The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

  • Movies
For 3,778 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 Pool
Lowest review score: 0 A Haunted House 2
Score distribution:
3,778 movie reviews
  1. The high point might be the opening scene, before the stars arrive on screen.
  2. Some of the most memorable performances from great actors are also their worst: Add to that list Anthony Hopkins's turn as a sinister old Jesuit.
  3. Don't mean to boast, but I can suspend my disbelief as willingly as any credulous moviegoer. Yet not even an industrial crane would have helped here.
  4. With its stilted dialogue, fragments of voice-over and over-busy camera, Red Riding Hood feels off-kilter from the start.
  5. Apparently, somebody thought it was time for a remake. Clearly, somebody was dead wrong.
  6. By comparison to this effort, "Pineapple Express" seems like a model of thoughtful maturity.
  7. Last Night is a New York morality play: A film in love with (lower) Manhattan that is suspicious of real romance. What it lacks is Allen's sense of horseplay; his appetite for lunatic adventure. When you take a bite of the Big Apple, you're not supposed to nibble.
  8. Bad Teacher should be a hoot. But it isn't. Love the theory here, hate the practice.
  9. Over on the aliens side, it's hard to make out faces, but there's no doubt about their place of origin: These slimy, growling, bug-eyed and distinctly non-scary things are straight from central casting.
  10. In today's cultural climate, any remake of Conan the Barbarian can only be considered (a) redundant or (b) a cruel case of rubbing salt in our cinematic wounds. Either way, it ain't a pretty sight – in fact, it's downright barbaric.
  11. The film has one sly, ominous touch Peckinpah would have liked. David is writing a script on the defence of Stalingrad, a battle that swallowed two million lives. Otherwise, the new version is a vigilante action film bereft of subtlety or restraint.
  12. All the borderline pantomime acting and wigged buffoonery is deliberate and silly, but The Three Musketeers remains charmless, a romp brought down by its lead-footed script.
  13. Add up these three intentions – the down-and-dirty tone, the tender and uplifting message, the starring vehicle – and the math ain't funny. Bottom line: This movie is a whole lot less than the sum of its parts.
  14. Virtue aside, however, Red Tails is a lousy film. Not wincingly bad, mind you, just mediocre.
  15. Valuable life lessons always come at a steep price, and this one is no exception. Sorry, but you'll have to shell out for The Divide and then suffer through its nearly two hours of bloody inanities. Weigh the balance, make your choice.
  16. W.E. is a heavily made-up face masquerading as a movie and demanding to be admired – demands that might just leave you with an acute pain in the other end.
  17. Admittedly, it's been a long time since Kelly McGillis was being hyped as "the next Grace Kelly." But of all the films in all the world for whom the former Top Gun lust object could have done a walk-on, this lacklustre haunted-house feature is the one she chooses?
  18. Call me Grumpy, but this seems less an adaptation than a random assault.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Ye gods, there's a lot of hacking and many seismic eruptions in The Wrath of the Titans, the latest 3-D action film that treats the Greek gods as action figures.
  19. Another Nicholas Sparks novel, another cinematic brush with insulin shock.
  20. The film sputters and stalls and winds up behaving like the worst sort of oldster – passing gas and pretending to be deep.
  21. Try not to be in the same room as Jesus Henry Christ. At the very least run when the first fire alarm sounds.
  22. The biggest high comes from the images evoked by the title alone, or the title in tandem with the movie poster, doesn't it?
  23. Dance gets political in Step Up Revolution, the fourth installation of the popular movie franchise, which delivers plenty of spectacular fancy footwork in what is otherwise a flat-footed fantasy.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Anyone who has seen "Dream Girls," "What's Love Got To Do With It?" or even "The Doors" will find themselves in familiar (if inferior) territory here.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    A few striking images keep our attention – like evil warrior Rain (Michelle Rodriguez) seated menacingly with an assault rifle on a playground swing in the 'burbs. But the film's title promises payback, without offering ample compensation.
  24. Clint has a script. Actually, Clint has too much script, one of those schematic by-the-number jobs that telegraphs its every pitch.
