New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,891 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 1 point higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 The Cove
Lowest review score: 0 Funny Games (2008)
Score distribution:
1,891 movie reviews
  1. The film turns into one of those indie parades of eccentrics that are hit-and-miss but mostly miss.
  2. 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.
  3. This is some weak, watered-down stuff.
  4. 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.
  5. It's heartbreaking how rich this failed project is, with enough poetry for several great movies, but not enough push for one.
  6. It’s a dour, drab, dark movie, enlivened by some moderately effective chills in the first half but ultimately undone by its downbeat aimlessness.
  7. This final installment jettisons most of the Zen mumbo-jumbo from the first two movies in favor of lots of very loud explosions. Since I didn’t take the mumbo-jumbo seriously to begin with, my letdown was minor, but aficionados may feel like they’ve been played for suckers.
  8. Insurgent is not a very good movie, but it’s better than it needs to be.
  9. A glossy, depthless melodrama.
  10. I wish Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone had developed more of a life of its own instead of being essentially a flat visualization of the book.
  11. Nearly three %$^&%!!# hours, and they’re brain-freezing.
  12. Most thriller writers don’t aim so high: You really have to grapple with Lehane’s vision to see how tiresome it is.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. It's also rather tawdry. The climax is as ludicrous as any Jack Bauer adventure, and Greengrass is always on shaky ground. Literally.
  16. Wish I Was Here, not unlike its predecessor "Garden State," captures a certain generational drift. It just doesn’t know what to do with it. So it beats the damned thing into the ground until it’s dead.
  17. 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.
  18. Slipshod and tiresome, The Protector 2 is more than a misfire, it’s a betrayal.
  19. It isn't just the violence that is overplayed. There is so much creepy-Gothic Sturm und Drang in The Passion that at times it seems as if Clive Barker should get credit for the story along with Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
  20. Although that pairing (Martin/Latifah) alone may be enough to make this movie a hit, the material is thin and pandering and almost criminally negligent in bypassing opportunities for humor.
  21. Believe it or not, the delicate-featured, whisper-thin actress manages to (mostly) pull it off, but the abysmal movie around her lets her down.
  22. Elf
    I was looking forward to something a tad more satirical than this Hallmark card of a movie, which plugs innocence and goodness like they’re going out of style.
  23. It should be wilder, funnier, nuttier.
  24. Jumper is so in sync with the language of modern action movies that it’s possible to look past its soullessness and go with the quantum flow.
  25. This demonic possession story is at times so lame it makes the last "Paranormal Activity" flick look like a masterpiece.
  26. Does anybody really find this crap scary anymore?
  27. The Grisham-esque murder-mystery plot got so scrambled that, finally, it’s anybody’s guess what the filmmakers intended.
  28. Bana is a likable actor, but he doesn’t bring any vulnerability or transparency to the part; it’s hard to tell what he’s thinking, if he’s thinking anything at all. And so, we move from one bleak, bludgeoning setpiece to another. But with each loud noise, the film loses us more and more.
  29. The original film also featured Rob Schneider. I can’t quite believe I’m saying this, but his presence is sorely missed here.
  30. A well-polished cowpat that will confuse and bore those who know nothing about Shakespeare and incense those who know almost anything.
  31. Kidman is stuck in this pomo movie about the making of a TV-show remake. It’s "Being John Malkovich for Morons."
  32. Being a cultural icon is a time-limited occupation; after a while, the culture moves on, and if you don't move with it, you end up with a movie like Anything Else.
  33. Since this is a coming-of-age movie about a poor rural kid who grapples with the big city, it would be nice if its protagonist weren’t such a lummox.
  34. It isn’t a train wreck--a train wreck would be memorable. What’s wrong is wrong by design.
  35. If all this sounds outrageous, and extreme … don’t worry, it’s not. Provocation coupled with ineptitude doesn’t reveal the ugliness of humanity; it simply reveals the ugliness of the filmmakers themselves.
  36. A weird mix of tired jokes, topicality, and crippling anxiety.
  37. The documentary has its roots in a monologue in which the "guest of Cindy Sherman" (what H-O's place-card read at a gala) stood up for his personhood and made himself the center of the story—only there's NO STORY, not even insight into what made this unlikely couple click. Remove the boldface names and there's no movie; that center does not hold.
