The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

  • Movies
For 3,826 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 Moolaadé
Lowest review score: 0 Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
Score distribution:
3,826 movie reviews
  1. Lanthumos's accomplished and fascinating Dogtooth pushes the notion of parents screwing up their kids into seriously disturbing and darkly comic terrain.
  2. Add it all up, including the nifty twist at the end, and what we have here is a fun Hollywood flick with a good head on its shoulders.
  3. En route, what emerges is the kind of film, rich in paradox, that's common to Reichardt but so rare anywhere else – a film ponderously slow in pace yet kinetically charged with insight; starkly realistic yet allegorical too; psychologically astute yet politically resonant.
  4. It is our tour guide that makes Cave of Forgotten Dreams an often thrilling experience. His producer, Erik Nelson, has joked Herzog is the first filmmaker to use 3-D for good, instead of evil. There is no question that the technology enhances our visit, giving perspective and shape to the jagged Chauvet Cave – an open mouth the size of a football field.
  5. In art there are no rules, just stuff that works. And for the second film in a row, Marsh has created a movie we can't keep our eyes off.
  6. 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."
  7. Even hardened cynics will embrace the cliché – yep, you will laugh, you will cry.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    This is the perfect film for a band that was never trying to be something other than inventive.
  8. 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.
  9. Noir connoisseurs, however, will receive Moverman's latest like a double-bourbon from heaven. Rampart is the best crime-movie fix from Hollywood since "Gone Baby Gone."
  10. A film that transforms a popular work of teen fiction not just by faithfully exploring its themes but, more important, by proving those themes have a very grown-up resonance.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Video-game developers: Geeks, nerds, socially adrift obsessives. Indie Game thankfully gets past such base introductions in a flash and graduates to far more engrossing levels – levels which open up into the real worlds of the best independent game developers working their craft.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The film is just shy of being overstylized by Bhargava's habit of deftly bringing our attention back to the family and their subtle mannerisms amid the chaotic activity around them. The always wonderful Seema Biswas co-stars as the business man's calm sister-in-law.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It's not only packed with high-toned classical and contemporary cultural allusions, but manages to wear its popcorn inspirations on its sleeve.
  11. Everything about The Queen of Versailles, a documentary both sharply observant and deliciously funny, is jumbo-sized – the riches, the rags, his ego, her breasts, their steroidal pursuit of happiness.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Trier's all in a calendar-day conceit gives Oslo, August 31a clean, clear structure, and yet it doesn't hem it in.
  12. Norman is the "freak" bullied and ostracized and otherwise degraded by the alive-and-well crowd. Such is the outcast fate of most heroes in the best children's tales. And ParaNorman, a ghoulishly delightful exercise in stop-motion animation, is a very good children's tale indeed.
  13. Skyfall is one of the best Bonds in the 50-year history of moviedom's most successful franchise.
  14. Lincoln is directed by Steven Spielberg but, to his great credit, few will mistake this for a Steven Spielberg film. Rather, it's a Tony Kushner film, the playwright who conjured up the wordy but intricately layered script; and it's a Daniel Day-Lewis film, the actor who so richly embodies the iconic title role.
  15. You may be of the opinion that taking in an art film, especially the haute brand that disdains conventional narrative, is like watching paint dry. If so, happy surprise, Holy Motors is definitely the art film for you – it's like watching paint blister.
  16. The deployment of the hardware may be extraordinary, but it doesn't overshadow the human dimension of this summer sequel. [4 July 1990]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  17. 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]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    A funnier, faster, altogether more energetic film than Star Trek I, The Wrath of Khan doesn't linger over its modest special effects. This is really down-home week with Captain - now Admiral - Kirk and the boys. [5 June 1982]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  18. A deceptively light and impeccably structured comedy that owes a clear cinematic debt to others -- Ernst Lubitsch, Woody Allen and Whit Stillman among them -- yet still manages to speak with a fresh and distinctive voice. [21 Aug. 1998, p.D4]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  19. It’s a terrific adaptation that succeeds not only as a work of cinema but also, wonderfully, as proof of the novel’s greatness. In short, the picture rebukes the revisionists even while entertaining them.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Do you need to see this film? No. But if you want to see it, you’re in for a treat.
