New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 2,087 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 1 point higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 The Incredibles
Lowest review score: 0 The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)
Score distribution:
2,087 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. The actors manage to show crack comic timing while looking as if they’re groping along blindly — a high compliment for psychodrama.
  3. His (Aoyama) existential odyssey is so attenuated and aloof that he turns suffering into an art thing.
  4. The tony cast emotes like mad, but polished Brits are so temperamentally unlike Russians that every four-syllable patronymic sounds like iambic pentameter.
  5. 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.
  6. Danes gives a marvelously quiet, poignant performance.
  7. 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.
  8. This is a mood piece, shapeless but often lyric.
  9. 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.
  10. The driving in the film is a thing of beauty.
  11. 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.
  12. A shameless but exuberantly well-done caper comedy.
  13. Parts of this film are as blandly lulling as a mood tape, but at best it’s a literally soaring experience.
  14. 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.
  15. The script, by Dan Fogelman, is unusually and gratifyingly bisexual - i.e., it boasts scenes from both the male and female points of view!
  16. 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.
  17. It’s the kind of solid, small-scale, entertaining action flick we probably need more of these days.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. It comes together neatly, perhaps too neatly to be … poetry. But it's not prosaic, either. It has a lucid grace.
  21. It comes by its emotions honestly and wins you over.
  22. Gibney does finally kick the focus off Abramoff to bemoan the legalized-bribery system that’s the rule, not the exception.
  23. So fizzy it nearly fizzles out.
  24. There's something appealing about the movie's unpretentious carnival of carnage, although I could have done without the flamethrower assault on a school bus to raise the stakes.
  25. I can’t help thinking the movie’s amorphousness would have worked better with a more definite actor — someone who didn’t disappear so fully into the scene. Eden has a remarkable orbit, but it spins around a void.
  26. The usual Sayles mix of torpor and talent prevails here.
    • New York Magazine (Vulture)
  27. Mr. Peabody & Sherman is slight, but it’s exceedingly charming, making good use of a talented voice cast.
  28. The movie might be scary for small kids--but good scary, with goose-bump-inducing frames, witty repartee, and three resourceful kid protagonists.
  29. The movie nails all this, and it’s smashingly effective as melodrama. But McQueen’s directorial voice — cold, stark, deterministic — keeps it from attaining the kind of grace that marks the voice of a true film artist.
  30. It's not fresh terrain for satire, yet most of the jokes play riotously well.
  31. Mud
    It’s hard to believe Nichols thinks he can get away with all this and harder still to believe he does. It’s the quality of the attention that he brings — his focus — that makes his work so engrossing.
  32. Equal parts trippy, tacky, and monumental, the blend surprisingly agreeable, a happy change from all those aggressively down-to-earth superhero flicks like "Iron Man."
  33. Cooper's performance is outlandishly great, but Phillippe’s knocks Breach down a peg.
  34. Praying With Lior engages us on so many levels it transcends its middle-class Jewish milieu.
  35. That very unknowability, which hampered so many Efron performances in the past, turns out to be his most humanizing trait, and Neighbors’ secret weapon.
  36. Its tone is semi-parodic, with lurid black-and-white cinematography and brassy, tongue-in-cheek music. But Harron stops well short of camp.
  37. The briskness of The Sessions works against it: It lacks the fullness of the best films of its ilk, chief among them Jim Sheridan's "My Left Foot." But Lewin lets his eye wander pleasingly.
  38. It’s sort of like "Pitch Perfect 2," only with better music and dancing and less trumped-up conflict.
  39. Little turns out well in Rebecca Dreyfus's Stolen, a haunting and expansive documentary.
  40. In the world of bloated movie-star vehicles, it's not unusual to see an ego trip of these dimensions. What’s rare is when one hits its marks so smoothly.
  41. At its best in the interludes between explosions.
  42. Hot Fuzz is fun, and it's nice to see all the English character actors who aren't busy in Harry Potter films, but it lacks its predecessor's freshness.
  43. Our familiarity with the actors, and their comfort in this period setting, lend the piece an unexpected air of naturalism.
  44. Amy
    Alternately thrilling and devastating, throwing you back and forth until the devastation takes over and you spend the last hour watching the most supernaturally gifted vocalist of her generation chase and find oblivion.
  45. Has some rapturously observant sequences concerning childhood.
  46. The movie is clipped, blunt, and grimly realistic. It is practically a POLICIER , although the suspense is mitigated by our knowledge that the investigation will end badly.
  47. In his florid sci-fi opera Interstellar, Christopher Nolan aims for the stars, and the upshot is an infinite hoot — its dumbness o’erleaps dimensional space. It’s hugely entertaining, though.
  48. It's an opulent, if instantly disposable, kinetic joyride.
  49. 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.
  50. Apart from having no particular reason to exist onscreen, especially at these prices, it's not half bad.
  51. It's a marvelous, resonant joke that never quite succeeds: Stretches of the film resemble a Dario Argento horrorfest crossed with a Mel Brooks spoof. But the director, E. Elias Merhige, and his screenwriter, Steven Katz, occasionally bring some rapture to the creepiness, and Dafoe's vampire, with his graceful, ritualistic death lunges, is a sinewy, skull-and-crossbones horror who seems to come less out of the German Expressionist tradition than from Kabuki.
  52. The movie does a good job of capturing how ostracism and liberation are sides of the same spinning coin.
  53. 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.
  54. This is not the kind of material for a stately biopic or a political drama. This is nasty, strange business — perfect for Ferrara, whose work often hovers between art and exploitation, between angst and sleaze.
  55. Has an appealing rawness.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Sure, it’s the Jamie Foxx breakout role. But the movie around it is so systematically “inspirational” that it comes perilously close to sabotaging the breakout.
