The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

For 4,680 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Song to Song
Lowest review score: 0 Mojave
Score distribution:
4680 movie reviews
  1. Not everything about Zero Dark Thirty zips by. The middle hour of the film feels overstuffed with agency chiefs and national security advisors gazing on the feisty Maya with avuncular admiration.
  2. You'll be rewarded with a terrific finale. The twists here are the rare sort that seem both narratively surprising and emotionally engaging.
  3. If this is the film that is destined to divide the movie business, it’s as weird and imperfect a choice as could possibly be.
  4. There is no tragic hero here; there is no overarching explanation, but a movie that offered either of those would seem pretty pat. Take it or leave, Everest is just there.
  5. As an epic, American Gangster doesn't cut it. The reputations of Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather," Brian De Palma's "Scarface," Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas" or Michael Mann's "Heat" are safe. At best, American Gangster is no better than a workmanlike imitation of its betters.
  6. Here, in orderly fiction, the reverberations bring about the alignment of cultures, the meeting of minds and the comforting assertion that "our lives aren't that different." Maybe so, and the film deserves full marks for trying, at times movingly, to convince us. In the end, the argument is a little too neat to accept, but far too poignant to ignore.
  7. The principals are superb, with Mullan and Colman doing a masterful job of inhabiting their separate but equal prisons.
  8. As angry, deluded, vulnerable and confused as Aileen is, the character remains an enigma. Apart from serving as an opportunity for Theron's emotionally deep-dredging performance, the movie doesn't know why it exists.
  9. Those who lived through the Vietnam War era, and paid attention, will find this documentary short on revelation but long on poignant reminders.
  10. Directed by Paul Greengrass, the unflinching eye behind "Bloody Sunday," The Bourne Supremacy not only lives up to the promises of the novel by Robert Ludlum, but in many ways manages to improve on the first film.
  11. 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.
  12. EDtv is precisely the kind of brisk, straightforward, amiable and accessible material that shows Howard’s skills to advantage.
  13. While Wojtowicz’s shape-shifting character is the major source of fascination here, the archival footage, including with is terrifically effective in evoking the tumultuous era and occasionally providing a reality check to the Dog’s boastful version of his life.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Against all odds and historical improbabilities, God Grew Tired of Us is a pleasant, uplifting documentary about genocide and ethnic cleansing.
  14. If you had to be an alcoholic, you'd want to be like Kate, the young drunk played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the new movie Smashed.
  15. Director Sean Durkin's precisely constructed psychological thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene is a movie of many m-words – memories, mirrors and madness.
  16. Ultimately, Benigni's comic refinery merely transforms the banality of evil into a lesser sin -- the evil of banality.
  17. Generally makes good on its promise. There are shivers to be felt, especially in the early stages, and there's fun to be had, including the post-movie pleasure of detecting the soft spots in the plot. The result is an always-watchable picture from a director capable of more.
  18. While Mesrine: Killer Instinct certainly deserves a place among memorable French gangster films, Richet never delivers a clear theme here, let alone a plot.
  19. One of Stephen Chow's extravagant and very funny martial-arts spoof movies.
  20. The Ambassador may be an important, even necessary film; just don't expect to find it enjoyable.
  21. The performances of Travis Fimmel, Toby Kebbell and Paula Patton as the warrior Lothar, the orc hero Durotan and the half-orc/half-woman Garona, all awakening to the evil forces around them, are meaty enough to hold attention.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid (whose debut Policeman was a critical hit) keeps us guessing. His message seems clear even if his characters’ motivations aren’t always.
  22. Turning the stately game into something few can resist – a smart and lively comedy of manners.
  23. With little dialogue to assist her -- just the strains of that wonderfully organic music -- she still manages to suggest the internal struggle, and to slowly reveal a fierce toughness that flies in the face of conventional morality.
  24. The cinematic strategies are energetic without being vulgar, the words are plain-spoken, and moony Mel's melancholy is what matinee idols are made of. [18 Jan 1991]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  25. This is a grimly thrilling movie that falls somewhere between clear-eyed realism and the improbabilities of an action flick.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Truth be told, Wrong isn’t as funny as "Rubber," which played kamikaze games with horror-movie tropes. The tone here is flatter and more meandering, and more than a few of Dupieux’s digressions feel like dead ends. At the same time, there’s a winning confidence to the filmmaking, which is deceptively stylish.
  26. A supernatural winner.
  27. The most provocative aspect of this compulsive riddle is how it resists closure. The end comes not when we have the answer, but when the movie reaches its irresolute end.
  28. For all that The Sessions does well, it offers some telling deviations from the real story.
  29. A butterfly metaphor is employed by the time-flipping Takahata, a filmmaker whose delightful Only Yesterday took 25 years to arrive right on time.
  30. In My Bodyguard the warfare is entirely internecine, and the movie, for all its shortcomings, is an exceptionally perceptive (and funny) study of the terror that can be visited upon an innocent victim. [23 Aug 1980]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  31. If there’s a low-key disappointment to Vic and Flo, it’s that the film teases the mind and pleases the eye without requiring emotional commitment.
