Christian Science Monitor's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,640 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 4.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Billy Liar (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Head Over Heels
Score distribution:
3,640 movie reviews
  1. A hilarious and harrowing cautionary tale.
  2. Tuneful, colorful, delightful.
  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. First and foremost a very funny film, and a very pleasant one that doesn't really have a villain. Credit for its hilarity goes largely to Black, who gives the performance of his career as a character who might have seemed merely coarse and crude in less gifted hands.
  5. 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.
  6. The story is so powerfully observed that it does indeed become larger than itself – an American tragedy.
  7. 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.
  8. This sometimes harrowing, often delightful drama stands with his (Sembène) most compassionate, colorful, and artfully filmed works.
  9. Look for realism, and you'll find The Cooler disappointing. Look for a far-fetched yarn that's as unpredictable as a throw of the dice, though, and you'll find it engaging fun.
  10. A heartbreakingly powerful masterpiece.
  11. What makes this small-scale drama so compelling is Pontecorvo's treatment of the main character.
  12. There's a new visual idea every second, each teeming with energy, pitch-dark comedy, and inspired cinematic lunacy.
  13. Movie-style romance may never look quite the same. Neither will flower petals.
  14. A complicated story that demands your full attention; Mr. Gondry unfolds it at a mind-bending pace. This alone makes it a hugely refreshing respite from ordinary multiplex fare.
  15. 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.
  16. A riveting movie.
  17. Almereyda's movie is riveting for several reasons: its inside look at Shepard in action, its vivid account of how a challenging play is brought from printed page to public stage, and its glimpses of Shepard's troubled youth.
  18. 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.
  19. A pungent pleasure from start to finish.
  20. 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.
  21. One of the sweetest and most heartfelt movies ever made about a life in the theater.
  22. It's a strange, one-of-a-kind film that was to be Benacarraf's only full-length feature.
  23. Funny, sad, and skeptical in about equal measures, it announces writer-director Dylan Kidd as a filmmaker with a bright future.
  24. Tykwer's style gives the movie an explosive energy that never quits, marking him as the most ingenious new talent to hail from Germany in ages.
  25. Most powerfully, Berg also films a number of O'Grady's victims as they recount their trauma and, in some cases, loss of faith.
  26. By holding the shot, as she so often does in this film, Takesue is encouraging audiences to take a deep, long look at things they might otherwise miss.
  27. Absorbing.
  28. What distinguishes Girl With a Pearl Earring is its combination of refined filmmaking and Johansson's exquisitely understated acting. It partakes of Vermeer's spirit and style, and that makes it one of the year's best movies.
  29. In addition to its own merits as a social and cultural document, Broomfield's film continues the welcome trend of more and more nonfiction movies finding their way to theater screens and attracting wide general audiences.
  30. 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.
  31. Enriched by allusions to biblical stories of fathers, sons, and sacrifices, subtly woven into the movie's moodily photographed fabric.
  32. In the acting department, there's nobody on the current scene with more sheer talent --- or offbeat charisma -- than Philip Seymour Hoffman, in whose bearish body nestles the heart of a lithe and limber artist.
  33. This is epic filmmaking on a profoundly human scale, directed to perfection and magnificently acted by everyone in sight.
  34. This is a brilliant, if challenging, film.
  35. The film's final seven-minute shot is one of the great denouements in film history.
  36. Not that Honda's original Godzilla is a message movie first and foremost. It's a horror flick, and an ingenious one at that, with visual effects so vivid that gimmicky spin-offs became an enduring staple of popular film.
  37. In Panahi's case, he is insuperably handicapped by his current constraints. And yet, despite everything, here is This Is Not a Film, which is emphatically a film – and an extraordinary one.
  38. All give heartfelt, unflashy performances that help make Shattered Glass one of the season's most thoughtful offerings.
  39. Max
    Reveals a key aspect of fascism's cynical use of art and architecture to mesmerize a weak and vulnerable society.
  40. The credo of Italy's fabled neorealist movement was that movies rooted in real, unadorned experience carry more dramatic impact than studio concoctions can dream of, and this 1952 masterpiece exemplifies that argument brilliantly.
