Hunter
Score distribution:
3,568 movie reviews
  1. In short, they don't make 'em like this one anymore. Viewing it is like taking a time machine to a movie age that was more naive than our own in some ways, more sophisticated and ambitious in others.
  2. Smart and sumptuous.
  3. One of the great Bertolucci's most acclaimed films...Trintignant gives a legendary performance.
  4. It’s the ultimate time-travel movie into the future, a “flowing time sculpture,” in Linklater’s own words.
  5. Everyone raves about this 1957 film -- and everyone's right.
  6. This is the only film Laughton ever directed, and he packed it with a mixture of eerie chills, ingenious suspense, and absurdist humor. It's a genuine classic.
  7. The legendary Mifune leads a superb cast, and Kurosawa's kinetic camera keeps the adventure sizzling with energy and wit from start to finish.
  8. Despite its length, it is one of the most consistently engrossing and powerful movies ever made.
  9. This masterpiece of poetic realism features one of Gabin's most renowned performances, a smart subtext about French colonialism, and enough exotic atmosphere to keep your head in the clouds long after the final scene.
  10. In tone, Pan's Labyrinth resembles a cross between "Alice in Wonderland" and H.P. Lovecraft, with some Buñuel thrown in for good measure. It is a tribute to - as well as a prime example of - the disturbing power of imagination.
  11. Metropolis has a place in world history as well as in the annals of fantasy. Adolf Hitler was said to have loved it, and Lang eventually fled Germany for Hollywood when the Third Reich wanted him to run its movie industry. Few movies of any era offer so much varied food for thought, cinematically and politically. Its new restoration is a major motion-picture event.
  12. Among the picture's many surprises is a superb robbery scene filmed in a near-total silence that contrasts exhilaratingly with the noisy flamboyance of more recent films in this venerable genre.
  13. The New Wave of Romanian cinema is the most exciting in the world right now. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days is its latest masterpiece.
  14. It's inexplicable that Wong's early masterpiece has been virtually absent from American screens since he completed it in 1991.
  15. As was also true of Pixar's last movie, "Cars," Ratatouille is better at pleasing the eye than the other senses.
  16. Wit, joy, imagination, and sensational mid-'60s music.
  17. I almost wish Cuarón had cast nonactors, or unknown actors, in the lead roles. It’s jarring having movie stars work up their Hollywood histrionics against such a glorious backdrop. None of these arguments should dissuade you from seeing Gravity, if only because what’s good about it is so much better than what’s bad. Visually, if not imaginatively, it sends you soaring.
  18. The problem is, the geek in question, at least as Jesse Eisenberg plays him, doesn't have the emotional expansiveness to fill out a movie. Perhaps sensing this, the filmmakers play out the story line from multiple points of view and crowd the stage with a pageant of voluble supporting characters.
  19. A Separation is not the work of a constrained artist. It's a great movie in which the full range of human interaction seems to play itself out before our eyes.
  20. Before Midnight is the fullest and richest and saddest of the three movies in the trilogy. Make it a quartet, I say.
  21. A lyrical, yet intensely rooted, tragic vision.
  22. Renner gives a full-bore performance of great individuality and industriousness, but essentially his character is as glamorized as any classic Westerner.
  23. The story line for WALL-E is probably too convoluted for small kids, and sometimes it suffers from techie overload, but it's more heartfelt than anything on the screens these days featuring humans.
  24. Like all masterpieces, it speaks to later ages as powerfully and intelligently as to its own.
  25. Not a masterpiece, but definitely one of the year's most entertaining movies.
  26. Movies don't come more original, inventive, or outlandishly entertaining.
  27. Barbet Schroeder directed the ingeniously made film, which weaves fact, hypothesis, and conjecture into a harrowing yet continually gripping and often highly amusing narrative. [12 Oct 1990]
    • Christian Science Monitor
  28. True, traces of his bad habits show through at certain moments, especially near the end, when a long and lachrymose scene plunges into Spielgerian sentimentality of the gooiest kind. But before that unfortunate point, Schinder's List serves up three full hours of brilliant storytelling. That's as humane and compassionate as it is gripping and provocative. [15 Dec 1993]
    • Christian Science Monitor
  29. A profound film by a legendary director in the greatest period of his career.
  30. In top form, Joel and Ethan Coen offer up feel-bad experiences that, like fine blues medleys, make you feel good (although with an acidulous aftertaste). Inside Llewyn Davis is one of their best. So many movies are emblazoned with happy faces; this one wears its sadness, and its snarl, proudly.
  31. Yang favors a gentle and introspective style that shows how deep and strong everyday emotions can run. A memorable treat.
