New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,876 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:
1,876 movie reviews
  1. Little Miss Sunshine is an enchanting anthem to loserdom -- a dark comedy that piles on setback after setback and yet never loses its helium.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. In The Town, he (Renner) doesn't signal that Jem is a sociopath... It's a deeply unnerving performance, beyond good or evil.
  5. 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.
  6. Frozen is one of the few recent films to capture that classic Disney spirit.
  7. An uncommonly well-crafted historical feminist tearjerker--both anti-patriarchal and a monument to motherhood.
  8. Being a puckish Swedish, the writer-director Ruben Ostland slips into a tone that makes Force Majeure almost seem like a deadpan — frozen — comedy.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. The movie has none of the smugness of "­American Beauty": You could dream of living in a world like this.
  15. A hushed and powerful piece.
  16. Before it loses its fizz--maybe two thirds of the way through--Volver offers the headiest pleasures imaginable.
  17. 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."
  18. There's a new sensibility at work here, wry yet lushly disaffected, and it will be worth watching what Martel does next.
  19. The Gatekeepers doesn't play like agitprop. The storytelling is strong, the images stark. The camera roams among multiple monitors showing multiple satellite views while an ambient score works on your nerves.
  20. As the spiritual subtext took over, I couldn’t help but feel that something essential had been lost. The state overwhelms the individual; so, too, by the end, does this beautiful, strange movie.
  21. This is not just a musicologist's dream; it's our dream, too.
  22. A senseless blast.
  23. The film starts out as a freewheeling farce and turns into a pitch-black burlesque with surprising depths of feeling.
  24. Director Dennis Dugan knows his way around shin-whacking slapstick, and Sandler is mesmerizing.
  25. It's a prizewinning combination, terribly English and totally Hollywood, and Firth is, once more, uncanny: He evokes, in mid-stammer, existential dread.
  26. The ending dispels a lot of the magic, but the silent-movie palette is gorgeous, and the film is worth seeing for the inspired hamming of Paul Giamatti as Vienna's chief inspector, whose plummy tones made me sure I could hear the ghost of James Mason cackling.
  27. The law of commerce worked this time around: One terrific thrill ride has begotten another.
  28. The movie has so much texture that once it gets you, you're good and got.
  29. Even more than his other genre mash-ups, this is a switchback journey through Tarantino’s twisted inner landscape, where cinema and history, misogyny and feminism, sadism and romanticism collide and split and re-bond in bizarre new hybrids. The movie is an ungainly pastiche, yet on some wacked-out Jungian level it’s all of a piece.
  30. I hate to damage so fragile a work with overpraise, but, gay or straight, if you don't see yourself in this movie, you need to get a life.
  31. I found the first half-hour a snooze, but once I adjusted to the movie's rhythms, I was completely enraptured. Ferran weaves the love affair into nature, but not in the mystical, sanctified manner of Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain."
  32. It’s romantic, tragic, and inexorably strange.
  33. Haneke is an exploitation filmmaker of the highest gifts. His movies are not to be entered into lightly.
  34. The film is, in fact, a cunning exercise in subjectivity and withheld information--and once you accept those parameters, it’s riveting.
  35. After warming up with "The Thin Red Line" and "The New World," Malick has succeeded in fully creating his own film syntax, his own temporal reality, and lo, it is … kind of goofy. But riveting.
  36. In addition to being fast, funny, and unpretentious, Brave is a happy antidote to all the recent films in which women triumph by besting men at their own macho games.
  37. A marvel of cunning, an irresistible blend of cool realism and Hollywood hokum.
  38. It's a sensational trip -- gorgeous, gaga.
  39. Knocked Up feels very NOW. The banter is bruisingly funny, the characters BRILLIANTLY childish, the portrait of our culture's narrowing gap between children and their elders hysterical--in all senses.
  40. The movie, in a very real sense, is about the privilege, the sexiness, of being a movie star. Certainly it isn't about the heist; never was.
  41. It’s a potentially grisly setup, but the actual movie makes death look downright fun.
  42. Gooses you even in its barren patches and gets fresher and funnier as it goes along. It builds to a shriekingly funny (and scary) revelation and a dénouement so brilliant it's almost demonic.
  43. It’s smoothly written and smartly paced, and Michael Douglas is riveting.
  44. When it comes time for some of the girls to flee, the result is one of the most emotionally satisfying of all prison breaks.
