The Globe and Mail (Toronto)'s Scores

  • Movies
For 3,662 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 1.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Forty Shades of Blue
Lowest review score: 0 Cocktail
Score distribution:
3,662 movie reviews
  1. Stacked against this summer's CGI-driven blockbusters, Attack the Block is definitely the fastest action ride (clocking under 90 minutes), and quite possibly the most fun.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    If the roots of terrorism are hopelessly snarled, Terror's Advocate does a very good job of exposing some of the soil in which they grow.
  2. Win Win is a paragon of truth at a slow jog, but that upbeat sprint to the finish feels like a big cheat.
  3. It's not so much a movie in three acts as three movies stuffed into a single casing, and often showing the strain.
  4. 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.
  5. Propelled by a perfectly cast trio of stars whose eccentricities shine in singular character roles, Bernie is a charmer.
  6. The impact should be visceral and gut-wrenching; instead, it's cool and cerebral – after all, we're being lectured in a lecture hall.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Like Apatow's best work, this is about friendships – only this group of loveable misfits wear matching purple gowns.
  7. The exiled Tibetans who are interviewed display a lack of bitterness, a sympathy for their enemies and hope for the future that is inspiring.
  8. The Invisible Woman is, fair warning, leisurely in its pace.
  9. The Muppet charm, always more at home within the intimate frame of a TV set, is gone here.
  10. Even a politically naive film critic can see that An Inconvenient Truth isn't only about science or economics; it's also about ideology.
  11. Abramovic is a sensationally attractive narcissist and the filmmakers are clearly smitten with her, but the film goes a long way to establish the intellectual seriousness and dedication involved in her ambitious series of art stunts.
  12. Bad history it may be, but Elizabeth is a movie that makes you want more, as it plays to the myth of history's great actress-monarch, a character who puts today's tinselly political heros and heroines (royal and not), to shame.
  13. Gimmickry is death to this sort of artsy endeavour -- it turns a movie with a small budget into a small movie.
  14. The Shrek franchise is alive and well -- Model 2 is zippier, sleeker, with ever-improving graphics, vast commercial potential and the same sly ability to reach out and hook the whole family.
  15. 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.
  16. Lady Vengeance is more than half over before we discover the object of Geum-Ja's hatred: a kindergarten teacher named Mr. Baek. He's played by Choi Min-sik, the prisoner in "Old Boy," and here he's as tepid as he was heated in that film.
  17. The movie's big kick – what makes Enchanted live up to its title – is that the further Giselle progresses in New York, the more we feel like we've tumbled into a timeless Disney Neverland.
  18. The story of Canada’s tragically unhip – Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart, charter members of a group that has sold 40 million or so albums and discs since 1973, without ever getting a whole lotta love. Never mind the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Rush never even made it on American TV until funnyman Stephen Colbert invited them on The Colbert Report in 2008.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    An uneven but intriguing piece of whimsy that veers from powerfully symbolic cinematography into self parody.
  19. Detective Dee is the action flick of the year, a two-hour epic that blows the "Pirates of the Caribbean" to the Bermuda Triangle.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    It’s humanizing and heartbreaking.
  20. What makes Crude worthy of the overused term “epic” is the way the case symbolizes a host of contemporary issues: the iron-fistedness of multinational corporations; environmental despoliation; the disappearance of indigenous cultures; and the power of celebrity and the media to influence justice.
  21. Dive into a masterpiece.
  22. May not have the most sophisticated narrative, but it is one of the most spectacular and masterly demonstrations of animation in screen history.
  23. Captures some of the spirit of the real Che.
  24. To these disappointed eyes, Little Children seems a frustrating mess.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The result is not only a dramatic improvement over what was already an unusually smart and satisfying pop-cultural parable of insurgent 99-per-cent rebellion, but a very likely candidate for the all-time-great-sequel sweepstakes.
  25. What keeps the energy percolating is DiCaprio’s performance, in the loosest and most charismatic turn of his career.
  26. A laugh and a half, a genial crowd-pleaser.
  27. An unusually smartly written and performed American independent film.
  28. The best thing the film does is to show us not only what that mind looks like, but how the creative process itself operates: messily, erratically, outside of most people's morality, but with a force and purposiveness that makes the machinations of the rest of us look irresolute by comparison.