  32. Marshall treats everything, from the feminist themes to a soundtrack that features period chestnuts redone by contemporary singers, with a unique mix of the furiousand the subdued - a broad knee-slapper one moment, a delicate caress the next. No wonder we root for it. With the count full and our hopes wavering, A League Of Their Own smacks a stand-up triple and dares us not to cheer. Go ahead - give in and be a fan. [3 July 1992]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  33. In keeping with that home-team tradition, The Promise lives up to the title --it really delivers the eye-popping goods.
  34. Surf's Up is that rarity in a children's movie, a comedy that's actually exciting.
  35. Short Term 12 is a triumph of modesty.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Even its structurally weaker moments give Garfield an opportunity to expand on Jack's physical and mental dislocation. Given Boy A's final floating reel, it's an anchoring performance in every sense of the word.
  36. The very name Orson Welles stands for genius wasted and betrayed, and the movie offers some foreshadowing of his triumphs and failures to come.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    He’s a fox who’s used to being hounded by journalists, and as such he’s a very elusive subject for a documentary – even one by a filmmaker who’s renowned for getting his subjects to talk.
  37. Even when their material is not much more substantial than a punchline overheard in a playground, Cheech and Chong, in their routines together, make being funny look as effortless as Ella Fitzgerald makes singing sound.[23 July 1980]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  38. De Bont knows how to edit a pulse-pounding sequence, he knows how to keep the screen white-hot, and he sure knows how to blow things up real good. What he doesn't know is how to slow down - this premise is perfect for him.
  39. It’s a felt, funny, bracingly sincere kids’ movie. And even more refreshing, it takes as a theme our social fixation with waste, salvage and repackaging.
  40. There's plenty of humour in Comedian but not a lot of happiness -- apparently, the sad clown is a cliché for good reason.
  41. 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    As millions watching the eventual rescue understood, the strength of those miners and the unlikely hope of their families, was utterly captivating. Their survival moved me deeply then and, with The 33, it still does now.
  42. Seabiscuit is a good enough movie, in the sense that it's a well-crafted assemblage of pathos and rousing moments, solidly acted and handsomely shot -- but it's far from champion material.
  43. Both Rudd and Segel have splendid comic timing and their improvised scenes leap out from the script.
  44. Jordan remains faithful to the looney sensibility of a hero, who is hard to take, but in his refusal to acquiesce to the social humdrum, is like a saint, or at least an artist.
  45. Lady Vengeance is more than half over before we discover the object of Geum-Ja's hatred: a kindergarten teacher named Mr. Baek. He's played by Choi Min-sik, the prisoner in "Old Boy," and here he's as tepid as he was heated in that film.
  46. The challenge for a filmmaker attempting to adapt the Agota Kristof novella The Notebook is how much of its startlingly amoral world can actually be shown.
  47. It is a rare biopic of any kind, let alone a sports bio, that merely celebrates participation. It’s that novelty that makes this simple comedy shine.
  48. The well chosen cast helps -- no one strikes a false note.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Even with Pablo Larrain’s signature insights hidden in quiet and seemingly simple dialogue, and even with hints of his trademark dark humour, The Club may be one of the Chilean director’s most disturbing films.
  49. A lively, dashing and amusing motion picture that smartly spoofs and slyly celebrates the James Bond spy-film franchise.
  50. Upbeat it ain't, but when the light fades from the final frame, there remains something unusual in the Dardennes canon – the possibility of an escape from futility's clutches, and a reason for hope that might, just might, be more than an illusion.
  51. Realism by nature offends the dogmatic, and Michael Mann, in a writing-directing debut that makes one want to see his next movie instantly, is a devotee of the realistic in factual essentials, if not in esthetics. [27 Mar 1981]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  52. Puss in Boots is essentially non-stop dazzling action scenes loosely connected by a thin, predictable story of greed versus good.
  53. An amused and affectionate look at the writer who formed a crucial link between the New Journalism of the 1960s and today's blogosphere.
  54. Like a Christopher Guest movie with a widow’s peak, What We Do in the Shadows depicts a supposed “New Zealand Documentary Board” film gone gruesomely, hilariously awry.
  55. What makes The Grand a memorable comedy is that the main stories are really about families – how they screw you up and how they save you. And you don't have to understand poker to know the rules of that game.
  56. An entertaining takeoff and a high-altitude ride eventually runs into some bumpy weather and a clumsy landing in Mike Newell's new comedy.
  57. One of this enlightened B-movie's many pleasures is French director Jean-François Richet's handling of atmosphere and setting. Shot almost entirely at night in a blinding snowstorm, the crime drama is an intriguing remodelling of a classic film noir.
  58. Whatever you think of Greenpeace’s less well-considered antics over the years, How to Change the World is a compelling story of one environmentalist’s remarkable combination of prescience, grit and timing.
