The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

  • Movies
For 3,856 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: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Witches of Eastwick
Lowest review score: 0 The Amityville Horror
Score distribution:
3,856 movie reviews
  1. Continuing directly from where 2010’s "Insidious" left off, Insidious: Chapter 2 follows the further misfortunes of the Lambert family with diminishing insidious rewards.
  2. An ambitious, if uneven, experimental sci-fi romance that is less a thought-provoker than a dazzling juggling act.
  3. The 3-D is a pain, and the excitable editing, slo-mo and speeded-up action frustrate attempts to watch the athleticism on display, but the last half-hour takes it up a notch.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Unfortunately, the film promises more fun and laughs than it delivers, and this meal tastes like too many that have gone before it.
  4. Otherwise, Brody, Scott and Jenifer Lewis (as Montana’s imperious oft-married mom) give this formulaic material maximum comic spin.
  5. Occasionally, the cast rises above the material.
  6. Thanks for Sharing might best be described as being like Steve McQueen’s sex-addiction drama, "Shame," if it were rewritten by Neil Simon at his most schmaltzy.
  7. The film, shot in black-and-white at canted angles, suggests an R-rated Twilight Zone episode with a twist of Fellini-lite, in a trite film school kind of way. Mickey Mouse is unlikely to be shaking in his big yellow shoes.
  8. The movie is a preholiday trifle that’s mildly risqué and a lot sentimental.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Ambitious but generic martial-arts movie.
  9. There are the usual gaggle of embarrassing friends, a lot of voice-over and montages, a wedding, a funeral and wait … something’s missing. Oh, right. Hugh Grant.
  10. Directed by Brian Percival, best known for his work on "Downton Abbey," the film has the similar quality of a well-appointed historical soap opera.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  11. The new Jason Statham movie Homefront aims to be retro, greasy comfort food but despite its lowly ambitions, there’s barely enough spice here to merit a decent burp.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Although ably directed by feature first-timer Ruairi Robinson, and gamely performed by a cast professional enough to feign alarm and surprise, The Last Days on Mars ultimately confirms what science has already spent billions of dollars establishing: There’s just no life here.
  12. Certainly, this imagineered version of P.L. Travers’s life provides an orderly drama, but it’s uncomfortably reductive. It may be a small world, after all, but it comes in a lot more shades than Saving Mr. Banks suggests.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Not much room for controversy here, and certainly none for counterargument, this is prime-time TV history rendered as a soothing, Papa Bear bedtime story.
  13. Unfortunately, this reverent and old-fashioned biopic is a prime example of the kind of inspirational movie that is, itself, uninspired.
  14. This entry has been described as a “cousin” to the other movies. Specifically, The Marked Ones is a Hispanic cousin, customized for Latino audiences in the United States where the series is particularly popular.
  15. Although a couple of performances here may earn Oscar nominations, by the time you’ve sat through the wreckage, you’re left with the sense that this really must have worked better onstage.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Nut Job has a certain lo-fi charm, but it’s hardly a world-beater; with all due respect to Surly, Rocky J. Squirrel’s place in the pantheon would seem to be safe for another 50 years.
  16. Like its characters, That Awkward Moment has commitment issues: It lacks the courage of its bad taste.
  17. I can’t pardon Labor Day’s mush, not just because it’s mush, but because it comes with an unappetizing side order of condescension and contempt.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    As it glides along from one pretty picture to the next, Visitors starts to feel less like a singular artistic gesture than a compendium of quasi-experimental film clichés.
  18. By the film’s end, one can’t help thinking that the story would be better served by a well-researched documentary on the real-life MFAA division (monuments, fine arts and archives.)
  19. 3 Days to Kill is a comic variation on the "Taken" movies, which Besson also co-wrote and produced, starring Liam Neeson as a daughter-rescuing spy.
  20. No doubt the audiences in the Coliseum would offer a thumbs-up to the scale of the destruction, though even they might have had some quibbles about the special effects, which, too often, resemble a very large pile of melting crayons.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    So yes, if you’ve seen "The Bible," you’ve already seen most of Son of God – but if there’s one story where spoilers just don’t apply, it’s the Greatest One Ever Told.
  21. Overall, Stalingrad is a bizarre concoction, part Putin-era patriotic chest-thumping and part creaky war melodrama, all set in a superbly recreated ruined city.
  22. As is often the case in these caper flicks, there’s too much plot for insufficient dramatic effect, and alert viewers will suss out where it’s all heading in the first five minutes.
  23. 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.
