The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

  • Movies
For 3,662 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 1.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 M. Butterfly
Lowest review score: 0 The Amityville Horror
Score distribution:
3,662 movie reviews
  1. There's a missing element whose absence, forgive me, I can't help but lament. This is a movie about magic that ultimately lacks the magic of movies."
  2. There's plenty of humour in Comedian but not a lot of happiness -- apparently, the sad clown is a cliché for good reason.
  3. With Corbett's laidback persona nicely countering Vardalos's authorial performance, the picture radiates a pure affability that's awfully attractive. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a very slim movie that succeeds on its own modest terms without pretense or apology.
  4. With little dialogue to assist her -- just the strains of that wonderfully organic music -- she still manages to suggest the internal struggle, and to slowly reveal a fierce toughness that flies in the face of conventional morality.
  5. Intended as food for thought, but all we really get is a light snack -- the kind that's heavier in presentation than in substance.
  6. Visually, this movie is exquisite. Narratively, well, that's a more banal story.
  7. The result is a beautifully designed, lyrical fable of a movie, full of God's-eye shots from on high, placing the characters against the Italian scenery and medieval architecture.
  8. Comes as a pleasure. It's a comic drama set in a Chicago hair salon where the characters are engaging and the story has a bustling richness.
  9. If you ever doubted the power and scope of silent film, watch The Way Home. The narrative arc is as broad as any chattering feature, the emotional depth is greater than most, and it's all achieved with virtually no dialogue.
  10. Entertaining and well done. Without losing its comic rhythm for a moment, it is also a withering spoof of black victimism and the corrupting effect of racial solidarity on the American legal system.
  11. But uneven acting isn't fatal here, since Andrew Bergman's screenplay is strong enough and Andrew Fleming's direction seamless enough to carry it forward.
  12. It's a pinball arcade of a flick -- the Coens invent a bunch of wonderfully flaky characters, stick them into a Plexiglas narrative, and let them bounce off each other.
  13. What better casting than Al Pacino, whose own career, of course, has reflected all the seasonal changes in the gangster saga. Pacino takes the part and runs with it so boldly that he ends up in Arthur Miller land.
  14. Quitting begins to seem intriguing in concept. Now comes the best news: It's just as compelling in execution.
  15. Fun, fun, fun. Take the title at its word, because this movie is nothing less than a flat-out, lung-pumping, 76-minute sprint.
  16. Actually a pretty entertaining movie, in a kick-you-in-the-pants kind of way. A relative rarity -- a solid no-brow comedy.
  17. Titanic is awesome even when it's awful -- you can't take your eyes off the extraordinary thing.
  18. Now if that isn't an inspirational story, it's hard to know what is.
  19. The love that blooms is essentially between the boys. They both have some considerable growing up to do, but theirs is a true romance and it's awfully sweet. Funny, too.
  20. The movie could have used a further dose of the resonance Walken gives it, and a more intellectually adventurous director might have brought the theme close to home.
  21. An ultra-cheap movie, ingeniously promoted through the Internet -- is notable primarily as a model of guerrilla-style niche-marketing.
  22. This is a grimly thrilling movie that falls somewhere between clear-eyed realism and the improbabilities of an action flick.
  23. It's a cop movie that refuses to cop out in the usual way.
  24. Both smart and shrewd -- it wraps that same comforting message in a thoroughly entertaining package.
  25. Ten
    Ten may strain your patience but that's the high-stakes gamble of this provocative project.
  26. It is, in short, a compendium of clichés, yet with a presentation that makes the familiar seem remarkably warm and fresh.
  27. The film is like an Ingmar Bergman movie as realized by Monty Python: It's seriously gloomy about the loss of spirituality in the world, but at the same time rudely, sometimes hilariously, absurd.
  28. An impressive film accomplishment, a combination of technique and extremely specific detail that reminds viewers how potent a rhetorical force the medium can be.
  29. The well chosen cast helps -- no one strikes a false note.
  30. The artistry of the storytelling, the visual approach and Gosling's performance in The Believer make us believe that Danny's path was the only choice for him, a truly disturbing and fascinating revelation.
  31. The value of Amandla! is that the film helps the rest of the world understand, both with our ears and minds, where South Africans have come from.
  32. In the midst of this emotional train wreck in motion, with angry outbursts and accusations, there are moments of levity, jokes and even a song or two. Strangely, it does not seem irreverent or bizarre but, rather, an expression of affection, as if love is tearing them apart.
  33. Ultimately, Benigni's comic refinery merely transforms the banality of evil into a lesser sin -- the evil of banality.
  34. If this rings distant Laurel-and-Hardy, or even Crosby-and-Hope bells, it's on purpose. Gooding's and Sanz's performances are almost a tribute to vaudeville-influenced two-guy comedy.
