New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,874 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 Happy Feet
Lowest review score: 0 Funny Games (2008)
Score distribution:
1,874 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Murray's performance is at once enormously generous and fiercely, concisely witty.
  4. 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.
  5. You could never call Solondz a humanist, but he achieves something I've never seen elsewhere: compassionate revulsion.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. I came out giddy, feeling lighter--by about five-sixths--than I did when I went in.
  11. The coup de grâce is especially graceless because everything we know is already visible in Marinca’s eyes. The actress is extraordinary.
  12. 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.
  13. The Edge of Heaven is powerfully unsettled--it comes together by not coming together.
  14. The ensemble is stupendous--howlingly great--and the music goes deep.
  15. Very entertaining (and doesn’t overstay its welcome) but it’s a little depressing to contemplate.
  16. Truly, this is manna from hell.
  17. 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.
  18. Sean Penn is so frighteningly good in this movie that he outdoes even the best of his earlier work.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Gloriously filthy, ramshackle, endearing documentary.
  22. 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.
  23. It's a crackerjack ride, shot and edited for maximum discombobulation.
  24. It’s the closest I’ve seen a film come to an act of genuine hypnosis.
  25. Connery and Zeta-Jones not only look great together, they work well together.
  26. 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.
  27. Think "In the Mood for Love" with hookahs instead of chopsticks.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. Blistering and nihilistic--a vision to reduce you to a puddle of despair.
  33. It's madly funny--a treat for moviegoers who don't mind gnawed-off limbs with their high jinks.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. Trashy and lurid as this movie is, it’s certainly not boring, and it keeps its star in hog heaven throughout.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. There's nothing like a film about wayward passions to remind you how differently people feel things.
  44. Harrowingly straightforward.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. It could easily have veered into opportunistic melodrama. But the director’s focused restraint and Suliman’s wonderfully understated performance keep us grounded.
  51. 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.
  52. 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.
  53. You get a bad feeling early in Project Nim, the brilliant, traumatizing documentary by James Marsh (Man on Wire).
  54. The best thing about Down in the Valley is that you hope it's not going where you have an inkling it's going. The purity of Norton's madness is a wonder.
  55. Bob is a marvelous creation--a faker who is also the genuine article. He’s the perfect hero for a movie about the world as one big scam.
  56. Bug
    Has the feverish compression of live theater and the moody expansiveness of film. The mix is insanely powerful.
  57. John Wick is a violent, violent, violent film, but its artful splatter is miles away from the brutality of "Taken" or the gleeful gore of "The Equalizer." It’s a beautiful coffee-table action movie.
  58. This one is alive with discoveries--of locations, characters, the actors who embody them, and even the medium. In The Go-Getter, filmmaking itself feels like Manifest Destiny.
  59. Byrkit’s film is very much its own thing. It’s an urbane dinner-party movie that turns into something magnificent, terrible, and strange – and yet it never quite stops being an urbane dinner-party movie, never lets up its tone of ironic refinement. Coherence is a gentle film, but you walk away from it with your brain on fire.
  60. If high-toned futuristic time-travel pictures with a splash of romance float your boat the way they do mine, you'll have yourself a time.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The movie's acts of violence and betrayal may be familiar, but the filmmakers' obvious contempt for people given over to fanaticism is enormously welcome -- a call for the most elementary kind of sanity.
  61. Despite its downbeat context (a plague at its height), the movie is a crowd-­pleaser — graceful and funny enough to distract you from its gaps and elisions.
  62. If you can get past the craven concessions to formula, though, it’s rather underful--I mean, wonderful. Taking his cues from John Tenniel’s famous illustrations, Burton indulges his delight in disproportion.
  63. The film becomes cumulatively stranger as it goes along, and it has a lulu of a kicker.
  64. Berri is very good at bringing out his characters' emotional contradictions so that we seem to be discovering them right along with Jacques and Laura.
  65. Venus in Fur is both kinky and can pass as a form of self-flagellation. One additional, not-small thing: It allows him to demonstrate, with a minimum of means, his superb craftsmanship.
  66. Gibney’s a bit like a kid in an exposé-candy store here, and you can sense him trying to cram as much as he can into the film. Good for him: Going Clear is jaw-dropping. You wouldn’t really want it any other way.
  67. The movie works smashingly, especially if you haven't seen its Hong Kong counterpart and haven't a clue what's coming. But for all its snap, crackle, and pop, it's nowhere near as galvanic emotionally.