  59. Wong returns once more to what he seems to know best - the visual poetry of the urban Asian night, a world of characters on the move, coming and going, never really getting anywhere. [5 Dec 1997]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The post-end-credits introduction of another bullet-headed genre-flick icon as the possible villain for the next instalment (already slated for production) means that Johnson may finally get a worthy foil. So: Same time next year, then?
  60. 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    All you needed was to accept your imperfection and reach out to others who'd done the same. Surely the man who said that must be perfect.
  61. By its third act, Okwe has found his solution and Dirty Pretty Things comes across as both clever but a little pat, another British drama about the misfits who pool their resources to defy the oppressive system, though it does not precisely leave a warm glow.
  62. At two hours and 43 minutes, Eastwood's Bird is a hypnotic, darkly photographed, loosely constructed marvel that avoids every cliche of the self-destructive-celebrity biography, a particularly remarkable achievement in that Parker played out every cliche of the self- destructive-celebrity life. [14 Oct 1988, p. C1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It's a very sad film to watch.
  63. The older John Kerry, today's candidate, is conspicuous both by his absence (he's not interviewed here) and by the contrast between then and now, between the hero he was and the politician he's become. That contrast gives the film a nostalgic yet palpable sadness.
  64. This film is about giving credit where previously neglected credit is due. “You wouldn’t let us talk about it before,” Robertson says at the end of the doc. “But now I’m going to talk about it real loud.” No volume is too much at this point.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Riklis, working from an adaptation of a popular novel by the Arab-Israeli writer Sayed Kashua, is wryly perceptive of the ways each side exoticizes and demonizes the other.
  65. Fun, fun, fun. Take the title at its word, because this movie is nothing less than a flat-out, lung-pumping, 76-minute sprint.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    When it comes to exploring with dignity and humour the choices a woman must make for her family, Tuya's Marriage is the clear winner.
  66. The more compelling performance comes from Watts as Valerie.
  67. Is Funny Games an unqualified success? No, and for this reason: In order to analyze the devolution of violence into entertainment, the premise obliges the film to superimpose a complicated game atop the genre's simple one – in other words, it makes a game out of the game it condemns.
  68. Plays perfectly on two levels — it's a clever comedy, but disguised as a fun, dumb horror flick. A movie made to delight, and even accidentally enlighten, both the living and the dead.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The important thing about Star Trek VI is that it is a good production of a better-than-average script. There are countless chuckle-lines, and the story takes several interesting twists and turns.
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  69. With his trademark spare, unfussy direction and jumping into the story approach, Eastwood subtly establishes the themes of faith, loss and love and then he raises the drama to a different level.
  70. The film manages the extraordinary feat of forcing us to empathize simultaneously with both the potential victim and the potential villain.
  71. As the title more than hints, Love Is All You Need is no stranger to formulaic clichés, but it’s still a Bier film. There’s a sprinkling of vinegar in the treacle, a bit of ballast in fancy’s lightweight flight, and, of course, the triumph of optimism that can seem unearned in her dramas is made to measure in a comedy.
  72. Crazy, Stupid, Love seems at times like a bunch of movies searching for an identity. Happily, some of them are actually worth watching.
  73. Smart and youthful, with a well-balanced package of humour, romance, crisp action and character-based drama, Star Trek gives popcorn movies a good name.
  74. What began as quick and engaging, Hollywood craft at its most proficient, ends as dull and predictable, Hollywood product back in formulaic mode.
  75. 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Very much a superhero film – "X-Men" as imagined by Edward Gorey. But it’s not populated with the sorts of characters we’ve come to expect – tormented anti-heroes or wisecrackin’ daredevils or noble demi-gods. Rather, it’s a film about a group of broken children, not off saving the world but being saved from the world.
  76. Even a politically naive film critic can see that An Inconvenient Truth isn't only about science or economics; it's also about ideology.
  77. 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.
  78. The problem with Shyamalan’s spin on dissociative identity disorder is that for all the dissociation, why are all 23 identities cool with locking terrified girls in a basement?
  79. Whether you appreciate Gloria as a portrait of a vital woman, muddling through life’s middle chapters, or as an allegory of Chilean resilience, the message is the same: Let’s face the music and dance.
  80. At 128 minutes – Almodovar's longest film to date – Broken Embraces is an easy film to bid farewell to.
  81. A tormented and tormenting man uses violence to break the historic chain of violence, then bequeaths to his loved ones the most precious gift he can give -- his total silence and perpetual absence.
  82. 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."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    By the end of Trekkies,you almost feel the best way to bring peace to the Middle East would be to hold a Star Trek convention there.
  83. The result isn't meant to be an historical document transmuted into fiction; instead, it's fiction turned into a fable, a dark fable.
  84. If you have ever heard of the term “catfishing” – and if you haven’t, I’m impressed and envious – then you’re already one step ahead.
  85. An oddball charmer of a motion picture about nostalgia, the pursuit of artistic passion and a coming of age bizarrely delayed and uniquely fulfilled. The bear itself is but a bit player.

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