Christian Science Monitor's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,983 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 3.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Florence Foster Jenkins
Lowest review score: 0 Mixed Nuts
Score distribution:
3983 movie reviews
  1. Bad Words does to spelling bees what “Bad Santa” did to Santa Claus.
  2. Particle Fever doesn’t prompt us to say: “Gee, these superbrains are just like us, except for the brains.” The film allows for our awe. It also demonstrates that science is the most human of activities, with all that that implies.
  3. 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.
  4. The movie doesn’t delve especially deeply into the psychology of double-agentry, and the shifting viewpoints between Israelis and Palestinians flattens the drama instead of broadening it.
  5. I’m not sure that anybody coming to this film to witness her for the first time would necessarily pledge eternal allegiance. Still, she’s sui generis, and in the theatre world, as in life (yes, there is an overlap), that counts for a lot.
  6. The Lunchbox, the debut feature from Indian director Ritesh Batra, has such a sweet premise that I sincerely hope it doesn’t get remade with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
  7. The film works best as a straightforward melodrama set in an anything but straightforward world.
  8. It’s all fairly entertaining and eminently disposable.
  9. A lousy title for a marvelous movie.
  10. It’s not just Frankie who is putting on a show here. Berry is also overemphatically showing off her chops.
  11. There is no need for Murmelstein to break down here. In The Last of the Unjust, it’s as if the whole world is weeping.
  12. If only there was less mush and more meat in this stew.
  13. It’s like an over-the-hill gang variant on “The Dirty Dozen,” except not as much fun as that sounds.
  14. It’s to Nathan’s credit that he doesn’t negate the allure of dirt-bike riding as an escape hatch from inner-city woes.
  15. We see him (Brolin) whip up a first-class chili, but his specialty is peach pie, which we watch him prepare so lovingly that I was surprised Reitman didn’t include the recipe in the end credits.
  16. Gloria is a starting-over story that never quite picks up a head of steam. Lelio paces the action as a series of sketches, and the hit-or-miss quality of the material makes for a bumpy ride.
  17. I’ve never been able to figure out if Reggio is an artist or a con artist. Perhaps, in some ways, he’s both. He has claimed in interviews that he intended to make a movie about “the wonders of the universe.” Whatever he’s made, for better or worse, I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
  18. Despite the film’s emphasis on Ryota’s transformation, the most piercing moment for me came in the scene in which his wife anguishes over her guilt in not realizing right away, as a mother, that Keita was not her birth son.
  19. The Invisible Woman at its best does justice to the complicatedness of its characters – just as Dickens did as a writer.
  20. The emotional stakes are large-scale, and Farhadi honors them by delving into their intricacies.
  21. It’s a universal story that is also, by virtue of its very particular time and place, a singular experience.
  22. Not much depth or political examination here. The film works best as a survivalist’s manual.
  23. Streep’s performance has been criticized for being too theatrical, but that’s off the mark: The character she’s playing is supposed to be theatrical. She’s a woman playing a part – the ravaged matriarch.
  24. The film is almost three hours long and precious little of it feels new – not from Scorsese or from anybody else.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Interviewed in the film, Juárez journalist Sandra Rodriguez offers up this grim summation: “That these people represent the ideal of success, impunity, and limitless power is symptomatic of how defeated we are as a society.”
  28. Thompson is very good at playing imperious, and she even manages an unexpected trace of flirtiness in a few offhanded moments with Hanks.
  29. The film suffers from late-stage Scorsese-itis – wacky, low-slung, high-octane melodrama with lots of yelling and overacting.
  30. Most middle movies in a trilogy simply mark time. Not this one.

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