New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 2,129 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 51% 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 Waltz with Bashir
Lowest review score: 0 Funny Games (2008)
Score distribution:
2129 movie reviews
  1. Whatever his foibles, An Honest Liar depicts a great American original — a man who has taught a generation of scientists, magicians, and even certain film critics that our senses must be trained to detect the smell of bullshit.
  2. Anyone who loves live-wire acting will gasp in awe at Blanchett, more emotionally exposed than ever, and, most of all, at Dame Judi, who’s so electric she makes you quiver.
  3. In short, I'd be the happiest person in the world if Wong announced there was a four-hour cut of this film somewhere. For now, neither version is perfect, but they’re both so beautiful, so heartbreaking, that the question may be moot. Whatever its flaws, seeing The Grandmaster theatrically, in any version, should be a sacrament for any true film lover — a spiritual duty.
  4. The mystery may be resolved, but the suspense and uncertainty remain. And so, Guiraudie ends his film on a cold, almost cruel note of existential solitude that just might, if you let it, break your heart.
  5. It's a truly prodigious piece of work, resembling a career summation far more than a maiden voyage.
  6. Her
    In Her, Jonze transforms his music-video aesthetic into something magically personal. The montages — silent, flickering inserts of Theodore and his ex-wife recollected in tranquility — are sublime.
  7. A film that transcends its obvious timeliness to say some elemental things about personal loyalty and institutional betrayal.
  8. The resulting film is bizarre to the point of ­trippiness, yet it’s one of the most lucid portraits of evil I’ve ever seen.
  9. What reveals Pontecorvo as an artist, and not simply a propagandist of genius, is the sorrow he tries to stifle but that comes flooding through anyway--the sense that ALL sides in this conflict have lost their souls, and that all men are carrion.
  10. The movie is gorgeous, mesmerizing, poetic; the lyricism actually heightened by harsh jets of gore.
  11. If Timbuktu has a “takeaway,” it’s a deeply humanist one and so, in this context, political: that there’s no such thing as a monolithic Muslim culture; that the threat is nowhere near as great to Westerners as to the people of Mali, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, etc.; that ideology is deaf and blind and anti-life; and that cinema (and all art) can blow it to what I’d once have called Timbuktu.
  12. Sheridan’s actors work with their intellects fully engaged--and they engage us on levels we barely knew we had.
  13. It’s that rarest of psychological thrillers: one that actually lives up to the words “psychological thriller.”
  14. Nichols has a genius for making landscapes and everyday objects resonate like crazy, for nailing the texture of dread.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Antz, with its deadpan witticisms, its heart-stopping shifts of perspective, is completely entertaining, a kids' movie that will leave grown-ups quoting the best lines to one another.
  15. In the best moments of Howl's Moving Castle and in his extraordinary body of work, Miyazaki teaches his viewers more valuable lessons.
  16. Moodysson captures exactly the preening narcissism and gumption of these frazzled would-be revolutionaries trying to wriggle out of their bourgeois straitjackets.
  17. The jamboree is beautifully shot and directed, by Chris Menges and David Leland respectively, and there is a haunting touch: the presence of George’s son, Dhani, on guitar, looking near-identical to his dad in his twenties.
  18. No filmmaker I know has gotten as close to a professional athlete as James Toback gets to Mike Tyson in his new documentary.
  19. Hot-dog Hong Kong action stylist Johnnie To has never achieved the cult status of John Woo in this country, but his explosively entertaining — and startlingly splattery — Drug War should win him new fans.
  20. One of the very best American independent films you’ll see this year, John Magary’s The Mend, takes what could have easily been a mundane tale of brotherly dysfunction and turns it into something abstract and electrifying.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A brilliant, disturbing, but unstable and half-crazy piece of work.
