New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,830 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 0.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Late Marriage
Lowest review score: 0 Only God Forgives
Score distribution:
1,830 movie reviews
  1. However cheeky and blasphemous, this is, at heart, a rather sweet little fable. Which of course would mean nothing if it weren’t explosively funny.
  2. 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.
  3. Sensationally effective.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. The actors playing parents and spouses (among them Steve Buscemi, Halley Feiffer, Portia, and Kevin Hagan) are stunningly believable. I'm not sure how Morton made sense of her character's ebbs and flows, but I never doubted her. She's a mariner in uncharted seas of emotion.
  7. In the flawless cast, Williams is the most affecting.
  8. Calculated to enrage and pulling it off like gangbusters, Don Argott’s documentary The Art of the Steal pits the legacy of the late Albert C. Barnes’s Barnes Foundation (which boasts arguably the world’s finest collection of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art) against the social-climbing, philistine, downright Nixonian machinations of Philadelphia’s wealthiest--who gamed the system and pried the collection loose in defiance of Barnes’s legal will.
  9. 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.
  10. This is an extraordinary film.
  11. Narrated by Rhys Ifans with the dryness of a dessicated toad, Exit Through the Gift Shop is both an exhilarating testament to serendipity and an appalling testament to art-world inanity.
  12. Anton Chekhov's The Duel is convincingly-yes--Chekhovian.
  13. It’s smoothly written and smartly paced, and Michael Douglas is riveting.
  14. 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.
  15. A senseless blast.
  16. As both men lie to loved ones to keep their exchange alive, the tension builds and becomes unbearable.
  17. Think "In the Mood for Love" with hookahs instead of chopsticks.
  18. There's a thrilling madness to Phoenix's Method.
  19. In The Town, he (Renner) doesn't signal that Jem is a sociopath... It's a deeply unnerving performance, beyond good or evil.
  20. The poetic Swedish vampire picture (with arterial spray) "Let the Right One In" has been hauntingly well transplanted to the high desert of Los Alamos, New Mexico, and renamed Let Me In.
  21. Exposed, abandoned, branded as traitors, the Wilsons finally have no choice but to tell their story, the latest chapter of which is this potent Hollywood melodrama.
  22. It's probably easier for an ex-prosecutor known for macho threats to say he got caught screwing than for him to say he got screwed. But folks, he was reamed.
  23. It's hard to do justice to Hawkins's acting, because you never actually see it: Her Rita simply is.
  24. It's a prizewinning combination, terribly English and totally Hollywood, and Firth is, once more, uncanny: He evokes, in mid-stammer, existential dread.
  25. 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.
  26. The movie has so much texture that once it gets you, you're good and got.
  27. Blue Valentine leaves you with the shattering vision of its truest victim-the one who'll someday look for safety in places it might not be. And the psychodrama will go on and on …
  28. Another year, another Mike Leigh gem.
  29. 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.
  30. This sensationally engineered promo film makes Justin Bieber look like a true force of nature.
  31. It's a film you won't stop thinking about, arguing over, debating, after the lights come up.
  32. The movie has none of the smugness of "­American Beauty": You could dream of living in a world like this.
  33. It's a crackerjack ride, shot and edited for maximum discombobulation.
  34. 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.
  35. Has a mixture of bloodletting and exultation that would make Sam Peckinpah sit up in his grave and howl with pleasure.
  36. That lawn with its scraps of a ruined life is a setting both satirical and poignant, and Will Ferrell gives a performance of Chekhovian depth.
  37. 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.
  38. You get a bad feeling early in Project Nim, the brilliant, traumatizing documentary by James Marsh (Man on Wire).
  39. HPATDH 2 works like a charm. A funereal charm, to be sure, but then, there's no time left for larks.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. A hell of a picture. And shrewd.
  43. Payne is too acerbic - maybe too much of an asshole - to settle for easy humanism. But he's too smart a dramatist to settle for easy derision. Mockery and empathy seesaw, the balance precarious - and thrillingly so. It's the noblest kind of satire: cruel and yet, in the end, lacking the killing blow.
  44. 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.
  45. The final twist is both baffling and repulsive, but as an evocation of the triumph of evil, it's peerless.
  46. In outline, In Darkness is a standard conversion melodrama, but little within those parameters is easy. The darkness lingers into the light.
  47. Westfeldt, now 42, belongs to a generation (and class) of people for whom nothing about having kids is easy. Her intensity feels just right - better than in any film I've seen in years - for How We Breed Now.
