The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

For 4,868 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 De Palma
Lowest review score: 0 New Best Friend
Score distribution:
4868 movie reviews
  1. Yes, the filmmaker and co-director Duke Johnson laboured for years over this project, and their set design is often astonishing. But that doesn’t mean the film is a masterpiece, or even half a masterpiece.
  2. Cholodenko casts much better than she writes. Yet, alas, even a talented veteran like Moore can't sell a hoary line like, "Sometimes you hurt the ones you love the most." Maybe if she'd set it to music – nope, sorry, that's already been done.
  3. Ridley, full of charming spunk playing a skeptical rebel recruit in The Force Awakens, is the biggest disappointment here. She is less engaging now that she is committed to the fight and plays most of the later action on a single note of earnest desperation; Johnson's script leaves her little else.
  4. The plot is squeezed dry in this bloody Valentine from Hollywood and becomes annoyingly predictable. Thriller stumbles on its own success
  5. The problem is not that the director is working but that his latest film is working too hard. Way too hard – this thing is melodrama running a marathon.
  6. Without warning, the picture falls hard into the very trap it had so studiously avoided, the one marked Expensive Gimmick... The same feature that begins like no film you've ever seen ends like every cartoon you've always avoided.
  7. For the first time in the series, Stallone did not write the script, yet director Ryan Coogler and his co-writer Aaron Covington aren’t exactly brimming over with fresh ideas: Worn thin with repetition, the sentimental old premise muffles suspense and dampens emotion.
  8. The movie itself seems more familiar than fascinating, more innocuous than inflammatory, and, at 2½ hours, more tedious than anything else.
  9. But the stuff looks like what it is -- trite imagery grafted over the narrative barrens, like a bad weave on a balding pate.
  10. Like a skill player who just can't score, The Damned United is all dazzle and no finish and, ultimately, damned frustrating.
  11. It's not the subject matter itself that's offensive -- pedophilia is as worthy a topic of investigation as any other. Instead, it's the subject's non-treatment -- we don't learn a thing that rings true.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Adds more cosmic cliff-hangers than it resolves, and it's not as satisfying as the original. A star war can be an exhausting bit of business, especially when, in the end, it turns out to be something of a cheat.
  12. Yes, the premise is delightful; no, the delight doesn't last.
  13. Every scene is perfectly framed, every symbol lovingly shot, but the story and the characters remain opaque.
  14. Altman shakes the camera like a two-bit horror director, and it seems a different sort of signature - less masterful than weary, less signed than resigned. Zero-sum, indeed.
  15. For all that Silence is a gorgeous film filled with imagery that is sometimes startling and often compelling, the director sadly fails in a passion project decades in the making: This is a long and dull costume drama that seems to think a contemporary audience can picture faith as easily as it does a cassock, cross or kimono.
  16. Beneath the polished surface, Dead Poets Society is moribund at the core - too pat, too safe and too hypocritical, as conformist as the conformity it so easily decries.
  17. Despite a superb cast and a fabulous look, the picture collapses under the weight of its lofty pretensions, especially in the black hole of the last act, where it topples into near-absurdity.
  18. And therein lies the difficulty of adapting Indignation for the screen; remove Roth’s prose from the equation and you don’t have much left. Writer and director James Schamus turns Indignation into a minor period piece, a precise but seemingly pointless evocation of the stultifying conventionalism of an American university campus in the 1950s.
  19. A bland, workaday detective flick that should have been much better than it is.
  20. Zootopia takes the cultural practice of posing animals as human characters to queasy new heights.
  21. Ruthless People is a farce rather than a satire and it's far less ambivalent toward the behavior it depicts than All in the Family was - it actively encourages the audience to tee-hee over people being horrible to each other. Dale Launer's script is often extremely funny, especially when Midler is around, but it's an extended sick joke that doesn't realize it's got a disease. [27 June 1986, p.D1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  22. Rob Reiner's not up to it: when the movie is meant to be romantic, the tone is frequently mushy and sexless, and when it's meant to be anachronistic and satiric, it's vaudeville-vulgar.
