New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,717 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 War Horse
Lowest review score: 0 The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)
Score distribution:
1,717 movie reviews
  1. Danes gives a marvelously quiet, poignant performance.
  2. The terseness of a thriller, the clarity of a documentary, and a mixture of high drama and low humor.
  3. If only Knightley had a co-star equal to her here: The 1995 edition of Colin Firth, come to think of it, would have been perfect.
  4. Its focus--the children--are not even onscreen very much. But their ghosts are everywhere, and the pain of the film is primal.
  5. Given that this retrograde memory loss has cleansed Doug Bruce's perceptions and made him an altogether more open and emotional person, Unknown White Male suggests that amnesia could be the ultimate chicken soup for the soul.
  6. A happier surprise is the smart work of director Richard Donner: 16 Blocks is all jumble and jangle--crowds, snarled traffic, and discordant car horns. The scariest moments have no music.
  7. The fullness of Duck Season is in direct proportion to its smallness; its modesty makes it bloom.
  8. Writer-director Rian Johnson gives the usual teen angst an entertaining kick. But the joke wears off, and what's left is as convoluted and monotonous as any conventional hard-boiled mystery.
  9. Surprisingly diverting as a case study: not only of a talented misfit sublimating like mad to keep his loneliness from consuming him but also of a fringe artistic community (which includes the makers of this film) that rallies to give him the reinforcement he craves.
  10. Its tone is semi-parodic, with lurid black-and-white cinematography and brassy, tongue-in-cheek music. But Harron stops well short of camp.
  11. James Toback seems oddly nice in Nicholas Jarecki's delicious cult-of-personality documentary The Outsider.
  12. Little turns out well in Rebecca Dreyfus's Stolen, a haunting and expansive documentary.
  13. This Romanian movie defies categorization--it's halfway between a black comedy and a Fred Wiseman documentary. And it haunts you like the ghost of any dead person you've ever ignored.
  14. In the world of bloated movie-star vehicles, it's not unusual to see an ego trip of these dimensions. What’s rare is when one hits its marks so smoothly.
  15. It's a fast and enjoyable B-movie, though, and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine brings some good stormy drama to the proceedings.
  16. Has William Hurt ever been this perfectly cast? He uses his groggy self-importance to make the pastor the victim of evil and the very fount of it.
  17. See The War Tapes. Maybe this picture can be worth a thousand lives.
  18. Deliriously stupid romantic time-travel drama.
  19. The movie is semi-infantile camp but often riotous.
  20. Niceness also takes the edge off Patrick Creadon's otherwise revitalizing documentary.
  21. The filmmakers have done their job brilliantly: The Road to Guantánamo is yet more lousy PR for the infidels.
  22. A collection of swashbuckling set pieces with the hustle of a vaudeville show.
  23. As with all Ozon's work, Time to Leave resounds with grace notes. The wide-screen cinematography by Jeanne Lapoirie offsets (or maybe disguises) the movie's narrow scope, and there's something private--withholding--in Poupaud's beauty that gives his misanthropy a touch of mystery.
  24. The movie might be scary for small kids--but good scary, with goose-bump-inducing frames, witty repartee, and three resourceful kid protagonists.
  25. 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."
  26. Profoundly different from the others. On the cusp of their half-century mark, Apted's British subjects have accommodated themselves to what they were, what they are, and what they will be.
  27. Neither movie (Capote/Infamous) gives you the whole picture, but it's fun to see them both and rearrange the pieces in your head.
  28. This is one of the most immediate, personal costume dramas ever made, and so it's not unseemly to consider how the writer-director and her heroine overlap.
  29. Ryan Murphy’s jaunty screen version of Running With Scissors proves that nothing consecrates one's depiction of a narcissistic mother like having her embodied by Annette Bening. Bening's specialties are (a) insane people and (b) actresses.
