New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,876 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1 point higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Happy Feet
Lowest review score: 0 Funny Games (2008)
Score distribution:
1,876 movie reviews
  1. You should see Happy Feet--not only because it's stupendous, but also because it features the best dancing you'll see on the screen this year.
  2. The new Pixar picture Wall-E is one for the ages, a masterpiece to be savored before or after the end of the world.
  3. The most visceral and cumulatively powerful account of civil war since Gillo Pontecorvo's "The Battle of Algiers."
  4. It’s sensational in the open air and subtle in smaller, enclosed spaces. It has sweep and intimacy. And, yes, we need this movie now.
  5. Sweetest, funniest, most humane movie I've seen all year.
  6. For all its portentousness, this is the best Harry Potter picture yet. In some ways, it improves on J.K. Rowling’s novel, which is punishingly protracted and builds to a climactic wand-off better seen than read.
  7. The Avengers is both campy and ­reverential. Comic-Con nerds will have multiple orgasms. I had a blast.
  8. You've seen the rest; now see the best.
  9. For grown-ups, the film will touch something deeper: the heartfelt wish that childhood memories will never fade.
  10. Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds is huge and scary, moving and funny--another capper to a career that seems like an unending succession of captivations.
  11. Pantheism, Cameronism: In Avatar, what's the diff? Now he's king of a world he made from scratch.
  12. Living with Mason and his parents over time you feel an intimacy, an empathy, a shared stake. I’m not saying Boyhood is the greatest film I’ve ever seen, but I’m thinking there’s my life before I saw it and my life now, and it’s different; I know movies can do something that just last week I didn’t. They can make time visible.
  13. Osder has made a documentary that’s astonishingly in the present tense.
  14. The movie is as cornball as all get-out and — once you discern the narrative arc — as predictable. But then there’s the part that’s — as we serious cinephiles like to say — infuckingcredible.
  15. This is by light-years the most entertaining movie of the year. How many apocalyptic sci-fi action extravaganzas leave you feeling as if the world is just beginning?
  16. As a moral statement, Zero Dark Thirty is borderline fascistic. As a piece of cinema, it's phenomenally gripping - an unholy masterwork.
  17. Brilliant, tightly focused, and momentous.
  18. Cantet's real-time classroom scenes are revelations: They make you understand that teaching is moment to moment, an endless series of negotiations that hang on intangibles—on imagination and empathy and the struggle to stay centered. This is a remarkable movie.
  19. An astounding, one-of-a-kind movie.
  20. Perhaps the most awesome thing in Mr. Turner is how Leigh and cinematographer Dick Pope hint at Turner’s paintings in their landscapes — not to make the film look painterly but to suggest what Turner saw before transmuting reality into art.
  21. Hats off to Olivier Assayas's plain yet hauntingly beautiful Summer Hours, a true--albeit nonsecular--meditation on art and eternal life.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The sleek beauty, crafty wit, family warmth, and impeccable slapstick suffusing The Incredibles immediately vaults it to a new, higher level of entertainment.
  22. It has taken an animated film to go where live-action dramas and even documentaries haven't--to tickle our synapses and slip into our bloodstream.
  23. The most joyously cinematic movie I've seen this year. Chomet's astonishing imagination conjures images you could swear you've seen in your dreams.
  24. Jackson is rare among the makers of epic movies in that he knows how to do the small stuff, too. The Return of the King has “heart”--how else could it pump out all that blood?
  25. The end of The Cove is as rousing as anything from Hollywood. Manipulative? Sure--but isn't that fitting? Capitalism has driven an entire village to massacre dolphins and keep its work hidden.
  26. Magical and melancholy, The Tale of Princess Kaguya comes from the other mad genius of Studio Ghibli, Isao Takahata, who co-founded the beloved Japanese animation company alongside the great Hayao Miyazaki back in 1985.
  27. A love affair between performer and filmmaker. The director shows off his ardor by eliciting from his actors aspects of their gifts that they themselves may not have known they had.
  28. No other concert film has ever expressed so fervently the erotic root of rock. Seeing it is the opposite of taking a trip down memory lane; it's more like a plunge into the belly of the beast.
  29. The film is a masterpiece in which “locked-in” syndrome becomes the human condition.
  30. It has what the most heartfelt Disney animated features used to have: rapturous imagery matched with real wit.
  31. A hushed, small-scale masterpiece that moves into the shadowlands of tragedy.
  32. Fruitvale Station will rock your world — and, if the life of Oscar Grant means anything, compel you to work to change it.
  33. Pi has designed his own terrarium to keep from staring directly into the abyss. It's not denial. It's faith in something else: the transformative power of storytelling. The film is transcendent.