  45. I've heard it said that Le Carré's work lost its savor with the end of the Cold War, which is as dumb as discounting "Coriolanus" because Romans and ­Volscians are no longer killing each other. Le Carré's subject was the national character and what happened to it under threat and in the absence of public scrutiny. It could hardly be, mutatis mutandis, more contemporary.
  46. Before Midnight counts on our previous investment to keep us riveted. We are. And we want them back in spirit on that train to Vienna as much as they do. What’s next — After Sunrise?
  47. Terence Davies's The House of Mirth is a rigorously elegant adaptation of the Edith Wharton novel, and unlike in some other Davies movies, the rigor here doesn't turn into rigor mortis.... This is dourness of a degree you won't find in Wharton, but in its own shadowed terms the film is a triumph.
  48. '71
    Whenever the film focuses on Gary, it’s O’Connell’s show. And the actor’s ability to quietly express a whole range of emotions with his body language and his eyes, is staggering — especially since, for much of the film, he’s limping and covered in blood.
  49. For all the artfulness, the feel of the film is rough-hewn, almost primitive. It’s a fabulous tree house of a movie.
  50. That title would suit a melodrama with an emphasis on doomed love, which is not what Loach has crafted. There is a (chaste) love story and plenty of bloodletting. But what engages him and his screenwriter, Paul Laverty, is the growing tension between brother Irish rebels.
  51. This is no antique show: Faced with an audience, they are still amazingly vital and sometimes amazingly lewd.
  52. Kohn’s gripping Manda Bala is the opposite of a high-school science doc. It’s a free-form portrait of a place--Brazil--with scary running motifs: kidnapping, mutilation, plastic surgery, bulletproofing, and frog farming.
  53. Tim’s Vermeer starts off in a playful fashion, but as he soldiers on, our intrepid, mild-mannered technologist finds himself getting emotional. In the presence of art, something happens. By the time it’s over, don’t be surprised if you’re more in awe of the work of an artist than ever before. Maybe this is Penn and Teller’s final, subtle rug-pulling moment: An attempt to demystify the artistic process ends up posing even greater mysteries.
  54. Theron breaks through with a ferocious performance--a real career-changer.
  55. Red Lights is the most ambiguously compelling romance around.
  56. It's hard to do justice to Hawkins's acting, because you never actually see it: Her Rita simply is.
  57. James Scurlock's documentary Maxed Out, tells the bone-chilling, bloodcurdling, hair-raising story of a country (guess which one?) that's up to its eyeballs in credit-card debt.
  58. Even given the spate of post-apocalyptic and dystopian films that rule the multiplexes, this is the bleakest “franchise” in human history, and I’m curious if there will be any balm whatsoever in the next close encounter of the furred kind.
  59. What makes the movie such an unexpectedly potent little number is that Adventureland comes to stand for Stagnationland; the real roller coaster (i.e., life) is just outside the park.
  60. By the time this twisty, probing, altogether enthralling movie hits its final notes, the crimes against the Constitution and humanity have been upstaged by personal demons. Which is our woe as well.
  61. Ted
    Ted runs out of invention in its last act (the bear is coveted by a chillingly deadpan sociopath, played by Giovanni Ribisi, and the villain's fat son), but I can't think of a better movie to see if you're male and want to get high and relive your idiot adolescence.
  62. A startling achievement, but its lack of psychological dimension prevents it from making much human contact with us. It ends where it begins: in a state of shock.
  63. Since washing out as a pretty-boy leading man, Law is what he always should have been: a high-strung character actor. In Black Sea, he’s convincingly hard, like Jason Statham with more vocal colors and without the shtick.
  64. Young Edie Martin, with her chaotic swarm of red ringlets and deadpan dutifulness (she has few lines, but they’re goodies), is the movie’s sign of eternal spring--the butterfly atop the just-opened blossom.
  65. One of the letdowns of Vera Drake is that once Vera is arrested, we lose her voice.
  66. It's better to think of Magic Mike as arty but energetic soft-core porn, with no pickle shots but plenty of juice. You should see it if only for McConaughey, an underrated leading man who finally gets a chance to use his strange timing.
  67. Each film in Nicolas Winding Refn's mesmerizingly brutal Pusher trilogy can stand on its own, but it's fun to see all three and observe the way the bad guys in one become the sympathetic heroes (or anti-heroes) in another.
  68. Each film in Nicolas Winding Refn's mesmerizingly brutal Pusher trilogy can stand on its own, but it's fun to see all three and observe the way the bad guys in one become the sympathetic heroes (or anti-heroes) in another.
