The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

For 4,413 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 Room
Lowest review score: 0 New Best Friend
Score distribution:
4413 movie reviews
  1. More illuminating than not.
  2. Smarting like hell, the artist and his art are at it again. Consequently, like most of Michael Haneke's films, The White Ribbon is profoundly disturbing, impeccably shot, superbly cast, allegorically ambitious and, yet, slightly disappointing – just enough to make you wonder if that salt-in-the-wounds theory is as dogmatic as the dogma he likes to condemn.
  3. The film ends with a delicious question, an uncertainty that will linger long after the credits roll – no ribbon is tied on The Gift.
  4. An uncomfortably fascinating document of a man whose bipolar disorder and artistic ambitions are inextricably connected.
  5. 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.
  6. Of course, entire books have been written, and perused by disappointed women, about the male reluctance to put away their fantasized Biancas. In that sense, Lars and the Real Girl is real indeed. In every other, it's a sweet, bordering on saccharine, bagatelle.
  7. Taken strictly as a movie, though, Selma is an uneven yet generally skillful effort that has probably drawn more praise and criticism than it warrants.
  8. En route, despite some clumsy exposition and the reduction of heavyweights like Mary McCarthy and William Shawn to fifth-business caricatures, the film does manage one impressive intellectual achievement of its own: rescuing that “banality of evil” phrase from the banal cliché it’s become and, by providing the full and daring context, giving it real meaning again.
  9. Perhaps it is inevitable as three foreign directors train their lenses on that unique island culture of the East that all three are propelled by fantasy or science fiction, and suggest more alienation from Tokyo than affection for the great city.
  10. Humpday is mostly foreplay. But isn't that usually the most fun anyway? It certainly is in this film.
  11. This delightful stop-motion animated romp features no dialogue, which is as it should be – the beauty of animals is in their actions, not words, after all.
  12. Yes, this is the fascinating stuff, a rare (in pop culture) look at the complex nature of the love-sex equation – when it's too direct, when it's too vague, when it breaks down completely.
  13. Morse, with his hulking frame, baby face and soft voice, has probably done too many of these villain roles for his own good. But how could you avoid casting him when he manages to present someone who's screamingly insane in the mildest, most pleasant way?
  14. This is a human-sized drama about people with contradictory motives, trying to help or use each other.
  15. The stylings of Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino come to the Mideast, but more credibly grounded in a complex setting fraught with raw contemporary politics and ancient class tensions. It makes for a compelling movie but hardly a pretty picture.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Beautifully shot, the film is at its best when it’s unclear whether Vincent is intensely paranoid or highly perceptive.
  16. First-time Australian director Garth Davis offers sweeping cinematic shots, with a soundtrack that is pleasingly epic, but the second act is a bit skimpy, script-wise.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    In short, it's very much a charming kids' film, created by a master of animation.
  17. The picture makes too many concessions to the Hollywood judges, pulls too many punches. But at least it has real punches to pull, because there's honest sweat here too, and a full complement of those archetypes that lie at the popular heart of the genre.
  18. It’s a sitcom-y, Sarandon-wrapped Mother’s Day valentine.
  19. It may not be a pretty picture, but A Tale of Two Sisters is definitely a satisfying piece of less-is-more cinematic horror.
  20. Violent and sexy and funny and sad, Head-On is a big collision that doubles as a bizarre love story.
  21. Delight, a modest yet palpable measure of the stuff, is restored.
  22. Both a moving first-person essay and an artful exercise in political advocacy, 5 Broken Cameras is about the experience of West Bank protests from the inside.
  23. Dig just a shade beneath the surface, trade in the text for the subtext, and a more interesting picture emerges – a little richer, sadder, almost poignant. Arnie is back again, yet now, as a storied immigrant nearing the end of his tale, he's become an odd sight to behold.
  24. This documentary is only partly a story of the chosen one; mainly, and more intriguingly, it's a chronicle of the choosing one, of the nervous young monk charged with the job of leading the search party.
  25. No doubt, life is tough in the wild but, this being a Disney flick, it's loving too and even comes with a kiddie-friendly narrative that's easy to summarize and hard to dispute.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Delivers a touching, morally outraged portrait that, in memory of Swartz, may inspire people to ask hard questions about how the new world is being shaped away from view, behind closed doors.
  26. Missing from Married to the Mob, written by Barry Strugatz and Mark R. Burns, is the freewheeling structure, but everything else that makes Demme one of the friendliest of major U.S. directors is in glorious evidence. [19 Aug 1988]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  27. The best satire implicates the audience; this stuff keeps our sense of superiority smugly intact.
