New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,822 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 0.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Waltz with Bashir
Lowest review score: 0 She Hate Me
Score distribution:
1,822 movie reviews
  1. I enjoyed this piece of southern-fried screwball Gothic whimsy (with jolts of CGI spell-casting for the multiplex crowd) so much that I’m sad to admit that it’s nowhere near as potent as "Twilight."
  2. Somewhere inside The Last Exorcism Part II is a very good thriller — a genuinely unnerving movie about possession — struggling to get out. But then the sound drops out, the music shrieks, a figure jumps out, and we’re back to the same old, same old.
  3. More a dark fairy tale about vengeance than the action-packed crime thriller it purports to be, the film is at times exhilarating, bold, and beautiful — when it’s not busy being ludicrous, fragmented, and just plain stupid.
  4. The segments are essentially monodramas, so sketchily written that the big moments feel less like recognizable human behavior than recognizable screenwriter overreaching.
  5. The passing of the torch from Raimi to Alvarez is not a momentous occasion. In the end, who really cares? Five years from now, will you want to watch this bloody $14 million extravaganza or Raimi’s shoestring original, which was Amateur Hour elevated to pop art?
  6. To the Wonder feels like generalized woo-woo—and self-parody.
  7. Pleasant, if inane – helped along by a likable cast that’s clearly having fun.
  8. Leterrier’s film is the kind that doesn’t stand up well to scrutiny: The more you know about it, the more befuddled you’ll be.
  9. The movie isn’t dead on arrival, like Snyder’s over-reverent "Watchmen." But it’s pleasure-free.
  10. Some of that fun is infectious. For a while. Maybe 45 minutes. But when actors look as if they’re having a better time than you are, the buzz wears off fast. You turn into a wallflower at an especially obnoxious party.
  11. Without a character, he’s (Pitt) back to that soft, appraising, Robert Redford Jr. stare, his mouth half open as if he’s about to speak but plainly with nothing on his mind apart from, “This is what a movie star looks like without any lines.” The ghouls are having deeper thoughts.
  12. In Redemption, too, Statham brings real conviction to the part of a broken man who winds up breaking himself even more. Look beyond the generic shell, and this wildly imperfect movie appears to have a rare soul lurking inside it.
  13. The story doesn’t feel dramatized. It feels pitched.
  14. Pacific Rim made me marvel at the technology of movies, but never the magic of them.
  15. No movie with this much ass-kicking should feel so lifeless. Nothing in Red 2 is actively offensive, but for the most part, it’s hard to really care for anything that’s happening to these characters.
  16. Slapped with the generic title The Wolverine, the fifth feature-length appearance of Hugh Jackman’s X-Man John Logan is basically "The Bad News Wolverine Goes to Japan" and is not especially world-shaking.
  17. Lovelace is a respectable job, but it never goes deep.
  18. The action is bludgeoning. When Max gets pummeled by fists and lethal objects, we get pummeled by light and noise and rock-'em-sock-'em editing. No shrimp, though. As a narrative, "District 9" wasn't particularly original, either — in the end it was a standard conversion melodrama. But everything is better with shrimp.
  19. 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.
  20. The movie substitutes milky, washed-out color and funereal music for insight. The murders are purposely un-fluid: When you see Mohammad or Malvo take a shot, you don’t see the impact of the bullet. When you see the victim struck, you don’t see the shooter.
  21. Villeneuve is trying like hell to elevate what turns out to be a dumb genre picture.
  22. Luckily, there is a movie you can watch instead that will give you both fascinating context and awesome dancing. It’s called "Planet B-Boy."
  23. Ben Affleck makes for a pretty good jerk, but he can’t pull off outright villainy. That’s probably the main problem with the crime thriller Runner Runner.
  24. Kill Your Darlings wants to be a young man’s movie, but it’s all “cinema du papa,” as the French New Wave used to call it. The philosophical disconnect is downright cosmic.
  25. About Time is like a sermon that starts with a few good jokes and ends with tremulous exhortations to live, live.
  26. Ender’s Game’s only lyrical presence is Breslin’s. The actress has a gentle soul. In the end, she’s the movie’s mascot, and its mournful spirit.
  27. We know where it’s going, and it doesn’t take long to get there. There are some good jokes along the way, a few of them blandly off-color.
  28. However you cut it, with all that talent, Charlie Countryman feels like a sad, wasted opportunity.
  29. Look, Dear Mr. Watterson is a nice movie. Calvin & Hobbes fans may get a kick out of it. But it falls squarely into the promotional genre of documentary filmmaking — the same way so many music docs nowadays seem to be just movies about how awesome the director’s favorite band is.