  20. 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]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  21. It's appalling, it's wicked, it's bleak, and it's very funny. In fact, the movie's ability to disturb us is directly linked to its ability to amuse us. We're made to feel guilty precisely because we're made to laugh - seeing something so sordid shouldn't be so engaging. [28 Jan. 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  22. In the entrancing frames of Career Girls, nothing extraordinary happens and everything is revealed. [26 Sep.1997, p.E8]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  23. It plays like documented fact, a kind of "7 Up" primer on life’s romantic vicissitudes.
  24. A remarkable documentary as important as it is compelling.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Shot on a vintage Portapak video camera that actually predates the movie’s early-eighties setting and painstakingly crafted to resemble an analog artifact from a bygone era, Computer Chess is, ironically, a comedy about technological innovation.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    A pitch-perfect comedy.
  25. Captain Phillips manages to expose us to a few things that are unusual in a thriller, including sympathy for the enemy and, in Hanks’s performance, the frailty that is the other side of heroism.
  26. 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.
    • 75 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Lee’s is more of a hard-edged, hammer-and-nail noir than Park’s existential horror, and it’s far less concerned with the internal state of Joe’s mind than the external havoc it creates.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    An utterly ravishing portrait of listless luxuriance, a fantasy of decadent wealth and beauty.
  29. 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.
  30. 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)
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    What it comes down to is the difference between spectacle and craftsmanship. The Winter Soldier has plenty of the former – every dollar of its estimated $170-million (U.S.) budget is onscreen – but it’s also got an intricate dramatic and thematic structure holding everything in place.
  31. 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Blair is excellent in the lead, but the filmmaking is the true star here.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Whitewash is a small but sparkling gem on ice.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Joe
    None of this would work with anywhere near the power it does without Nicolas Cage, whom Green has smartly cast in this sometimes maddeningly erratic and ill-disciplined actor’s most perfectly suited role since "Leaving Las Vegas" and "Adaptation."
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Visually evokes Coppola’s "Godfather Part II" and Leone’s "Once Upon a Time in America," but in its utterly irony-free melodramatic sincerity also suggests a silent-era woman’s picture à la D.W. Griffith, King Vidor or G.W. Pabst.
  32. Once you overlook the laborious contrivance of Jerry's background, Down and Out in Beverly Hills is a sharp, sweet comedy of affluent manners. [31 Jan 1986]
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Without “spoiling” it, it’s a film that at least opens up a possibility for change, instead of providing another rote reshuffling of power from the Black Hats back to the White Hats.
  33. Here’s another word for Gone Girl: “meta.” It’s a word Flynn uses, which means it’s a thriller about thrillers, and a narrative about narratives, especially the form of domestic violence relished by current-affairs television shows.
  34. The Great Invisible is a dense, disturbing look at the effects (personal, political, economic, ecological, macro, micro) of the disaster.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Whiplash is an intense, unmelodious, highly amped and probably unrealistic drama set in the fictionalized Schaefer Conservatory in New York.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The creepiest haunted Hollywood movie since "Mulholland Drive," David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars is working an even deeper graveyard groove than David Lynch did.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    These are simply incredible performances, captured stunningly on film.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Point and Shoot is a riveting documentary and a disturbing portrait of a pampered American’s “crash course in manhood.”
  35. What a graceful movie this is.
  36. With his breathy, antic delivery, pouring out his heart in staccato bursts, Cusack puts a nice loop on the sensitive teen theme. For his is an upbeat, mature brand of sensitivity, the healthy kind that makes fine discriminations, not nasty judgments.
  37. The picture's charm lies in the continuing by-play between the filmmakers and their subject, with each side doing its best to deconstruct the other.
