New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,826 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 0.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Fruitvale Station
Lowest review score: 0 Movie 43
Score distribution:
1,826 movie reviews
  1. The best scene is when Hellboy and Abe get drunk and sing out raucously, which after "Hancock" suggests a trend toward superhero alcoholism.
  2. It would be barely passable under normal circumstances, but in 3-D it's a circus of excellent FX.
  3. The movie does get under your skin (the tremulous misfit girl, Hannah, might be a breakout role model), but the way it has been put together reminds me of those animal shows where the crew nudges the gazelles in the direction of the lions with multiple cameras standing by.
  4. Too bad the movies collapses at the end when we find out what's really going on. Baghead is so much more vivid when it's indefinite.
  5. The film has one indelible asset: Mark Strong, who plays the Jordanian spymaster Hani. He's sleek and lounge-lizard sharp like a young Andy Garcia, and he could be bigger than Garcia. The Jordanian holds all the cards, and opposite two superstars, Strong is the only actor who holds the camera.
  6. The film is superbly acted (especially by Macdissi, who makes the father a borderline hysteric), but it's hard to know what to feel except, "How can any girl navigate this oversexualized culture?"
  7. Attains a level of quiet grace. It's too bad that I can barely remember the movie after only a week. Nothing lasts, indeed.
  8. The movie isn't as world-shattering as those bouts: It's a regretful-old-warrior weeper.
  9. Selick has a great fantasy filmmaker's artistry, but he lacks that overflowing Geppetto-esque love that brings puppets to life. In Coraline, he's woozy with his own lyricism.
  10. It's tricky, it's surprising, and it's largely faithful to the original mini-series, but in context it's a nonevent. It's like a time bomb that's never dismantled but never explodes. The movie is good enough that the ending leaves you … not angry, exactly. Unfulfilled.
  11. Duplicity is deeply shallow--cheap reversals all the way down. But it's a passably amusing brainteaser.
  12. By now we’ve seen so many good, bad, and indifferent Sherlocks that it’s almost a relief to get something different, however wrongheaded. And there’s no such thing as too much Downey.
  13. The best part is Jemaine Clement as Benjamin’s grandiose genre hero, Dr. Ronald Chevalier. Even if you love him on "Flight of the Conchords," you’ll be unprepared for his genius--and charisma.
  14. Here's what's depressing: that, given the millions spent on defense by multinational conglomerates, our last best hope isn't the courts but the fickle attentions of glossy magazines and the noblesse oblige of celebrities.
  15. Extraordinary Measures has a soppy piano-and-strings score, but the primal fear of loss sharpens every scene.
  16. It’s campier than its predecessor, but its gung ho union of black, white, and Asian gangs against reactionaries who’d destroy them is a virtuosic assertion of punky Parisian multiculturalism.
  17. Movies are the lesser medium for Fey and Carell. They’re the stars of two relatively sophisticated, media-savvy network sitcoms, yet their big-screen comedies are retro.
  18. Better approached as an “oooooh” and “awww” fest.
  19. Holy Rollers fuses a somber, old-world palette with a jittery urban unease--a good mix of tones. It’s also wonderfully acted.
  20. It's an entertainingly cynical small movie. Aaron Sorkin's dialogue tumbles out so fast it's as if the characters want their brains to keep pace with their processors; they talk like they keyboard, like Fincher directs, with no time for niceties.
  21. Ken Hixon's script contrives a lot of mutual-healing set pieces and then sadly but shrewdly aborts them: That makes the drama more Chekhovian than "quite real."
  22. As in his pithy, tuneful songs-many written from different perspectives, in different styles-Merritt is committed to stylizing his misery instead of boring you with it.
  23. The screenwriter, James Solomon, does the poor job only a liberal could at making the case for a Cheneyesque "dark side," and he isn't helped by Kline's wooden acting. Too bad. The Conspirator is eloquent enough to let the other side have its say.
  24. For all its indirection, Meek's Cutoff is an utterly conventional film. But it's worth asking whether Reichardt's drowsy rhythms, stripped-down scenario, and female vantage add up to something illuminating. And here's where she earns at least some of those plaudits she's been getting.
  25. When the film shifts to Shanghai and the club Casablanca, there's too much lustrous-hued loitering and too few martial­-arts set pieces.
  26. It would be easy to dismiss as 100 percent ersatz if it didn't rekindle at least some of the old excitement - and if the magic of Spielberg's older movies didn't filter through, like light from a distant galaxy.
  27. Apart from having no particular reason to exist onscreen, especially at these prices, it's not half bad.
  28. This could be the premise of a zany comedy, but the mood of The Future is, from the outset, defeatist - annoyingly defeatist, to be frank.
  29. It's a tough, beautifully judged performance (Davis) - it gives this too-soft movie a spine.
  30. Yes, I cringed at the casting, too, especially when, watching the trailer, I heard Parker deliver the narration in the same voice she used for Carrie in "Sex and the City." But Kate is funnier - less arch - than Carrie, and Parker reminds you what a dizzy, all-in, high-risk comic actress she can be when she's not too busy showing off the couture.