  30. Delivery Man feels more unformed, as if nobody’s bothered to give it that extra coat of slick Hollywood paint to cover up the patchwork beneath.
  31. We’re supposed to take this more seriously because it takes itself more seriously.
  32. In the all-star movie adaptation of August: Osage County, another play that holds the stage with fang and claw feels less momentous onscreen.
  33. This one never quite decides if it wants to be a big, boisterous epic or a solemn retelling, and it nearly disappears into the crack between the two.
  34. Exquisitely produced, immaculately acted, and thoroughly uninvolving, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a perfect nothing of a movie.
  35. It all mostly works, but you can’t help but wonder at times if it could have been a lot funnier if it had just a bit more edge.
  36. A comic-tragic-sentimental genre hodgepodge that wants to make you feel all the feelings amid all that action spectacle. It doesn’t entirely deliver, but at times you can’t help but admire its strangeness.
  37. While the imagery in this retelling is impeccable, the story is strangely lifeless.
  38. The best thing about the new 300: Rise of an Empire is that Zack Snyder didn’t direct it. And the worst thing about it is that Zack Snyder didn’t direct it.
  39. Based on the popular video games, this is a movie with breathtakingly visceral racing scenes, and they are matched by a breathtakingly, breathtakingly terrible script.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. Alan Partridge awkwardly tries to wed the episodic spirit of the character with the feature-length demands of a theatrical experience. The result is a mess, but it’s got some choice bits. Even if you forget the film itself, you might find yourself quoting parts of it for years.
  43. You wish Rio 2 had the smarts and the inventiveness to match its scattered bursts of ambition.
  44. Hateship Loveship is in no way a comedy, but Wiig's enormous presence threatens to make it so. She can't disappear into the void, so the drama onscreen becomes hard to take seriously.
  45. Transcendence never quite succeeds at telling a story of scientific overreach. And it doesn’t really click as an action movie either. But as a human tragedy of man and monster, of beauty and beast, it has just enough genuine pathos that you wish it were better.
  46. Blue Ruin is more artful and evocative than any recent revenge picture, but it’s still drivel.
  47. 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.
  48. Bloated and often boring and has absolutely no reason to exist, but that it also hits its marks. No fanboy will pass it up. No studio head will lose his or her job.
  49. It’s not a bad film, exactly, but it’s a jumbled, uncertain one, and it never quite makes a compelling case for itself.
  50. The problem is that he — unlike most modern sci-fi directors, who throw so much CGI at you that they make miracles cheap — seems peculiarly stingy when it’s time to deliver.
  51. Transporting, well acted, and occasionally powerful. It’s also a rushed, maddening mess.
  52. Jolie’s commitment to the part is admirable: She gives this Maleficent a real emotional urgency. But the rest of the movie lets her down.
  53. Watching the movie is at once electrifying and maddening.
  54. You spend a lot of the movie confused, but the great big reveals of its finale don’t feel very shocking at all. Yet it’s not a complete wash and, given the circumstances, that feels like an accomplishment.
  55. 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.
  56. Mostly uninspired and insipid, but it rallies, and builds up enough comic steam by the end that you might find yourself amused.
  57. They make you wish Haggis would put away the Great Themes, the belabored dialogue, the forced narrative dynamics, and just figure out a way to scale down his scope and tell smaller stories. Maybe it’s not all as connected as he thinks.
  58. The sequel, Planes: Fire and Rescue, is still a DisneyToon production, but it does aim higher, with a visual zip that was lacking from the first. It is, in almost all respects, a better movie. It’s still not particularly good, though.
  59. Clean, pleasant, and thoroughly unremarkable. It passes the time, but with that cast and that director, it should have been so much more.
  60. It starts off with a flourish and winds up limp, like a rabbit pulled out of a hat that turns out to be dead.
  61. The film never quite reconciles the banality of this love triangle with its far more interesting depiction of the rest of these characters’ lives.
  62. Let’s Be Cops has its moments, but it in no way distinguishes itself.
  63. You wind up with a movie that plays like a low-rent "Logan’s Run" crossed with a UNICEF commercial.
  64. Life After Beth is a reasonably fun, medium-gory horror comedy that’s better before the innards hit the fan.
  65. The highest-gloss revenge porn imaginable. It’s hard to believe that so much visual elegance has been brought to bear on material so ugly, and yet the disjunction is intentional, and the film is all of a piece.
  66. The real-life story behind When the Game Stands Tall sounds amazing. But for all its exciting sports scenes, the movie version falls flat as drama.
  67. Anyone who has ever ended a relationship and taken long walks in the rain will relate, at least until the characters open their mouths.
