The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

  • Movies
For 3,924 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 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Before Sunrise
Lowest review score: 0 Far and Away
Score distribution:
3,924 movie reviews
  1. While a lot of geography is covered, as a concert film, Conan O'Brien Can't Stop is decidedly thin entertainment.
  2. 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.
  3. It is, alas, très twee. A muchness of silliness. Beautifully filmed silliness, and fetchingly acted tweeness. But give me Cruella de Vil any time.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Solid performances from veterans Sissy Spacek and Kris Kristofferson as Jay's parents, and Treat Williams as the sheriff, anchor the older generation, but the characters do tend to conform to stereotypes of hard, unforgiving men and loving, patient women.
  4. Single-handedly, Bridges gives the film what it otherwise lacks -- energy and emotion invested in this damaged man, naked beneath his ballooning caftan, at once sadly ridiculous and ridiculously sad.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    What starts off as a possible Argentine "American Beauty" reeks like a room stacked with pungent flowers.
  5. Bouncing about from one flawed movie to another, Steven Spielberg has lost his way of late, and Munich finds him more disoriented than ever.
  6. Though beautiful to look at and graced with moments of ticklish camp, The Skin I Live In is also sluggish, arbitrarily conceived and, especially in its sagging middle, unaccountably dull.
  7. A comedy about a middle-aged dad who has an affair with his neighbour's daughter, The Oranges does not taste freshly squeezed.
  8. 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.
  9. A contrived little comedy, Dummy definitely lives down to its name -- you can see the lips moving on this wooden thing.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The decision to overhaul the Scary Movie franchise by sending up such non-horror titles as "8 Mile" and "The Matrix Reloaded" also pays dividends.
  10. It's a sitcom-y ensemble film (complete with product placement) that feels like you're flipping around the TV dial.
  11. Embracing such depths, Bukowski somehow made his art. Simulating them, Factotum just makes us queasy.
  12. A bland, workaday detective flick that should have been much better than it is.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    With its exotic setting and its beautiful cast, this Dangerous Liaisons is lovely rather than wicked.
  13. 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.
  14. Call it "Alexander the Grate," because, over the marathon of its three-hour running time, this wonky epic really does get on your nerves.
  15. It’s less startling than it was when the first Sin City was released in 2005, maybe even quaint, like a black-light Jimi Hendrix poster from the ’60s.
  16. Throughout, Terence Blanchard's score swells and sweeps, reminding us, at every moment, what we're supposed to feel. If only we knew what we were supposed to think of this trite mess.
  17. On the flimsy wings of this familiar fairy tale, Linklater tries to fly himself a movie, dressing up the quartet (and the strapping he-men cast to portray them) in the audience-friendly vestments of picaresque charm.
  18. The 131-minute, car-racing film is adolescent guy date histrionics – screaming tires, snappy putdowns and, because we're in Rio, an occasional influx of bodies beautiful in Band-Aid bikinis.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Battleship has its moments, like the rare occasions when it nods to its origin: There's a nice eureka when we learn that evil alien ships can be outwitted, improbably, by plotting co-ordinates on a grid, à la your granddad's board game.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    For all the carnality on offer here, Mitchell and his cast seem ambivalent about sex.
  19. One of those comedies that is more peculiar than actually funny.
  20. More interestingly, it's also kind of sweet in a contrived and fumbling first-kiss sort of way.
  21. About a third of the way along, there's a shocking revelation that definitely packs a punch. Problem is, it's followed by a near-immediate return to familiar narrative convention, where the noir ante rises exponentially toward a climax that arrives too hastily and ends too neatly.
  22. Definitely erratic, this thing -- all in all, it's the sort of commercial vehicle you might want to stay well back of.
  23. It doesn't take a foolish romantic to hope that Myles and Elisabeth live happily ever after. The world just isn't ready for 20 More Dates.
  24. As a message movie, it's preachy without being serious; for an action movie, there's a lot of racket but not much fun.
  25. This is wish-fulfilment fantasy, where the laughs lie in sorting out an embarrassment of riches.
  26. Though there are a few annoying moments when the actors get in the way of the scenery, mostly it succeeds.
  27. It's all rather wacky and hard to follow or fathom, although maybe that's attributable to Virginia's schizophrenia veering off on its delusional phase.
  28. The cast is so oddly interesting you wish you could see them doing something less wasteful
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    If I Stay is true to principle in one significant regard: It makes no concessions to anyone outside its teenage female cohort.