  30. In the end, the movie is more than the sum of its fragments. The montages are intense, the images ravishing. The movie is tactile. When you finally feel this place, you understand just how little you understand.
  31. The movie makes for a good old-fashioned wide-screen wallow. Norton isn’t remotely credible, but Toby Jones is dandy as a sleazeball with a core of decency, and Watts is so open, so soulfully petulant, so transcendentally pretty, that even Maugham might reconsider the pleasures of the flesh.
  32. Conrad's last film, the underrated "The Weather Man," was a parade of miseries, too, but the protagonist (Nicolas Cage) didn’t move very fast in the throes of his existential crisis, and the palette (it was Chicago in winter) was glacial. Here, those crazy San Francisco hills give the movie a lift, and Muccino frames it all airily, with a glancing touch.
  33. Venus is worth seeing for the scenes between O’Toole and Vanessa Redgrave as the woman he abandoned--the mother of his children.
  34. 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.
  35. A jaw-dropper: a delirium-inducing crash course in international trash.
  36. Given that the movie is one long chase--Neeson's motive withheld until the end, the monotony broken only by the slaying of one member of his posse after another--the film is surprisingly gripping.
  37. What makes An Unreasonable Man so compelling is its perfectly fluid line. Simply put, the private Nader and the public Nader are the same: There are no contradictions with which to grapple, no byways to explore.
  38. Cooper's performance is outlandishly great, but Phillippe’s knocks Breach down a peg.
  39. Michael Apted's Amazing Grace is a beautifully chiseled blunt instrument. No, it's not subtle, but how subtle was slavery?
  40. What begins like your basic police procedural becomes more and more choppy and diffuse. To a point, that’s intentional: Zodiac was never caught, and Fincher aims to creep you out with the lack of closure.
  41. It's outlandish, hilariously overripe, and possibly sexist: You'd expect no less from Craig Brewer, the writer and director who made the passionate case for how hard it is out there for a pimp. But I loved the picture's tabloid energy and heart.
  42. The movie is too long (nearly two hours), but the acting--Gere, Molina, the peerlessly edgy Hope Davis, Marcia Gay Harden as Irving's loopy Swiss-German painter wife--keeps you giggling. And the story has something up its sleeve--a dream finish.
  43. It's deftly calibrated and acted with relish: Kasdan is really good!
  44. It's Jordan’s feat to make a linear, talking-heads documentary (among the heads are Jonas Mekas, Robert Wilson, John Waters, Nick Zedd, and John Zorn) that still manages to evoke something of Smith's floating, ravishingly colorful dreamscapes--a menagerie of creatures that, even as they're captured on film, are already fading into the air.
  45. Hot Fuzz is fun, and it's nice to see all the English character actors who aren't busy in Harry Potter films, but it lacks its predecessor's freshness.
  46. What makes Fracture hum is the way Hopkins bares his teeth, twitches his nostrils, and trains his shiny pinprick Lecter eyes on his co-star.
  47. Not every sight gag works, and there's a brief stretch in the middle where the action becomes landlocked. But once we're out to sea the movie goes swimmingly--its three protagonists fighting, flailing, and often on the verge of drowning as their tiny skiff surges toward the land of the Inuit.
  48. It has vivid characters, a strong sense of place, and a free-floating hopelessness that never precludes the possibility of meaningful action.
  49. Pierrepoint is worth seeing for Shergold's attention to process and for all the ghoulish details.
  50. Don't worry, parents, only you--and not your 5-year-old--will get that the chicken's stoned out of his gourd.
  51. It's one of the few tween movies that isn't in your face; its limpness becomes appealing.
  52. The movie is clipped, blunt, and grimly realistic. It is practically a POLICIER , although the suspense is mitigated by our knowledge that the investigation will end badly.
  53. The film, Rescue Dawn, is so good it makes you wish that Herzog had gone Hollywood earlier in his career. His pet theme is here: man tested against nature, his sanity more precarious than his body.