  68. Somewhere in this mess, there might be a very good movie.
  69. Tusk is not a particularly good movie, but the vivid anxiety dream at its heart makes it one of the most personal films this writer-director has ever made.
  70. There’s a special kind of hell for artists who array vigilante revenge-porn in saintly garb, and Denzel Washington and director Antoine Fuqua should go to the front of that damnable line after The Equalizer.
  71. It’s a case of diminishing returns: gorgeous, occasionally evocative, but, in the end, mostly dull.
  72. In The Judge, a legal drama that builds to the requisite Hollywood Dark Night of the Soul, Robert Downey Jr. has a role so far inside his comfort zone that the movie has no drive, no urgency.
  73. A central figure who’s all bad is even more boring than one who’s all good. He has no dramatic stature. He’s a case study. The audience should be paid to listen up.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    This is a film full of unremarkable compromises — the kind that result in a bland film rather than a bad one.
  74. It’s a strange spectacle: a horror film that spends as much time dismantling suspense as it does building it.
  75. The movie’s take at times is fascinating. But it’s basically one long, sick joke played at half speed. It’s a ponderous, sick joke.
  76. It puts the same characters into a vaguely familiar situation, with diminishing, tepid returns. They should have just called it 2.
  77. Has its fun moments, and the dialogue, some of which was surely improvised, has a natural flow. But Soderbergh suffocates everything with stylistics. Soderbergh is exploring his navel.
  78. A movie like Hart's War, for all its realistic trappings, is essentially escapism. And yet it inadvertently pushes the 9/11 button. The real world is going to intrude a lot this year at the movies. Better get used to it.
  79. On the reasonable assumption that no movie featuring an Elvis impersonator can be wholly bad, I was prepared for a high old time at 3000 Miles to Graceland, which exhibits a plenitude of Elvi. The exhibition does not last very long, however. Less than a third of the way through, the filmmakers jettison the premise and trash their own movie.
  80. Some of this stuff is uncomfortably close to minstrelsy. Bad Company closes on a patriotic note in a brief scene that pays heartfelt tribute to the terrorist-thwarting sacrifices of the CIA. Timing is everything, I guess.
  81. In the end, Powell thanks his doctor for sharing the journey, but audiences who sit through this zoologically daft back-to-nature clinker may feel far less charitable.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Devoured by its own mechanical ostentation, generates no emotional involvement, and has a smart-ass, infinitely less powerful ending than the original.
  82. Stoppard and his director, Michael Apted, must be aware of how dry their film is, because periodically they work in little thriller divertimenti -- car chases and such -- that only serve to point up how un-thrilling everything is.
  83. The thinness of the movie, which is what is intermittently enjoyable about it, is at odds with its sob-sister pretensions.
  84. An arty sleepwalk. Thornton has developed a style of acting that goes beyond minimal into the near nonexistent.
  85. The necklace in this movie was crafted by the elite London jewelers Asprey and Gerrard -- out of cubic-zirconium stones. That's just about perfect. The Affair of the Necklace is a cubic-zirconium epic.
  86. Twisted and outrageous but ultimately artificial. Albert Brooks did this art-reality thing a lot better years ago in "Real Life," his takeoff on PBS's "An American Family," and was sidesplitting besides.
  87. Together, Lopez and Caviezel make quite a pair. Sorrowful yet hip, they seem to be inventing a new mood: designer melancholia.
  88. There's not much here for a great actor to sink his teeth into once, let alone twice.
  89. As murderous amusements go, the film is mildly diverting, but it's like a faint facsimile of a Claude Chabrol film.
  90. Glenconner is such a class-conscious caricature that he doesn't need the filmmakers to do him in; he does a sterling job all by himself.
  91. Sets up a cast -- and then proceeds to knock them down like ducks in a shooting gallery.
  92. This unrated documentary, which contains no hard-core shots, could have used more hog and less hedge, if you catch my drift: When Jeremy drones on about his quest to be cast in mainstream movies, dullness sets in.
  93. Thank God for Barrymore: When Beverly's water breaks and she looks down at her feet and cries, "This is so gross," you know how good this actress can be, and how good this movie might have been.
  94. Another in a long line of middling movies for Travolta, who must have been so stunned to regain his stardom with "Pulp Fiction" that he hasn't stopped working since.
  95. This is low-grade satire. The shocks to the system in Buffalo Soldiers are nothing more than cheap thrills.
  96. The Coens have a true feeling for the sleek surfaces of the genre, but they don't connect with its sordid, sexy undercurrent; that's why Crane is made to seem so passive.
  97. A glossy, depthless melodrama.
  98. For all its triteness, Sheridan's sentimentality has its poignancy: This adolescent boy is all set up to live out a halcyon life he'll never have.

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