  23. The result is a political thriller refreshingly long on grown-up dialogue yet lamentably shy on, well, thrills. This chatty thing does go on.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Cancer, ironically, turns out to be a hard subject to dramatize. We spend the majority of the doc accompanying Jones to doctors’ appointments and chemotherapy sessions. As compelling as this is to the person going through it, it’s not fascinating to watch.
  24. Like its predecessors, Under the Sea is family-friendly viewing -- the great white shark swims by, as opposed to tearing prey to shreds. Its goal is to show biodiversity and offer information on how reefs grow, reminding us of threats to these environments.
  25. Hurt is so good at capturing the charming and chilling Ned that he almost makes up for the film's two primary weaknesses: Kasdan's inexperience and a message of significant unpleasantness. [28 Aug 1981, p.P17]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Needless to say, what's refreshing about A Christmas Story is subversive to the sepia-toned and loving references to the forties which director Bob Clark has provided for the film. The fictional Parker family that Shepherd has written about for 20 years is not as gentle or gauzy as they first appear. It's possible to imagine them so preoccupied with their own problems, whether dealing with the neighbor's dogs or winning a mail- order contest, that they could forget Christmas altogether. [25 Nov 1983, p.E5]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  26. Dealing with such heavy matters as death, faith and forgiveness, the film wants to be a classic-in-the-making, but it just doesn’t hit the emotional and narrative cues necessary for such a weighty job.
  27. Fitfully interesting, occasionally cringe-worthy, this is the sort of stagy production that mixes ribaldry and campy overacting that evokes summer theatre productions.
  28. Ultimately, the best thing about (500) Days of Summer isn't its gimmicky script. It's the constant performance of Gordon-Levitt, who shifts, scene-by-scene, from moments of ebullience to abject dejection.
    • 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.
  29. The reach of this sprawling, ambitious epic often exceeds its grasp. It has something in common with its hero. [5 Dec 1981]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  30. In truth, despite its honesty, this is a flawed little film, its low comedy never funny enough to justify its crudeness.
  31. 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.
  32. The Muppet charm, always more at home within the intimate frame of a TV set, is gone here.
  33. An uneven but intriguing piece of whimsy that veers from powerfully symbolic cinematography into self parody.
  34. Before it turns into a thriller, and goes badly awry, Red Lights paints a devastating little portrait of a marriage on the rocks.
  35. The narrative, cobbled together from various Pooh stories by an army of writers, is held together reasonably well by John Cleese's soothing narration.
  36. Bouncing about from one flawed movie to another, Steven Spielberg has lost his way of late, and Munich finds him more disoriented than ever.
  37. The emotional geometry is familiar enough to be credible yet odd enough to be creepy.
  38. The technical packaging of his picture is terrific - with its high-tech Manhattan and its split screens and slow motion, Dressed to Kill is - but the goods it opens to reveal are shoddily second-hand. [26 July 1980]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  39. Unlike "Microcosmos" (all insects) and the acclaimed nature doc "Winged Migration" (all birds), Genesis is bogged down by its intentions and too vast a "cast."
  40. Under better circumstances, Cooper might be said to have stolen the picture outright. But as it is, and compelling as he is, there's just nothing here to steal.
  41. It is a busy narrative machine that raises expectations of a tidy ending; instead Almodóvar offers an artfully mysterious conclusion that seems unearned by the movie that preceded it – except, of course, for that lonely stag.
  42. Rude, lewd and occasionally in the nude, The Hangover brings a collection of fresh faces to the familiar raucous male-bonding comedy.
  43. One of those crime flicks besotted with its own plot.
  44. It's a slacker flick, it's a relationship pic, it's a road movie all under the same hood.
  45. The Square turns from a sharp art-world satire into something egregiously bonkers, a collision of blunt comic beats and heavy-handed social commentary that's more messy than profound.
  46. Gran Torino skids into the narrative ditch. By the time it jolts to an ending, followed by Clint rasping a tune to the closing credits, you're more likely to be rolling your eyes than dabbing them.
