The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

  • Movies
For 3,743 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: 59
Highest review score: 100 The Artist
Lowest review score: 0 Basic Instinct
Score distribution:
3,743 movie reviews
  1. A recruitment poster loosely disguised as a movie.
  2. While Bale speaks in an anachronistically modern American vernacular, the Chinese cast recite grammatically perfect, phonetic English so stilted you find yourself wishing the film would stick to subtitles. This is not so much a question of a story being lost in translation as a movie that never finds the right story to tell.
  3. What the film needs more than anything is Perry's alter ego, Medea – a rampaging bowling ball who might knock all these stiff, upright characters spinning.
  4. Judged by the usual aesthetic standards – Project X sucks. It's just another lame movie. Yet apply a different standard, the mores of our time, and you get a different verdict: Suddenly, it's a perfectly lame movie that speaks intriguingly to the way we live now.
  5. So it's puffed up with lots of extraneous stuff – Super fun for the kids but for grown-ups? Just fluff.
  6. This is the one Murakami work that would seem an ideal candidate for the leap from page to screen. It should be a good movie. But it isn't.
  7. Epically fantastic would be a welcome change, although epically awful would at least keep the symmetry. Alas, epically bland will have to do.
  8. Whom is this movie for, really? It's too tame for the whooping crowds of women who made hits of the "Sex and the City" movies and "Bridesmaids." And for sure it isn't for parents with kids. You can probably find them, diaper bags in the aisles and toddlers on their laps, watching "Dr. Seuss: The Lorax."
  9. A try-anything, fitfully amusing muddle that wears its mocking cynicism a bit too proudly.
  10. This little movie – it's only 83 minutes – seems so determined to if not avoid, then only caress the tropes of slacker films that it commits the worst sin for a comedy: It's boring.
  11. Really, Casa de mi Padre is a skit blown up to a feature flick, amusing for a while until its welcome wears out.
  12. What a disappointment.
  13. Halfway through, everyone starts drinking heavily and the film turns into agreeably sloppy fun. (Isn't that always the way – class reunions often perk up when someone spikes the punch.)
  14. Pearce pumps a surprising amount of levity into his one-liners – sure, it's still hot air, but at least the banter comes fully inflated.
  15. The mistake filmmakers Tucker and Epperlein (Gunner Palace) make here is assuming that fighters reveal their true characters in discussing their craft, when in fact just the opposite occurs.
  16. Adolescent boys will savour My Way's bombast and solemnity. Cringing adult audiences will more likely beat a retreat before final call.
  17. After seven trips made over four years, the production was about to wrap when the crew, aboard an icebreaker, encountered a polar bear mom and twin cubs that decided to hang around for a week – offering a rare opportunity to film the daily life of these notoriously camera-shy creatures.
  18. A lot more cutting would have made this movie much funnier – but it should have taken place in the editing room, not on the screen.
  19. Love the kid though, and Statham too – it takes a star with quality to be so rock solid in a crumbling yarn.
  20. The pervasive gore overpowers the few clumsy attempts at wit here, though the film does have one funny line. As one of Poe's literary rivals watches a razor-edged pendulum slice into his abdomen, the man screams in protest: "But I'm only a critic!"
  21. Expected too is the result: a kind of sterile opulence or, if you prefer, a magnificent emptiness.
  22. Unfortunately, the script, based on Deborah Moggach's 2004 novel "These Foolish Things," might better be described as pure British stodge: high-starch English comfort food of more sentimental than nutritional value.
  23. Dark Shadows only meaningful relationship is between Depp and his audience. He's a persona now, no longer an actor. And the kick here, as always, is watching him try on funny accents and hairdos.
  24. While Baron Cohen's lanky physical slapstick and verbal manglings are funny, the movie begins to feel like one of the later, worn-out Pink Panther movies.
  25. It's a sitcom-y ensemble film (complete with product placement) that feels like you're flipping around the TV dial.
    • 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.
  26. 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.
  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. Piranha 3DD is overcrowded and pointlessly mean. The stunt casting of David Hasselhoff playing himself, riffing off his infamous 2007 drunken home video, gets in the way of the storyline.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Lovely Molly is determined to remain ambiguous, but the title says it all. Good-Lookin' Joanie just wouldn't have the same ominous ring to it.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Crooked Arrows is no "Rocky." It lacks the emotional momentum required for that. But if it's just light, family-friendly entertainment you want, Crooked Arrows fits the bill.
  29. The clever lines and themes of friendship and finding home are almost completely overwhelmed here by the breathless pace and sensory overload.
  30. Where this PG-rated adaptation of a hit Broadway show, adapted by Adam Shankman falls down is by being far too mild for its supposedly outrageous subject.
  31. Lola Versus is all Greta all the time, a bonanza for fans and proof that Gerwig's easy offbeat charm, obvious smarts and physical comedy gifts can carry a film.
  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.
  33. 360
    To their credit, both Meirelles and his cast infuse as much realism into the artifice as they can muster, but it's not nearly enough. The too-neat script boxes them in, and leave us out. In that sense, 360 doesn't so much connect our shrunken world as strangle the life from it – the circle feels like a noose.