  29. One disappointment here is that Patricia Clarkson, the queen of indie film, is missing much of her usual spark. Her performance may be aiming for sensual, but too often it comes across more as listless.
  30. 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.
  31. Every stage of the race and chase is announced on a webcast conducted by the secret impresario of the illegal De Leon race, a billionaire car enthusiast known as the Monarch, who “nobody knows.” Actually, the Monarch is clearly visible in a corner of the computer screen and he’s played, with jive-spouting brio by Michael Keaton. Hey, the movie isn’t called Need for Logic.
  32. So why does Savages feel so calculated, cutesy, free of suspense and trashy only in the uninteresting sense? No doubt, Stone is trying... but it all feels more like flexing atrophied muscles rather than creating a believable experience.
    • 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.
  33. The less you know about Shakespeare, the more you're likely to enjoy Anonymous.
  34. In Youth in Revolt , Cera bellies up to the same table once too often. His fresh-faced act is starting to look really stale.
  35. A superior entertainment to both "RE 1" and "Alien vs. Predator."
  36. Redford hasn't moved too far here from an earlier political-thriller template: With its skulduggery, late-night meetings and the contemptuous political cabal out to thwart justice, The Conspirator can be thought of as "All the President's Men – The Lincoln Edition."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Here’s a date movie that will neither cozily cheer you nor satisfyingly thrill you, but instead leave you scratching your head.
  37. Too much diary, not enough movie.
  38. The Viral Factor is deliriously far-fetched. And one wishes director Dante Lam (The Beast Stalker) could have at least had some giddy fun smashing all his toys around. But his new film is tediously overwrought and drably made, with scenes punctuated by synthesized drums out of eighties American TV drama.
  39. Each of the actors has strong moments but the relentless intensity becomes monotonous.
  40. In a few sound bites, we get the picture and the picture's motto: the smug and selfish coast is an order of disaster-flick toast waiting to burn.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Jim Caviezel, as coach Ladouceur, doesn’t get much to work with, the script reducing the man to a two-dimensional motivational speaker awash in “there’s no I in Team” platitudes.
  41. 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.
  42. You Kill Me is not so much a bad film as one filled with missed potential and marked by the seams of compromise.
  43. None of it rings true, except perhaps the presence of an ambitious local TV news reporter (Kyra Sedgwick) who begins recording every macabre moment with relish.
  44. Pardon my pulling anthropological rank, but Instinct -- a movie about an ape-man savant -- seems a quart low on common sense.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It works best when it doesn't take itself seriously, and some of the ways in which ESP is faked are briefly engaging, like short con games or magic tricks revealed. But, finally, the film doesn't offer the sense of release, or of surprise, that it seems to take for granted.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It is hard to know whether to applaud directors David Redmon and Ashley Sabin for exposing the underside of the fashion business – or demand they abandon their documentarian stance and rescue young Nadya on the spot.
  45. The first 45 minutes of this film feel like far too much normal and not nearly enough para.
  46. What we have here is a pretty good TV show huffed and puffed into a rather mediocre film.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Traditionally, Christmas movies are about the power of the holiday spirit to conquer all in the name of seasonal detente, and The Best Man Holiday, although sprinkled with bad behaviour and salty bon mots, is traditional right to the twinkly-tipped top of the tree.
  47. Perhaps for Zwigoff, directing someone else's script, this was just a job of work. If not, the talent who made "Crumb" and "Ghost World "has now made his first movie mistake.
  48. The movie is a freakish creature, with lush, painterly animation inspired by Dutch and Flemish masters, attached to a convoluted, gloomy narrative punctuated with scenes of sadism that rival "The Dark Knight."
  49. Less an adaptation of its source material than a therapeutic response to it.
  50. Sugary but well-acted little emotional button-presser.
  51. 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.
  52. It's like an elevated form of sitcom acting, which may be inevitable because this movie, and all its quirky/heartfelt kin, are an elevated version of the sitcom itself.
  53. The trouble is that Antichrist feels progressively symptomatic of a director losing heart.
  54. The movie begins to feel more like a buffet of contrivance than a feast of love.
  55. Sincere performances and the beautiful gold-and-grey Donegal landscape can only go so far in A Shine of Rainbows, a family film that risks drowning in its own syrup.
