Christian Science Monitor's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,662 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 Wendy and Lucy
Lowest review score: 0 The Bounty Hunter
Score distribution:
3,662 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Informative documentary about the recent history of efforts to legalize gay marriage, tying these in with the history of marriage as an institution.
  3. Riveting and unique.
  4. Its dark-toned cinematography by Henri Decaë still packs a wallop, and the screenplay has a refreshing sense of humor.
  5. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a movie that better conveys the sheer passion both performer and listener have for great music.
  6. 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.
  7. As stylish as it is suspenseful.
  8. 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.
  9. Wong has acquired a loyal cult following over the years, and Dupont's exquisitely filmed episodes show why.
  10. Charged with humanity and compassion.
  11. 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."
  12. Quiet, mysterious, sometimes violent, ultimately close to sublime.
  13. Stunningly acted. [21 September 1990, The Arts, p.12]
    • Christian Science Monitor
  14. A quintessential New York director made this quintessential New York movie in 1973, with Pacino at his best.
  15. Utterly unsentimental, deeply moving.
  16. This thriller is ingeniously woven with motifs suggesting the difficulty of seeing and understanding truth, and substitutes psychological chills for commonplace gore.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Illuminating, disturbing, evenhanded.
  20. The film would be more informative if it put Goldsworthy into the broader context of modernist art movements. It's visually ravishing from start to finish, though.
  21. Cary Elwes is marvelously funny as the hero. [25 Sept 1987]
    • Christian Science Monitor
  22. Rigorous and riveting.
  23. Wrenching on both personal and political levels.
  24. Waltz With Bashir is a supremely courageous act, not only as a piece of filmmaking, but much more so as a moral testament.
  25. Children may enjoy it, aside from the youngest, who might find it too weird for comfort. Its main audience is adults, though. And not just any adults, but those in the mood for venturesome fare that's both surreal and hilarious.
  26. A walloping entertainment, brimming with the magic-realist action that made Ang Lee's somewhat similar "Couching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" a hit.
  27. Rarely does a movie combine so much genuine human drama with such vivid exemplifications of "identity politics" and other sociocultural issues.
  28. This is a sad and funny true-life tale that speaks volumes about the difficulties of independent filmmaking.
  29. Superb performances from a nonprofessional cast. It's gripping, timely, and revealing.
  30. Hurt gives an astonishingly sensitive and funny performance as the bedazzled intellectual, and first-time filmmaker Kwietniowski unfolds the story with an unfailing blend of humor and compassion.
  31. Heart-pounding melodrama.
  32. Ms. Denis is one of contemporary film's best stylists. Friday Night is part tone poem, part love song, and all pure magic.
  33. 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.
  34. This territory is familiar if you remember the great BBC miniseries "Upstairs Downstairs," but Altman gives it a new twist with his restlessly roaming camera and incisively satirical approach. He's still near the peak of his powers.
  35. 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.
  36. While it's not a great movie, it's a revealing study of how long it often takes for businesspeople to realize they're being freaked out, not flattered.
  37. 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.
  38. This is an op-ed polemic, and it's refreshing to see one so skillfully produced by filmmakers with a shoestring budget and meager access to mainstream distribution. A must-see movie, no matter what your politics are.
  39. Exhilarating doses of style, imagination, and sheer energy.
  40. Ingenious, eye-opening documentary.
  41. The eerie tale is steeped in brooding atmosphere and psychological suspense thanks to Glazer's hugely imaginative visual style and creative use of music, sound, and silence.
  42. 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.
  43. Should be required viewing for every concerned citizen.
  44. Noyce's movie pares away the novel's meditations on the futility of war and the importance of religion. It retains the book's thoughtful blending of psychological and moral issues.
  45. A full-fledged masterpiece.
  46. The movie doesn't reach any deep insights, but its mixture of psychology, philosophy, and realpolitik is downright riveting.
  47. 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.
  48. Cantet has rich insights into this material, and brings them alive through sensitive acting and powerful filmmaking.
  49. It's unlikely there will ever be a more moving portrait of the shared selfhood, usually veiled by politics, common to the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.
  50. Intelligent yet easy-going masterpiece.
  51. The performances by Phoenix and Hoffman are studies in contrast. Phoenix carries himself with a jagged, lurching, simianlike grace while Hoffman gives Dodd a calm deliberateness. Both actors have rarely been better in the movies. The real Master class here is about acting – and that includes just about everybody else in the film, especially Adams, whose twinkly girl-next-door quality is used here to fine subversive effect.
