The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

  • Movies
For 3,828 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 Goodfellas
Lowest review score: 0 Wild Hogs
Score distribution:
3,828 movie reviews
  1. In a well-paced two and a half hours, Berg's film is an ambitious mixture of summary and fresh investigation.
  2. More humdrum than horrible. It isn't futuristic film noir; it's just everyday film beige.
  3. Shakespeare would have delighted in the chapter, especially in the antagonist, but not at the expense of the longer and darker and still-unfinished book.
  4. The crash, lethal in an eye-blink, was hard to watch when I saw it live on television, and it's not any easier here. The day was clear – no rain in sight.
  5. If you long for the bleak intelligence of an Ingmar Bergman film, where humankind is deeply flawed and God is indifferently silent and the landscape is cloaked in perpetual winter, then Beyond the Hills promises to be your cup of despair.
  6. For all that The Sessions does well, it offers some telling deviations from the real story.
  7. Parents of young children should be warned: Here's a family-values film that won't be much fun for the whole family.
  8. In God's ghetto, as in so many of the world's forsaken places, warring armies of infants brandish their weapons of self-destruction, while politicians bluster and inspectors sleep.
  9. The Canadian film "Atanarjuat" travelled back to the past to meet an ancient legend on its own ground and treated the tale realistically. Whale Rider whisks its legend up into the present, and then adds a touch of lyricism.
  10. Occasionally, Rees's script seems to mimic Alike's poetry, and fall into its own slough of earnestness, as the stages of the girl's dawning enlightenment get dutifully ticked off like stations of the cross.
  11. Precious is a bit like having a piano dropped on your head: messy but memorable.
  12. Throughout the film, Cheadle's eyes are constantly scanning his environment for opportunities or anything that may be amiss.
  13. Succeeds because the subject knows she's a showbiz monster and plays her role to the hilt. She's Norma Desmond in "Sunset Blvd." or "Mommie Dearest's" Joan Crawford up from the grave.
  14. Altman shakes the camera like a two-bit horror director, and it seems a different sort of signature - less masterful than weary, less signed than resigned. Zero-sum, indeed.
  15. The Fly is a mass-market, horror- film masterpiece that is also a work of art; it is the very movie the timorous feared "Aliens" would be - a gruesome, disturbing, fundamentally uncompromising shocker that accesses the subconscious. [15 Aug 1986]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  16. It's a film of vigorous performances and provocative modern resonances, though it sometimes struggles to grapple with a grim, politically ambiguous, 400-year-old play.
  17. A mature biopic as entertaining as it is timely.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    It's like watching a man trying to scratch an itch by eating an egg. It doesn't address the problem. It's also the sort of thing that Europeans love to think about America -- everybody looking, nobody finding -- and it might explain why this decent, but by no means great, film won the Grand Prix at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
  18. Without Kristin Scott Thomas, I've Loved You So Long would be a watchable but hardly a memorable movie. With her, it's both - she so fully inhabits the character that everyone and everything around her are simply enhanced.
  19. The pitch on Dear White People is that it’s “Do the Right Thing for the Obama generation,” which is both an oversell and a disservice to Justin Simien’s witty satire about race relations on a fictional Ivy League campus.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The hook of The Crash Reel is that it’s about the rivalry between two famous American snowboarders, but in reality, Lucy Walker’s slickly produced documentary is about one man’s ongoing battle with himself – on and off the slopes.
  20. Eastwood keeps retracing the same pattern, intercutting from the battlefield to the bond circuit, from the appalling chaos where no one feels heroic to the catered dinners where heroism is the dessert that sweetens the mood and opens the chequebooks. By now, though, the twinned structure seems fragmented, and neither half gets a chance to gather any emotional momentum or to further develop the theme.
  21. The result is good dirty fun, flecked with enough wit to help you overlook the relatively barren characterization.
  22. A seriously black comedy. Black, because affliction and angst abound. Comic, because this rampant bleakness is presented as nothing more than an amusing bauble.
  23. In lesser hands, all this might border on misanthropy. But Jaoui's direction, plus the note-perfect cast, manage two redeeming feats:
  24. The picture makes too many concessions to the Hollywood judges, pulls too many punches. But at least it has real punches to pull, because there's honest sweat here too, and a full complement of those archetypes that lie at the popular heart of the genre.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    At its most heightened state of geek arousal, Frank Pavich’s Jodorowsky’s Dune imagines an alternate pop-cultural universe where an unmade movie changed everything.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The actor - like everyone else in this tedious yet affecting film - rises well above his soft-headed, solipsistic material, turning in a performance of nuanced delicacy.
  25. 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.
