New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 2,242 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 46% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 WALL-E
Lowest review score: 0 The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)
Score distribution:
2242 movie reviews
  1. McQueen films his characters like specimens in a jar, but the stakes are so high that the actors deliver.
  2. Cory Yuen's So Close is a kind of Hong Kong martial-arts variation on the Charlie's Angels movies, only better.
  3. Julie & Julia is full of holes, but you don't even care when Streep is onscreen.
  4. That wordiness coupled with Cronenberg's classical restraint is part of the splendid Freudian joke at the movie's center.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It’s a pleasant movie -- very pleasant, in fact -- but soft as a down quilt.
  5. Is Brüno riotous? Yes, more so than "Borat," in which Baron Cohen's targets were ducks in a barrel and largely undeserving of ridicule. He doesn't aim much higher here, but his tricks are more inventive.
  6. Until the computer-generated effects bog it down and mess up its rhythms, Captain America: The First Avenger, has a measured, classical pace and a lot of good, old-fashioned craftsmanship.
  7. Greenberg would be a heckuva movie if we could just get Greenberg out of there.
  8. Jayne Mansfield’s Car isn’t likely to set America’s theaters on fire, but it’s a powerful whisper of a film.
  9. As Ben Wade, gang leader and murderer, he gives an ironic performance, but Crowe’s irony is more intense than other actors’ obsession. He turns the idea of having so few emotions--of being beyond caring--into a bloody joke. He upstages everyone with his laughing eyes.
  10. To my taste, the movie finally feels rather one-dimensional, basic. But there’s no disputing its awful power.
  11. A pretentious and stilted but weirdly compelling blend of sins-of-the-parent saga and horror movie.
  12. Cunningham's depth of feeling transformed the book's premise into something beyond sniggers or camp, and the best moments in the movie, which was directed by theater veteran Michael Mayer in his film debut and adapted by Cunningham, have a similar emotional charge.
  13. The Eagle is furiously unsettled-thematically, temporally, meteorologically. Wild-eyed, long-haired Brits leap atop the Romans' shields as the soldiers blindly hack away, the bodies so close that you can barely tell the victor from the vanquished. The battles in the fog and rain have a hallucinatory power.
  14. It’s Rylance who keeps Bridge of Spies standing. He gives a teeny, witty, fabulously non-emotive performance, every line musical and slightly ironic — the irony being his forthright refusal to deceive in a world founded on lies.
  15. For much of its running time, The Homesman doesn’t quite seem to know where it’s going. But once it actually gets there, it attains a hardscrabble nobility.
  16. Pain & Gain gives you a rush while at the same time making you queasy about how you’re getting off.
  17. As he delivered his climactic sermon in the Israeli desert, I murmured, "Amen, brother." Religulous is a religious experience.
  18. Soderbergh tends to get one big idea - a thesis idea - per film and stick with it even when a touch more flexibility would help. Here it's that non-kinetic camera, which he's so wedded to that parts of the film seem underenergized, like a cheap seventies or early eighties picture you'd catch at two in the morning on Cinemax's tenth most popular channel.
  19. Its focus--the children--are not even onscreen very much. But their ghosts are everywhere, and the pain of the film is primal.
  20. The problem — not fatal — with The Walk is that the narrative wire droops between the movie’s opening and final sequences.
  21. Like much of Romanian cinema, Aferim!’s narrative and stylistic gambit doesn’t quite click until the final scenes.
  22. Rahim is an exciting, unpredictable presence, and Arestrup’s César has a stature that’s nearly Shakespearean.
  23. In the end, Turbo is an unambitious movie about a very ambitious character, but it has an infectious sense of fun. Don’t expect too much from it, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
  24. Broadly, this is a coming-of-age movie in the "Diner" mold: Trier tracks Phillip and Erik and a few of their pals as they stagger into a world that can't be attuned to their (male adolescent) expectations--especially in regard to women.
  25. It's outlandish, hilariously overripe, and possibly sexist: You'd expect no less from Craig Brewer, the writer and director who made the passionate case for how hard it is out there for a pimp. But I loved the picture's tabloid energy and heart.
  26. Eminently disposable, but that's its charm. It stays with you just long enough to make you smile.
  27. Bully is repetitive and not especially artful, but children who allow themselves to see the world through the eyes of the film's victims will never be the same.
  28. Pleasingly shaggy.
  29. Jackson's wonderfully nuanced, witty performance, and a few unexpected plot turns, give Coach Carter a subtext that helps complicate such knee-jerk oversimplifications, redeeming the role with energetic humor and a loose-limbed grace.
  30. Michael Apted's Amazing Grace is a beautifully chiseled blunt instrument. No, it's not subtle, but how subtle was slavery?
  31. Sex and the City: The Motion Picture is a joyful wallow. And it's more: In this summer of do-overs (The Incredible Hulk, a new Batman versus a new Joker), it's what the series finale should have been.
