New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,922 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 The Cove
Lowest review score: 0 Funny Games (2008)
Score distribution:
1,922 movie reviews
  1. As the political rhetoric between Washington and Tehran becomes dangerously overheated, Offside offers an intimate antidote: an affectionate glimpse into the cultural schisms that young Tehranis face every day. Western audiences will cheer the rebellious girls on.
  2. Ought to have been an eye-roller. What a surprise that it's so seductive. The Woodman lives!
  3. For all the limitations of its setting and palette, this is a gorgeous, visually exciting movie.
  4. For my money, Flags (however clunky) cuts more deeply, but Letters is more difficult to shake off. Together, they leave you with the feeling that even a just and necessary war is an abomination.
  5. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is in the scabrous mode, and I like it better than "Trainspotting" -- it doesn't pretend its shenanigans are revolutionary.
  6. If Penn really lets these actors sing, his watchful camera also knows how to respect their silences.
  7. 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.
  8. The final twist is both baffling and repulsive, but as an evocation of the triumph of evil, it's peerless.
  9. Although Paltrow is radiant (and she nails the character’s ditzy sense of entitlement), it's Phoenix's movie. He is, once again, stupendous, and stupendous in a way he has never been before.
  10. 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.
  11. It’s a bracing antidote to the usual “Beautiful Mind”–style Hollywoodization of mental illness.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An expertly woven narrative, as nail-bitingly effective as any good Hollywood thriller.
  12. Sylvie Testud gives such a ferociously controlled performance that the messy murder seems like a necessary release.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The best movie ever made about a man of God -- which is to say, the most honest and morally the most ambiguous.
  13. Delightful, insightful documentary.
  14. The movie is brilliant and infectious, much like Bennett's voice: English-deadpan but never snide, and generous to a fault.
  15. A marvelous literary thriller that gets at the way books can stay with people forever.
  16. Even with all its elisions and distortions it tells a cracking good story. Turing is played with captivating strangeness by Benedict Cumberbatch.
  17. Téchiné gets deep inside the dread and exhilaration of people who have lost their bearings so suddenly they don't even have the luxury of grief.
  18. The film is a deeply felt and beautifully acted hagiography.
  19. The real passion here is the almost erotic thrill that acting still holds for Moreau.
  20. If time-travel is your thing, you learn to shrug off inconsistencies. You debate chicken-egg questions over drinks or dope and mull over all the permutations. You graph it. You wish like hell you had a time machine. You savor every discombobulating, ludicrous, thrilling second of Predestination.
  21. HPATDH 2 works like a charm. A funereal charm, to be sure, but then, there's no time left for larks.
  22. The result is perhaps the most elegantly shot, and certainly the most disturbing, of the recent fantasy films.
  23. Refreshingly uncategorizable: It’s somewhere between a marital-discord drama and a mystery thriller, but it also has its madcap moments.
  24. That's the beauty of Mafioso: that what begins as a comedy of disconnection becomes a tragicomedy of connection -- of roots that go deep and branches that span continents.
  25. 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.
  26. Gracefully directed by Robert Schwentke, the film has a perfect performance by Bana, rangy and haunted, never at home in his body.
  27. The movie is overcalculating and occasionally coarse, but it has a gentle spirit. We should count its existence as a blessing.
  28. The performances are amazing.
  29. Now, at last, comes a fun dystopian sci-fi epic — a splattery shambles with a fat dose of social satire and barely a lick of sense. It’s Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, which must be seen to be disbelieved.
  30. 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.
  31. This time around, though, the Coens' usual arch deliberateness isn't quite as deliberate, and there's an appealing shagginess to some of the episodes and performances.... This is the Coen brothers' most emotionally felt movie, and that's not meant as faint praise.
  32. Morton is one of those tingly actresses whose skin barely covers her soul, and to watch her search for tender mercies in a crazy-hostile world is a gift. The film is appallingly good.
  33. Before you quite know what’s happening, you’re swerving into another sort of movie altogether. And then another. You might not buy them all, but what a great ride.
  34. 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.
  35. Although Junge had consulted with a few historians and moviemakers over the years, she had never really unburdened herself, and this 90-minute documentary is a devastating act of personal confession.
  36. 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 …
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. Has a mixture of bloodletting and exultation that would make Sam Peckinpah sit up in his grave and howl with pleasure.
  40. Office Space is so enjoyable that you wish it were even better...Once the scheme to bilk Initech is set in motion, the off-kilter humor flattens into a take-this-job-and-shove-it thing, and the ending seems pooped-out.
