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 Deep Blue Sea
Lowest review score: 0 Movie 43
Score distribution:
1,926 movie reviews
  1. The movie isn't a dud: It has exuberant bits and breathtaking (money money money) effects. But it's supposed to be fun and inspirational, and it's too leaden for liftoff.
  2. But even with bits that are crazily inspired, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is depressing. The Apatow Factory is too comfy with its workers’ arrested development to move the boundary posts. If they could find scripts by female writers that dramatize the other side of the Great Sexual Divide, it might be a place of joy--and embarrassed recognition--for everyone.
  3. It’s the writer, Diablo Cody, and the director, Jason Reitman, who have screws loose. Or maybe they’re just desperate to make their film a chick "Rushmore" or "Garden State."
  4. 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?"
  5. The effect is a bit like watching "Gone With the Wind" with a dumpling substituting for Scarlett O’Hara.
  6. What saves it is Dennis Quaid.
  7. Baldwin is so good in the coming-of-age gangster drama Brooklyn Rules that it's like watching a voodoo priest.
  8. The Sitter feels slapdash and quick, but you might not want to have it any other way.
  9. Should be remembered for a pair of performers -- Derek Luke and Viola Davis, whose cameo as the mother who abandoned him cuts through the sap like an acetylene torch.
  10. It may not entirely work as a movie, but The Muppets shines as a piece of touching pop nostalgia.
  11. I’m not sure Morris clinches his case, but I’m not sure he wants to: His aim is to throw a monkey wrench into the cogs of our perception.
  12. A bit too satisfied with its own sweet sensitivities.
  13. Appropriately pulpy — fuss-free and fast.
  14. 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.
  15. Aside from yet another solid performance from Catherine Keener-playing a Harper Lee just preparing to publish "To Kill a Mockingbird," and here to act as Capote's unheeded moral conscience-that's the ONLY reason to see Capote.
  16. I think of Waitress as an overstuffed, overcooked pie--too ungainly to eat all of, too generous to pass up, too heartbreaking to contemplate for long.
  17. It's one of the weirdest achievements in film history: Temperamentally, Spielberg and Kubrick are such polar opposites that A.I. has the moment-to-moment effect of being completely at odds with itself.
  18. Attains a level of quiet grace. It's too bad that I can barely remember the movie after only a week. Nothing lasts, indeed.
  19. At least the movie never bogs down. But you only get a taste of what made the Clash for a brief period the most exciting band on that side of the Atlantic.
  20. Better approached as an “oooooh” and “awww” fest.
  21. Most of the movie works because the blonde Weixler has a darling-daffy face (a pinch of Alicia Silverstone, a dollop of Drew Barrymore) and a should-I-or-shouldn’t-I ambivalence about sex that’s part realism, part screwball.
  22. Miss Potter hardly deserves ridicule. It's sweet with lovely Lake District vistas and a heartfelt endorsement of land conservation. It will certainly play well with older audiences and the kind of adolescent girls who draw faces in their O's.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    An off-kilter thriller with a sad-sack hero.
  23. 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.
  24. There's no wonder or elation or even dopy sincerity here - just a high level of proficiency and, yes, a lot of expensive CGI.
  25. Friends With Money doesn't quite snap into focus. It just floats along-an agreeable comedy of manners with actors you like to hang out with.
  26. The audience for Hannibal is far more primed for a good time; if the film is a hit, it will be because Lecter has been cartoonized; his ghoulish panache, his double entendres about cannibalism, and his pet phrases like "goody-goody" and "okeydokey" all serve to make him a figure of fun.
  27. 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.
  28. Duplicity is deeply shallow--cheap reversals all the way down. But it's a passably amusing brainteaser.
  29. It's a tough, beautifully judged performance (Davis) - it gives this too-soft movie a spine.
  30. Spartan is a character study embedded in an action-hero scenario. Neither aspect ever really breaks loose.
  31. 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.
