The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

  • Movies
For 3,826 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 2.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Revanche
Lowest review score: 0 Wild Hogs
Score distribution:
3,826 movie reviews
  1. In short, it's much fatter with less matter and a distressing shrinkage in thought.
  2. Yes, Final Destination 3 is a roller-coaster ride of a movie from start to -- well, only about 10 minutes later. The fun part is over and we settle down to watch a sadistic assembly line of characters making premature exits.
  3. The best sequence is a five-minute set-piece where Clouseau struggles with an accent coach to learn how to order a hamburger like an American.
  4. At two hours, Eight Below becomes rather repetitive and arduous in its final stretch, the rescue mission. But the canine cuteness, breathtaking action and acts of bravery are worth braving the Disney elements -- overpowering, poignant music, an unnecessary romantic subplot -- if you like your movies doggy-style.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The slapdash dialogue and smug vocal talent -- even the presence of the much-loved host of "The Daily Show" is wearying -- detract from the visual appeal of the most energetic sequences (like a raucous train chase) and what's left of Danot's designs.
  5. Running Scared's relationship to "The Cooler" is roughly that of industrial metal to a quaint torch song.
  6. No one can dismiss 16 Blocks as a mere formula flick -- it's a mere two or three formula flicks all fighting for top billing.
  7. Simultaneously salacious and sugary.
  8. There are scenes that may make your stomach feel uncomfortable for a moment but rarely stories that will upset your equilibrium.
  9. The unruly pack of subplots make The Shaggy Dog much more convoluted than it needs to be. But Allen's physical comedy as man-becoming-dog, and his non-stop monologue as man-dog, are definitely worth a trip to the matinee.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Only Lange is a powerful enough presence to raise a flicker of realistic emotion from this kind of stuff.
  10. The narrative of Lonesome Jim pokes about aimlessly, trying to mine nuggets of amusement.
  11. Essentially a journey from point A to point B, a simple classic plotline on which to hang a collection of set pieces -- some delightful, some wacky, some tediously hackneyed.
  12. The proverbial seems awfully pale here. Fans of Q.T. will find it patently derivative. Fans of Elmore will find it, well, El-less.
  13. The whole thing has all the spontaneity of high-school morning announcements.
  14. As far as story is concerned, the whole thing feels like a rerun of a raucous Saturday-morning television show aimed at hell-raising five-year-olds.
  15. Hugh Grant's Martin Tweed is nowhere as menacing (or interesting) as the callous bruiser who makes every episode of American Idol a chilling psychotic adventure.
  16. A contrived and tepid thriller that insists on wanting to interest us in its main plot -- the usual nefarious plan to assassinate the leader of the free world.
  17. Fails to ever come alive as a human comedy in the manner of the best mockumentaries.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Even though William Safire doesn't fit in the target demographic, Stick It is more valuable as a survey of modern American teen argot than as a movie.
  18. Like a smart-ass student clever enough to see through everyone but himself, Art School Confidential falls victim to the very clichés it wants to puncture.
  19. The goal is apparently a double exercise in heartfelt lessons and deep hilarity, but it's hard to tell because the pace feels so lethargic. Director and screenwriter Wil Shriner is a TV-sitcom veteran (Frasier, Everybody Loves Raymond) whose idea of directing a movie is to make another sitcom, only four times as long.
  20. About as gripping as its title.
  21. Begins audaciously but goes to extremes to assert conventional wisdom about grownup life, that what is called "normal" is about just holding on.
  22. Although possessed of a laudable desire not to be yet another run-of-the-mill, wacky-impediment, I'm-nobody-and-you're-the-Prez's-daughter romance comedy, damned if the picture can figure out how to be an anti-romance comedy.
  23. It's a slacker flick, it's a relationship pic, it's a road movie all under the same hood.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The director also makes a nod to Japan's rich history of genre filmmaking by casting action legend J. J. Sonny Chiba as a cigar-smoking yakuza. Chiba's presence momentarily classes up a passable youths-ploitation flick into a transcendent piece of movie trash.
  24. We also know the last time Keanu and Sandra shared the screen together. That was yesterday and Speed. This is today and Snail. I'm not betting on a tomorrow.
  25. This is a comedy at cross-purposes -- by turns low-key, bombastic, mildly amusing, manically slapstick. At least there are the fart jokes as a connecting thread.
  26. The only effect is to produce that most commonplace of Hollywood paradoxes -- a mood simultaneously frantic and listless.
  27. To be very generous toward the filmmakers' intentions, Beowulf & Grendel might be seen as a misguided attempt to lend some modern nuance to a traditional tale of good and emphatic evil. But why pussyfoot? The movie is a lumbering and ludicrous mess.
  28. Feels a little like the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" -- a similar wet fizzle of a sequel for sequel's sake -- but what do we know?
  29. The differences between the two movies are, first, that Scoop is a comedy and, second, unlike "Match Point," it's not very good, as Allen also returns to pre-Match Point mediocre form.
