The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

  • Movies
For 3,749 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: 59
Highest review score: 100 Le Havre
Lowest review score: 0 Far and Away
Score distribution:
3,749 movie reviews
  1. Linklater’s film is very much its own hybrid creature. While the dramatic scaffolding is lightly drawn, it becomes apparent that Linklater has organized his material along certain themes, most notably that of the passage of time and the dream life of childhood.
  2. This is like no movie you've seen before, a haunting mixture of horror, history and fantasy that works simultaneously on every level.
  3. Relentlessly dark but expertly rendered, it shares its cinematographer and quality of aggrieved compassion with another recent Romanian art house hit, "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu."
  4. Far from the push-button catharsis offered by most Hollywood redemption tales, the work is sober and deliberate, a mix of visceral intensity and artful design.
  5. It is a work of great beauty that rewards continued visits.
  6. A French rat as a master chef? Absurd. But a brilliant French chef with an American accent? C'est grotesque!
  7. Gravity, a weightless ballet and a cold-sweat nightmare, intimates mystery and profundity, with that mixture of beauty and terror that the Romantics called the sublime.
  8. It has the staccato wit of a drawing-room comedy, the fatal flaw of a tragic romance and the buzzy immediacy of a front-page headline, all powered by a kinetic engine typically found in an action flick. And that's just the opening scene.
  9. Not everything about Zero Dark Thirty zips by. The middle hour of the film feels overstuffed with agency chiefs and national security advisors gazing on the feisty Maya with avuncular admiration.
  10. Much like Robert Altman during his forays into the genre, writer/director Asghar Farhadi isn't really interested in the answers. Instead, he keeps expanding the questions, until that singular title comes to seem a misnomer.
  11. It plays like documented fact, a kind of "7 Up" primer on life’s romantic vicissitudes.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The most successful film ever released in Japan, and co-winner of the top prize at this year's Berlin film festival, Spirited Away is a complete reversal of the Hollywood way with animation.
  12. It's one modern film worthy of being called a contemporary classic.
  13. Pulp Fiction is at least three movies rolled into one, and they're all scintillating.
  14. There's something about this story, and this war, that brings out the stripped-down conceptual artist in her (Bigelow): Against blank canvases of desert sand and rubble, explosive wires are linked to nerve ends, and everything that matters depends on the twitch of a muscle or a finger on a button.
  15. Mixing Chaplinesque delicacy with the architectural grandeur of a Stanley Kubrick film, director Andrew Stanton recycles film history and makes something fresh and accessible from it without pandering to a young audience.
  16. There's fun to be had in watching these losers drift without a compass.
  17. The most gripping war movie you'll see this year, We Were Here tells first-hand the story of how AIDS attacked San Francisco, killing more than 15,000. Whole peer groups were happy, healthy, and then dead in months.
  18. The [final] battle is vast, and undoubtedly required thousands of hours of matching puppetry, robotics and computer code, but it is not without tedium.
  19. A preening terrorist for the Me generation, his primary drive was vanity and his main professional asset an absence of empathy.
  20. More arduously, Riva is obliged to act out the physical decline while still registering a full spectrum of emotions. Remarkably, she does it all, even when reduced to communicating with her eyes alone. Hers is, in every sense of the phrase, a nakedly honest performance.
  21. Mesmerizing.
  22. A powerful and affecting piece of work.
  23. Amadeus needs an additional 20 minutes running time like "The Magic Flute" needs a drum solo. Though the production is gussied up with more frills and decoration than a Viennese dessert trolley, Forman is generally workmanlike in his visual style and very uneven with his handling of actors.
  24. Days of Heaven is so unapologetically beautiful, so calculatingly gorgeous, it is certain to arouse resentment in the minds of those who find visual hedonism a sin in movies, and to arouse suspicion, if not outrage, in those who require that movies have heart. [22 Sept. 1978]
    • 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]
  25. Inside Llewyn Davis only really kicks into gear at its 55-minute mark. Unsurprisingly, this occurs with the arrival of Coen venerable John Goodman, playing an acerbic jazz hipster who has little truck with the folk idiom but a large appetite for heroin.
  26. The adjective “inspirational” doesn't do justice to the quality of Schnabel's film.
  27. The Class is simultaneously old school and new, familiar in its themes but unique in design and, at its best, riveting in execution.
