The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

  • Movies
For 3,840 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: 60
Highest review score: 100 Nijinsky: The Diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky
Lowest review score: 0 Alone in the Dark
Score distribution:
3,840 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Only a master director could make such a beautifully flawed film.
  3. A celebration of Hong Kong action cinema that mocks gravity, both emotional and physical.
  4. My Own Private Idaho achieves more than most movies dream of attempting. The Shakespearian allusions aside, Van Sant has essentially remade "Of Mice and Men" for the nineties, with Mike as the "mouse," Scott as the "man." It is the mouse who roars.
  5. Rob Reiner's not up to it: when the movie is meant to be romantic, the tone is frequently mushy and sexless, and when it's meant to be anachronistic and satiric, it's vaudeville-vulgar.
  6. 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.
  7. Unclassifiable and wildly original, it is almost wordless but teeming with sound.
  8. At the end of Courage Under Fire, you feel torn between admiration and annoyance with the filmmakers.
  9. Kramer vs. Kramer is one of the most sensitive and least judgmental film about relationships ever made in the United States.... One of the important films. [15 Dec 1979]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  10. The strangely hybrid result, half Herzog and half Hollywood, plays like its own battleground. Sometimes, the tension is fascinatingly productive; other times, all we get is the worst of both worlds.
  11. Stands as an important film, perhaps even a timely one as once again the United States finds itself enmeshed in fending off a guerrilla war in a faraway land.
  12. Fun, fun, fun. Take the title at its word, because this movie is nothing less than a flat-out, lung-pumping, 76-minute sprint.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Before Sunrise is a film that first startles you with its simplicity, then bowls you over with its complexity.
  13. The direction may not be flashy, but it is controlled and confident; the frames unfold with a no-nonsense, nuts-and-bolts realism that, in this era of laser-blazing Batplanes, seems downright welcome.
  14. As with his previous film, director Chang nurses a compelling drama from a multilayered cultural reality, at once intimate and unfathomably large in implications.
  15. As a young man he dreamed of racing cars. Now he rides a bicycle to the market each day, to negotiate with an elite fraternity of top fish dealers, who save their best for Jiri's restaurant. Like the fish that are disappearing from the oceans, they're probably the last of a breed.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Wong Kar-Wai makes gifted use of a hand-held camera in Chungking Express; little seems to have been shot with anything else. That, linked with a clear taste for chiaroscuro imagery, makes for a fast-paced film that combines visual flair with story lines that are subtle enough to leave the most important things unspoken. [15 Mar 1996]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  16. Peter Fonda's the bee's knees in the performance of his career.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Flagrantly flawed but never less than fascinating film that does indeed blend the funny Woody and the serious Woody.
  17. 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.
  18. A thought-provoking film that examines women’s limited choices in a patriarchal country reeling from the contradictions of rapid modernization.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The interactions between these adventurers, with their varied imperatives and world-views, are compelling and funny – all the more so for being set against such a dramatically blanked-out backdrop.
  19. Crowe is too much the good employee to spin the yarn properly, to give the picture the very integrity it endorses. He might have made a more convincing movie had he first convinced himself.
  20. Some movies, a very few, possess the purity of myth, and they don't have to be great to be greatly important. "The Wild One" is an example; "Saturday Night Fever" is another. Now add 8 Mile to that short list.
  21. The result is a political thriller refreshingly long on grown-up dialogue yet lamentably shy on, well, thrills. This chatty thing does go on.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Blair is excellent in the lead, but the filmmaking is the true star here.
  22. Both the Chicks and this doc are left to deal with the aftermath as best they can. The film chooses to pad with an occasional over-reliance on cutesy filler -- a pregnant Emily having an ultra-sound, giving birth, recuperating at her beloved ranch away from it all.
  23. More about Ali as media star and social figure, less about the quicksilver athlete.
  24. The Usual Suspects filled me with a highly unusual urge - to be a true "reviewer," to rewind the projector and figure out this humdinger once and for all.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Then again, Colin Firth is enough. Every movie is a performance, but very seldom is a performance a movie.
  28. "The Hurt Locker" may be getting all the attention and awards but The Messenger is at least as good and perhaps, given its delicate handling of a sensitive subject, even better.
