The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

  • Movies
For 3,772 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 The Child
Lowest review score: 0 Wild Hogs
Score distribution:
3,772 movie reviews
  1. The Black Stallion Returns is not a magic monument - it's only a terrific film for kids. [26 Mar 1983]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  2. Joe Pytka does display an occasional nice touch with mood and atmosphere - at its infrequent best, the humor here is almost wry. But his editing is as jumpy as a mare in heat. [19 Aug 1989]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  3. If you see Clue only once, and it's hard to imagine seeing it more than once, even for the five different minutes, the "A" is by far the best, featuring as it does (this does not give away the identity of the murderer) a splendidly funny shtick from Madeline Kahn. [13 Dec 1985, p.D5]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Needless to say, what's refreshing about A Christmas Story is subversive to the sepia-toned and loving references to the forties which director Bob Clark has provided for the film. The fictional Parker family that Shepherd has written about for 20 years is not as gentle or gauzy as they first appear. It's possible to imagine them so preoccupied with their own problems, whether dealing with the neighbor's dogs or winning a mail- order contest, that they could forget Christmas altogether. [25 Nov 1983, p.E5]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  4. You Kill Me is not so much a bad film as one filled with missed potential and marked by the seams of compromise.
  5. The characters, full of blue-blood archness and angst, are partial to self-conscious speechifying.
  6. The script's attempt to splice together a fumbling love story with a portrait of toxic personality disorder feels incongruous, like a serving of porridge flambé au whisky.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The end result of this showcase for Buscemi's writing, acting and directing chops is so uneven and mixed in small details and overall tone that it's anybody's guess if it's one for the Oscars or the Razzies next year.
  7. The film's broad attempts at humour are all mouldy bits from Hollywood films.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Somewhere between its loutish humour and laudable sentiments are the traces of a good buddy movie that could, at the very least, have been harmless summer fun.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A Canadian-made werewolf thriller, Skinwalkers occasionally rises above its station as a standard-issue horror flick to deliver some enjoyably cheeseball thrills.
  8. Feels like one of those misguided high-school-teacher exercises in making literary history sound contemporary.
  9. Actually, occasionally, does feel good. Now if only it had something to say.
  10. An inferior "Napoleon Dynamite." Call it Napoleon Firecracker. The film steals one of the best laughs of Jon Heder's surprise 2004 hit, the scene where Napoleon nosedives over a bicycle jump, and stretches the gag into an 86-minute movie.
  11. It's the same package with new wrapping.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The relationship between reporter and subject is always a tricky one, but in Resurrecting the Champ it's downright delusional.
  12. Haven't they created a movie that is ultimately a soulless clone of a vibrant original and, thus, a splendidly dull example of the very forces it warns us against – the forces of grey and passion-sapping conformity.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Sadly, Bacon is only intermittently convincing as a man hell-bent on revenge or a father tortured by what he has unleashed on his family.
  13. Hatchet is further evidence of the decline of Western civilization.
  14. A furious 90-minute trailer of a movie that exceeds the speed limit for action films established by Quentin Tarantino's recent "Grindhouse."
  15. If you're looking for a screwball comedy about bipolar disorder -- and who among us is not? -- then this picture fits the bill fine. However, if you're picky enough to want a good screwball comedy about bipolar disorder, well, I'm afraid the wait continues.
  16. Though elegantly staged, Silk is badly written and indifferently cast.
  17. For all these references to the fairytale, Sydney White soon takes an easier path, recycling familiar "Mean Girls" and "Revenge of the Nerds" scenarios.
  18. The movie begins to feel more like a buffet of contrivance than a feast of love.
  19. The Kingdom is a barely coherent compendium of Middle East fantasies, fears and doubts.
  20. Whether you fully embrace the Harry Potter phenomenon or simply live with it, there's no question that J. K. Rowling is an imaginative story-spinner. The trouble is that she has ruined the field for the legions of the second-rate.
  21. The result is that, rather than tragedy, this unfolds like a plodding morality tale in which Wrath and Cowardice play out their respective parts.
  22. The problem is not that the director is working but that his latest film is working too hard. Way too hard – this thing is melodrama running a marathon.
  23. If you have an appetite for well-made treacle, then Bella should go down a treat.
  24. A bit of a docu-mess.
  25. A shrill and silly affair, bordering at times on camp.
  26. A high-pedigree, low-interest affair that serves mostly as an exercise in postmortem speculation: Why is a project with so many prominent names attached to it so sterile and lifeless?
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The movie has a better sense of flow than his past efforts, and a few lengthy travelling Steadicam shots and some decent mountain scenery (supplied by B.C. rather than Colorado) help dispel the feeling that Perry has merely filmed another of his plays.