  32. In a film that overwhelmingly avoids happy-faced pronouncements, this one sticks out.
  33. Wherever you were schooled, in public schools or private, in the slums or in the suburbs, you will recognize yourself in this film and laugh and beam and cower.
  34. The credo of Italy's fabled neorealist movement was that movies rooted in real, unadorned experience carry more dramatic impact than studio concoctions can dream of, and this 1952 masterpiece exemplifies that argument brilliantly.
  35. Masterly by any measure.
  36. Sprawling yet cramped, There Will Be Blood may not be the best movie of the year, but it's certainly the strangest. It evokes passing comparisons to everything from "Giant" to "Citizen Kane" but it's impossible to pigeonhole.
  37. The timeless fairy tale about a young woman who agrees to dwell with a mysterious monster, as interpreted in 1946 by one of cinema's most brilliant visual stylists and mythmakers.
  38. A plan for a perfect murder goes wildly wrong in this 1958 melodrama by one of France's great filmmakers.
  39. This is as challenging as movies come, alluding to everything from philosopher Thomas Hobbes to the history of Western music.
  40. Toy Story 3, has more emotional power than either of its predecessors. Come to think of it, it also has more emotional power than most of the live-action movies out there.
  41. This sometimes harrowing, often delightful drama stands with his (Sembène) most compassionate, colorful, and artfully filmed works.
  42. This is a movie of high innocence, set at a time in life when romantic love is still a frolic and the seaside is a balm that quells all ills.
  43. Children may enjoy it, aside from the youngest, who might find it too weird for comfort. Its main audience is adults, though. And not just any adults, but those in the mood for venturesome fare that's both surreal and hilarious.
  44. A glistening gem among caper movies, this impeccably elegant jewel-heist drama takes its title from Buddhist lore, its cast from France's great gallery of leading men, and its style from the unique blend of cinematic savoir-faire and brooding existential angst.
  45. Helen Mirren gives the mostly subtly expressive performance based on a living historical figure that I've ever seen.
  46. The Canadian actress and director Sarah Polley set out to make a straightforward documentary about her mother, Diane, who died when she was 11, but by the time Stories We Tell was finished five years later, it had become unclassifiable.
  47. Waltz With Bashir is a supremely courageous act, not only as a piece of filmmaking, but much more so as a moral testament.
  48. The movie is true to its own fierce vision and it's the better for it. I haven't seen a stronger or better American movie all year.
  49. The pessimism pervading this film is summed up by Shalom, who says, speaking of the decades of occupation: "The future is very dark."
  50. Granik filmed in actual locations and enlisted many locals as actors. They blend unobtrusively with the professionals in the cast.
  51. Frederick Wiseman’s documentary National Gallery is for art lovers, movie lovers – basically for anybody. Ostensibly a film about London’s famous museum, it’s really about the experience of art in all its manifestations.
  52. Episodic and uneven, but it has moments of great emotional power.
  53. Her
    The wistfulness in this movie is large-souled. Theodore may worry that his love for Samantha makes him a freak, but Amy knows that “anybody who loves is a freak.” All this may sound touchy-feely in the worst way, but Jonze is trying to get at how we seek romantic connection in this brave (or not so brave) new world. Like Theodore, he risks looking foolish.
  54. Stands with the greatest science-fiction movies ever made.
  55. This poetic and compassionate drama by Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan combines the intricate structure of his earlier movies with an emotional power that raises his remarkable career to a whole new level.
  56. It takes time to grow accustomed to the docu- drama's stylized approach, influenced by Bertolt Brecht and Jean-Luc Godard. But this nearly six-hour movie is generous with time.
  57. The openness of these people is often astonishing – and a sign of hope.
  58. In Panahi's case, he is insuperably handicapped by his current constraints. And yet, despite everything, here is This Is Not a Film, which is emphatically a film – and an extraordinary one.
  59. Brilliantly acted, sumptuously filmed, and overflowing with mellifluous music.
  60. All told, he's (Linklater) one of today's most versatile American filmmakers, and Before Sunset finds his light shining as brightly as ever.
  61. Filmed and acted to near perfection, it's one of the year's most innovative and exciting pictures.
  62. This territory is familiar if you remember the great BBC miniseries "Upstairs Downstairs," but Altman gives it a new twist with his restlessly roaming camera and incisively satirical approach. He's still near the peak of his powers.
  63. Jesse Moss’s documentary The Overnighters is being hailed as a modern-day “Grapes of Wrath,” which, up to a point, it is. But it’s far more complicated than that.
  64. What United 93 demonstrates, as if we needed proof, is that it is too soon - it may always be too soon - to sort out the feelings from that day.
