New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,924 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 1 point higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 The Cove
Lowest review score: 0 Funny Games (2008)
Score distribution:
1,924 movie reviews
  1. Great on atmosphere and less good on everything else. That’s not entirely a knock.
  2. 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.
  3. Captain Jean-Luc Picard would be enough for one lifetime, but given that Sir Patrick is now living out an exuberant second adolescence as a Brooklyn hipster and throwing himself into parts like these, it’s time to proclaim him another reason to love New York.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Neither movie (Capote/Infamous) gives you the whole picture, but it's fun to see them both and rearrange the pieces in your head.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. It’s engrossing, and Mueller-Stahl’s mix of Old World chivalry and murderousness is scarier than Jason and Freddy combined.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Page is softer than in "Hard Candy" and "Juno." Without Diablo Cody comebacks, she’s even more marvelous.
  15. Million Dollar Arm is cute, cloying, simplistic, borderline offensive … and thoroughly effective.
  16. Penn is terrific in his low-key doggedness.
  17. 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.
  18. A scabrous, amusing, and thoroughly predictable exercise in exposing the animalistic underbellies of grown-ups pretending to be civilized liberals.
  19. I found myself often enraptured by this sad little story. Its weird narrative of faith healing serves as an intriguing diversion from the real matter at hand — the notion that grace lies in the search for help, rather than the finding of it.
  20. Evans, in effect, is the real producer here, and the film, which mostly consists of artfully blended archival footage, comes across like a last will and testament.
  21. 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.
  22. The movie is wonderful, nonsensical fun.
  23. The third and least original of the Pegg-Frost features, but it's still a lot funnier than most films of its ilk.
  24. 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.
  25. The movie is unfailingly likable and finally impressive. Goldin doesn’t settle for easy answers, and he makes you think that no one should.
  26. The movie belongs to Gordon-­Levitt and Anna Kendrick as his painfully green therapist.
  27. 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?
  28. Taut and straightforward and a little grungy, which is how these movies ought to be.
  29. I much prefer the whacked-out, Dr. Strangelove-ish brand of political-apocalypse film to all this straitlaced you-are-there dramaturgy, which seems a throwback to the early sixties not only in time but in spirit. But what Thirteen Days sets out to do it does admirably.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. More Eurocentric but quite enjoyable, even for those of us who don’t follow British “football.”
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. The emotional resolutions aren't pat, exactly. But they're not messy either, and for material this inherently volatile, that seems like a cheat.
  37. 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.
  38. Even when a guy is getting stabbed in the ear with a chopstick, Outrage is so controlled you're liable to go mad watching it. Somehow both stifling and beautiful, it's the Salo of Yakuza pictures.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. McQueen films his characters like specimens in a jar, but the stakes are so high that the actors deliver.
  43. Cory Yuen's So Close is a kind of Hong Kong martial-arts variation on the Charlie's Angels movies, only better.
  44. Julie & Julia is full of holes, but you don't even care when Streep is onscreen.
  45. That wordiness coupled with Cronenberg's classical restraint is part of the splendid Freudian joke at the movie's center.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It’s a pleasant movie -- very pleasant, in fact -- but soft as a down quilt.
  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. Greenberg would be a heckuva movie if we could just get Greenberg out of there.
  48. Jayne Mansfield’s Car isn’t likely to set America’s theaters on fire, but it’s a powerful whisper of a film.
  49. 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.
  50. A pretentious and stilted but weirdly compelling blend of sins-of-the-parent saga and horror movie.
  51. Cunningham's depth of feeling transformed the book's premise into something beyond sniggers or camp, and the best moments in the movie, which was directed by theater veteran Michael Mayer in his film debut and adapted by Cunningham, have a similar emotional charge.
  52. 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.
  53. 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.
  54. Pain & Gain gives you a rush while at the same time making you queasy about how you’re getting off.
  55. As he delivered his climactic sermon in the Israeli desert, I murmured, "Amen, brother." Religulous is a religious experience.
  56. Soderbergh tends to get one big idea - a thesis idea - per film and stick with it even when a touch more flexibility would help. Here it's that non-kinetic camera, which he's so wedded to that parts of the film seem underenergized, like a cheap seventies or early eighties picture you'd catch at two in the morning on Cinemax's tenth most popular channel.
  57. Its focus--the children--are not even onscreen very much. But their ghosts are everywhere, and the pain of the film is primal.
  58. Rahim is an exciting, unpredictable presence, and Arestrup’s César has a stature that’s nearly Shakespearean.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. Eminently disposable, but that's its charm. It stays with you just long enough to make you smile.
  63. 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.
  64. Pleasingly shaggy.
  65. Jackson's wonderfully nuanced, witty performance, and a few unexpected plot turns, give Coach Carter a subtext that helps complicate such knee-jerk oversimplifications, redeeming the role with energetic humor and a loose-limbed grace.
  66. Michael Apted's Amazing Grace is a beautifully chiseled blunt instrument. No, it's not subtle, but how subtle was slavery?
  67. 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.
  68. By turns desperately funny and unfunnily desperate?
  69. It's one of the few tween movies that isn't in your face; its limpness becomes appealing.
    • 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.
  70. 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.
  71. del Toro blends agit-prop politics and ghoulishness without making the entire enterprise seem silly.
  72. At times the film is right on the border between mesmerizing and narcotizing, but it casts an otherworldly spell.
  73. 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.
  74. It's a terrific performance-and terrifying. Owen Wilson is aging: Where goeth my own youth?
  75. She sometimes falls into the same trap that Lenny Bruce fell into, playing the taboo-breaking emancipator, but for the most part she's blessedly bawdy.
    • New York Magazine (Vulture)
  76. 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.
  77. The movie is a cunning piece of storytelling, but it’s thin.
  78. 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.
  79. All in all, Frozen River is gripping stuff. Except it's also rigged and cheaply manipulative.
  80. Excruciatingly vivid.
  81. The movie is a broad ethnic comedy, but there’s nothing broad about the wicked-smart way it’s executed.
  82. Too much of this fantasy is filled out with artsy folderol, but it's a movie like no other--except, maybe, one by Guy Maddin.
  83. A lovely confection.
  84. Therein lies part of the dissonance with this often-wonderful, deceptively strange movie. You could get emotional whiplash watching it.
  85. The director of "Gallipoli" and "The Year of Living Dangerously" has muffled the rage and darkness of his best work in favor of an antiquated pleasingness. Master and Commander is a too-comfy classic.
  86. It’s both dumber and more entertaining than anyone had a right to expect.
  87. 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.
  88. 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.
  89. 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.
  90. Uncle Boonmee is entrancing-and also, if you're not sufficiently steeped in its rhythms, narcotizing.
  91. 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.
  92. 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.
  93. 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.
  94. 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.
  95. Begin Again is very funny, mostly because Ruffalo makes such an adorably rumpled drunken a--hole.
  96. 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.
  97. Menzel’s touch is sprightly, lyrical, mischievously understated.
  98. 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.

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