  56. Hercules has no right to be as entertaining as it is.
  57. The descent into a tepid thriller of sexual jealousy slowly negates the abstract, almost metaphorical quality of this film — and it ultimately undoes the spell cast by that mesmerizing first half.
  58. Something is missing, though. The themes are all there, but the movie doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier and rev you up.
  59. Franklin directs smoothly, but except for Freeman, the theatrics are pretty pro forma.
  60. It’s puffed up in obvious ways but disarmingly puckish in others. As that capering pirate, De Niro is god-awful--yet his gung-ho spirit wins him Brownie points.
  61. It’s a cracker­jack piece of filmmaking, a declaration that he’s (Eastwood) not yet ready to be classified as an Old Master, that he can out-Bigelow Kathryn Bigelow. Morally, though, he has regressed from the heights of Letters From Iwo Jima (2006). In more ways than one, the Iraq occupation is seen through the sight of a high-powered rifle. The movie is scandalously blinkered.
  62. Suggests a cross between "Sunset Boulevard" and "All About Eve." The suggestion, alas, doesn't go very far, but Bening's performance approaches the pantheon.
  63. The movie isn't as world-shattering as those bouts: It's a regretful-old-warrior weeper.
  64. It’s a genre-bending mash-up, a non-vampire vampire movie about class, race, love, and cruelty. It consciously seeks to marry its diverse influences in an attempt to present something between schlock and art house, between passionate gore and urbane chill. It contains multitudes, and not always all that well.
  65. This one is dully conventional even by family-uplift standards. The details are sweated, all right: It's a triumph of perspiration over inspiration.
  66. Look closely and you may see that this madame is alive in all sorts of ways. At least for its first half, this is a textured, haunted, remarkably empathetic film.
  67. Earth to Echo resonates, despite itself.
  68. 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.
  69. 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.
  70. The Scorch Trials isn’t a particularly good movie, but it’s just fast and nutty enough to keep you entertained.
  71. This is familiar terrain jazzed up by unfamiliar voices--principally Terrence Howard and his high-pitched, singsong drawl. You don't quite know what he's thinking; he might even be demented. But he keeps you watching and guessing.
  72. Hardy, it seems, is an ecosystem of love and hate and betrayal and madness unto himself. The rest of Legend just can’t keep up.
  73. Anderson is something of a prodigy himself, and he's riddled with talent, but he hasn't figured out how to be askew and heartfelt at the same time. When he does, he'll probably make the movie The Royal Tenenbaums was meant to be, and it'll be a sight to see.
  74. Suffragette is slick and efficient, but also diffuse and formless; it’ll pass the time but it fails to engage.
  75. Except for a few brilliant flashes, mostly from Peter O'Toole as Hector’s father, the Trojans' magisterially woebegone King Priam, Troy is a fairly routine action picture with an advanced case of grandeuritis.
  76. Even when it spreads itself too thin, Look Both Ways enlarges your perception of the here-and-now--and what movies can do to transcend it.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Ronin is well-made, but it's an act of connoisseurship for people who have given up on movies as an art form.
  77. LaBute is attacking our society’s obsession with the surface of things, whether it be a painter’s canvas or a human one, but his drama is, in itself, relentlessly superficial.
  78. Margot at the Wedding doesn’t develop; it just skips from one squirmy scene to the next.
  79. It's the worm set pieces that rule, as our hero must carry out a dare to eat ten worms ten ways between sunup and sundown.
  80. Fortunately, there are more than enough moments when the heavy-handedness gives way to the sheer bliss of ordinary magic.
  81. Zoo
    Devor doesn't endorse horse-on-man sex, but he does attempt--with sympathy--to account for the appeal.
  82. Holy Rollers fuses a somber, old-world palette with a jittery urban unease--a good mix of tones. It’s also wonderfully acted.
  83. The film itself is uneven, but it’s kind of awesome seeing Bateman act so vile.
  84. Watching it is like getting a peek behind the curtain. But it's frustrating, too, because the casting of Emadeddin as a murderer-in-the-making precludes any psychological depth. And as an indictment of social inequality, which is the film's calling card, Panahi inadvertantly makes a far better case for the haves than for the have-nots.
  85. Powerfully rendered in every respect - and another testament to how bad the Nazis are for drama.
  86. Hotel Transylvania 2 is minor, to be sure, but given the comedian’s recent work, it still counts as a pleasant surprise.
  87. He doesn’t entirely succeed, but the attempt has poignancy: As uneven as much of his recent work has been, Bertolucci's still in love with the movies, and his ardor--if not always the ends he puts it to--is exhilarating.
  88. Scene by scene, Jindabyne has dramatic force, but it's an awfully long slog. Carver's smartest tactic was never outstaying his welcome.
  89. 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.
  90. 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.
  91. 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.
  92. It gets the job done and then some, but it's ugly and clumsily shaped, and every scene is there to rack up sociological points.
  93. 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.
  94. 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.
  95. As amusing as the movie is, I think in the end that Ascher misses the labyrinth for the trees.
  96. Though a mess by all conventional narrative standards, Avengers: Age of Ultron is a fascinating case study in the rules of “universe” storytelling. Chief among them is that a film may not be self-contained — it must constantly allude to worlds outside its own. Marvel fans want extra characters, extra subplots, in-jokes that pander to their supposed breadth of knowledge. They don’t want closure.
  97. The problem is that Allen is getting a bit long in the tooth to be playing a romancer-rescuer, and since he and Helen Hunt have a rather frigid actorly rapport, we have plenty of time to notice the awkward, and barely acknowledged, disparity in their ages.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Not revolutionary or even evolutionary but enormously .... methodical. Working from an Elmore Leonard novel, Tarantino has created a gangster fiction that is never larger than life and sometimes smaller.

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