  35. Despite a formidable effort and occasional grace, there's something cowardly about Braveheart -- it's an aspiring giant with a diminutive soul.
  36. You probably have a better chance of stuffing an octopus into a tea cup than capturing one of Dickens's fat novels in a two-hour movie.
  37. Rarely does a fine movie like this have so awkward a title, or so off-putting an opening scene. But there is method in both these madnesses, and a searchingly intelligent and moving story to be told.
  38. Pi
    Audacious and bursting with ideas, the paranoid little sci-fi independent film Pi marks an auspicious debut for New York writer Darren Aronofsky.
  39. More about Ali as media star and social figure, less about the quicksilver athlete.
  40. In God's ghetto, as in so many of the world's forsaken places, warring armies of infants brandish their weapons of self-destruction, while politicians bluster and inspectors sleep.
  41. In the ongoing case of the fan versus the movies, the evidence suggests that a good policier is damn hard to find. So when you come across one that can boast a decent script, taut direction and a single superb performance, there's no need for prolonged deliberation.
  42. Generally makes good on its promise. There are shivers to be felt, especially in the early stages, and there's fun to be had, including the post-movie pleasure of detecting the soft spots in the plot. The result is an always-watchable picture from a director capable of more.
  43. Sometimes, when you least expect it, Hollywood is so Hollywood good, serving up a flick guaranteed to answer the clarion call of the multitudes. "I just want to be entertained," you say? Well, fork out then, because The Italian Job does the job.
  44. Utterly preposterous but so full of enthusiasm and flashy style that it's entertaining anyway, The Brotherhood of the Wolf is like the platypus of genre films.
  45. For all its contrivance, it's lively and amusing and occasionally disconcerting in its reproduction of what life was like in the mid-to-late teens.
  46. Only after the Hollywood hypnotism wears off is it apparent that Rain Man, fundamentally an artsy sentimentalization of "The Odd Couple," is somewhat less than the sum of its perfect parts.
  47. One of the more ingenious and fresh surprises of the summer.
  48. Visually the film is a knockout. I'm not sure this will matter to the young adult audience, but the film is philosophically confusing.
  49. It's a fascinating babel, and Nair, using the unfolding ritual of the wedding as a centre point, captures the competing sights and sounds with her own unique mix of cinematic borrowings -- think Robert Altman meets Bollywood.
  50. Part of the charm of Satin Rouge is that it avoids the obvious with humour and lightness.
  51. A horror movie based on history, offering some of the most spectacularly brutal, viscerally intense battle scenes ever brought to a Hollywood movie.
  52. Undoubtedly the rudest and possibly the most inspired comedy of the summer.
  53. Loses its momentum just when you'd expect the suspense to mount -- at the competition itself.
  54. That level of acting-without-words demands the likes of a Bruno Ganz or a Klaus Maria Brandauer, not a Clooney. Even when flashing his bare derrière in a sex scene, he isn't revealing nearly enough -- his work is just skin deep.
  55. There's a particular upside-down, half-masked kiss that instantly becomes one of movie history's more memorable smooches. It's the kiss to send any teenaged boy on a spinning high, as well as launching the new age of arachnophilia.
  56. A flashy nineties flick with a campy fifties feel -- it's playful, naive, clever, silly, often inventive, occasionally uneven and, compared to studio offerings to date, the best present under this year's cinematic tree.
  57. The Motown musicians today are in their 60s and 70s but they remain inspiringly colourful, funny in their stories and assured in their musicianship.
  58. Mamet's stylized dialogue, elaborate plot puzzles and the angry cleverness of his characterization makes for an invigorating, if not exactly likeable, mix.
  59. Too bad there's also a final 15 minutes that surely ranks among the worst endings an otherwise good movie has ever received.
  60. Around about the third act, the picture does what no self-respecting virus ever would -- relents, turns confused, and lets our immune system fight back with thoughts of its own, with distracting cavils about the logic of the plot and the slightness of the themes.
  61. Myers's sheer fertility of invention is of a different order, and even if he misses as often as he hits, he's definitely a swinger.
  62. Not just a 3-D novelty to amuse school groups, but also a memorial.
  63. For those who have been waiting for movies to catch up with the graphic possibilities of comic books, wait no longer: The Matrix is among us.
  64. A drama that's often insightful and occasionally powerful but is still, at heart, a piece of television and not a work of film.
  65. Often more ingenious in appearance than fact. The hunter-gets-captured-by-the-game scenario is predictable and the sequence of shell games does not, when reconsidered, actually add up.
  66. Energetic, eager-to-please culture-clash comedy.
  67. Tuned in to the anarchic wisecracks and slapstick humour of traditional Warner Bros. cartoons. In contrast to the computer-generated characters and slick script of a movie like "Shrek," Lilo and Stitch still feels like a cartoon aimed at kids, not their parents.