  32. Our Brand is Crisis hits a lot of clunky notes and the end is unforgivably cornball, but it’s still one of the liveliest political black comedies I’ve seen in a while. The pacing is lickety-split, the talk is boisterous, and the cast is all aces.
  33. By turns desperately funny and unfunnily desperate?
  34. It's one of the few tween movies that isn't in your face; its limpness becomes appealing.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Intriguing and entertaining despite some rough edges, Dan Katzir’s documentary profits immeasurably from the ancient Spaisman’s genuine charisma.
  35. Not a lot happens, and yet, as in the best so-called “slice of life” stories, you feel one way of life ending and another struggling to be born. The little that happens is enough.
  36. del Toro blends agit-prop politics and ghoulishness without making the entire enterprise seem silly.
  37. With Allied, Robert Zemeckis has fashioned a good old-fashioned World War II romantic espionage movie, but that wouldn’t matter a damn if the leads weren’t beautiful and didn’t look great in period clothes. They are and they do.
  38. This is not a rich, novelistic tapestry of humanity; this is a solipsistic world, enclosed on all sides by the director’s ego. But the entrapment is vivid and poignant. Look past all the beautiful people fucking, and you realize that Love is sad in all the right ways.
  39. There is little doubt throughout that it’s a work of artistry, grace, and, yes, outrage.
  40. Even a second-rate farce like Man Up can be a jolly pick-me-up. Its momentum alone made me very happy.
  41. At times the film is right on the border between mesmerizing and narcotizing, but it casts an otherworldly spell.
  42. You've got to make room in your heart for a film in which the world ends with neither a bang nor a whimper but a cuddle.
  43. It's a terrific performance-and terrifying. Owen Wilson is aging: Where goeth my own youth?
  44. She sometimes falls into the same trap that Lenny Bruce fell into, playing the taboo-breaking emancipator, but for the most part she's blessedly bawdy.
    • New York Magazine (Vulture)
  45. Robot & Frank, like its protagonist, is charming enough to get by with the sleight-of-hand. Its irresponsibility redeems it - it's a raspberry blown against the dying of the light.
  46. Owen is a hugely engaging screen presence.
  47. The movie is a cunning piece of storytelling, but it’s thin.
  48. The result isn’t an all-the-feels, drown-us-in-tears kind of experience, but something rooted in wisdom and clarity. It’s the rare movie that can sacrifice the clean lines of fantasy and melodrama for the messiness of ordinary life — that neither burnishes nor condemns the up-down turmoil of the teenage soul, but rather lets it be.
  49. After seeing "Brokeback Mountain," with its sanctified couplings against a backdrop of purple mountain majesties, some of us felt that Ang Lee owed us a dirty movie with more bodily fluids. Lust, Caution is that movie--for maybe 10 of its 158 minutes. The rest of the film is absorbing, though.
  50. All in all, Frozen River is gripping stuff. Except it's also rigged and cheaply manipulative.
  51. Excruciatingly vivid.
  52. The movie is a broad ethnic comedy, but there’s nothing broad about the wicked-smart way it’s executed.
  53. Too much of this fantasy is filled out with artsy folderol, but it's a movie like no other--except, maybe, one by Guy Maddin.
  54. A lovely confection.
  55. Therein lies part of the dissonance with this often-wonderful, deceptively strange movie. You could get emotional whiplash watching it.
  56. The director of "Gallipoli" and "The Year of Living Dangerously" has muffled the rage and darkness of his best work in favor of an antiquated pleasingness. Master and Commander is a too-comfy classic.
  57. It’s both dumber and more entertaining than anyone had a right to expect.
  58. Tabloid is candy for voyeurs. We laugh like mad at a nut whose only mistake was being born in the last century, too early to have made real money.
  59. As uneven as Ridley Scott’s career; at times, it seems to be a journey through the director’s greatest strengths and weaknesses. The good news is that his strengths eventually win out; the bad news is all the awkward storytelling and botched character interactions we have to wade through to get to the good stuff. Once we do, though, Exodus is a hoot.
  60. At least this time "Goopy" Paltrow gets to perform a few superheroics herself, along with enduring some heavy-duty torture that’s bound to please her haters — for whom the sight of the top of her face being peeled off in "Contagion" was like Christmas in July.
  61. Uncle Boonmee is entrancing-and also, if you're not sufficiently steeped in its rhythms, narcotizing.
  62. Given that this retrograde memory loss has cleansed Doug Bruce's perceptions and made him an altogether more open and emotional person, Unknown White Male suggests that amnesia could be the ultimate chicken soup for the soul.
  63. As a narrative, it’s clunky. As a whodunit, it’s third-rate. As the drama of a closed-off man’s awakening, it’s predictable. But Haggis has got hold of a fiercely urgent subject: the moral devastation of American soldiers serving in (and coming home from) Iraq. At its heart are deeper mysteries--and a tragedy that reaches far beyond anything onscreen.
  64. Half the time in the mystical saga Youth Without Youth, I had no idea what the movie was about, but I always felt that the director and screenwriter, Francis Ford Coppola, did, and that he was deeply in tune--and having a hell of a time--with the material.
