New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,755 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 Summer Hours
Lowest review score: 0 The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)
Score distribution:
1,755 movie reviews
  1. You've got to make room in your heart for a film in which the world ends with neither a bang nor a whimper but a cuddle.
  2. Indeed, to even call Josh Trank's film a superhero movie seems wrong: Rather, it's about what the average teenage boy might actually do with superpowers - and there is very little heroism or villainy on display here. Chronicle's very lack of scope is its strength.
  3. There are a couple of hundred instances in which Johnson or her actors could take condescending short cuts and slip into white-trash stereotypes, but I didn't see any - only gifted performers vanishing into their characters, refusing to pass judgment.
  4. [A] compelling film touching on the perils of being young - that's it, merely young - in a culture without justice.
  5. It's not fresh terrain for satire, yet most of the jokes play riotously well.
  6. It has a bad, slapstick first act but by midpoint becomes strangely compelling, tapping into the fantasy of reliving one's high-school years (which did a number on us all) and getting it right.
  7. Despite the simplicity of the brothers' technique, The Kid With a Bike has deep religious underpinnings, a relentless drive toward the mythos of death and resurrection. The film is not just in the tradition of Pinocchio and A.I.: It is a worthy successor.
  8. Bully is repetitive and not especially artful, but children who allow themselves to see the world through the eyes of the film's victims will never be the same.
  9. The film has weight in ways that you don't quite expect. Or maybe it's just Scott's subdued, slow-burn performance, which may have intended to convey stupidity but actually helps create an overall mood of convincing despair.
  10. Stillman's comeback comedy Damsels in Distress is wobbly and borderline twee, but it deepens as it goes along and becomes rich.
  11. Is it scary? Not especially. But there are enough gory surprises around every bend to keep you laughing/screaming/cringing.
  12. Ineffably sad - yet there's almost no loitering. The film is crisp, evenly paced, its colors bright, as sharp as the winter cold.
  13. 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.
  14. Batmanglij keeps the movie even-keeled, full of medium close-ups, underscored by ambient plinks and shimmers, with nothing to break the trance until a last scene that upends everything we thought we knew.
  15. A charming, funny, reactionary mating comedy.
  16. Kargman is light on her feet, and she has chosen to follow a fascinating group of kids preparing for the 2010 Youth America Grand Prix.
  17. Koreeda's compositions have a sympathetic detachment that Americans rarely value but is, for many Japanese, the whole point of art. That means you can contemplate the wonder in these glowing young faces without feeling as if you're on an intravenous drip of corn syrup.
  18. On its own terms, Bernie is smoothly made and reasonably entertaining, Linklater doing his Austin-based best not to condescend to the locals - at least the East Carthage locals.
  19. 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.
  20. The good news is that The Dictator is a loose and silly and occasionally exhilarating political farce in the tradition of Chaplin's The Great Dictator (obviously) and the Marx Brothers' antiwar masterpiece "Duck Soup." And it comes in at a fleet 83 minutes - just right.
  21. It left me bemused instead of moved, but true Andersonites will likely float away in a state of nirvana.
  22. The movie's revisionist tone is startlingly enough to carry you along.
  23. It's a different sort of experience: a stately, somewhat plodding but endurable science-fiction saga.
  24. I was blissed out during much of To Rome With Love, but I have to acknowledge its creepy side.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. The best thing in Gilroy's "Michael Clayton" was the final scene between George Clooney and Tilda Swinton, the one in which the vise tightened click by click on Tilda. This is another vice-tightening sequence, but scary instead of triumphant, and with a long and explosive punch line. Finally, a sequence we can follow! After this, Gilroy owns us.
  28. This is a film made by a wiser man who recognizes that everybody's looking for salvation in their own way. In the end, as the camera revisits the cast of broken, fallen characters, we may realize that Red Hook, as far as Spike Lee is concerned, is a state of mind.
  29. Delpy may be starting to channel Woody Allen's directorial skills, but Rock has fully appropriated the Woodman's barbed comic anger.
  30. Robot & Frank, like its protagonist, is charming enough to get by with the sleight-of-hand. Its irresponsibility redeems it - it's a raspberry blown against the dying of the light.
  31. The Awakening has the good sense to find a mood and stick with it. It's not afraid to take itself seriously. It'll send shivers up your spine, both as a thriller and as the melodrama it eventually becomes.
  32. In the end, perhaps the most touching quality of this film is its low-key, but sensitively rendered portrait of a young, awkward child who hasn't quite managed to figure his way out in the world yet.