  38. If there's anything to be learned from this dud, it's that when you decide to adapt an explosive property like The Da Vinci Code, playing it safe isn't safe: Either swallow hard and make the damnable thing or give it to someone with more guts and/or less to lose. Here is a saga that bombards the very foundations of Western religion. But onscreen, there seems to be absolutely nothing at stake.
  39. O
    It's a doomy dirge of a movie, in which the protagonists, or at least the actors who play them, aren't equipped to handle their outsize passions.
  40. Gets points for oddness. Excellence is another matter.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Wild Things, which was written by Stephen Peters and directed by John McNaughton, lacks fantasy and flamboyance, that it lacks, precisely, wild things, and that most of it is just flat.
  41. Exterminating Angels is meant as an autocritique--and yet the director can't get past his notion of himself as a fearlessly transgressive artist-hero, a martyr to the limitations of male gaze.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    At the end of Sphere, the three principals -- Dustin Hoffman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Sharon Stone -- agree, for the good of humanity, to forget everything that has happened to them in the movie up to that point. This is a pact I can only rush to join, and with exactly the same motive.
  42. The film's Russians are all played by French and Australian actors. Too bad Butterworth didn't find a Russian to play the Brit. That would have made the inauthenticity complete.
  43. The Canyons isn’t just bad, it’s rank — and it takes a peculiar sort of integrity to denude the frame of life to the point where it smells to heaven.
  44. Olympus Has Fallen is a disgusting piece of work, but it certainly hits its marks — it makes you sick with suspense.
  45. An exuberantly garish French movie.
  46. It has been a long time since I've heard people - many people - distinctly yell, "Boo!" Usually they just growl or moan or hiss. They don't bother actually to articulate the word "Boo!" I second their statement. The ending reeks.
  47. Ends with a bunch of goofy outtakes--which are as dismal as the rest of the movie. How do you decide what to leave out when there's nothing worth keeping in?
  48. It's as if an obsessed movie nut had decided to collect every bad war-movie convention on one computer and program it to spit out a script.
  49. Spacey is turning into another Robin Williams: Between this film and "Pay It Forward" he cops the prize for the Sappiest Performances by an Actor Previously Known to Have Great Talent.
  50. Gunner Palace too often makes the grunts look like mean slackers -- precisely the opposite, one presumes, of what was intended.
  51. The new Annie musical starring Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis is pretty bad, but let’s be honest: Despite some decent show tunes, the show was pretty bad to begin with, so it’s not worth getting all righteous about the dumb changes.
  52. Sandler being Chaplinesque isn't pretty; he's just doing his smart-aleck slacker shtick with a moister eye.
  53. A stinker.
  54. The movie, written and directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, is desultory when it's not inept, but the set-up is so good that you can't help sticking it out to the (unforgivable) end.
  55. Somehow both annoyingly overstuffed and depressingly thin.
  56. He (Gibson) ramrods his way through the bugged-out hysterics as if he were appearing in a movie that actually made sense. What a brave heart.
  57. I've never seen a film in which what was actually onscreen seemed so irrelevant.
  58. Forget Pacino; it’s all those red herrings that reek.
  59. It’s forceful, to be sure, but in a lurid way that suggests a telenovela that’s been baking in the sun too long.
  60. The only note of authenticity in the movie comes from Ian Holm, playing the royal physician. What is this nuanced performance -- at least until the final fireworks -- doing in this twaddle?
  61. My daughter wants you to know that the movie is great and that you shouldn’t listen to a hater like me. I envy her belief.
  62. Getaway’s only claim to fame is that it may be the dumbest movie released this summer.
  63. If anything, this series has gotten dumber and more inert as it has progressed, with this last one finally reaching over into an extended wallow in camp.
  64. He's (Gandolfini) the true star of the film, and his stardom is achieved in the most honest of ways, through the sheer brute force of his talent.
  65. Based on an interminable 1994 international bestseller by Louis de Bernières that I found impossible to make my way through. The movie duplicates exactly my experience with the book, although I must say I was thankful to be spared serial outbreaks of hearty Greek dancing.
  66. If the movie didn't pander so madly to the audience for "Sex and the City" and "Legally Blonde," it might have been a comedy touchstone instead of a cringeworthy footnote.
  67. When Lee isn't doing cinematic somersaults or mining for injustice, he doesn't seem to know where to put the camera. The logistics of the plot make no sense, and he has nothing to sell but the theme of our common humanity--in which, on the evidence, I don't think he believes.
  68. As a result, we get relatively little insight into the other characters as they react to Riddick. Without an unknown force to spark our own imaginations, the result is mostly dead air.