  32. It turns out that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is half goofy-great, and half just a goof.
  33. The director, Richard Loncraine, doesn't generate much tension in Firewall's first half...The standard-issue climax is pretty exciting, though.
  34. I like — as always — what Chandor attempts: not just to denounce capitalism but to explain in detail how people go wrong. But the overcomposed, sedate A Most Violent Year lacks the one thing it most needs: violence.
  35. It doesn’t always work as drama, but as a musical, it’s often fantastic.
  36. Neil Young’s concept album turned concert tour turned movie, which is like nothing I’ve ever seen--at least not in an unaltered state.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. Even in a piffle like Something’s Gotta Give, Keaton reminds us of her uncanny ability to inhabit her characters' knockabout emotions.
  40. 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.
  41. This may sound like an Oprah episode, but the outcome is far from predictable and carries the force of a tragedy in which everyone, and no one, is to blame.
  42. For Sabotage, as good as it is in its first half, can’t keep it together.
  43. The Last Samurai is an idyll in which the savageries of existence are transcended by spiritual devotion. That’s a beautiful dream, and it gives the film a deep pleasingness, but the fullness of life and its blackest ambiguities are sacrificed.
  44. It’s powerful, all right, and Downey’s performance is lacerating, but missing is any sense of lyricism in Dark’s hallucinatory yearnings. Without that leap of transcendence, this new Singing Detective doesn’t sing.
  45. 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."
  46. When the film shifts to Shanghai and the club Casablanca, there's too much lustrous-hued loitering and too few martial­-arts set pieces.
  47. City of Men is clunky and often contrived, but there’s something haunting about fatherless boys in a blighted place fumbling to teach themselves what it means to be a man.
  48. It's plotless. It fits no category -- "docudrama tone poem" probably comes closest.
  49. 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.
  50. If the filmmakers had made a point of satirizing the new makeover culture in ways that went beyond camp jibes at décor and suburbia, they might have come up with a classic.
  51. CQ
    Not everything in this ambitious comic escapade works, but Coppola, along with his sister, Sofia, is a real filmmaker. It must be in the genes.
  52. There's something a bit condescending about how the movie devolves into a falling-out-between-friends scenario, as if the only way our attention could be held by this subculture were if it was presented to us sentimentally.
  53. 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.
  54. Inspires the requisite shock and awe, but a little goes a long way. About the fifth time I saw someone slip-sliding away from a 60-foot wave, I longed to hear someone on the soundtrack say, “That guy is really nuts.”
  55. 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.
  56. Idlewild is diverting enough to suggest all the unexplored avenues in movie musicals.
  57. 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.
  58. It's all been done before, and better.
  59. The filmmakers betray the essentially childlike appeal of Shrek by piling up all these too-hip Hollywood references aimed at adults. It's not just kids who will feel cheated.
  60. As Li’l Quinquin seesaws between the horrific and the ridiculous, between the playful and profound, between control and chaos, we may find ourselves both frustrated and riveted. Something tells me Bruno Dumont wouldn’t want it any other way.
  61. An art piece in which everything seems to be a metaphor for something else, and as pleasing as it is to watch, it's too pretentious by half.
  62. Channing's formidably good -- a career woman in extremis -- but the movie, which was written and directed by Patrick Stettner, otherwise unfortunately resembles a product of the Neil LaBute Finishing School.
  63. Blue Ruin is more artful and evocative than any recent revenge picture, but it’s still drivel.
  64. Some first-rate animation and some second-rate storytelling.
  65. The movie is moderately enjoyable, but it also makes you feel conned: It offers up a disturbing protagonist and then substitutes cuteness for character.
  66. The thing is scary as hell when it's all creaks and thumps and doors swinging open. Then come the explanations, the special effects, and the inevitable feeling of been-there-been-­bombarded-by-that.
  67. A montage-happy, occasionally unpleasant film that’s still strangely watchable, The Other Woman is almost saved by a cast that’s … well, likable isn’t quite the word.
  68. For most of this movie, things are exactly what they seem--mediocre.
    • New York Magazine (Vulture)
  69. 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.