  29. Serves to champion human irrepressibility and unpredictability. It's the flip side to the defeatism of "Distant," but with parallels, both in the very deliberate pacing and moments of visual wit.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Some may find Finding Vivian Maier invasive, since Maloof and co-director Charlie Siskel delved into its namesake’s past after her death, but their curiosity is genuine rather than prurient; this is the rare example of a documentary about an enigmatic subject that doesn’t pretend to know all the answers.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Never the most subtle of directors Oliver Stone brings a jackhammer brutality to Born on the Fourth that the material no longer needs. [22 Dec 1989, p.C1]
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The overwhelming sense of physical and moral decay could be taken for social commentary, and if Graceland has a flaw, it’s that Morales gradually starts to overstate his case as the movie goes on.
  30. But it’s Rooney who commands the most attention. As she already proved in David Fincher’s "The Social Network" and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," she has an oddly fascinating screen presence, suggesting both vulnerability and inscrutable levels of calculation. Few actors or actresses can make inexpressiveness look so smart.
  31. A meditation on death that has you humming to the melody and laughing at the joke -- it's an elegiac picture that refuses to eulogize.
  32. Everything about Mid-August Lunch is simple and unpretentious, from the black-out scene transitions to the folk-dance score, as the four isolated, elderly women, over a couple of days and meals, become a circle of companions.
  33. Like the stationary figures it portrays, Kicking And Screaming is alive at the edges; it comes with a vibrant border of trenchant asides, tossed-off remarks that blend the solace of protective irony with the sterner stuff of hard truth.
  34. Both an homage to his dad and a backstage story rich in Hollywood lore.
  35. The love that blooms is essentially between the boys. They both have some considerable growing up to do, but theirs is a true romance and it's awfully sweet. Funny, too.
  36. The artistry of the storytelling, the visual approach and Gosling's performance in The Believer make us believe that Danny's path was the only choice for him, a truly disturbing and fascinating revelation.
  37. Always well-meaning, not always well-executed, In This World ends by suffocating us in its good intentions.
  38. A beguiling, slow-moving parable.
  39. Gets under your skin as another thought-provoking wake-up call about the power of studios and the corporations that back them.
  40. Waitress is sweet, uneven and, ultimately, a heartbreaker.
  41. Kimberly Reed’s debut documentary, Prodigal Sons, would make a terribly contrived novel, but is a compelling and sensational real-life story.
  42. A maniacal, hallucinogenic dip into the bloodbath drawn by a pair of mass murderers, it's the quintessential Stone opus - topical, testy, and wildly controversial, as brilliant or egregious as you wish it to be. [26 Aug 1994, p.C1]
  43. The only country in the Western world without a universal system – is indeed Sicko. But if that social wound is gapingly obvious, so is this documentary.
  44. 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    For those who have read the book, this contemporary adaptation of a once avant-garde story feels exactly right.
  45. You have to feel pleased just for the existence of a film like Tim Burton's Frankenweenie. A 3-D, black-and-white, stop-motion animated film, it's a one-man blow for cinematic biodiversity.
  46. The Clowns and the Krumpers have a rivalry that parallels the Bloods and the Crips battle for the neighbourhood, but fought out in moves, not bullets.
  47. Humpday is mostly foreplay. But isn't that usually the most fun anyway? It certainly is in this film.
  48. This movie might make you cry, but it is not explicitly designed to do so.
  49. For all his daring, the brazen creator maintains control - there's aesthetic order in the disorder, and calculated reason in the madness. Seldom has it felt so good to seem so lost.
  50. I doubt that Jean-Michel Basquiat would have endorsed the subtitle. Indeed, The Radiant Child seems to inflate the very cliché that the rest of this film is keen to refute.
  51. This is a sewer blessedly free of actual sewage, which makes Flushed Away more kid-friendly than, say, the average "South Park" episode.
  52. Marshall elicits performances from Williams and De Niro that are exceptional. Awakenings is a small, simple movie about a large, complex issue, the waste of human opportunity. [19 Dec 1990, p.C1]
  53. Smart, serious and deftly composed, New York director Jill Sprecher's jigsaw anthology film, Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, is the kind of work you want to applaud just for its ambitions.
  54. You can’t feel for anyone when nothing feels real. Memo to Christopher Nolan for future outings: Kill the dream, tell a story.