  31. In any case, the last twenty minutes of Breaking Dawn are so harrowing that it's possible to forget that most of the acting is soap-operatic (the guy who plays Carlisle is aging to look like Liberace) and the dialogue from hunger. The movie's that primal.
  32. The Sitter feels slapdash and quick, but you might not want to have it any other way.
  33. It may not entirely work as a movie, but The Muppets shines as a piece of touching pop nostalgia.
  34. A Joyful Noise overcomes. The big numbers are a gospel-pop-funk fusion that made me think, Hmmm, this seems very processed - before I noticed my feet were tapping of their own accord. How can you resist that wah-wah funk guitar?
  35. In the movie's best moment, an American sniper takes out a bad guy by a pier while a pair of hands reaches out of the water to grab the body so it doesn't make a splash and alert the other baddies.
  36. There's no wonder or elation or even dopy sincerity here - just a high level of proficiency and, yes, a lot of expensive CGI.
  37. The combination of childlike glee and grown-up precision is a wonder. The movie actually earns the right to exist, which is no mean feat.
  38. The pretty good thriller Lockout peaks with its first shot...When the camera moves and the plot kicks in - as it must - the movie loses its witty economy. Things get cluttered.
  39. It also helps that they've got actresses like Gabrielle Union and Taraji P. Henson doing the heavy lifting of trying to show real emotion while still keeping things light and on the comedy track.
  40. Efron's stopped-clock seriousness is more convincing on a melancholy loverboy than it is on a melancholy soldier. We can't quite sense the harrowing torment of lives lost before his eyes, but we can sense the sweet anguish of being around the woman you adore. It'll have to do.
  41. The movie goes soft. But it has the unpretentious energy and charm of a good YA girls' novel.
  42. For all its calculation and manipulation, there's a very human movie somewhere within Marigold Hotel. You might just have to wade through a thousand clichés to get to it.
  43. One of the more enjoyably terrible movies of the year.
  44. The whole movie is a good try.
  45. Hit and Run works less as a film and more as a likable, semi-documentary romp among friends. The illusion of the drama may be gone, but it's been replaced by something more authentic and adorable. And we might be okay with that.
  46. Bachelorette has some big gaps, and it isn't what you'd call fun - it's not "Bridesmaids 2." But lovely women doing genuinely ugly things makes for a potent combination.
  47. As cheap as the whole set-up is, the actors make wonderful music together - even if there's not much left of Eastwood's vocal cords except a handful of dust.
  48. Still, it's hard not to think that there's a darker, funnier movie in there waiting to get out. In the meantime, we'll always have the humping chicken.
  49. Still, it does eventually become a bit tedious, and for all the breathless kineticism of the film's second act, you may find yourself twiddling your thumbs. It's a cool game, to be sure, but watching someone else play it gets old after a while.
  50. The tasteless bombardment that is Les Misérables would, under most circumstances, send audiences screaming from the theater, but the film is going to be a monster hit and award winner, and not entirely unjustly.
  51. It’s fast, rousing, and blessedly brief.
  52. The Croods isn’t particularly smart, but it has just enough wit to keep us engaged and just enough speed to keep us from feeling restless.
  53. As amusing as the movie is, I think in the end that Ascher misses the labyrinth for the trees.
  54. 42
    Helgeland’s epic about Jackie Robinson’s first year in Major League Baseball is uneven — often exciting, and just as often shallow and ham-handed — but if there’s one thing to which it remains true, it's that the almighty American greenback and the all-American athlete are the great destroyers of bigotry.
  55. The problem might actually be (gasp) Michael Shannon himself — shocking, because he’s one of our greatest actors — who is only half-right for this film’s portrait of Kuklinski.
  56. Frances Ha is an irritant when it lingers. When Baumbach’s touch is more glancing — when he cuts before the humiliation — it sings.
  57. The Kings of Summer is far from original, but it’s also far stranger than it seems, in ways both good and bad.
  58. The Heat is kind of a mess, but it’s a funny mess.
  59. Kick-Ass 2, a movie that, for all its predictable sequel-ness, manages to conjure up pretty much the same dark magic that the earlier film did, albeit with more troubling results. Believe it or not, Kick-Ass 2 is even more of a provocation than the first Kick-Ass.
  60. The problem is that the film gets too wrapped up in the myth to tell an effective behind-the-scenes tale.
  61. Now it feels almost quaint, like a throwback. You watch it and, despite all the au courant techno geekery on display, you feel like you’ve stepped into a time capsule. It’s a nice feeling at first. If only the movie were better.
  62. Everything unfolds elegantly, understatedly. The movie is a Grisham in Le Carre clothing.
  63. A.C.O.D. is reasonably pleasant and therapeutic and antiseptic and you just wish somebody would bring a chandelier down on somebody else at some point.
  64. It doesn’t always work as drama, but as a musical, it’s often fantastic.
  65. Watching Spike Lee’s decent but unmemorable remake of Park Chan-wook’s 2003 revenge picture "Oldboy," I kept trying to figure out why he’d done it.
