The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

  • Movies
For 3,882 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 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Maria Full of Grace
Lowest review score: 0 Far and Away
Score distribution:
3,882 movie reviews
    • 93 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    How refreshing then to find a movie with an honest-to-gosh dysfunctional family at its core, a family utterly Tolstoyan in its unhappiness, utterly Dostoevskyan in its despair. [16 Jun 1995]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Sandburg’s "The Prairie Years" is a source behind The Better Angels, a gorgeous look at the raw, wooded Indiana of the early 1800s and a dreamy study of the boy Lincoln who was destined to leave it behind.
  1. No matter who you side with here, Waste Land – the title should come with a question mark – is a fascinating adventure, populated by memorable characters.
  2. An odd and irresistible documentary.
  3. The structure of the film mirrors the changes in the joke which in turn reflect the moral of the story -- hey, it's all a matter of perspective.
  4. By the end of the The Spectacular Now, you’re not quite ready to let these characters go. Instead, like director François Truffaut did with his character Antoine Doinel in a series of films, you want to check back with them every few years, to see how how they’re getting on.
  5. A twofold story of heroic achievements and personal failings.
  6. Both an homage to his dad and a backstage story rich in Hollywood lore.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It's pure emotion. Drumming, for these masters of the instrument, is about communication, acceptance and, above all, deep love.
  7. The documentary My Date with Drew is "Don Quixote" meets "Bowfinger" meets "Swingers" for the reality-TV generation.
  8. Director Scott, flashy, fluid and at his best in the steely-blue claustrophic battle-training scenes, immerses the viewer in the process.
  9. The look is fine, the effects are special, the cast is solid, and Jordan (in company with Rice) makes a commendable effort to add a cerebral dimension to a visceral genre.
  10. You have to feel pleased just for the existence of a film like Tim Burton's Frankenweenie. A 3-D, black-and-white, stop-motion animated film, it's a one-man blow for cinematic biodiversity.
  11. In this vast balloon of a film, Bardem is the ballast – that Manichean face is a movie onto itself.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It's all so geekily gorgeous, it hardly matters that the narrative lapses in and out of incoherence and the dialogue is functional at best.
  12. Alps, in spite of its title, is a very flat film, from the shallow focus photography, to the actors' monotone delivery.
  13. The excesses are easy to forgive, both for the humour and charisma of Rourke's outsized performance and Aronofsky's canny low-key direction, which make for a combination that is irresistible.
  14. A believable, tender story of how a terrible crisis can turn out to have a positive, transforming effect on a family as long as there is love.
  15. The result is a picture curiously yet intriguingly at odds with itself: One moment is edgy, the next is not; the cast is terrific, the direction is not; here it’s satirically sharp, there it’s sloppily sentimental; now we’re happily engaged, then we’re cruelly dumped. Some films are electric – Admission settles for alternating current.
  16. Surprisingly touching and funny.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    For those who have read the book, this contemporary adaptation of a once avant-garde story feels exactly right.
  17. Somewhere between profound and ludicrous, kind of like a cross between "Waiting for Godot" and "Dude, Where's My Car?"
  18. All the signs pointed to a major movie achievement...And it does -- sometimes, and dazzlingly so. But the dazzle doesn't add up to the sustained act of brilliance I'd been expecting.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Even in death, Kato has been harassed. In one of this movie’s many unsettling scenes, a pastor interrupts his funeral to condemn the dead man to eternal damnation.
  19. Subtly crafted and compelling, but it suffers from a case of split personality.
  20. Compared with the recent spate of blockbuster sellouts, Severance is a worthy package, and fair compensation for time spent. Best to watch on the big screen, of course.
  21. The voice that jerks out from Levy's throat suggests Lazarus waking from the dead.
  22. Korean-American actor and former model Yune (who played a similar role in "Die Another Day," the last Pierce Brosnan James Bond film) makes a colourful villain – handsome and insufferably assured, and also an unchivalrous sadist who kicks around the Secretary of Defense (Melissa Leo in a pageboy wig) as though she’s a hacky sack.
  23. [Nolan is] back in the fine engineering business, crafting a story as intricately designed as a magician's lock, tightly packed with tumblers of deception and issuing a fun challenge to any volunteers in the audience: Just try to pick it.
  24. Like Martin Scorsese's "The Departed" or James Gray's "We Own the Night," The Town is a deliberately old-fashioned melodrama that echoes the pulpy mix of violence and romanticism of gangster films of the Thirties and Forties.
  25. The focus of Invictus is less on Mandela's psychology than his willpower and political astuteness.
  26. Yossi is an early spring breeze of a film – too delicate to be substantial but definitely holding the promise of warmth.