  48. There's nothing like a film about wayward passions to remind you how differently people feel things.
  49. The compact Hennie is a wonderful actor, smoothly congenial when confident, uproarious when rattled. And he will be rattled-as well as stabbed, shorn, bitten, mangled, and worse.
  50. Crosses the blood-brain barrier like … like … whatever the drug is, I haven't tried it, thank God. The movie eats into your mind - ­slowly.
  51. The real revelation here is Plaza, whose shtick - the willowy cutie deadpanning about how lousy her life is - should be grating and tired, but it works remarkably well for some reason.
  52. The results are soul-corrodingly funny.
  53. 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.
  54. 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.
  55. 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.
  56. For Greenfield, the Siegels are a brilliant metaphor for everything farkakte about the U.S. economy and the culture that shaped it.
  57. 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.
  58. Premium Rush is that rare bird: a chase picture that's just a chase picture - and a dandy one.
  59. Sachs hits notes we've rarely heard in gay cinema, in which the hedonist bleeds into the humanist, the ephemeral into the enduring.
  60. 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.
  61. That's the feeling Stephen Chbosky captures in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, his exquisite adaptation of his best-selling YA novel about a Pittsburgh high-school freshman who doesn't fit in and then all of a sudden does, for a spell.
  62. There's nothing in David Ayer's cop drama End of Watch that you haven't already seen, but the film has moments so riveting that you might not care too much.
  63. 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.
  64. A marvel of cunning, an irresistible blend of cool realism and Hollywood hokum.
  65. Holy Motors is typically confounding but on every level that matters a work of unfettered - and liberating - imagination.
  66. 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.
  67. God, I love Plummer's performance - the twiddling fingers, the tipsy sway of the head, the reverberating roar, as well as the pathos of a man who can't stop acting long enough to hear the cry of his own soul.
  68. It's Lawrence who knocked me sideways. I loved her in "Winter's Bone" and "The Hunger Games" but she's very young - I didn't think she had this kind of deep-toned, layered weirdness in her.
  69. Save the Date works best when it's getting under your skin, and it does that when it's capturing the queasy halfway point - part sadistic, part bittersweet - of still loving somebody while trying to move on to someone new. It's a kind of subtlety that movies, especially American movies, rarely do well, but this quietly unassuming, secretly brilliant little charmer nails it.
  70. Django Unchained doesn't merely hit its marks; it blows them to bloody chunks. It's manna for mayhem mavens.
  71. Salles hasn't reinvented On the Road, but rather turned it into a rambling, beautiful, and occasionally even heartbreaking museum piece.
  72. 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.
  73. 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.
  74. 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.
  75. Soderbergh’s alleged last theatrical film is paranoid and hopeless, but he leaves the field with a bounce in his step.
  76. Like Someone in Love has rather simple, sentimental, melodramatic underpinnings, but the vantage changes everything. It opens up this world — and the next. It’s an enthralling journey.
  77. I’ve seen Upstream Color twice and liked it enormously while never being certain of anything.
  78. The Angels’ Share is a rare upbeat Ken Loach comedy — and a wee dram of bliss. Set in Scotland, it has a blessedly funny overture.
  79. 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?
  80. 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.
  81. 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.
  82. It’s an unshowy, quietly intense drama with grace notes in every scene — and a hellish punch.
  83. It could easily have veered into opportunistic melodrama. But the director’s focused restraint and Suliman’s wonderfully understated performance keep us grounded.
  84. 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.
  85. 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.
  86. 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.
  87. Most teen movies are cocktails of melancholy and elation. This one is best at its most un-transcendent —when it most evokes that period when we never knew what we were supposed to do with the pain.
  88. 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.
  89. 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.
  90. 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.
  91. Rush satisfies our lust for both grand character combat and deadly gearhead spectacle.
  92. 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.
  93. The Square is inner-world-shaking.
  94. 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.
  95. Relatively speaking, Catching Fire is terrific. Even nonrelatively, it's pretty damn good.
  96. The movie is overcalculating and occasionally coarse, but it has a gentle spirit. We should count its existence as a blessing.
  97. Frozen is one of the few recent films to capture that classic Disney spirit.
  98. 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.
  99. This smallest of films marks a welcome return to the world of interpersonal miniature for the writer-director.
  100. Gloria doesn’t lie about a woman’s dwindling options. It’s rife with disappointment and humiliation. But bleakness does not preclude buoyancy. It still manages to leave you with the urge to dance.

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