Christian Science Monitor's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,951 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 3.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
Lowest review score: 0 I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Score distribution:
3951 movie reviews
  1. It's all energetically filmed, but I miss the cool, modest clarity of the first version. Bigger isn't always better, even at the movies.
  2. With the exception of a few laughs - including a hysterical footsie scene and another that involves Saran Wrap - this one's a no-brainer.
  3. A genuine PG, gentle and wholesome almost all the way through. It's not a great movie, but it should attract family audiences.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    This is "high concept" moviemaking at its most relentless, but it has a few chuckles, and Linda Hunt pulls off some fine moments in a small role. Ivan Reitman directed, by the numbers. [15 Mar 1991]
    • Christian Science Monitor
  4. What damps down the psychological power of One Hour Photo is director Mark Romanek's reluctance to let the film become as idiosyncratically unnerving as its main character.
  5. Documentary about stock trading, with some vivid images but no clear perspectives or opinions on the material it presents.
  6. As a zoological spectacle the movie is riveting. But the narration tries to make us think of these adorable animals as if they saw the world in human terms.
  7. Virtually every person in the story is fabulously cute, picturesquely forlorn, adorably ditzy, or winsomely philosophical. In short, there's plenty of smooth storytelling but not a hint of reality here.
  8. The comically tinged action is as lively as it is brainless, and it revels in violence a bit less eagerly than many thrillers of its ilk.
  9. The movie paints a vivid portrait of a time and place, but falls back on familiar formulas that diminish its value as both emotional drama and slice-of-life realism.
  10. Konchalovsky keeps the action reasonably quick, but sentimental storytelling eventually swamps the picture.
  11. It's all rather exhausting, as opposed to exhilirating.
  12. The story wants to be a sort of "Last Tango in Paris" redux, but it falls into mere melodrama after a brilliant beginning.
  13. What would you do if you could take a pill and suddenly access 100 percent of your brain power? This is the premise behind Limitless, a sci-fi thriller that looks as if its makers utilized around 30 percent of theirs.
  14. The movie's concept is amusing, but much of the acting and dialogue is as uninspired as the story's deliberately bland suburban setting.
  15. The story raises challenging moral and legal questions but loses energy in a miscalculated romantic subplot.
  16. The film has plenty of shortcomings, but it's fun to see Caan back in action.
  17. At least Dennis Hopper plays the bad guy with wildness and wit. Costner's stolid hero seems a washout by comparison.
  18. Annie turns out to be a reasonably entertaining movie.
  19. Solid acting and an intriguing plot compensate for some dull spots.
  20. The Brothers Bloom is much more interested in showing off its own smarts, such as they are, than in challenging the audience's.
  21. The action is fast, furious, and loaded with explosive effects, but the theme is a regrettable return to the us-against-them paranoia that dominated much science fiction in the cold-war era.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The energy slacks off in the final third. It’s a bit like “The Sixth Sense” – but without any of the mystery.
  22. Akerman is among the most imaginative filmmakers in her native Belgium or anywhere else, but here she doesn't get very far beneath the surface of her subject.
  23. This offbeat drama has more atmosphere than logic, but a few sequences are strikingly well acted and filmed.
  24. This dark psychological story falls short in terms of filmmaking and acting, but it's original enough to stand out from the crowd.
  25. Caine puts all his formidable talent into pulling this off, but Jewison's directing and Roland Harwood's screenplay (based on Brian Moore's novel) provide a regrettably shaky foundation for him to build on.
  26. The movie's heart is in the right place, but it looks and sounds regrettably bogus.
  27. Along with its try-anything-for-a-yuk screenplay, the worst thing about Hitch is its running time of almost two hours. Did the studio forget to edit this flimsy thing down?
  28. Often trite and predictable but grudgingly likable in the end.
  29. Pop-music biopics have a great history, but 8 Mile is for Eminem fans only. They're sure to make it a huge, huge hit.
  30. While it may supply giggles and shivers to preteens, grownups should think twice before entering this all-too-haunted house.
  31. The film's time structure is splintered into shards of past and present, which is probably just as well – a strictly narrative chronology would make this wallow seem even sloggier.
