Christian Science Monitor's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,538 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 Djomeh
Lowest review score: 0 Bio-Dome
Score distribution:
3,538 movie reviews
  1. Extravagant and funny it is, and also quite dark at times.
  2. Weir had a truly magical touch in early films like this 1977 masterpiece, which offers a transfixing excursion into the "dream time" of Australian myth.
  3. Stillman brings his usual sharp wit to this exploration of upper-middle-class angst, completing the comic trilogy he began with "Metropolitan" and "Barcelona."
  4. 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.
  5. The movie doesn't reach any deep insights, but its mixture of psychology, philosophy, and realpolitik is downright riveting.
  6. It's never been topped.
  7. Brilliantly acted, sumptuously filmed, and overflowing with mellifluous music.
  8. Indelible images and brilliant use of unconventional music make this a nonfiction film that must be seen – and heard – to be believed.
  9. Green tells the tale through leisurely, eye-catching shots that allow the young cast members to imbue their characters with striking credibility and intensity.
  10. The legendary Mifune leads a superb cast, and Kurosawa's kinetic camera keeps the adventure sizzling with energy and wit from start to finish.
  11. Polanski's directing is marvelously assured and Depp is always fun to watch.
  12. It's dark, funny, ferocious, and vintage Wilder all the way.
  13. Movies don't come more original, inventive, or outlandishly entertaining.
  14. Egoyan's cinematic brilliance shows up intermittently in this atmospheric thriller, which gains most of its punch from Hoskins's surprisingly subtle performance.
  15. Stay far, far away unless you can handle the copious amounts of blood--and agonizing psychological problems-- that its participants face on what seems like a daily basis.
  16. Put Roeg's powerful cinematic style on the cultural map.
  17. A fascinating nonfiction voyage into rural and urban France, focusing on idiosyncratic individuals who live off things the rest of us throw away, from food to furniture.
  18. It reconfirms Marker as one of the most serious-minded and artistically gifted filmmakers in France, or anywhere else.
  19. The latter element joins with Crudup's excellent acting to make this deliberately scruffy tale a worthwhile experience if you can handle its explicitly sordid subplots.
  20. The first feature-length movie from Bhutan tells its lighthearted story through smart performances, appealing images, and unfailing good humor.
  21. Visually ravishing -- an exquisite movie.
  22. An astonishing human, political, and historical document.
  23. Heart-pounding melodrama.
  24. Intelligent yet easy-going masterpiece.
  25. Everyone raves about this 1957 film -- and everyone's right.
  26. This superbly acted, expressively filmed story offers a rare blend of compelling drama, ethical awareness, and sheer human emotion.
  27. The tale is simply told but stunningly photographed and superbly acted in the best tradition of modern Iranian cinema.
  28. Yang favors a gentle and introspective style that shows how deep and strong everyday emotions can run. A memorable treat.
  29. This astoundingly beautiful Korean production is poignant, original, and engrossing.
  30. The story has old-fashioned characters and situations, and Haas has sensibly filmed it in an old-fashioned way, stressing visual appeal rather than the story's sordid undertones. The acting is excellent, too.
  31. This is as challenging as movies come, alluding to everything from philosopher Thomas Hobbes to the history of Western music.
  32. Traveling from the tragic to the comic, this multifaceted film is richly acted and imaginatively directed.
  33. Expressively filmed story of rivalry, romance, and cultural conflict.
  34. What makes this small-scale drama so compelling is Pontecorvo's treatment of the main character.
  35. Charged with humanity and compassion.
  36. A pungent pleasure from start to finish.
  37. This great masterpiece of German film is evocative and inventive from its first shot to its last.
  38. Masina gives one of her most expressive performances.
  39. Its dark-toned cinematography by Henri Decaë still packs a wallop, and the screenplay has a refreshing sense of humor.
  40. The performances of this quiet Iranian drama are utterly genuine, and the story is a delicate blend of slice-of-life realism and soft-spoken social commentary.
  41. Cinema's greatest surrealist is at the peak of his powers in the last movie of his unparalleled career.
  42. A full-fledged masterpiece.
  43. Superbly acted, cleverly written, sensitively directed.
  44. Made near the end of Buñuel's career, it's not his greatest movie, but it contains some of his most memorable moments.
  45. Morris's unique blend of realism and surrealism gives the film great resonance as a portrait of one eccentric individual and, more important, a study of the morbid proclivities that run beneath the surface of our supposedly civilized society.
  46. Dumont's cinematic style is aggressively physical and philosophical at the same time. It irritates as many viewers as it inspires, but it prompts more thought than ordinary movies ever do.
  47. Stands with the greatest science-fiction movies ever made.
  48. Makhmalbaf continues her rise as Iran's most promising young female filmmaker, and Iranian cinema extends its reign as one of the world's most exciting cultural phenomena.
  49. Sensitive, imaginative.
  50. 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.
  51. The acting is superb, the filmmaking is imaginative, and the story never goes quite where you expect.
  52. Suspenseful and ingeniously directed.
  53. 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.
  54. A fact-filled study that's also a full-fledged work of cinema art. [2 Sept 1988]
    • Christian Science Monitor
  55. 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
  56. The latest installment is packed with surprises and emotion for people who've seen earlier stages of the project, but even newcomers will be fascinated by the vivid glimpses it provides of everything from love and family to political action and the pervasiveness of class distinctions in British life.