  28. The intensity of the film verges on the intolerable.
  29. That's not to say that There Will Be Blood isn't something exceptional; it's just that the movie is jarringly erratic, ranging from moments of delicacy to majesty to over-the-top bombast.
  30. There's a giddy, absurd charm to the story, in which the strange setting only enhances the comfortable familiarity of the narrative and characters.
  31. 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.
  32. Once in a rare while a film comes along that is boldly original, communicates an important idea in an elegantly simple fashion and happens to be highly entertaining. Such is the case with Moolaadé.
  33. Bizarre, indeed.
  34. Succeeding where most docudramas fail, it turns a slice of recent history into a revealingly intelligent entertainment, without being didactic at one extreme or sentimental at the other.
  35. Lee has forged a work of art in the classic sense -- art that delights and instructs.
  36. Profound, and profoundly affecting.
  37. The Coen brothers adaptation is impeccable, a perfect mirror of McCarthy's prose – sparse, suspenseful, probing and profoundly disturbing.
  38. 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.
  39. Simultaneously a tough, haunting, lyrical, hopeful film, and the tears it wants us to shed are an alloy of sorrow and joy - cleansing tears, the kind that alter the rules and dignify the game.
  40. A horror movie based on history, offering some of the most spectacularly brutal, viscerally intense battle scenes ever brought to a Hollywood movie.
  41. One caveat: At the risk of sounding sexist, let me say A Prophet is an unreservedly male film. Female characters are few and far between, and when they do appear, they pretty much fall into either one of two categories – les mamans ou les putains.
  42. 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.
  43. An impressive film accomplishment, a combination of technique and extremely specific detail that reminds viewers how potent a rhetorical force the medium can be.
  44. Her
    Phoenix, for long scenes, is onscreen by himself, lost in his thoughts and those of the operating system moulded to fit his psyche. With his wounded awkwardness and boyish giggles, he seems authentically vulnerable, but the character’s emotionally arrested development also begins to weigh the film down.
  45. Essentially agenda-free, My Perestroika has the quality of a candid conversation with long-lost cousins from another country.
  46. Though the Disney logo is on this movie, there is -- possibly excepting little Nemo himself -- not a single cloying, sentimental Disneyesque creature in it. There is, instead, wit and flair in concept and writing, the trademark of the Pixar people who drove the project.
  47. Deft and ironic, mixing banal reality with poignant metaphor in a typically Iranian style.
  48. This is a sequel just as intriguing as the original.
  49. The smarter script and stronger range of performances than most high-budget blockbusters clogging theatres these days make you wonder why the live-action feature isn't already obsolete.
  50. The best American movie so far this year.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    "It's one of the problems I have with Hannah. I feel I haven't gone deeply enough." Should Woody Allen ever tire of making movies, he can take up criticizing them.
  51. Greengrass's reluctance to unduly demonize the villains or overly sentimentalize the victims is commendable on the surface, but it tends to blur the two sides and to mask the gulf that separates them.
  52. The result is a rarity on any screen: intelligent fun.
  53. 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.
  54. The character of Rosalyn – a mash-up of Carole Lombard, Lady Macbeth and maybe even Regan from The Exorcist – is by far the most hair-raising phenomenon in a movie bristling with high hair.
  55. Persepolis is as modern as tomorrow's headlines and as classic as an ancient myth.
  56. 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.
  57. If you've got six hours to invest watching superior television in a movie theatre, then spend the time wisely with The Best of Youth.
  58. A movie that combines the Cold War intrigue of John Le Carré with the wired buzz of Francis Ford Coppola's "The Conversation" -- one of those rare two-hour-plus pictures that runs long but plays bracingly, excitingly short.
  59. Actors Zhang Ziyi and Takeshi Kaneshiro are the kind of startlingly good-looking, glamorous stars that evoke classic Hollywood adventure films.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Ida
    Favouring long takes over didactic scripting, Pawlikowski lets his powerful imagery carry the film.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Marsh's most remarkable directorial achievement, however, is preserving the original sense of amazement and awe when watching historical footage and still photographs of Petit walking that tightrope up in the sky.
  60. 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.