  68. One of Stephen Chow's extravagant and very funny martial-arts spoof movies.
  69. The results are not monumental, but they are a variety of sober responses to the tragedy that help place the event in a global context. Some of the films may be, as has been suggested, anti-American in tone, but none come anywhere near defending the attacks.
  70. Delightful as it often is, the picture suffers fom the same structural and thematic tidiness, even smugness, that it nominally opposes.
  71. An integrated work whose form clearly mirrors its content. Often, looking into that mirror is dreadful; but, often enough, it's also dreadfully revealing.
  72. For all its accomplishments, Far from Heaven remains hermetic, an elegant exercise in deadpan irony. What does the movie ultimately mean? Art, we're told, should not mean, but be -- but Haynes's cinematic essays are designed to provoke commentary.
  73. This ranks among the highest concentrations of acting talent brought to any screen. But let's spare no praise for David Hare, whose superb script draws heavily on his playwrighting skills.
  74. Seabiscuit is a good enough movie, in the sense that it's a well-crafted assemblage of pathos and rousing moments, solidly acted and handsomely shot -- but it's far from champion material.
  75. The Canadian film "Atanarjuat" travelled back to the past to meet an ancient legend on its own ground and treated the tale realistically. Whale Rider whisks its legend up into the present, and then adds a touch of lyricism.
  76. Adoring, appropriately offbeat documentary.
  77. Just when the movie seems set to soar, there's a drag factor -- it keeps getting weighed down, if not sunk, by an anchor of ponderousness.
  78. The voice that jerks out from Levy's throat suggests Lazarus waking from the dead.
  79. Speaking personally, I wouldn't voluntarily go to this flick. But for those with a greater gross-out threshold, it's a better film than anyone should normally expect in this genre.
  80. So this is a first-level, unironic fright film, the sort whose tongue is removed from its cheek, coated in gore, and pointed right at the audience.
  81. Arguably, Lost in Translation is the American answer to Wong Kar-wai's masterpiece, "In the Mood for Love," though less about history, more about infatuation.
  82. The exiled Tibetans who are interviewed display a lack of bitterness, a sympathy for their enemies and hope for the future that is inspiring.
  83. There are a thousand ways you can imagine My Life Without Me going gruesomely wrong but, somehow, it doesn't.
  84. The movie's main attraction isn't hard to find. It's essentially a character study, but one where the nature of the study is as unique as the stature of the character.
  85. The acting throughout is exceptional, rooted in observed realism, but suggestive of more mythical agents at work through the lives of human beings.
  86. Mostly, it's a Coen brothers movie so slick, so careful in rationing its darkly perverse and personal elements, that it seems suspiciously sweet. Intolerable Cruelty feels like the Coens' peculiar new way of being cynical, by pretending they're not.
  87. Riveting and courageous documentary.
  88. Happily, the climax races to our rescue... Beyond the grasp of most directors, this is tour de force stuff -- definitely meriting the price of admission and almost worth the three-year wait.
  89. Sylvia the movie competently shows us how; but, as always, it's Sylvia the writer who brilliantly tells us why -- then, now and tomorrow, her foreboding words are her finest legacy.
  90. This low-budget horror film, sophisticated far beyond its budget, is the work of John Carpenter, an authentic prodigy whose style recalls both Martin Scorsese and the Brian De Palma of "Carrie," but who has a metaphysical, sophomoric sense of humor both of those directors lack.
  91. The producers of Hidden in Plain Sight decided that they couldn't deal with Sept. 11 in the film without losing focus on its principal subject. The result is that the film stands as a testimonial to the world as it existed before that date, a world very different from the one we now live in.
  92. In this journey, [Crowe] wears the uniform, the accent and the derring-do with consummate panache. Have him strike a muscular pose on the ship's prow, which Weir does more than once, and the manly sight puts that wussy DiCaprio to titanic shame.
  93. A twofold story of heroic achievements and personal failings.
  94. As a film about intellectuals, The Barbarian Invasions can sometimes seem maddeningly scattered and contradictory.
  95. In the end, is In America slight in its sentimentality and manipulative in its moral? Sure, but that's the job of any fable or myth.
  96. Unclassifiable and wildly original, it is almost wordless but teeming with sound.
  97. A lovely oddity.
  98. It isn't an exciting work of art so much as a contemplative reverie on the nature of art -- and what's wrong with a smart essay that unfolds like a sweet dream?
  99. The [final] battle is vast, and undoubtedly required thousands of hours of matching puppetry, robotics and computer code, but it is not without tedium.
  100. The S in Robert S. McNamara stands for Strange, which is an unusual middle name and perhaps an apt description of the man at the centre of documentary filmmaker Errol Morris's gripping character study, The Fog of War.

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