  24. At almost 21/2 hours, Divergent is repetitiously brutal and drab, with sets that resemble warehouses and industrial junkyards; the action rarely emerges into the daylight before the climactic gun battle.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There’s plenty of shimmying here, maybe too much, and lots of spin moves, but it’s missing on-the-field results.
  25. The movie is no religious fringe event. It’s from a major studio (Sony), with an Oscar-nominated star (Greg Kinnear), adapted for the screen by "Braveheart" screenwriter Randall Wallace.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Godzilla – both the movie and the big guy – is otherwise something of a lumpy, lumbering great beast of a thing, lurching from city to city, continent to continent, smackdown to smackdown and plot point to plot point with singularly graceless indifference to anything other than those take-home jaw-dropper shots.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Unfortunately, For No Good Reason sidelines Steadman’s own bona fides, functioning primarily as a second-hand documentary of Thompson, stoking the hagiography of the late hipster icon.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The movie offers nothing new or special, but at least it isn’t as painful as watching Sandler walk Al Pacino through a Dunkin’ Donuts rap.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Love Punch feels like a remake of an old MGM caper comedy. It’s not, but it feels that way, which will certainly set it apart from the Disney villains, X-people and radioactive sea monsters of the summer movie schedule.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Fault is at heart a full-throttle, by-the-numbers tearjerker.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Just as the promising parody of prison films begins to catch fire, Friedman and Poitier douse it with a bucketful of realism. [13 Dec 1980]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  26. Director Peter Hyams strives hard to maintain a light and entertaining touch, lifting Timecop slightly above its formulaic restraints. On the one hand, there's a pleasing freshness to the movie, thanks to lots of energy and a little playful wit. On the other, there's something deeply fatiguing about this picture. Maybe it's the formula, maybe it's all that time travel, but you just can't help thinking you've seen it all before. Must be deja vu. [21 Sep 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    In truth, despite its honesty, this is a flawed little film, its low comedy never funny enough to justify its crudeness.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Poehler’s Parks and Rec co-star Adam Scott is there, playing a sound engineer and so is John Stamos from "Full House," because, you know, that’s funny. Until it’s tiresome.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    As a script it is uneven and tonally inconsistent – best as a brainless, gross-out comedy, less successful when striving for emotional poignancy.
  27. Although the film and the actors keep on looking good, this solemn, soppy, fantasy has nothing to say about science or faith.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It’s a story where sex and being over 60 aren’t treated as mutual exclusives, which is pretty great in its own way.
  28. A Master Builder really doesn’t work, hampered by odd casting, theatrical performances and a reductive interpretation of Ibsen’s play.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There could be a fascinating and illuminating movie in this.
  29. 21 years later, in the wake of "The Hunger Games", "Divergent" and "The Lego Movie," another movie about a kid rebelling against socially imposed “sameness” is a case of the same old, same old.
  30. 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  31. The November Man is one of those thrillers that grows progressively more incoherent, and it simply isn’t fast enough to glide over its gaping narrative holes.
  32. Without a thin tether to credibility, this fussy, morbid fantasy simply slides off into the void.
  33. As with so many movies where the script constructs experiences that are contrived and off-putting, you hope the actors can capture the emotional truth of some scenes, even if the entire apparatus feels bogus.
  34. Director David Dobkin, best known for comedies such as "Shanghai Nights" and "Wedding Crashers," demonstrates his serious intent mostly by paint-by-numbers psychology and a ponderous pace.
  35. The movie’s compromised tone, wavering between emo introspection and rom-com cuteness, is awkward in all the wrong ways.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Horns is allegorically cluttered, unsure of its tone and outrageous with its snakery in a half-serious supernatural thriller about good, evil and redemption in a garden of Eden.
  36. Throbbing musical crescendos and flickery flashbacks abound but apart from some outlandish plot machinations, nothing here is good or bad enough to be memorable.
  37. Over all, the movie is just funny enough to make you wish it were much better than it is.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    In an irony, Godard’s certainly aware of (after all, he constructed it), Goodbye is noteworthy for being shot in 3-D, a calling card of the cookie-cutter Hollywood movies it couldn’t have less to do with.
  38. That makes Mockingjay – Part 1 an experience to be endured, like a prison sentence, rather than enjoyed. By all means, bring on the revolution: It has to be more exciting than this.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Five Armies only feels truly entertaining when it embraces the arch silliness of its material; like when 92-year-old actor Christopher Lee whirls about in combat with a handful of ghosts.
  39. Full of post-hippie fatalism and cynical macho barroom existentialism, the original film feels very much of its era, and the remake anachronistic.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Elevated to some vague level of importance, not on merit but by circumstance.
