The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

For 3,928 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 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Crying Game
Lowest review score: 0 Far and Away
Score distribution:
3,928 movie reviews
  1. Essentially a love story, as stripped of sentimentality as the landscape is shorn of green, yet an extraordinary love story nonetheless – powerful and poignant and, even in the midst of hope's imminent extinction, hopeful too.
  2. Like Maddin's melancholic and relatively more conventional "My Winnipeg," Keyhole is about a memory house, but one that is even more fragmented, mythical and elusive.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The clever and defiant Ai, who is forever filming himself and others on his phone, does in one instance capture Johnsen on camera, but mainly the doc is missing any explanation of how a dissident forbidden from giving interviews agreed to it – as well as much context about his personal life.
  3. 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.
  4. Visually, this movie is exquisite. Narratively, well, that's a more banal story.
  5. An integrated work whose form clearly mirrors its content. Often, looking into that mirror is dreadful; but, often enough, it's also dreadfully revealing.
  6. Well-spoken but humorously self-deprecating, Berg admits that, between the hours spent writing, rehearsing and performing, she spends more of her life as Molly than she does as herself.
  7. Happily, in his adaptation of the Terence Rattigan play, The Deep Blue Sea, Davies has found a setting close to his heart and a subject more nearly suited to his style.
  8. The running time is efficient, the direction is clean, the story is simple but resonant, the effects are understated yet impressive, and the near-wordless star of the show puts on an acting clinic. Damned if the risen one doesn't lift us out of our seats.
  9. But uneven acting isn't fatal here, since Andrew Bergman's screenplay is strong enough and Andrew Fleming's direction seamless enough to carry it forward.
  10. Plot isn't what drives the picture; instead, this is a cinematic tone poem, where the dominant mood is a Faulknerian mix of sorrow and endurance.
  11. This time, though, Zemeckis has another technical trick up his sleeve – 3-D – and for once the gimmick succeeds.
  12. Ultimately, Certified Copy – with its unresolved loose ends – is a puzzle box without a key.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Being Human is just that, and it's a profound delight. [06 May 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  16. This is still her (Wasikowska’s) picture. She’s its 10-foot tower, mysterious and brave and excited and withdrawn. Alice is the true magic in a Wonderland that’s mere movie magic – the happy surprise amidst everything we’ve come to expect.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It's a brilliant opening, but the difficulty with the familiar plot formula wherein a special stranger wins over a difficult household is that once the spell has been cast, all the plot tension, and much of the movie magic, dissipates.
  17. Martin Scorsese, meet Djo Tunda Wa Munga, because you obviously have a lot in common. Viva Riva! is nothing less than the Congolese Mean Streets, oozing sexual heat and brute violence and powered by a locomotive's worth of raw kinetic energy.
  18. It is an agreeable example of how a picture conceived as "product" need not condescend to the audience it exploits. [11 Apr 1983]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  19. It sure ain't the Christmas of Dickens's imaginings. Dysfunctional overachievers all, the Vuillards are a family bizarre enough to make the Royal Tenenbaums look like candidates for a Hallmark card.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The plot's problem is insoluble: There is no honest ending for Abe other than a completely undramatic continuation of the trapped life he has lived so far. So we get narrative disjunction and a limp conclusion instead of the brilliant reversal of formula that was promised.
  20. An animated sequel that, despite not achieving the inspired lunacy of the first movie where Gru literally steals the moon, is smartly calculated to deliver squeals to kids and amusement to accompanying adults.
  21. It can definitely grate on your nerves but, at best, it also gets into your mind, and sticks fast.
  22. A tender tale of semi-triumph.
  23. A late summer treat. And in case you are wondering, yes, there is mumbling.
  24. Thrown into exalted company, Zellweger easily holds her own in the film's most difficult role.
  25. Sitting through Red Eye is like watching a master carpenter at work on a custom bookcase. No one would call the result art, but you're sure bound to admire the sheer craft of the thing, the clean lines and seamless joints and meticulous attention to detail.
  26. New Zealand-born director Lee Tamahori (Once Were Warriors, Die Another Day) avoids biopic tropes, filling the screen with the jolts of a violent thriller and exploiting the few comic possibilities.
  27. Utterly preposterous but so full of enthusiasm and flashy style that it's entertaining anyway, The Brotherhood of the Wolf is like the platypus of genre films.
  28. Part of the charm of Satin Rouge is that it avoids the obvious with humour and lightness.
  29. 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.
  30. There's a particular upside-down, half-masked kiss that instantly becomes one of movie history's more memorable smooches. It's the kiss to send any teenaged boy on a spinning high, as well as launching the new age of arachnophilia.
    • 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.
  31. 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.
    • 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.