  61. At heart, though, every moviegoer can recognize a love story, no matter how unusual the context.
  62. Yun, a veteran Korean actress, gives a splendidly layered performance.
  63. With elements of "A Star Is Born" and "Singing in the Rain," The Artist is a rarity, an ingenious crowd-pleaser.
  64. Great art is both immediately accessible and eternally elusive, having at its centre a powerful simplicity that speaks to anyone who cares to listen, that rewards every interpretation while embracing none. The Piano is great art.
  65. No so-called serious gangster film has ever been more fun, or less dangerous, or more intrinsically feminist, than GoodFellas. Even "I Married the Mob" was scarier.
  66. You'll be rewarded with a terrific finale. The twists here are the rare sort that seem both narratively surprising and emotionally engaging.
  67. For all its emphasis on doomed honour and grim death, Letters from Iwo Jima is also sentimental.
  68. Most movies have music, some movies are musicals, but very few movies combine the two with the grace and pure eloquence of Once.
  69. Beyond the eerily evocative impersonation, Hoffman's brilliance lies in not only playing the shrewd puppet master but also revealing that he too comes with strings attached, the most dominant being his consuming need for acclaim.
  70. Funny, fascinating, utterly unclassifiable film.
  71. The winner of Cannes’s top prize, the Palme d’Or, and the international critics prize at the same festival, the film was hailed as a breakthrough, a graphic and emotional love story, the first same-sex feature ever to win the Palme, in the week after France legalized same-sex marriage.
  72. Skip work to see it at the first opportunity.
  73. A film rich in paradoxes. Much of the film's style is dreamy, from the snow-covered Ontario landscapes suggestive of a blanket of forgetfulness, to Julie Christie's pale, intoxicating beauty, to the ambient musical score.
  74. Both a triumph of design and cinematic engineering and, at the same time, long, repetitious and naive.
  75. Yes, The King's Speech is a lively burst of populist rhetoric, superbly performed and guaranteed to please even discriminating crowds.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Up
    Disney has historically peopled cartoons aimed at children with violent, gruesomely animated villains. For all its delicious whimsy, Up is no exception.
  76. "You're so lucky to live in Mexico," Luisa says. "Look at it -- it breathes with life." So does Y Tu Mama Tambien, both the pant of passion and shuddering sigh of regret.
  77. One of those rare films that manages to be both terrifically entertaining and consistently thoughtful, it turns an apparently tame deception into a very rich metaphor.
  78. From the start, it’s clear Anderson is working with a new sophistication both in the vocabulary and structure of the film’s voiceover narrations.
  79. Nothing short of mesmerizing.
  80. Life is Sweet is sweet indeed - and comic and quirky and, on those occasions when the tone deftly shifts, just a little sad... Leigh's work, and the quotidian life it depicts, is sometimes slim but never insubstantial, occasionally sweet but never a sugary confection. And always worth celebrating. [24 Jan. 1992]
  81. Few directors working today make films with the grace and magisterial power of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's best work.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Gillian Armstrong's adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's 1868 novel is lively and thoughtful and beautifully formed. [21 Dec 1994]
  82. The whole ensemble has a hoot with this material, and their joy is contagious.
  83. An unforgettable portrayal of the unglamorous gangster life, which is often short and never sweet.
  84. When it came to describing what was happening to him, Ebert was forthright, clear-eyed and admirably free of neurosis and self-pity.
  85. The feeling is like a warm homecoming.
  86. Ultimately, your nautical mileage may vary as to whether Chandor and Redford achieve the philosophical and emotional impact they intend, but in a movie that is a demonstration of the importance of trying, they definitely try.
  87. A fantastic film.
  88. At first startling, even disengaging, that strange style eventually dovetails with the awful substance.
  89. 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.
  90. Ledger proves what we've suspected all along -- this is his picture, and he steals it brilliantly.
  91. This outing not only doesn't disappoint; it surpasses high expectations. This is a terrific, smartly designed adolescent adventure, visually rich, narratively satisfying, and bound to resonate for years to come.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Even when his touch is light, the Swedish filmmaker is masterful at capturing youth’s contracted perception of time and amplified emotions: Every slight could mean the end of the world, and every joy feels limitless.
  92. Their excitement is infectious and the entire endeavour both mind-bending and tremendously human: Near the end, Peter Higgs, the recent Nobel Prize-winner and one of the scientists who first predicted the particle back in 1964, is seen in Switzerland watching the data results come in, while a tear trickles down his cheek.

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