  69. It would be a horrific story even if underplayed, but Eastwood shoots it like a horror movie.
  70. A high-toned revenge-of-nature horror picture, it's a little depressed, with only gross-out shocks (gushing jugulars, bodies run over by lawnmowers) to relieve the torpor.
  71. Amusing and annoying in the wrong ratio, maybe 30/70.
  72. A sad, bad, parade of uninspired cameos and listless violence.
  73. From the look of this film, its prime appreciators will be heavy-metal futurist dweebs.
  74. The catastrophe is so pulped and exaggerated that uninformed audiences will safely assume that global warming is just a Democratic scare tactic.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Stupidity is also an issue in the independent film The Real Blonde, in which everyone seems to have suffered an IQ slippage of some 40 points.
  75. Boarding Gate was evidently made quickly and cheaply, and parts of it are fun. It’s too bad there’s no real viewer equivalent--that you can’t WATCH a film quickly and cheaply.
  76. Eddie Murphy and Robert De Niro have made any number of lame movies on their own, but there's a special wastefulness connected to their first co-starring vehicle, Showtime: It's lameness times two, and then some.
  77. One reason Oculus feels so talky and monotonous in spite of its tricky syntax is that the space itself isn’t charged with malignancy. And the monster doesn’t compensate — it’s dumb, blockish, inert. The mirror doesn’t have two faces. It barely has one.
  78. Sort of a Flatliners for the sensitive indie-actor set, The Lazarus Effect is a grimy, dopey, confused thriller that wastes a very likable cast.
  79. For all of R’s allegedly humorous observations about the wasteland of the undead through which he walks, they feel tacked on — like somebody decided to turn this thing into a comedy at the last second.
  80. I've never been sold on this anti-TV thesis. It's snooty. It assumes we in the audience have seen the light denied the lower orders. Invariably, the people in these movies who are rendered blotto by the tube are dingbat common folk. EDtv takes this notion to a new low.
  81. The movie is endless even at less than 90 minutes. You could use it, "A Clockwork Orange" style, as aversion therapy for seemingly incorrigible con artists.
  82. Von Trier has said he wanted to make a genre horror picture, but he couldn’t even come up with a decent metaphor: The climax is out of a Grade C hack-’em-up with people chasing each other through the woods with axes and knives.
  83. Were Shyamalan and Smith deliberately invoking the terror — now omnipresent in urban African-American communities — of lethal asthma attacks in children? I’m not sure how I feel about something so real and so wrenching in the context of a Grade D (unfit for human habitation) sci-fi picture like After Earth.
  84. No matter where he (Von Trier) begins, his dramatic compass drifts toward the same pole: the sexual humiliation of his heroine (How could Daddy let you do this, Bryce?). But it's hard to get too worked up over racial injustice when a director has the temperament of a Klansman.
  85. Movie has been upstaged by the sum of our fears. The staunch heroics, frantic presidential huddles, and hairbreadth rescues all seem tinny and escapist, too Cold Warrior–ish, for what's really going on now.
  86. The dance he (Wang) ended up with is on the wrong lap.
  87. City of Bones isn’t the worst of its kind, but crap served with flair is still basically crap.
  88. Klaatu is a dream role for the beautifully blank Reeves, since he doesn’t even have to pretend to emote.
  89. Maybe, in another time and place, and with different actors and a better director, it might have worked. But this thing collapses right from the get-go.
  90. The role plays all too easily into De Niro's worst current habits. He's dulled himself out in the service of a phony kitchen-sink pseudo-realism. For De Niro, less has become less.
  91. This kind of reverence kills what it seeks to preserve. The movie is embalmed.
  92. Mostly stiff acting and intentionally flat, banal dialogue.
  93. The only reason to check out Big Bad Love is Debra Winger, last seen onscreen in 1995.
  94. I Am Sam is about as connected to the real world as Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham, from which its title is derived -- in fact, in the realism department, Seuss may have the edge.
  95. It’s all so glancing and superficial that the movie doesn’t seem to have a present tense. It goes by like coming attractions. It is, however, a treasury of bad biopic dialogue.
  96. Whatever its politics, Gimme Shelter fails on multiple levels.
  97. No Strings Attached is so palpably calculated that you know if the camera had pulled back a foot from the bed in which Portman and Kutcher were pretending to have sex, you'd have seen their agents standing by beaming: proud parents, proud pimps.

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