New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,838 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 The Deep Blue Sea
Lowest review score: 0 Arthur
Score distribution:
1,838 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The To Do List feels fresh and strange and wondrously new. It shouldn’t, but it does.
  4. 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.
  5. As Ain’t Them Bodies Saints moves along, its elliptical approach to drama goes from keeping us on our toes to dulling everything down.
  6. 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.
  7. Jayne Mansfield’s Car isn’t likely to set America’s theaters on fire, but it’s a powerful whisper of a film.
  8. 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.
  9. The movie is a broad ethnic comedy, but there’s nothing broad about the wicked-smart way it’s executed.
  10. While it was often all over the place, it worked, because directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller ladled out the chaos with such charm.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. It’s the kind of solid, small-scale, entertaining action flick we probably need more of these days.
  17. 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.
  18. The chronology is confusing at times, but the film is never not fascinating.
  19. 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.
  20. Cold Turkey is a simmering piece of holiday dystopia with a good, scorching boil-over.
  21. White Reindeer is a deliberately awkward little movie, and it’s a hard one to shake.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. In Bloom feels, more than anything else, like a war movie.
  26. A delightfully goofy slapstick cartoon with a surprisingly dark heart.
  27. 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.
  28. It’s a graceful, engaging film — I enjoyed it. But it could have been called "The Tasteful Dozen."
  29. 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.
  30. It’s a rare “reboot” that transcends its studio’s money-grubbing. It has some Big Ideas.
  31. As an honest look into relationships, it's a bust. As a straight-up comedy, though, it’s hilarious.
  32. More fun than any civilization’s fiery extinction should ever be, Paul W.S. Anderson’s Pompeii 3-D is gloriously exciting kitsch – a poor man’s "Titanic" crossed with an even poorer man’s "Gladiator."
  33. I’d liked him to have asked the judge specifically about the MySpace girl, whose case led to his comeuppance. But it’s a huge story, and Kids for Cash provides a measure of justice.
  34. Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me is one of those showbiz docs that’s not exactly pleasurable but offers a penetrating glimpse — sometimes too penetrating — into what it means to eat, drink, and be contrary in the public sphere.
  35. It’s both dumber and more entertaining than anyone had a right to expect.
  36. Mr. Peabody & Sherman is slight, but it’s exceedingly charming, making good use of a talented voice cast.
  37. Somehow, miraculously, the Veronica Mars movie is definitely not bad. It's pretty damn good, actually.
  38. 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.
  39. And yes, it’s all insanely, relentlessly gory. You could say (and some will) that the gratuitousness of the violence in The Raid 2 is a problem. But it all functions as part of the surreal dance of death.
  40. Beneath the expensive, computer-generated busyness of this second Captain America installment is a bracing, old-style conspiracy thriller made extra-scary by new technology and the increasingly ugly trade-offs of a post-9/11 world.
  41. At times the film is right on the border between mesmerizing and narcotizing, but it casts an otherworldly spell.
    • 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.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. What hallucinogen was Turturro on when he came up with this plot? It’s so crazy that it’s … fun.
  45. I doubt many things — almost everything, to be frank — but I have no doubt that my Heaven Is for Real audience slept better that night. Whatever works.
  46. That very unknowability, which hampered so many Efron performances in the past, turns out to be his most humanizing trait, and Neighbors’ secret weapon.
  47. 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.
  48. The most powerful aspect of this strange little movie is the sense that in an instant things could go very, very bad — even if they don’t. Palo Alto puts you on edge because it’s all dangerous corners.
  49. Not a lot happens, and yet, as in the best so-called “slice of life” stories, you feel one way of life ending and another struggling to be born. The little that happens is enough.
  50. Million Dollar Arm is cute, cloying, simplistic, borderline offensive … and thoroughly effective.
  51. Chinese Puzzle isn’t much of a story, but in leaning into and embracing its complications Klapisch is able to isolate little instances — exchanges, glances, fragments from which he can mine profundity. That may feel like a cheat, but it isn’t, because this is a world where the moment conquers all.
  52. He’s (Singer) reborn — deft, elegant, spring-heeled — in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The special effects don’t bog him down: They lift the movie to a surreal and more emotional dimension.
  53. The movie is a cunning piece of storytelling, but it’s thin.
  54. The film does, however, have the best weapon in the world against the perception of slickness: an actress without a smidgen of actressiness.
  55. It’s probably no great loss, but here and elsewhere the seams show. And in this sort of movie it’s often more fun before we get our bearings and have time to say, “This makes no sense.”
  56. Van Warmerdam has a way with images that are both playful and horrific, and you may find yourself chuckling at Borgman as much as you recoil at it. It’s destined for cult status.
  57. The beauty of Obvious Child is that there’s nothing obvious about it.
  58. Dragon 2 is at its best when it quiets down and dares to be intimate.
  59. It’s overbaked art-pulp. You’re always thinking, What fresh horror is around the next bend?
  60. Begin Again is very funny, mostly because Ruffalo makes such an adorably rumpled drunken a--hole.
  61. Taking pretty much every rom-com trope and distilling it into highly concentrated ridiculousness, Wain’s film is both a takedown and a tribute: As with his summer-camp-movie spoof "Wet Hot American Summer," you walk away with a renewed love for the genre.
  62. At heart, it’s about as naughty as an old Disney movie with Dean Jones, Suzanne Pleshette, and an unruly Great Dane. I liked its gung-ho slapstick spirit, though. No one’s slacking off.
