The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

  • Movies
For 3,801 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 2.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Sense and Sensibility
Lowest review score: 0 The Mod Squad
Score distribution:
3,801 movie reviews
  1. Mostly, it's a Coen brothers movie so slick, so careful in rationing its darkly perverse and personal elements, that it seems suspiciously sweet. Intolerable Cruelty feels like the Coens' peculiar new way of being cynical, by pretending they're not.
  2. Riveting and courageous documentary.
  3. Happily, the climax races to our rescue... Beyond the grasp of most directors, this is tour de force stuff -- definitely meriting the price of admission and almost worth the three-year wait.
  4. Sylvia the movie competently shows us how; but, as always, it's Sylvia the writer who brilliantly tells us why -- then, now and tomorrow, her foreboding words are her finest legacy.
  5. 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.
  6. The producers of Hidden in Plain Sight decided that they couldn't deal with Sept. 11 in the film without losing focus on its principal subject. The result is that the film stands as a testimonial to the world as it existed before that date, a world very different from the one we now live in.
  7. In this journey, [Crowe] wears the uniform, the accent and the derring-do with consummate panache. Have him strike a muscular pose on the ship's prow, which Weir does more than once, and the manly sight puts that wussy DiCaprio to titanic shame.
  8. A twofold story of heroic achievements and personal failings.
  9. As a film about intellectuals, The Barbarian Invasions can sometimes seem maddeningly scattered and contradictory.
  10. In the end, is In America slight in its sentimentality and manipulative in its moral? Sure, but that's the job of any fable or myth.
  11. Unclassifiable and wildly original, it is almost wordless but teeming with sound.
  12. A lovely oddity.
  13. It isn't an exciting work of art so much as a contemplative reverie on the nature of art -- and what's wrong with a smart essay that unfolds like a sweet dream?
  14. The [final] battle is vast, and undoubtedly required thousands of hours of matching puppetry, robotics and computer code, but it is not without tedium.
  15. 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.
  16. There is both a sense of disappointment and relief when House of Sand and Fog crosses over into improbability, when the viewer can sit back, breathe easy again. All this trouble over the failure to open an envelope.
  17. All the signs pointed to a major movie achievement...And it does -- sometimes, and dazzlingly so. But the dazzle doesn't add up to the sustained act of brilliance I'd been expecting.
  18. As angry, deluded, vulnerable and confused as Aileen is, the character remains an enigma. Apart from serving as an opportunity for Theron's emotionally deep-dredging performance, the movie doesn't know why it exists.
  19. A love letter to performers who put their egos and bodies on the line.
  20. The story in Japanese Story grabs you precisely because it's so wonderfully hard to define.
  21. Obviously, this is no easy sell, but give writer-director Siddiq Barmak full credit for portraying his country's social catastrophe with restraint, concision and some real beauty.
  22. It's also mysterious in fresh ways. Like Hillary, Yates and Simpson climbed the mountain because it was there -- but what strange deity sent down a Boney M song to help Joe Simpson get home?
  23. This witty, star-packed and visually splendid kids' movie provides a small-is-beautiful message served on a parodoxically epic scale.
  24. In a movie about an ant colony, perhaps it's futile to complain about a superfluity of characters. Yet this need to cover every permutation of cuteness is one major drawback to the cast of A Bug's Life.
  25. As torpedoes shoot through the seas and depth charges pass by, carrying their whining cargo of destruction, Das Boot brings the presence of death to within a whisper of the eardrum.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    With its grainy images, amateurish acting and homemade sets, there's nothing slick about Neil Young's new movie. Then again, that's the beauty of it.
  26. A film of deceptive narrative wisps and intricate thematic curls.
  27. The beautifully photographed film is quite stylized at times...But it manages to steer clear of the stereotypes one might expect of a movie set in this time and place, thanks in part to the underlying and, mostly, underplayed themes of spirituality and the search for identity.
  28. The lows never last too long - something invariably jumps out to recapture our interest or prompt a chuckle.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It is a slight, charming, filmic oddity, well acted and intelligently written
  29. An efficient, cold-blooded sci-fi splatter movie that never makes the mistake of forgetting that on some level it is deeply ridiculous.
  30. 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.
  31. Jeunet manages a terrific pass in an extended underwater sequence, but, beyond that, he runs out of ideas as we run out of patience.
  32. You'll be rewarded with a terrific finale. The twists here are the rare sort that seem both narratively surprising and emotionally engaging.
  33. If only Taking Lives had given Jolie a greater foil than Ethan Hawke -- a young Kevin Spacey or Jack Nicholson say -- the film might have been a B-movie classic.
  34. You may well watch this film and not buy into a single frame. Me, I couldn't help myself.
  35. So much cinematic majesty perched precariously atop so little common sense. But, hell, maybe Quentin's right; relax, enjoy -- a castle with a shaky foundation is still quite a sight.
  36. The lanky action star of the cult television series "Alias" is assigned a tired playbook in this film, but she finds room to manoeuvre in a performance that exceeds expectations.
  37. Shows how our family fictions sustain us, and how some truths are better left unspoken.
  38. The film extends Jackie's fame beyond her allotted New York 15 minutes and keeps it alive 30 years later, thanks to a mixture of fond high-profile interviews and grainy archival clips.
  39. Watching Morgan Spurlock commit slow suicide in Super Size Me is rather like watching Nic Cage do the same in "Leaving Las Vegas," except here the "preferred" instruments of destruction are hamburgers and vanilla milkshakes instead of booze and cigarettes.
  40. Odd but engaging film.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    From the film's bravura opening scene to its cute but bloody conclusion, The Negotiator plays out as tautly as any crowd-pleasing action flick since Die Hard,which it emulates with shameless glee.