  25. After six years in development, this comedy starring and produced by Adam Sandler feels as slapped together one of the comedian's live-action buddy movies.
  26. The filmmakers have altered the premise from the unlikely to the ridiculous.
  27. A lightweight flick about a heavy-duty subject, A Dark Truth plays like a TV movie back in the days when TV wasn't worth watching.
  28. It’s hard to argue with the title here – Safe Haven, indeed. This is all about safety in the Hollywood workplace. Why make a movie when making a Hallmark-card-with-dialogue is so much less risky?
    • 50 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    The characters are reluctant to believe in the face of overwhelming evidence, mostly because writer-director Scott Stewart doesn’t want to play his hand too early. By the time the movie is over, it’s easy to see why he kept his cards close to his chest. He’s not really holding anything.
  29. There are two movies in Superman III, one a witless and obvious and often cruel comic strip, the other a blithe and subtle and often amusing exercise in middle-brow camp. Not only do the two halves never come together, they are in active opposition. [17 June 1983]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  30. Feels like a five-year-old with a megaphone, excitedly yelling about his latest bulldozer-soldier-dinosaur smash-kill-squash-everything game.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    All the special effects in the universe don't make up for a lame plot, though. There's something foul about a Star Trek movie so apparently slapdash: the creators know that legions of fans will show up, no matter what. [18 Nov. 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  31. It's unclear as to how we are supposed to feel about these monologuists, the majority of whom are twentysomething; nothing is how I felt about them, but perhaps I was tired. [27 Sept. 1991]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  32. What we have here is a romp, a funny romp at times, with a clear satiric intent and the expected quota of outrageous style - likable enough, yes, but a rather flimsy thing, a zany fest with its mind on cruise control. [17 June 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 34 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Erased, I predict, is a word that will be used to describe what happens to your memory of this cloned facsimile of a movie immediately after watching it.
  33. To report that Always will make you cry is not esthetically saying much; slicing up onions has the same effect. Leslie Halliwell's one-word summation of the forties version applies to Spielberg's update for the nineties: "icky." [26 Dec. 1989]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  34. There are a few laughs at the start of This Is the End, and a couple more at the end of This is the End. As for the endless middle, it’s middling.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    The heroic irony that was hilarious in Raiders is merely ridiculous here, and the half-tribute/half-parody of the adventure genre is toyed with to threadbare extremes. [23 May 1984]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  35. Refn’s expectation-defying choice is laudable in theory, but Only God Forgives is a pretty awful drama.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    One of Blomkamp’s most unlikely conceits is a machine – apparently standard-issue in all of Elysium’s made-to-order McMansions – that can heal all injuries and infections at the flick of a switch. He could have used one to fix Elysium’s battered and broken screenplay.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Where Corneau flirted with erotic tension, De Palma flaunts it. Where Corneau went for nightmarish reality, De Palma does noirish dreams.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Outré love stories are great, as are love stories that make viewers squirm. But they have to ring true emotionally, and despite its talented cast, Adore does not.
  36. Runner Runner is a bad run of cliché clichés.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    It is all so intentionally ridiculous that it gets boring, and you just wait for the next big cornball revelation to momentarily jolt you awake, like Sofia Vergara strapping on her machine-gun bra, or Lady Gaga’s appearance as a hit woman. Machete kills, sure. Unfortunately, he overkills.
  37. Well-intended but maladroit, with a clever premise and cute animation that are undermined by the trite sci-fi parody plot and manic, unfunny banter.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    It adds nothing to our understanding of "Howl," and the movie is exactly what the poem isn’t: ordinary.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Unfortunately, the only thing that dies harder in the movies than natural selection is careworn cliché, and Barry Cook and Neil Nightingale’s movie about a plucky, lovestruck pachyrhinosaurus named Patchi subjects our long defunct earthly ancestors to a fate arguably worse than extinction: a life lived in a world of cheese.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    A run-of-the-mill movie hero.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    The appeal of the Jack Ryan character, at least on the page, was that he was always the smartest guy in the room. In Shadow Recruit, that doesn’t seem to be much of an accomplishment, because the movie around him is so dumb.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    By throwing herself headfirst into scenes that a more cautious actress might beg off, Green earns herself a citation for valour – a Purple Heart in a movie that’s otherwise way too grim and grey for its own good.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    What could have made Noah work is the same sense of urgency – of fateful craziness – that made "Pi" so memorable, and which also factored into the fatal obsessions of "The Wrestler" and "Black Swan" (two very flawed movies that admittedly benefited from stronger lead performances than the one here).
