Christian Science Monitor's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,515 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 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Score distribution:
3,515 movie reviews
  1. Wrenching on both personal and political levels.
  2. The material is right up Schrader's alley, and while his vision of the first "Exorcist" chapter isn't a masterpiece, it's far superior to the Renny Harlin prequel to "The Exorcist" released last year.
  3. This is moviemaking on the highest dramatic, psychological, and moral plane.
  4. Faucher's filmmaking is exquisite, Naymark's acting is luminous, and superb use of music lends a crowning touch.
  5. In sum, the classical Ron Howard and his splendid cast have made a spellbinding movie that joins "Million Dollar Baby," as well as "Raging Bull," the first two "Rocky" pictures, and "Fat City" as one of boxing cinema's all-time heavyweight champs.
  6. Or
    Yedaya's prizewinning debut film is acted and directed with uncommon psychological realism.
  7. Touching, transfixing, unique.
  8. You run across animation this ingenious about as often as a moving castle comes your way.
  9. Hou's sensitivity plus Ozu's inspiration equals sublimity of sight and sound.
  10. Riveting, suspenseful, and a perfect antidote to the too-tricky documentary "Super-Size Me."
  11. Riveting and unique.
  12. There's much subtle beauty in the last movie completed by Merchant Ivory Productions before Merchant's untimely death.
  13. Superbly acted, movingly written, and directed with a tough-minded lyricism rarely found in today's films. A summer movie to love.
  14. Should be required viewing for every concerned citizen.
  15. Suspenseful, surprising, and psychologically rich.
  16. As stylish as it is suspenseful.
  17. Weerasethakul's latest has received mixed responses on the film-festival circuit, yet while it's anything but commercial, it's also anything but unadventurous.
  18. This is a brilliant, if challenging, film.
  19. A plan for a perfect murder goes wildly wrong in this 1958 melodrama by one of France's great filmmakers.
  20. This is a lively, life-affirming documentary no viewer is likely to forget.
  21. Its leisurely, deliberative style is a perfect complement to the emotions it deals with - emotions so penetrating that I warn you at the outset how jarringly intense you may find Bergman's most brilliant drama in decades.
  22. The filmmaker keeps things lively by roaming far and wide with her camera, returning to the statesmanship side of the documentary often enough to let us follow relevant events as they unfold.
  23. A travelogue unlike any other.
  24. On the screen, Burton turns out to BE the ideal filmmaker for this deliciously bizarre yarn. He's given free rein to his fantasies in past movies, but rarely as wittily and consistently as he does here.
  25. A true American tragedy, directed with skill and conviction.
  26. An ingeniously scripted psychological thriller.
  27. The movie's underlying theme is the complex relationship between objects and memories, worked out through a taut, compelling story and superbly understated acting. Ryuichi Sakamoto composed the atmospheric score.
  28. This low-key drama is a miracle of mood, atmosphere, and sensitivity.
  29. Filmed to perfection by the great Christopher Doyle and others.
  30. This deliciously offbeat Canadian comedy gets its charm from marvelous acting and from a screenplay bursting with ideas. Great fun.
  31. At once dreamily surreal, acutely intelligent, and strikingly tough-minded, this pitch-dark dramatic comedy recalls David Lynch and "Donnie Darko" while remaining fresh and original to its core. A stunning directorial debut.
  32. Brilliant, poetic, and utterly unique.
  33. Can a misguided adult start afresh with a new set of values and priorities? This ambitious drama, directed by one of France's most resourceful filmmakers, explores that crucial question in depth and detail.
  34. Required viewing for anyone interested in the struggle for American racial equality.
  35. Frequently funny, sometimes sad, often electrifying.
  36. Gilliam has rarely been more inventive, energetic, or just plain funny.
  37. Lively documentary about McGovern's disastrous run for the US presidency. The interviews with him are worth the price of admission.
  38. Altogether remarkable, a near-masterpiece.
  39. 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.
  40. The film's final seven-minute shot is one of the great denouements in film history.
  41. In the end, the finest achievement of Wright's movie is that it fully captures what Martin Amis, writing on Pride and Prejudice, said of Austen: "Money is a vital substance in her world; the moment you enter it you feel the frank horror of moneylessness, as intense as the tacit horror of spinsterhood." All that, and a great love story, too.
  42. A first-rate crime thriller from 1960.
  43. One of the great Bertolucci's most acclaimed films...Trintignant gives a legendary performance.
  44. Brokeback Mountain is a tragedy because these men have found something that many people, of whatever sexual persuasion, never find - true love. And they can't do anything about it.
  45. Marvelously enjoyable.
  46. This is a Holocaust movie that is so relentlessly observed and so aware of woe that it never feels like it belongs to a genre.
  47. Soldier's Daughter thrives less on Hollywood-style drama than on nuances of personality, details of everyday life, and emotions so commonplace that conventional movies rarely take the time to acknowledge them, much less explore them with loving care.
  48. Writer/director Peter Duncan's first film is darkly humorous, with dashes of slapstick, brilliant, and original material.
  49. The film's approach is highly instructive, deeply moving, and geared to deploring the racism that breeds violence rather than reactivating old hatreds.