  65. The absurdity is what makes it such a hoot-and-a-half.
  66. Batmanglij keeps the movie even-keeled, full of medium close-ups, underscored by ambient plinks and shimmers, with nothing to break the trance until a last scene that upends everything we thought we knew.
  67. Begin Again is very funny, mostly because Ruffalo makes such an adorably rumpled drunken a--hole.
  68. Atonement works reasonably well as a tragic romance, but that sting is dulled. As a book, it was a blow to the head; as a movie, it’s an adaptation of a book.
  69. Menzel’s touch is sprightly, lyrical, mischievously understated.
  70. Taking pretty much every rom-com trope and distilling it into highly concentrated ridiculousness, Wain’s film is both a takedown and a tribute: As with his summer-camp-movie spoof "Wet Hot American Summer," you walk away with a renewed love for the genre.
  71. At times, I found myself wishing Berg focused more on Brower and Krakauer’s investigations and given the film a more present-tense narrative. This is a fascinating movie, but there’s a lot to cover here, and one can occasionally feel lost amid all the strands.
  72. Adam Shankman's movie of the Broadway Hairspray gets better as it lumbers along, but there’s something garish about its hustle--it’s like an elephant trumpeting in your face.
  73. The biggest disappointment is the role that Baumbach wrote for Charles Grodin — his juiciest in many years but with only one or two laugh lines. If nothing else, I wanted Grodin to kick Stiller’s butt across the screen for desecrating the name of "The Heartbreak Kid."
  74. The film is wrenching all the same, and subtle enough in its portrait of the four major grown-up characters to qualify as Jamesian.
  75. The Keeping Room is slow and rather arty, with a chamber-music (plus harmonica and fiddle) score and cinematography that shrouds the faces in shadow. But it’s a fine piece of storytelling and earns its look and feel.
  76. A well-crafted family flick that gets the job done, then gets out of the way.
  77. He’s (Singer) reborn — deft, elegant, spring-heeled — in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The special effects don’t bog him down: They lift the movie to a surreal and more emotional dimension.
  78. The actors manage to show crack comic timing while looking as if they’re groping along blindly — a high compliment for psychodrama.
  79. His (Aoyama) existential odyssey is so attenuated and aloof that he turns suffering into an art thing.
  80. The tony cast emotes like mad, but polished Brits are so temperamentally unlike Russians that every four-syllable patronymic sounds like iambic pentameter.
  81. It helps that Reilly is the opposite of a slob-comic. With his hangdog melancholy, he makes even the nonstop cunnilingus allusions poignant-the product of emotional longing.
  82. Danes gives a marvelously quiet, poignant performance.
  83. Surprisingly diverting as a case study: not only of a talented misfit sublimating like mad to keep his loneliness from consuming him but also of a fringe artistic community (which includes the makers of this film) that rallies to give him the reinforcement he craves.
  84. This is a mood piece, shapeless but often lyric.
  85. While there is some gore late in the film, what makes Backcountry special is the care and patience it invests in its characters and the quiet, haunting tension of its story line.
  86. The driving in the film is a thing of beauty.
  87. Jeunet wants us to know that times are hard for dreamers and that one shouldn't pass up a chance for true love. He means it, no doubt, but he doesn't have the simplicity of soul to quite bring off the sentiment. Still, we're charmed by the attempt.
  88. A shameless but exuberantly well-done caper comedy.
  89. Parts of this film are as blandly lulling as a mood tape, but at best it’s a literally soaring experience.
  90. Dante’s newest movie, Burying the Ex, doesn’t make the leap to satire. It has a lame-pun title, a zombie premise that might have seemed fresh two decades ago, and the sexual politics of an unusually backward adolescent male horror nerd. For all that, it’s a lot of fun, and Dante’s heart is palpably in it.
  91. The script, by Dan Fogelman, is unusually and gratifyingly bisexual - i.e., it boasts scenes from both the male and female points of view!
  92. At its most basic level, Cast Away is a graceful and powerfully rendered survivalist saga.... And yet there's something generic about Chuck's plight. The filmmakers don't opt for the usual happy-face Hollywood ending, but even the half-smile they provide smacks of inspirationalism.
  93. It’s the kind of solid, small-scale, entertaining action flick we probably need more of these days.
  94. All joking aside, this is a director who is incapable of creating something that’s not beautiful. He can, however, on occasion indulge in a little too much cliché.
  95. Whatever the style, the point is blunt, reductive: Civilized humans can transform, in an instant, into blindingly destructive forces of nature. Not exactly an original thesis, but as a source of movie fodder, it’s scarily entertaining.
  96. In truth, I’m not sure the movie jells — even the title, from an album by The Smiths, seems oblique. But I loved it anyway.
  97. It comes together neatly, perhaps too neatly to be … poetry. But it's not prosaic, either. It has a lucid grace.
  98. Michael Keaton is sensational as Kroc.

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