  70. In patches it's agreeably lurid, but it's otherwise ho-hum.
  71. The ending is a huge letdown, doing little besides setting the stage for the sequel… But for a good hour and change, the film is a big toy box that teases you out of the Gloom.
  72. Bier dramatizes our ambivalence so earnestly that it's tempting to give her awards rather than admit that the movie is a crushing bore.
  73. Clean, pleasant, and thoroughly unremarkable. It passes the time, but with that cast and that director, it should have been so much more.
  74. The film is based on a novel by Susan Minot--one of those books where the author doesn't deign to put dialogue in quotation marks for fear of dispelling the dreamlike mood. It works on paper, but Minot, who shares credit for the adaptation with fellow novelist Michael Cunningham, doesn't understand that screenwriting is the art of taking away.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The movie is physically beautiful, but the ideas are kitsch -- it’s a New Age love story, the latest version of the doomed romances of 50 years ago.
  75. It's hard to get past the primitiveness of Allen’s fantasies.
  76. 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.
  77. 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.
  78. Spiderwick. There’s nothing wrong with it that passion and personality couldn’t fix.
  79. The film is sometimes gentle to the point of blandness, but it's never flimsy.
  80. An unusually powerful mess, a broad satire of suburban self-indulgence with little in the way of a consistent style, and with a character who's serious business: a convicted child molester.
  81. The film is repetitive, top-heavy: Wright blows his wad too early. But a different lead might have kept you laughing and engaged.
  82. The film may have its roots in reminiscence, but it doesn't feel like it comes from the heart: Zeffirelli's, as usual, is swathed in tinsel. Still, the villas on display are gorgeous, and watching those dowager martinets intimidate the Fascisti is fine sport.
  83. Life After Beth is a reasonably fun, medium-gory horror comedy that’s better before the innards hit the fan.
  84. 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.
  85. The middling romantic comedy Smart People, which centers on a hyperintellectual dysfunctional family, is of interest chiefly for the first post-Juno role of Ellen Page.
  86. Love it or laugh at it, you will gaze on Southland Tales with awe.
  87. It's fascinating trying to separate the thirties material from the mostly maladroit additions.
  88. If you can stay awake, you'll see a performance by ­Keaton that is radiant in its simplicity, all ditheriness shaken off. She's still ­peaking - ­someone give her a great role.
  89. With the transformation of Al Franken from comedian to activist, Nick Doob and Chris Hegedus stumbled onto a good subject, but in the documentary Al Franken: God Spoke, they stumble around in it.
  90. Except for a screamingly funny climax in which he attempts to kidnap Pamela Anderson (who reportedly wasn't in on the joke), I found the Borat feature (directed by Larry Charles, who does similar duties on "Curb Your Enthusiasm") depressing; and the paroxysms of the audience reinforced the feeling that I was watching a bearbaiting or pigsticking.
  91. Pacific Rim made me marvel at the technology of movies, but never the magic of them.
  92. The ultimate effect of this film, directed by actor Diego Luna, is curiously cold — it never transcends the hagiographic nature of its material, despite a talented cast and a compelling subject.
  93. The unfairness of it all would be worth getting more worked up about if Adore were a better movie. It’s not. But it’s a fascinating one nevertheless — a case study in thwarted cinematic ambition and a cautionary tale of stylistic timidity.
  94. If Cheap Thrills ultimately does carry us along, it’s due largely to Healy’s performance and presence. He’s a figure halfway between schlemiel and criminal, and the film effectively works that full range.
  95. There’s a ravishing aliveness to the spacious imagery; at least the clichés have room to roam free.
  96. A routine, stereotype-stuffed sitcom with pretensions.
  97. To be fair, some of it is good, very good. Jersey Boys has an easy, likable gait. It’s Eastwood’s most fluid film: He gets the swing of the music without fancy editing.
  98. Evocative as it is, The Road comes up short, not because it’s bleak but because it’s monotonous.

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