  54. Adam Shankman's movie of the Broadway Hairspray gets better as it lumbers along, but there’s something garish about its hustle--it’s like an elephant trumpeting in your face.
  55. They’ve taken "2001" and Tarkovsky’s "Solaris" and "Silent Running," mixed in stuff from save-the-earth pictures like "The Core" and "Deep Impact," and thrown in a cheesy climax out of "Alien."
  56. It’s intermittently very funny. But it doesn’t make the existential leap to the big screen, and it doesn’t have the density of gags or the lunatic free-association of the best episodes.
  57. It’s not just vérité--it’s battlefield vérité; it triggers your fight-or-flight instincts.
  58. It goes soft, but even a gelded traditional farce is more potent than most of our slob comedies.
  59. It isn’t much of a movie (unless your aesthetic was formed in high-school science class), but it will be hugely informative to aliens who land on this planet in a thousand years and wonder why there’s no welcoming committee.
  60. If you’ve never seen a Johnnie To crime picture, Exiled is a simple, stylish, and utterly delightful introduction.
  61. As Ben Wade, gang leader and murderer, he gives an ironic performance, but Crowe’s irony is more intense than other actors’ obsession. He turns the idea of having so few emotions--of being beyond caring--into a bloody joke. He upstages everyone with his laughing eyes.
  62. It’s engrossing, and Mueller-Stahl’s mix of Old World chivalry and murderousness is scarier than Jason and Freddy combined.
  63. As a narrative, it’s clunky. As a whodunit, it’s third-rate. As the drama of a closed-off man’s awakening, it’s predictable. But Haggis has got hold of a fiercely urgent subject: the moral devastation of American soldiers serving in (and coming home from) Iraq. At its heart are deeper mysteries--and a tragedy that reaches far beyond anything onscreen.
  64. Like his "Wendigo," the film has a lot of mumbo jumbo about ancient spirits revived and angered by human disrespect--the old Indian-graveyard paradigm, as clunky as ever. But the context is overpoweringly eerie.
  65. Sensationally directed by Peter Berg, it’s a combination forensics detective movie (car bomb blows up secure American compound in Saudi Arabia--who dunnit and how can we stop him from doing it again?) and red-meat waste-the-terrorists action picture.
  66. After seeing "Brokeback Mountain," with its sanctified couplings against a backdrop of purple mountain majesties, some of us felt that Ang Lee owed us a dirty movie with more bodily fluids. Lust, Caution is that movie--for maybe 10 of its 158 minutes. The rest of the film is absorbing, though.
  67. Jake Paltrow's comedy takes familiar male-angst material and turns it into a painful--but fun--string of jokes.
  68. Clooney is as good as he has ever been.
  69. Casey Affleck has never had a pedestal like the one his brother provides him, and he earns it. His Patrick is pale and raspy, with a slight grogginess that gives him an astounding vulnerability--and makes his bursts of temper shocking.
  70. Often howlingly funny, and the actors are a treat. But the underlying message is so suspect that it’s hard to suspend disbelief.
  71. I think the movie works best if you know the original and have a taste for goofy revisionism.
  72. Gray knows how to sell the idea of unalterable destiny with a car chase: That’s the mark of a real action director.
  73. For all the sprawl, American Gangster feels secondhand. It’s like "Scarface" drained of blood, at arm’s length from the culture that spawned it.
  74. The depressing subtext is that even with detailed proof of ongoing genocide, it takes movie stars to get to the movers and shakers, and to get worthy movies like this one into theaters.
  75. Occasionally you see a documentary and it hits you how much you don’t know about someone who was part of your mental landscape.
  76. For these kids to sing and dance with all their hearts, they need to go to a place in themselves that should be closed down forever. The glories of War/Dance are torturously won, and all the more glorious for it.
  77. Anyone who sees the suffering faces of the victims in "Casualties" and "Redacted" knows that De Palma not only despairs over what he’s showing us but implicates his own medium--his own male gaze--in the crimes against nature.