  63. What’s on display here is a great actor at his absolute peak — damn it all.
  64. An outlandishly entertaining mixture of high silliness and high style.
  65. 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.
  66. James Franco’s adaptation of the sick little Cormac McCarthy period novel Child of God is surprisingly pretty good.
  67. Perhaps the film’s most telling part comes during the deep dives themselves. When Cameron finds himself alone in his submersible, crammed into a little turret from which he can watch and film the world around him, the bravado fades away, and he becomes a little kid again.
  68. What Now? Remind Me is all over the place, but it never feels messy or lax.
  69. As befits its settings, The Trip to Italy aims higher than its predecessor — maybe too high — and isn’t as fresh. I enjoyed it, though.
  70. For all its stridency, Dinosaur 13 isn’t looking to mobilize us or get us to think hard about these issues. It just wants to tell its wild, one-of-a-kind tale in the most engaging way possible, and it does that exceptionally well.
  71. It’s funny, clunky, earnest, and barely credible, but it’s all of a piece.
  72. The kind of documentary that’s smart enough to step back and let its charming subject take over. It won’t break new ground, but it’s not lazy or generic.
  73. Women deserve their own gross-out movies, and, in Wetlands, the punk force is strong. If your taste runs thataway, you should see it in a theater with one eye on the audience — and hope that a few people will think they’re going to see a documentary about threatened ecosystems. Talk about all wet!
  74. It’s an inviting, approachable world that Murdoch creates for us — still a total fantasy, of course, but one with a veneer of plausibility. Get on its wavelength, and you’ll be utterly charmed. Don’t, and you’ll run screaming from the theater.
  75. A well-crafted family flick that gets the job done, then gets out of the way.
  76. Wingard is also clearly enamored of the synthesized soundtracks of Giallo and John Carpenter films, and here, he turns that into a whole thing, too: A mix Anna makes for David becomes a plot point, giving the director an excuse to practically drench his scenes in dreamy electronica.
  77. The Maze Runner only answers some of the questions it so marvelously sets up. And while I probably now know too much about the story for it to work a similar magic next time, I find myself genuinely anticipating the next one.
  78. The talented writer-director Scott Frank comes awfully close in his adaptation of one of Block’s better novels, A Walk Among the Tombstones. I’d be way more enthusiastic if Frank hadn’t swapped out the book’s horrific, unforgettable ending for something so conventional, I can barely remember it a few days later.
  79. It starts off as a mess, yes, but eventually finds itself in a very poignant place. Even a lesser Terry Gilliam film is usually more engaging and invigorating than most of the other movies out there.
  80. 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.
  81. 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.
  82. 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.
  83. It’s funny, fast, and charming.
  84. Ouija is confident, meat-and-potatoes horror, and that’s a lot harder to pull off than it sounds.
  85. We basically know where Laggies is headed; the film is a soft, straight, easy pitch down the middle, story-wise. And it’s a light movie: You won’t get a particularly profound look at adults who act like kids from it.
  86. In his florid sci-fi opera Interstellar, Christopher Nolan aims for the stars, and the upshot is an infinite hoot — its dumbness o’erleaps dimensional space. It’s hugely entertaining, though.
  87. Therein lies part of the dissonance with this often-wonderful, deceptively strange movie. You could get emotional whiplash watching it.
  88. For much of its running time, The Homesman doesn’t quite seem to know where it’s going. But once it actually gets there, it attains a hardscrabble nobility.
  89. All Penguins of Madagascar wants to do is make you laugh at its silliness. It succeeds.
  90. As uneven as Ridley Scott’s career; at times, it seems to be a journey through the director’s greatest strengths and weaknesses. The good news is that his strengths eventually win out; the bad news is all the awkward storytelling and botched character interactions we have to wade through to get to the good stuff. Once we do, though, Exodus is a hoot.
  91. I’m only half-kidding when I suggest that you see the movie but leave (especially if you have kids) at what’s obviously the end of the first act. You’ll still get the dissonances, ambiguities, and portents of doom, along with much that is pure enchantment. And you won’t leave thinking the movie had been made by the Big Bad Wolf.
  92. It may not always succeed, but the lovely, perplexing Winter Sleep is a very personal film from one of the world’s foremost filmmakers. It’s well worth your time.
  93. Playing Teddy Roosevelt in these films was nowhere near a highpoint for Williams, but it did speak to his fondness for these CGI-infused kids’ spectacles. His final farewell here is gentle, reflectively and almost unbearably moving. It lends the the film a retroactive grace.
  94. If Amy Pascal loses her job over this, it will be an outrage. The only thing about which we disagree is The Interview. She hated it; I think it’s a blast.
  95. Wahlberg grows into the part. He may not be right as a precocious, self-loathing intellectual, but he's very much at home playing a dickhead who's gotten in too deep. And as The Gambler becomes less about its protagonist’s dashed intellectualism and more about the gathering danger of his predicament, the film gains power.
  96. What saves it is Dennis Quaid.
  97. Fitfully effective as a battle movie, and Mel Gibson does his rugged best to take center stage without seeming to. But the movie is self-righteous in a way that's frequently unseemly.
  98. CQ
    Not everything in this ambitious comic escapade works, but Coppola, along with his sister, Sofia, is a real filmmaker. It must be in the genes.
  99. Franklin directs smoothly, but except for Freeman, the theatrics are pretty pro forma.

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