  52. Lively characters, snappy dialogue, and snazzy visuals make this an uncommonly fine animation.
  53. In the end, this melancholy, inspiriting movie achieves a breathtaking emotional harmoniousness.
  54. 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.
  55. The acting is smart and gritty, Almereyda's visual style has a raw immediacy found in few films with Shakespearean pedigrees, and an eclectic music score adds atmosphere and surprise every step of the way.
  56. It's never been topped.
  57. An ingeniously scripted psychological thriller.
  58. A remarkable movie about a remarkable friendship. It honors the audience's intelligence, which makes it a double rarity.
  59. This is a riveting treatment of a fascinating subject.
  60. A semi-improvised, microbudget marvel with a range of feeling that shames most big-budget star-driven movies.
  61. Intimate and engaging.
  62. 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.
  63. This delicate, hand-drawn marvel is lyrical and heartbreaking in ways that most live-action movies never approach.
  64. Frederick Wiseman’s documentary National Gallery is for art lovers, movie lovers – basically for anybody. Ostensibly a film about London’s famous museum, it’s really about the experience of art in all its manifestations.
  65. Gentle, humanistic, delicious.
  66. Or
    Yedaya's prizewinning debut film is acted and directed with uncommon psychological realism.
  67. Results are illuminating, harrowing, and riveting.
  68. Strange, scary, and atmospheric, with a delicious Claude Debussy score.
  69. Visually sublime and intellectually dense, this is one of the extremely rare movies that prove cinema can be as complex and profound as the very greatest art works in any form.
  70. 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.
  71. Von Trier sets the action on a theatrical stage, spotlighting the existential isolation that weighs on people who don't seek larger visions of life, individuality, and community. Challenging, dramatic, provocative.
  72. Altogether fascinating.
  73. This thoughtful, troubling drama is leagues above the sensationalistic stuff Araki peddled in earlier films.
  74. 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.
  75. At the very least, look for it on 10-best lists next month, and there's every chance it will be a strong contender at the Oscars. Filmmaking so sensitive and intelligent deserves its weight in honors.
  76. This is one of the rare movies to explore American materialism through the eyes of an all-too-ordinary person who isn't up to the challenges of everyday life.
  77. 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.
  78. Gripping, suspenseful, and spiced with fascinating information about the long history of chess between human and mechanical opponents.
  79. One of Almodóvar's most challenging pictures, jumping around in time and sending a large gallery of characters through a wide variety of situations -- will find him again at the peak of his powers.
  80. The acting is brilliant and Leigh's screenplay - developed through his usual process of improvisation and rehearsal - is very long on compassion, very short on preaching and politics.
  81. There's much subtle beauty in the last movie completed by Merchant Ivory Productions before Merchant's untimely death.
  82. Suspenseful and ingeniously directed.
  83. Weir's offbeat directing makes the most of Andrew Niccol's inventive screenplay, which includes large doses of surprisingly sardonic satire aimed at today's entertainment trends.
  84. Lively documentary about McGovern's disastrous run for the US presidency. The interviews with him are worth the price of admission.
  85. A mix of war film, road movie, and romantic comedy-drama, this peripatetic yarn is less resonant than Ghobadi's beautiful "A Time for Drunken Horses," but it has enough energy to keep your eyes popping and your toes tapping.
  86. See it with an open heart and a tapping toe.
  87. 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
  88. Touching, transfixing, unique.
  89. 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.
  90. 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.
  91. Made near the end of Buñuel's career, it's not his greatest movie, but it contains some of his most memorable moments.
  92. 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.
  93. A supremely cranky and lyrical feat.
  94. This wry comedy drama has excellent acting and surprises galore.
  95. A major treat for the eyes.
  96. Extravagant and funny it is, and also quite dark at times.
  97. 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.
  98. Yang favors a gentle and introspective style that shows how deep and strong everyday emotions can run. A memorable treat.
  99. Content and style dovetail superbly in this offbeat drama, where images continually change in size and shape, evoking the story's message that human experience is always a pathway, not a destination.
  100. What makes the movie powerful is Timoner's decision to structure it via Taylor's perspective on his competitor, with no holds barred.

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