  69. Slattery adapted the book with Alex Metcalf and gets the tone just right. The film is damnably amusing.
  70. For most of Eternal Sunshine, I found myself fighting off Gondry's hyperactive intrusions in order to get at the melancholia at its core. Fortunately, the idea behind this movie is so richly suggestive that it carries you past Gondry's image clutter.
  71. The Square is inner-world-shaking.
  72. In outline, In Darkness is a standard conversion melodrama, but little within those parameters is easy. The darkness lingers into the light.
  73. I Love You, Man is totally formulaic, but the formula is unnervingly (and hilariously) inside out.
  74. Cave of Forgotten Dreams is sometimes frozen by Herzog's awe. But it's hard not to love him for always trying to look beyond the surface of things, to find a common chord in the landscape of dreams.
  75. It’s wonderfully inventive filmmaking: Amirpour’s striking compositions borrow from the iconography of both the Western and the horror film — wide, evocative vistas are intercut with dark, tense city streets where shadowy figures follow one another.
  76. The greatness of Golden Door is its tone; sympathetic but always wry.
  77. A tender, even-tempered elegy to a writer who at his peak could ingest staggering (literally) amounts of drugs and alcohol and transform, like Popeye after a can of spinach, into a superhuman version of himself--more trenchant, more cutting, more hilarious than any political journalist before or since.
  78. The most miraculous thing about Man on Wire is not the physical feat itself, 1,350 feet above the ground, but that as you watch it, the era gone, the World Trade Center gone, the movie feels as if it's in the present tense. That nutty existentialist acrobat pulled it off. For an instant, he froze time.
  79. I found The Promise pretty hard to resist. A heady blend of swordplay, somersaults, fairy-tale romance, and computer-generated whoosh.
  80. Sachs hits notes we've rarely heard in gay cinema, in which the hedonist bleeds into the humanist, the ephemeral into the enduring.
  81. It's the barbs, and not the inspirationalism, that work best in this movie.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A pitch-perfect farce for the post-Enron era.
  82. As playful as it is, Lenny Abrahamson’s film is mostly a surprisingly earnest story about the compromises and conflicts of art, stardom, and mental illness.
  83. In a scant hour and a quarter it enlarges your notion of what theater and cinema, what art itself, can do — it dissolves every boundary it meets.
  84. This is an extraordinary film.
  85. It's worth seeing, though, not only for its occasional moments of breathtaking beauty and sadness but also because its very rarity demands it.
  86. Cornish, like Edgar Wright (who directed "Shaun of the Dead" and was an executive producer here), can parody a genre in a way that revitalizes it, that reminds you why the genre was born in the first place. The movie is in a different galaxy than "Cowboys & Aliens": It has, in both senses, guts.
  87. Soderbergh’s alleged last theatrical film is paranoid and hopeless, but he leaves the field with a bounce in his step.
  88. In Collateral Damages, we are witness to heroism, all right, but it's a heroism unsullied by sentimentality.
  89. Given that the movie doesn't have a single narrative surprise--you always know where it's going and why, commercially speaking, it's going there--it's amazing how good Blood Diamond is. I guess that's the surprise.
  90. Relatively speaking, Catching Fire is terrific. Even nonrelatively, it's pretty damn good.
  91. There's a thrilling madness to Phoenix's Method.
  92. Reeves has confidently entered his self-parodic period. You’ll enjoy his wry post-Matrix murmurs and squinty stares.
  93. Abrams and his writers (Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) have come up with a way to make you dig the souped-up new scenery while pining for the familiar--a good thing.
  94. The magnetic Alexander Skarsgard is the leader, Benji, a soft-spoken dreamboat, ever-direct but with a haunted quality, with something in reserve. Ellen Page gives a Lili Taylor–worthy performance (high praise) as a suspicious, abrasive young woman.
  95. The surprise is that, given the number of female college presidents, professors, and students, victims are still so reliably blamed, punishments so reliably weak, and serial offenders (responsible for 91 percent of all sexual assaults) so reliably undisturbed.
  96. One job of memoir is to show the world through another's eyes and inspire you to live more alertly, and that is the glory of The Beaches of Agnès.
  97. The dramatic arc of Roger Dodger may be banal, but Kidd manages some marvelous moments.
  98. The hurt and rage flying back and forth have primal power, like Russian-flavored Eugene O'Neill. It's rare for a movie to work as effectively as this one does on such parallel tracks.
  99. Computer-generated animated movies with wall-to-wall jokes can be excruciating, but these jokes are the funniest money can buy.

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