  65. Weir's offbeat directing makes the most of Andrew Niccol's inventive screenplay, which includes large doses of surprisingly sardonic satire aimed at today's entertainment trends.
  66. A compulsively watchable movie that's also a provocative inquiry into the ability of the criminal-justice system to determine culpability and truth.
  67. The film's final seven-minute shot is one of the great denouements in film history.
  68. Smart, funny, and splendidly acted.
  69. This is epic filmmaking on a profoundly human scale, directed to perfection and magnificently acted by everyone in sight.
  70. The director is fortunate to have cast actors who fully embody their roles. Muehe, who once played Josef Mengele in Costa-Gavras's "Amen," has the ability to let you see far beneath his masklike countenance. Koch, dashing and intense, is entirely believable as a man of the theater; Gedeck exudes a sensuousness that this covert society cannot abide.
  71. The film's approach is highly instructive, deeply moving, and geared to deploring the racism that breeds violence rather than reactivating old hatreds.
  72. It's great, fantastical fun.
  73. Petit, by the way, is still very much alive and spry. I saw him at a screening of the film at the Sundance Film Festival where he spoke to the audience afterwards. On his way up to the podium, he tripped.
  74. This delicate, hand-drawn marvel is lyrical and heartbreaking in ways that most live-action movies never approach.
  75. The film pays off in the end when, almost imperceptibly, the rush of emotions it stirs in us rises to a soft crescendo.
  76. I hate to sound blurby, but Borat is the funniest comedy I've seen since I don't know when.
  77. Perhaps the most cogent and straightforward dissection of the Bush Administration missteps leading up to the current Iraq nightmare.
  78. Ida
    What comes through so powerfully in this movie is a portrait of an entire generation making its way from death throes to new beginnings.
  79. Stunningly acted. [21 September 1990, The Arts, p.12]
    • Christian Science Monitor
  80. A complicated story that demands your full attention; Mr. Gondry unfolds it at a mind-bending pace. This alone makes it a hugely refreshing respite from ordinary multiplex fare.
  81. Wong has acquired a loyal cult following over the years, and Dupont's exquisitely filmed episodes show why.
  82. Clint Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima is his companion piece to "Flags of Our Fathers" and in almost every way is superior.
  83. The film drags a bit and Irglova's inexperience as an actor sometimes leaves her costars in the lurch. But it's a sweet little film just the same.
  84. It's never been topped.
  85. On the personal betrayals that accompany Capote's ache for literary transcendence. The betrayals were necessary to create "In Cold Blood." This is why Capote is such an unsettlingly ambiguous experience.
  86. Often remarkable and often exasperating.
  87. This great masterpiece of German film is evocative and inventive from its first shot to its last.
  88. Cantet has rich insights into this material, and brings them alive through sensitive acting and powerful filmmaking.
  89. Exhilarating doses of style, imagination, and sheer energy.
  90. Given the subject, the movie is too romanticized, and Christie's eyes remain too sharp here to convincingly convey someone whose memory is fast slipping away. Much of it is powerful anyway.
  91. It's a marvelous performance in a marvelous movie, one that sneaks up on you while you're watching it.
  92. With scrupulous fairness, Ferguson meticulously lays out for us the whole sordid mess.
  93. The larger point in Citizenfour is that dictatorships have always relied on the massive gathering of information in order to control their populations. In this brave new cyber world, it is all too easy for democracies to cross the line, too.
  94. The suspense isn't exactly breathtaking, but there are some mighty fine laughs in this clever Claymation cartoon.Family fun for all.
  95. The director's cut of this 2001 cult fantasy is a deliriously subtle exploration of storytelling possibilities, and a deliciously wry teen-pic to boot. Brilliant.
  96. A remarkable movie about a remarkable friendship. It honors the audience's intelligence, which makes it a double rarity.
  97. Up
    As a piece of poetic compression, it ranks with the opening of Orson Welles's "The Magnificent Ambersons."
  98. Gustave’s protégé, the “lobby boy” Zero Moustafa (played as a young man by Tony Revolori and as an adult by F. Murray Abraham), is as much an enigma as Gustave.
  99. Sonia may seem happy-go-lucky at the start, but grief steels her. It makes her grow up very fast. She becomes a kind of heroine in the course of the film, which ultimately owes its stature to her presence.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    What makes the movie a superior specimen of traditional screen storytelling is largely the exquisite care director Armstrong has taken to make every shot as radiantly appealing as possible, bathing even the melancholy aspects of the plot in a glow that's as pleasing to the eye as it is warming to the heart. [23 Dec 1994]
    • Christian Science Monitor

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