New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,798 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 of the Worlds
Lowest review score: 0 Funny Games (2008)
Score distribution:
1,798 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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."
  5. Praying With Lior engages us on so many levels it transcends its middle-class Jewish milieu.
  6. Excitingly convoluted.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. The Grand is a seesaw, but the setting--the high-stakes poker subculture--is remarkably fertile and the actors are a treat.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Once past the clunky prologue, the film is great fun, with a good balance between computer effects and athleticism.
  17. 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.
  18. Has a mixture of edginess and melancholy that's beautifully sustained until the climax, when the tang of realism becomes the cudgel of melodrama.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. The Incredible Hulk is weightless--as disposable as an Xbox game. It's also fairly entertaining: swift, playful without pitching into camp, and acted with high spirits.
  23. Get Smart the sitcom was a one-joke affair and got tedious fast, whereas Carell’s starry-eyed dweeb has room for nuance, for growth, for inspiration.
  24. 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.
  25. Midway through, an eerier theme creeps in, all the more powerful for Herzog's lack of insistence. By the "end of the world" he means the end of the world.
  26. The first half of Quid Pro Quo is among the most jaw-dropping things I"ve ever seen: Who knew there was a closeted subculture of people pretending to be paraplegics?
  27. The film is freaky, amusing, and sickening in equal measures—part fly-on-the-wall vérité, part multiple-perspective Altmanesque tragicomedy.
  28. All over the map, but it's worth enduring the botched gags, formula plotting, and even the racism to marvel at the genius of Robert Downey Jr.
  29. All in all, Frozen River is gripping stuff. Except it's also rigged and cheaply manipulative.
  30. As he delivered his climactic sermon in the Israeli desert, I murmured, "Amen, brother." Religulous is a religious experience.
  31. Menzel’s touch is sprightly, lyrical, mischievously understated.
  32. Fanning is a child actor with a grown-up soul, and every move, every breath, seems mysteriously right.
  33. The best thing in the movie is Stewart. She was the leggy hobo-camp teen in love with Emile Hirsch in "Into the Wild," and she's better at conveying physical longing than any of the actors playing vampires.
  34. Milk is one of the most heartfelt portraits of a politician ever made--the man himself remains just out of reach.
  35. The movie is ludicrous, but Eastwood’s consistency is poignant. He has an agenda and sticks to it.
  36. The acting, the on-the-fly atmosphere (the film was shot quickly), and Leguizamo's increasingly urgent hustle are deeply evocative, but parts of the movie are almost too painful to endure.
  37. As a onetime dramaturg and Brechtian, I enjoyed the chin-wags and the glimpses of Streep in rehearsal--especially her quivering admission that she can't bear the thought of anyone seeing her process.
  38. Taken--in the hands of director Pierre Morel (District B13), with Neeson in nearly every shot--works like gangbusters. The Frenchies have made the filet mignon of meathead vigilante movies.
  39. There's a huge change that turns the nihilistic carnage of Craven's original into something suffused with old-fashioned family values, so that we can relax and enjoy watching the bad guys get beaten, skewered, dismembered by garbage disposals, and tortured with microwave ovens.
  40. The reason to see An American Affair is Gretchen Mol. She has a mild, natural way of holding herself that's likably unactressy--in every film, she seems both smart and grounded.
  41. The documentary is solid as … as … an anvil. And if you can forget Spinal Tap (hard), it's also rather touching the way these 50-year-olds still have the forged-in-fire fortitude.
  42. Delicate, wrenching, occasionally vexing.
  43. Julie & Julia is full of holes, but you don't even care when Streep is onscreen.
  44. Public Enemies has incidental pleasures (its hi-def video palette is fascinatingly weird), but it’s only Depp’s sense of fun that keeps it from being a period gangster museum piece.
  45. The sheer scale of the movie is mind-blowing--it touches on every aspect of modern life. It's the documentary equivalent of "The Matrix": It shows us how we're living in a simulacrum, fed by machines run by larger machines with names like Monsanto, Perdue, Tyson, and the handful of other corporations that make everything.
  46. Is Brüno riotous? Yes, more so than "Borat," in which Baron Cohen's targets were ducks in a barrel and largely undeserving of ridicule. He doesn't aim much higher here, but his tricks are more inventive.
  47. A pretentious and stilted but weirdly compelling blend of sins-of-the-parent saga and horror movie.
  48. The movie's evolution from somber spiritual torment to icky body horror to fetishistic sex to wild lyricism (vampires pogoing off buildings) to Grand Guignol splatter is exhilarating.
  49. On one level: groan. On another: No one else seems about to make those arrests. The only thing that would scare Wall Street straight is the image of Michael Moore as the new sheriff in town.
  50. Surprisingly intimate and nuanced.
  51. Page is softer than in "Hard Candy" and "Juno." Without Diablo Cody comebacks, she’s even more marvelous.
  52. The movie gives off a stranger vibe. Beavan is both a hero and a figure of fun, a man whose ideals are in constant collision with the habits of modern life.
  53. For all its original touches, though, An Education follows a conventional trajectory.
  54. I’ve never seen a movie that so cunningly exploits our anticipation.
  55. More Eurocentric but quite enjoyable, even for those of us who don’t follow British “football.”
  56. A meathead revenge picture, but it’s very satisfying. Director Martin Campbell, coming off "Casino Royale," has a style that’s blunt and bruising.
  57. Any war picture in which the heroine stalls the villain with a quiet, painstaking tea ceremony until the wind shifts direction and the good guys can firebomb the bad guys into oblivion is too ineffably Zen not to love.