  33. Cosmopolis is often beautiful, but at times it feels like a movie sealed off from itself.
  34. Moment to moment, Sleepwalk With Me is smooth and very entertaining, but it's arrested somewhere between fiction and autobiography.
  35. The confusion in For a Good Time, Call… is delightful, the phone-sex talk sweetening the vibe. Justin Long is peerlessly funny as the girls' gay pal, but the movie belongs to Graynor, who's like Sandra Bullock with a touch of Ginger Rogers–y brass.
  36. Dredd 3-D places you firmly in an unreal, dreamlike world and rouses you with its unexpected grace and its rhythms and its movement. The plot ceases to matter after a certain point: This is a great big beautiful music video, and there's nothing really wrong with that.
  37. She has the perfect nervy, nerdy, needy alter ego in Anna Kendrick.
  38. 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.
  39. Sam Rockwell kills as the hero's loony tunes best friend, deliciously abetted by Christopher Walken as an aging, sad-sack dognapper.
  40. The briskness of The Sessions works against it: It lacks the fullness of the best films of its ilk, chief among them Jim Sheridan's "My Left Foot." But Lewin lets his eye wander pleasingly.
  41. The director seems to be drawing a line from the horror of the war years to the infantilism of the Boomers and rock; the father lost his innocence, and the son froze his.
  42. I was happy watching these actors, happy going behind the scenes of a sober classical music ensemble instead of another druggy rock group, happy hearing Beethoven for a couple of hours. The movie is haut-bourgeois to the bone, but so am I: Let's hear some chamber music and have a little laugh and a cry!
  43. 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.
  44. As much as its premise may sound like the start of a bad joke, Peter Ramsey's movie preserves just enough genuine childhood wonder in its whooshing, high-tech theatrics to make it a delight.
  45. Rust and Bone doesn't come together, but it's a triumph of non-actorish acting.
  46. He's [Pitt] not particularly inventive - with his appraising eyes and a toothpick in his mouth, he's like Redford without the edge - but he uses his stardom cannily, to kill with softness.
  47. Hyams's film, which may at first seem like a glorified VOD entry in a forgotten franchise starring has-been action stars, is an admirably tense sci-fi/horror adventure that somehow turns its considerable limitations into virtues.
  48. A glancing, disjointed little movie that captures as well as any film I've seen the mind-expanding mojo of rock and roll at the dawn of the counterculture - particularly rhythm-and-blues-oriented rock, particularly the Rolling Stones, the group that synthesized R&B and made it commercial.
  49. 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.
  50. The plotting isn't fresh, and the politics are a tad reactionary, but the movie is also shapely, rounded, satisfying - a classical ghost story.
  51. It is a movie that's alive in its own way, and a welcome surprise in a genre sorely lacking in them of late.
  52. The film is a canny balancing act, making Koch's arrogance so plain that you quickly move past it and concede that he accomplished remarkable things for a city that was broke and in chaos and with much of its housing stock in ruins.
  53. 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.”
  54. There’s a lot of cartoonish potential in Snitch, but director Ric Roman Waugh (who previously made the excellent prison drama "Felon," another exercise in somber desperation) seems intent on trying to sell the movie as a more serious enterprise. And amazingly, the gambit works.
  55. To like Trance as much as I did, you have to revel in the senseless showmanship — in watching Boyle indulge his taste for cinematic flight, in this case teasing you with the old “Is this real or a dream?” number so artfully that you don’t care that much about the answer.
  56. Mud
    It’s hard to believe Nichols thinks he can get away with all this and harder still to believe he does. It’s the quality of the attention that he brings — his focus — that makes his work so engrossing.
  57. Pain & Gain gives you a rush while at the same time making you queasy about how you’re getting off.
  58. At least this time "Goopy" Paltrow gets to perform a few superheroics herself, along with enduring some heavy-duty torture that’s bound to please her haters — for whom the sight of the top of her face being peeled off in "Contagion" was like Christmas in July.
  59. The film is wrenching all the same, and subtle enough in its portrait of the four major grown-up characters to qualify as Jamesian.
  60. You can find fault with virtually every scene in Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby — and yet in spite of all the wrong notes, Fitzgerald (and the excess he was writing about and living) comes through. The Deco extravagance of the big party scenes is enthralling. Luhrmann throws money at the screen in a way that is positively Gatsby-like, walloping you intentionally and un- with the theme of prodigal waste.
  61. 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.
