New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,765 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 Toy Story 3
Lowest review score: 0 Enough
Score distribution:
1,765 movie reviews
  1. It’s a rare “reboot” that transcends its studio’s money-grubbing. It has some Big Ideas.
  2. As an honest look into relationships, it's a bust. As a straight-up comedy, though, it’s hilarious.
  3. 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."
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. It’s both dumber and more entertaining than anyone had a right to expect.
  7. Mr. Peabody & Sherman is slight, but it’s exceedingly charming, making good use of a talented voice cast.
  8. Somehow, miraculously, the Veronica Mars movie is definitely not bad. It's pretty damn good, actually.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Do I detect a note of self-satire in Jarmusch’s undead? I’d like to think he’s poking fun at his own stylized, white-boy cool. But underneath, of course, he’s deadly serious. A ruined metropolis, a snatch of dialogue about coming water wars, a poisoned blood supply: The garden of Adam and Eve is despoiled beyond remedy. This is a charming dirge, though.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. What hallucinogen was Turturro on when he came up with this plot? It’s so crazy that it’s … fun.
  17. 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.
  18. That very unknowability, which hampered so many Efron performances in the past, turns out to be his most humanizing trait, and Neighbors’ secret weapon.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Million Dollar Arm is cute, cloying, simplistic, borderline offensive … and thoroughly effective.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. The movie is a cunning piece of storytelling, but it’s thin.
  26. The film does, however, have the best weapon in the world against the perception of slickness: an actress without a smidgen of actressiness.
  27. 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.”
  28. 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.
  29. The beauty of Obvious Child is that there’s nothing obvious about it.
  30. Dragon 2 is at its best when it quiets down and dares to be intimate.
  31. It’s overbaked art-pulp. You’re always thinking, What fresh horror is around the next bend?
  32. Begin Again is very funny, mostly because Ruffalo makes such an adorably rumpled drunken a--hole.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. What’s on display here is a great actor at his absolute peak — damn it all.
  36. An outlandishly entertaining mixture of high silliness and high style.
  37. 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.
  38. James Franco’s adaptation of the sick little Cormac McCarthy period novel Child of God is surprisingly pretty good.
  39. 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.
  40. What Now? Remind Me is all over the place, but it never feels messy or lax.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. It’s funny, clunky, earnest, and barely credible, but it’s all of a piece.
  44. 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.
  45. 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!
  46. 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.
  47. A well-crafted family flick that gets the job done, then gets out of the way.
  48. What saves it is Dennis Quaid.
  49. 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.
  50. 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.
  51. Franklin directs smoothly, but except for Freeman, the theatrics are pretty pro forma.
  52. I'm not sure I have it in me to rant yet again about what a deprivation it is for our finest actor to deny us his genius in this way.
  53. There's something a bit condescending about how the movie devolves into a falling-out-between-friends scenario, as if the only way our attention could be held by this subculture were if it was presented to us sentimentally.
  54. What makes Nolte so much stronger than the other performers is precisely this sense of mysteriousness and indirection, which doesn't really correspond to the Adam Verver of the novel but certainly jibes with James's overall method.
  55. A lovely minor achievement. It would have been major if Breillat had been more expansive with respect to Anaïs instead of contentedly letting her go on about her lumpish ways.
  56. It's a marvelous, resonant joke that never quite succeeds: Stretches of the film resemble a Dario Argento horrorfest crossed with a Mel Brooks spoof. But the director, E. Elias Merhige, and his screenwriter, Steven Katz, occasionally bring some rapture to the creepiness, and Dafoe's vampire, with his graceful, ritualistic death lunges, is a sinewy, skull-and-crossbones horror who seems to come less out of the German Expressionist tradition than from Kabuki.
  57. Inspires the requisite shock and awe, but a little goes a long way. About the fifth time I saw someone slip-sliding away from a 60-foot wave, I longed to hear someone on the soundtrack say, “That guy is really nuts.”
  58. It's a sinuous, bittersweet odyssey, and although the filmmaking lacks finesse, the actors, especially Mandvi, with his bright, sorrowful beauty, and the great Om Puri, who plays Ganesh's father-in-law with an infernal crankiness, are always worth watching.
  59. Though worth seeing, should be better than it is.
  60. This may sound like an Oprah episode, but the outcome is far from predictable and carries the force of a tragedy in which everyone, and no one, is to blame.
  61. Anderson is something of a prodigy himself, and he's riddled with talent, but he hasn't figured out how to be askew and heartfelt at the same time. When he does, he'll probably make the movie The Royal Tenenbaums was meant to be, and it'll be a sight to see.
  62. I realize that Fosse's dark sizzle might seem a bit dated today, but surely something halfway snazzy could have been devised for this movie. It's toothless.
  63. Sam Rockwell plays Barris with a hipster’s shimmy that’s creepily effective -- The problem with making a movie about a hollow man is that, when things start to get heavy, you’re stuck with nothingness at the core.
  64. Taking Sides has a padded-out, stagebound quality that is anything but lyrical. And Szabó, a Hungarian best known for "Mephisto" and "Colonel Redl," is not at his best here.