  55. After witnessing the wearying parliamentary debates among good and bad senators in recent Star Wars episodes, it's a pleasure to watch a sci-fi movie where more than just the spaceships move quickly.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Shot on a vintage Portapak video camera that actually predates the movie’s early-eighties setting and painstakingly crafted to resemble an analog artifact from a bygone era, Computer Chess is, ironically, a comedy about technological innovation.
  56. This happy daydream contains Coppola's most assured work since "Apocalypse Now;" save for its modesty, it is in no way inferior to his masterpiece, "The Godfather" Saga. [12 Aug 1988]
  57. Unfortunately, despite a committed and lively performance, McAvoy's Scottish doctor is fictional, an amalgam of Amin's "white monkeys."
  58. It may be a slim story, but its gentle humour, natural rhythm and above all authentic performances make Tomboy beautiful, intimate cinema.
  59. 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It makes for a compelling story and some thrilling music.
  60. Before it turns into a thriller, and goes badly awry, Red Lights paints a devastating little portrait of a marriage on the rocks.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Delicate, intelligent and honest.
  61. Living in a part of the world where politics, and the pursuit of politics by warring means, are the rule, director Elia Suleiman is the exception.
  62. 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.
  63. Indeed, like all bureaucracies, the educational version is a bit of a bully itself. In Sioux City at least, the official response to bullying is to recognize its existence but to deny it's an "overwhelming issue," and retreat behind the comforting bromide that "kids will be kids."
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    As an epic action movie, Mongol is satisfying enough. Think "Braveheart." Think "300." Just don't think too much.
  64. A great film about a good man.
  65. The narrative, cobbled together from various Pooh stories by an army of writers, is held together reasonably well by John Cleese's soothing narration.
  66. Bouncing about from one flawed movie to another, Steven Spielberg has lost his way of late, and Munich finds him more disoriented than ever.
  67. The film is small-scale, cleverly crafted and feels like a more expensive version of the sort of "dramedy" they produce by the truckload at the BBC.
  68. A classic... Edward Scissorhands is a sharp salute to the oddball in all of us.
  69. Titanic is awesome even when it's awful -- you can't take your eyes off the extraordinary thing.
  70. No matter how many times the script instructs us that Valmont is "conspicuously charming," Malkovich is not charming, conspicuously or otherwise.
  71. This is a movie that works well when it works, and lazes around the rest of the time.
  72. Whether Omar will ultimately serve to change or harden hearts remains ambiguous, though it’s a movie that’s entertaining enough to appeal to the kinds of ordinary kids we see in the movie.
  73. This is a movie about draining, tenderizing and chopping up the audience emotionally.
  74. The film's quiet realism demands from us our own act of faith: We're asked to watch closely and to listen intently in the promise of a greater reward to come. Well, the promise is partly kept.
  75. As lovely to look at as it is dramatically inert.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    It's hard to generate a sense of warmth when the plot points all feel so coldly calculated, and it doesn't help that the musical numbers are so pedestrian.
  76. Like Martin Scorsese's "The Departed" or James Gray's "We Own the Night," The Town is a deliberately old-fashioned melodrama that echoes the pulpy mix of violence and romanticism of gangster films of the Thirties and Forties.
  77. Though the conclusion is foregone, Canadian screenwriter David F. Shamoon's script manages to extract suspense out of Poldek's ruthless, calculating nature.
  78. The emotional geometry is familiar enough to be credible yet odd enough to be creepy.
  79. As a portrait of a deliciously eccentric individual, Gods and Monsters features a vivid performance from Ian McKellen that makes you think not of James Whale but of Ian McKellen.
  80. Gilliam himself is a joy to behold. His wit stays sharp even as his fortunes dull, and the conditions that conspire against him only prove the mettle in our man of La Mancha.
  81. The film, like its subject, is more adroit with pictures than with words.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A satisfying thriller interestingly complicated by its study of character and compromise.
  82. By Herzog's lofty standards, the result is mildly disappointing. The film lacks the sociological depth of "The Executioner's Song" or the emotional wallop of "In Cold Blood." But it sure is a surpassingly, and compellingly, strange tale.
  83. Unlike "Microcosmos" (all insects) and the acclaimed nature doc "Winged Migration" (all birds), Genesis is bogged down by its intentions and too vast a "cast."
  84. Both a cathartic and a creative family entertainment.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Despite its explosive subject matter, the movie has been carefully calibrated not to offend anybody.

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