  62. The driving in the film is a thing of beauty.
  63. You gasp at the ecstatic convergence of lung power and spirit.
  64. 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.
  65. There are no bad guys, and no real violence. Horror fiends looking for cheap thrills may be disappointed. But those with a flair for the offbeat might find themselves unnerved and riveted.
  66. Perhaps only Pixar could give us such a rare beast: a delightful disappointment.
  67. 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.
  68. 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.
  69. Rufus Norris’s debut film, Broken, is a fractured, tonally scrambled British coming-of-age movie with flashes of greatness and an intensely felt performance by a young actress named Eloise Laurence.
  70. In the end, Turbo is an unambitious movie about a very ambitious character, but it has an infectious sense of fun. Don’t expect too much from it, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
  71. It’s amazing how skilled he (Allen) is in making his old ideas seem fresh, lively, even urgent. His new drama Blue ­Jasmine comes this close to being a wheeze. But he sells it beautifully.
  72. The To Do List feels fresh and strange and wondrously new. It shouldn’t, but it does.
  73. Crudely ­powerful. You can object to the thuggish direction and the script that’s a series of signposts, but not the central idea, which is genuinely illuminating.
  74. As Ain’t Them Bodies Saints moves along, its elliptical approach to drama goes from keeping us on our toes to dulling everything down.
  75. Insidious: Chapter 2 may be somewhat uneven, but at a certain point near the end, I realized I hadn’t taken any notes during the second half. For all its weirdness, the film had utterly transported me. Bring on Chapter 3.
  76. Jayne Mansfield’s Car isn’t likely to set America’s theaters on fire, but it’s a powerful whisper of a film.
  77. 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.
  78. The movie is a broad ethnic comedy, but there’s nothing broad about the wicked-smart way it’s executed.
  79. While it was often all over the place, it worked, because directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller ladled out the chaos with such charm.
  80. It’s when the Somalis spirit Phillips away in a closed lifeboat that Captain Phillips becomes a great thriller, in part because Barry Ackroyd’s camera is stuck inside with the characters and its jitters finally seem earned.
  81. The movie nails all this, and it’s smashingly effective as melodrama. But McQueen’s directorial voice — cold, stark, deterministic — keeps it from attaining the kind of grace that marks the voice of a true film artist.
  82. Here are two action stars having fun; watching them work together as a team is a lot more entertaining than you might have expected. Try not to think too hard about it, and Escape Plan is stupid, stupid fun.
  83. It shows us things — obscene and hilarious, yes, but also just as often harrowing and unforgettable — we never thought we’d see. It’s ridiculous, but it has a ragged nobility all its own.
  84. For all the fecal matter flying around, and all the dick jokes, Bad Grandpa turns out to be an act of redemption: It’s the anti-Borat. And for all its flaws, it might just be the most heartwarming movie of the year.
  85. It’s the kind of solid, small-scale, entertaining action flick we probably need more of these days.
  86. 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.
  87. The chronology is confusing at times, but the film is never not fascinating.
  88. 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.
  89. Cold Turkey is a simmering piece of holiday dystopia with a good, scorching boil-over.
  90. White Reindeer is a deliberately awkward little movie, and it’s a hard one to shake.
  91. Scene after scene rockets past dumb, past camp, past Kabuki, and into the Milky Way of Silly where laws can be made up and discarded as long as what happens gets laughs.
  92. The film’s brooding tension would probably work even without the recent tragedy of real-life events. But now, while uneven, the film is uniquely involving — right down to a final shot that will break your heart into a million pieces.
  93. 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.
  94. In Bloom feels, more than anything else, like a war movie.
  95. A delightfully goofy slapstick cartoon with a surprisingly dark heart.
  96. All joking aside, this is a director who is incapable of creating something that’s not beautiful. He can, however, on occasion indulge in a little too much cliché.
  97. It’s a graceful, engaging film — I enjoyed it. But it could have been called "The Tasteful Dozen."
  98. The Murmelstein interview didn’t make it into Shoah, and Lanzmann sat on it, saying in a written prologue that he finally decided he had “no right to keep it to himself.” I wish he’d brought it out in Murmelstein’s lifetime. (The rabbi died in 1989.) He deserved the chance to be heard by the people who hated him most — who probably still would hate him but come away with ­respect.
  99. It’s a rare “reboot” that transcends its studio’s money-grubbing. It has some Big Ideas.
  100. As an honest look into relationships, it's a bust. As a straight-up comedy, though, it’s hilarious.

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