The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

  • Movies
For 3,801 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 46% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Katyn
Lowest review score: 0 The Amityville Horror
Score distribution:
3,801 movie reviews
  1. The delight of this film isn't so much in the tale as the telling.
  2. Ultimately, the performances carry the film.
  3. An emotionally powerful if somewhat divided experience. The grimness, the sweat, the panic are there in Saving Private Ryan-level intensity. At the same time, you never entirely lose the sense that the movie is a formal and calculated cinematic exercise, something of an illustrated argument.
  4. While Mesrine: Killer Instinct certainly deserves a place among memorable French gangster films, Richet never delivers a clear theme here, let alone a plot.
  5. Todd Solondz isn't for everyone, maybe not even most people...he's a comic filmmaker whose idea of entertainment is shredding chum into a shark tank.
  6. A creepy, smartly written and very entertaining low-budget chiller.
  7. It's an intense and tense time, unsurprisingly, and superbly realized by Lixin's unflinching yet compassionate eye, the Zhang family his microcosm for the Chinese macrocosm.
  8. Like Martin Scorsese's "The Departed" or James Gray's "We Own the Night," The Town is a deliberately old-fashioned melodrama that echoes the pulpy mix of violence and romanticism of gangster films of the Thirties and Forties.
  9. It's definitely a Diablo Codyesque cut above the norm – the wit can sometimes feel contrived but at least there's wit to be found.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Catfish shows that the need to dispel lies isn't nearly as important as how we respond when we finally uncover the truth.
  10. What we see is admirable, but what we feel is minimal.
  11. A splendid adventure sure to thrill children and fantasy buffs, while leaving everyone else passably entertained.
  12. Unfortunately, as the phone battery wears down, the plot's theatrics heat up to pot-boiling degrees of incredulity – a senile mother, a vicious personnel director, even a coiled serpent, all vie to raise the ante. Talk about your bad day.
  13. Less satisfying are the moments when the film concedes to American horror conventions, especially the scuttling vampire effects, which pull us out of the haunted world of these lovely damaged creatures into a place that, while not of this world, feels entirely too familiar.
  14. The dialogue is an occasionally witty cut above the norm, partly because director Greg Berlanti goes easy on those cute baby reaction shots, but mainly because of something rather more valuable: screen chemistry.
  15. I doubt that Jean-Michel Basquiat would have endorsed the subtitle. Indeed, The Radiant Child seems to inflate the very cliché that the rest of this film is keen to refute.
  16. Audaciously whacked-out and never less than entertaining, Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan mixes a backstage dance drama with a Freudian psychological thriller that's indebted to Roman Polanski's studies of shattered feminine psyches and David Cronenberg's movies about repressed bodies in rebellion.
  17. The more compelling performance comes from Watts as Valerie.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    When Spitzer resigned, they broke out champagne on the stock exchange trading floor. Shame on them.
  18. This time out, with a few exceptions, the inspiration feels solid and earned, not saccharine and contrived.
  19. No matter who you side with here, Waste Land – the title should come with a question mark – is a fascinating adventure, populated by memorable characters.
  20. Jam-packed but never disorienting, Cool It will definitely get your head spinning.
  21. A taut, gorgeously filmed and enjoyably wicked cinematic treat.
  22. The picture makes too many concessions to the Hollywood judges, pulls too many punches. But at least it has real punches to pull, because there's honest sweat here too, and a full complement of those archetypes that lie at the popular heart of the genre.
  23. As usual, the Coens' visual elements are pristine. The contrasting colours in the fire-lit interiors are gorgeous, while cinematographer Roger Deakins keeps the camera close, resisting traditional panoramic views.
  24. A feisty domestic comedy about a curmudgeon with a heart, looking back over his misspent life.
  25. Throughout, Dorff is doggedly credible as an obtuse actor, but the richer performance here is from Fanning, and it might have been a stronger movie told from her character's point of view.
  26. Though something less than a masterpiece, The Illusionist is a rare animated film of fleeting charms rather than loud noises, aimed more at wistful adults than thrill-hungry kids.
  27. Living in a part of the world where politics, and the pursuit of politics by warring means, are the rule, director Elia Suleiman is the exception.
  28. In this vast balloon of a film, Bardem is the ballast – that Manichean face is a movie onto itself.
  29. The result is a film where blisteringly naturalistic drama bumps up against sentimentally arch melodrama (that's the biggest collision in Crash). Haggis showed the same tendency in his script for "Million Dollar Baby," yet there it was better hidden under a simpler narrative. Here, the tendency has gotten magnified right along with his thematic ambitions.
  30. A light, slight, wry look at the beautiful and besotted, which gets away with not having much to say, thanks to its charm and excessive good looks.
  31. Be prepared to exercise the same patience and forbearing as the Trappists, because the pacing here is all Grecian urn – so much "silence and slow time."
  32. Though its level of execution is consistently high, Rango is a non-pandering comedy that takes its message of western individualism seriously: It's here for you and your children to enjoy – or not – as you please.
