New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,926 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 The Cove
Lowest review score: 0 Funny Games (2008)
Score distribution:
1,926 movie reviews
  1. Despite all the computer-generated effects and highflying superhero theatrics, this roughly $120 million movie is, with few exceptions, remarkable only in its small human touches.
  2. Fitfully effective as a battle movie, and Mel Gibson does his rugged best to take center stage without seeming to. But the movie is self-righteous in a way that's frequently unseemly.
  3. 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 The illusion of the drama may be gone, but it's been replaced by something more authentic and adorable.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.
  4. The movie itself isn’t dull. It’s moderately stylish, moderately suspenseful, fun in patches. It hits its marks. But the setup lacks urgency.
  5. 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Two Girls and a Guy isn’t a satisfying movie, but Downey is alarmingly brilliant in it -- a man locked in torment who can’t find the way out.
  6. One of the more enjoyably terrible movies of the year.
  7. The decomposition of the soul is the goal of a Stasi incarceration, the promised end for an enemy of the state, and there is something about the movie’s pacing--the silences, the drone of the narration ("The name of your enemy is hope?…?")--that wears you down.
  8. There are too many musical performances in this movie, even for a country fan such as myself, to keep the city slickers engaged. This bespeaks great faith in the charisma of the stars, who merit it. They also, however, deserved a better script.
  9. Evocative, gorgeous, occasionally maddening film.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Jolie gets the dirty/ennobling job done. If the narrative is finally unsatisfying, it’s because the last vital chapter — the way in which Zamperini was able to have a life after years of unspeakable cruelty and the dashing of his Olympic hopes — is signaled in a couple of title cards before the closing credits. Unbroken proves that Zamperini could take it and make it — but make what of it?
  13. There is in The Mother a rich understanding of where old age takes you. Along with the myth that seniors don't have sex drives, the film dispels a larger one: that the years bring wisdom.
  14. 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."
  15. 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.
  16. Danny Huston is screamingly funny as the alternately finicky and savage Head Ghoul--he’s like something spewed forth from the bowels of the Politburo. The problem is structural.
  17. Were it not for these performances (Blanchett, Ribisi, Swank, Reeves), The Gift would be fairly negligible.
  18. The Heat is kind of a mess, but it’s a funny mess.
  19. 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.
  20. I don’t mind the movie’s retro-ness, but I wish Mostow didn't take pulp so seriously.
  21. 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.
  22. I realize that Fosse's dark sizzle might seem a bit dated today, but surely something halfway snazzy could have been devised for this movie. It's toothless.
  23. The film is too wan and distanced to sweep you up, but it holds you.
  24. It’s the difference between artistry and knowingness. About Schmidt doesn’t bring us deeply into the lives of its people because it’s too busy trying to feel superior to them.
  25. Extraordinary Measures has a soppy piano-and-strings score, but the primal fear of loss sharpens every scene.
  26. Demme’s Manchurian Candidate is far from a disgrace, but it's not freewheeling enough, not strange enough to make sense of our gathering dread.
  27. 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.
  28. Depressing, disgusting, and dated, Edmond is worth braving to experience America’s best-known serious playwright at his most gruesomely undiluted.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. A great deal of energy is expended on metaphysical ruminations that become ever fuzzier. The film is intended as an allegory, but it works best as a jailbreak romance. In this movie, lowbrow trumps highbrow every time.
  33. The prolific Patrice Leconte takes a break from mythic, life-and-death scenarios with My Best Friend, a sitcom that threatens to take a rockier emotional path before swerving back into the comfy zone. It’s better when it’s threatening, but Leconte knows his audience.
  34. Devos is especially fine as a woman whose inner solitude carries depth charges.
  35. 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.
  36. Talk to Her affects some people very deeply, while others, like me, find it high-grade kitsch.
  37. 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.
  38. Fanning’s controlled presence is ideal for a tale of Victorian repression. But as the film becomes one of quiet liberation, it needs more than her cool reserve. It needs passion — even if it’s of the slow-boiling kind — and I’m not sure that’s there.
  39. 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.
  40. It's a sinuous, bittersweet odyssey, and although the filmmaking lacks finesse, the actors, especially Mandvi, with his bright, sorrowful beauty, and the great Om Puri, who plays Ganesh's father-in-law with an infernal crankiness, are always worth watching.
  41. The movie should be seen with a large, responsive audience--the better to live with it in the moment instead of worrying about where it’s going.
  42. The whole movie is a good try.
  43. A sentimental, feel-good look at a family in mourning, but Jake Gyllenhaal rises above the clichéd script with a brilliantly creative performance.
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. Everything unfolds elegantly, understatedly. The movie is a Grisham in Le Carre clothing.
  47. Fortunately, most of the malarkey in this movie seems intentional in the same Sunday-afternoon-serial way as the Indiana Jones movies (some of which Johnston worked on).
  48. Sam Rockwell plays Barris with a hipster’s shimmy that’s creepily effective -- The problem with making a movie about a hollow man is that, when things start to get heavy, you’re stuck with nothingness at the core.