  21. In The Flight of the Red Balloon, the great Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao Hsien uses Albert Lamorisse’s 1956 masterpiece "The Red Balloon" as a springboard for his own masterpiece--a distinctively modern and allusive one, yet so tender and plaintive that you understand what Hou is up to on a preconscious level.
  22. The Kidman in Rabbit Hole is a revelation.
  23. The Martian is shot, designed, computer-generated, and scripted on a level that makes most films of its ilk look slipshod. Scott and writer Drew Goddard aren’t trying to make an “important” sci-fi movie like Interstellar. They aim lower but blow past their marks.
  24. What keeps Sicario from cynicism is the nature and depth of Villeneuve’s gaze, not childishly wide-eyed but capable still of feeling pain. He’s a terrific director. You know that if his heroine, Alice, gets out of Cartel-land alive, she might spend a few months in an asylum, but she’ll be back, hell-bent on seizing the foreground.
  25. Drolly funny and rigorously executed, Corneliu Porumboui’s The Treasure offers a fine example of the conceptual boldness that characterizes much of New Wave Romanian cinema.
  26. Troell’s entrancingly beautiful Everlasting Moments uses surfaces--light, texture, faces--to hint at another world, a shadow realm.
  27. This is Kent’s first feature — an astonishing debut. Not perfect, though.
  28. Starred Up is an edgy, teeming thriller, brilliantly disorienting, making strange a world we thought we knew, at least from other movies.
  29. Arnold's first feature, "Red Road" (2006), centers on another outsider, a woman who monitors security cameras. The film is formally brilliant, but it doesn't have the breathtaking openness of Fish Tank.
  30. This is one of the most galvanizing documentaries I've ever seen.
  31. When this long movie is over, all you want to do is clap and weep and watch it all over again immediately.
  32. Endlessly enchanting.
  33. It would be a mistake to regard American Splendor as an anthem for the common man. It is the UNCOMMON that is being celebrated here.
  34. Far beyond the courage of its convictions, The Armor of Light also has the intelligence and grace to embrace its contradictions. It’s a beautiful, conflicted piece of work.
  35. With this cast, and such a vivid sense of play, Results manages, in its own subtle, unassuming way, to reinvent the rom-com. It’s enchanting.
  36. Little Men has a melancholy edge, but it’s not really a depressing film. For all the despair onscreen, what remains afterwards are its luminous characterizations and big-hearted filmmaking.
  37. A haunting, morbidly romantic melodrama with obvious links to "Vertigo," but from a reverse angle.
  38. I've never seen another movie that so clearly expresses the sensual sustenance that great folk culture provides its practitioners.
  39. The Great Beauty is a subtly daring cinematic high-wire act — an entire film built around one character’s unrealized, unspecified yearning. And it might just be the most unforgettable film of the year.
  40. While making his new film, he (McElwee) imagines that his boy is looking back at his screen image from some distant point in the future, when McElwee himself is gone. No child of a moviemaker could ask for a more beautiful bequest.
  41. As he proved in his Iraq-centered "No End in Sight," policy wonk turned documentarian Charles Ferguson has no peer when it comes to tracking the course of a preventable catastrophe.
  42. Murray's performance is at once enormously generous and fiercely, concisely witty.
  43. What's remarkable is how often the photographer's subjects allow themselves to be caught on film; it's as if they understood implicitly that Nachtwey was there not only to agitate for reform but to memorialize their agony. He does both.
  44. You could never call Solondz a humanist, but he achieves something I've never seen elsewhere: compassionate revulsion.
  45. As a piece of inspirationalism about human stamina, Touching the Void is peerless, but what it doesn't--perhaps can't--explain is why people place themselves in such peril.
  46. Árpád Halász is the credited “animal trainer for 280 dogs,” Teresa Ann Miller the handler of Bodie and Luke — better actors than half this year’s Academy Award nominees. This is the new gold standard for nature-bites-back movies.
