Christian Science Monitor's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 4,178 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 55% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 43% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Chéri
Lowest review score: 0 The Wedding Planner
Score distribution:
4178 movie reviews
  1. The Booksellers is a documentary for people who treasure the sheer look and feel of books. It is for anyone who has ever spent way too much time in used and rare bookstores teetering on tall ladders or squeezing through narrow, tome-filled aisles in search of that most precious of commodities: the book you didn’t know you needed until you found it – or, to be more precise, it found you.
  2. This latest movie adaptation sustains a consistent note of measured mirth. As in the novel, the romantic flippancies have a serious core because at stake is nothing less than the prospect of an enduring happiness.
  3. The problem is that there is very little chemistry between the actresses, and Haynes and screenwriter Phyllis Nagy are far too studied in their depiction of passion. The most impressive performance in the movie is given by Blanchett’s elaborately coiffed, cast-iron hairdo.
  4. The paradox of Tarantino’s oeuvre is that it is highly derivative of other movies, mostly genre pulp, and yet the films seem distinctly his. He is the most influential director of his generation because he ranges promiscuously through pop culture and brings to his borrowings an incendiary force.
  5. I can’t imagine a world without the Beatles, but I can well imagine a world without this movie.
  6. It doesn’t put you through the emotional wringer the way its predecessor did, but it’s consistently inventive, funny, witty, and heartfelt. In other words, it’s a lot better than it has any right to be. It’s more than good enough to justify its existence.
  7. The role of Deb is not written with any great depth, but Miller gets into the character’s psychological complications in a way that almost compensates for the lack.
  8. Although Howard doesn’t go in for a lot of musicological analysis of Pavarotti’s genius, which would have enriched the presentation, he compensates by giving us an ample dose of the singing.
  9. Kaling’s naive earnestness in the role is very winning, and Thompson makes her boss lady clichés seem almost fresh. Not quite fresh enough, though, to rescue the movie.
  10. If you care anything about the music of groups like The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, The Mamas and the Papas, The Beach Boys, or Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the ramshackle, engagingly anecdotal Echo in the Canyon is required viewing.
  11. Rocketman is a campy, overblown, self-glorifying fantasia.
  12. Whether you deem this project an extravagant boondoggle or a masterpiece, you have to admire Christo’s tenacity in finally making it happen, as chronicled in the documentary Walking on Water.
  13. As the princess’s handmaiden, Nasim Pedrad at least has the comic timing that the rest of the cast, including, surprisingly, Will Smith, conspicuously lack. Smith understandably didn’t want to compete with Williams, but as the big, blue, top-knotted Genie, he’s uncharacteristically bland. Even the magic carpet in this movie looks bummed out.
  14. What Batra is reaching for here is the fairy tale beguilements of Bollywood romance but without all the hoopla. He wants to tenderize the Bollywood clichés and bring the essence of their ardor into the real, teeming world of Mumbai.
  15. Given the impossibility of crafting William Shakespeare into a believable human being, the film is an honorable try.
  16. Most of all it’s about talking. It’s practically a nonstop jabberathon. What rescues the film from tedium is that much of the talk is enticing.
  17. Just in case we don’t register the mismatch, Rogen is outfitted to look especially shlubby, and he sports an unbecoming beard that never comes off. With his crack timing, he still manages to get a few laughs, but he would have gotten a whole lot more if the jokes were any good. Theron, meantime, is photographed in full glamour mode throughout. This is probably just as well, since, as an actress, she doesn’t appear to have a comic bone in her body. Therein lies the true mismatch in this coupling.
  18. The White Crow fitfully does justice to Nureyev’s overwhelming desire to be an artist, and that’s not a negligible achievement.
  19. Ultimately it’s an upbeat movie about life’s downbeats.
  20. Best of all is Robert Downey Jr. Amid all the hardware, he alone in the Marvel series has consistently given top-notch performances. His work in “Endgame” is extraordinarily moving and makes me wish yet again that this great actor would on occasion see fit to be great in a movie that doesn’t require him to fill out a franchise.
  21. It’s a rarity, and a real pleasure, to find a movie that presents without condescension rural working-class people, especially women.
  22. The latest entry in this dubious enterprise is “Dumbo,” a perfectly lovely 1941 animated movie that has been transformed by director Tim Burton into a cloddish fantasia that never soars.
  23. The director has a good eye for semidocumentary detail, and the performances, which also include Bruce Dern as a veteran trainer, Gideon Adlon as Roman’s estranged daughter, and especially Jason Mitchell as a fellow inmate and trick rider, all have the sharp tang of authenticity.
  24. At his best, Costner both exalts and complicates the strong and silent types who crowd, often to diminishing effect, so much of our American movie mythology.
  25. This is not the sort of movie that offers up immediate gratifications, though there are some of those. Instead, it moves along with a steady grace. Its ruminative power creeps up on you.
  26. What makes this film different from numerous other such movies is that, in many instances, it utilizes footage never before seen publicly.
  27. As a piece of storytelling, Everybody Knows covers a vast expanse of human experience, but it doesn’t dive very deep.
  28. What struck home the most forcefully for me in Cold War is its depiction, insidious and unrelenting, of how artists under communism suffered for their art. At its best, the film is like a bulletin from a benighted world.
  29. It’s a rueful and respectful tribute that stands on its own because of the extraordinary performances of Steve Coogan as Stan and John C. Reilly as Ollie.
  30. The Upside is a movie that somehow works, at least some of the time, even when it shouldn’t.

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