The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

  • Movies
For 3,845 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 Advanced Style
Lowest review score: 0 The Mod Squad
Score distribution:
3,845 movie reviews
  1. From that title on down, White Irish Drinkers is a compendium of clichés struggling to upgrade its status and become a respectable archetype.
  2. A great-looking, fast-paced film and, to his credit, Bouchareb doesn't bathe the F.L.N. in a completely flattering light. But narrowing the focus to one central conflicted character and tightening the time frame might have given the audience something more to ponder than the action of a historical revenge thriller.
  3. Throughout, Wilson and Byrne play these parts straightforward and there's an undercurrent of real anguish in the struggle of parents coping with a child's long-term care.
  4. View the Second World War through a child's eyes and the result isn't hard to predict: a loss-of-innocence tale. Winter in Wartime is the boilerplate version, with the already dramatic facts of the era ramped up to melodramatic levels. Little wonder it rings so false.
  5. Soul Surfer is a true story that plays like bad fiction.
  6. Though it's undoubtedly ingenious, for such a clever movie, it's a shame Rubber couldn't be more fun.
  7. 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.
  8. More interestingly, it's also kind of sweet in a contrived and fumbling first-kiss sort of way.
  9. 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."
  10. Alas, the news is mixed: Thor ain't much of a movie but it's a great career move. Both movie and move belong to director Kenneth Branagh.
  11. Clearly, the screenplay is looking for some black comedy here, but Foster's direction is too earnest to locate it.
  12. Ultimately, his (Silver) film settles for a queasy mix of high-toned intentions and commercial compromises.
  13. Poor Cattrall is caught in a script that, much like the white teddy, is an impossibly tight squeeze, obliging her to hit the farcical laughs while still playing the cellulite realism.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    An uneven but intriguing piece of whimsy that veers from powerfully symbolic cinematography into self parody.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Undeniably funny in parts, but the salacious spark and brilliant pacing of the original is off.
  14. There just isn't the same zingy rapport. Seth Rogen's praying mantis and Jackie Chan's monkey have no more than a dozen lines between them. Even Jack Black's Po is more subdued.
  15. What gets sacrificed on the altar of this new franchise launch is any real sense of fun.
  16. By happy coincidence, their names – Bitey, Loudy, Stinky, Lovey and Nimrod – pretty much double as a plot summary.
  17. The whole project labours towards an importance it never earns. In Beautiful Boy, the themes are vast but the picture is small, and the ensuing emptiness is what the characters are meant to feel – not us.
  18. Just who is Pixar aiming this movie at? Contemporary children or their great-grandparents?
  19. But don't worry about remembering the characters - the movie certainly doesn't.
  20. Next semester, the stars should drop Speech 217 and enroll in Chemistry 101 – they dearly need some.
  21. While a lot of geography is covered, as a concert film, Conan O'Brien Can't Stop is decidedly thin entertainment.
  22. By the time we reach the climactic ending, the script clearly calls for an exorcist with a chainsaw to trim back this metaphor run amok.
  23. The narrative, cobbled together from various Pooh stories by an army of writers, is held together reasonably well by John Cleese's soothing narration.
  24. Is there any doubt Evans' Captain America will do exactly what the character created 70 years ago by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby did in the comics – kick Nazi butt? The real surprise will come next year, when we get to see how the super-square Captain adapts to 21st-century life.
  25. Sitcom star Harris puts his smart-aleck chops to good use as Patrick Winslow.
  26. While there's some decent fun to be had in this fantasy world, The Change-Up drags on so long you may need to "visit the fountain" before Dave and Mitch become themselves again.
  27. El Bulli barely registers a pulse stronger than a book's. There is no narration, there are no interviews and forget about any apron-ripping drama, as presented nightly on the Food Network.
  28. Typically, this sort of film is an earnest tear-jerker with moments of levity. Instead, what we have here is a raucous rib-tickler with occasional pauses for a little dramatic relief.
  29. Periodically, thanks to the 3-D, a long and pointy object emerges from the screen, threatening to impale the viewers through their eyeballs, enhancing the movie's guilty pleasure by reminding us that we, too, are made of vulnerable flesh and bone.
  30. Approximate time spent laughing: 30 seconds or fewer.
  31. 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy fails to live up to either its promise or title.
  32. 5 Days of War feels low-budget in everything except its battle sequences.
  33. The ensemble is unwieldy and the attendant yarn much too cluttered.
  34. Killer Elite's major problem: motion at the expense of emotion.
  35. All outrageous stuff. Gatien's story is worth telling. Which makes it all the more unfortunate that director Billy Corben presents it in such a methodical fashion.