  26. Mother symbolically doubles as Mother Korea, devoted to her land. But is she blindly and uncritically devoted, too quick to forgive and forget sins that should be redressed, to treat any flaws in the national character as simply intrinsic to the country's nature?
  27. Cynical, hip, politically opportunistic and loaded with kick-ass comic action.
  28. Too busy to be boring or deeply engaging, Tarzan is an efficient Disney treatment of a time-tested story. The results aren't bad, just not quite worth a chest-pounding victory yell.
  29. The result is a rare treat, a revival of a period piece that doesn't descend into mere quaintness or prettiness, and that manages to capture the spirit of an earlier time without sacrificing the perspective of our own.
  30. More illuminating than not.
  31. Much of what happens in Silent Light can feel painstakingly mundane: milking cows, harvesting wheat, a long drive at night in and out of shadows. Yet throughout, there's a sense of something ominous impending, and while it remains gentle, the ending is genuinely startling.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    A pitch-perfect comedy.
  32. Terms of Endearment is the rare commercial picture that sets audiences to laughing hysterically and crying unashamedly, sometimes within consecutive seconds, and then shoos them out of the theatre in contented emotional exhaustion. [23 Nov 1983]
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    De Palma's visual acuity tends to blur into mere gimmickry without the benefit of a resonant script. He got one in Carrie and another in Blow Out. Here, Mamet makes do with a text that is always shrewd but never intelligent. Still, when shwrewdness meets style, smoothing the curves and polishing the twists, the ride becomes a bonafide crowd-pleaser. The Untouchables is the cheering people's happy choice. [4 June 1987]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  33. 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.
  34. Beneath the polished surface, Dead Poets Society is moribund at the core - too pat, too safe and too hypocritical, as conformist as the conformity it so easily decries.
  35. Every once in a long while, the right director comes across the right project at just the right moment, and things so often discordant fall into perfect harmony.
  36. Less satisfying are the moments when the film concedes to American horror conventions, especially the scuttling vampire effects, which pull us out of the haunted world of these lovely damaged creatures into a place that, while not of this world, feels entirely too familiar.
    • 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.
  37. Free Willy (for some strange reason, that tiny imperative just gives me the giggles) is a family picture that stays safely within the haven of a cozy formula, yet does a whole lot of inventive work in the process.
  38. Despite a superb cast and a fabulous look, the picture collapses under the weight of its lofty pretensions, especially in the black hole of the last act, where it topples into near-absurdity.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A pleasing fix, Searching for Sugar Man is a lost-and-found film about pursuits – one of them abandoned, and one not.
  39. 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)
  40. Audaciously whacked-out and never less than entertaining, Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan mixes a backstage dance drama with a Freudian psychological thriller that's indebted to Roman Polanski's studies of shattered feminine psyches and David Cronenberg's movies about repressed bodies in rebellion.
  41. The wildly ambitious but flawed biographical film about the English cellist Jacqueline du Pré.
  42. 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."
  43. At two hours and 43 minutes, Eastwood's Bird is a hypnotic, darkly photographed, loosely constructed marvel that avoids every cliche of the self-destructive-celebrity biography, a particularly remarkable achievement in that Parker played out every cliche of the self- destructive-celebrity life. [14 Oct 1988, p. C1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  44. 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)
  45. Enough Said confirms filmmaker Nicole Holofcener’s status as one of America’s best stealth satirists.
  46. Only occasionally does Fresnadillo rise above the mundane, but, to his credit, the exceptions are worth savouring.
  47. The result is a good movie that falls short of greatness by aping too well the behaviour of its subject – occasionally brilliant, sometimes mundane.
  48. This is a human-sized drama about people with contradictory motives, trying to help or use each other.
  49. Violent and sexy and funny and sad, Head-On is a big collision that doubles as a bizarre love story.
  50. Comes alive with the more relaxed performances from its senior set.
  51. Though the progress of Atim's increasing empathy is predictable, the film understates its points effectively, without simplification.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Woody Allen’s first Stateside production in nearly a decade is a sharply observed, post-economic crash comedy-drama that boasts a formidable performance by Cate Blanchett and addresses such pertinent real-world concerns as class, gender and corporate criminality in urban America.
  52. Like a lot of well-staged parties, though, the affair peaks shortly after the introductions, and then devolves into intrigues, fights and mayhem.
  53. The characters are entertainingly contradictory, though in a somewhat predictable way: Nice people aren’t honest, and honest people aren’t nice.
  54. May be the best war movie ever made...Different is Kubrick's artistry and control, and his almost perverse, but philosophically progressive, refusal to impart to chaos a coherent narrative contour.
