The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

For 4,503 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 Timbuktu
Lowest review score: 0 Employee of the Month
Score distribution:
4503 movie reviews
  1. The story of a man afflicted with fearful visions, Take Shelter is a film that's hitting the right apocalyptic trumpet call at the right time.
  2. For about two-thirds of the film, The Past’s release of information and emotion is almost perfect. Then, in the last third, it begins to feel contrived, as if Farhadi is trying to show a long chain of guilt, and to see how far it will unspool. The drawn-out revelations feel like overkill, though not enough to spoil what’s very good here.
  3. So energized by the subject that it overflows with inventiveness.
  4. It's an imperfect movie that serves as a perfect reminder of what the movies do best.
  5. The result actually plays like a divine pronouncement, cosmic in scope and oracular in tone, a cinematic sermon on the mount that shows its creator in exquisite form.
  6. The first 20 minutes of the South Korean film The Host represents one of the most entertaining movie openings in memory. It's the same kind of pop-culture thrill provided by Steven Spielberg's "Jaws," with the same sense of astonishment, fear and pleasure at something genuinely new.
  7. Undoubtedly, [the lead actors] both benefit hugely from the sharpness of Leonard's stock-in-trade dialogue: Put smart words in any actor's yap, and their performance will rise accordingly.
  8. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, is certainly indebted to the plastic and neon schlock of Hollywood director Frank Tashlin, but the farcical epic of actress Pepa Marcos is closer in innovative energy to the transformations of Fassbinder than to the recycling of Spielberg and De Palma. [20 Jan 1989, p.C1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  9. 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.
  10. The Long Day Closes is a twice-remarkable film. Once, because director Terence Davies opens his personal bottle of memories and makes them interesting to us. Twice, because, in doing so, he triggers our own memories. [11 June 1993]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 85 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    We feel the death on the platform so acutely not because it’s a stupid act of randomness, but hardly untypical racist violence, but because we’ve come to love this man.
  11. The title comes from prosecutor Ferencz, who compares his work to that of the 16th-century astronomer Tycho Brahe, who said he watched the sky so future generations could use him as their foundation.
  12. Shows how our family fictions sustain us, and how some truths are better left unspoken.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Sington's smartest decision was to let 10 of the astronauts speak for themselves. The film juxtaposes their personal stories, both their doubts and machismo, with the titanic achievement of the lunar landings.
  16. Children of Men is a nativity story for the ages, this or any other.
  17. A little bit of "Crime and Punishment" and a whole lot of "The Postman Always Rings Twice," Revanche, the Austrian candidate for last year's Best Foreign Language Film, is a surprisingly unruffled tale of love, thievery, murder and revenge.
  18. Kaurismaki is a master at infusing his movies with apparently contradictory qualities. The best of them -- and The Man Without a Past is surely that -- are hard to describe precisely because they seem to exist, to balance precariously, in the tension between opposites.
  19. Even by his stylistic standards, Anderson has cranked up the artifice.
  20. Before that marvel of human engineering - China's Three Gorges Dam - completes its legacy of human upheaval, there are vanishing sights to be seen.
  21. 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)
  22. The relationship between man and beast develops slowly and mystically - the island interlude, utterly without dialogue, lasts 50 minutes, and is one of the most sustained, lyrical, rapturous sequences in the history of motion pictures, a visual symphony whose beauty cannot be oversold. [15 Mar 1980]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  23. Park’s Handmaiden is a great big chocolate box of a movie in which a rich and satisfying narrative is enlivened by some piquant erotica and the sharp tang of politics.
  24. We don't get a good look at a painting until 35 minutes into the film biography of Séraphine de Senlis, the early 20th-century French painter discovered by German art collector Wilhelm Uhde. The film Séraphine is not about paintings.
  25. 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)
  26. I'll personally toast the buns of anybody I hear saying anything good about the movie Broadcast News. Broadcast News is for boobs. It doesn't apply to us. Anyone who thinks otherwise is invited not to think, because thinking is for statues. [16 Dec 1987, p.C5]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  27. A worthy docudrama that is solid if not sublime. But, sometimes, a merely good film can brush up against greatness, and this one does so twice – in Sean Penn's magnetic performance and in the cautionary tale's contemporary resonance.
  28. For all its accomplishments, Far from Heaven remains hermetic, an elegant exercise in deadpan irony. What does the movie ultimately mean? Art, we're told, should not mean, but be -- but Haynes's cinematic essays are designed to provoke commentary.
  29. The wide swerve of Anderson’s associations, their “hypnotic splattered mist,” don’t make for an easy film. But it is a very good one and only the hardest heart will leave the theatre unmoved.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    So is this a Western take on Africa? Yes, but Rebelle is full of such careful detail, and is carried so beautifully by Mwanza’s performance, that questions of authenticity slide away.
