The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

For 4,298 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 Particle Fever
Lowest review score: 0 People Like Us
Score distribution:
4298 movie reviews
  1. 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    At its most heightened state of geek arousal, Frank Pavich’s Jodorowsky’s Dune imagines an alternate pop-cultural universe where an unmade movie changed everything.
  2. The night scenes are particularly resonant, mixing humour, suspense and textured visuals. This is the kind of film dream from which you feel reluctant to wake.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The actor - like everyone else in this tedious yet affecting film - rises well above his soft-headed, solipsistic material, turning in a performance of nuanced delicacy.
  3. It’s a delightfully cruel work of high tension, perfect in just how quickly and easily it gets under your skin.
  4. Cynical, hip, politically opportunistic and loaded with kick-ass comic action.
  5. Too busy to be boring or deeply engaging, Tarzan is an efficient Disney treatment of a time-tested story. The results aren't bad, just not quite worth a chest-pounding victory yell.
  6. The result is a rare treat, a revival of a period piece that doesn't descend into mere quaintness or prettiness, and that manages to capture the spirit of an earlier time without sacrificing the perspective of our own.
  7. More illuminating than not.
  8. Much of what happens in Silent Light can feel painstakingly mundane: milking cows, harvesting wheat, a long drive at night in and out of shadows. Yet throughout, there's a sense of something ominous impending, and while it remains gentle, the ending is genuinely startling.
  9. Only Lovers is so fluidly edited and thinly plotted that it feels almost off-hand; yet, it’s also made with great care, beautifully lit and set-designed to an eyelash.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    A pitch-perfect comedy.
  10. Terms of Endearment is the rare commercial picture that sets audiences to laughing hysterically and crying unashamedly, sometimes within consecutive seconds, and then shoos them out of the theatre in contented emotional exhaustion. [23 Nov 1983]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Good news – it’s incredible. It sets the standard for blockbuster action movies, and manages to be even better than its predecessor.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    De Palma's visual acuity tends to blur into mere gimmickry without the benefit of a resonant script. He got one in Carrie and another in Blow Out. Here, Mamet makes do with a text that is always shrewd but never intelligent. Still, when shwrewdness meets style, smoothing the curves and polishing the twists, the ride becomes a bonafide crowd-pleaser. The Untouchables is the cheering people's happy choice. [4 June 1987]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  11. A tormented and tormenting man uses violence to break the historic chain of violence, then bequeaths to his loved ones the most precious gift he can give -- his total silence and perpetual absence.
  12. 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.
  13. As he did with "Once," Carney with the somewhat autobiographical Sing Street mixes hardscrabble realism with highly charged romanticism, filmed on a low budget with mostly unknown talent.
  14. Every once in a long while, the right director comes across the right project at just the right moment, and things so often discordant fall into perfect harmony.
  15. Less satisfying are the moments when the film concedes to American horror conventions, especially the scuttling vampire effects, which pull us out of the haunted world of these lovely damaged creatures into a place that, while not of this world, feels entirely too familiar.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Equally enrapturing are the birders themselves, including the writers Jonathan Franzen and Jonathan Rosen – contemplatively articulate in all their geeky birding glory – and especially Starr Saphir, who leads birding tours through Central Park.
  16. Free Willy (for some strange reason, that tiny imperative just gives me the giggles) is a family picture that stays safely within the haven of a cozy formula, yet does a whole lot of inventive work in the process.
  17. 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?
  18. 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.
  19. A pleasing fix, Searching for Sugar Man is a lost-and-found film about pursuits – one of them abandoned, and one not.
  20. Audaciously whacked-out and never less than entertaining, Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan mixes a backstage dance drama with a Freudian psychological thriller that's indebted to Roman Polanski's studies of shattered feminine psyches and David Cronenberg's movies about repressed bodies in rebellion.
  21. The wildly ambitious but flawed biographical film about the English cellist Jacqueline du Pré.
  22. Tense car chases, action scenes handled with crisp panache and Canadian actor Ryan Gosling channelling Steve McQueen as an existential wheel man add up to make Drive one of the best arty-action films since Steven Soderbergh's "The Limey."