  30. Three years in the making, seems fussed over and, occasionally, a little dull.
  31. It should be a better, more authentic movie, considering that screenwriters Maupin and his ex-partner, Terry Anderson, are retelling parts of their own story here.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Until the movie stumbles under the weight of its noble intentions and its tediously formulaic story, it delivers a few lively, well-shot dance sequences and some winning moments.
  32. The humour in Accepted is maddeningly safe.
  33. For a film meant to float on a gossamer veil of mystery, The Illusionist falls -- make that flops -- with quite the heavy thud. It's an intended piece of magic that plays like a ponderous slab of melodrama, sleight of hand gone ham-handed.
  34. Embracing such depths, Bukowski somehow made his art. Simulating them, Factotum just makes us queasy.
  35. A botched adult romantic comedy that strands its leading player, and its audience, in a wearying, sitcom-slight battle of the sexes.
  36. How to Eat Fried Worms arrives just in time to placate preteen boys who resent being unable to see the frankly more adult though equally immature "Snakes on a Plane."
  37. Despite its title, the movie admirably sticks to its game plan of ennobling the everyman as opposed to turning Papale into some kind of Superman.
  38. Film noir is a style, but self-conscious film noir is just a stylistic tic, less a genre than an ailment. And The Black Dahlia has got a really bad case -- this thing is so mannered it convulses.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Some films, like "Shrek," "The Incredibles" and "Finding Nemo," manage to strike the right balance. Others, like Everyone's Hero -- opening today -- do not.
  39. If you like your sports movies, especially your football movies, larded with more clichés than a politician's stump speech, Gridiron Gang begs to be seen.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Black comedy often asks viewers, in exchange for the hilarity, to suspend their moral objections along with their disbelief...Here, we keep our part of the bargain only to be cheated of our payoff.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    For all the carnality on offer here, Mitchell and his cast seem ambivalent about sex.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Those ghosts might want to find a new vocation, because their work here is done.
  40. Tideland is the easiest of Gilliam's films to follow, yet the most disturbing to watch.
  41. Here's one thing about Marie Antoinette: It sure is easy to watch. And here's another: It's even easier to forget.
  42. This is an adaptation that must have been hard to screw up, yet screwed up it has been. If the movie is far from dreadful, it's even further from the searing experience it could have been.
  43. A bland, workaday detective flick that should have been much better than it is.
  44. Although director Taylor Hackford ("An Officer and a Gentleman") handles the usually cumbersome flashbacks with impressive delicacy, he can't stop the narrative from sinking under its own melodramatic weight.
  45. The process of remembering that drives the book is gone from the film, boiled away until all that's left is the mundane residue of memory - mere incidents strung together as plot.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The presence of some genuine feeling distinguishes Saw III from its predecessors. That said, it has plenty of the blood, torture and dismemberment that moviegoers demand from their Halloween weekend entertainment.
  46. The Santa Clause 3 is a colourful jumble. (But quite a bit better than Jungle 2 Jungle). Nevertheless, whether parent or elf, You might laugh when you watch it in spite of yourself.
  47. Fans of both Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe should not be too bummed with the mild sedative that is A Good Year.
  48. Fur does what an Arbus photograph never would -- it leaves no room to imagine and removes any reason for doubt.
  49. In the end, F*CK is at most a compendium of opinions and examples, and never feels like a story. Still, great casting and inventive visuals make it an entertaining big-screen experience -- and don't expect to catch it later on network television (otherwise it would have to be retitled BL**P).
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A frustratingly toothless film whose heart is in the right place even if its head isn't.
  50. The target is way too easy and the tone far too smug. This time, they're shooting fish in a barrel with a bazooka and congratulating themselves on their marksmanship.
  51. Fascinating, even when it's fascinatingly bad.
  52. A meditation of life, death, reincarnation and biblical symbolism that feels peculiarly like a head-shop poster, blown up to feature-movie size.
  53. As it exists, Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny is strictly for the tenaciously devoted.
  54. For some (okay, me), The Holiday, like the holidays, will require some girding up, and is best met halfway with a self-immunizing smile. Otherwise, the good cheer may ring false; worse, it might even seem to sell love cheap, and lovers short.
  55. If this sounds intriguing, we should add that System of a Down is a lousy live band. And director Garapedian, for all her public-minded zeal, isn't capable of corralling her interviews and opinions into a coherent polemic.
  56. Where's 007 when you need him? Neither shaken nor stirred, The Good Shepherd is a flat draft of history that looks at the Central Intelligence Agency's early years through the horn-rimmed gaze of a fictional spook.
  57. An exercise in competence guaranteed neither to offend the initiated nor to charm anyone else.
  58. Both Smith and his son are appealing presences, but The Pursuit of Happyness seems to take place in a sociological vacuum. Gardner's insight into his difficulties begins and ends with the thought that, in the pursuit of happiness, there's a lot more pursuit involved than happiness, and unasked political questions seem to dangle ominously over the entire movie.
  59. While Tom Tykwer's lavish and lively screen adaptation of Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is certainly not a stinker, there is something decidedly off about it.