  28. Ledger proves what we've suspected all along -- this is his picture, and he steals it brilliantly.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    What's so fresh about Mutual Appreciation is how acutely it represents the social rituals of today's post-collegiate types.
  29. It's a nifty caper flick that also ponders the aesthetic nature of deception -- in other words, a solid work of craft that doubles as a little meditation on art.
  30. Though only 85 minutes, the film captures an entire, bewilderingly extended family and way of life inside a sturdy frame.
  31. As a first-time director, Lewis shows a impressive visual sense -- abandoned factories take on an eerie gorgeousness through his lens.
  32. This is a world out of time and, despite the trappings of flinty realism, the film too unfolds like an elemental myth from the stormy past – a Greek tragedy driven by dark fates and struggling toward a catharsis.
  33. That may be your lump of coal, but it seems a precious gift to me.
  34. The exiled Tibetans who are interviewed display a lack of bitterness, a sympathy for their enemies and hope for the future that is inspiring.
  35. What makes Crude worthy of the overused term “epic” is the way the case symbolizes a host of contemporary issues: the iron-fistedness of multinational corporations; environmental despoliation; the disappearance of indigenous cultures; and the power of celebrity and the media to influence justice.
  36. Morlando's approach, influenced by interviews with the real Boyd in his old age, is cerebral and melancholic. The tone is more foreboding than suspenseful.
  37. An acquired taste that you may not acquire. I did, but it took me a while.
  38. Borat at its best is pure satiric genius, the Swiftian kind that has you busting a gut with laughter even while checking your conscience for implicating flaws.
  39. A quick and clever thriller as nasty as a piece of shrapnel snapping the sound barrier, 48 Hrs. is as violent as it is funny. It is very funny. [03 Dec 1982]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  40. Eventually, Toy Story 3 finds its way back to that theme of the power of childhood play. There are a few worrisome moments en route, though, when not only the characters but the filmmakers seem to have lost their way.
  41. After a solid start and a strong buildup through two acts, the movie fumbles the resolution. Ethical lines that were convincingly wavy suddenly straighten out, too quickly and too neatly.
  42. Not surprisingly, it's a cinematic mash note, but apparently a deserved one.
  43. There's definite mastery here, but it's hardly a masterpiece.
  44. The movie is unexpectedly disciplined and enjoyable.
  45. This is a remarkably good-looking near-corpse of a film, with a pulse that fades in and out.
  46. Freed from the tiresome constraints of plot and character, Rumble in the Bronx is the distilled essence of action entertainment. [27 Feb 1996, p.D1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  47. Von Trier's proficiency at the quicksilver business of comedy comes as a surprise, given the grinding seriousness of earlier films.
  48. Ultimately, the movie is not, to paraphrase the U.S. Army slogan, all that it could be. The climax is uninvolving generic eye candy, and the sequel-friendly coda is unconvincing.
  49. As a film about intellectuals, The Barbarian Invasions can sometimes seem maddeningly scattered and contradictory.
  50. It's the small, smelly details that elevate this Indian-fusion retelling of Jane Austen's classic novel from trifle to bona-fide delight.
  51. Alas, around about the third act, the idea grows tired and the whole thing gets derailed. Too bad, because it's a good ride until it isn't.
  52. This is B-movie material all the way, yet it's not only watchable, it's engrossing. That's because the material is in the hands of an A-talent director, who knows, as few of his contemporaries do, how to manipulate the plastic qualities of a film: the lighting, editing, composition, camera movement and production values.
  53. This is a great film for those who share the disabused French view of grownup life, but more particularly for those who want to see one of the great actresses of her generation at the height of her powers.
  54. With Hot Fuzz, you'll just have to settle for semi-hilarity.
  55. This movie sticks.
  56. This intimate portrait of the so-called godmother of punk is aimed at viewers who are keenly fascinated by Smith.
  57. Anyone who likes pop music or wonders how bands like the Rolling Stones got rolling will enjoy the ride.
  58. The result is a fairly co-ordinated effort that, despite a few miscues, yields a consistently watchable film.
  59. A welcome rarity: an amiable film comedy that leaves you feeling good as opposed to feeling for your wallet.
  60. A seriously black comedy. Black, because affliction and angst abound. Comic, because this rampant bleakness is presented as nothing more than an amusing bauble.
  61. The crash, lethal in an eye-blink, was hard to watch when I saw it live on television, and it's not any easier here. The day was clear – no rain in sight.
  62. Cloverfield is an exercise in realism that lacks reality's broader and richer context. Or, put another way, the experiment is artful, but it ain't art.
  63. Though its level of execution is consistently high, Rango is a non-pandering comedy that takes its message of western individualism seriously: It's here for you and your children to enjoy – or not – as you please.