  30. 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.
  31. Mock-heroic yet still lyrical, faux-mythic but honest too, uniquely and absurdly and often hilariously Canadian, My Winnipeg is like no documentary you've ever seen.
  32. The acting throughout is exceptional, rooted in observed realism, but suggestive of more mythical agents at work through the lives of human beings.
  33. Guy and Madeline is a decidedly modern film, whose frightened, impulsive, charming characters could walk into our lives tomorrow.
  34. It is filmmaker Assayas who is the star here. France's most important contemporary director has created a work of almost magisterial calm.
    • 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.
  35. 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The characters feel underdeveloped, to the point where it’s sometimes difficult to remain invested in their triumphs and failures.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    A precise, subtle and emotionally affecting portrait of the fraying friendship between two men, director Kelly Reichardt's Old Joy is an increasingly rare sort of American independent film: It aspires to be something other than a Hollywood movie with less money.
  36. He gets much of what he wants, but not all of it, and not all of the time - the film is just too eclectic on occasion, a bit jumpy in its tone and its pacing.
  37. 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.
  38. As down-to-earth as a ghost story gets.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    In the end, Ahmed claims a kind of victory, noting that open dissent and public protest has become embedded in the culture, even if Egyptians have not yet found a leader to unite them all. Something has begun, he says. Its real meaning is not yet clear.
  39. It’s a hybrid drama/art-history essay about how looking at art recasts our experience of looking at the world.
  40. The plot is squeezed dry in this bloody Valentine from Hollywood and becomes annoyingly predictable. Thriller stumbles on its own success
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Heartwarming, tragic and, at times, hilariously funny drama.
  41. The problem is not that the director is working but that his latest film is working too hard. Way too hard – this thing is melodrama running a marathon.
  42. 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.
  43. As refreshing as it is to find a movie that leaves you smiling, it's something much rarer to discover a film that makes you think about what a commitment to happiness really means.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    This is ultimately a movie about the very bad things that can happen when we don’t address our unease, when we just try to brush it off, whether that’s to fit in or to preserve our self-image. It’s not what we’re not saying, but how we’re not saying it.
  44. The freestyle approach is an apt fit with the freestyle, spontaneous comedy, as both the playful director and affable star capture moments on the fly.
  45. Koreeda takes his usual languid pace to allow the story to breathe, and along the way comes across a quiet number of delicate epiphanies, each more satisfying than the last, and all aided by a strong Abe performance.
  46. The result is a rarity on the modern screen -- a film with more brains than heart.
  47. Poised, delicate, powerful, hovering between poignancy and pealing laughter, it is a feast formed by skill and serendipity.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    A case study in blunt-force media trauma.
  48. Iraq in Fragments already stands up as a classic war documentary, in its unusual poetic form and by its extraordinary access to the lives of ordinary Iraqis.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Hopefully, after seeing this film, interest in places like Sea World will begin to decline.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    What's so fresh about Mutual Appreciation is how acutely it represents the social rituals of today's post-collegiate types.
  49. A 75-minute tour de force that's often fascinating, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately rewarding. So be patient -- the payoff will come.
  50. Bridges's big performance takes place in the context of a relatively minor movie.
  51. It’s hard to imagine another filmmaker who could invest the lives of straight, middle-class, norm-y, aggressively bro-y, immaculately groomed college sports jocks with a sense of vital anarchy and resounding humanity.
  52. De Palma is a true visionary, even if you might not quite agree with what that vision is. Either way, a trip through his wild and hugely influential filmography is mandatory for any film fan, and that’s just what directors Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow offer in their new documentary.
  53. Polished, intelligent, impeccably well-bred, it's an upscale kids' flick designed to appease the fears of discriminating parents: If those stubborn tykes refuse to crack a book, then this is the next best thing - Young People's Masterpiece Theatre. [11 Aug 1995, p.C2]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  54. Duelling roles are an actor's dream, and Cage takes full advantage. He and that face of his -- hang-dog homely one minute, vibrantly macho the next -- are perfectly cast. So is Streep as the sophisticated Manhattanite drawn into a steamy realm of Southern discomfort.
  55. Avatar is a king's ransom fairly well spent, not least because Cameron's invitation into his superbly crafted universe comes with an unexpected price: He makes it easy to gaze fondly on all this movie magic, but only in exchange for a hard look at ourselves.
  56. A little like speeding through the digestive tract of some voracious beast. There's bite, acid, digestive churning and an expulsive conclusion. If the metaphor seems unsavoury, well, wait until you see the film.
  57. The tale may be Dahl's, but there's a whole new wag to it – this is decidedly, weirdly and, at best, wonderfully a Wes Anderson movie.