  60. Arthur and the Invisibles may be a tale for children, but it's got the bad habits of a profligate adult -- the thing borrows shamelessly from its betters and then pretends to be self-sustaining.
  61. After the first hour or so of strained puns and wisecracks, you start feeling that the sooner the ending comes, the happier it will be.
  62. In the recent "Half Nelson," a similarly themed classroom pic, liberalism struggled to balance its lingering hopes with its systemic despair. That film was pure fiction, yet felt absolutely true. This one is apparent fact, yet seems abjectly false.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    While the world of competitive cycling can be extremely exciting, not every one of its events is captivating. A well-intentioned biopic about Scottish cycling maverick Graeme Obree, The Flying Scotsman is hampered by the fact that its hero earned his greatest renown for riding around and around on a velodrome … alone … for an hour.
  63. The plot is stale though some of the moves are fresh.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The young couple is far less compelling, which is one reason why the remake is only intermittently effective. Bland and dim-witted, it's hard to see why they'd attract Ryder's wrath.
  64. Twitchy, messy and uneven, it's an action flick that just won't shut up. The movie is somewhat saved by a smattering of wacky minor characters and humorous bits of non-essential business, but they certainly don't add up to a satisfying experience.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Whether because of Madea's on-screen absence or the abilities of the two lead actors, Daddy's Little Girls is still a step up for Perry, boasting moments of charm that transcend the usual mess.
  65. Under better circumstances, Cooper might be said to have stolen the picture outright. But as it is, and compelling as he is, there's just nothing here to steal.
  66. Rarely have I seen a movie which made me feel more skeptically Canadian. Please -- it's not true that you can do anything. Stop trying. You might make things worse.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    About 45 minutes worth of funny stuff awkwardly stretched to 84 minutes.
  67. Your basic and basically predictable by-the-numbers picture.
  68. This is one of those ludicrous, semi-offensive, semi-entertaining potboilers that feels as if the script were dragged out from someone's naughty-book stash.
  69. Washington's take on the seductress is so saucy, so unapologetic, such a brash blend of insouciant charm and raw sex appeal, that she swipes the picture from right under its nominal star. The only problem is that her theft inadvertently tips the balance of the moral dilemma, shifting it seismically all the way from "He'd be a fool to succumb" to "He'd be a coward not to."
  70. Once Bullock's character clears her head at the top of the thrill ride, Premonition becomes inescapably dull because it is her mental health, not her purposefully dull husband's fate, that interested us.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    One wishes the makers of Pride had stuck with non-fiction, because their movie reduces Ellis's story to the level of generic sports-flick hokum.
  71. Reign Over Me drizzles down on us for two full hours, persistently determined to prove that, if it hangs around long enough, a coherent movie will turn up. No such luck.
  72. With your sharper minds, you'll probably figure it out. I hope so. Hope you'll like the movie too. But here's a bit of advice: Don't bet your allowance on it. Make Daddy pay.
  73. The movie does offer one historical first: Ferrell, who previously appeared with comedian Sacha Baron Cohen ( Borat) in "Talladega Nights," now appears with skater Sasha Cohen (one point).
  74. This is a film that dearly wants to be important, that wants to do for Holland what Irene Nemirovsky's "Suite Française" does for France - examine the German occupation through a prism of painful honesty. Yet the lofty ambition comes dressed in cheap attire; Verhoeven can't seem to stop himself from shopping downmarket.
  75. The Hoax is a fraud, and not a very good one at that. Stay with me here because we're about to spiral down the rabbit hole: The movie is a fictionalized account of writer Clifford Irving's fictionalized account of his own fictionalized account of wacky billionaire Howard Hughes.
  76. Notable for its enthusiastic abandonment of any semblance of narrative coherence.
  77. Pathfinder is aimed more at the action-figure crowd than the history buffs.
  78. The only surprise here is the real star of the show, who turns out to be not Halle Berry, not even Bruce Willis, but a flat computer screen in all its hard-driven glory.
  79. The shipwreck comes too late to rescue movie from endless banalities. [02 Feb 1996]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  80. Winterbottom's efficient yet prosaic approach is evident from the first grimy frame. [18 Oct 1996]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  81. If you like your archetypes writ large and your sentiment over easy, then Unstrung Heroes is the flick for you. [15 Sep 1995]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  82. A Mexican feature from writer/director Guillermo Del Toro, it's a modern vampire tale that occasionally rises to the level of competence but never inches any higher. [20 May 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  83. Based on an allegedly true story, this is a dark comedy that begins with a charmingly light touch.... Alas, it's when the tale stays murderous, amateur night dragging into amateur day, that the picture loses both its energy and its edge. [09 Apr 1990]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  84. Like an over-ambitious freshman with a term paper, Singleton raises every issue and illuminates none. And, again, this film is better when the combative heat rises, particularly when the long-telegraphed confrontation between Malik and the neo-Nazi finally comes to a (skin)head. [13 Jan 1995, p.C3]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

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