  64. The comedy is warm and witty and wafer-thin, as easy on the palate as a raspberry sorbet on a summer afternoon.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Parenthood is a charming, amusing piece of work. It doesn't say anything new - Howard clings as tightly to tradition as Norman Rockwell - but it says the old things with enough wit and eloquence to keep them going for another generation. [2 Aug 1989, p.C7]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  65. Red Heat, a terrifically funny and always frantic flick that hides a fascinating subtext beneath its commercial veneer. Very commercial - this should be a boffo hit; and very fascinating - the premise that props up the hit speaks volumes about America in the twilight of Reagan. [17 Jun 1988, p.C1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  66. Entertaining and informative documentary on how native people have been portrayed on-screen over the years and how these portrayals have shaped native self-perception and non-native prejudice.
  67. Happy Times may be the last of the "little" films from this remarkable director for some time.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Disney raised the stakes by turning its hit TV-movie franchise into a feature film – and the bet has paid off.
  68. Though something less than a masterpiece, The Illusionist is a rare animated film of fleeting charms rather than loud noises, aimed more at wistful adults than thrill-hungry kids.
  69. Call me biased, but I'm quick to put out the welcome mat for any movie – good, bad or indifferent – that resists easy categorizing. That's certainly the charm of Safety NotGuaranteed, which flirts with two very different genres yet never goes steady with either.
  70. Everyone should be thankful, if not for the doc's content, then certainly for its tone – there is no fulminating here. Instead, courtesy of Canadian co-directors Luc Côté and Patricio Henriquez, witnesses are quietly gathered and arguments are quietly made. For once, no one rants, and, in the relative calm, the tone can be heard, so muted and sad.
  71. There are those trying to position "Gone Girl" as the date-and-debate movie of the season, but it isn’t half the unsettling thriller Force Majeure is.
  72. On the positive side, it's still four back-to-back Simpsons episodes, which is still better than most of what either television or the movies have to offer.
  73. 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.
  74. That's partly why X-Men: First Class is such fanboy fun, as the script departs from official Marvel lore to invent a whole new "origin story" for the mutant ensemble.
  75. Abramovic is a sensationally attractive narcissist and the filmmakers are clearly smitten with her, but the film goes a long way to establish the intellectual seriousness and dedication involved in her ambitious series of art stunts.
  76. More heart-breaking and action-packed than one imagines from a monastery travelogue film.
  77. By Herzog's lofty standards, the result is mildly disappointing. The film lacks the sociological depth of "The Executioner's Song" or the emotional wallop of "In Cold Blood." But it sure is a surpassingly, and compellingly, strange tale.
  78. Avatar is a king's ransom fairly well spent, not least because Cameron's invitation into his superbly crafted universe comes with an unexpected price: He makes it easy to gaze fondly on all this movie magic, but only in exchange for a hard look at ourselves.
  79. The Runaways captures the sleaze and innocence of the era and has some still-relevant things to say about the conflict between girl-rocker empowerment and exploitation.
  80. Sure, it's a bit mechanical, but what did you expect? The important thing is that the characters and jokes don't prevent you from grooving on the pleasures of the moving parts.
  81. While the story, shorn of its supernatural elements, is mired in abuse and tragedy, its effect is sensual and superficial.
  82. Certainly, his (Allen) work here feels effortless, and that feather-light touch gives the picture its charm – modest but real.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A film as lithe and seductive as its lethal main character.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Stupendously silly but viciously funny.
  83. Kimberly Reed’s debut documentary, Prodigal Sons, would make a terribly contrived novel, but is a compelling and sensational real-life story.
  84. Swords cross, blood spurts and bosoms heave in The Princess of Montpensier, French director Bertrand Tavernier's thoroughly ravishing drama.
  85. Ten
    Ten may strain your patience but that's the high-stakes gamble of this provocative project.
  86. A demanding blend of spectacle, drama and exposition of ideas.
  87. At its simple core, Sleeping Beauty is a perfectly pitched chamber piece about the menace of voluntary oblivion.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    If Leguizamo imports a hint of pathos into his performance, Waterston adds a dollop of menace to hers, delivering another of Ross's attacks on what separates girls from men. In this world, women are their own worst enemy.
  88. With the bigger story and more fully developed relationships than the previous films, this is the first Twilight film that feels like a real movie in its own right.
  89. Terry produced some of the happiest sounds in the history of jazz; Keep on Keepin’ On keeps the smiles coming.
  90. Often refuses to adhere to the formula, sometimes offering a tantalizing ambiguity, other times aspiring to a more complex drama it cannot entirely deliver.
  91. Pretty much a non-stop head-bobbing knee-bouncer.

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