New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,826 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 Funny Games (2008)
Score distribution:
1,826 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Le Week-End is a marital ­disintegration–reintegration drama that opens with a dose of frost and vinegar and turns believably sweet—and unbelievably marvelous, in light of what had seemed a depressing trajectory.
  3. Ernest and Celestine is a modest, beautiful little children’s fable with a wise, grown-up heart.
  4. They’re great stories, and it’s through them that Jodorowsky’s Dune shows us how the greatest movie never made, in its own crazy little way, somehow still came to be.
  5. 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.
  6. It’s the closest I’ve seen a film come to an act of genuine hypnosis.
  7. Belle does have a clear moral compass, but it refuses easy answers and withholds easy judgments. As such, it feels profoundly human.
  8. 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.
  9. Slattery adapted the book with Alex Metcalf and gets the tone just right. The film is damnably amusing.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. For all the limitations of its setting and palette, this is a gorgeous, visually exciting movie.
  16. 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.
  17. It's also breathtaking to watch a throwaway studio sequel break its corporate chains before your very eyes and become something thrilling and dangerous and alive.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. This vital documentary gives you a world of hurt, prescribes nothing, and calls the ultimate questions you can ask as an American.
  21. In the end, What If belongs to Zoe Kazan. And both she and it are wonderful.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Certainly for any fan of Cave’s, 20,000 Days on Earth makes for a creative, enthralling journey through the man’s world.
  26. 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.
  27. It’s a potentially grisly setup, but the actual movie makes death look downright fun.
  28. 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.
  29. The hotel scenes go on a tad long, but what holds us is that we’re right in the room as history is being made — with the guy, the actual guy, soon to be notorious all over the world.
  30. 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.
  31. Being a puckish Swedish, the writer-director Ruben Ostland slips into a tone that makes Force Majeure almost seem like a deadpan — frozen — comedy.
  32. 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.
  33. Gabe Polsky's ingenious, touching documentary Red Army looks at the other side of this myth, the seemingly faceless, allegedly robotic players who made up the Soviet team. There, Polsky finds a story even more epic and powerful than the Miracle on Ice.
  34. A part with this much sobbing, hand-wringing, and mournful gazing into the middle distance could be, in the wrong hands, a laugh riot, but Lawrence’s instincts are so smart that she never goes even a shade overboard. She’s a hell of an actress.
  35. 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.
  36. Even with all its elisions and distortions it tells a cracking good story. Turing is played with captivating strangeness by Benedict Cumberbatch.
  37. 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.
  38. It's still possible to have a good time at this movie, and the primary reason is De Niro.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. She sometimes falls into the same trap that Lenny Bruce fell into, playing the taboo-breaking emancipator, but for the most part she's blessedly bawdy.
    • New York Magazine (Vulture)
  42. If the bad guys in the real world were all this obvious, life would be a whole lot easier.
  43. A lovely confection.
  44. It all works on the level of a sprightly sitcom: lesbianism for the Lucy-and-Ethel crowd.
  45. The usual Sayles mix of torpor and talent prevails here.
    • New York Magazine (Vulture)
  46. By continually interrupting the sequences of the adult couple with scenes of the young pair, Eyre shatters the emotional power of Dench and Broadbent.
  47. A loose-limbed documentary about the hip-hop D.J. scene that, for know-nothings like me, is highly informative without being in the least academic.
  48. I'm all for films that don't flow from the usual Hollywood test tubes, but A Civil Action is basically the standard formula with a dash of downbeat.
  49. Practitioners of Cajun, Creole, and zydeco music strut their stuff. So do the players of a style new to me but instantly beloved: I'm speaking of swamp pop.
  50. del Toro blends agit-prop politics and ghoulishness without making the entire enterprise seem silly.
  51. The stage is set for a wonderful movie, and yet The Luzhin Defence, based on the Vladimir Nabokov novel The Defense, never courts greatness.
  52. I much prefer the whacked-out, Dr. Strangelove-ish brand of political-apocalypse film to all this straitlaced you-are-there dramaturgy, which seems a throwback to the early sixties not only in time but in spirit. But what Thirteen Days sets out to do it does admirably.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    This entertaining but rather peculiar movie asks extraordinary questions, and I wish it were better equipped to give the answers.
  53. Complicated thriller that gets more interesting as its complications pile up.
  54. At its most basic level, Cast Away is a graceful and powerfully rendered survivalist saga.... And yet there's something generic about Chuck's plight. The filmmakers don't opt for the usual happy-face Hollywood ending, but even the half-smile they provide smacks of inspirationalism.
  55. Pleasingly shaggy.
  56. In The Circle, which is banned in Iran, the enforced society of women is, in effect, a community of adults treated as children.
  57. In political terms, True Crime is a far cry from "Dirty Harry" -- it actually stands up for due process of law. In Hollywood, I believe this is known as mellowing.