  23. At two hours and 43 minutes, Eastwood's Bird is a hypnotic, darkly photographed, loosely constructed marvel that avoids every cliche of the self-destructive-celebrity biography, a particularly remarkable achievement in that Parker played out every cliche of the self- destructive-celebrity life. [14 Oct 1988, p. C1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  24. Hawking is as much a phenomenon as the phenomena he explores. Knowing that, A Brief History Of Time has the deceptive simplicity of an elegant equation - it merely sets up the parallels and permits us to wonder, gazing upon the heavens above and the mysteries within. [28 Aug 1992]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  25. Enough Said confirms filmmaker Nicole Holofcener’s status as one of America’s best stealth satirists.
  26. Only occasionally does Fresnadillo rise above the mundane, but, to his credit, the exceptions are worth savouring.
  27. The result is a good movie that falls short of greatness by aping too well the behaviour of its subject – occasionally brilliant, sometimes mundane.
  28. This is a human-sized drama about people with contradictory motives, trying to help or use each other.
  29. Violent and sexy and funny and sad, Head-On is a big collision that doubles as a bizarre love story.
  30. Comes alive with the more relaxed performances from its senior set.
  31. Though the progress of Atim's increasing empathy is predictable, the film understates its points effectively, without simplification.
    • 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.
  32. Like a lot of well-staged parties, though, the affair peaks shortly after the introductions, and then devolves into intrigues, fights and mayhem.
  33. The characters are entertainingly contradictory, though in a somewhat predictable way: Nice people aren’t honest, and honest people aren’t nice.
  34. May be the best war movie ever made...Different is Kubrick's artistry and control, and his almost perverse, but philosophically progressive, refusal to impart to chaos a coherent narrative contour.
  35. De Bont knows how to edit a pulse-pounding sequence, he knows how to keep the screen white-hot, and he sure knows how to blow things up real good. What he doesn't know is how to slow down - this premise is perfect for him.
  36. Rather than another oppressive film about poverty, it's a revealing experiment in perspective.
  37. What's wrong with The Color Purple - and nothing that's wrong with it keeps it from being a joy to watch - is what you'd expect of Spielberg: he chews on Alice Walker's hard edges until they're gummy. [21 Dec 1985]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The Innocents is a powerful, brave film that will stay with you for days.
  38. 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.
  39. Reservoir Dogs sizzles - it's dynamite on a short fuse, and you watch it with mesmerized fascination, simultaneously attracted and repelled by the explosion you know will come.
  40. By its third act, Okwe has found his solution and Dirty Pretty Things comes across as both clever but a little pat, another British drama about the misfits who pool their resources to defy the oppressive system, though it does not precisely leave a warm glow.
  41. Like no other war movie you've ever seen.
  42. 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.
  43. No film this year has offered quite the cerebral tickle, weird invention and slaphappy gusto.
  44. 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.
  45. In a better entertainment world, Owe would have won a special Buster Keaton Great Stoneface award at last year's Academy Awards.
  46. All this is initially fascinating, and then progressively less so. The problem is the usual serial-killer issue – things, no matter how weird and kinky, get repetitive.
  47. A conventional mixture of thriller and moral drama, the film is unsettling in both intentional and unintentional ways.
  48. The phrase in the title "wanted and desired" is offered by a producer friend of Polanski's who describes him as "wanted" in the United States, but "desired" in Europe, where sexual behaviour is treated more honestly and artists' dark sides are celebrated.
  49. At two hours, After the Wedding stretches out family flux too thinly and waits too long to reveal the final, devastating secret that we already know.
  50. It's not only packed with high-toned classical and contemporary cultural allusions, but manages to wear its popcorn inspirations on its sleeve.
  51. A bland, workaday detective flick that should have been much better than it is.
  52. The virtue of Midnight Run is not that it does anything new; the virtue is that it does everything old so well.
  53. The Guard is guilty of being overly cute, but it brims with talent and a freshness that extends beyond the clever script.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Gripping and thrilling, Nanfu Wang’s debut documentary is a raw look at women’s-rights activism in China.
  54. Ex Machina is a clever film with one indelible performance from Isaac.
  55. The movie's climax takes Harry Potter into territory that is much more like epic horror than most of what the series has seen before. There is more obvious religious symbolism and apocalyptic violence as Harry emerges into his role as “the chosen one.”