  57. Results are illuminating, harrowing, and riveting.
  58. Funny, sad, and skeptical in about equal measures, it announces writer-director Dylan Kidd as a filmmaker with a bright future.
  59. Less a biography than an essay on theatrical illusion and the changing nature of comedy. Love it or hate it, you've never seen anything quite like it.
  60. Understated acting and brilliant use of wide-screen black-and-white cinematography.
  61. 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.
  62. Cantet has rich insights into this material, and brings them alive through sensitive acting and powerful filmmaking.
  63. A pungent, powerful film that points an accusing finger not at religious beliefs but at flawed human institutions. It also targets social and cultural mores that are almost medieval in their patriarchal bias against girls and women.
  64. Along with its historical value, The Weather Underground is also a terrific movie, energetic, and articulate. It's the don't-miss documentary of the season.
  65. Ms. Denis is one of contemporary film's best stylists. Friday Night is part tone poem, part love song, and all pure magic.
  66. One of the best pictures so far this year, marking a high point of Rudolph's career and reconfirming the extraordinary talent Mr. Campbell has shown in earlier films. Dentistry will never seem the same.
  67. This delicious fable reflects Merchant's great love of language, his delicate visual sense, and his ability to make you think and laugh out loud, often at the very same time.
  68. Filmed and acted to near perfection, it's one of the year's most innovative and exciting pictures.
  69. The visual style is at once deliberately archaic and slyly postmodernist, slinky and sensuous from first frame to last.
  70. This strikingly unusual movie is at once an old-fashioned melodrama, a boldly stylized spectacle, and a very grim fairy tale, acted and directed with originality and flair.
  71. The movie is a portrait, not a polemic -- but I can't imagine an attentive viewer leaving Love & Diane without increased understanding and concern with regard to inner-city life.
  72. Piccoli gives one of the most nuanced performances of his distinguished career, but the primary star of the movie is de Oliveira, who unfolds the story with unfailing skill and sensitivity.
  73. Well worth seeing on the wide screen before its video release next year. It's guaranteed to take your breath away.
  74. It's no accident that this movie is named after both the filmmaker and his subject. It stands with the most thoughtful releases of recent months, and will linger in memory.
  75. Pungent, opinionated, outspoken.
  76. What counts isn't the convoluted plot or exotic characters -- it's the brilliance of Suzuki's cinematic style, articulating the action with eye-boggling color and split-second editing effects.
  77. This is a sad and funny true-life tale that speaks volumes about the difficulties of independent filmmaking.
  78. Take a chance on Gerry. It's only a movie, and you'll get out alive no matter what happens on the screen. You might even find you've had a rare adventure.
  79. Wit, joy, imagination, and sensational mid-'60s music.
  80. Thoughtful and reflective, it stands with the most exquisitely crafted films in recent memory, joining eloquently conceived images to an uncommonly literate screenplay. [17 Sept 1993, Arts, p.11]
    • Christian Science Monitor
  81. It's the year's cleverest comedy in more ways than one. The animated sequences are brilliant... Most important, the story also has dark overtones that lend a hint of seriousness to what could have been just silly. [24 June 1988]
    • Christian Science Monitor
  82. Episodic and uneven, but it has moments of great emotional power.
  83. Lively characters, snappy dialogue, and snazzy visuals make this an uncommonly fine animation.
  84. Excellent acting, a stirring screenplay, and crisply intelligent directing make this fact-based movie a great human drama as well as a riveting and revealing look at crucially important social issues.
  85. The suspense isn't exactly breathtaking, but there are some mighty fine laughs in this clever Claymation cartoon.Family fun for all.
  86. Magical movie, which has brilliant fun with the contrasts between film and theater, love and infatuation, reality and fantasy.
  87. Most of the way this ranks with the Coens' most immaculately crafted work. Cain would have loved its dreamlike chills, and so will audiences nostalgic for the movies of half a century ago.
  88. In the Mirror of Maya Deren, creatively written and directed by Martina Kudlacek, is an eloquent memorial to her unique accomplishments -- and an excellent introduction for those who have yet to discover them.
  89. Exhilarating doses of style, imagination, and sheer energy.
  90. Max
    Reveals a key aspect of fascism's cynical use of art and architecture to mesmerize a weak and vulnerable society.
  91. Iwai's ambitious drama is strikingly shot, poignantly acted by a splendid young cast, and enriched by surprising use of Debussy classics on the soundtrack.
  92. 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.
  93. Junge's testimony is a salutary reminder that Hitler was like other people in ways, and that the evil he manifested could visit us again if more civilized humans don't remain watchful.
  94. LaBute is coming of age as an artist, and his future looks brighter than I ever would have suspected a year ago. Enfant terrible or not, he's starting to become a substantial figure in American film.
  95. Such understated storytelling, sensitive directing, and avoidance of easy filmmaking tricks are all too rare in American movies. This is truly one from the heart.
  96. Aniston and Reilly give the best of many excellent performances. A few plotty scenes aside, this quietly directed drama paints a sensitive, sympathetic portrait of modern malaise, and has a smart sense of humor as a bonus.
  97. While this isn't a masterpiece on the level of his great "Chunhyang," it packs a sophisticated cinematic punch.
  98. Its best moments offer a sense of motion-picture poetry that will lift receptive viewers out of their seats.
  99. Chilling and instructive.
  100. Provides an intelligent, deeply personal view of social and political issues that are longstanding and complex but not, she insists, intractable.

Top Trailers