New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 2,242 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 0.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Chi-Raq
Lowest review score: 0 Enough
Score distribution:
2242 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Trashy and lurid as this movie is, it’s certainly not boring, and it keeps its star in hog heaven throughout.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. There's nothing like a film about wayward passions to remind you how differently people feel things.
  9. Harrowingly straightforward.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. It could easily have veered into opportunistic melodrama. But the director’s focused restraint and Suliman’s wonderfully understated performance keep us grounded.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. You get a bad feeling early in Project Nim, the brilliant, traumatizing documentary by James Marsh (Man on Wire).
  20. Bone Tomahawk is terrifying and strange, to be sure, but it’s the old-fashioned veneer that makes it beautiful.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Bug
    Has the feverish compression of live theater and the moody expansiveness of film. The mix is insanely powerful.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Beneath the goofy plot, the tacky fashions, the fronting rappers, and the exploding bodies, there’s an undeniable earnestness to Tokyo Tribe. It’s the craziest film you’ll see this year, but it’s also — dear God, am I really saying this? — one of the sweetest.
  29. This is a rare case in which Marvel has freed a director’s imagination instead of straitjacketing it.
  30. The tagline for Tiller Russell’s riveting new documentary, The Seven Five is “Meet the dirtiest cop in NYC history,” which I suspect does a profound disservice to a lot of other NYC policemen, past and present — although none of them are likely to write letters of complaint.
  31. This understated, generous film quietly sneaks up on you.
    • 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.
  32. The Forbidden Room is often maddening, occasionally beautiful, and ultimately unforgettable.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. The film becomes cumulatively stranger as it goes along, and it has a lulu of a kicker.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. Say what you will about Mad Mel Gibson, he’s a driven, febrile artist, and there isn’t a second in his war film Hacksaw Ridge — not even the ones that should register as clichés — that doesn’t burn with his peculiar intensity.
  39. For all of (T)error’s topicality and its thriller-like qualities, what makes the film is Sutcliffe and Cabral’s compact, complex portrait of Saeed — paranoid, chatty, mired in self-loathing, but also oddly reflective.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. Rush satisfies our lust for both grand character combat and deadly gearhead spectacle.
  43. I’ve seen Upstream Color twice and liked it enormously while never being certain of anything.
  44. What makes it work is the solemn efficiency of director David Oelhoffen’s storytelling and the quiet intensity of the two leads.
  45. A film that turns on this kind of ambiguity would ordinarily be cold, grim, paranoid. But Boden and Fleck give this world texture and warmth; their widescreen interiors glow, and it’s hard not to be lulled into them by the siren song of conversation and clinking drinks and possibility.
  46. 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.
  47. Field made a thriller about what we are capable of in the name of hatred -- and of love.
  48. 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.
  49. It’s a tale of class privilege gone wrong, the relentless hunger for fame, stoic mourning and submerged family neuroses, and the crazy contortions caused by money and ownership. In 82 svelte minutes, Finders Keepers encapsulates something ineffable about the modern American experience.
  50. Terrifying precisely because it doesn't go in for cheesy shock tactics and special effects. (Those sharks are REAL.)
  51. Ernest and Celestine is a modest, beautiful little children’s fable with a wise, grown-up heart.
  52. Movies don’t always have to be “how things are.” When they’re as warm and rousing as Creed, they can be “how we want to make things.”
  53. Leigh has been giving actors their tongues for decades, and of all his films, Happy-Go-Lucky is the easiest, the least labored.
  54. 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.
  55. I found myself savoring a thriller (as well as a Spike Lee “joint”) that wasn't, for a change, in my face.
  56. 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.
  57. 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.
  58. Barrymore pulls off the neatest trick of the year: She makes all this pop schlock matter.
  59. The Band’s Visit resounds with tenderness and melancholy.
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. 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.
  63. The result, however clichéd, is spectacularly unnerving: hair-trigger horror.
  64. 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.