  66. Much of the bloat is still there, but The Desolation of Smaug, the second film in the Hobbit trilogy, is a real improvement – filled with inventive action set pieces and dramatic face-offs that we (finally, at long last, hallelujah!) care about.
  67. It’s absorbing for a long while, at least half its two-hour running time — an evocatively photographed soap opera with actors who are impossibly gorgeous and yet human-looking — but it goes on and on, piling on twists, adding devices so clunky they’d have embarrassed most nineteenth-century problem-dramatists, refusing to jell despite the actors’ prodigious suffering.
  68. The movie itself isn’t dull. It’s moderately stylish, moderately suspenseful, fun in patches. It hits its marks. But the setup lacks urgency.
  69. The key to a good B-mystery is that all the actors should be a little stilted. You should never know the difference between an actor acting badly and an actor doing a masterful acting job of someone acting badly. In Non-Stop, there is much excellent bad acting.
  70. The film itself is uneven, but it’s kind of awesome seeing Bateman act so vile.
  71. It's not bad, exactly; the songs are catchy, the cameos are okay, and some of the jokes work fine. Set your expectations super-low, and you'll probably be fine.
  72. If you can forget what it’s saying, Divergent is fairly entertaining.
  73. It’s Aronofsky’s least personal work. So you get a fat dose of conventional melodrama with your Old Testament: It’s the antediluvian "Gladiator."
  74. For Sabotage, as good as it is in its first half, can’t keep it together.
  75. Dom Hemingway is an uneven movie, to be sure — plot holes abound, and some of the aforementioned clichés can be distracting — but it’s still hard to resist. Because rarely have an actor and a part been so perfect for each other, and Shepard lets his lead run wild with this offbeat, contradictory character.
  76. At its best, 22 Jump Street is less an action comedy than a loosely plotted revue, and though it’s not as witty as either Joe Dante’s "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" or Edgar Wright’s "Hot Fuzz" (in which the directors evinced genuine love for their chosen genres), it’s sure as hell better than a straight buddy-cop sequel.
  77. Earth to Echo resonates, despite itself.
  78. It has an energy all its own, and Gondry’s voice is always welcome, and essential. Mood Indigo is somehow both unmissable and whisper-thin.
  79. Hercules has no right to be as entertaining as it is.
  80. Ultimately, what comes through most forcefully in The Hundred-Foot Journey is the longing of the immigrant, the overwhelming push-pull between the need to belong and the need to assert one’s own identity.
  81. The fifth entry in the popular dance-off franchise is, like the others, a fantasia that upends the usual rules of filmmaking. Here, the more threadbare the scenario, and the more unmotivated an action, the better. Character and story just get in the way of all the awesome dancing.
  82. Appropriately pulpy — fuss-free and fast.
  83. If Life of Crime transcends its lightheartedness to actually make us care for what happens to its characters, it doesn’t quite transcend its own haphazard, impoverished story.
  84. The film is too wan and distanced to sweep you up, but it holds you.
  85. Sutton finds the lyrical tension in torpor; he shows how Willis’s artistic vacuum isn’t a passive thing, how it eats into him, how it even permeates the natural world.
  86. The destination is often familiar and not always particularly interesting, but the ride itself isn’t always so bad, especially when you’ve got Bill Murray along for company.
  87. Watching Ali and Cole (and, of course, Stewart and Maadi), we find ourselves wishing that they would genuinely get the chance to better understand each other. Do they, by the end? We’re not sure. On that score, Camp X-Ray remains admirably open-ended.
  88. Evocative, gorgeous, occasionally maddening film.
  89. There aren’t too many ingenious new concepts in today’s horror and fantasy films, but I’ll be damned if Horns doesn’t come close, at least at first.
  90. If The Theory of Everything cut as deeply as Redmayne's performance, it might be on the level of "My Left Foot." But there are so damn many problems, easy to ignore at first in the elation of watching Redmayne and the gossamer Felicity Jones as his future wife, Jane, but impossible to shake off in the last third.
  91. Ali
    Ultimately, Ali is a far more complex creature than this movie allows for.
  92. The filmmakers spend so much time milking gags they should have called it Bridget Jones's Dairy.
  93. It downplays the effects of George's drug trafficking, not so much on himself and his cronies as on the wrecked lives of the generation of customers we never get to see.
  94. In the Mood for Love has novelty value, I suppose, and plenty of pretty camera moves, but it's not really a movie you can warm to.
  95. It makes the same misstep that Allen's comedies often do: It assumes that the lives of these people are only about sex and love, and so that's all we ever see of them. This one-and-a-half-dimensionality wears thin.
  96. What we're getting in this movie isn't necessarily better; it's just more.
  97. A bit too awed by its depiction of the healing power of love. It's minor indeed compared with "In the Bedroom," which deals with a similar subject and doesn't back away from the rawness of grief.
  98. Divided We Fall is intended to be restorative, but its wish fulfillments, while charming, are also a bit too gaga for that.
  99. Some good gross-out inventiveness, but too heartfelt by half. Do we really need the Farrellys to champion inner beauty?
  100. Cage is the only reason to check out an otherwise mediocre movie.

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