  56. A feature that suffers from the rarity of its wit yet benefits from the briskness of its pace.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    I don't know if you have to be a surfer to fully appreciate Chasing Mavericks, but it certainly wouldn't hurt.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The director’s avoidance of anything resembling innovative framing or editing will probably pay off when Delivery Man eventually airs on television, where the flimsiness of its jokes and “serious” moments alike should feel less conspicuous.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The gradual ramping up of both the camera calisthenics and the gore quotient suggests a movie that’s been very deliberately paced, but that doesn’t mean that Afflicted really gets anywhere, except back to the very basics its state-of-the-art presentation is supposed to transcend.
  57. Watching this, we should feel an immense amount, but don't, and somehow, decades after this horrible event, that void only seems to compound the tragedy.
  58. While it's not exactly the kind of movie many will feel like catching during a holiday break, fans of the horror genre will appreciate the fresh take on a killer's hunt for fresh meat.
  59. For all the talent involved, The Eye of the Storm is an incident-stuffed but lacklustre affair – a case of lots of sturm, but not enough drang – that reaches for a satiric sting and emotional depth it never achieves.
  60. But Keaton is a mistake. He's an actor with an innate sense of irony firmly grounded in the here and now. Even as Batman, skepticism was his forte; true belief falls way outside his range.
  61. There’s a fine line sometimes, as "This is Spinal Tap" reminded us, between stupid and clever. Now You See Me wobbles along that tightrope for much of its running time.
  62. Brainless, but enjoyably over-the-top, the retro gang melodrama, Deuces Wild represents fifties teen-gang machismo in a way that borders on rough-trade homo-eroticism.
  63. Vanity: the surest road to mediocrity.
  64. Bean falls well short of a work of genius. Indeed, the unbearable slightness of Bean feels like nothing so much as a betrayal of the television series on which it is based.
  65. A sporadically amusing, occasionally off-putting French farce.
  66. All of this is accomplished with buckets of blood, but almost no sense of flesh: It's hard to recall a more sexless vampire flick.
  67. Despite an evident appetite for mayhem, however, Bay is not the right guy to produce slasher movies. Horror requires intimacy.
  68. What a disappointment.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Watching De Clercq dance is not only what Nancy Buirski’s uneven documentary does to best effect, it helps you understand the movie’s otherwise restrictive emphasis on the men who became obsessed by her, primarily her discoverer and husband George Balanchine and the dancer/choreographer Jerome Robbins.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Hergé was the pioneer of an even-handed style of cartooning with solid lines and no shading that became known as ligne claire, but there is a decided lack of clear lines in this erratic movie adaptation of his work.
  69. 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.
  70. It's a comedy, it's a romance, it's a gangster flick. The Cooler is all of that and much, much less. This is a movie without a compass, switching pace and direction as haphazardly as a caffeinated SUV driver on a cellphone.
  71. The Notebook is meant to be a romantic weepy, and you will shed tears - but only from the consistent and exhausting effort of trying to control your gag reflex. Even a body that welcomes a sugar fix will repel a sugar invasion.
  72. Of course, the result is forgettable, but at least it's efficiently and breezily forgettable. What's more, there are laughs too and here's the best part – one or two of them are actually intentional.
  73. The movie becomes an American salute to military patriotism, anybody's military patriotism. Think of it as "A Few Good Reds."
  74. If this is satire, it's the smug and self-congratulatory kind that lets the audience completely off the hook. Effective satire, the Swiftian brand, seduces us first and then implicates us in the seduction -- we become a target too. But this stuff never gets past the initial step -- it's toothless, as innocuous as the puffery it pretends to skewer.
  75. Was it worth slogging through the nearly two hours of damned muddle to get to those last affecting moments? Not often in movies is the destination so much better than the journey.
  76. As anodyne as it is, Timothy Green may represent the last gasp of a genre, the live-action family fable, that has been an entertainment staple for a couple of generations of moviegoers.
  77. Identity opens with its mind nicely intact, suffers a major crisis about 30 minutes in, then bad turns to worse.
  78. Max
    The whole film occupies pretty much the same continuuum -- glimmers of intelligence followed by moments of outright hysteria punctuated by bouts of sheer haplessness.
  79. Dorothy's friends are as weird as her enemies, which is faithful to the original Oz books but turns out not to be a virtue on film, where the eerie has a tendency to remain eerie no matter how often we're told it's not. [22 Jun 1985, p.E3]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There is a rich movie to be made about this culture of fake seers and gullible marks, but it isn't The Awakening, a dull British import that never lives up to the pretensions of its period setting.
  80. 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.
  81. Dirty Girl isn't. Sorry, but it's just faux grime, a thin layer of bad behaviour that wipes clean with a two-ply tissue to reveal the real movie beneath – all shiny sentimentality.

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