Christian Science Monitor's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,581 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 Roger Dodger
Lowest review score: 0 The Wedding Planner
Score distribution:
3,581 movie reviews
  1. All told, he's (Linklater) one of today's most versatile American filmmakers, and Before Sunset finds his light shining as brightly as ever.
  2. Feisty, funny, and smart.
  3. One of a kind, turning Foreman trademarks such as self-satirical acting and out-of-nowhere music into powerful elements of an outlandish story.
  4. Timely, pointed messages about oppression and opportunity come poignantly through in strongly dramatic terms.
  5. At its best, A Home at the End of the World has great emotional strength. But it's not the towering achievement it might have been if Cunningham had stayed truer to his original inspiration.
  6. Thoughtful, exciting, moving.
  7. Ingenious, eye-opening documentary.
  8. Smart, funny, stimulating.
  9. Acted as a drama, paced like a ritual, filmed as a slice of rural Iranian life.
  10. Moody, atmospheric, and bewitching, like other first-rate examples of modern Thai cinema.
  11. 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.
  12. A quintessential New York director made this quintessential New York movie in 1973, with Pacino at his best.
  13. 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.
  14. There's a new visual idea every second, each teeming with energy, pitch-dark comedy, and inspired cinematic lunacy.
  15. Smart and sumptuous.
  16. This documentary strives to fill the gap, and the result is memorable; viewing is mandatory.
  17. His readings of his own work are especially thoughtful, moving, and provocative in the best possible ways.
  18. The movie is woven with care and complexity, again confirming von Trotta's place as one of the world's greatest female filmmakers.
  19. A walloping entertainment, brimming with the magic-realist action that made Ang Lee's somewhat similar "Couching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" a hit.
  20. Strange, scary, and atmospheric, with a delicious Claude Debussy score.
  21. The director's cut of this 2001 cult fantasy is a deliriously subtle exploration of storytelling possibilities, and a deliciously wry teen-pic to boot. Brilliant.
  22. Deeply personal, morally alert, and highly entertaining.
  23. A skeptical view of George W. Bush's chief political strategist, Karl Rove, using argumentative strategies common to agenda-driven documentaries.
  24. 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.
  25. Not a great movie, but a valuable and revealing document.
  26. It's all deliberately homemade and raggedy, and that's where its charm comes from, along with the delightful old-music score.
  27. Supercharged with an energy and ingenuity that "Run Lola Run" once had a patent on.
  28. Leaving aside Huston's bland acting and a few other flaws, Sayles's politically charged drama raises a rousing number of issues and ideas, inviting us to ponder them and draw our own conclusions.
  29. 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.
  30. One thing few will disagree on is the quality of the film's acting, especially by Gael García Bernal as Guevara and Rodrigo de la Serna as his friend. Both effortlessly embody the footloose, sometimes feckless quality of this "On the Road"-style adventure.
  31. Hearing her speak her finely honed mind in unscripted, un-"handled" terms is worth the price of admission in itself.
  32. Thai filmmaking continues its renaissance with this moody, offbeat drama.
  33. 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.
  34. What makes the movie powerful is Timoner's decision to structure it via Taylor's perspective on his competitor, with no holds barred.
  35. Absorbing.
  36. Harrowing, extremely disturbing at times, but brought to the screen in dazzling pop-art images that make the movie's grim content very much worth watching.
  37. Contains amazingly candid views of warriors behind the scenes of battle.
  38. Informative documentary about the recent history of efforts to legalize gay marriage, tying these in with the history of marriage as an institution.
  39. 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.
  40. This sometimes harrowing, often delightful drama stands with his (Sembène) most compassionate, colorful, and artfully filmed works.
  41. Riveting documentary about the early California cable outlet and its ingenious programmer, Jerry Harvey, whose unsettled life and tragic death provide a dramatic framework for the account.
  42. Not a masterpiece, but definitely one of the year's most entertaining movies.
  43. See it with an open heart and a tapping toe.
  44. Illuminating and alarming.
  45. 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.
  46. Fascinating.
  47. A hilarious and harrowing cautionary tale.
  48. The delights of the movie lie in its zany characters, its goofy settings, and above all its surrealistic visual style.
  49. It's inexplicable that Wong's early masterpiece has been virtually absent from American screens since he completed it in 1991.