  32. Lively acting and an amiable comic atmosphere offer partial compensation for generally lackluster filmmaking.
  33. As clumsy as its title.
  34. This sort of cinema is as dehumanizing as the aliens who serve as its intergalactic bad guys.
  35. The mixture of humor, suspense, and ominous undertones is effective but rarely inspired.
  36. Olyphant steals the show as a cheeky porn producer. The rest is gimmicky and predictable, except for a clever surprise near the end.
  37. Effective at times, and Gyllenhaal shows a new side of her talent, but the main impression is of first-rate performers doing second-rate work.
  38. The movie works hard to be naughty, but its sub-David Lynch style doesn't quite click. Gyllenhaal is excellent and Spader effectively adds to his roster of creepy characters.
  39. Gosling, as the Durst-like David Marks, is scarily effective before his performance turns opaque and horror-movie-ish.
  40. Has moments of real visual creativity.
  41. Warning: If you have an allergic reaction to songs like "Take Me Home Tonight" and "I Want to Know What Love Is," do not venture within 10 miles of this movie.
  42. Moviegoers deserve more than the racism, sexism, and all-purpose mayhem on view here - failings that offset the razor-sharp action and technical brilliance also visible.
  43. The most interesting plot development – Frankie starts falling for Sam – is nipped in the bud. Some things even a soap opera won't stoop to.
  44. The overall effect is too self-worshipping to be of lasting interest. The guy sure isn't shy!
  45. The picture has more charm than credibility, and its conquistador-like attitude toward women is mighty questionable; but the story becomes resonant if you see it as a fable about Brando vicariously regaining his youth by teaming with Depp in this all-stops-out movie fantasy.
  46. While it roots the heroine's compassion in her Christian beliefs, it suggests Indian occultism is equally powerful. And the last third is a lackluster barrage of stalking, shooting, and fighting. Too bad the movie doesn't ride into its own sunset about an hour earlier.
  47. If moviegoers really thought about the violence, sexism, and materialism at the core of the series, the whole shebang might vanish overnight.
  48. The endangered swampland dwellers are supposed to be an indigenous pastoral community threatened by eco-unfriendly oil refineries. I kept rooting for Hushpuppy and Co. to leave behind their squalor and relocate. This is not the politically correct response.
  49. Tamer than tame in every respect, which makes it great for little kids, if not for the grownups who bring them.
  50. The first half is full of verbal and visual surprises, but the later scenes are talky and dull, as if filmmaker Steven Soderbergh had lost interest in his subject and his characters. Which would be understandable, since the story often seems more calculated than heartfelt. [4 Aug 1989, Arts, p.10]
    • Christian Science Monitor
  51. The subject is intriguing even if the dialogue is stilted and the acting is uneven.
  52. The adventure is vulgar and violent, although the special effects are impressive.
  53. The film's touches of unconventional style interfere with its emotional effectiveness at times.
  54. A highly calculated attempt to recalibrate with raunch the family entertainment template and cash in.
  55. What's missing from this Vanity Fair is the sense of plucky, anything-goes adventurousness that abounds in Thackeray's novel.
  56. Cube is cute and Long is lovely, but the youngsters are too brash and smug to bear. At least there's a heartwarming end to the excursion.
  57. You don't see such feisty acting very often.
  58. This situation hardly provides a clever or original metaphor for the failures of communication that perennially plague the human race, but the drama's heart is in the right place.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Steve Martin is amusing as a gangster transplanted to the suburbs, but the movie is a mess, and too jammed with ethnic stereotypes for "just kidding" to be an excuse. [5 Oct 1990, p.12]
    • Christian Science Monitor
  59. Woo's customary action-film pyrotechnics gather more substance than usual from the implausible but inventive plot, drawn from a Philip K. Dick story.
  60. 300
    Just about everything in this pea-brained epic is overscaled and overwrought – it's a cartoon trying to be a towering triptych.
  61. I'd like Head of State better if it had less cartoonish violence, and if its gags weren't so predictable. Rock is in fine comic form, though, and his directing debut shows real promise.
  62. Fails to score a checkmate.
  63. Its most impressive aspect is its visual style, patterned to some degree on Sergio Leone westerns. A picture this long and dense should work harder to be cogent and coherent, though.