  27. Maybe Bee Movie is another ground-breaking show about nothing – a hornet's nest of hype for a fat hive of nothing. If so, pay up and get stung.
  28. Theodore Braun's work may well reach and convert one thousand more Adam Sterlings. Here's hoping it does. There is, however, a difference between a worthy cause and a worthy film.
  29. Whatever glimmers of cleverness Martian Child offers, it all comes to Earth with a thud in the shamelessly manipulative climax.
  30. As for Vaughn, he seems exhausted by his strenuous efforts to bring a few sparks of spontaneity to such an overcalculated Christmas product.
  31. Lions for Lambs appears to have taken its inspiration from Al Gore's stolid "An Inconvenient Truth," using the stage lecture and Power Point presentation in lieu of dramatic momentum.
  32. It's all meant, I suppose, to conjure up cold visions of Terminators and Robocops past, or, in this post-9/11 world, of bin Ladens and Bushes present. If so, conjure at will.
  33. I wouldn't say this is laugh-out-loud risible, but there are definitely moments. Still, you might want to consider sitting through the uneven thing just to get to the ending, because that's quite something. You may love it, you may hate it, but forget it you won't.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Occasionally engaging but very chaotic movie.
  34. With a couple of more drafts to mend the plot holes and restructure the middle act, Awake could have been saved.
  35. These characters don't seem illuminating at all – just damned annoying and, ultimately, dead boring.
  36. As for children's entertainment needs, well, having seen both "The Golden Compass" and Alvin and the Chipmunks with a full theatre of four- to 12-year-olds, this reviewer is honour-bound to report that Alvin wins the kids' vote, paws down.
  37. Director Rob Reiner is betting that their star power alone will blind us to the holes in this cheesecloth of a script. It proves a fool's bet – no star shines that brightly.
  38. All of this unfolds with such predictability, the title might as well be The Great Foregone Conclusion.
  39. This sappy thing is a two-hour cheat that never plays fair for a nanosecond.
  40. The pocketing of tired bills headed for the shredder, the producing of tired movies headed for the theatre -- it's all just recycling.
  41. Almost everything about this starring vehicle for Katharine Heigl feels borrowed from some previous romantic comedy.
  42. Except for one memorable interlude, the film just doesn't have near enough fun blasting spitballs at "Pirates of the Caribbean."
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    While the punishments and triumphs are absolute, the entertainment value is highly equivocal. This ultimately relegates Untraceable to the ranks of so-so thrillers with legitimate but half-developed intellectual aspirations. And since you inspired the movie in the first place, part of the responsibility rests on, well, you.
  43. Audiences can watch any number of similarly talented comics on late-night television or, even better, get close to the action at a downtown comedy club.
  44. Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to guess which gal became the wife, which gal should have become the wife and which gal is there just to play with our heads. It's exactly like that old shell game – mildly diverting, pea-sized and otherwise hollow.
  45. Woefully short on script, the picture ends up disappearing down the wormhole of its own premise.
  46. Quaid and Whitaker, who serve more or less as the designated humans in this clockwork contraption of a film, are capable in corny roles, but otherwise Vantage Point is as stuffed with cardboard performances and expositional speeches as any seventies disaster flick.
  47. What might have been delicious trash lacks the courage of its trashy convictions, and the result is high-born melodrama with the juice boiled out, so much dry cabbage on fine-china plate.
  48. Come to think of it, Ferrell is to the sports comedy what the Toronto Maple Leafs are to the hockey biz: Hard-core fans are sure to show up and find reasons to be amused. The rest of us can only hope for better days.
  49. The whole picture plays like a pop-up book in a welfare agency.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Drillbit Taylor brings Seth Rogen's hot streak to a sudden halt.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Perry's methods are never subtle, but no contemporary filmmaker works harder to make sure ribs are tickled and tears are jerked.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Its peculiar strain of anti-Americanism aside, Run, Fat Boy, Run tries to bridge the gap between self-deprecating Brits and self-aggrandizing Yanks, settling down somewhere between the two. Don't ask me where, exactly, but this mid-Atlantic meeting point is an ultra-neutral zone.
  50. 21
    What a big cheat of a movie. Wanting to be everything to everybody – a tough gambling picture, a revenge-of-the-nerds fantasy, a Vegas caper flick, a sweet little romance, a simple morality tale – 21 is just a bet-hedger dealing from multiple decks, designed to leave you with an occasional tidbit to like but nothing at all to love.
  51. With the release of Stop-Loss, a precedent of sorts has definitely been set. If we've yet to see a brilliant Iraq movie, the wait is over for a bad one – this is it.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Puerile and idiotic it may be, but Superhero Movie is nonetheless smarter than most of its lowbrow brethren in the Hollywood sub-sub-category known as the spoof movie.