  50. 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.
  51. A must-see account that casts a harshly illuminating light on a key period of recent American history.
  52. It's great, fantastical fun.
  53. Intimate and engaging.
  54. Gripping, suspenseful, and spiced with fascinating information about the long history of chess between human and mechanical opponents.
  55. The director of "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums" scores his most funny-sad movie to date.
  56. It's an ideal match, and Eastwood deserves accolades as both director and star of this powerfully made picture.
  57. As a nonagenarian, de Oliveira is the world's oldest working filmmaker, and still one of the best. This is a lovely, lively, timely treat for the eyes and mind.
  58. Superbly acted.
  59. 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.
  60. Tuneful, colorful, delightful.
  61. Rigorous and riveting.
  62. Hollywood censors made Wilder reshoot one scene, but the original version has been rediscovered; while it's tame by today's standards, it makes the movie's caustic social commentary more potent than ever.
  63. Rohmer's films are renowned for their beauty, so it's surprising that he made a picture using digital video rather than film. But this was the right choice.
  64. Payami's gentle comedy captures a subtle range of human feelings through a quietly inventive visual style that embodies the best life-affirming tendencies of modern Iranian film.
  65. From its star-studded cast to its indelible camerawork by the legendary Giuseppe Rotunno, it's an unforgettable experience by a revered master of European cinema.
  66. The timeless fairy tale about a young woman who agrees to dwell with a mysterious monster, as interpreted in 1946 by one of cinema's most brilliant visual stylists and mythmakers.
  67. 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.
  68. Tsai's cinematic style is unique: He unfolds his stories in long, static shots that let you discover their surprises and mysteries on your own. And that's great fun. What Time Is It There? is perky, entertaining, and one of a kind.
  69. This thriller is ingeniously woven with motifs suggesting the difficulty of seeing and understanding truth, and substitutes psychological chills for commonplace gore.
  70. A scrupulously balanced look at the subject outlined in the title. Packed with historical, sociological, and cultural context.
  71. Imaginatively acted, endlessly atmospheric.
  72. A major treat for the eyes.
  73. Concise, humane documentary.
  74. Utterly unsentimental, deeply moving.
  75. Revealing and harrowing.
  76. Masterly by any measure.
  77. This superbly filmed Italian drama stands with Bellocchio's best work. Originally titled "Ora di religione."
  78. Three short documentaries about photography made by one of France's finest directors.
  79. A riveting re-creation of three world-changing collapses: those of the Nazi party, of militarized Germany as a whole, and of the Führer who guided them into self-destructive ruin.
  80. Filmed in a leisurely, understated style, this dark comedy is downright entrancing. A spectacular directorial debut.
  81. Superb acting and authentic details energize this rare Iran/Iraq coproduction.
  82. Always hard-hitting and often grimly, revealingly satirical.
  83. This is epic filmmaking on a profoundly human scale, directed to perfection and magnificently acted by everyone in sight.
  84. Illuminating, disturbing, evenhanded.
  85. Gentle, humanistic, delicious.
  86. Scott has the courage to let the imaginative story unfold at its own leisurely pace, and it's not surprising that the acting is excellent, considering that he's among the very best American screen actors.
  87. Visually stunning animation.
  88. This wry comedy drama has excellent acting and surprises galore.
  89. 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.
  90. Stranger than fiction, indeed.
  91. The best is "Equilibrium" by Soderbergh, about a man being analyzed by a distracted shrink.
  92. As quietly dazzling as a small, very precious stone.
  93. Like all this adventurous filmmaker's work, it's truly one of a kind.
  94. Spellbinding.
  95. Quiet, mysterious, sometimes violent, ultimately close to sublime.
  96. 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.
  97. Superbly cast, evocatively directed.
  98. This thoughtful, troubling drama is leagues above the sensationalistic stuff Araki peddled in earlier films.
  99. A triumph of psychological drama, owing as much to Ms. Bier's sensitive style as to Anders Thomas Jensen's smart screenplay, based on Bier's own story idea.
  100. It's hugely ambitious, with a sweeping range of character types, frequently shifting moods, stylistic flourishes of many kinds, and some mighty wry satire, aimed largely at the world of psychotherapy.

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