New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,655 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 1.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Tosca
Lowest review score: 0 Movie 43
Score distribution:
1,655 movie reviews
  1. A hapless comedy that already seems about ten years out of date, Be Cool is a curious failure.
  2. The time shifts are awkward, and Egoyan displays little of the deftness of characterization he evinced in such movies as "Exotica" (1994) and "The Sweet Hereafter" (1997); the result is a cold scold of a movie.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Steve Martin can be a delightfully spasmodic clown, but his Clouseau makes no sense.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Yet another remake no one needs is The Omen.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Stagedoor features unremarkable rehearsal footage (exhibitionists make poor subjects for vérité documentaries) and thoughtful but unsurprising interviews with camp counselors and parents.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The bigger problem is that Singer’s weighty rhythms are disastrous for Superman, and the movie actually gets heavier in its last half-hour.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It's a stilted thing--overstylized and inexpressive, like high-school kids playing dress-up, or bad Kabuki.
  3. As Willie Stark, Sean Penn demonstrates how a great Method actor can make the world’s most unconvincing rabble-rouser.
  4. It was probably hopeless from the start: The Warhol cosmos is too weird and complicated to lend itself to a conventional Hollywood biopic, and this one is conventional down to Warhol's first glimpse of his future "superstar" bouncing up and down vivaciously in tacky slow motion.
  5. The Situation is, to put it kindly, a spotty piece of work. The script is by Wendell Steavenson, a reporter who seems to know everything about Iraq and next to nothing about screenwriting. The dialogue is flat, and the actors almost never rise above it.
  6. Hannibal Rising is basically a Steven Seagal vigilante movie with a hero who eats the people he kills. At least it's ecofriendly.
  7. If the movie were just these two (Costner/Hurt), bopping around arguing and offing people, it would have been better than the unholy mess it turns into.
  8. Evan Almighty runs out of comic invention early, and the filmmakers fall back on what real politicians do when they exhaust their small stash of ideas: brainless piety.
  9. The Camden 28 is slapdash: more talking heads, reunion footage with the mother reading from her own testimony, newscasts of the day. But the editing supplies some urgency, and the subjects remain radiant yet down-to-earth--too good-humored to be beatific.
  10. As you watch the nannies mistreated and the children left to cry themselves to sleep, the only surprise is that there are no surprises. It’s zombie-land.
  11. Foster’s feminist victimization complex seems to be looping around to meet Nixon and Agnew. Next she’ll be hunting Commies for the FBI.
  12. An unholy mixture of the banal and the bombastic.
  13. The film will be huge. It’s busy. It’s kinetic. It’s a treat for kids. But like much of Seinfeld’s work outside his TV show, it’s impersonal. It doesn’t come from anywhere interesting.
  14. Robert Redford’s Lions for Lambs is the clunkiest, windiest, and roughest of the lot. Most of it is dead on the screen. But its earnestness is so naked that it exerts a strange pull. You have to admire a director who works so diligently to help us rise above all the bad karma.
  15. A derivative horror picture that somehow rises to the level of a primal scream. The premise is simple, by which I mean both easy to understand and feeble-minded.
  16. It was undoubtedly a great experience for everyone involved, and the show itself might have been a romp. But as a movie, Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show makes you think of the days in which troupes that didn’t deliver were run out of town, bullets pinging off their heels.
  17. Such a clunkerama that it made me rethink all the nice things I wrote about its predecessor, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." Could the same people have made both films?
  18. It's empty and formulaic, with plotting that's lazy even by stoner-comedy standards. Without all the yuck-o sight gags, it would be a huge bummer.
  19. Seyfried (of Big Love and Mean Girls) is a radiant object and can sing, but I'd like to forget the others--especially Brosnan, whose singing is the best imitation I've heard of a water buffalo.
  20. With McG's migraine-inducing jerky-cam and monochromatic palette (livened only by splotches of rust), Terminator Salvation puts the numb in numskull.