  58. Riveting and courageous documentary.
  59. The best satire implicates the audience; this stuff keeps our sense of superiority smugly intact.
  60. 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    This much we know: The photographer takes the picture. Less clear is the reverse process – what the picture takes back. And this, to a large and illuminating extent, is the subject of Wim Wenders’s The Salt of the Earth.
  61. For all the undeniable merits, it somehow feels manufactured, and thus, to a degree, calculated - the product not of a collective imagination taking esthetic chances, but of an imaginative collective putting the rivets into a well-wrought plan that can't go awry.
  62. An efficient, cold-blooded sci-fi splatter movie that never makes the mistake of forgetting that on some level it is deeply ridiculous.
  63. A grownup departure from the teen-romance norm -- it speaks nothing about passion and volumes about trust.
  64. Without warning, the picture falls hard into the very trap it had so studiously avoided, the one marked Expensive Gimmick... The same feature that begins like no film you've ever seen ends like every cartoon you've always avoided.
  65. '71
    Republicans or loyalists, Catholics or Protestants – this film is not about political or religious trenches. People died, but it’s more than the bombs, bullets and bodies. The more fascinating damage was done to psyches and souls, and Demange, with ’71, comes for yours.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    As more than one orca expert points out in the film, when you take a creature born to roam thousands of miles of open water and stick it in a pool to do tricks, there’s going to be some behavioural blowback. In Tilikum’s case, it’s actually described as a form of induced “psychosis.”
  66. Disturbing and taut, Eggers’s direction is almost without fault. His only mistake lies in the film’s final 30 seconds, where all the implied horror of the family’s plight becomes just a shade too explicit.
  67. Ghoulishness and innocence walk hand-in-hand in Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, a movie that digs into Hollywood's past to resurrect the antique art of stop-motion animation and create a fabulous bauble of a movie.
  68. 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.
  69. Love sometimes hurts, but love/hate is always pure anguish. That's the two-stroke engine powering I Killed My Mother ( J'ai tué ma mère), a coming-of-age tale as ferociously raw as its teller - the very young Xavier Dolan.
  70. The work is more muted than Miyazaki’s more fantastical films, but visually complex and gorgeous, from the rustic mountain scenes to the urban scenes and soaring aerial views.
  71. An impressionistic work that is perfectly in tune with its subject’s hallucinatory music.
  72. It comes eerily close to duplicating the experience of reading while, at the same time, remaining very much a motion picture. That's a rare, perhaps even unprecedented, achievement.
  73. Raimi doesn't make the mistake of over-thinking the flimsy psychology of the genre. All this conflicted-hero stuff isn't meant to be profound; instead, it's there for the same reason as everything else -- to give the action (the interior action in this case) a healthy shot of pop energy.
  74. At times, these singers’ versatility has kept them both regularly employed and deliberately anonymous.
  75. With this complex characterization, Bening looks like a shoo-in for a best-actress nomination come Oscar time, but she is also amply supported here with two performances that nicely capture the insecurities of earlier stages of womanhood.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It might seem, from 2002's "Gerry" to his ersatz Kurt Cobain biopic, "Last Days," that Gus Van Sant has been making the same movie: an enigmatic and poetic paean to (teenaged) male beauty, disaffection and inscrutability.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Bausch's work, as performed by her dance company Tanztheater Wuppertal, is shot exactingly by Wenders, who captures everything from the largest gestures to the subtlest facial nuances in ways impossible in 2-D – and of course in far closer detail than seeing the dances performed live.
  76. Animal Kingdom isn't perfect: Some performance moments are over-ripe, and there's an episode of arbitrary cruelty that's excessively creepy.
  77. As well as an engaging fable about a homeless orphan living in a train station, Scorsese's film is a richly illustrated lesson in cinema history and the best argument for 3-D since James Cameron's "Avatar."
  78. 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.
  79. No doubt, there is an uncomfortable number of logos being marketed to kids in the The Lego Movie, along with the obvious one that’s in the title, but the film as a whole is very much in the spirit of Cloud Cuckooland: It’s a place where the use of X-Acto blades and Krazy Glue breaks the rules but almost everything else goes.
  80. Whether you appreciate Gloria as a portrait of a vital woman, muddling through life’s middle chapters, or as an allegory of Chilean resilience, the message is the same: Let’s face the music and dance.
  81. From the first stylized shot to the final comic resolution, Moonstruck is completely sui generis - hard to describe but easy to love.
  82. This is a rare adaptation where the script (by McGrath himself) heads straight for the novel's horrible essence, reproducing it non-verbally and in an even more concentrated form.
  83. The best thriller of 2003 was made in 1979.
  84. Never before has Allen been able to integrate comedy and pathos as deftly as he does in Manhattan. [28 Apr 1979, p. 17]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  85. An unabashedly schlocky, expertly executed blend of jack-in-the-box jolts and humour.

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