  41. More illuminating than not.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It's blackly comic - though the humour creeps up on you slowly, and you're seldom sure if you should really be laughing.
  42. Both an homage to his dad and a backstage story rich in Hollywood lore.
  43. The complications of its story are found in the deep complexities of emotions and family relationships.
  44. Neither outrageous nor subtle as a religious satire, but here's the good news for modern viewers: With it's unusual Christian backdrop, this is one of the most intriguing rite-of-passage teen comedies in a long time.
  45. Plays like a sophisticated children's story.
  46. 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.
  47. A welcome rarity: an amiable film comedy that leaves you feeling good as opposed to feeling for your wallet.
  48. Apparently, the faith that can move mountains is detectable in the microscopes that can track electrons. If so, the metaphoric is real and, to me, that thought is as scary as it is thrilling -- but what the bleep do I know?
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The kind of movie that kids used to flock to on Saturday afternoons in the forties and fifties.
  49. Thrown into exalted company, Zellweger easily holds her own in the film's most difficult role.
  50. Crude, rude, nasty fun.
  51. Tasty and sweet, if a little on the mild side.
  52. Directed by Paul Greengrass, the unflinching eye behind "Bloody Sunday," The Bourne Supremacy not only lives up to the promises of the novel by Robert Ludlum, but in many ways manages to improve on the first film.
  53. Director Scott, flashy, fluid and at his best in the steely-blue claustrophic battle-training scenes, immerses the viewer in the process.
  54. A good film prevented from being a great film by an act of well-intentioned but misguided casting.
  55. Mrs. Brown will not overturn Queen Victoria's prim reputation, but it reminds us that there was more to the woman than that famous plump cameo that has become the symbol of a more modest era.
    • 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.
  56. The film is not about the audience's shared experience, and a lot more about how cool it is to have a backstage pass.
  57. The first half is exhilarating, and the rest is a tolerably honourable surrender to Hollywood conventions.
  58. Girotti is especially evocative, his face an alternating current that switches from emptiness to alarm and back again.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It makes for a compelling story and some thrilling music.
  59. After a solid start and a strong buildup through two acts, the movie fumbles the resolution. Ethical lines that were convincingly wavy suddenly straighten out, too quickly and too neatly.
  60. In the end, the spectacular martial-arts epic seems to signify nothing much more than its own beauty, as brilliant and ephemeral as a fireworks display.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Predictable but highly entertaining.
  61. 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.
  62. Plays perfectly on two levels — it's a clever comedy, but disguised as a fun, dumb horror flick. A movie made to delight, and even accidentally enlighten, both the living and the dead.
  63. Captures some of the spirit of the real Che.
  64. As a first-time director, Lewis shows a impressive visual sense -- abandoned factories take on an eerie gorgeousness through his lens.
  65. Packs a wickedly satiric punch.
  66. Timoner offers a resonant, often painfully funny, drama about two good friends who become enemies against the backdrop of the pop-music business.
  67. The older John Kerry, today's candidate, is conspicuous both by his absence (he's not interviewed here) and by the contrast between then and now, between the hero he was and the politician he's become. That contrast gives the film a nostalgic yet palpable sadness.
  68. There's fun to be had in watching these losers drift without a compass.
  69. Comes alive with the more relaxed performances from its senior set.
  70. WAG the Dog is a cozy political satire, the warm-and-fuzzy kind that is always entertaining yet never disturbing.
  71. Because it's a well-crafted and superbly acted sweet little tearjerker, we're content too -- it's a mild pleasure to watch.
  72. A mature biopic as entertaining as it is timely.
  73. Even when the plots of sexual confusions, transgression and tragedy became absurdly complicated and arbitrary, there was always the mise-en-scène to die for.
  74. Certainly long and not always engaging and comes with a predictably basic ending, yet there are unexpected pleasures, moments of beauty and tiny pockets of joy to sustain you through the journey.
  75. A thinly plotted, amateurishly acted, cartoonishly violent and hugely entertaining array of jaw-dropping stunts and corny slapstick.
  76. Despite Marber's sardonic wit and Nichols's intelligent direction, the film winds up in the ironic position of practising exactly what it preaches: Closer invites and even gains our intimacy, only to finish by driving us ever farther away.
  77. Actors Zhang Ziyi and Takeshi Kaneshiro are the kind of startlingly good-looking, glamorous stars that evoke classic Hollywood adventure films.
  78. 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.
  79. A movie deeply immersed in movie lore, and the more seasoned the swimmer the richer the experience.
  80. 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.
  81. With his trademark spare, unfussy direction and jumping into the story approach, Eastwood subtly establishes the themes of faith, loss and love and then he raises the drama to a different level.
  82. Rather than another oppressive film about poverty, it's a revealing experiment in perspective.
  83. It may not be a pretty picture, but A Tale of Two Sisters is definitely a satisfying piece of less-is-more cinematic horror.
  84. More entertaining than Mission: Impossible or the last Bond film, Goldeneye, it brings back the humour and sang-froid that makes the genre work.
  85. This movie might make you cry, but it is not explicitly designed to do so.
  86. Throughout the film, Cheadle's eyes are constantly scanning his environment for opportunities or anything that may be amiss.
  87. The film, like its subject, is more adroit with pictures than with words.
  88. The film manages the extraordinary feat of forcing us to empathize simultaneously with both the potential victim and the potential villain.
  89. The comic spirit in this type of picture is wonderfully democratic, and so is the result.
  90. It's the small, smelly details that elevate this Indian-fusion retelling of Jane Austen's classic novel from trifle to bona-fide delight.
  91. An entertaining takeoff and a high-altitude ride eventually runs into some bumpy weather and a clumsy landing in Mike Newell's new comedy.
  92. Everything you've come to expect, and cherish, in a Mike Leigh movie.

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