  21. W.
    W. isn't gripping enough as drama or witty enough as satire. It's neutered.
  22. It's heartbreaking how rich this failed project is, with enough poetry for several great movies, but not enough push for one.
  23. It's written and directed by Kevin Smith--and hats off to him for being savvy enough to go for a piece of the Apatow action! Too bad he doesn't rise to the occasion.
  24. It appears that the filmmakers have taken Hannah Arendt's notion of the "banality of evil" way too literally.
  25. As a film, it's overly tidy, and the surreal concentration-camp climax gave at least one viewer an inappropriate fit of giggles.
  26. This director is too calculating to hold our trust for long, and skepticism will kill transcendence every time.
  27. A shapely, stylish, white-knuckle horror-thriller that hits its marks with blood and thunder. It stinks to heaven, too, but it isn't lame. The streets of Rome haven't run this red since the Inquisition.
  28. What I can't accept is that the stringy, insipidly earnest teen idol Zac Efron would grow up to be the defensively ironic, twisty-faced Matthew Perry.
  29. Most of the dialogue is listless, and no matter how much Soderbergh snips and stitches, the movie is a corpse with twitching limbs.
  30. Travel--finding the self by escaping the self--is central to the novels of Eggers and Vida, but Mendes knows where he's going before he gets there. And so the subject of Away We Go turns out to be not travel but child-rearing, which is at best well-meaning and anguished and at worst downright monstrous.
  31. 9
    For all the Saturday-matinee heroics, the movie is dreary and monotonous, the vision junky in more ways than one.
  32. Michelle Pfeiffer is brittle in a way that's not especially French, but she's poignant and very lovely. Rupert Friend, on the other hand, is difficult to warm up to, especially with his features hidden behind all that hair. It's not a good sign when you have to take the movie's word for it that the lovers at its center are really, really into each other.
  33. This is yet another of Soderbergh’s “exercises in style,” which means he has one big idea and sticks to it. He makes the space shallow and ugly (faces are bathed in orange) and adds groovy sixties titles and Marvin Hamlisch music.
  34. The elements of Precious are powerful and shocking, but the movie is programmed. It is its own study guide.
  35. Weitz’s pacing is so limp you’re going to need the electricity generated by a live audience to keep from yelling, “Hurry it up!”
  36. It's also rather tawdry. The climax is as ludicrous as any Jack Bauer adventure, and Greengrass is always on shaky ground. Literally.
  37. The film turns into one of those indie parades of eccentrics that are hit-and-miss but mostly miss.
  38. Inception manages to be clunky and confusing on four separate levels of reality.
  39. In the golden turd that is Eat Pray Love, everyone helps Julia Roberts find herself so she can then experience true love.
  40. The sequel to an influential eighties motion picture is so loaded with characters and crosscurrents that we wonder why it isn't a thirteen-hour cable mini-series instead of an impacted two-hour mess. The film is like my portfolio: full of promise, with minuscule returns.
  41. With a million times more computing power at its disposal than its 1982 predecessor, Tron: Legacy still looks like Disco Night at the jai alai fronton.
  42. Love & Other Drugs is crazily uneven, jumping back and forth between jerk-off jokes and Parkinson's sufferers sharing their stories of hope. It's the sort of movie in which half the audience will be drying their eyes and the other half rolling them.
  43. Perhaps the late Blake Edwards could have found a balance between slapstick and psychodrama, but Ron Howard can't get the pacing right, and Allan Loeb's script is even wordier than the one he wrote for "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps."
  44. The doughy Damon and aristocratic Blunt don't match up physically, and they never get any Hepburn-Tracy rhythms going that might create some current.
  45. An agreeable time-killer, but I'll bet a couple of clever kids could make a livelier movie with a Woody puppet and a Predator doll.
  46. Luc Besson's Jumping Frog Action Factory looks mighty lame in Colombiana.
  47. Every bit as dumb as August's "Conan the Barbarian" but awash in neon-lit nightscapes and existential dread, with killings so graphic that you can't entirely believe what you're gagging at.