  47. The movie’s singular acting triumph is Nathan Fillion’s Constable Dogberry, one of Shakespeare’s simpler buffoons made poetic by understatement. Fillion speaks softly, with ­uninflected sincerity, a brilliant departure from the standard gregarious-­hambone Dogberry. It’s his insularity — his imperviousness to the interjections of more observant people — that makes him such a touchingly credible clown.
  48. Downey found a way to channel his working-class audience’s anger against liberal shibboleths and not incidentally take down both his dad and his surrogate dad — Teddy ­Kennedy. It’s a ­riveting Oedipal tragedy.
  49. The remarkable thing director Ang Lee has done is to have made a film that remains firmly in the Western genre while never retreating from its portrayal of a tragic love story.
  50. I came out giddy, feeling lighter--by about five-sixths--than I did when I went in.
  51. The coup de grâce is especially graceless because everything we know is already visible in Marinca’s eyes. The actress is extraordinary.
  52. In his late seventies, Robert Redford has never held the camera as magnificently as he does in the survival-at-sea thriller All Is Lost.
  53. The Edge of Heaven is powerfully unsettled--it comes together by not coming together.
  54. Jauja is a rapturously bizarre movie that resists knowledge. That’s its secret, intoxicating power; the less you understand, the more mesmerized you are.
  55. The ensemble is stupendous--howlingly great--and the music goes deep.
  56. Very entertaining (and doesn’t overstay its welcome) but it’s a little depressing to contemplate.
  57. Truly, this is manna from hell.
  58. A Serious Man is not only hauntingly original, it’s the final piece of the puzzle that is the Coens. Combine suburban alienation, philosophical inquiry, moral seriousness, a mixture of respect for and utter indifference to Torah, and, finally, a ton of dope, and you get one of the most remarkable oeuvres in modern film.
  59. Sean Penn is so frighteningly good in this movie that he outdoes even the best of his earlier work.
  60. It takes some time to realize we're in a maelstrom--going down down down into a saga of obsession, sadism, masochism, and codependency that was and remains one of the great, sick tabloid stories of all time.
  61. Battle for Haditha has some of the raw energy of Sam Fuller's war pictures, which weren't subtle but left you energized by their ambivalence (there was no good or evil). It's a hell of a picture.
  62. Gloriously filthy, ramshackle, endearing documentary.
  63. Whatever else you say about Jurassic World, its amazing special effects — not just hurtling dinosaurs but flying killer pterodactyls — make it one of the most rousing people-running-away-from-stuff movies ever made. At its best, it’s good enough to take your mind off its worst, which is saying a lot.
  64. Bahrani’s concentration is close to supernatural as he tracks the young, prepubescent Ale (Alejandro Polanco) from job to soul-numbing job, some legal, some extralegal, to the point where you’re forced to suspend altogether your moral judgments and watch with a mixture of pain and awe.
  65. It's a crackerjack ride, shot and edited for maximum discombobulation.
  66. It’s the closest I’ve seen a film come to an act of genuine hypnosis.
  67. Connery and Zeta-Jones not only look great together, they work well together.
  68. It is filmed with simplicity, a purity of intent, and I wanted to watch the faces of these men in their last seconds of life--not for the sake of history, but because of Wajda's imperative to put his father's death onscreen. He needed to do this. And somehow, sanity is restored.
  69. Think "In the Mood for Love" with hookahs instead of chopsticks.
  70. It’s a fascinating meeting of three minds, and perspectives. Chief among them is Salgado himself.
  71. Tate Taylor’s film cares less about narrative clarity and more about portraying a life lived between the extremes of sin and grace, between the abject and the sublime. It’s lively, stylized, and genuinely surprising.
  72. Showcases some of the world’s finest and funniest actors having a high old time. It’s best enjoyed as a kind of traveling music-hall revue.
  73. As Jay and Silent Bob, Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith are the perfect comedy team for smart, dirty-minded 15-year-olds, which means just about all of us.