  41. Arguably the subtlest, most carefully textured film of Cronenberg's career.
  42. Visually stunning animation.
  43. Polanski's directing is marvelously assured and Depp is always fun to watch.
  44. Cinema's greatest surrealist is at the peak of his powers in the last movie of his unparalleled career.
  45. This is the kind of movie that literate viewers pine for, laced with gracefulness and wit.
  46. It's an ideal match, and Eastwood deserves accolades as both director and star of this powerfully made picture.
  47. It's all deliberately homemade and raggedy, and that's where its charm comes from, along with the delightful old-music score.
  48. The director of "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums" scores his most funny-sad movie to date.
  49. Easily the best American film so far this year, Far From Heaven is close to perfect.
  50. Technical virtuosity and entertainment ingenuity.
    • Christian Science Monitor
  51. 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.
  52. Written and directed by a brilliant screen artist at the peak of his powers, it's an utterly original comedy-drama.
  53. Spellbinding.
  54. 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.
  55. This is moviemaking on the highest dramatic, psychological, and moral plane.
  56. Episodic and uneven, but it has moments of great emotional power.
  57. 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.
  58. Moore makes no pretense of being "fair and balanced." He makes a passionate case for his own perspective, and invites us to agree with him or not. "I fulminate, you decide" could be his motto.
  59. Required viewing for anyone interested in the struggle for American racial equality.
  60. It's illuminating and nostalgic and for anyone who lined up for American movies in that bygone golden age.
  61. The first feature-length movie from Bhutan tells its lighthearted story through smart performances, appealing images, and unfailing good humor.
  62. Mood, atmosphere, and character are more important than story twists in this unassuming, acutely observant drama.
  63. This astoundingly beautiful Korean production is poignant, original, and engrossing.
  64. A must-see account that casts a harshly illuminating light on a key period of recent American history.
  65. 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.
  66. Superbly cast, evocatively directed.
  67. Everything about this subtly directed drama enhances its pathos and humor, especially an astonishing performance by Gorintin, a 90-something woman only a few years into her acting career.
  68. 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.
  69. A lousy title for a marvelous movie.
  70. It reconfirms Marker as one of the most serious-minded and artistically gifted filmmakers in France, or anywhere else.
  71. The filmmaking is meticulous and the ideas are endlessly thought-provoking.
  72. 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.
  73. Like all this adventurous filmmaker's work, it's truly one of a kind.
  74. You run across animation this ingenious about as often as a moving castle comes your way.
  75. A lyrical, yet intensely rooted, tragic vision.
  76. A smart and scary voyage into the uncanny realm where hard realities,mind-spinning myths, and hallucinatory visions blur.
  77. This low-key drama is a miracle of mood, atmosphere, and sensitivity.
  78. Expressively filmed story of rivalry, romance, and cultural conflict.
  79. Like its star, it's quietly sincere and compulsively watchable.
  80. 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
  81. Smart, funny, and splendidly acted.
  82. Brilliantly acted, sumptuously filmed, and overflowing with mellifluous music.
  83. Helen Mirren gives the mostly subtly expressive performance based on a living historical figure that I've ever seen.
  84. A quintessential Mike Leigh performance. It deepens as it goes along until, in the end, in its final close-up, it overwhelms.
  85. 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.
  86. A travelogue unlike any other.
  87. 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.
  88. Well worth seeing on the wide screen before its video release next year. It's guaranteed to take your breath away.
  89. The secret to enjoying 8 Women is to check your analytical mind at the popcorn counter and settle back for almost two hours of cinematic mischief.
  90. Feisty, funny, and smart.
  91. Acted as a drama, paced like a ritual, filmed as a slice of rural Iranian life.
  92. 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.
  93. The result is a history lesson both invaluable and horrific.
  94. Concise, humane documentary.
  95. Superbly acted, movingly written, and directed with a tough-minded lyricism rarely found in today's films. A summer movie to love.
  96. 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.
  97. Anderson fulfills the promise of his inventive "Bottle Rocket" with this quirky, often hilarious comedy, and Murray gives his most uproarious performance since the groundbreaking "Groundhog Day."
  98. The movie elegantly mingles drama, comedy, and low-key spiritual resonance. It also has a splendid cast.
  99. 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.
  100. Pure fun.

Top Trailers