  36. A potentially appealing story about a rescued disabled dolphin gets smothered with inspirational family values guff.
  37. Once again Anna Faris manages to be the best thing in another not very good Anna Faris movie.
  38. At the end of these "based on a true story" flicks, it's customary to flash photos of the real people over the end credits. There, Sam Childers looks older and less handsome and awfully imposing, a scary sort of cat with raw but authentic tales to tell. I'd like to hear them.
  39. Relentlessly twee as all this is, Wasikowska's warmth and Hopper's off-beat timing (he's the son of the late Dennis Hopper) are appealing to watch.
  40. The Last Circus is a bizarre, surreal, grotesque, fascinating, demanding, disappointing and ultimately exhausting political allegory that plays like a waking nightmare.
  41. If 1911 doesn't impress as historical spectacle, neither does it rank high as a Jackie Chan film.
  42. It's a combination that seems ideal for 10-year-old boys who adore violence, and could well be the cornerstone of the next DreamWorks franchise.
  43. Kenneth Lonergan's new film, Margaret, finally released six years after it was shot, now seems destined to become part of film history as one of the more stunning examples of a filmmaker's sophomore slump.
  44. The result is an offence-free, mild entertainment in which everyone from cast to scriptwriter seems to be winging it.
  45. While dance sequences are not particularly well edited compared to the new breed of dance flick, Wormald and Hough are exciting hoofers to watch.
  46. The first 45 minutes of this film feel like far too much normal and not nearly enough para.
  47. A sporadically amusing, occasionally off-putting French farce.
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. The less you know about Shakespeare, the more you're likely to enjoy Anonymous.
  51. Keen to be both really romantic and romantically real, the movie is neither, and falls between the cracks of its twin-ambitions. The result? Call it l'amour phooey.
  52. The pilgrimage is still long but, even with the crosses they bear, these are pilgrims lite – perhaps it's the modern way.
  53. It's the most jumbled and tonally confused movie yet.
  54. The Muppet charm, always more at home within the intimate frame of a TV set, is gone here.
  55. Plays precariously close to an unfunny sociopathic case study.
  56. This movie wants to be a horse but, even measured in box-office millions, it's just another nag.
    • 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.
  57. Although the subject, school bullying, is as fresh as today's headlines, the treatment isn't. Despite the efforts of an impressive cast, the film starts out stale and then just gets tedious.
  58. All hell breaks loose and it's a heck of a lot of fun to watch.
  59. The Iron Lady is a performance in search of a film.
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. A movie with a double-crossing intelligence plot that's so generic it's an irritating intrusion in a lively chase through the streets and shantytowns of Cape Town, South Africa.
  63. While The Vow will give heart palpitations to fans of its charming co-stars Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, this amnesia-themed romance is the kind of featherweight fare that is enjoyed in the moment and forgotten soon after the end credits roll.
  64. It's odd, how these high-concept films, knowing that the central gimmick has a way of wearing out its welcome, are all so short – a mere 84 minutes in this case. Why odd? Because short always ends up feeling so damn long. This is no exception. Quick to start and painfully slow to finish, Chronicle is the same old chronicle.
  65. This Means War is a Valentine's date dud: Think wilted roses, squashed chocolates and flat champagne.
  66. A recruitment poster loosely disguised as a movie.
  67. 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.
  68. 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.
  69. 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.
  70. So it's puffed up with lots of extraneous stuff – Super fun for the kids but for grown-ups? Just fluff.
  71. 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.
  72. Epically fantastic would be a welcome change, although epically awful would at least keep the symmetry. Alas, epically bland will have to do.
  73. 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."
  74. A try-anything, fitfully amusing muddle that wears its mocking cynicism a bit too proudly.
  75. 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.
  76. Really, Casa de mi Padre is a skit blown up to a feature flick, amusing for a while until its welcome wears out.
  77. What a disappointment.
  78. 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.)
  79. 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.
  80. 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.
  81. Adolescent boys will savour My Way's bombast and solemnity. Cringing adult audiences will more likely beat a retreat before final call.
  82. 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.
  83. 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.
  84. Love the kid though, and Statham too – it takes a star with quality to be so rock solid in a crumbling yarn.
  85. 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!"
  86. Expected too is the result: a kind of sterile opulence or, if you prefer, a magnificent emptiness.
  87. 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.
  88. 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.
  89. 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.
  90. 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.
  91. 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.
  92. 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.
  93. 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.
  94. The clever lines and themes of friendship and finding home are almost completely overwhelmed here by the breathless pace and sensory overload.

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