  49. If you can forget what it’s saying, Divergent is fairly entertaining.
  50. The Kings of Summer is far from original, but it’s also far stranger than it seems, in ways both good and bad.
  51. The best scene is when Hellboy and Abe get drunk and sing out raucously, which after "Hancock" suggests a trend toward superhero alcoholism.
  52. 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.
  53. Though worth seeing, should be better than it is.
  54. This time around, Harry Potter has more to worry about than the Dark Arts -- though parts of The Chamber of Secrets are spellbinding, he seems to be suffering from a bit of sequelitis.
  55. 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.
  56. Despite its exuberant perversities, Waters’s take on erotomania is almost quaint.
  57. The new 9/11 movies aim to rekindle feelings that most of us have, by necessity, moved beyond. But there’s more than one way to move beyond, as suggested by the spottily affecting ensemble psycho-comedy The Great New Wonderful.
  58. Leconte films in an austere yet invigorated style; the action never settles into stiff tableaux.
  59. The first Allen picture since "Sweet and Lowdown" that doesn't leave a bad odor in its wake.
  60. The problem is that the film gets too wrapped up in the myth to tell an effective behind-the-scenes tale.
  61. Fry's saving grace is his love of actors. The younger and less familiar performers are more than adequate, but it's the older guard that shines. Broadbent is marvelously rummy.
  62. 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.
  63. A frightening, infuriating, yet profoundly compassionate documentary about the indoctrination of children by the Evangelical right.
  64. Writer-director Billy Ray is so eager to be fair-minded about everything and everyone that you can't help thinking he's a patsy, too. If he directed a movie of Othello, he'd probably try to make us feel warm and fuzzy about poor, misunderstood Iago.
  65. Shyamalan wants to be the metaphysical poet of movies, but he's dangerously close to becoming its O. Henry. The best surprise ending he could give us in his next movie would be no surprise ending at all.
  66. The jumping around is as deft as a hippo in a tutu, and the director, Gavin Hood, never finds a rhythm.
  67. Frances Ha is an irritant when it lingers. When Baumbach’s touch is more glancing — when he cuts before the humiliation — it sings.
  68. It’s not a great movie, but it’s haunting, a sort of one-stop shop for a range of cultural anxieties — plague, environmental catastrophe, big government threatening the sanctity of home and family.
  69. Writer-director Andrew Niccol throws around a lot of intriguing ideas in this film, and even though his ambitions are more expansive than his talent, he's managed to come up with something that credibly resembles the shape of things to come, Hollywood-style.
  70. 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.
  71. Pretty much the whole movie is a series of poses, static and uninvolving, except for cinematographer Eduardo Serra’s lighting, which makes everything look convincingly Vermeer-ish. I’d like to see what he could do with Rembrandt.
  72. 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.
  73. As a result, Jarhead is utterly predictable (boys endure tough training; boys encounter another culture and are baffled), studded with first-rate performances.
  74. It's hard to know whether to marvel or weep when James Carville goes into his Bill Clinton–meets–Looney Tunes act in Rachel Boynton's knockout documentary Our Brand Is Crisis--the context is so morally topsy-turvy.
  75. Birdman is the very definition of a tour de force, and Iñárritu’s overheated technique meshes perfectly with the (enjoyable) overacting—the performers know this is a theatrical exercise and obviously relish the chance to Do It Big. But what comes out of the characters’ mouths is not so fresh.
  76. You can believe this man (Jones) left his family because he felt born into the wrong tribe. Now if only he had picked the right movie . . .
  77. 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.
  78. 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.
  79. The best new addition to the corp is Alan Cumming’s Nightcrawler.
  80. A scantily clad revenge memoir.
  81. It might seem as though there is nothing new to be done with the crime thriller, but The Code (La Mentale), directed by Manuel Boursinhac and written by Bibi Naceri, provides a new twist.
  82. 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?
  83. Secretary is deeply conventional: Edward and Lee accept their bondage as the way to a more fulfilling life. It's the filmmakers who need to be spanked.
  84. 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.
  85. 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.
  86. The movie goes soft. But it has the unpretentious energy and charm of a good YA girls' novel.
  87. 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.
  88. 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.
  89. 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.
  90. It would be barely passable under normal circumstances, but in 3-D it's a circus of excellent FX.
  91. It's a rich idea -- a Hartley-esque variation on the theme of American Innocents Abroad. And it works superbly until -- well, Grim's the word.
  92. A lovely minor achievement. It would have been major if Breillat had been more expansive with respect to Anaïs instead of contentedly letting her go on about her lumpish ways.
  93. Taking Sides has a padded-out, stagebound quality that is anything but lyrical. And Szabó, a Hungarian best known for "Mephisto" and "Colonel Redl," is not at his best here.
  94. It’s fast, rousing, and blessedly brief.
  95. Despite the clunkiness, Estevez's commitment to his father's generation’s idealism (and its murder) commands respect.
  96. 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.
  97. She lip-syncs convincingly to Piaf's songs. Even when she overacts like mad, she makes you think she’s Piaf overacting like mad--the little sparrow with the foghorn pipes.
  98. 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.
  99. 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.

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