  34. The Deep Blue Sea is not a showy or pronounced movie. Open yourself up to it, however, and it might destroy you.
  35. Once the action starts - and it starts very quickly - The Raid is relentless, breathtaking in its sheer propulsive majesty. But it's also shot through with moments of bleak poetry amid the carnage.
  36. One of the sharpest and funniest movies about the music business ever made.
  37. Spielberg has been ridiculed for shooting his actors from below against impossibly Spielbergian skies and a denouement that lays the love on copiously. But there's nothing simpleminded about how he uses movie magic, as a spell to dispel nihilism, to save us from the worst of ourselves by summoning up the best.
  38. Everything he did in live-action movies with rolling boulders and runaway convoys he does bigger and better - by a factor of ten - in every frame. At the end of two hours, my jaw ached from grinning.
  39. One of the most realistic documentaries I've ever seen--and, dry as it is, one of the most devastating in its implications.
  40. A rare example of first-rate filmed opera.
  41. It’s true that the number of whales in captivity isn’t huge. But they’ve now become the mightiest symbols of our cultural hubris — of our inability to manage creatures we have the power to capture and imprison. It’s a metaphor for the ages.
  42. The Queen is the most reverent irreverent comedy imaginable. Or maybe it's the most irreverent reverent comedy. Either way, it's a small masterpiece.
  43. Might be the most provocative teen sex comedy ever made; it is certainly one of the most convulsively funny.
  44. I've never seen a movie with this mixture of fullness and desolation. Rachel Getting Married is a masterpiece.
  45. Something sacred passes between Trintignant and Riva. The actress's eyes signal deep awareness as the sounds coming out of her mouth become animalistic.
  46. The LEGO Movie is the kind of animated free-for-all that comes around very rarely, if ever: A kids’ movie that matches shameless fun with razor-sharp wit, that offers up a spectacle of pure, freewheeling joy even as it tackles the thorniest of issues.
  47. The most powerfully entrancing children's film in years. Of course, a true kid's classic is just as magical for adults.
  48. The most deeply and mysteriously satisfying animated feature to come along in ages.
  49. This is, no doubt about it, a tour de force, a work that fully lives up to its director's ambitions.
  50. The visually stunning Sin City has grit to spare and a thrilling undercurrent of morality.
  51. The movie is a slot machine that never stops spitting quarters.
  52. Jackson has a genuine epic gift: Few filmmakers have ever given gross-outs such resplendence.
  53. The self-satire of The Kids Are All Right is so knowing, so rich, so hilarious, so damn healthy that it blows all thoughts of degeneracy out of your head.
  54. Bird clearly knows the great silent clowns: The slapstick he devises is balletic.
  55. Anderson’s fearless, bighearted filmmaking is an antidote to the toxic cloud of Manifest Destiny. He has made a mad American classic.
  56. Above all is Langella, achingly vulnerable under layers of flesh. In one scene, alone, he eats peanut butter intensely, thoughtfully, and nothing he could do as Hamlet would seem deeper or more poetic.
  57. The vision is as hateful as it is hate-filled, but the fusion of form and content is so perfect that it borders on the sublime.
  58. For all the horror, it's the drive toward life, not the decay, that lingers in the mind. As a modern heroine, Ree Dolly has no peer, and Winter's Bone is the year's most stirring film.
  59. One of the greatest documentaries I’ve ever seen.
  60. So intimate and sensual and funny and psychologically self-revealing that it makes most of what passes for sex in the movies look like cheap hysterics.
  61. What a cast Pride has — some of the best famous actors in Britain and lesser-known younger ones that will (soon) take their place in the firmament.
  62. Sophisticated and nuanced, and every character is bursting with emotional contradictions.
  63. This supernatural comedy isn't just Allen's best film in more than a decade; it's the only one that manages to rise above its tidy parable structure and be easy, graceful, and glancingly funny, as if buoyed by its befuddled hero's enchantment.
  64. I’m not crying “masterpiece” here. Locke is too contained, too well-carpentered, too self-consciously “classical.” But tours don’t come much more forceful. Once you’ve taken this 90-odd-minute drive with Tom Hardy, you’ll never forget his face.
  65. Meehl, in her directing debut, is attuned to the rhythms of Buck, who's attuned to the horses.
  66. Like his protagonist, Bahrani never gives up on William; his camera never stops probing. He loves West's face, and he honors its mystery.
  67. Free speech isn't merely a shibboleth in The Agronomist. As embodied by Dominique, it's a fire-breathing force.
  68. His (Sidney Lumet) touch in Before the Devil is so sure, so perfectly weighted, that it’s hard to imagine him capable of making a bad movie. The thing is just enthralling.