  65. Leconte films in an austere yet invigorated style; the action never settles into stiff tableaux.
  66. Secretary is deeply conventional: Edward and Lee accept their bondage as the way to a more fulfilling life. It's the filmmakers who need to be spanked.
  67. Shyamalan wants to be the metaphysical poet of movies, but he's dangerously close to becoming its O. Henry. The best surprise ending he could give us in his next movie would be no surprise ending at all.
  68. This time around, Harry Potter has more to worry about than the Dark Arts -- though parts of The Chamber of Secrets are spellbinding, he seems to be suffering from a bit of sequelitis.
  69. LaBute is attacking our society’s obsession with the surface of things, whether it be a painter’s canvas or a human one, but his drama is, in itself, relentlessly superficial.
  70. A great deal of energy is expended on metaphysical ruminations that become ever fuzzier. The film is intended as an allegory, but it works best as a jailbreak romance. In this movie, lowbrow trumps highbrow every time.
  71. It’s the difference between artistry and knowingness. About Schmidt doesn’t bring us deeply into the lives of its people because it’s too busy trying to feel superior to them.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    An off-kilter thriller with a sad-sack hero.
  72. Should be remembered for a pair of performers -- Derek Luke and Viola Davis, whose cameo as the mother who abandoned him cuts through the sap like an acetylene torch.
  73. It's an opulent, if instantly disposable, kinetic joyride.
  74. It's all been done before, and better.
  75. The best new addition to the corp is Alan Cumming’s Nightcrawler.
  76. It's one of the weirdest achievements in film history: Temperamentally, Spielberg and Kubrick are such polar opposites that A.I. has the moment-to-moment effect of being completely at odds with itself.
  77. At one point, Val bemoans how stupid the country is, how dumbed-down everything has become. Allen's new movie is far from dumb, but it has an air of abdication about it.
  78. Talk to Her affects some people very deeply, while others, like me, find it high-grade kitsch.
  79. Devos is especially fine as a woman whose inner solitude carries depth charges.
  80. The audience for Hannibal is far more primed for a good time; if the film is a hit, it will be because Lecter has been cartoonized; his ghoulish panache, his double entendres about cannibalism, and his pet phrases like "goody-goody" and "okeydokey" all serve to make him a figure of fun.
  81. Writer-director Andrew Niccol throws around a lot of intriguing ideas in this film, and even though his ambitions are more expansive than his talent, he's managed to come up with something that credibly resembles the shape of things to come, Hollywood-style.
  82. A sentimental, feel-good look at a family in mourning, but Jake Gyllenhaal rises above the clichéd script with a brilliantly creative performance.
  83. Despite all the computer-generated effects and highflying superhero theatrics, this roughly $120 million movie is, with few exceptions, remarkable only in its small human touches.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Ronin is well-made, but it's an act of connoisseurship for people who have given up on movies as an art form.
  84. Has an appealing rawness.
  85. I don’t mind the movie’s retro-ness, but I wish Mostow didn't take pulp so seriously.
  86. A bit too satisfied with its own sweet sensitivities.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Not revolutionary or even evolutionary but enormously .... methodical. Working from an Elmore Leonard novel, Tarantino has created a gangster fiction that is never larger than life and sometimes smaller.
  87. It’s powerful, all right, and Downey’s performance is lacerating, but missing is any sense of lyricism in Dark’s hallucinatory yearnings. Without that leap of transcendence, this new Singing Detective doesn’t sing.
  88. Writer-director Billy Ray is so eager to be fair-minded about everything and everyone that you can't help thinking he's a patsy, too. If he directed a movie of Othello, he'd probably try to make us feel warm and fuzzy about poor, misunderstood Iago.
  89. You can believe this man (Jones) left his family because he felt born into the wrong tribe. Now if only he had picked the right movie . . .
  90. Fortunately, there are more than enough moments when the heavy-handedness gives way to the sheer bliss of ordinary magic.
  91. The Last Samurai is an idyll in which the savageries of existence are transcended by spiritual devotion. That’s a beautiful dream, and it gives the film a deep pleasingness, but the fullness of life and its blackest ambiguities are sacrificed.
  92. Pretty much the whole movie is a series of poses, static and uninvolving, except for cinematographer Eduardo Serra’s lighting, which makes everything look convincingly Vermeer-ish. I’d like to see what he could do with Rembrandt.
  93. Even in a piffle like Something’s Gotta Give, Keaton reminds us of her uncanny ability to inhabit her characters' knockabout emotions.
  94. It's plotless. It fits no category -- "docudrama tone poem" probably comes closest.
  95. Watching it is like getting a peek behind the curtain. But it's frustrating, too, because the casting of Emadeddin as a murderer-in-the-making precludes any psychological depth. And as an indictment of social inequality, which is the film's calling card, Panahi inadvertantly makes a far better case for the haves than for the have-nots.
  96. He doesn’t entirely succeed, but the attempt has poignancy: As uneven as much of his recent work has been, Bertolucci's still in love with the movies, and his ardor--if not always the ends he puts it to--is exhilarating.

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