  32. Then again, Colin Firth is enough. Every movie is a performance, but very seldom is a performance a movie.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Voice cast member Lisa Hannigan, an Irish songstress who sings here in a Celtic-ethereal style, features on a soundtrack that is mystic, eerie and freeing. Yeats is whispered: ‘Come away, human child/To the water and the wild.’ Inviting? Very much so.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    While the case could be made that Koreeda is merely replicating the world as the blinkered Ryota sees it, the disparity between the characters’ development still leaves you feeling slightly cheated, if only because you want to see more of what this truly gifted student of human behaviour might do with them.
  33. A cornball charmer of a film with some beautiful birds and homespun wisdom.
  34. Ushpizin takes us to a fascinating place, and hands out the sort of brochure that tourists always need but seldom get -- the charming kind, fun to ponder and rewarding to browse.
  35. A charming oddity starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch, often feels like an al fresco stage play. It’s an intimate two-hander with lots of dialogue, humour and poignant revelations, set against a backdrop of rugged woodland beauty.
  36. Titanic is awesome even when it's awful -- you can't take your eyes off the extraordinary thing.
  37. By hiring James Earl Jones to narrate, Disney has prepared youngsters to understand that man is equally capable of heroism and villainy.
  38. The documentary camera has made repeated trips to occupied Iraq, but never to such raw and honest effect as in The War Tapes. The reason is surprisingly simple: This time, the lens is being pointed not by embedded journalists, but by the American soldiers themselves.
  39. Like "Rebel", directed by Nicholas Ray, this film excels at capturing the nervous posturing of adolescent boys marking their territory by pissing on each other's shoes.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Invites viewers to think critically about such weighty concepts as justice, atonement and personal accountability.
  40. 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?
  41. More entertaining than Mission: Impossible or the last Bond film, Goldeneye, it brings back the humour and sang-froid that makes the genre work.
  42. 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It is a slight, charming, filmic oddity, well acted and intelligently written
  43. Tasty and sweet, if a little on the mild side.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Although no single documentary could give a comprehensive account of the Roma’s culture and history, Yeger’s doc offers a sobering, often harrowing understanding of a people and the workings of genocide.
  44. The considerable charm of Mad Hot Ballroom can be traced directly to its choice of subjects. They happen to be 11-year old kids, and the lens loves every precious one of them.
  45. 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.
  46. Not often does a film double as a literary critic, but this is the Northrop Frye of docs. Essentially, it revises and sharpens the blunted reputation of a great writer.
  47. This is the story of the diminutive Coco before she became the fashionable Chanel – in other words, the whole movie is one long first act.
  48. The film is a respectable, claustrophobic and slick piece of work, and cinematographer Nestor Almendros' color strategies - Rembrandt-like light at night, lemony tones during the day, desaturated sepia at Auschwitz - are arty to a fault. [14 Dec 1982]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  49. The acting is superb, the settings are beautifully recreated, the dialogue crackles with occasional wit, but where's the juice? Although lovely to gaze upon, the whole thing feels a bit precious and porcelain, more teapot than sexpot.
  50. Profound, and profoundly affecting.
  51. While We’re Young is more commercial and less innovative (or whimsically self-indulgent, depending on your tastes) than Baumbach’s last feature film, 2012’s "Frances Ha," though it shares some common ground.
  52. Gets under your skin as another thought-provoking wake-up call about the power of studios and the corporations that back them.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Red Army ends with Fetisov back in Russia, as a politician. Despite the sometimes shabby way in which he was treated by an authoritarian hockey regime, he says he “never had more fun than playing with those five guys.” Once a comrade.
  53. A feisty domestic comedy about a curmudgeon with a heart, looking back over his misspent life.
  54. Suffused with clever lines, characters with neurotic tics and a pervasive, jocular black humour, The Savages is more about craft than art, but the craft, especially in the writing and acting, is at a high level.
  55. Surprisingly funny yarn about a drug-addled cop in the Big Easy.
  56. Easily the best scene of Nymphomaniac occurs in the first two hours, when Joe finds herself the other woman in a marriage breakup.
  57. An ultra-cheap movie, ingeniously promoted through the Internet -- is notable primarily as a model of guerrilla-style niche-marketing.
  58. Energetic, eager-to-please culture-clash comedy.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Ballets Russes should find a wider audience beyond dance aficionados. Like all good documentaries, the human element is the glory of Ballets Russes.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    This is still a seriously entertaining horror movie, one that will please newcomers as well as fans of the original oddity. But by the end of the film, I was wishing the filmmakers had left us wondering about precisely who and what these critters were just a little bit longer.
