Christian Science Monitor's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,653 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 4.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Yi Yi
Lowest review score: 0 Bio-Dome
Score distribution:
3,653 movie reviews
  1. In place of a conventional plot, this utterly unique Swedish movie offers a series of related episodes -- Some are funny, some are tragic, all are dreamlike and unpredictable, suggesting that the 21st century will be a lot weirder and wackier than we expect.
  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. Stranger than fiction, indeed.
  4. Green tells the tale through leisurely, eye-catching shots that allow the young cast members to imbue their characters with striking credibility and intensity.
  5. Moody, atmospheric, and bewitching, like other first-rate examples of modern Thai cinema.
  6. Egoyan's cinematic brilliance shows up intermittently in this atmospheric thriller, which gains most of its punch from Hoskins's surprisingly subtle performance.
  7. The rock scene hasn't been the same since this hilarious 1984 comedy.
  8. Hands down the funniest movie I've seen all year and also the smartest.
  9. Masterly by any measure.
  10. The reason we feel so close to Socha, a man who at first seems nothing more than a racist scoundrel, is that his moral odyssey, with its advances and retreats, is so emotionally believable.
  11. What distinguishes the movie is its inventive, multifaceted way of questioning whether the "truth" of past events can ever be separated from the memories, longings, and scanty evidence that inextricably surrounds it.
  12. 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.
  13. Elf
    It's a terrific movie, smart and funny enough to hold up at any time of year.
  14. 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.
  15. Stunning.
  16. This kind of quiet ambiguity, avoiding easy answers to complex human conflicts, is all too rare in American movies.
  17. A marvelously captivating animated feature.
  18. Put Roeg's powerful cinematic style on the cultural map.
  19. Smart, funny, stimulating.
  20. Magical movie, which has brilliant fun with the contrasts between film and theater, love and infatuation, reality and fantasy.
  21. Ten
    Iran's greatest filmmaker is fond of stripping personalities bare through conversations they have while riding in cars. Here he pushes his favorite dramatic device to its limit.
  22. An astonishing human, political, and historical document.
  23. Obviously a profoundly personal film, but it's also a smartly conducted tour through the world of building and design that Kahn towered over during the most successful phases of his career.
  24. Granik filmed in actual locations and enlisted many locals as actors. They blend unobtrusively with the professionals in the cast.
  25. This superbly filmed Italian drama stands with Bellocchio's best work. Originally titled "Ora di religione."
  26. 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.
  27. Articulate interviews and an unusually creative visual style make the picture as lively to watch as it is illuminating to think about.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    One of the great American films of the past decade, and the crowning masterpiece of Lumet's long career.
  28. Maier is a great artist who discounted adulation entirely. Her life was a masquerade; her genius, quite literally, was unexposed.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    There's something both simple and sweet about Bolt, yet epic, that's entirely surprising.
  29. Hou's sensitivity plus Ozu's inspiration equals sublimity of sight and sound.
  30. Superbly acted, cleverly written, sensitively directed.
  31. It combines a fresh and exciting style with stunning performances and that rarity in current film, a deeply humanistic story.
  32. A marvel.
  33. 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.
  34. Beneath its surface of chronic suffering and hospital details, Chereau's best drama etches a humane, sensitive, and richly moving portrait of fraternal love struggling to mitigate human frailty.
  35. The movie is remarkably touching and engrossing, with Kline's spot-on acting and realistically second-rate singing balancing Judd's one-note performance as his wife.
  36. 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.
  37. Not a masterpiece, but definitely one of the year's most entertaining movies.
  38. 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.
  39. Marvelously enjoyable.
  40. Worth a dozen "Blair Witch Projects," with much more harrowing psychology and pithy dialogue. It's a bone-chilling plunge into no-holds-barred storytelling.
  41. The best is "Equilibrium" by Soderbergh, about a man being analyzed by a distracted shrink.
  42. Not a great movie, but a valuable and revealing document.
  43. Everyone raves about this 1957 film -- and everyone's right.
  44. Timely, pointed messages about oppression and opportunity come poignantly through in strongly dramatic terms.
  45. It's inexplicable that Wong's early masterpiece has been virtually absent from American screens since he completed it in 1991.
  46. Altogether remarkable, a near-masterpiece.
  47. Clooney and Payne are coconspirators, too. They know that the story they are telling is too emotionally complicated to muck up with a lot of preening and artifice. They head right into the sad and crazymaking humor of the situation. This is a modest marvel of a movie.