  58. The tony cast emotes like mad, but polished Brits are so temperamentally unlike Russians that every four-syllable patronymic sounds like iambic pentameter.
  59. Miguel Arteta’s rollicking Youth in Revolt is one of several recent movies to elevate the generic coming-of-age teen sex comedy to a plane of surrealism.
  60. The movie is unfailingly likable and finally impressive. Goldin doesn’t settle for easy answers, and he makes you think that no one should.
  61. Morel will inevitably be compared to John Woo, whom he trounces. He has fewer mannerisms (no damn doves) and a keener eye; his fastest, most kinetic shots flow together like frames in a flipbook.
  62. Rahim is an exciting, unpredictable presence, and Arestrup’s César has a stature that’s nearly Shakespearean.
  63. Greenberg would be a heckuva movie if we could just get Greenberg out of there.
  64. Part goofy drug comedy, part shocking bloodbath. It’s a riot of tones and genres, but unlike that other recent hybrid, "Pineapple Express," the parts add up to something larger.
  65. Kick-Ass is a compendium of all sleazy things, and it sings like a siren to our inner Tarantinos.
  66. Caine makes a grave, soulful vigilante avenger, and first-time director Daniel Barber gives the film a dank, streaky, genuinely unnerving palette.
  67. Holofcener’s plotting can seem casual (many characters, no speeches pointing up the themes, no conventional climaxes), but her dialogue is smart, an oscillating mixture of abrasiveness and balm, of harsh satire and compassionate pullback.
  68. It doesn’t come close to the emotional heft of those two rare 2s that outclassed their ones: Superman 2 and Spider-Man 2. But Iron Man 2 hums along quite nicely.
  69. Gibney does finally kick the focus off Abramoff to bemoan the legalized-bribery system that’s the rule, not the exception.
  70. Mother and Child is suffused with grief and loss. It’s also suffused with compassion and insight.
  71. 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.
  72. Weisz is an excellent Hypatia. For all her intelligence, there's something childish, off-kilter, vaguely otherworldly in her aura. She's just the type to be gazing into the heavens while around her all hell breaks loose.
  73. By turns desperately funny and unfunnily desperate?
  74. This wistful little film is at just the right temperature.
  75. Solondz conjures a world that's rotting away from the inside, in which only the children--freckle-faced Dylan Riley Snyder and Emma Hinz--weep over the loss of moral authority. This might be some kind of goddamned masterpiece, but I'm not sure I want to watch it again to say for sure.
  76. Early on, writer-director David Michôd serves up "Trainspotting"-like tricks and narration that is beguiling, if rarely apropos. But the actors are something.
  77. A haunting duet for two great actors who haven't lost a step and have gained the most exquisite lyricism.
  78. Although Catfish is opportunistic, even borderline exploitive, it gets at-by indirection, through the back door-the magic-carpet aspect of this scary new medium. Real people are so complicated and irreducible, you know?
  79. Lisa Kudrow does a dazzling turn as a guidance counselor who's a flickering mixture of sympathy and narcissism. But the movie belongs to Stone, that gorgeous, husky-voiced redhead.
  80. This is a mood piece, shapeless but often lyric.
  81. As much of her (Steen) as there is, you'll want more.
  82. It helps that Reilly is the opposite of a slob-comic. With his hangdog melancholy, he makes even the nonstop cunnilingus allusions poignant-the product of emotional longing.
  83. It comes together neatly, perhaps too neatly to be … poetry. But it's not prosaic, either. It has a lucid grace.
  84. The Eagle is furiously unsettled-thematically, temporally, meteorologically. Wild-eyed, long-haired Brits leap atop the Romans' shields as the soldiers blindly hack away, the bodies so close that you can barely tell the victor from the vanquished. The battles in the fog and rain have a hallucinatory power.
  85. It's a terrific performance-and terrifying. Owen Wilson is aging: Where goeth my own youth?
  86. Uncle Boonmee is entrancing-and also, if you're not sufficiently steeped in its rhythms, narcotizing.
  87. Wasikowska's Jane is as watchful as only a damaged soul can be, and, when challenged, frighteningly fast.
  88. The third and least original of the Pegg-Frost features, but it's still a lot funnier than most films of its ilk.
  89. Yes, this farrago of fairy tale and sci-fi conspiracy flick is, on one level, howlingly obvious. But there are howls of derision and howls of amazement, and mine were of the latter kind, mostly.
  90. It's surprising that The Greatest Movie Ever Sold plays so entertainingly, given that Spurlock's quest is essentially beside the point.
  91. There's something appealing about the movie's unpretentious carnival of carnage, although I could have done without the flamethrower assault on a school bus to raise the stakes.
  92. Equal parts trippy, tacky, and monumental, the blend surprisingly agreeable, a happy change from all those aggressively down-to-earth superhero flicks like "Iron Man."
  93. Tabloid is candy for voyeurs. We laugh like mad at a nut whose only mistake was being born in the last century, too early to have made real money.
  94. The script, by Dan Fogelman, is unusually and gratifyingly bisexual - i.e., it boasts scenes from both the male and female points of view!
  95. Like much of Soderbergh's recent work, Contagion feels a little sterile, more like a cinematic exercise than something with blood pumping through it. It's certainly high-minded - it might be the most high-minded disaster movie ever made.
  96. The movie doesn't quite come together, but it's full of smart, cynical talk, and it's very entertaining.
  97. The movie belongs to Gordon-­Levitt and Anna Kendrick as his painfully green therapist.
  98. Like Crazy has a lively syntax and could, in an ungrateful mood, be tagged as slick. But Doremus gets the tempos right.
  99. A shameless but exuberantly well-done caper comedy.

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