  41. Another year, another Mike Leigh gem.
  42. Holy Motors is typically confounding but on every level that matters a work of unfettered - and liberating - imagination.
  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. His palette here is deep-toned, with bottomless blacks and supersaturated oranges and blues--as if the Walt Disney of "Pinocchio" had collaborated with Goya.
  45. Jodorowsky’s fondness for the surreal and grotesque is in full evidence here. What makes his films so captivating, however, isn’t their strangeness, but their refusal to divide the world into good and bad, even when it’s easy to do so.
  46. By the end of the movie, the characters are numbed, while the audience is sensitized to the mayhem to an almost unbearable degree.
  47. 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.
  48. Belle does have a clear moral compass, but it refuses easy answers and withholds easy judgments. As such, it feels profoundly human.
  49. A cool summer thriller whose laughs don't slow down the suspense.
  50. A wrenching elegy to the "greatest generation"--a film with enough breadth and spectacle and poetry to transcend some clunky storytelling.
  51. Lynn Shelton's marvelous chamber comedy Humpday butts up against the same sort of taboos as "Brüno," and in its fumbling, semi-improvised way, it’s equally hilarious and even more subversive.
  52. Ida
    The movie’s chill is hard to shake off. It’s a grimly potent portrait of repression, of what happens to a society that buries its past in an unmarked grave — and lives its present in a state of corrosive denial.
  53. The results are soul-corrodingly funny.
  54. The soundtrack is extraordinary. Songs from the Shangri-Las, Simon & Garfunkel, Leonard Cohen, Portishead, and many others drift in and out, sometimes taken up by Strayed as she heads into the scrubby landscape toward a mountain a long way away. The fragmentation is remarkably fluid. The pieces are all of a piece.
  55. I'd like to hear from some women about the sole scene I didn't buy--Bello getting angry, then super-turned-on when she learns about her calm Tom's tough-guy origins--but otherwise, A History of Violence is a remarkably convincing examination of heroism, hero worship, and the seductive allure of villainy.
  56. Away From Her is a twilight-of-life love story, one that harshly demolishes our romantic notions of love and loyalty, then replaces them with something deeper and, finally, more consoling.
  57. 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.
  58. The film is called Dear White People, but it might as well be called Dear Everybody. It’s hilarious, and just about everyone will wince with recognition at some point in the film.
  59. One way you know that D.J. Caruso is a resourceful director is that he scares you silly with a minimum of violence and a few smears of blood. His job was certainly made easier by Morse, whose glassy demeanor and high, soft rasp suggests horrors that not even Quentin Tarantino could imagine.
  60. If Nine Queens were a great film, instead of just a very good one, this rottenness would be so pervasive that it would burst the bounds of the plot; it would make us shudder.
  61. Chow is at his best when juggling disparate elements – tragedy, slapstick, romance, melancholy, fantasy. Everything is big with him; he seems incapable of underplaying anything. The crazier his movies, the better. And Journey to the West might be the craziest thing he’s done yet. You may wonder, afterwards, if you dreamt it all.
  62. Unsatisfying at a very high level. It fritters away more than most movies ever offer up.
  63. As Bolt, John Travolta is inspired: His voice still cracks like an adolescent’s, and he has the perfect dopey innocence.
  64. With Jimi: All Is By My Side, writer-director John Ridley tries to do for the rock biopic what Jimi Hendrix did for rock 'n' roll itself in the 1960s — explode it, redefine it, and help it find its best self.
  65. If all three of the women’s lives had come across with equal weight and artistry, the film, which glides back and forth among them, might have approached the symphonic. But only the Streep section truly inspires the kind of awe and terror that the film as a whole strives for.
  66. Liam Neeson has gravely splendid pipes as Ponyo’s father, a once-human wizard who lives underwater and despises humankind for polluting the planet.
  67. I’m not wholly clear on the link between a jellied green thing wriggling along a tree branch and the oneness of life, but Shinto Buddhist ruminations sound good in almost any context, and the film is entrancing.
  68. That's a knock on ­Bujalski -- that his characters exist in a vacuum, with few references to popular culture or politics or much of anything, really. Of course, one artist's vacuum is another's poetic distillation, and there's something about Mutual Appreciation (which is shot in an unassuming black and white) that spoke more directly to my inner slacker than any film since, well, "Funny Ha Ha."
