The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

For 4,772 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 2.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Apocalypse Now
Lowest review score: 0 People Like Us
Score distribution:
4772 movie reviews
  1. Like a Christopher Guest movie with a widow’s peak, What We Do in the Shadows depicts a supposed “New Zealand Documentary Board” film gone gruesomely, hilariously awry.
  2. This is a near-masterpiece, an intimate and nerve-wracking shocker that deserves as big an audience as the mystery box can conjure.
  3. Beyond the knights and rooks, Bobby Fischer Against the World tells the story of a Jewish kid raised in Brooklyn who spent his final years in exile as a fulminating anti-Semite and a raving anti-American.
  4. Mostly, though, A Dangerous Method is a suave chamber piece: a series of glimpses of two 20th-century intellectual titans, in friendship and separation, and the story of a remarkable woman who history had swallowed up, brought into the light again.
  5. Don't go down this Rabbit Hole unless you wish to see a superb film that treats a sad topic with unflinching honesty. Don't go down this Rabbit Hole unless you believe that tragedy's grief, when transmuted through art's protective lens, can feel liberating, even joyful in its painful truths.
  6. As an epic, American Gangster doesn't cut it. The reputations of Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather," Brian De Palma's "Scarface," Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas" or Michael Mann's "Heat" are safe. At best, American Gangster is no better than a workmanlike imitation of its betters.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    So yes, Mud is messy, but it’s also rich and earthy in a way that suggests a filmmaker who is deeply immersed in his story, his characters and his surroundings.
  7. The trouble is that absolutely nothing about the movie feels like news.
  8. The reign of the last emperor, a reign in name alone, was an exercise in style over substance; it is perhaps fitting that his cinematic biography should follow the same incarcerated course. [20 Nov 1987, p.D1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The result is not only a dramatic improvement over what was already an unusually smart and satisfying pop-cultural parable of insurgent 99-per-cent rebellion, but a very likely candidate for the all-time-great-sequel sweepstakes.
  9. One of the most irresistible films of the year so far.
  10. Not super, but not bad, the teen comedy, Superbad, is another comic dance across the hormonal minefield of late high school.
  11. Julia Jentsch offers a brilliant example of what actors call "not playing the ending," and the awful suspense of the piece is watching as she realizes, in increments, that this is all much worse than she thought.
  12. Some of these passages, especially a visit to North Korea, are fascinating in their own right but the film does risk getting sidetracked by tangential stories. Nonetheless, this intersection of nature and culture is filled with insight.
  13. The movie could have used a further dose of the resonance Walken gives it, and a more intellectually adventurous director might have brought the theme close to home.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Part patrician WASP, part Lady Macbeth and revealing more than a little of Hilary Clinton steel, Streep crackles with neurotic energy and barely checked sexuality, sublimated into an addiction to power and an unhealthy devotion to her son.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Director Azazel Jacobs has written (with Winger in mind) an unapologetically adult movie, in which it’s assumed that people in their 50s are as sexual and screwed up as people in their 20s and it’s a given that yearning never ends.
  14. What saves it, however, is Gerwig. The love story ain’t credible, but her performance is, perfectly capturing a young woman who doesn’t lack confidence so much as a sense of self.
  15. A chilling film best experienced bundled up in a sweater and scarf.
  16. The picture goes exactly where the prose does, enticing all of us, kids and adults and atheists and believers alike, down below the brittle surface of our cold logic and into a richer world of imaginative wonder.
  17. Don’t Blink is a friendly film by a friend – honest and historically aware, but almost unfailingly affectionate and attuned to the “spontaneous intuition” that, 92 years after his birth, still seems the governing principle of Frank’s life.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Gere delightfully soft-shoes his way through Norman, surfacing the character’s loneliness without unduly exploiting it.
  18. Young and bold and bristling with talent, Argentine director Lucrecia Martel has continued right where she left off in her feature debut.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Ultimately, though, it's the life-affirming sentiments of the documentary and not its backstage drama that may turn it into a popular hit, especially among boomers who can now legitimately fantasize about their impending retirements as musical stars.
  19. 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.
  20. A non-stop, shoestring trip with more adventures and a helluva lot more smarts than you'll find in most American movies...All in all, there's more plain fun to be had here in 10 minutes than in a whole hour on the road with that jerk Indiana Jones.
  21. Still: the Soronprfbs may be the best fake on-screen punk band since the Stains.
  22. What really distinguishes it from any number of drug-escapade stories is the unusual and welcome sense of Dostoyevskian moral gravity of the narrative.
  23. The re-make, directed by Philip Kaufman, has lost its intellectual innocence and throws in everything from Chariots of the Gods to recombinant DNA - it's as clever and hip as a New Times investigative piece. Paradoxically, by being so smart, the re-make seems a bit dumber than the original. But it's dumb in a nice way. [22 Dec 1978]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  24. To his credit, Beatty has designed Bulworth along the classic lines of Shakespeare's Fool -- the antic truth-speaker who has the ear of the court.