  50. 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.
  51. A heartbreakingly powerful masterpiece.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    When class conflict stirs the viewer's attention as much as a canine hero's homecoming, it's clear that this isn't the usual (read: mindless) family entertainment.
  52. Helen Mirren gives the mostly subtly expressive performance based on a living historical figure that I've ever seen.
  53. Most powerfully, Berg also films a number of O'Grady's victims as they recount their trauma and, in some cases, loss of faith.
  54. John Schlesinger's rollicking version of Stella Gibbons's novel is acted with the highest of spirits by Kate Beckinsale, Joanna Lumley, Eileen Atkins, Ian McKellen, Freddie Jones, and many others.
  55. I hate to sound blurby, but Borat is the funniest comedy I've seen since I don't know when.
  56. For Your Consideration is, except for "Borat," the funniest film of the year. Or, it's the funniest film that you don't have to watch through parted fingers.
  57. At times the film is so supercharged that it glosses over the story's thematic richness and turns into a very high-grade action picture. But if that's the worst thing you can say about a movie, you're doing all right. The best thing to be said about Children of Men is that it's a fully imagined vision of dystopia.
  58. 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.
  59. A lyrical, yet intensely rooted, tragic vision.
  60. This is a startlingly funny portrait of Gothic Americana.
  61. Directed by Ulu Grosbard, who has never done a better job of filling the screen with superb acting, and shows great ingenuity at interweaving music with other aspects of the story.
  62. Dustin Hoffman gives the inspired performance that launched his movie career, and director Mike Nichols shows a gift for social satire that has never glistened quite so brightly since. [Review of re-release]
  63. Stunning.
  64. A feel-good musical that, for a change, actually makes you feel good.
  65. Perhaps the most cogent and straightforward dissection of the Bush Administration missteps leading up to the current Iraq nightmare.
  66. Amir Bar-Lev's documentary is fascinating on all kinds of levels: as a movie about the nature of art, the lure and pitfalls of celebrity, and the complicated conundrums of parenting.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    One of the great American films of the past decade, and the crowning masterpiece of Lumet's long career.
  67. 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.
  68. Delivers more goose bumps than anything Hollywood has served up in years – which I hope does not mean that Bayona, a first-time feature director and music video whiz, will be enlisted to direct "Saw V."
  69. 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.
  70. A supremely cranky and lyrical feat.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    There's something both simple and sweet about Bolt, yet epic, that's entirely surprising.
  71. A marvelous documentary that brings home the terror and heroism brought forth by the Katrina debacle.
  72. It's a giddy nightmare. Nothing is quite what it seems in I Served the King of England, and this is poetically appropriate. The world it depicts is too dangerous and too lovely to classify.
  73. The personal triumphs in Happy-Go-Lucky may be small-scale but its embrace is all-encompassing. It's a wonderfully humane movie.
  74. And yet the great conundrum of the Holocaust is that it was perpetrated by human beings, not monsters. Few movies have rendered this puzzle so powerfully.
  75. Improbably, it's one of the most affecting films of the year, which once again demonstrates that all you need to make a good movie is talent.
  76. 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.
  77. Waltz With Bashir is a supremely courageous act, not only as a piece of filmmaking, but much more so as a moral testament.
  78. There's plenty for us to feast on in Under the Sea 3D without drawing a single drop of blood. If you have small children, you'd be crazy not to take them to this film.
  79. Troell, at 78, continues to turn out films that will last for as long as there are movies. No wonder he feels such a deep connection to Maria in Everlasting Moments. The film is one hero's salute to another.
  80. As the film plays out its melancholy story, we realize that what we are watching is far rarer than the usual sports flick.
  81. In the end, this melancholy, inspiriting movie achieves a breathtaking emotional harmoniousness.
  82. The scene is so emotionally ravishing that it breaks you apart. The peacefulness that finally descends on Séraphine in the film's final moments is more than a balm. It's a benediction.
  83. Plenty of terrible movies know how to work your tear ducts. Here's a weepie that, in Pfeiffer's performance, touches you on the highest levels.
  84. A marvel.
  85. Hands down the funniest movie I've seen all year and also the smartest.
  86. 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.
  87. It's a strange, one-of-a-kind film that was to be Benacarraf's only full-length feature.
  88. One of the sweetest and most heartfelt movies ever made about a life in the theater.
  89. An amazing, galvanic experience. It's about the hushed-up story of Benito Mussolini's first wife and child, but no one will ever mistake this movie for a standard biopic. It's too raw, too primal.
  90. Altogether fascinating.
  91. Granik filmed in actual locations and enlisted many locals as actors. They blend unobtrusively with the professionals in the cast.
  92. Fan's camera moves sinuously through these people's lives and gives a human face to a national panorama.
  93. A remarkable movie about a remarkable friendship. It honors the audience's intelligence, which makes it a double rarity.
  94. A breathtakingly beautiful achievement in every way.
  95. A quintessential Mike Leigh performance. It deepens as it goes along until, in the end, in its final close-up, it overwhelms.
  96. Despite its length, it is one of the most consistently engrossing and powerful movies ever made.
  97. It's a transcendently uplifting tragedy.

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