  33. Patricio Guzmán's documentary, Nostalgia for the Light, pays equal attention to the astronomers and searchers, regarding their quest as the same – a search for life.
  34. There are many good reasons why the world doesn't need yet another adaptation of the Charlotte Bronte classic. Yet they all pale before the one great reason why it does – the chance to marvel at Wasikowska's performance.
  35. What began as quick and engaging, Hollywood craft at its most proficient, ends as dull and predictable, Hollywood product back in formulaic mode.
  36. Ultimately, Certified Copy – with its unresolved loose ends – is a puzzle box without a key.
  37. Michelle Monaghan's clowning response to her boyfriend's sudden histrionics lends the drama a giddy fizz.
  38. It's Adrien Brody's turn to find himself the lone and immobilized star of an emerging new genre: Call it the anti-action flick.
  39. It's one of those imperfect pictures that manages to command and hold our attention straight from the opening frames.
  40. While the visuals aren't nearly as eye-popping as those of the underwater movies, the film is more inspiring thanks to its human heroines.
  41. A film with enough sexy one-liners to tempt Mae West from the grave.
  42. Give director Susanne Bier full marks: Her encasing parable is brand new and immediately provocative.
  43. No doubt, life is tough in the wild but, this being a Disney flick, it's loving too and even comes with a kiddie-friendly narrative that's easy to summarize and hard to dispute.
  44. Not surprisingly, it's a cinematic mash note, but apparently a deserved one.
  45. In its mocking but acutely observed style, Hobo is a well-designed cinematic mess: There are whiplash jump cuts, patches where the sound almost disappears, and the whole thing is projected in a queasy, faded Technicolor.
  46. It's all a bit too schematic, yet the ambition is admirable and the message powerful: Today, no less than yesterday, the weak must be strong to survive, and their strength is endlessly tested.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Like Apatow's best work, this is about friendships – only this group of loveable misfits wear matching purple gowns.
  47. This is potentially compelling, but truncated flashbacks are far too crude a mechanism for exploring not only the intricacies of that tumultuous period in Kenyan history but also its ongoing legacy.
  48. A middling documentary but a magnificent indictment.
  49. That's partly why X-Men: First Class is such fanboy fun, as the script departs from official Marvel lore to invent a whole new "origin story" for the mutant ensemble.
  50. Certainly, his (Allen) work here feels effortless, and that feather-light touch gives the picture its charm – modest but real.
  51. Swords cross, blood spurts and bosoms heave in The Princess of Montpensier, French director Bertrand Tavernier's thoroughly ravishing drama.
  52. The title leaves no doubt about the ending but, thanks to Santos's unflinching performance and Rodrigues's continued audaciousness, the climax still takes us aback.
  53. Ambitious and brooding, Coogan has the darker nature; lighthearted and affable, Brydon is all sunny-side up. Happily, both possess a devilishly quick wit and the need to go beyond self-impersonation to the more celebrated variety.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Armadillo is a work of stunningly difficult filmmaking, going out on patrol with the soldiers and diving for cover amid the pop of bullets and blasts of artillery.
  54. The result actually plays like a divine pronouncement, cosmic in scope and oracular in tone, a cinematic sermon on the mount that shows its creator in exquisite form.
  55. What's right about Horrible Bosses is less easy to identify, but it comes down to something like esprit de corps. The three principal actors click. The looseness of the structure actually proves a benefit, allowing Bateman, Sudeikis and Day, all trained on television comedy, to bounce off each other, talk over each other and apparently pull lines out of the air.
  56. As Blank City proves, the all-night, every-night party was fun while it lasted.
  57. Speaking of moves, A Better Life is an interesting one for Weitz, who produced "American Pie" and directed "The Golden Compass" and, ahem, "The Twilight Saga: New Moon." Whatever the reason (his grandmother was a Mexican movie actress), this film feels more personal that just a gig.
  58. For the most part he (Haney) lets the people and images of Coal River Valley speak for themselves – and that's what gives The Last Mountain its eloquent power.
  59. Ever so subtly, Schock gradually transports us beyond the exotic and into gripping universal storytelling, aided all the way by the evocative music of Tucson songsmiths Calexico.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It's a tired formula moviegoers know well, but in the case of Friends With Benefits, it works.
  60. Crazy, Stupid, Love seems at times like a bunch of movies searching for an identity. Happily, some of them are actually worth watching.
  61. Stacked against this summer's CGI-driven blockbusters, Attack the Block is definitely the fastest action ride (clocking under 90 minutes), and quite possibly the most fun.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It's refreshing to see a movie tackling difficult ideas, even if, like the new Earth, it sometimes feels like the filmmakers have their heads up in the clouds.
  62. A combination of timing, access, a visual aesthetic that reflects ATCQ's Afrocentric "surface philosophy" (as the crew's look is described) and, most importantly, story-conscious editing elevates the doc above the norm.