  38. After a while, it begins to feel like a confused comedy: How to explain to the neighbours that your dead husband has moved back home?
  39. Brick Mansions is a non-starter: It chokes on its déjà vu, the hyperactive Mixmaster editing is exhausting and the characters’ banter is so leaden it might violate federal emission standards.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    With its latest, The Quiet Ones, the company continues a tired trend, choosing the trite over the terrifying. The stale tone is struck from the outset with four simple words: “Inspired by actual events.”
    • 56 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Stylistically, Baird seems keen to position Filth as a spiritual sequel to "Trainspotting."
  40. Alien Nation lives out precisely the fate of the alien nation it depicts - both full of potential, both hoping to please, and both immediately co-opted, enslaved by the same commercial forces that granted their release. [12 Oct 1988]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  41. Baby Boom has the fluffy amiability of an innocuous sitcom. In their rightful place on the shrunken sets of the small screen, its teeny characters would seem comfortably at home. But blown up to feature dimensions, they betray their flimsy origins, looking thin and transparent, just a bunch of under-considered ideas decked out in over-sized finery. [10 Oct 1987]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  42. The weak plot means that the picture is governed totally by its gadgetry, the equivalent of those James Bond sequels that limp awkwardly from one showoff sequence to the next. [10 May 1991]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  43. Highlander's flashy style is the cinematic equivalent of a Las Vegas chorus line: always kicking. Without Lambert, who displays an unexpected comic talent along with intensely photogenic passive-aggressive eyes, and Roxanne Hart, whose knowledgeable portrayal of a New York detective is undercut by the symphony of screams extracted from her toward the end, and Connery, who wears a pearl-drop earring and is supposed to be Spanish but still has the burr and brio of James Bond, Highlander would be little more than an everlasting video; it's not much more than that, as it is. [10 Mar 1986, p.C9]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  44. Winkler is a singularly boring director, forever telegraphing his scenes by tracking the camera behind a rustling bush or pulling the lens up close on his villain's eyes or gun. As a result, the film feels enervated and predictable when it should be energetic and surprising. It's a testimony to the abilities of the perky Bullock that she's entirely believable, but even she can't paper over the movie's many holes of logic. [28 July 1995]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Like a little boy playing with his first chemistry set, Hughes has thrown together the labelled contents of just about every teen-film cliche. And the experiment is a failure of excess - like a furious potion that bubbles up, fizzes briefly, and then fizzles out before expectant, and then disappointed, eyes. [3 Aug 1985]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 54 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    It never reaches the soaring, cloud-busting heights of Frankie Valli’s otherworldly falsetto, and it doesn’t even try.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Everything about Michael Bay’s fourth Transformers movie is too much. Its 165 minute running time. Its convoluted plot. Its deafening score. Its product placement. Its never-ending action scenes. Its swooping camera work. Its overwhelming stupidity. Well before it finished I was numb from its bludgeoning excess.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Soulless and idiotic and abysmally scripted as it is, Anarchy, like its predecessor, feels mournfully relevant.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    There’s nothing inherently wrong with kid-friendly Fire & Rescue – the movie offers enough jokes and glitzy animation to capture its target audience as well as a few witty puns for their accompanying adult – it just doesn’t introduce any new ideas or compelling characters, traits that we’ve come to expect from high-level animated films.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    If TMNT the franchise is going to reach the same lofty heights of blockbuster-dom, it still needs to find its own inner hero.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Port Dundas remains snoozy and depopulated even when throats are cut and stomachs thrown to the sheepdogs, and so does the movie.
    • 12 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    A limp Eddie Murphy vehicle that even he seems embarrassed to be part of.
