New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,772 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 54% 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: 62
Highest review score: 100 The Avengers
Lowest review score: 0 She Hate Me
Score distribution:
1,772 movie reviews
  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. There's no wonder or elation or even dopy sincerity here - just a high level of proficiency and, yes, a lot of expensive CGI.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. The movie goes soft. But it has the unpretentious energy and charm of a good YA girls' novel.
  9. 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.
  10. One of the more enjoyably terrible movies of the year.
  11. The whole movie is a good try.
  12. 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 The illusion of the drama may be gone, but it's been replaced by something more authentic and adorable.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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. It’s fast, rousing, and blessedly brief.
  19. 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.
  20. As amusing as the movie is, I think in the end that Ascher misses the labyrinth for the trees.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Frances Ha is an irritant when it lingers. When Baumbach’s touch is more glancing — when he cuts before the humiliation — it sings.
  24. The Kings of Summer is far from original, but it’s also far stranger than it seems, in ways both good and bad.
  25. The Heat is kind of a mess, but it’s a funny mess.
  26. 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.
  27. The problem is that the film gets too wrapped up in the myth to tell an effective behind-the-scenes tale.
  28. 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.
  29. Everything unfolds elegantly, understatedly. The movie is a Grisham in Le Carre clothing.
  30. 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.
  31. It doesn’t always work as drama, but as a musical, it’s often fantastic.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. The movie itself isn’t dull. It’s moderately stylish, moderately suspenseful, fun in patches. It hits its marks. But the setup lacks urgency.
  36. 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.
  37. The film itself is uneven, but it’s kind of awesome seeing Bateman act so vile.
  38. 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.
  39. If you can forget what it’s saying, Divergent is fairly entertaining.
  40. 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."
  41. For Sabotage, as good as it is in its first half, can’t keep it together.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. Earth to Echo resonates, despite itself.
  45. 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.
  46. Hercules has no right to be as entertaining as it is.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. Appropriately pulpy — fuss-free and fast.
  50. 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.
  51. The film is too wan and distanced to sweep you up, but it holds you.
  52. 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.
  53. Ali
    Ultimately, Ali is a far more complex creature than this movie allows for.
  54. The filmmakers spend so much time milking gags they should have called it Bridget Jones's Dairy.
  55. 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.
  56. 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.
  57. 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.
  58. What we're getting in this movie isn't necessarily better; it's just more.
  59. 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.
  60. Divided We Fall is intended to be restorative, but its wish fulfillments, while charming, are also a bit too gaga for that.
  61. Some good gross-out inventiveness, but too heartfelt by half. Do we really need the Farrellys to champion inner beauty?
  62. Cage is the only reason to check out an otherwise mediocre movie.
  63. Some first-rate animation and some second-rate storytelling.
  64. It may be that Merchant Ivory need the armature of the past in order to create a sense of the present. Le Divorce is mustier than any of their movies set back in time.
  65. There’s a ravishing aliveness to the spacious imagery; at least the clichés have room to roam free.
  66. Thirteen doesn't really offer much more insight into exasperated mother-daughter relationships or twisted teens than, say, "Freaky Friday," which I much prefer. At least that film was funny and didn't try to fob itself off as a bulletin from the front lines.
  67. A wee Boy Scout would have done far better in the wilds. It’s tough to think "Waiting for Godot" when what you’re watching is closer to "Dumb & Dumber."
  68. Another charmless Hollywood thriller.
  69. In a movie with so much graphic suffering by innocent Africans, it’s a bit disconcerting that so much loving attention is paid to Bruce Willis’s anguished mug. There’s an uncomfortable Great White Father (and Mother) aspect to this movie.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Anthony Hopkins and Antonio Banderas work with professional skill in a ludicrous vehicle.
  70. It would take a filmmaker of truly astonishing versatility to harmonize all these disparate tones...But there are moments in Dreamcatcher when Kasdan gives you the giggles and the creeps at the same time, and that’s not easy to do.