  48. If it weren't so smartly filmed and acted, this might add up to an over-the-top mess. But watch how inventively Mr. Antal keeps the action moving and you'll see why his picture has won a passel of prizes.
  49. 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.
  50. Photographic Memory is about the permanence and impermanence of what we choose to preserve: on film and in our heads (which is often the same thing). I would like to think that one day Adrian might look at this documentary and see it as a supreme act of paternal love.
  51. 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.
  52. The drama's elegant structure, which takes you through a series of surprises so smoothly and logically that it might be over before you realize you've seen one of the new year's most intriguing, intelligent movies.
  53. Winter Sleep, winner of last year’s Palme d’Or in Cannes, runs almost 3-1/2 hours. These will be some of the best three-plus hours you will spend at any movie this year. I’ve seen movies half that length that felt twice as long.
  54. A breathtakingly beautiful achievement in every way.
  55. Filmed in a leisurely, understated style, this dark comedy is downright entrancing. A spectacular directorial debut.
  56. As quietly dazzling as a small, very precious stone.
  57. Kim's movie conjures a sense of spiritual discipline as suspenseful as it is stunning to watch and exhilarating to contemplate.
  58. What makes the film stunning is less its metaphorical scheme than its cinematic style. Always a matter of flowing camera movement, Kubrick has photographed much of the action with long "traveling shots" that capture time and space as a seamless whole, not fractured into the bits and pieces of standard editing techniques. [26 June 1987]
    • Christian Science Monitor
  59. Brilliant, poetic, and utterly unique.
  60. 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.
  61. Smart and sumptuous.
  62. Sensitive, imaginative.
  63. This is a lively, life-affirming documentary no viewer is likely to forget.
  64. The personal triumphs in Happy-Go-Lucky may be small-scale but its embrace is all-encompassing. It's a wonderfully humane movie.
  65. 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.
  66. A scrupulously balanced look at the subject outlined in the title. Packed with historical, sociological, and cultural context.
  67. Its best moments offer a sense of motion-picture poetry that will lift receptive viewers out of their seats.
  68. A profound film by a legendary director in the greatest period of his career.
  69. Riveting, suspenseful, and a perfect antidote to the too-tricky documentary "Super-Size Me."
  70. It's a troubling, courageous, compulsively watchable work of art.
  71. 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.
  72. A true American tragedy, directed with skill and conviction.
  73. The delights of the movie lie in its zany characters, its goofy settings, and above all its surrealistic visual style.
  74. Always hard-hitting and often grimly, revealingly satirical.
  75. This deliciously offbeat Canadian comedy gets its charm from marvelous acting and from a screenplay bursting with ideas. Great fun.
  76. 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.
  77. This is a funny, sad, stunningly smart movie about the end of movies, made in Tsai's inimitable, unblinking style. No movie lover should miss it.
  78. 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.
  79. The tale is simply told but stunningly photographed and superbly acted in the best tradition of modern Iranian cinema.
  80. Imaginatively acted, endlessly atmospheric.
  81. This great masterpiece of German film is evocative and inventive from its first shot to its last.
  82. This is a great companion piece to Hou's masterly "Flowers of Shanghai" and fresh evidence of his status as Taiwan's greatest filmmaker.
  83. Hoffman's acting is poignant and compassionate, etching a profoundly sad character with no trace of compromise, and Bates gives one of her most controlled performances ever.
  84. Intelligent, revealing, and sometimes hilarious.
  85. Despite its length, it is one of the most consistently engrossing and powerful movies ever made.
  86. 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.
  87. The fierce, questing intelligence of these students and educators is a perfect match for Wiseman’s own.
  88. 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.
  89. Stands with the greatest science-fiction movies ever made.
  90. 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.
  91. Berri lets the story develop in a leisurely and organic way, capping it with a last scene that's subtle and satisfying. Jean-Pierre Bacri is just right as the man and Emilie Dequenne is perfect as the maid.
  92. Hearing her speak her finely honed mind in unscripted, un-"handled" terms is worth the price of admission in itself.
  93. Masina gives one of her most expressive performances.
  94. All told, he's (Linklater) one of today's most versatile American filmmakers, and Before Sunset finds his light shining as brightly as ever.
  95. Thoughtful, exciting, moving.
  96. The movie's main contribution is its fresh look at the Vietnam War, being refought in the Kerry-Bush presidential campaign at the time of the film's release.
  97. Superb acting and authentic details energize this rare Iran/Iraq coproduction.
  98. 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

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