  65. This smallest of films marks a welcome return to the world of interpersonal miniature for the writer-director.
  66. In the flawless cast, Williams is the most affecting.
  67. Bahrani’s casting of Dern is genius. She’s such a profoundly unaffected actress that you instantly buy her aversion to her son’s lucre. She has a moral and aesthetic problem with that tacky mansion on the waterway. She wouldn’t fit in there.
  68. Taxi is a strange movie. These are nonprofessional actors, and the film veers between documentary realism and playful staginess.
  69. 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.
  70. For Greenfield, the Siegels are a brilliant metaphor for everything farkakte about the U.S. economy and the culture that shaped it.
  71. 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.
  72. 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.
  73. It's a film you won't stop thinking about, arguing over, debating, after the lights come up.
  74. Smashing for much of the way; as a piece of fantasy moviemaking, franchise-style, it beats the bejesus out of "Harry Potter."
  75. 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.
  76. There's a timelessness, an immanence to what she (Varda) shows us.
  77. Spacious, headlong entertainment.
  78. 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.
  79. 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.
  80. Little Miss Sunshine is an enchanting anthem to loserdom -- a dark comedy that piles on setback after setback and yet never loses its helium.
  81. The earnest enthusiasm with which Operation Avalanche begins, and the paranoia and fear toward which it proceeds, chart the course of an entire nation.
  82. Guilt and alienation from Argentina’s Lucrecia Martel, so arty, enervated, and allegorical it might have been made by a European in the early sixties.
  83. It’s better to have a well-made, unapologetic action-adventure like this one than a creepy stab at replication.
  84. Frank's writing is razor-sharp, his filmmaking whistle-clean. As a fan of sharp razors and clean whistles, I enjoyed The Lookout--yet I did feel let down by the climax, which ought to have been blunter and messier and crazier and more cathartic.
  85. In The Town, he (Renner) doesn't signal that Jem is a sociopath... It's a deeply unnerving performance, beyond good or evil.
  86. The first full-scale documentary about the history of those years, and it lays out lucidly the involvement of the Communist Party in the young men's defense and the ways in which the trials, against the backdrop of the Depression, replayed the murderous quarrels of the Civil War all over again.
  87. Frozen is one of the few recent films to capture that classic Disney spirit.
  88. An uncommonly well-crafted historical feminist tearjerker--both anti-patriarchal and a monument to motherhood.
  89. Being a puckish Swedish, the writer-director Ruben Ostland slips into a tone that makes Force Majeure almost seem like a deadpan — frozen — comedy.
  90. The first two thirds are gangbusters, with marauding bands of tarted-up young witches who look only slightly less scary than Lindsay Lohan and her pals on an average night.
  91. Rarely has there been so obscenely precise a depiction of ravaged innocence. This young girl has nothing to live for--and an entire life ahead of her in which to live it.
  92. As splashy as Killer Joe is, it's also, beat by beat, meticulously orchestrated, with no shortcuts to the carnage. When it comes to mapping psychoses, Letts and Friedkin are diabolically single-minded cartographers.
  93. If I seem cool, it might be because I came in hoping for the same level of blood-and-thunder as in the Evangelical scenes of "There Will Be Blood," whereas The Master is a cerebral experience. But Anderson has gone about exploring fundamental tensions in the American character with more discipline than I once thought him capable.
  94. By the end of the film, everybody has been triple- and quadruple- and even quintuple-crossed, but the characters still standing all seem to be very pleased with themselves for a job well done. If only we could figure out what the job was exactly.
  95. It doesn’t always seem to know what it wants to be. But it’s still full of marvels.
  96. The movie has none of the smugness of "­American Beauty": You could dream of living in a world like this.
  97. A hushed and powerful piece.
  98. Before it loses its fizz--maybe two thirds of the way through--Volver offers the headiest pleasures imaginable.
  99. The Host packs a lot into its two tumultuous hours: lyrically disgusting special effects, hair-raising chases, outlandish political satire, and best of all, a dysfunctional-family psychodrama--an odyssey that's like a grisly reworking of "Little Miss Sunshine."

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