New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,931 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 0.9 points 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:
1,931 movie reviews
  1. Together, Lopez and Caviezel make quite a pair. Sorrowful yet hip, they seem to be inventing a new mood: designer melancholia.
  2. It appears that the filmmakers have taken Hannah Arendt's notion of the "banality of evil" way too literally.
  3. 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.
  4. There are moments of welcome tension amid the inchoate lunacy, but these in turn merely highlight why the rest of the film doesn’t work.
  5. The period thriller Gangster Squad plays like an untalented 12-year-old's imitation of Brian DePalma's "The Untouchables."
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Palmetto is an unconvincing, paint-by-numbers pass at American noir by the usually ambitious German director Volker Schlondorff (The Tin Drum).
  6. The empathy never lifts off -- never becomes poetry. It doesn't help that Leigh indulges his unfortunate habit of larding the soundtrack with draggy, mournful music, heavy on the cello.
  7. 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.
  8. Stagedoor features unremarkable rehearsal footage (exhibitionists make poor subjects for vérité documentaries) and thoughtful but unsurprising interviews with camp counselors and parents.
  9. 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.
  10. Sets up a cast -- and then proceeds to knock them down like ducks in a shooting gallery.
  11. 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.
  12. Schrader really isn't interested in Crane except as the straw man for his moral lessons about sin and sexuality and the nature of celebrity. Auto Focus is the perfect capper to Crane's career: Even in a movie about himself, he remains minor.
  13. 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.
  14. This is the first bad movie that has ever made me call for a sequel - to get it all right.
  15. With McG's migraine-inducing jerky-cam and monochromatic palette (livened only by splotches of rust), Terminator Salvation puts the numb in numskull.
  16. I Origins really loses its oomph when Ian travels to India in search of a particular pair of eyeballs, and the movie closes on a note that would make even M. Night Shyamalan roll his own.
  17. 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.
  18. It collapses on all fronts, delivering hot-button platitudes and just-add-water character development.
  19. 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?
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. This is low-grade satire. The shocks to the system in Buffalo Soldiers are nothing more than cheap thrills.
  24. Compounds the problems of its predecessor, "Analyze This," while duplicating almost none of its humor.
  25. As murderous amusements go, the film is mildly diverting, but it's like a faint facsimile of a Claude Chabrol film.
  26. The result: Characters we genuinely care about are lost in a movie that almost dissipates before our very eyes.
  27. With Joe Johnston directing instead of Spielberg, who executive-produces, and a scrum of screenwriters, none named Crichton, the franchise suffers some negligence.
  28. A hapless comedy that already seems about ten years out of date, Be Cool is a curious failure.
  29. 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.
  30. People who see Sinbad for its star power--a big selling point in the movie’s marketing campaign--are being oversold.
  31. 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.
  32. I found myself staring at his new one, In Praise of Love (Éloge de l'Amour), in a state of rapt annoyance and befuddlement. It's constructed in two sections, which are far more fractured and opaque than the simple description I will here try to set out.
  33. 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.
  34. The film turns into one of those indie parades of eccentrics that are hit-and-miss but mostly miss.
  35. 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.
  36. This is some weak, watered-down stuff.
  37. 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.
  38. It's heartbreaking how rich this failed project is, with enough poetry for several great movies, but not enough push for one.
  39. It’s a dour, drab, dark movie, enlivened by some moderately effective chills in the first half but ultimately undone by its downbeat aimlessness.
  40. 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.
  41. Insurgent is not a very good movie, but it’s better than it needs to be.
  42. A glossy, depthless melodrama.
  43. 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.
  44. Nearly three %$^&%!!# hours, and they’re brain-freezing.
  45. Most thriller writers don’t aim so high: You really have to grapple with Lehane’s vision to see how tiresome it is.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. It's also rather tawdry. The climax is as ludicrous as any Jack Bauer adventure, and Greengrass is always on shaky ground. Literally.
  49. 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.
  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. Slipshod and tiresome, The Protector 2 is more than a misfire, it’s a betrayal.
  52. 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.
  53. 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.
  54. 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.
  55. 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.
  56. It should be wilder, funnier, nuttier.
  57. 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.
  58. This demonic possession story is at times so lame it makes the last "Paranormal Activity" flick look like a masterpiece.
  59. Does anybody really find this crap scary anymore?
  60. The Grisham-esque murder-mystery plot got so scrambled that, finally, it’s anybody’s guess what the filmmakers intended.
  61. 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.
  62. The original film also featured Rob Schneider. I can’t quite believe I’m saying this, but his presence is sorely missed here.
  63. A well-polished cowpat that will confuse and bore those who know nothing about Shakespeare and incense those who know almost anything.
  64. Kidman is stuck in this pomo movie about the making of a TV-show remake. It’s "Being John Malkovich for Morons."
  65. 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.
  66. 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.
  67. It isn’t a train wreck--a train wreck would be memorable. What’s wrong is wrong by design.
  68. 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.
  69. A weird mix of tired jokes, topicality, and crippling anxiety.
  70. 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.
  71. 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.
  72. 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.
  73. 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.
  74. 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.
  75. 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.
  76. 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.
  77. Olympus Has Fallen is a disgusting piece of work, but it certainly hits its marks — it makes you sick with suspense.
  78. An exuberantly garish French movie.
  79. 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.
  80. 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?
  81. 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.
  82. 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.
  83. Gunner Palace too often makes the grunts look like mean slackers -- precisely the opposite, one presumes, of what was intended.
  84. 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.
  85. Sandler being Chaplinesque isn't pretty; he's just doing his smart-aleck slacker shtick with a moister eye.
  86. A stinker.
  87. 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.
  88. Somehow both annoyingly overstuffed and depressingly thin.
  89. 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.
  90. I've never seen a film in which what was actually onscreen seemed so irrelevant.
  91. Forget Pacino; it’s all those red herrings that reek.
  92. It’s forceful, to be sure, but in a lurid way that suggests a telenovela that’s been baking in the sun too long.
  93. 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?
  94. 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.
  95. Getaway’s only claim to fame is that it may be the dumbest movie released this summer.
  96. 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.
  97. 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.

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