  29. Like its predecessors, Under the Sea is family-friendly viewing -- the great white shark swims by, as opposed to tearing prey to shreds. Its goal is to show biodiversity and offer information on how reefs grow, reminding us of threats to these environments.
  30. An uncomfortably fascinating document of a man whose bipolar disorder and artistic ambitions are inextricably connected.
  31. Thrilling and beautifully crafted.
  32. Calvary is an unsettling concoction, abstract and brutal, morally serious and too ghastly in its flippancy to be simply comedy. When you stop gasping at the shocks and jokes, there’s a profundity here, in the struggle to find the balance between outrage and forgiveness.
    • 77 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.
  33. The best fake trailer, and Grindhouse's high point, is Edgar ( Shaun of the Dead) Wright's tone-perfect parody of inviting taboos, entitled "Don't."
  34. Not surprisingly, prison must be the perfect incubator of sadness and anger, because every one of the “performances” is astonishingly vivid. At the extremes of the emotional spectrum, at least, these guys are brilliant.
  35. A Touch of Sin is a distinct departure, dipping into the pulpy martial arts tradition in a scathing portrait of post-Maoist China, where money is the new religion and horrific violence is its by-product.
  36. An unabashed crowd-pleaser.
  37. 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.
  38. A miraculous, American-made Hindi film that is every bit as tranquil as the blue-green reservoir that serves as its abiding metaphor.
  39. This is an exhilarating picture, the kind that strips away smug complacencies and exposes raw nerves to a bright light. [14 Sep 1990, p.C4]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  40. Little Fish is a small film about one family and drugs, but it succeeds in standing for a larger social catastrophe.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Terry produced some of the happiest sounds in the history of jazz; Keep on Keepin’ On keeps the smiles coming.
  41. This engaging documentary is an excursion into the immense "art" form of hip-hop.
  42. It's Duvall and Murray who make Get Low a small, wonderful thing.
    • 77 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.
  43. What a strange and strangely compelling movie this is.
  44. Ever so subtly, Schock gradually transports us beyond the exotic and into gripping universal storytelling, aided all the way by the evocative music of Tucson songsmiths Calexico.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Unlike Hollywood's starting point of hopelessly beautiful and yet inexplicably unentangled principal characters, Italian For Beginners'raw material is something of a more dirty-fingernail variety.
  45. It's a fascinating babel, and Nair, using the unfolding ritual of the wedding as a centre point, captures the competing sights and sounds with her own unique mix of cinematic borrowings -- think Robert Altman meets Bollywood.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Needless to say, what's refreshing about A Christmas Story is subversive to the sepia-toned and loving references to the forties which director Bob Clark has provided for the film. The fictional Parker family that Shepherd has written about for 20 years is not as gentle or gauzy as they first appear. It's possible to imagine them so preoccupied with their own problems, whether dealing with the neighbor's dogs or winning a mail- order contest, that they could forget Christmas altogether. [25 Nov 1983, p.E5]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  46. In the entrancing frames of Career Girls, nothing extraordinary happens and everything is revealed. [26 Sep.1997, p.E8]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  47. Not surprisingly, it's a cinematic mash note, but apparently a deserved one.
  48. Timoner offers a resonant, often painfully funny, drama about two good friends who become enemies against the backdrop of the pop-music business.
  49. At 128 minutes – Almodovar's longest film to date – Broken Embraces is an easy film to bid farewell to.
  50. 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.
  51. Yes, the delight of this movie lies in these devilish details, and it's clear that writer-director Greg Mottola knows them well.
  52. An uncommonly tender and observant documentary on the phenomenon that is "A Chorus Line."
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A delicate pearl of a movie, Like Someone in Love is thus a meditative dance along the ambiguous borders of truth and illusion. What, Kiarostami seems to be asking, can we actually see? What can we definitively know? Far less than we think.
  53. A combination of timing, access, a visual aesthetic that reflects ATCQ's Afrocentric "surface philosophy" (as the crew's look is described) and, most importantly, story-conscious editing elevates the doc above the norm.