    • 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
    • 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.
  36. In what's meant to be a French take on "The Big Chill" - comedy meets pathos as friends gather at a country house in the wake of a tragedy - writer-director Guillaume Canet has wrought a meandering script that exercises everything except restraint.
  37. On the byways of any bustling metropolis, here is what the combination of bicycles + cars + pedestrians is certain to produce: (1) nasty accidents and (2) ferocious debates. More surprisingly, on the silver screen in Premium Rush, here is what the same combination fails to produce: a good action movie.
  38. It attempts to take local history of the illegal whisky trade and raise it to the level of myth.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Easily the daffiest movie you've ever seen that also references incestuous role-playing games.
    • 67 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.
  39. 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.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Words suggests that a story, whether true or not, can help get us through, if we believe it enough. Though this film can't quite pull it off, a good enough thief can get away with it.
  40. I doubt that Lawrence is conscious of this process. Nevertheless, stuck in a dull commercial feature, a very good actor happens upon a new solution to an age-old problem: She improves the script by transcending it, and steals the picture by abandoning it.
  41. As long as Chbosky sticks to the story of surviving high school, Perks has a modest charm. But a melodramatic last-act bombshell about Charlie's troubled past, is jarring – like the giant foot of Godzilla descending to squash tender Bambi. It's a case of too much, too late and, ultimately, from a different kind of movie.
  42. As a movie trying to make the case for parental management of the education process, Won't Back Down, doesn't make an entirely convincing case.
  43. Just a mediocre action franchise with a solid actor at the head and a travelogue in its heart.
  44. A mixed bag of old-school and contemporary horror tricks that occasionally raises a hair prickle of intrigue.
  45. A good-looking but anecdotally slight dramedy about life and lifestyles in Los Angeles's hip Silver Lake district.
  46. A farther-fetched fantasy: In addition to asking we believe our loosely packed academic can play Rocky, Here Comes the Boom imagines a world in which butterball Everyman Scott and the fabulously lush Bella (Salma Hayek) might argue and bill and coo and eventually fall in love.
  47. The Paperboy is southern Gothic wallowing in the swamp of low camp. And if the wallowing were deliberate, this might have been hugely funny.
    • 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.
  48. A comedy about a middle-aged dad who has an affair with his neighbour's daughter, The Oranges does not taste freshly squeezed.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    With its exotic setting and its beautiful cast, this Dangerous Liaisons is lovely rather than wicked.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It is a paint-by-numbers Holocaust movie, scrupulously balanced, always cautious, occasionally clichéd, often sentimental.
  49. The film only really has a pulse when it switches to live action in a few brief archival snippets, most memorably in John Cleese's appropriately outrageous eulogy for his late friend, an offering in the name of "anything for him, but mindless good taste."
  50. No longer content with simple conservatism, this horror is downright totalitarian.
  51. From time to time, as Alexandre Desplat's insistent score surged yet again while the characters rushed by, I found myself wanting the movie to slow down. Some of these images are too beautiful to disappear so quickly.
  52. Though the script takes pains to paint George as a passive boy-man, there's just not enough lovable here and too much of the thoughtless lout. Butler beware: In acting as in soccer, if you keep taking dives, sooner or later you pay the penalty.
    • 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.
  53. World-weariness is not really the energetic star's best driving gear. Nor are declarations of menace intended to identify Jack Reacher as a modern-day mythic avenger. When he tells an enemy, through his clenched choppers, "I mean to beat you to death and drink your blood from a boot," the effect is, unintentionally, popcorn-spitting funny. Talk about overreaching.
  54. The premise (and the promise) here, of course, is that, as the miles pass, the two will be as chalk is to cheese, oil to vinegar, an apple to an orange. And indeed this is what happens. Unfortunately, it's about the only thing that happens.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The initially cynical Naim suggests Tal's project is insignificant, nothing but a bottle of hope bobbing about in a sea of enmity – and so too this film.
  55. Promised Land is a low-budget effort, far too awkward and contrived a drama to change many hearts and minds.
  56. Parental Guidance is one of those intergenerational embarrassment comedies in the "Meet the Fockers" line, where children can enjoy seeing grown-ups looking ridiculous.
  57. The irony is worth noting: Back when it was really 1949, Hollywood made noir with teeth; this is nougat with pretensions.
  58. Director Walter Salles, who knows a thing or two about picaresque journeys – in "The MotorcycleDiaries," even in "Central Station" – does make an honest effort here.
  59. Performances, over all, are a mixed bag; Zeta-Jones does a fair, if incongruous, impersonation of a forties vamp, while Chandler and Pepper do well with limited screen time. As usual, Wright, as a Machiavellian police commissioner, transcends so-so-material to establish himself as the most complex character in the film.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The film's long middle section is basically "Paranormal Activity" sans that series' handicam aesthetic, as things go bump in the night and the grown-ups take forever to get their act together.