  78. Atonement works reasonably well as a tragic romance, but that sting is dulled. As a book, it was a blow to the head; as a movie, it’s an adaptation of a book.
  79. A heartbreaking vérité documentary by Jennifer Venditti about a misfit Maine teenager--a film that makes you think about (and question) what fitting in really entails.
  80. Half the time in the mystical saga Youth Without Youth, I had no idea what the movie was about, but I always felt that the director and screenwriter, Francis Ford Coppola, did, and that he was deeply in tune--and having a hell of a time--with the material.
  81. Philip Seymour Hoffman carries the movie. As the CIA operative who hates Communists and his myopic superiors in equal measure, he has a wily, don’t-give-a-shit drive that makes you wish he’d been in Baghdad in 2003.
  82. The captain narrates in a punchy, journalistic style that gives Elite Squad an air of sociological realism--it bears a resemblance to viscerally exciting seventies urban thrillers like "The French Connection."
  83. Praying With Lior engages us on so many levels it transcends its middle-class Jewish milieu.
  84. Excitingly convoluted.
  85. Rivette has aged into one of cinema’s most ingenious minimalists. In The Duchess of Langeais he uses intertitles--bits of literary exposition--with cheeky understatement.
  86. Compared with other first-person motion-sickness horror pictures like "The Blair Witch Project" and "Cloverfield," George A. Romero’s Diary of the Dead is weak tea, yet there’s enough social commentary (and innovative splatter) to acidulate the brew--to remind you that Romero, even behind the curve, makes other genre filmmakers look like fraidy-cats.
  87. Hideously depressing but also enraging documentary.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Intriguing and entertaining despite some rough edges, Dan Katzir’s documentary profits immeasurably from the ancient Spaisman’s genuine charisma.
  88. The Grand is a seesaw, but the setting--the high-stakes poker subculture--is remarkably fertile and the actors are a treat.
  89. Honoré has proven you can make a movie musical in which style doesn’t upstage content--a movie musical that blossoms from the inside out.
  90. The movie makes you empathize with the rage that drives these young men to violence--but it also makes you see how manly action wipes out their individuality, their uniqueness, and turns them into archetypal meatheads.
  91. What makes My Brother Is an Only Child so alive and entertaining is how it dramatizes the endless tug-of-war between political conviction and personal experience--the way the lines twist and blur and finally implode.
  92. It’s ironic that Stop-Loss loses its momentum when the characters go on the road. Yet Rasuk--the star of "Raising Victor Vargas"--gives a stunning performance.
  93. My favorite rock-concert movies, Jonathan Demme’s "Stop Making Sense" and "Neil Young: Heart of Gold," are organic: They chart a miraculous path from sound to soul. Scorsese stays on the outside, as befits his temperament and his subject. Yet there is, amid the whirligig spectacle, a spark of connection.
  94. Once past the clunky prologue, the film is great fun, with a good balance between computer effects and athleticism.
  95. So how's the Mamet "Rocky"? Fast. Lively. In your face. Very watchable. And, like its predecessors, so bizarrely convoluted it barely holds together on a narrative level. But the underpinnings are consistent.
  96. Has a mixture of edginess and melancholy that's beautifully sustained until the climax, when the tang of realism becomes the cudgel of melodrama.
  97. Broadly, this is a coming-of-age movie in the "Diner" mold: Trier tracks Phillip and Erik and a few of their pals as they stagger into a world that can't be attuned to their (male adolescent) expectations--especially in regard to women.
  98. Howard A. Rodman's script has a lot of juice, and the rhythms are so pregnant that the air vibrates with something, even if you're not sure what.
  99. Sex and the City: The Motion Picture is a joyful wallow. And it's more: In this summer of do-overs (The Incredible Hulk, a new Batman versus a new Joker), it's what the series finale should have been.

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