  47. It’s ripe to the point of bursting and, with a plot that tilts to melodrama, Davies flirts dangerously with cliché, creating an over-wrought period piece where every wheat field is bathed in golden sunlight and every childbirth is announced by chilling screams.
  48. It's a movie intent on telling us the hotshots were heroes, without sufficiently dramatizing either their professional decisions or their private lives.
  49. Teenmeister John Hughes, begatter of Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, has permitted Planes, Trains and Automobiles to be promoted as his first "adult" feature, but it's actually a re-run of a movie he wrote in 1983, National Lampoon's Vacation, another primitive cartoon for the kinds of adults who find Neil Simon too sophisticated. [27 Nov 1987]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  50. Should be a brilliant picture, one last testament to the intertwined sensibilities of two brave artists. Should be, but isn't.
  51. Isn't really a dull film so much as an oddly quaint one that seems to find a comfortable perspective about drastic circumstances.
  52. 12
    Yes, Mikhalkov has set himself quite the agenda, but in the end the film is too much of a piece with its topic, intensely fascinating yet seriously flawed. The verdict? Guilty, with extenuating circumstances.
  53. The Good Girl isn't really the title of this movie at all. Instead, it's now widely known as The Movie That Proves Jennifer Can Act.
  54. Embracing such depths, Bukowski somehow made his art. Simulating them, Factotum just makes us queasy.
  55. Tropic Thunder is an assault in the guise of a comedy – watching it is like getting mugged by a clown.
  56. It is almost as if Gibson is daring his audience to turn away from his opera of barbarity – but perversely, his violence is the only compelling element of Hacksaw Ridge. Perhaps ironically for a war film, the rest of it is mostly a draw.
  57. Watching this, we should feel an immense amount, but don't, and somehow, decades after this horrible event, that void only seems to compound the tragedy.
  58. Plays precariously close to an unfunny sociopathic case study.
  59. Bronson is one of those “based on a true story” dramatizations where the theatrically staged drama only gets in the way of the more interesting truth.
  60. Less an adaptation of its source material than a therapeutic response to it.
  61. This is an adaptation that must have been hard to screw up, yet screwed up it has been. If the movie is far from dreadful, it's even further from the searing experience it could have been.
  62. This is a film that dearly wants to be important, that wants to do for Holland what Irene Nemirovsky's "Suite Française" does for France - examine the German occupation through a prism of painful honesty. Yet the lofty ambition comes dressed in cheap attire; Verhoeven can't seem to stop himself from shopping downmarket.
  63. The result is infotainment dressed up as an art flick. Turkish society is fascinatingly complex and its East/West tensions give rise not to easy allegories but to hard ambiguities. To explore that truth, read any novel by Orhan Pamuk. To escape it, watch Bliss.
  64. The Last Circus is a bizarre, surreal, grotesque, fascinating, demanding, disappointing and ultimately exhausting political allegory that plays like a waking nightmare.
  65. As directed by Robert Zemeckis from a script he co-wrote with Christopher Browne, the film limps through its first two acts, putting in time until the big moment.
  66. Bolstered by a solid premise, this film starts out impressively enough - it looks to be a worthy character study. But it soon stops dead, wheels spinning badly, and then, hungry for momentum, lurches off in a completely cockeyed direction. [16 Oct 1992]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  67. Perhaps the most regrettable crime here is the way that Mann, trying to do too much, robs himself of a great opportunity. Here was a chance to capture the drama of the Thirties.
  68. A mess of a movie – a sprawling PowerPoint argument that covers too much ground way too fast, dispensing Wikipedia-calibre essays on a variety of subjects, from a blurred bio of J. Robert Oppenheimer, creator of the atom bomb, to an unsatisfying sidebar on A.Q. Khan, the world's first door-to-door nuke salesmen.
  69. If you like your archetypes writ large and your sentiment over easy, then Unstrung Heroes is the flick for you. [15 Sep 1995]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  70. This is a flick whose failures are at least as interesting as the successes.