  27. There's fun to be had in watching these losers drift without a compass.
  28. It's a good film. But its exotic allure may lead some to mistake it for a great one.
  29. Given Paine's penchant for B-movie-sounding titles, let's hope he gets to make it a trilogy that concludes with The Electric Car Lives!
  30. It's definitely a Diablo Codyesque cut above the norm – the wit can sometimes feel contrived but at least there's wit to be found.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Bug
    It's one helluva movie that makes Ashley Judd look ugly and demented, while turning Harry Connick Jr. into the most frightening screen thug since Ben Kingsley in "Sexy Beast."
  31. A film of deceptive narrative wisps and intricate thematic curls.
  32. Indeed, like all bureaucracies, the educational version is a bit of a bully itself. In Sioux City at least, the official response to bullying is to recognize its existence but to deny it's an "overwhelming issue," and retreat behind the comforting bromide that "kids will be kids."
  33. Like the blues, you feel it first, and think of the meaning later.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Funnier than "Nacho Libre," more fashionable than "The Devil Wears Prada," able to deliver more revengeful thrills than "X-Men: The Last Stand" in a single scene, My Super Ex-Girlfriend may sound like a midsummer mash of "The Break-Up" and "Superman," but it's more clever and emotionally resonant than that.
  34. With a track record that stretches from "Monster's Ball" all the way to "Finding Neverland," Forster is clearly a director at ease with a wide range of material. He's found confection-land here, setting his beater on ready-whip and mixing the dough just fine.
  35. Intended as food for thought, but all we really get is a light snack -- the kind that's heavier in presentation than in substance.
  36. This is a formula film with panache.
  37. A sprawling personal journey, filled with an array of fascinating characters, through the world of wine.
  38. Is there an admired British thespian who hasn't toiled in Potter's field?
  39. The story in Japanese Story grabs you precisely because it's so wonderfully hard to define.
  40. As a political testament, the result is revealing and important. Yet as a documentary, it wanders here, there and everywhere – long on intensity but short on focus.
  41. Go
    Like circus acrobats who bounce up smiling, the characters end up on their feet, and you realize in retrospect that they survived because somebody, finally, stopped to think. A final thought on Go: Go.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Wahlberg, whose dim-bulb act was over-exposed in Pain and Gain, fares better here in a more heroic role. Stig is a hothead and a narcissist, but he’s also just a little bit smarter than he looks. The same goes for 2 Guns as a whole.
  42. What's before our eyes suggests we share the planet with some amazingly strange beings.
  43. What a graceful movie this is.
  44. The strengths of Fugitive Pieces are its fluidity and subtlety. Emotional repression may be one of the most difficult conditions to portray honestly, and Dillane's performance of Jakob is a study in the art of creating sympathy by not asking for it.
  45. The portrait of the ailing artist is bittersweet, but when Helms sings or plays, the look on his face is pure joy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    This is a fine, funny, humane film.
  46. Eraser may lack the chameleon wizardry of the the "Terminator" duo, or the imperious mechanics of "True Lies", but the bang-for-the-buck ratio is high enough to appease even the thinnest wallet.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Woody Allen’s first Stateside production in nearly a decade is a sharply observed, post-economic crash comedy-drama that boasts a formidable performance by Cate Blanchett and addresses such pertinent real-world concerns as class, gender and corporate criminality in urban America.
  47. In recounting this conflicted tale, director Rachid Bouchareb displays some valour of his own, resisting what must have been a strong temptation to deal in aggrieved agitprop, and instead, quietly but powerfully, confining his attentions to a small group of indigenous soldiers.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Bausch's work, as performed by her dance company Tanztheater Wuppertal, is shot exactingly by Wenders, who captures everything from the largest gestures to the subtlest facial nuances in ways impossible in 2-D – and of course in far closer detail than seeing the dances performed live.
  48. Mother symbolically doubles as Mother Korea, devoted to her land. But is she blindly and uncritically devoted, too quick to forgive and forget sins that should be redressed, to treat any flaws in the national character as simply intrinsic to the country's nature?
  49. Because it's a well-crafted and superbly acted sweet little tearjerker, we're content too -- it's a mild pleasure to watch.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Not just a documentary about Internet privacy, but a non-fiction horror flick for anyone who blindly agrees to user licensing agreements online (a.k.a. everyone).
  50. When it came to describing what was happening to him, Ebert was forthright, clear-eyed and admirably free of neurosis and self-pity.
  51. Catch a Fire paints the period with a double-sided brush that gives yesterday its due and puts today on notice.
  52. We don't get a good look at a painting until 35 minutes into the film biography of Séraphine de Senlis, the early 20th-century French painter discovered by German art collector Wilhelm Uhde. The film Séraphine is not about paintings.