  52. Leatherhead's a comedy of stock setups and kooky digressions in which nothing really comes to a head, and running at close to two hours, it lacks the essential brevity of the form.
  53. Even with dyed hair, heavy makeup and a cigarette dangling from her bottom lip, Portman still looks like a schoolgirl pretending to be somebody's mom.
  54. As cinematic flops go, nothing falls quite as hard as a failed black comedy.
  55. Quaid doesn't have much to work with, and so deflects the portrayal away from the mind toward the body – consistently giving the coot a hunched, pigeon-toed gait. Nice try, but that bird won't fly.
  56. A bad-cop, worse-cop movie.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Exasperating and goofy documentary.
  57. A painfully predictable movie.
  58. No, there isn't anything wrong with comfort entertainment. Then She Found Me could have, should have been something special - a "Knocked Up" for weary boomers. The only hitch is that it isn't all that entertaining. Nor comforting for that matter.
  59. There's something here for everyone to dislike - the whole clan can have fun making fun of this thing.
  60. The wee mousie is fun, all right, yet like the occasionally ragged editing, the fun just gets haphazardly wedged in.
  61. Conducting another symphony in action, Spielberg seems a bit bored – always competent but never inspired – and who can really blame him? He tries to fire his interest by swiping a few tropes from the fifties pop bin, not-so-sly allusions to teen-trash movies and those McCarthy-era horror flicks. After that, there's really nowhere to go but inwards, which is when Spielberg starts looting Spielberg.
  62. One of those international co-productions full of good intentions and blandly polished results.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Conclusions and answers are perhaps luxuries that Sharma's film can't afford.
  63. Yes, the Empire may be crumbling, and the natives getting restless, but it's all happening with such lyrical loveliness - even the corpses look good. Consequently, when the rains in Before the Rains finally arrive, there's nothing to cleanse, no real dirt to wash away - not with history already so neatly packaged and polished to a dull shine.
  64. Playing characters familiar to the fans, we have William Hurt as a blustering general, Tim Blake Nelson as a kooky scientist and Tim Roth as an evil soldier who morphs into a monster. All of them seem to be directing themselves.
  65. History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce, Karl Marx said. That might explain the possibility of even making a movie such as Stuck.
  66. This is a fairly well-made picture that's just been fairly well-made too many times before, a knock-off of a thousand other knock-offs.
  67. The story is shockingly ordinary. The movie plays like an extended mediocre episode of the X-Files TV show or, for that matter, even a contemporary crime series such as CSI.
  68. A meagre, occasionally funny affair.
  69. Tropic Thunder is an assault in the guise of a comedy – watching it is like getting mugged by a clown.
  70. All in all, Australia is so damnably eager to please that it feels like being pinned down by a giant overfriendly dingo and having your face licked for about three hours: theoretically endearing but, honestly, kind of gross.
  71. A sequel that immediately picks up the plot of its predecessor, and then proceeds to drive the redeemed franchise right off the deep, dark end.
  72. It's kind of fun but the twists and turns are all too familiar.
  73. As in so many essentially childish movies, it's an actual child who's always the smartest pants in the room.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    For all of its intermittent, crowd-pleasing charm, oenophiles (and cinephiles, for that matter) might be better off putting their money toward a good bottle of Robert Mondavi.
  74. More rant than rollick, it's just ain't funny enough.
  75. A pleasant flick, more suitable for families than football fans.
  76. Let's just say that, when the parody looks indistinguishable from the parodied, something's gone awry.
  77. Though competent in its B-movie way, Terminator Salvation lacks the humour, heart-tugging moments and visual pleasure that made the first two movies of the series modern pop masterpieces.
  78. W.
    None of it is new, nor is the recycled stuff presented in a newly revealing context.
  79. What a shame that The Spirit isn't nearly as good as it looks.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    While his sincerity is admirable, Pellington is reluctant to offer any ideas that are more theologically complex than 'Faith is valuable' and 'Life is for living.'
  80. Traitor becomes too busy, ultimately frustrating, and never delivers on its tantalizing promise of offering a little insight into terrorists' motives – and it's even got an inside man.
  81. Unfortunately, both Bridges and Anderson are only intermittently in the movie. And when they're not around, How to Lose Friends loses its satirical edge, becoming an alarmingly safe, almost corny romantic comedy.
  82. The sickly feeling that Body of Lies leaves at its conclusion isn't just about the brutality of its subject; it's the realization that real-life barbarism translates so easily into adrenaline kicks for the multiplex.
  83. Both original and good; the problem is the original parts aren't good and the good parts aren't original.

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