New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 2,086 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 46% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 52% 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 Amour
Lowest review score: 0 The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)
Score distribution:
2,086 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. The best reason to see Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation is Rebecca Ferguson, a Swedish-born actress passing easily as a British spy named Ilsa.
  3. 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.
  4. Stillman's comeback comedy Damsels in Distress is wobbly and borderline twee, but it deepens as it goes along and becomes rich.
  5. Sam Rockwell kills as the hero's loony tunes best friend, deliciously abetted by Christopher Walken as an aging, sad-sack dognapper.
    • 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.
  6. Although the film's why-can't-we-all-get-along story line and even some of its quirk-laden pit stops feel familiar, the very texture of what we're seeing seems to change from one moment to the next, resulting in an occasionally breathtaking uncertainty.
  7. The To Do List feels fresh and strange and wondrously new. It shouldn’t, but it does.
  8. Somehow, this Peanuts feels familiar, even cozy. I can’t make any great claims for it, but it feels like the return of an old friend.
  9. 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.
  10. What unites everything is Jarmusch’s playful, hang-dog absurdism.
  11. As one of the few movies around not pushing state-of-the-art animation or Jude Law, Alexander is a damn good date movie.
  12. 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.
  13. David Fincher's American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo adds nothing to the previous adaptation, but it's certainly the more evocative piece of filmmaking.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. The terseness of a thriller, the clarity of a documentary, and a mixture of high drama and low humor.
  18. The filmmakers have done their job brilliantly: The Road to Guantánamo is yet more lousy PR for the infidels.
  19. 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.
  20. Watching this movie, you get the feeling that the Depression existed so that Seabiscuit could be memorialized.
  21. The film is freaky, amusing, and sickening in equal measures—part fly-on-the-wall vérité, part multiple-perspective Altmanesque tragicomedy.
  22. White Reindeer is a deliberately awkward little movie, and it’s a hard one to shake.
  23. James Toback seems oddly nice in Nicholas Jarecki's delicious cult-of-personality documentary The Outsider.
  24. Breezily enjoyable but thin.
  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. It’s an interesting idea, and the deep pall of suspicion that hangs over some of Ned Rifle is occasionally compelling. But the movie doesn’t exactly go anywhere.
  27. 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.
  28. When Marnie Was There may start off a bit awkwardly, but it'll have you bathing in your own tears by the time it's over.
  29. I've saved the best for last: The love interest played by that throaty redheaded (here blonde) darling Emma Stone, whose blue eyes radiate so much intelligence that any actor on whom she trains them in adoration becomes an instant movie star.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. Clooney is as good as he has ever been.
  33. A meathead revenge picture, but it’s very satisfying. Director Martin Campbell, coming off "Casino Royale," has a style that’s blunt and bruising.
  34. 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.
  35. Thanks for Sharing is never quite crazy or funny enough to transcend its “disease-of-month” template. The title turns out to not be ironic — a mixed blessing.
  36. 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.
  37. The movie is broad and mean and for a while very funny, but even when it goes sour — when the world slaps them in the face for their sins — it doesn’t lose its momentum.
  38. You admire the movie for refusing to ever, ever slow down, but you also wonder what might have happened had Kahn dared to settle, even just a bit. Instead, what we get is a mad kaleidoscope of genre, with occasional glimpses into the mysteries of the exploding teenage heart.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The new version of Lolita, released at last, turns out to be a beautifully made, melancholy, and rather touching account of a doomed love affair between a full-grown man and a very young woman.
  39. A comfort movie about comfort food, Chef won’t knock your socks off, but it believes in itself — and for Favreau, that’s all that matters.
  40. In The Circle, which is banned in Iran, the enforced society of women is, in effect, a community of adults treated as children.
  41. 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.
  42. The film was adapted from a 1993 novel by Robert Bober, who drew on his own childhood experiences, and as it unwinds, one begins to appreciate Deville's desire to see things work out well for these people.
  43. Of all the dumb megabudget "Die Hard"–like action pictures of the last few years (including that other White House Goes Boom movie, "Olympus Has Fallen"), this is both the most entertaining and the most inviting of viewers' input.
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. The film is impressive. It has a bit of the cinematic whoop-de-doo of his noxious "Natural Born Killers," in which serial killers became existential heroes, celebrated for attaining absolute freedom.
  47. Once past the clunky prologue, the film is great fun, with a good balance between computer effects and athleticism.
  48. Has a mixture of edginess and melancholy that's beautifully sustained until the climax, when the tang of realism becomes the cudgel of melodrama.
  49. Tom at the Farm, adapted by Dolan and Michel Marc Bouchard from Bouchard’s own play, has the outward trappings of a genre piece. And as such, it’s fairly suspenseful. But at heart, it’s still very much an Xavier Dolan film – ragged, explosive, and often moving.
  50. The Best Man Holiday is an inelegant movie, but its cast is so damn likable that we’re still willing to follow them — even when they’re not going anywhere.
  51. A pretty good documentary about a great subject.
  52. One of the glummest and most forbidding thrillers ever.
  53. For all its high-end ambitions, This So-Called Disaster has a tabloid-TV-like appeal: We want to see if these volatile performers get on each other's nerves.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Reitman may have his drawbacks but no one has ever accused his films of lacking heart. With sports movies especially, ya gotta have heart.
  54. Like Pynchon’s novel, it’s a little insular, too cool for school. It’s drugged camp. Some of the plot points get lost in that ether — it’s actually less coherent than Pynchon, no small feat. It’s not shallow, though.
  55. Dracula Untold is a dumb, lowest-common-denominator kind of movie, but it’s a surprisingly entertaining one. It’s brisk, which counts for a lot in this overbaked genre. The action is directed with verve and imagination — and it’s all gorgeously bleak, with black clouds of bats whipping around remote, craggy castles beneath portentous Carpathian skies.