  60. If nothing else (and there isn't much else), Part III rises above the wholesale clutter of its immediate predecessor, then contents itself with settling into an easy commercial groove. What remains is amiable kid's stuff, as sweetly forgettable as an orange Popsicle on a summer's day. [25 May 1990, p.C4]
  61. As flicks go, She's All That ain't very much. But as high-school flicks go, this thing is a trite classic. [29 Jan 1999, p.C3]
  62. What promised to be a teen screwball comedy with a supernatural twist soon descends into special-effects overkill and camp acting from the overqualified supporting cast.
  63. To her credit, Nadda is a solid actors’ director – the performances here are competent even when the writing isn’t. The exception is South Africa which, although a logistically necessary shooting location, ain’t much of a thespian.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It is a film that skips the huge dance numbers but not the dewy closeups; a film that can countenance premarital sex and doesn’t end in a wedding, but dissolves into melodrama nonetheless.
  64. Certainty, then, is the watchword, and you can be certain of three things: There will be plenty of juvenile energy to power the vehicle; there will be a few mild chuckles en route; there will be no reason to remember the ride the instant it ends.
  65. Park is busy treating every frame like a runway model, dressing it up in self-conscious layers of cinematic haute couture. It’s gorgeous to gaze upon but otherwise dessicated – listless, juiceless and ultimately pointless. For all his exemplary camera work, there’s no motion, or emotion, in the picture.
  66. While it’s fine for a director to explore his childhood inspirations, you hope he would bring something a bit more personal to it. Instead, Jack the Giant Slayer, while well-crafted, feels entirely generic.
  67. Lewy’s script doesn’t cop out with any sentimental redemption, but neither does it establish why the self-destructive Lachlan deserves our sympathy.
  68. There are lively, compelling scenes, particularly in the first hour - Raimi has an indubitable talent for camp mayhem - but the picture escalates into absurdity and the last half hour, essentially a chase sequence, is marred by suprisingly cheesy special effects. [24 Aug. 1990]
  69. For its last third, the entire thing gets a Frankensteinian head transplant, and turns into derivative serial-killer nonsense.
  70. For my first trick, allow me to write off an entire picture by merely affixing to the title a one-word contraction: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone isn’t. Please hold your applause.
  71. On the downside, Rosebraugh’s own film is too self-righteous and his attempts to play a humour-challenged, lightweight version of Michael Moore in front of the camera is a misfire. The climate-change deniers are comforting, though obviously wrong. Greedy Lying Bastards is grating, even if it’s right.
  72. Beverly Hills Cop II puts its mega-star through a medieval trial, an ordeal by dullness. Survive these surroundings, Eddie Murphy, and you must truly be one very funny guy. Well, Eddie survives, barely, and taking our cue straight from him, so do we, almost. [22 May 1987]
  73. Aside from Jones’s broadly entertaining performance as the egotistical Supreme Commander, the movie, directed by Peter Webber (The Girl with the Pearl Earring), is a dud.
  74. There's an easy familiarity and charm in the creased, middle-aged faces of Nimoy, Shatner and DeForest Kelly (the perpetually irascible Dr. McCoy), all of whom now play their parts with an ever-present twinkle. Their behavior rarely has anything to do with the motives provided by the plot; rather, they wear their characters like old habits, as they boldly go where they've always gone before. [26 Nov. 1986, p.C5]
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    For his feature film debut, Brandon Cronenberg has taken the decidedly uneasy route in more ways than one. First of all, Antiviral is a virtual panoply of high wooziness, replete with sweating, shakes, vomiting, rot-infected food and more needles piercing skin than rush hour at a free flu clinic.
  75. It’s just such a shining example of a dull studio comedy.
  76. The script’s occasional gestures toward making this an allegory of the failed American dream are extremely unconvincing in the context of a movie that revels in the excesses of macho culture while laughing at the hapless and stupid who can’t get it right.
  77. Upside Down is no more than one big-budget, gussied-up fairy tale – a topsy-turvy Romeo and Juliet.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    As the middle part of a proposed trilogy, Tai Chi Hero may ultimately look better in light of its own sequel (which, based on the evidence here, will double-down on the steampunk stuff), but now, its pitched battle between silliness and solemnity feels like a split decision.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Revenge of the Nerds has some very funny moments and sturdy premise, but the revenge, when it comes, is not nearly as definitive as even the non-nerds in the audience would hope for. [25 July 1984]
  78. In a kind of perverse alchemy, this film manages to turn that narrative gold into dross, and reduce the daunting perils of a 4,300-mile voyage to a ho-hum checklist. Welcome to the reverse magic of the movies.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It’s a shame that two gifted comedians weren’t given better material to work with.
  79. What remains “indie” about At Any Price is that this is an unabashed social-message film – one that plays out like a cross between the agribusiness exposé "Food, Inc." and Arthur Miller’s "Death of a Salesman."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There might be a pretty good film lurking in this latest dramedy from the veteran Scottish directing-writing team of Ken Loach and Paul Laverty. I use the conditional because at least half the dialogue is delivered in a Glaswegian Scots so thick, it might as well have been Urdu.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It’s a timely narrative subject, but its treatment in The Reluctant Fundamentalist is fundamentally flawed.

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