  48. This is the first bad movie that has ever made me call for a sequel - to get it all right.
  49. It's tempting to praise The Ides of March as a realistic depiction of how low we've sunk. But that would mean accepting the second-rate writing and third-rate melodrama and incredible shrinking characters.
  50. It's too bad J. Edgar is so shapeless and turgid and ham-handed, so rich in bad lines and worse readings. Not DiCaprio, though.
  51. The only reason to put yourself through Guy Ritchie's overblown, inelegant Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows is to see Jared Harris, who plays Professor Moriarty, in a chilling low key.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    For all the occasional grace of its high-flying derring-do, Red Tails barely feels like a movie. It's an uncertain hodgepodge of impulses and desires that never coheres enough to even crash and burn.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Wrath at least has the good sense to try to have a little fun with its mince-myth premise. It's better than Clash, but it's still not particularly good.
  52. The screenplay by Seth Grahame-Smith is witless and meandering, though the witlessness wouldn't matter so much if it moved, or the meandering if it were droll.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    For a movie that deals with rape, criminality, and even racks up a real body count, Hick is whisper-thin and instantly forgettable.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Unfortunately, there's also a certain artificiality to the whole film, both visually and narratively.
  53. There isn't anything in this Total Recall to match the immortal Arnold Schwarzenegger send-offs, "See you at the pah-ty" and everyone's favorite alimony killer, "Consider this a divorce."
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    360
    How odd then that a film all about human connections manages to make none of its own.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    For all its feints at sensitivity, this isn't a movie, it's a machine, and it's hard not to be impressed - perhaps even awed - by the sheer ruthlessness with which it jerks the tears from your eyes. If anything, a real movie might just have gotten in the way.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It's a shame, though, that so many of The Possession's later scenes, particularly the exorcism stuff at the end, is mostly a grab bag of tired old scares. You might have convinced yourself, for a while at least, that this one was going to rise above the crowd.
  54. The screenwriters go out of their way to prepare you for Taken 3: Serbedzija has more sons, and Kim's virginity is getting harder and harder to preserve.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    But the real problem behind Paranormal Activity 4 is that its entire raison d'être has gotten old; producer Oren Peli, who directed the first one, even included some gentle digs at the found-footage genre in his superior "Chernobyl Diaries," released earlier this year.
  55. The cast comes off like a third-rate stock company on the matinee after the night on which everyone got bombed on mescal (and possibly mescaline).
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It's a perfect fortune cookie of a movie, full of bland life lessons for everybody; would that there were some drama or style in it somewhere along the way.
  56. Every unhappy movie is unhappy in its own way, and Joe Wright's Anna Karenina is as boldly original a miscalculation as any you're likely to see.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The movie's a smorgasbord of horror, and, ironically, that takes the teeth out of it. We're not really in this villain's world, because we don't know what his world is, or what he is, or what he's trying to even do. It's like a nightmare designed by someone who's heard a lot about nightmares but has never actually had one.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It collapses on all fronts, delivering hot-button platitudes and just-add-water character development.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The climax of Texas Chainsaw 3D is a bit more interesting and unpredictable than the usual horror-movie third act. But it feels like it's bred more out of desperation than anything organic; you can sense the gears turning in the screenwriters' heads as they try to figure out a way to breathe some fresh life into this franchise.
  57. The period thriller Gangster Squad plays like an untalented 12-year-old's imitation of Brian DePalma's "The Untouchables."
    • 28 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    As the film progresses, the actor fails to progress with it: As Charles Swan seems to become more aware of his loneliness, Charlie Sheen seems to become more protective of his Charlie Sheen–ness.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The movie’s not all bad. There’s palpable chemistry between Duhamel and Hough. The former particularly seems well-suited to this sort of thing: He has just the right amount of grizzled charm to be one of those wounded hunks Sparks likes so much.