  25. The problem with car-racing movies, though, is that they are car-racing movies. Has any director found a way to spare audiences the eventual tedium of watching automobiles go around and around a track and instead capture the thrill of the sport?
  26. Josue’s film is not consistently effective in bridging her personal story with Shepard’s well-known legacy, but there are striking moments that explore the limits of forgiveness.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Even its structurally weaker moments give Garfield an opportunity to expand on Jack's physical and mental dislocation. Given Boy A's final floating reel, it's an anchoring performance in every sense of the word.
  27. From its title on down, An Officer and a Gentleman (at the Plaza) is both a thoroughly rousing crowd-pleaser and a shamelessly manipulative banner-waver, a homage to the never-practiced ethics of a non-existent era. [28 Jul 1982]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  28. An adolescent-oriented farce so finely tuned it projects beyond its narrow intended audience - it's not only for adolescents, it's for anyone who remembers what adolescence was like. [05 Aug 1983]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  29. Those who lived through the Vietnam War era, and paid attention, will find this documentary short on revelation but long on poignant reminders.
  30. After 107 well-packed minutes, Dotan’s film (which curiously fails to mention current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) arrives at a pessimistic outlook. A settlement on the settlements is nowhere in sight.
  31. Is The Trip to Italy the second Godfather of comedies, or a retread? Neither, exactly. The concept is no longer fresh, but the scenery on the Amalfi and Sorrento coasts is more transporting, and their convertible Mini Cooper is a more amusing vehicle. Finally, the fact that the only singalong CD for the drive is Alanis Morissette’s 1995 album Jagged Little Pill is an unexpected master stroke.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    This is a fine, funny, humane film.
  32. 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.
  33. There is little chance for the movie's talented stars, Day Lewis and Emily Watson (Breaking the Waves) to establish and develop their characters, beyond their set-piece declarations of love.
  34. Stacked against this summer's CGI-driven blockbusters, Attack the Block is definitely the fastest action ride (clocking under 90 minutes), and quite possibly the most fun.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    If the roots of terrorism are hopelessly snarled, Terror's Advocate does a very good job of exposing some of the soil in which they grow.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score excellent in the role, rendering Edith’s monstrous ambition with relatable (and frequently terrifying) conviction.
  35. The racer turns out to be a contender, but the small-time syndicate is the real story, an inspiring tale heard, as it were, straight from the horse’s mouth.
  36. It does what it desires to do - it suspensefully squeezes the sweat out of the pores - but the salty stench it leaves behind in the persona of Annie Wilkes is a residue that transcends its intentions. [30 Nov 1990]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  37. Win Win is a paragon of truth at a slow jog, but that upbeat sprint to the finish feels like a big cheat.
  38. It's not so much a movie in three acts as three movies stuffed into a single casing, and often showing the strain.
  39. Unlike Brian De Palma, Lynch is not a natural conversationalist, so the result is a stiched-together narrative that is as curious and occasionally frustrating as the man himself.
  40. Although the film is raw, intense and even beautiful at times, the queasy knowledge of how it all came together constantly threatens to uproot any artistry. This doesn’t mean Heaven Knows What is a failure – just hopelessly complicated.
  41. 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.
  42. Here is a psychological twister with an implausible and hard-to-follow plot. All of this is more than compensated for by terrific performances, a seductive colour palette that is greenish and glassy, and a minimalist style reminiscent of Michael Mann.
  43. Propelled by a perfectly cast trio of stars whose eccentricities shine in singular character roles, Bernie is a charmer.
  44. The impact should be visceral and gut-wrenching; instead, it's cool and cerebral – after all, we're being lectured in a lecture hall.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Like Apatow's best work, this is about friendships – only this group of loveable misfits wear matching purple gowns.
  45. The exiled Tibetans who are interviewed display a lack of bitterness, a sympathy for their enemies and hope for the future that is inspiring.
  46. The Invisible Woman is, fair warning, leisurely in its pace.
  47. The Muppet charm, always more at home within the intimate frame of a TV set, is gone here.
  48. Even a politically naive film critic can see that An Inconvenient Truth isn't only about science or economics; it's also about ideology.
  49. Bad history it may be, but Elizabeth is a movie that makes you want more, as it plays to the myth of history's great actress-monarch, a character who puts today's tinselly political heros and heroines (royal and not), to shame.
  50. Gimmickry is death to this sort of artsy endeavour -- it turns a movie with a small budget into a small movie.
  51. The Shrek franchise is alive and well -- Model 2 is zippier, sleeker, with ever-improving graphics, vast commercial potential and the same sly ability to reach out and hook the whole family.
  52. It feels like one long non-sequitur -- like closing a Charles Bronson film with a disco medley -- but there's an emotional consistency to Kitano's boisterous celebration of movement.
  53. Lady Vengeance is more than half over before we discover the object of Geum-Ja's hatred: a kindergarten teacher named Mr. Baek. He's played by Choi Min-sik, the prisoner in "Old Boy," and here he's as tepid as he was heated in that film.