  56. A haunting duet for two great actors who haven't lost a step and have gained the most exquisite lyricism.
  57. She has the perfect nervy, nerdy, needy alter ego in Anna Kendrick.
  58. Michael Cuesta’s Kill the Messenger made me so angry over the apparent injustice done to its journalist hero, Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner), that I found it hard to remain in my seat.
  59. A smart little teen picture that, for a change, actually features recognizable teens.
  60. For all their fuck-ups, we never question why these two characters are still together. In these actors’ hands, ably guided by a director who deserves to be better known, this minor little crime caper becomes a very human romantic drama.
  61. Cuban Fury has a surprising amount of fun with these acknowledged clichés. At times, the movie has the energy of an "Anchorman"-style spoof — a hilarious late-movie dance-off between Bruce and Drew takes on absurdist overtones, as they dance on car roofs and do increasingly impossible moves.
  62. 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.
  63. More entertaining than it has a right to be. It's pulpy and preposterous, and yet it gets at a real truth.
  64. The pleasantly disposable animated flick Hotel Transylvania, which gathers all the monsters in the world under one roof, is better than it should be, if not quite as good as it could be.
  65. Don't worry, parents, only you--and not your 5-year-old--will get that the chicken's stoned out of his gourd.
  66. If that sounds like Schwarzenegger might actually be called on to act this time, you're right. And to his credit, this is the loosest the guy's been in ages. His amiable banter rarely feels forced, and even the obligatory jokes about his age feel genuine.
  67. Part of the pleasure in watching The Best Offer is the elegant, unassumingly suspenseful way it unfolds. You never quite know where it’s all headed, in part because it never quite tells you what kind of movie it is. I called it a “romantic thriller,” but there’s a lot more movie here than that.
  68. Is it scary? Not especially. But there are enough gory surprises around every bend to keep you laughing/screaming/cringing.
  69. Joe
    You can be of two minds about the movie’s climax without shame. It’s galvanizing and, after all the accumulated tension, longed-for. And it’s too easy. And it’s rousingly well done. And it’s cheap. And that’s what makes the vigilante myth so vexing.
  70. Shallow but satisfying, largely because of Meryl Streep and her big fake English teeth and gift for using mimicry as a means of achieving empathy.
  71. The plotting isn't fresh, and the politics are a tad reactionary, but the movie is also shapely, rounded, satisfying - a classical ghost story.
  72. The Salvation is visually beautiful, morally down and dirty, and simplistic. But it’s marked by two haunted, quiet performances from stars Mads Mikkelsen and Eva Green, who make this otherwise predictable slog worthwhile.
  73. Ineffably sad - yet there's almost no loitering. The film is crisp, evenly paced, its colors bright, as sharp as the winter cold.
  74. 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.
  75. A pungent delight.
  76. 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."
  77. It is a movie that's alive in its own way, and a welcome surprise in a genre sorely lacking in them of late.
  78. The upshot is a shoot-‘em-up with a lean palette and relatively streamlined carnage, wet but not sloppy. It can almost pass for “classical.”
  79. The film seems content to be the class clown of the Marvel Universe, which is all well and good. But like most class clowns, sometimes you wish it would apply itself — because it seems capable of being so much more.
  80. 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.
  81. It's simply an astringent action flick that uses the wounded sensitivity of Ethan Hawke and Fishburne's witty hauteur to give the shoot-'em-up scenes some juice.
  82. It's a fast and enjoyable B-movie, though, and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine brings some good stormy drama to the proceedings.
  83. All Penguins of Madagascar wants to do is make you laugh at its silliness. It succeeds.
  84. It’s an odd fable: Viktor is the mysterious visitor who shows us what the American Dream is all about--in the movie’s terms, compassion for others--without ever wanting to become an American himself. He's a spiritual twin to E.T., who also had trouble phoning home.
  85. Is the movie good? It’s hard to be objective. The plotting is clunky and nonsensical, but Abrams and crew bombarded me into happiness. More than that, they made me feel so special for getting the in-jokes.
  86. 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.
  87. If the bad guys in the real world were all this obvious, life would be a whole lot easier.
  88. Perhaps only Pixar could give us such a rare beast: a delightful disappointment.
  89. If Slow West never quite settles on a tone to call its own, it does still offer many pleasures. Fassbender and Smit-McPhee are excellent — the boy's outward bewilderment and unpreparedness play off well against the cowboy’s ragged, stone-faced charisma.
  90. 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.
  91. Potent enough to make me wish it were less clunky. It certainly won’t convert the jingoist fighting keyboardists, who probably won’t care that the president at the time the film is set — 2010 — is Obama, under whose watch the use of warrior drones has escalated exponentially. For them, Dick Cheney’s “dark side” still shines brightly.
  92. Despicable Me 2 does have plenty of what made the first film so entertaining — its wedding of James Bond–like gadgetry and visual invention with goofy slapstick, and the dizzying fun had with shrink rays, piranha guns, elaborate evil spaceships, and the like.
  93. Beyond the Mafia-like code of silence, it comes down to this: The guys at the top reserved their compassion for priests like Father Murphy in the belief that the boys were young and would get over it. No one of true faith will get over Maxima Mea Culpa.
  94. More often than not, Moore goes for the guffaw, and as enjoyable as that can be, it falls short of producing the kind of devastating, in-depth analysis that might really challenge the hearts and minds of ALL audiences, left and right. At the very least, this approach undercuts the effectiveness of Moore’s own case.
  95. 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.
  96. Thor: The Dark World gets a lot more entertaining in the second hour, when the shape-shifting Loki is sprung from his cell (for complicated reasons) and immediately begins trading bitchy insults with his forthright, manly brother.
  97. 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.

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