  38. The embodiment of the very message it so modestly conveys -- it's the accomplished little guy we fervently root for.
  39. Here's a truly novel sports film: It actually has a script, decent acting, sympathetic characters. And it's fun.
  40. Men may be gay by nature, but women are lesbians by choice -- for them, it's a simple matter of trading up. Such is the implied message of Kissing Jessica Stein.
  41. The combined talents of Apted, Stoppard and the stellar cast make Enigma a puzzle worth solving.
  42. Ali
    It's not Smith's fault that the movie can't quite pry apart the man from the myth from the metaphor. The three may well be inseparable by now and, at this point in his history and ours, that's surely the way we prefer it.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    This is a fine, funny, humane film.
  43. Rare is the movie that arrives without fanfare -- that sneaks between the cracks, pops up relatively unheralded on the big screen, and takes the viewer by delighted surprise. Well, check the moon for blue because Birthday Girl is just such a picture.
  44. This engaging documentary is an excursion into the immense "art" form of hip-hop.
  45. Solondz has finally made a movie that isn't just offensive -- it also happens to be good. He's still shouting, still violating our politically correct sensibilities, but the shocks now have thematic purpose. They don't just titillate, they resonate.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    This spoof's heart is genuinely warm.
  46. Waydowntown may not be perfect, but it is perfectly astute in the target it selects and in the questions it raises.
  47. Peter Fonda's the bee's knees in the performance of his career.
  48. 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.
  49. A trifle compared to Robert Altman's great films -- But it's a very assured trifle, and an unusually good-natured Altman film.
  50. Go
    Like circus acrobats who bounce up smiling, the characters end up on their feet, and you realize in retrospect that they survived because somebody, finally, stopped to think. A final thought on Go: Go.
  51. 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.
  52. A laugh and a half, a genial crowd-pleaser.
  53. EDtv is precisely the kind of brisk, straightforward, amiable and accessible material that shows Howard’s skills to advantage.
  54. An entertaining oddity, an amiably black comedy whose bared teeth double as an engaging smile: It takes a satiric bite and leaves you laughing through the pain.
  55. Visually impressive, splendidly performed, thematically significant, this is a movie in full possession of every key cinematic asset except one -- a solid script. Casino is a polished vehicle with an untuned engine.
  56. It's got thrills and chills and one of the most elegantly conceived monsters in the history of movies.
  57. An unusually smartly written and performed American independent film.
  58. The cinematic equivalent of a "good read" - pick it up and you can't put it down; put it down and it's gone forever.
  59. Pick your cliche - searing, rivetting, haunting - Keitel delivers a performance to rival Brando's in "Last Tango In Paris."
  60. Frankly, with so much to feast my dazzled eyes upon, I barely noticed that the plot was missing in action. And that's because the action itself is so pure.
  61. The comedy is warm and witty and wafer-thin, as easy on the palate as a raspberry sorbet on a summer afternoon.
  62. The film is an attack on religious hypocrisy, mixing melodrama and black humour in a volatile blend.
  63. The climax, however, is far superior here, open-ended and ambiguous and neatly linked to this film's recurring metaphor: Teeth, of course, which "outlast everything," which survive the death of the body just as marriage can survive the demise of love. They both endure, yellowed and rootless.
  64. 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.
  65. A 75-minute tour de force that's often fascinating, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately rewarding. So be patient -- the payoff will come.
  66. Moore continues another one infinitely more valuable -- the proud line that extends right back to Mark Twain, embracing all those satirists so enamoured with America at its best that they won't stand silent for America at its worst.
  67. Beijing Bicycle is a good film that owes a huge debt to a better film. And that, of course, is Vittorio De Sica's "The Bicycle Thief."
  68. 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.
  69. This is a remarkably good-looking near-corpse of a film, with a pulse that fades in and out.
  70. Filled with a sweet, loopy sensibility and some fresh comic turns, Welcome to Collinwood is a low-budget American film that falls into the good-but-slight category.
  71. 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.
  72. 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.
  73. Imperfect, but certainly provocative.
  74. A grownup departure from the teen-romance norm -- it speaks nothing about passion and volumes about trust.

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