  55. De Bont knows how to edit a pulse-pounding sequence, he knows how to keep the screen white-hot, and he sure knows how to blow things up real good. What he doesn't know is how to slow down - this premise is perfect for him.
  56. Rather than another oppressive film about poverty, it's a revealing experiment in perspective.
  57. Both a moving first-person essay and an artful exercise in political advocacy, 5 Broken Cameras is about the experience of West Bank protests from the inside.
  58. Reservoir Dogs sizzles - it's dynamite on a short fuse, and you watch it with mesmerized fascination, simultaneously attracted and repelled by the explosion you know will come.
  59. 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.
  60. Like no other war movie you've ever seen.
  61. The value of Amandla! is that the film helps the rest of the world understand, both with our ears and minds, where South Africans have come from.
  62. No film this year has offered quite the cerebral tickle, weird invention and slaphappy gusto.
  63. In a better entertainment world, Owe would have won a special Buster Keaton Great Stoneface award at last year's Academy Awards.
  64. All this is initially fascinating, and then progressively less so. The problem is the usual serial-killer issue – things, no matter how weird and kinky, get repetitive.
  65. A conventional mixture of thriller and moral drama, the film is unsettling in both intentional and unintentional ways.
  66. The phrase in the title "wanted and desired" is offered by a producer friend of Polanski's who describes him as "wanted" in the United States, but "desired" in Europe, where sexual behaviour is treated more honestly and artists' dark sides are celebrated.
  67. At two hours, After the Wedding stretches out family flux too thinly and waits too long to reveal the final, devastating secret that we already know.
    • 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.
  68. A bland, workaday detective flick that should have been much better than it is.
  69. The virtue of Midnight Run is not that it does anything new; the virtue is that it does everything old so well.
  70. The Guard is guilty of being overly cute, but it brims with talent and a freshness that extends beyond the clever script.
  71. The movie's climax takes Harry Potter into territory that is much more like epic horror than most of what the series has seen before. There is more obvious religious symbolism and apocalyptic violence as Harry emerges into his role as “the chosen one.”
  72. The plot is bare-bones stuff, weak in story line and bereft of motivation.
  73. So what's the problem? Just that the plot seems a bit too schematic, the characters a little too pat, and the imagery altogether too convenient -- for a tale that means to explore the elusiveness of truth, Lemmons sure likes to sew things up neatly.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It’s a pleasant surprise, therefore, to see what Whedon has done with the Bard’s timeless comedy Much Ado About Nothing.
  74. Uneven and erratic and far too busy, its flashes of brilliance dimmed by overambitious meanderings.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The Last Mistress proves that Breillat has found something in the luscious language of the 19th century that makes sense to us today.
  75. In the ongoing case of the fan versus the movies, the evidence suggests that a good policier is damn hard to find. So when you come across one that can boast a decent script, taut direction and a single superb performance, there's no need for prolonged deliberation.
  76. The best Canadian beer movie since "Strange Brew," and the best 1930s musical of the year, The Saddest Music in the World is the kind of exhaustingly delirious film that only Winnipeg director Guy Maddin could make.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Adds more cosmic cliff-hangers than it resolves, and it's not as satisfying as the original. A star war can be an exhausting bit of business, especially when, in the end, it turns out to be something of a cheat.
  77. Realism by nature offends the dogmatic, and Michael Mann, in a writing-directing debut that makes one want to see his next movie instantly, is a devotee of the realistic in factual essentials, if not in esthetics. [27 Mar 1981]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  78. Swords cross, blood spurts and bosoms heave in The Princess of Montpensier, French director Bertrand Tavernier's thoroughly ravishing drama.
  79. The most provocative aspect of this compulsive riddle is how it resists closure. The end comes not when we have the answer, but when the movie reaches its irresolute end.
  80. Hurt is so good at capturing the charming and chilling Ned that he almost makes up for the film's two primary weaknesses: Kasdan's inexperience and a message of significant unpleasantness. [28 Aug 1981, p.P17]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  81. No matter who you side with here, Waste Land – the title should come with a question mark – is a fascinating adventure, populated by memorable characters.
  82. With little dialogue to assist her -- just the strains of that wonderfully organic music -- she still manages to suggest the internal struggle, and to slowly reveal a fierce toughness that flies in the face of conventional morality.
  83. The surprise lies in Linklater's ability to breathe so much fresh life into a tired formula...This is a picture that recollects not merely a period in time but a state of mind.
  84. Its rhythm is deliberate and unhurried, yet the film is rich with detail and with small, meaningful character revelations -- the running time of more than two hours feels just right.
  85. Only a master director could make such a beautifully flawed film.
  86. A celebration of Hong Kong action cinema that mocks gravity, both emotional and physical.

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