  58. Wasikowska drabs herself down. Her body is undefined in dowdy clothes, her hair hangs limply. But her eyes usher you into her inner world, with its battle between girlish longing and the impatience to move on and be what she really is — whatever that might be. It’s a richer performance than the movie deserves.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    In the end, 21 and Over is more exhausting — and exhausted — than funny or wild.
  59. Aside from a trio of witches that can hold its own with Eastwick’s in the dishiness department, Oz the Great and Powerful is a peculiarly joyless occasion.
  60. That first half of Admission is a lot for an actress to overcome. It’s not just very bad, it’s very fast, as if someone had overwound the metronome. Fairly naturalistic lines are delivered at the pace of screwball zingers — which stubbornly refuse to zing.
  61. Spring Breakers strikes me as another of Korine’s calculated punk outrages, a sploog in Disney’s direction.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    That G.I. Joe silliness the first film embraced has been steamrolled into tentpole flatness this time around. It’s not stoopid anymore, but just plain stupid.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    As a piece of suspense, it ain’t exactly "North by Northwest," or even "Three Days of the Condor"; the awkward attempts at chase scenes make it clear that Redford the actor, who has always given off a slightly lugubrious air, has lost a step or two physically.
  62. The Lords of Salem is gloomy, lacks variety, and is not without its flat patches. Heidi is an increasingly dullish heroine, and in the first 15 minutes you’ll know what’s going to happen in the next 80.
  63. Oblivion is like that movie-within-a-movie: Everything in it feels 100 percent inauthentic. That vibe, as it happens, turns out to be intentional. But when the humans arrive, it’s still a narcotic.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The Big Wedding isn’t terrible. De Niro is actually pretty good here — the script gives him plenty of raunchy one-liners, and, while they’re mostly lame, he delivers with conviction, which counts for something nowadays.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The result: Characters we genuinely care about are lost in a movie that almost dissipates before our very eyes.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Vehicle 19 sets up a fascinating conceit for itself, and then loses interest in delivering on it. It just wants to get to the cool car chase, but by the time it does, we’ve stopped caring.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It would be too much to say that there’s a good movie somewhere inside Smurfs 2 looking to get out. But it wouldn’t be too much to say that sometimes, the movie we do have tries harder than we might expect.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The result is a loose conglomeration of jokes that never really holds together: Funny in parts, but overwhelmed by the bland emptiness where its protagonist should be.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    This is some weak, watered-down stuff.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    On just about every other level other than visuals, Planes is dry, dry, dry. There's no verbal wit, no standout vocal performances.
  64. The fact that the movie’s focus is how and why he renounced the world, moved to Cornish, New Hampshire, and stopped publishing makes it worse, somehow. Salerno probably didn’t mean it this way, but he gives you the impression he came to mock his subject: We’ve got you now, you antisocial bastard.
  65. But Besson — by no means a bad filmmaker — has gotten rich off that kind of violence that upsets no one, least of all jaded international action audiences. He tries to have it both ways and fails some of cinema’s most precious resources.
  66. This is a movie that can’t decide on the story it wants to tell, and can’t seem to tell it particularly well, either.
  67. The new Carrie isn’t atrocious — just flat and uninspired and compromised by the kind of mindless teen-movie “humanism” that De Palma so punkishly spat on.
  68. The lesson of this is that there’s no easy way to dramatize the story of Julian Assange and that trying to turn it into a conventional melodrama is not just politically irresponsible but dull-witted.
  69. A thoroughly boilerplate bayou actioner, with one notable feature. It’s got good villains – nasty, delirious, stupid villains, among them Franco and Ryder – and for that it’s almost worth seeing. Almost.
  70. A veritable orgy of immorality, each scene making the same point only more and more outrageously, the action edited with Scorsese's usual manic exuberance but to oh-so-monotonous effect.
  71. The result is maybe more interesting than we might have expected, but it’s not particularly funny.

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