  68. Rush satisfies our lust for both grand character combat and deadly gearhead spectacle.
  69. I’ve seen Upstream Color twice and liked it enormously while never being certain of anything.
  70. This is one of the last Gandolfini performances, and it’s the ultimate proof that he could change his look and sound and rhythm without losing the source of his power: the connection to that inner baby ever starved for love and nourishment.
  71. Field made a thriller about what we are capable of in the name of hatred -- and of love.
  72. The movie ends abruptly-too abruptly for my taste-but the gaiety lingers through the closing credits. Not even apocalypse can dispel the sexy vibes.
  73. Terrifying precisely because it doesn't go in for cheesy shock tactics and special effects. (Those sharks are REAL.)
  74. Ernest and Celestine is a modest, beautiful little children’s fable with a wise, grown-up heart.
  75. Leigh has been giving actors their tongues for decades, and of all his films, Happy-Go-Lucky is the easiest, the least labored.
  76. The first half of The Yellow Handkerchief is the half-movie of the year, and the rest isn’t bad--just more sentimental, more ordinary.
  77. I found myself savoring a thriller (as well as a Spike Lee “joint”) that wasn't, for a change, in my face.
  78. One of the wonderful things about Thumbsucker is that, unlike so many movies in which a character changes in order to propel the plot forward, this one stops to follow up on the consequences of those changes.
  79. For a movie with so many twists in it, 2 Guns never really jerks us around. This is what some summer movies should be like — clever in a stupid way, and stupid in a clever way.
  80. Barrymore pulls off the neatest trick of the year: She makes all this pop schlock matter.
  81. The Band’s Visit resounds with tenderness and melancholy.
  82. This is more social anthropology than psychology. 56 Up isn't concerned so much with opening up individual lives as it is with showing us how the journey of an ordinary life - or over a dozen ordinary lives - can offer insights into our own, and into society. The effect is often profoundly moving, but you can't help but feel at times like there are other stories here you're missing.
  83. The Conjuring succeeds because of all that anticipation of dread things to come. The damned thing works you so well that you may even consider leaving halfway through, for fear you'll have a heart attack.
  84. The movie barely seems to hold together. Could it even be called a movie? And yet, it's captivating — a bit like Gus Van Sant's "Gerry," but not as conceptually hidebound.
  85. The result, however clichéd, is spectacularly unnerving: hair-trigger horror.
  86. At its midpoint, the film could go either way: toward "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" psychosis or something more hopeful and humanistic. It’s a testament to Saavedra’s tough performance that even with a happy ending, you wouldn’t want to leave her with your kids.
  87. This smallest of films marks a welcome return to the world of interpersonal miniature for the writer-director.
  88. In the flawless cast, Williams is the most affecting.
  89. I’ve now seen Jean-Luc Godard’s latest film twice, and I think I might be one more viewing away from finally being able to say what the hell it’s about. That sounds like a condemnation, but a film you need to see again should be a film you want to see again, and the oblique beauty of Goodbye to Language, shot in 3-D, has a tractor-beam-like pull.
  90. For Greenfield, the Siegels are a brilliant metaphor for everything farkakte about the U.S. economy and the culture that shaped it.
  91. Closer is marred by some drippy music courtesy of Damien Rice and a small-surprise ending that feels like gimmicky irony. But the film's core idea is compelling.
  92. The film is, finally, a brilliant tap dance over a void: There’s no real drama when the inner life of the female lead is so shrouded, even if that’s the point.
  93. It's a film you won't stop thinking about, arguing over, debating, after the lights come up.
  94. Smashing for much of the way; as a piece of fantasy moviemaking, franchise-style, it beats the bejesus out of "Harry Potter."
  95. True Grit isn't as momentous an event as you might hope, but once you adjust to its deliberate rhythms (it starts slowly), it's a charming, deadpan Western comedy.
  96. There's a timelessness, an immanence to what she (Varda) shows us.
  97. Spacious, headlong entertainment.
  98. I'm looking forward to buying Blades of Glory on DVD so I can get my head around the phenomenal skating routines. Obviously, there were wires and lifts and computer-generated effects, but for my money it looked like the lumbering Ferrell and nerdy Heder were Olympic-worthy stylists.
  99. The fun is in the one-thing-after-another delirium the movie induces, and in our breathless anticipation of what they'll hurl at us next.

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