  59. Dragonslayer documents what happened when California stopped dreaming.
  60. As for the implicit tragedy amidst the funny business, the swelling ranks of the unemployed, the movie has no solution but instead offers itself as implicit solace: Escape, ye wretches, into my clever humour and my nifty dialogue and my star's considerable charm.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    If co-writer and director Ritesh Batra occasionally takes his sweet time getting from point A to point B, it’s equally true that he gives the audience a nice, comfortable ride.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    This remarkable concert film, beautifully shot by director Jonathan Demme over two days last summer, is all about legacy, a more-or-less conscious exercise in myth-making on the part of a musical giant facing his own mortality.
  61. The Guard is guilty of being overly cute, but it brims with talent and a freshness that extends beyond the clever script.
  62. Looper ups the ante like a poker player on speed. What a potpourri of genres we have here – noir again, but sci-fi too, and action and horror and psycho-drama with existential trimmings, the latter designed to invite the thinking viewer into the fray.
  63. As the plot moves toward the climax, where each girl is forced to make a hard choice dictated by her unique "circumstance," that feeling of compression, of so many contradictory urges and needs vying for attention, grows almost overwhelming. Such is life among the young in present-day Tehran, up on the screen for all to see – all but those who most need to see it.
  64. Cynical, hip, politically opportunistic and loaded with kick-ass comic action.
  65. What a strange, moving, puzzling, funny, frustrating and ultimately absorbing film this is.
  66. A little gem of social realism that makes up in polish what it lacks in consistency.
  67. UHF
    The laughs just keep rolling as 'Weird Al' makes a movie. Overheard from a still-convulsing woman after a recent screening of Weird Al Yankovic's UHF: "I'm sorry, but that's funny." I'm sorry, but she's right. Yuks you feel obliged to apologize for are yuks nonetheless. And UHF prompts a lot of apologies.
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  68. Not everything here is that vivid or uncluttered. Sometimes, the film betrays the circumstances of its making, shot hastily on location in Iraq after the fall of Saddam just as the extended conflict was beginning.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    As many of the most memorable and darker thrillers have, Arbitrage plays with affinities in order to completely confuse the drawing of any clear lines between good and evil, criminal and executive, skilled pro and callous cad.
  69. Redemption, not crime, is the real theme here, for this handful of courageous men and women who have rescued their own lives, and just possibly may help save the blighted neighbourhoods in which they labour.
  70. In a well-paced two and a half hours, Berg's film is an ambitious mixture of summary and fresh investigation.
    • 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.
  71. As expected, it has gaping holes where back stories used to be. Still, it's a historical war movie with impressive sweep, strong characterizations and the kind of idiosyncratic flourishes that made Woo such an irresistible storyteller.
  72. We leave this movie hoping to see Miller and Lewis together again soon.
  73. As confusing, horrific and unsettling as a nightmare can be, at least you wake up and the memory fades. Darwin's Nightmare, tragically, is not a dream, but rather a haunting, beautifully made reality check well worth waking up to.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    This is Canadian cinema as defiantly ugly and mean as anything churned out from the bowels of callous ol’ Hollywood.
  74. The utterly bizarre story made national news when it broke, has since provided much magazine fodder, and popped up only two years ago adapted into a dramatic feature. Now it receives the documentary treatment and, in the devilishly manipulative hands of director Bart Layton, what a treatment it is – the weirdness just gets weirder.
  75. The delight here is in the sheer workmanship. The performances, the direction, the plotting, they're just nicely engineered, usually with an eye to that most underrated of virtues -- refined simplicity.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Catfish shows that the need to dispel lies isn't nearly as important as how we respond when we finally uncover the truth.
  76. In High Hopes, Leigh regularly expresses love for the very people to whom he is putting the boot... As a satire, High Hopes is an esthetic joy. [14 April 1989]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Pitch Perfect pitches itself between "Bridesmaids" and "Glee," which is to say it celebrates the low-down raunchiness of girls being girls among girls, while delivering a snap-crackle-and-pop music catharsis. Yes, folks, rock is dead, but long live showbiz.
  77. The symbolism is about as subtle as a fang to the neck. Really, Daybreakers is more fun than foreboding; it's fright-lite, yet that's par for the bloody course in these busy apocalyptic days.
  78. Headhunters is slick and spritely, a mixture of corporate skullduggery and low-life slapstick that plays like "The Firm" meets "Blood Simple."
  79. The result is a film where blisteringly naturalistic drama bumps up against sentimentally arch melodrama (that's the biggest collision in Crash). Haggis showed the same tendency in his script for "Million Dollar Baby," yet there it was better hidden under a simpler narrative. Here, the tendency has gotten magnified right along with his thematic ambitions.
  80. Mamet's stylized dialogue, elaborate plot puzzles and the angry cleverness of his characterization makes for an invigorating, if not exactly likeable, mix.

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