Christian Science Monitor's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,589 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 4.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession
Lowest review score: 0 The Green Hornet
Score distribution:
3,589 movie reviews
  1. The omnipresent Benedict Cumberbatch plays Assange, stringy white-gray hair flowing, and Daniel Brühl is Domscheit-Berg. Condon and his screenwriter Josh Singer don’t quite know what to make of this duo, perhaps because the men didn’t quite know what to make of each other, either.
  2. The most inventive aspect of the film, aside from a lovely, daffy romantic duet between hypernerds played by Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig, are the promotional tie-ins with which we’ve been inundated -- Ron hawking Dodge Durango trucks, accepting journalism school awards, etc.
  3. The film is almost three hours long and precious little of it feels new – not from Scorsese or from anybody else.
  4. Biopics about civil rights icons are usually staid affairs. Cesar Chavez, directed by Diego Luna, is no exception.
  5. Because most movies about Holocaust saviors feature Jews as victims rather than as rescuers, Walking With the Enemy, by contrast, has a special cachet. But the film is as dramatically inert as its origins are inspirational.
  6. It’s gross, all right, but rarely funny – unless jokes about alcohol-laced breast milk is your thing.
  7. I know we’re supposed to think that Besson’s daffy cinematic calisthenics are entertaining because at least they are not boring. But I was bored. It didn’t help that Morgan Freeman shows up as a brainy scientist explaining everything to us in his deepest intonations. When was the last time Freeman, a great actor, really acted?
  8. I don’t get the enthusiasm for this movie, written and directed by Damien Chazelle, which is such a cooked-up piece of claptrap that I half expected Darth Vader to pick up the baton. We’re supposed to think that Terence’s tough love is more “honest” than the usual pussyfooting tutelage, but in any sane society this guy would have been brought up on charges long ago.
  9. As it is, “Mockingjay,” a big bore, suffers from being the transitional event before the big showdown.
  10. One of those movies designed as an Oscar make-over for its star. It didn’t work in this case. Aniston was not nominated for Best Actress, perhaps because the film is so obvious about what it’s up to.
  11. Given the decibel level of this movie, it's a miracle that these guys were able to give creditable performances. To give you an idea of the magnitude of the achievement: Imagine delivering a stirring rendition of the Gettysburg Address while standing under Niagara Falls.
  12. If you're the kind of moviegoer who likes puzzling out the plots of insoluble movies, then by all means rush to see Stay, a great big blurry mess.
  13. The Legend of Zorro, starring Antonio Banderas as the masked one, made me long to re-watch "Zorro the Gay Blade," the great spoof starring George Hamilton. In that film, the Spanish accents were meant to sound deliberately fake.
  14. This thinly autobiographical gangsta odyssey never achieves liftoff, and Jackson is unconvincing.
  15. The film rapidly devolves into a lame buddy picture, part thriller, mostly goof.
  16. Draggy pastiche of tired gags and half-baked homilies.
  17. The stage is set for a full-scale racial conflict, but neither actor is really up to the task - McDermott seems lost in his voluminous beard and Snoop Dogg spits his lines out.
  18. It's disconcerting to see Virginia Madsen, who was so marvelous in her 2004 comeback role in "Sideways" reduced to playing the terrified wife here.
  19. Wilson does his callow good-guy routine (if you close your eyes you'd swear he was his brother, Owen) and Thurman looks as if she'd rather be stalking prey in "Kill Bill."
  20. Something happens to Robin Williams in serious roles. He becomes so drab that it's almost as if he's trying to efface himself from the screen.
  21. The result is this metabiography that says almost nothing about the great photographer's life or art.
  22. Thomas Harris adapted his own bestseller and Peter Webber, who previously directed "Girl with a Pearl Earring," had the unenviable task of trying to give this glop, which is too gruesome to be campy, a high gloss. It should be called Man With a Severed Head.
  23. [Apted] also has an unfortunate penchant for bland stateliness, and never more so than in Amazing Grace, a well-intentioned piece of historical waxworks.
  24. Soppy, schematic weepie.
  25. There's enough family dysfunction here to fill out a dozen soppy soap operas.
  26. As the gambler who needs his basketball phenom brother to shave points, Whitaker has some expressive scenes, and Roth knows how to make malice gleam. But almost nothing else in this movie does.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 42 Critic Score
    the strongest emotion it whips up is an overwhelming desire to stop your ears against the stupid dialogue, bombastic sound effects, and atrocious music that assaults you every second - courtesy of Dynamic Digital Sound, a diabolical new development in technological overkill. Surely no good movie would feel the need to be so loud. [25 Jun 1993]
    • Christian Science Monitor
    • 56 Metascore
    • 42 Critic Score
    It's a distasteful jumble that stirs up the worst instincts of its audience by heaping abuse on Bill, encouraging us to identify with him, then prodding us to enjoy his bursts of venom and violence. [1 Mar 1993]
    • Christian Science Monitor
    • 74 Metascore
    • 42 Critic Score
    The irony of the picture is the fact that Stone's visual imagination is tremendously impressive here. It is one of Hollywood's most stylistically adventurous films ever. What a pity its brilliant ideas are expended on a failed satire with little but rage on its agenda. [26 Aug 1994]
    • Christian Science Monitor
  27. Bug
    If you have claustrophobia and/or fear insects, the last film you should see is Bug. I'm not sure it's worth a trip even if you don't suffer from those maladies.

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