  69. A first-rate zombie movie. The best tribute I can offer is that it makes you want to go out directly afterward and down some expensive single-malt scotch.
  70. Gregory and Demme have turned A Master Builder into (pardon my invoking the name of a Strindberg work) a dream play, and have made it once more madly, bitingly, chillingly alive.
  71. Lincoln is too sharply focused to deserve the pejorative "biopic" label. It's splendid enough to make me wish Spielberg would make a "prequel" to this instead of another Indiana Jones picture.
  72. Achingly funny movie...Guest has cultivated a stock company of players whose work together is so intuitively sharp that it seems to redefine the boundaries of acting.
  73. Wes Anderson’s latest cinematic styling is The Grand Budapest Hotel, an exquisitely calibrated, deadpan-comic miniature that expands in the mind and becomes richer and more tragic.
  74. Tsunashima gives a deft performance in a role that starts out as caricature but becomes full-bodied. Collette commands the screen virtually the entire time.
  75. Ralph Fiennes gives one of the year's subtlest, yet most exciting, screen performances.
  76. Among the most enraging (documentaries) I've ever seen, and while it's fine and heartfelt and I commend it to those of you with strong constitutions, it is the film that has finally broken me.
  77. Polanski’s strongest and most personally felt movie.
  78. The whole thing is irresistibly preposterous.
  79. Linklater must have recognized a kindred spirit when he read Belber's play. He's given us a reality-fantasy game, a psychodrama, a harangue, and a detective story all rolled into one.
  80. Ulrich Mühe gives a marvelously self-contained performance. There isn't an ounce of fat on his body, or in his acting: He has pared himself down to a pair of eyes that prowl the faces of his character's countrymen for signs of arrogance--i.e., of independent thinking.
  81. Doubt is still overpowering; it took me a while when it was over to stop shaking. It's the dramatist’s business to sow doubt, to set down points of view that can't be reconciled, and Shanley makes visceral the notion that one can be right but never absolutely right, that doubt might be our last, best hope.
  82. In sum, Last Days is the best kind of documentary — it ties you up in knots.
  83. Lake of Fire centers on abortion, but Kaye understands that while dead fetuses are the hook, the agenda covers the whole life cycle.
  84. The movie is a political remake of "The Passion of the Christ," only more aestheticized: It's rigorous, evocative, and, in spite of its grisly imagery, elegant. It's a triumph--of masochistic literal-mindedness.
  85. The result is an admirably bumpy ride of a biopic, a rare one that leaves you feeling not safe but bracingly unsettled.
  86. Is A Christmas Tale a masterpiece? Maybe. I have to play with it longer. It's certainly Desplechin's most accessible film, in part because its dysfunctional-family-holiday-reunion genre is so comfy and its palette so warm.
  87. Séraphine is one of the most evocative films about an artist I've ever seen--and in its treatment of madness one of the least condescending.
  88. Indigènes is a stupendous work--and why that new title stinks to heaven.
  89. We’ve never sat through anything with Cloverfield’s subjective sting. You’d have to be tougher than I was not to be blown sideways by it.
  90. It's a Parisian romantic roundelay with sundry couples connecting and disconnecting, but it looks and sounds like no sex comedy ever made: It's transcendentally yummy.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The movie is a volatile combination of ambitious mythmaking and nasty reality, and like most of Spike Lee’s work, it is also an inextricable combination of good and bad.
  91. Kim exalts nature--life’s passage--without stooping to sentimentality. He sees the tooth and claw, and he sees the transcendence. Whether this is a Buddhist attribute, I cannot say, but the impression this movie leaves is profound: Here is an artist who sees things whole.
  92. At its best, the film compares favorably to its obvious antecedents, "Rififi" (which Melville once hoped to direct) and "The Asphalt Jungle."
  93. The movie doesn't quite jell, but you'll feel its sting for hours.
  94. Up
    By all means, see Up in its 3-D incarnation: The cliff drops are vertiginous, and the scores of balloons--bunched into the shape of one giant balloon--are as pluckable as grapes.
  95. The script, instead of being what we tolerate in order to savor the visuals, is a delight all by itself.
  96. The Hurt Locker might be the first Iraq-set film to break through to a mass audience because it doesn't lead with the paralysis of the guilt-ridden Yank. The horror is there, but under the rush.
  97. A brilliant study in the link between moral corruption and narcissism.
  98. The movie, a near-masterpiece, is a monument to intoxication: of sexual conquest, of military conquest, and, most of all, of cinema.

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