  54. The movie's big kick – what makes Enchanted live up to its title – is that the further Giselle progresses in New York, the more we feel like we've tumbled into a timeless Disney Neverland.
  55. The story of Canada’s tragically unhip – Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart, charter members of a group that has sold 40 million or so albums and discs since 1973, without ever getting a whole lotta love. Never mind the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Rush never even made it on American TV until funnyman Stephen Colbert invited them on The Colbert Report in 2008.
  56. An uneven but intriguing piece of whimsy that veers from powerfully symbolic cinematography into self parody.
  57. Detective Dee is the action flick of the year, a two-hour epic that blows the "Pirates of the Caribbean" to the Bermuda Triangle.
  58. It’s subdued, at times even too leisurely, but the film and its characters are luminous, especially lead Ayase Haruka.
  59. What we learn from the enjoyable punditry of siblings, art-world associates and former lovers is that the gorgeous provocateur was consumed with fame, and that everything and everybody was a means to that end.
  60. It’s humanizing and heartbreaking.
  61. 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.
  62. The film’s delightful collision of the poetic and the profane is illustrated perfectly about midway through Chapter 2.
  63. Dive into a masterpiece.
  64. May not have the most sophisticated narrative, but it is one of the most spectacular and masterly demonstrations of animation in screen history.
  65. Captures some of the spirit of the real Che.
  66. To these disappointed eyes, Little Children seems a frustrating mess.
  67. A great movie... A pop epiphany, marking that commercially creative point where the power of Hollywood meets the purity of myth.
  68. What keeps the energy percolating is DiCaprio’s performance, in the loosest and most charismatic turn of his career.
  69. The confluence of poverty, dysfunctional parenting and poor educational prospects makes the oft-idealized small-town life look like an incubator for failure, no matter how high and spectacular the Fourth of July fireworks fly.
  70. In nearly every way Civil War represents the dizzying heights of the genre.
  71. The film’s bizarre, gore-soaked premise actually manages to ease viewers into the far more uncomfortable topic of grief – after all, dying is easy, but living with death is much more complicated.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Stand By Me is not "a masterpiece," but it is an evocative and cheerily amusing movie about growing up male in 1959, a kind of pre-pubescent American Graffiti, the locker-room rejoinder to My American Cousin. [8 Aug 1986, p.D1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Some may find Finding Vivian Maier invasive, since Maloof and co-director Charlie Siskel delved into its namesake’s past after her death, but their curiosity is genuine rather than prurient; this is the rare example of a documentary about an enigmatic subject that doesn’t pretend to know all the answers.
  72. It’s a sort of bad-luck situation most documentarians secretly dream of, but to their credit, For Ahkeem’s co-directors don’t exploit the situation, merely letting their cameras continue to capture Daje’s ever-dire situation.
  73. Sometimes, the quiet lyricism of DuVernay’s direction seems at odds with the grittiness of the subject matter, like poetry force-fed into prose.
  74. A laugh and a half, a genial crowd-pleaser.
  75. An unusually smartly written and performed American independent film.
  76. The best thing the film does is to show us not only what that mind looks like, but how the creative process itself operates: messily, erratically, outside of most people's morality, but with a force and purposiveness that makes the machinations of the rest of us look irresolute by comparison.
  77. Serves to champion human irrepressibility and unpredictability. It's the flip side to the defeatism of "Distant," but with parallels, both in the very deliberate pacing and moments of visual wit.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Never the most subtle of directors Oliver Stone brings a jackhammer brutality to Born on the Fourth that the material no longer needs. [22 Dec 1989, p.C1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The overwhelming sense of physical and moral decay could be taken for social commentary, and if Graceland has a flaw, it’s that Morales gradually starts to overstate his case as the movie goes on.
  78. Writer-director Zandvliet has crafted a handsome, affecting and questioning film about post-war revenge and forgiveness. On a tough field to navigate, he makes it to the other side, commendably.
  79. But it’s Rooney who commands the most attention. As she already proved in David Fincher’s "The Social Network" and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," she has an oddly fascinating screen presence, suggesting both vulnerability and inscrutable levels of calculation. Few actors or actresses can make inexpressiveness look so smart.
  80. For a filmmaker who was frequently drawn back to the subject of suffering, and especially the anguish of the individual cast against the collective will of cruel, foolish authority, it’s a perfectly fitting farewell.
  81. It all makes for an entertaining, occasionally delirious ride – especially the opening sequence.
  82. A meditation on death that has you humming to the melody and laughing at the joke -- it's an elegiac picture that refuses to eulogize.
  83. Everything about Mid-August Lunch is simple and unpretentious, from the black-out scene transitions to the folk-dance score, as the four isolated, elderly women, over a couple of days and meals, become a circle of companions.
  84. Director Sean Durkin's precisely constructed psychological thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene is a movie of many m-words – memories, mirrors and madness.
  85. Like the stationary figures it portrays, Kicking And Screaming is alive at the edges; it comes with a vibrant border of trenchant asides, tossed-off remarks that blend the solace of protective irony with the sterner stuff of hard truth.

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