  63. The running time is efficient, the direction is clean, the story is simple but resonant, the effects are understated yet impressive, and the near-wordless star of the show puts on an acting clinic. Damned if the risen one doesn't lift us out of our seats.
  64. Martin Scorsese, meet Djo Tunda Wa Munga, because you obviously have a lot in common. Viva Riva! is nothing less than the Congolese Mean Streets, oozing sexual heat and brute violence and powered by a locomotive's worth of raw kinetic energy.
  65. It can definitely grate on your nerves but, at best, it also gets into your mind, and sticks fast.
  66. New Zealand-born director Lee Tamahori (Once Were Warriors, Die Another Day) avoids biopic tropes, filling the screen with the jolts of a violent thriller and exploiting the few comic possibilities.
  67. A high-school talent show, no doubt, but, at its best, well worth glorifying.
  68. There is also a parallel subplot following the fate of two Ukrainian girls caught in the sex-slave ring Kathy targets. This storyline isn't dramatically satisfying, but it does provide context and ensures the victims in this story are not portrayed simply as faces in the dark.
  69. The crash, lethal in an eye-blink, was hard to watch when I saw it live on television, and it's not any easier here. The day was clear – no rain in sight.
  70. Though the threat of exposure and incarceration lurk behind every story, the characters' ingenuity and humour serve as impudent alternatives to authoritarian stupidity and brutality.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    This is still a seriously entertaining horror movie, one that will please newcomers as well as fans of the original oddity. But by the end of the film, I was wishing the filmmakers had left us wondering about precisely who and what these critters were just a little bit longer.
  71. The Guard is guilty of being overly cute, but it brims with talent and a freshness that extends beyond the clever script.
  72. Beyond the knights and rooks, Bobby Fischer Against the World tells the story of a Jewish kid raised in Brooklyn who spent his final years in exile as a fulminating anti-Semite and a raving anti-American.
  73. Contagion isn't meant to provide delicious roller-coaster chills. Released two days before the 10th anniversary of 9/11, it's a film meant to scare the bejesus out of us.
  74. Warrior is a weirdly affecting hybrid, a 100-proof melodrama that's two-thirds Sylvester Stallone and one-third Eugene O'Neill. Think Rocky's "Long Day's Journey into Night."
  75. More heart-breaking and action-packed than one imagines from a monastery travelogue film.
  76. The film's quiet realism demands from us our own act of faith: We're asked to watch closely and to listen intently in the promise of a greater reward to come. Well, the promise is partly kept.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Even those more neutral about Pearl Jam will find it impossible not to enjoy director Cameron Crowe's driving retrospective of the band's stage-diving 20 years, at least on some level.
  77. Turning the stately game into something few can resist – a smart and lively comedy of manners.
  78. Everyone should be thankful, if not for the doc's content, then certainly for its tone – there is no fulminating here. Instead, courtesy of Canadian co-directors Luc Côté and Patricio Henriquez, witnesses are quietly gathered and arguments are quietly made. For once, no one rants, and, in the relative calm, the tone can be heard, so muted and sad.
  79. Yun, a veteran Korean actress, gives a splendidly layered performance.
  80. Glodell never lets his creation spin out of control. Bellflower revs the engine of an exciting new maverick.
  81. As the plot moves toward the climax, where each girl is forced to make a hard choice dictated by her unique "circumstance," that feeling of compression, of so many contradictory urges and needs vying for attention, grows almost overwhelming. Such is life among the young in present-day Tehran, up on the screen for all to see – all but those who most need to see it.
  82. Redemption, not crime, is the real theme here, for this handful of courageous men and women who have rescued their own lives, and just possibly may help save the blighted neighbourhoods in which they labour.
  83. An unabashed crowd-pleaser.
  84. Given Paine's penchant for B-movie-sounding titles, let's hope he gets to make it a trilogy that concludes with The Electric Car Lives!
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Like the incompetent spy himself, this is a comedy that will sneak up on the skeptical and defy low expectations, producing something smart enough to neatly balance the thrills and the yuks.
  85. Director Sean Durkin's precisely constructed psychological thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene is a movie of many m-words – memories, mirrors and madness.
  86. Puss in Boots is essentially non-stop dazzling action scenes loosely connected by a thin, predictable story of greed versus good.
  87. All that's deliberate, but the lingering question is not: Is Melancholia a sly depiction of the end we deserve, or simply a lovely load of bombast? Be prepared to choose one or the other; unless there's an extra moon in tonight's sky, it can't be both.
  88. Pitt and Damon deliver the best lines (wisecracks about the food chain, predators and evolution, etc.) but their characters also represent most of us.
  89. For the kids, the action is always lively and, for the rest of us, the dialogue has a witty and even caustic edge.
  90. The acting is superb, the settings are beautifully recreated, the dialogue crackles with occasional wit, but where's the juice? Although lovely to gaze upon, the whole thing feels a bit precious and porcelain, more teapot than sexpot.
  91. This is an affecting picture that leaves the viewer as wrung out as the protagonist. No doubt you'll be seduced but, in the end, you may also feel abandoned.

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