  64. Awash in spurious sentimentality and sniping.
  65. The most entertaining scenes focus on the lovable louts and losers who share the boardinghouse where the protagonist - based on a comic-book character billed as a superhero without superpowers - prepares his grisly exploits. The rest is mayhem.
  66. It's fun to watch for a while. But the movie runs much too long, and a few funny bits aside, most of the comedy writing is lame.
  67. Kitano's first major comedy is loose and likable.
  68. Long, bombastic, and violent, but fantasy fans may enjoy its fast-moving energy.
  69. In sum, it's a quintessential summer film, especially if you're 8 years old and in the mood for a quick dose of mindless fun.
  70. It's a standard science-fantasy fable, but the visual effects are mighty impressive.
  71. A pleasant experience, if not the dazzling entertainment Lopez fans were hoping for.
  72. Fans of Jacquelyn Mitchard's novel may find enough echoes of the book to justify the price of admission. But others can see this sort of thinly crafted melodrama in TV movies every week. For free.
  73. This is the kind of movie where a character can't just say "the fire's not out yet," they have to say "the fire still lives in these stones." It made me yearn to see "Caveman" again. At least that was INTENTIONALLY funny.
  74. As a story, Wild at Heart is even less coherent than “Blue Velvet,'' to the point where whole characters and subplots disappear into a murky haze at the end. [17 Aug 1990, Arts, p.11]
    • Christian Science Monitor
  75. Broderick and Witherspoon give perfectly matched performances at the head of a first-rate cast.
  76. The pop-music star Prince makes his movie debut in this bizarre drama about a rock singer with a troubled career and a miserable home life.
  77. The story never gathers much dramatic momentum despite an impressive cast and a lot of dank Middle Ages atmosphere.
  78. The movie's moral messages are all on target. Too bad the movie is much, much too long and Jackson gives one of his dullest performances ever.
  79. The screenplay is foolish and Michael Keaton overplays the title role badly, but director Tim Burton gives the comedy a heap of visual imagination. [22 Apr 1988]
    • Christian Science Monitor
  80. It works better as a nature and historical study than as a drama, though.
  81. Knight of Cups isn’t quite as fancy-flimsy as “To the Wonder,” which, as I remember it, consisted mostly of Ben Affleck gazing dazedly at wave formations, but it’s close enough.
  82. Dark, eccentric, silly.
  83. Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez provide the star power, but what's missing is script power.
  84. Keaton doesn't have quite enough filmmaking savvy to balance the story's heart-wrenching and smile-coaxing aspects.
  85. The direction is fairly formulaic, the special effects are nothing special, and except for Elba and McConaughey, who square off against each other in a series of ho-hum set pieces, the cast is forgettable. So is the movie.
  86. The end product is so clunky, scattered, and all-around soggy that sometimes you can't help laughing. At least Connelly and Reilly give their all, and Tim Roth is terrific as a weird lawyer.
  87. No amount of technical skill can substitute for genuine shivers, and in the fright department this picture rarely lives up to its hype.
  88. This is a half-baked movie about a half-baked person, but it has a fine, melancholic afterglow.
  89. Auteuil is a superb actor. Still, the real-life Sade would be dismayed to see himself portrayed more as an eccentric old codger than the world-changing firebrand he worked hard to be.
  90. This variation on the "Rear Window" format works best when director Noyce gives free rein to Washington's thoughtful charm.
  91. May not always make sense, but it's crammed with flamboyant images and frisky cinematic pranks -- It's far from a great movie, but there's nothing like it on the current scene.
  92. The movie is visually impressive, but Ishii's virtuoso style can't overcome the flatness of the comic-book story he's telling.
  93. The stars are appealing and the filmmaking is imaginative at times, but the picture never builds much dramatic momentum.
    • Christian Science Monitor
  94. Sometimes they're truly hilarious; sometimes they're lazy enough to milk laughs from scattershot vulgarity.
  95. Undermines its serious undertones with an avalanche of smirky cynicism designed to flatter the hipper-than-thou fantasies of adolescent moviegoers.
  96. Resembles a fast-and-flashy variation on "The Sixth Sense," with touches of "The Matrix" as a bonus.
  97. The humor is as crude as the characters, but the picture has energy.

Top Trailers