  56. The plot is bare-bones stuff, weak in story line and bereft of motivation.
  57. So what's the problem? Just that the plot seems a bit too schematic, the characters a little too pat, and the imagery altogether too convenient -- for a tale that means to explore the elusiveness of truth, Lemmons sure likes to sew things up neatly.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It’s a pleasant surprise, therefore, to see what Whedon has done with the Bard’s timeless comedy Much Ado About Nothing.
  58. Uneven and erratic and far too busy, its flashes of brilliance dimmed by overambitious meanderings.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The Last Mistress proves that Breillat has found something in the luscious language of the 19th century that makes sense to us today.
  59. Zootopia takes the cultural practice of posing animals as human characters to queasy new heights.
  60. 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.
  61. The best Canadian beer movie since "Strange Brew," and the best 1930s musical of the year, The Saddest Music in the World is the kind of exhaustingly delirious film that only Winnipeg director Guy Maddin could make.
  62. Realism by nature offends the dogmatic, and Michael Mann, in a writing-directing debut that makes one want to see his next movie instantly, is a devotee of the realistic in factual essentials, if not in esthetics. [27 Mar 1981]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  63. Swords cross, blood spurts and bosoms heave in The Princess of Montpensier, French director Bertrand Tavernier's thoroughly ravishing drama.
  64. The most provocative aspect of this compulsive riddle is how it resists closure. The end comes not when we have the answer, but when the movie reaches its irresolute end.
  65. 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)
  66. 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.
  67. 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.
  68. The surprise lies in Linklater's ability to breathe so much fresh life into a tired formula...This is a picture that recollects not merely a period in time but a state of mind.
  69. Its rhythm is deliberate and unhurried, yet the film is rich with detail and with small, meaningful character revelations -- the running time of more than two hours feels just right.
  70. Only a master director could make such a beautifully flawed film.
  71. A celebration of Hong Kong action cinema that mocks gravity, both emotional and physical.
  72. My Own Private Idaho achieves more than most movies dream of attempting. The Shakespearian allusions aside, Van Sant has essentially remade "Of Mice and Men" for the nineties, with Mike as the "mouse," Scott as the "man." It is the mouse who roars.
  73. 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.
  74. 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.
  75. Unclassifiable and wildly original, it is almost wordless but teeming with sound.
  76. At the end of Courage Under Fire, you feel torn between admiration and annoyance with the filmmakers.
  77. Kramer vs. Kramer is one of the most sensitive and least judgmental film about relationships ever made in the United States.... One of the important films. [15 Dec 1979]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  78. DeGeneres goes much further, though, maintaining a delicate balance between Dory’s optimistic personality and the hovering anxieties created by her imperfect memory.
  79. The strangely hybrid result, half Herzog and half Hollywood, plays like its own battleground. Sometimes, the tension is fascinatingly productive; other times, all we get is the worst of both worlds.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Blair is excellent in the lead, but the filmmaking is the true star here.
  80. Stands as an important film, perhaps even a timely one as once again the United States finds itself enmeshed in fending off a guerrilla war in a faraway land.
  81. Fun, fun, fun. Take the title at its word, because this movie is nothing less than a flat-out, lung-pumping, 76-minute sprint.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Before Sunrise is a film that first startles you with its simplicity, then bowls you over with its complexity.
  82. The direction may not be flashy, but it is controlled and confident; the frames unfold with a no-nonsense, nuts-and-bolts realism that, in this era of laser-blazing Batplanes, seems downright welcome.
  83. As with his previous film, director Chang nurses a compelling drama from a multilayered cultural reality, at once intimate and unfathomably large in implications.
  84. As a young man he dreamed of racing cars. Now he rides a bicycle to the market each day, to negotiate with an elite fraternity of top fish dealers, who save their best for Jiri's restaurant. Like the fish that are disappearing from the oceans, they're probably the last of a breed.
  85. The cinematography is evocative – rainy, rich, gritty and raw, for this inspiring but not always pretty story – and Curtis is 100-per-cent watchable as a puffy, mumbling shuffler whose chess lessons double as life strategies.
  86. The film ends with a delicious question, an uncertainty that will linger long after the credits roll – no ribbon is tied on The Gift.
  87. With no cutaways, the film’s story and the momentum of the unlikely robbers seems as unstoppable as the camera. The characters are confused, adrenalinized and breathless, as are you. Because the deal feels real.

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