  53. Running at about three hours, The Aviator is long, and the momentum occasionally flags. The depiction of Hughes's first mental breakdown feels a little obsessive-compulsive itself.
  54. Both a cathartic and a creative family entertainment.
  55. 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.
  56. The theme could be trite or maudlin in lesser hands. Here, through the Dardennes' judiciously stylized way of telling the story, there is a real exhilaration in the film's ability to capture Igor's emotional dilemma. [6 Mar. 1998, p.C8]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  57. More about Ali as media star and social figure, less about the quicksilver athlete.
  58. Very well crafted and superbly acted. Whatever you may think of the idea, its execution is admirable.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Herman's House is conventionally produced, but it does right by its two uncommon subjects.
  59. The superiority of the musical sequences, and laziness of the writing, creates a dynamic where you find yourself wishing the characters would shut up and dance.
  60. Pink Ribbons, Inc. is unabashed advocacy filmmaking. In spite of improved mortality rates and scientific advances, few women in the film will acknowledge that pink-ribbon-financed research has done any good at all.
  61. Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, is decadent, overpoweringly erotic campiness coupled with soft-core pornography - blood, breasts, buttocks and big teeth. It's daring and those with a taste for the sexily sanguine will find it delightful. But it's not for the prudish. [13 Nov 1992, p.C1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The details are astounding. During "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own," the camera is in so tight that you can see Bono's hand tremble around the mike as he belts out a long, sustained note.
  62. 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.
  63. 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Geller and Goldfine keep the story taut and engaging, except when they get distracted by the current inhabitants of Floreana, who say mostly unsurprising things about living on a remote island.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It’s overlong, overplotted and crowded with a cast of “hey-it’s-that-guy!” C-listers (Luis Guzman, Danny Trejo), but the closed-quarters combat crackles with bone-shattering believability. And that’s really all that matters.
  64. Reportedly, after seeing the film, rapper Eminen is anxious to play a wheelchair athlete in a coming movie.
  65. There is also a parallel subplot following the fate of two Ukrainian girls caught in the sex-slave ring Kathy targets. This storyline isn't dramatically satisfying, but it does provide context and ensures the victims in this story are not portrayed simply as faces in the dark.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Gareth Evans’s sequel to his surprise 2011 hit takes the original’s basic formula – lots of people pounding on each other in close quarters – and simply stretches it over a much longer running time.
  66. Living in a part of the world where politics, and the pursuit of politics by warring means, are the rule, director Elia Suleiman is the exception.
  67. Payback is nothing if not brave. It's a documentary attempt to give concrete shape to an abstract discussion, using the medium of film to transplant a nuanced thesis – on the concept of debt – from its natural home on the printed page.
  68. For such a mush-ball teen movie, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants carries a welcome amount of grown-up emotional truth.
  69. Horror fans anticipating grisly laughs are in for a jolt. Because the new Last House, though terrifying, is never, ever fun.
  70. This is a sewer blessedly free of actual sewage, which makes Flushed Away more kid-friendly than, say, the average "South Park" episode.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Throughout, Sachs is quietly observational – the film’s emotional power coming from its rich but unshowy performances.
  71. 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.
  72. The Class is simultaneously old school and new, familiar in its themes but unique in design and, at its best, riveting in execution.
  73. In a movie about an ant colony, perhaps it's futile to complain about a superfluity of characters. Yet this need to cover every permutation of cuteness is one major drawback to the cast of A Bug's Life.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    This sexy, pulpy, very grown-up film is not your usual best animated feature material.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Cabin is a meta-horror-comedy mash-up that, at least for two-thirds of its running time, holds together smartly.
  74. Rare is the movie that arrives without fanfare -- that sneaks between the cracks, pops up relatively unheralded on the big screen, and takes the viewer by delighted surprise. Well, check the moon for blue because Birthday Girl is just such a picture.
  75. Letting Shrek get grumpy again has freshly animated this cartoon series.
  76. Essentially a love story, as stripped of sentimentality as the landscape is shorn of green, yet an extraordinary love story nonetheless – powerful and poignant and, even in the midst of hope's imminent extinction, hopeful too.
  77. Like Maddin's melancholic and relatively more conventional "My Winnipeg," Keyhole is about a memory house, but one that is even more fragmented, mythical and elusive.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The clever and defiant Ai, who is forever filming himself and others on his phone, does in one instance capture Johnsen on camera, but mainly the doc is missing any explanation of how a dissident forbidden from giving interviews agreed to it – as well as much context about his personal life.
  78. Moore continues another one infinitely more valuable -- the proud line that extends right back to Mark Twain, embracing all those satirists so enamoured with America at its best that they won't stand silent for America at its worst.

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