  58. His (Aoyama) existential odyssey is so attenuated and aloof that he turns suffering into an art thing.
  59. In the scenes between Hanks and Newman, we get glimpses of greatness.
  60. Evans, in effect, is the real producer here, and the film, which mostly consists of artfully blended archival footage, comes across like a last will and testament.
  61. 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.
  62. At its best in the interludes between explosions.
  63. More entertaining than it has a right to be. It's pulpy and preposterous, and yet it gets at a real truth.
  64. Arkin has a great and gentle feeling for small-time malcontents, and he knows how to make their woes our own. He does justice to the human comedy -- and redeems the movie.
  65. It's a pure (guilty) pleasure trip. That's pleasure, De Palma–style -- twisted, dirty, voyeuristic, a vast glissando of amorality.
  66. Jeunet wants us to know that times are hard for dreamers and that one shouldn't pass up a chance for true love. He means it, no doubt, but he doesn't have the simplicity of soul to quite bring off the sentiment. Still, we're charmed by the attempt.
  67. Rivette keeps the life-is-a-play metaphysics to a minimum, and the cast, including Jeanne Balibar and Sergio Castellitto, is attractive.
  68. The emotional resolutions aren't pat, exactly. But they're not messy either, and for material this inherently volatile, that seems like a cheat.
  69. Reygadas is both a sophisticate and a primitive: He sets up his film as a religious allegory, with the nameless painter as a kind of suffering Christ and the old woman--whose name is Ascen, as in Ascension--as his redeemer.
  70. Max
    Noah Taylor does startlingly well by this role, but the conceit behind the film is a bizarre piece of wish-fulfillment.
  71. Great on atmosphere and less good on everything else. That’s not entirely a knock.
  72. Breezily enjoyable but thin.
  73. Hoffman has his specialty, though, and it’s not inappropriate here: He always looks supersmart and yet his reactions to what goes on around him are superslow.
  74. Has some rapturously observant sequences concerning childhood.
  75. Tends to settle for easy, homiletic insights. But it also has a collection of first-rate performances by some marvellous actresses.
  76. As a technical achievement, K-19 is right up there with Das Boot. Don't expect much dramatic depth, though. The fathoms descended in this movie are strictly nautical.
  77. Powerful, uneven police drama.
  78. One of the glummest and most forbidding thrillers ever.
  79. 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.
  80. In this otherwise rather schematic swatch of social catharsis, Brazil's Fernanda Montenegro gives the best performance by an actress I've seen all year.
  81. The best thing about Insomnia is that despite director Christopher Nolan's soft spot for moody-blues obfuscation, he has the good sense to keep his star in practically every shot.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The movie is no more than a well-produced confection designed for quick payoff in the big cities, but it's pretty consistently funny.
  82. A prime piece of whirlybird filmmaking, and the technique saps what might have been a powerful experience.
  83. Eminently disposable, but that's its charm. It stays with you just long enough to make you smile.
  84. Entertaining documentary.
  85. As in many a French movie, especially crime movie, the philosophe and the crook turn out to be each other’s mirror image.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Mamet has to learn to trust the camera more than he does; he has to stop trying to control everything with language; he has to let loose a little and just give in to the fluency, the ease, the free-flowing pleasure of making a movie.
  86. Mamet doesn't take the material as far as it can go -- we're left with a pleasing fable about the battle of the sexes and the virtues of persistence in a just cause. The neatness of it all is both appealing and appalling, and perhaps this combo is what finally hooked Mamet.
  87. Caine is burlesquing his own iconography and enjoying every minute of it. He hasn't lost his dignity, though; it takes a lot of self-possession to act this blissfully silly. He even looks good with bad teeth.
  88. Every generation has to discover the same clichés that were drummed into previous generations, and kids could do worse than to learn them from this film.
  89. Stunning, and it has the added bonus of being about an era that is virtually new to movies. As a dramatic achievement, however, it is not quite so amazing.
  90. Disney's Lilo & Stitch, which is animated in the traditional way, with watercolor backgrounds, is lovely, and funny, too. It owes a great deal to Japanese anime, but there's also a "Looney Tunes" friskiness to it that's distinctively homegrown.
  91. An ungainly, intermittently harrowing omnibus filled with moments of piercing sorrow and rage.
  92. Noé shoots his sequences in long, unbroken takes, and the unblinking horror that results is, I think, the opposite of exploitation. There has been so much lurid bloodletting in the movies that you might think nothing could faze us anymore. Think again.
  93. A kind of psychological whodunit, but without the thrills. The clue-making is rather desultory, as if Cronenberg were indulging a narrative strategy he didn’t really care for.
  94. Freaky Friday gives Curtis the chance to go all goofy and showcase her gift for splayed physical comedy.
  95. Watching this movie, you get the feeling that the Depression existed so that Seabiscuit could be memorialized.
  96. Parts of this film are as blandly lulling as a mood tape, but at best it’s a literally soaring experience.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It’s a pleasant movie -- very pleasant, in fact -- but soft as a down quilt.

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