  69. Rivette keeps the life-is-a-play metaphysics to a minimum, and the cast, including Jeanne Balibar and Sergio Castellitto, is attractive.
  70. I’ve never seen a movie that so cunningly exploits our anticipation.
  71. You gasp at the ecstatic convergence of lung power and spirit.
  72. Often howlingly funny, and the actors are a treat. But the underlying message is so suspect that it’s hard to suspend disbelief.
  73. As with much of Soderbergh's avant-garde work, his garde isn't quite as avant as he would have us believe it is. Still, Soderbergh's jazzed stylistics can be smartly entertaining. Without them, an uneven movie like Traffic might seem more of a mélange than it already is.
  74. Apart from scenes with Leslie Mann as a mother who propagates the wisdom of The Secret (she’d be too heavy-handed for a Disney Channel sitcom), The Bling Ring is enjoyable. And it’s always easy on the eyes.
  75. By continually interrupting the sequences of the adult couple with scenes of the young pair, Eyre shatters the emotional power of Dench and Broadbent.
  76. What’s on display here is a great actor at his absolute peak — damn it all.
  77. James Franco’s adaptation of the sick little Cormac McCarthy period novel Child of God is surprisingly pretty good.
  78. I think the movie works best if you know the original and have a taste for goofy revisionism.
  79. An outlandishly entertaining mixture of high silliness and high style.
  80. Does Rocky Balboa deliver? Weirdly enough, it does: I was jumping out of my seat during Rocky's bout. If you close your eyes and try to halve your IQ--aim for something between a baboon and a lemur--you might even think it's a masterpiece.
  81. The set pieces, such as an unmasked Spider-Man trying to stop a runaway subway car, are furiously scary, and compensate for all the icky mooning and moping that Peter does whenever he's questioning his gift, which is most of the time.
  82. Kingsman is full of elaborately orchestrated violence and acrobatic stunt work, shot in fast, sinewy, CGI-enhanced long takes that push and pull our perspective this way and that. It’s all very silly and not really meant to be taken seriously, but as the story gets more and more brutal, something strange happens: We start to care for these cartoonish characters and this absurd scenario.
  83. Tends to settle for easy, homiletic insights. But it also has a collection of first-rate performances by some marvellous actresses.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Barry Levinson’s political and media satire Wag the Dog goes as fast as the wind, and that’s a relief because the idea behind the movie is thin. Very thin -- and at times offensively glib.
  84. The hang-loose grodiness of these films has its charms, and the Ray-Banned team of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, at its best, is good vaudeville.
  85. For all its stridency, Dinosaur 13 isn’t looking to mobilize us or get us to think hard about these issues. It just wants to tell its wild, one-of-a-kind tale in the most engaging way possible, and it does that exceptionally well.
  86. It starts off as a mess, yes, but eventually finds itself in a very poignant place. Even a lesser Terry Gilliam film is usually more engaging and invigorating than most of the other movies out there.
  87. Costner is always at his best when he’s a little ornery, and Duvall is the same way. His grizzled performance is so thoroughly in character that he even chews as if it were 1882.
  88. Cold Mountain has some marvelous, intimate moments and a real feeling, at times, for the loss that war engenders, but it also has more than its share of hokum--which would be more entertaining if the hokum were juicier.
  89. In the scenes between Hanks and Newman, we get glimpses of greatness.
  90. I’d liked him to have asked the judge specifically about the MySpace girl, whose case led to his comeuppance. But it’s a huge story, and Kids for Cash provides a measure of justice.
  91. Mother and Child is suffused with grief and loss. It’s also suffused with compassion and insight.
  92. Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me is one of those showbiz docs that’s not exactly pleasurable but offers a penetrating glimpse — sometimes too penetrating — into what it means to eat, drink, and be contrary in the public sphere.
  93. Operation Filmmaker doesn't quite shake out as a microcosm of the American-Iraq relationship, although Davenport cheekily toys with the conceit. But the movie is endlessly resonant.
  94. As an honest look into relationships, it's a bust. As a straight-up comedy, though, it’s hilarious.
  95. iIsn't really much more than a funny, touching little squiggle, but it has a bracing honesty and pays particular heed to the betweenness in people's lives, to how much goes on when nothing seems to be going on at all.
  96. The beauty of Obvious Child is that there’s nothing obvious about it.
  97. Crudup, whose features have the appropriate delicacy, plays Ned with complete conviction; it’s difficult to imagine anyone else succeeding as well.

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