  71. Sorry, but this level of insight is readily available from daily news reports.
  72. Though beautiful to look at and graced with moments of ticklish camp, The Skin I Live In is also sluggish, arbitrarily conceived and, especially in its sagging middle, unaccountably dull.
  73. Perhaps the film's biggest weakness is that all the characters are so naive and petty you can't really work up much fervour about who sleeps with whom. That would never be a question in a movie like "Casablanca."
  74. Stop the Pounding Heart is the last of Minervini’s “Texas trilogy,” so this isn’t his first rodeo. Indulgently, he explores a world that is near-fascinating for its insularity, but one that probably calls for photographs instead of this film.
  75. The Hoax is a fraud, and not a very good one at that. Stay with me here because we're about to spiral down the rabbit hole: The movie is a fictionalized account of writer Clifford Irving's fictionalized account of his own fictionalized account of wacky billionaire Howard Hughes.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Crystal is funny in City Slickers but the film is flat and makes the desert feel as cramped and airless as a basement nightclub. [7 June 1991]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  76. Perhaps for Zwigoff, directing someone else's script, this was just a job of work. If not, the talent who made "Crumb" and "Ghost World "has now made his first movie mistake.
  77. The trouble is, once you get past the historical information and chummy interviews, you have to put up with the inevitable risk of any ad-hoc jam session: It Might Get Boring.
  78. A Mexican feature from writer/director Guillermo Del Toro, it's a modern vampire tale that occasionally rises to the level of competence but never inches any higher. [20 May 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  79. This is the reliable raunch-plus-sweetness comic formula that goes back through the Farrelly brothers, Adam Sandler's comedies, "Revenge of the Nerds," "Porky's" and "Animal House."
  80. Let's start with this certainty: No one but Quentin Tarantino could possibly have made Inglourious Basterds . Now add another: No one but his most ardent fans will be entirely glad that Quentin Tarantino did make Inglourious Basterds .
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Though inspired by a real incident, the movie is an opportunistic political allegory about an economy that's out of control and industries that are weakened by layoffs, under-staffing and corporate callousness.
  81. An unlikely Irish-Cuban co-production, Viva is, like its central subject, beautiful to look at but ultimately lacking depth.
  82. The trouble with Body Double is not that it sets "new lows" in the treatment of women or anything else, but that a stunningly original talent has willingly hitched itself to a derivative vision. The person De Palma really degrades is himself. [26 Oct 1984]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  83. It's a comedy, it's a romance, it's a gangster flick. The Cooler is all of that and much, much less. This is a movie without a compass, switching pace and direction as haphazardly as a caffeinated SUV driver on a cellphone.
  84. Cold Souls begins to lose its comic focus, however, when Giamatti comes to realize that he needs his soul back.
  85. Expected too is the result: a kind of sterile opulence or, if you prefer, a magnificent emptiness.
  86. There's an alchemy that can transform personal experience into a great film, but it was nowhere nearby when Tamara Jenkins wrote and directed this lacklustre first feature.
  87. It's odd, how these high-concept films, knowing that the central gimmick has a way of wearing out its welcome, are all so short – a mere 84 minutes in this case. Why odd? Because short always ends up feeling so damn long. This is no exception. Quick to start and painfully slow to finish, Chronicle is the same old chronicle.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Fault is at heart a full-throttle, by-the-numbers tearjerker.
  88. Because it attempts so much more than Excalibur, the disappointment of Knightriders cuts deeper. Romero wants to tell the tale, to comment on it and to relate it to the present; he wants to bring contemporary satirical life to the myth, a service he performed cannily for the Dracula legend in Martin. [18 April 1981]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  89. A try-anything, fitfully amusing muddle that wears its mocking cynicism a bit too proudly.
  90. The film itself struggles to do justice to each victim. Turns out three stories are two too many. The Company Men should have been downsized.
  91. This is a fairly well-made picture that's just been fairly well-made too many times before, a knock-off of a thousand other knock-offs.
  92. Your basic and basically predictable by-the-numbers picture.
  93. By the end of the Stoked, the viewer is left with a lot of trivia about the history of skateboarding, and scant insight.

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