  45. The film lacks the moronic consistency that graces the Sandlerian oeuvre at its most pristine.
  46. Some movies just bring out your inner Matlock: a desire to grab young punks by the lapels, smack them against a wall, knock their cigarettes to the ground and wipe the sneers off their faces. Such is the case with the callow and cynical The Rules of Attraction.
  47. There are people who find treasures in celebrities' garbage cans so it's a reasonable gamble they might want to buy tickets to watch their throwaway home-movie projects as well.
  48. The only pressing burden in this deep interior world is the question: What in or on Earth is a cast this good doing in a movie this ridiculous?
  49. Here is a truly unfunny comedy from Universal Studios, which seems determined to prove that Hollywood can be opportunistic and clueless at the same time.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    So far as I can remember, no such film has ever asked its audience to experience the level of excruciating discomfort an actual fish must feel when it is gored by a sharp hook, yanked into the air, and left to flail in desperation before succumbing to an agonizing death... Until now.
  50. View from the Top never gets off the bottom -- comedies don't come much flatter.
  51. Because the society in Menace II Society is boxed in sociologically, the picture (for all its strengths) is boxed in esthetically. Already, this genre is beginning to seem as much a victim as the victims it portrays.
  52. Think of it as trope grope. Things are so relatively democratic nowadays that filmmakers have to rummage through the past for a truly shmaltzy story. And they don't come any shmaltzier than this.
  53. Frankly, about 20 minutes into this dud, I was rooting for the alien beasties -- their diagnosis seemed dead-on.
  54. No less laughable is the ending, where Ritchie neatly reflects today's prevailing attitude -- that audiences can't be trusted to handle a hint of ambiguity, but can live happily with flat-out stupidity.
  55. More than merely another bad movie, it's the most depressing development yet in Coppola's career. It's a would-be cash cow bred cynically to excrete money, the arty answer to "Child's Play 2" or "Back to the Future III."
  56. In the life-is-too-short category, file Kangaroo Jack as a sub-Farrelly Brothers, dumb-plus-dumber buddy picture.
  57. Dumb and Dumber 'n the hood.
  58. Dopey.
  59. It's a comic-book idea that might have been fun. But it's beyond the reach of first-time feature director Kevin Donovan, who squanders his main asset, Jackie Chan, and fumbles the vital action sequences.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Lame and disrespectful sequel.
  60. Perfectly passable kiddie escapism. It has a thrill or two, and a chill or three, but it has no poetry, little sense of wonder, no resonant subtext (Jungian or otherwise), no art... When it's over, it's gone. Extinct.
  61. God forgive me, but I worship the Bad Dialogue Fairy -- he gets me through these endless nights.
  62. About as endearing as unanesthetized gum surgery.
  63. Quite an artful dissembler. Despite all evidence to the contrary, this clunker has somehow managed to pose as an actual feature movie, the kind that charges full admission and gets hyped on TV and purports to amuse small children and ostensible adults.
  64. Essentially a slapstick movie with no plot or -- as my boyfriend called it after recovering from 1½ hours of side-splitting laughter -- "the ultimate big-screen TV experience."
    • 14 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    If ever there's been a martial-arts movie that makes you feel as if you've been kicked in the head, surely it's Kung Pow! Enter the Fist.
  65. Gosh, what to say about House of 1000 Corpses? That it's about 999 too many, for starters. Then again, in a picture where the body count is the whole point and the only purpose, carping about the math rather misses the mark.
  66. This is a miserable sequel to the modestly well-reviewed Final Destination.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    It is, from beginning to end, a paint-by-numbers movie. There's a mildly entertaining climax, but most of Showtime is a layering of tired pop-culture tropes by actors who are not especially interested in what they're doing.
  67. Benigni as a Pinocchio with 5-o'clock shadow and tufts of arm hair poking out from under the sleeves of his puppet costume, it borders on creepy.
  68. A hypnotic, black hole of a movie that sucks reputations, careers and goodwill down its vortex. Rarely has a movie that doesn't star Madonna achieved such a skin-crawling mixture of deluded preening and bungled humour.
  69. Steve Miner is no Carpenter. A directing veteran of the Friday the 13th saga (parts II and III, in case you care), he's a plodder who favours long, dull buildups to short, dull climaxes -- it's slaughter by the numbers.

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