  40. Between a string of post-Friends dismal rom-coms, Aniston has succeeded in these kinds of grownup roles every few years. Here, she negotiates the character’s quirks and contradictions competently, but nothing short of a rewrite from scratch could make Cake palatable.
  41. This briefly inspired bit of surreality quickly descends into gratuitous bondage, mayhem and dumb humour, marking the usual progression from mildly absurd premise to gratingly idiotic conclusion.
  42. The problem with the taboo-busters is that they feel calculated - in the past, Lynch's creepiness seemed casual and natural - and they take Wild at Heart so high it can't come down; the picture repeatedly jacks itself into frenzy only to crash into lethargy.
  43. Other than a few gratuitous montage sequences, plus a patently clumsy echo of the shopping scene in "Pretty Woman," Marshall refuses to pull his share of the load, forcing his beleaguered cast to fend for themselves.
  44. Though Lillard's excitable tone keeps promising wild comic adventures, the sequences are uniformly flat and humour-free.
  45. It's the sort of visual joke you would wince at in a 1940s movie; to see it nowadays, you're tempted to dismiss it as unintentional.
  46. Barely a chuckle in sight.
  47. Properly handled, any one of these characters could be made, just barely, believable. But here they simply go off, like rockets, exploding out of nowhere and racing across the screen, one after the other.
  48. There is no pleasure in watching a child suffer. Just embarrassment and a vague sense of shame. Watching Trapped simply makes us feel guilty.
  49. It's not really serious, not especially funny, and not noticeably scary. Strikeout.
  50. On the whole, the film is content to lumber awkwardly between the condemned man on death row and the intrepid reporter on his save-a-life beat -- there's about as much rhythm in the style as there is sense in the plot.
  51. A cinematic homage as flawed as its subject. Flawed, yet with a peculiar fascination of its own -- what we have is a genuine artist paying sincere tribute to an unapologetic mediocrity, and stooping awkwardly to the task.
  52. The result is a small independent film suffering from a severe case of Hollywood-itis. A cautionary tale minus the caution, Just a Kiss is just a cop-out.
  53. The film doesn't work, it ain't charming.
  54. Reign of Fire never comes close to recovering from its demented premise, but it does sustain an enjoyable level of ridiculousness.
  55. Before immediately handing the movie an F and sending it off to summer school, give the filmmakers, and especially co-star Jason Schwartzman, credit for their anarchic willingness to try anything to shock a laugh loose from an audience.
  56. Too much chatting, not enough chills.
  57. A plot so preposterous it could only have emerged from the underground comic world.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    If the art of a true hustler is, as Joe puts it, "beating a man out of his money and making him like it," Callahan blows it big-time with any mark who shells out to see his film.
  58. Isn't so much a movie as a 90-minute Trivial Pursuit contest to name bit players from TV's distant past.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    The monster isn't very interesting (or scary) to look at: he's just an oily, overgrown gremlin.
  59. As for the old and graceful Jackie, he's completely missing in action, his supple talents sacrificed on the high altar of movie technology -- that frenetic place where superheroes are a colossal bore and real ones are sadly impotent.
  60. What's up with director John McTiernan? The man has got to get a career of his own -- sponging off the pale leavings of Norman Jewison just won't do.
  61. To divulge the plot would spoil the experience -- you'll be shocked to discover, and maybe even surprised to learn, just how lame the damn thing really is.
  62. Both syrupy and scatological, this is a typical family-dividing Sandler comedy: Parents will hate it but the kids will delight in its rudeness.
  63. Empire is just too intent on living up to its imperial name -- colonizing other defenceless movies, plundering their rich natural resources, and leaving us all to feel rather cruelly violated. A postscript: Somebody here -- I'm not saying who -- dies. And still keeps on talking.
  64. This hunk of celluloid flotsam will come back sooner rather than later, washed up on the remote shelves of your local video store. My advice: shred the message, recycle the bottle.
  65. While computer games can boast an abundance of nifty graphics and odious villains and plucky protagonists on long journeys, they're invariably a tad wanting in the cinematic essentials -- you know, stuff like plot and characterization and theme.
  66. This time the action takes us out of the usual campgrounds and girls in underwear into the realm of outer space, where no one can hear you screaming "Enough already."
  67. About the only fun to be had in the movie is screenwriter Alan McElroy's cartoon spook-speak.
  68. You might believe that a movie comedy requires no visual rhythm, and that entire scenes -- especially those big set-pieces -- benefit greatly from a shooting style devoid of imagination and unremittingly flat. If so, A Guy Thing is surely your thing. Enjoy.

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