  54. As the end credits are rolling: What happened? Suddenly, the film stalls, and everything that looked great -- the mechanics of the caper, the grafted-on wit and wisdom -- starts to feel repetitious and a tad gimmicky.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    This sexy, pulpy, very grown-up film is not your usual best animated feature material.
  55. An overdose of sympathy makes for a wispy picture, likeable certainly but lacking in crispness and clarity.
  56. The portrait of the ailing artist is bittersweet, but when Helms sings or plays, the look on his face is pure joy.
  57. As manipulative as a charmer with a snake, and twice as much fun... Shameless, yes, but open your eyes, close your mind, sit back and enjoy - 'cause it feels so good.
  58. The comedy is warm and witty and wafer-thin, as easy on the palate as a raspberry sorbet on a summer afternoon.
  59. What better casting than Al Pacino, whose own career, of course, has reflected all the seasonal changes in the gangster saga. Pacino takes the part and runs with it so boldly that he ends up in Arthur Miller land.
  60. 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.
  61. A remarkable documentary as important as it is compelling.
  62. While the newer version's darker ending lends a more contemporary twist, overall 3:10 to Yuma is reverent to the original – a few more bullets and more spilled blood notwithstanding.
  63. There are many good reasons why the world doesn't need yet another adaptation of the Charlotte Bronte classic. Yet they all pale before the one great reason why it does – the chance to marvel at Wasikowska's performance.
  64. Reserved yet still suspenseful and hugely ambitious, Syriana sets out to prove what many have come to suspect -- that oil money is the root of all contemporary evil.
  65. No, the film may not be quite as luminous as the cast, but it's good - very good, in fact.
  66. Dreamgirls is one of the best movie musicals in memory.
  67. Highly entertaining.
  68. This movie is captivating until it gets uplifting – Flight soars when it crashes and crashes when it soars.
  69. While The Hunt strives mightily to provoke outrage, get the blood boiling, pluck the heartstrings and open the tear ducts, it never quite succeeds – a function of a narrative whose failures of credibility, finally, prevent a viewer from wholeheartedly embracing what director Thomas Vinterberg wants us to feel.
  70. Because the society in Menace II Society is boxed in sociologically, the picture (for all its strengths) is boxed in esthetically. Already, this genre is beginning to seem as much a victim as the victims it portrays.
  71. Feels like a bit of an emotional mugging.
  72. 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.
  73. Ultimately, Shine a Light is illuminating indeed, even fascinating, but not in the way Scorsese intended. What he has created, inadvertently, is an invaluable documentation of semi-fossilized Stones – musicologists may like it, sociologists should love it and, some distant day, anthropologists will treasure it.
  74. Pretty much a non-stop head-bobbing knee-bouncer.
  75. The film is like an Ingmar Bergman movie as realized by Monty Python: It's seriously gloomy about the loss of spirituality in the world, but at the same time rudely, sometimes hilariously, absurd.
  76. Director Sean Durkin's precisely constructed psychological thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene is a movie of many m-words – memories, mirrors and madness.
  77. While Wojtowicz’s shape-shifting character is the major source of fascination here, the archival footage, including with is terrifically effective in evoking the tumultuous era and occasionally providing a reality check to the Dog’s boastful version of his life.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    This is the perfect film for a band that was never trying to be something other than inventive.
  78. A powerful, brutal, funny, tragic, vibrant, very human movie.
  79. Fitfully interesting, occasionally cringe-worthy, this is the sort of stagy production that mixes ribaldry and campy overacting that evokes summer theatre productions.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A film as lithe and seductive as its lethal main character.
  80. Chandor's shrewdest bit of business is figuring out how to make an A-list movie with a $3.5-million budget. Solution: buy low, sell high. Hire last decade's A-list – Spacey, Irons and Demi Moore – and give them their best parts in years.
  81. If there’s a low-key disappointment to Vic and Flo, it’s that the film teases the mind and pleases the eye without requiring emotional commitment.
  82. Ultimately, the best thing about (500) Days of Summer isn't its gimmicky script. It's the constant performance of Gordon-Levitt, who shifts, scene-by-scene, from moments of ebullience to abject dejection.
    • 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.
  83. Will make you glad to be living on the same planet as Miranda July.
  84. 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.
  85. 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.

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