  71. At its best, it's a lively on-the-road chronicle of how to put an act together from scratch.
  72. Too eager to please to be truly dislikable, and Roberts and Cusack have a fine rapport.
  73. Neither terrible nor excellent; Hayek, who also co-produced, may have obsessed for years about this project, but the result is a fairly standard this-happened-and-that-happened biopic.
  74. Predictable, not so much from his (Zhang Yimou) previous movies as from the work of the many sentimentalists who have already plowed this well-tilled turf.
  75. When he's playing a relatively normal guy ringed by eccentrics, as in "There's Something About Mary" and "Meet the Parents," Stiller can be flat-out funny. In Zoolander, he's just one nutso among many, and he cancels himself out.
  76. For most of this movie, things are exactly what they seem--mediocre.
    • New York Magazine (Vulture)
  77. Disposable, sporadically amusing.
  78. Loach has gotten hold of a marvelous subject -- the invisibility of the working poor in the environs of the rich -- that keeps you watching despite all the banner-waving.
  79. This series is in its fortieth year; it might be nice to see Bond battle a readily identifiable, real-world villain for a change. There's certainly no shortage.
  80. For all its agonizing true-life trappings, has the staying power of a grand-scale video game. Manhattan's sushi bars are in no danger of going dark.
  81. Sets out to demonstrate that life is about more than having sex. Inadvertently -- I think -- it ends up showing us just the opposite. As if we didn't already know.
  82. Jarecki shows off this footage as evidence of a truly dysfunctional family in various stages of denial. What it reveals at least as much is the modern phenomenon of reality-TV self-exposure carried to such lengths that, by comparison, the Osbournes look like the Cleavers.
  83. This monstro-budgeted sequel to The Matrix has more than twice as many special effects as the original... there is also more than twice as much philosophic bull as before--and there was plenty of that the first time around.
  84. All this is diverting but also borderline dull.
  85. A frustrating blend of the sharply funny and the ploddingly generic. Although he does them well enough, we don’t really need Ron Shelton to give us the same old skidding-U-turn cop-thriller theatrics. He’s a much more distinctive talent than this crass spree allows for.
  86. There is something sneakily gratifying about all this: Not since the days of "Earthquake" have Hollywood producers so indulged their fantasies of trashing the town.
  87. Undeniably powerful, but also rather numbing.
  88. Frances McDormand deserves much better than Lisa Cholodenko’s flat-footed Laurel Canyon...McDormand alone makes the picture worth seeing: Her character is a rash combo of steel and dissolution and regret.
  89. I've never understood why filmmakers construct romances in which the leads hardly spend any time together.
  90. This is romanticism of a rather low order.
  91. So relentlessly giddy and hyperactive that it doesn’t really need a movie review--it needs a prescription.
  92. Ozon has a smooth gift for scenes of unease, but ultimately Swimming Pool liquifies into a dreary puzzle movie.
  93. I realize Legally Blonde 2 was not intended as scathing political satire, but I wish someone out there in movieland did indeed have just such an intention these days.
  94. Art as a passport to healing may be what audiences are craving these days, but the poultice provided by this movie couldn't cover a paper cut.
  95. The movie is moderately enjoyable, but it also makes you feel conned: It offers up a disturbing protagonist and then substitutes cuteness for character.
  96. A crime thriller that is strong on sultry atmosphere--you practically break into a sweat watching it--but weak on believability.
  97. Intolerable Cruelty, while tolerable, isn't very radical--or very good, either. The Coens wrote the script eight years ago on assignment, not intending to direct it, and that may explain why the result often lacks their customary bizarro facetiousness.
  98. When French New Wave directors like Truffaut and Godard paid tribute to Hollywood pulp, they poeticized it and gave it an infusion of feeling. Tarantino’s tributes are, for the most part, far less complicated: He’s a fan, and Kill Bill is his mash note.
  99. The inevitable showdown between these two paragons is something of a fizzle; there's too much over/under-acting going on.

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