  74. What gives Los Angeles Plays Itself its extraordinary density is the way Andersen transforms a cliché into a metaphysical truth that encompasses far more than L.A.
  75. Blistering and nihilistic--a vision to reduce you to a puddle of despair.
  76. It's madly funny--a treat for moviegoers who don't mind gnawed-off limbs with their high jinks.
  77. It's an unusually funny, literate, worked-out script, and Mendes seems hell-bent on making the best Bond since "Goldfinger" - or the best, period, given that he exhumes Bond's old Aston Martin only to shoot it cheekily to pieces.
  78. The camera moves with heightened sensitivity, as if on currents of emotion, and Kendrick is infinitely winning. She’s that rare thing, a movie star with a trained soprano.
  79. The Kill Team, an essential film no matter what your political convictions. The setting is Afghanistan, but it might be Iraq or Vietnam or anywhere with occupying forces. It might be Gaza. This map of hell is timeless, placeless.
  80. Clement and Waititi are intimate with the conventions of vampire movies and reality TV and must have had a crazy-great time blending the unblendable in the best SCTV tradition. But it’s the absence of camp that I keep coming back to. They scale it down and play it real. They’re undeadpan.
  81. Trashy and lurid as this movie is, it’s certainly not boring, and it keeps its star in hog heaven throughout.
  82. On a purely visceral level, Training Day is easily the most exciting movie out there right now, but as a morality tale with anything large on its mind, it's a cop-out.
  83. This world is ravishingly beautiful, but there’s also something oppressive about its exoticism. The color doesn’t just saturate the frame; it thickens it.
  84. Nolan sustains an arty note of existential dread that probably will work better for noir-steeped film critics and overserious philosophy grad students than for general audiences, but he brings off a few brisk bravura moments.
  85. The Unknown Known is a worthy addition to Morris’s body of work, an epic search that demonstrates the limits of language, the ease of sidestepping truth.
  86. There's nothing like a film about wayward passions to remind you how differently people feel things.
  87. Harrowingly straightforward.
  88. The emotional honesty of this movie rescues it from sentimentality. To Be and to Have is about more than a dedicated teacher and his pupils; it’s about how difficult and exhilarating it is to grow into an adult.
  89. I urge you not to pass up Black Book, especially on a wide screen. It's a marvelous movie-movie, with a new screen goddess. Van Houten has a soft, heart-shaped face on top of a body so naturally, ripely beautiful it has its own kind of truth.
  90. If you've never experienced a Bollywood musical before, seeing Lagaan will be like watching "Gone With the Wind" without ever having seen a Hollywood movie.
  91. In Married Life, Ira Sachs aims a bit lower than Green but obliterates his target: The funny, the scary, the campy, the sad--they’re all splendidly of a piece.
  92. Zhang is working in a popular sentimental mode here, but his connection to the material -- and to us -- is heartfelt and without a trace of condescension. As a filmmaker, he's the opposite of a con artist, and his new movie is a gentle marvel.
  93. It could easily have veered into opportunistic melodrama. But the director’s focused restraint and Suliman’s wonderfully understated performance keep us grounded.
  94. I think this tale of woe can principally be seen as a plea for a heightened sense of community. It takes a village to keep us all afloat.
  95. It’s Moss who takes the film to a higher, scarier level. After years of playing Peggy Olson on "Mad Men", she knows how to smile and nod and say one thing while obviously meaning the exact opposite, and when at last she unleashes the truth, it’s with demonic intensity. She turns subtext into horror-poetry.
  96. It may not quite have the explosive charm of some of the classics, but Black Souls is an elegant, unsettling addition to the gangster-movie canon. Get on its unique wavelength, and you may find it transfixing.
  97. You get a bad feeling early in Project Nim, the brilliant, traumatizing documentary by James Marsh (Man on Wire).
  98. Bone Tomahawk is terrifying and strange, to be sure, but it’s the old-fashioned veneer that makes it beautiful.

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