New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,891 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 Fruitvale Station
Lowest review score: 0 Only God Forgives
Score distribution:
1,891 movie reviews
  1. These numbers, frankly, display a professionalism and confidence that most of the rest of the movie can't match. And yes, that's the bad news.
  2. Frances McDormand deserves much better than Lisa Cholodenko’s flat-footed Laurel Canyon...McDormand alone makes the picture worth seeing: Her character is a rash combo of steel and dissolution and regret.
  3. Fifty Shades of Grey is nowhere near as laughable as you might have feared (or perversely hoped for): It’s elegantly made, and Dakota Johnson is so good at navigating the heroine’s emotional zigs and zags that you want to buy into the whole cobwebbed premise.
  4. Jolie’s commitment to the part is admirable: She gives this Maleficent a real emotional urgency. But the rest of the movie lets her down.
  5. In their last collaboration, "21 Grams," the director Alejandro González Iñárritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga did syntactical acrobatics to disguise what a dreary and exploitive little soap opera they’d made. Their new movie, Babel, is more mysterious and less coherent.
  6. Undeniably powerful, but also rather numbing.
  7. Divided We Fall is intended to be restorative, but its wish fulfillments, while charming, are also a bit too gaga for that.
  8. Jenkins is so desperate to give his love story a social and economic context that he stops the movie cold for a bunch of unrelated white people to articulate their grievances over gentrification--it's as if "Annie Hall" had paused for a seminar on agrarian reform.
  9. The tall, cool Kidman works hard to impersonate a woman possessed, but she's not the type of actress to fill in a role that hasn't been filled in on paper.
  10. In The Judge, a legal drama that builds to the requisite Hollywood Dark Night of the Soul, Robert Downey Jr. has a role so far inside his comfort zone that the movie has no drive, no urgency.
  11. This series is in its fortieth year; it might be nice to see Bond battle a readily identifiable, real-world villain for a change. There's certainly no shortage.
  12. It all mostly works, but you can’t help but wonder at times if it could have been a lot funnier if it had just a bit more edge.
  13. Yes, it all gets kind of old, and yes, it's all over the place, but you'll probably find yourself laughing at least some of the time. Dick jokes, after all, can be pretty funny.
  14. A crime thriller that is strong on sultry atmosphere--you practically break into a sweat watching it--but weak on believability.
  15. It's a great metaphor - but not a great movie. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris direct in a drably naturalistic style, and the script is thin.
  16. Coogan's mopiness is oddly riveting.
  17. Neeson's gravity elevates the action, and there's a fine, prickly performance by an actor new to me, Frank Grillo, as the asshole of the group. But The Grey, despite moments of sublimity, is as predictable as a funeral. When Ottway angrily calls out to God, the nonanswer is sadly redundant.
  18. It makes the same misstep that Allen's comedies often do: It assumes that the lives of these people are only about sex and love, and so that's all we ever see of them. This one-and-a-half-dimensionality wears thin.
  19. It would take a filmmaker of truly astonishing versatility to harmonize all these disparate tones...But there are moments in Dreamcatcher when Kasdan gives you the giggles and the creeps at the same time, and that’s not easy to do.
  20. Ben Affleck makes for a pretty good jerk, but he can’t pull off outright villainy. That’s probably the main problem with the crime thriller Runner Runner.
  21. This monstro-budgeted sequel to The Matrix has more than twice as many special effects as the original... there is also more than twice as much philosophic bull as before--and there was plenty of that the first time around.
  22. The film is slick when it needs to be raw, tidy when it needs to sprawl, and amorphous when it needs to focus.
  23. The funniest things in Be Kind Rewind are not the many moments in which Mike and Jerry look like Ed Wood’s worst nightmare, but when the pair finds expedient ways to do for pennies what would take Brett Ratner millions and be less expressive to boot.
  24. Larsson is renowned for his attention to marginal details, which gives his prose a rambling, one-thing-after-another pace that many readers find soothing. Onscreen, the lack of acceleration makes for one of those long Scandinavian winter nights.
  25. The gut-whomping, high-concept romantic thriller This Means War is not a distinguished addition to director McG's oeuvre.
  26. Ozon has a smooth gift for scenes of unease, but ultimately Swimming Pool liquifies into a dreary puzzle movie.
  27. A bearable period chick flick with a self-congratulatory “realistic” conceit.
  28. Penn is mostly in "I Am Sam mode" here, doing a lot of shoe-gazing and mumbly-talk, but not without adding an edge of bitter intelligence to his character; he's just too good an actor to merely repeat himself, even when the material encourages him to.
  29. Jackman has musical-theater chops and knows how to sell material this ham-handed; Kidman isn't quite as deft. I've always admired her gumption in working so hard to overcome a certain temperamental tightness--but that tightness has now spread to her skin.
  30. It's just a movie about a bunch of guys and gals returning home for their reunion, with the only twist being that it's loaded up with stars and recognizable faces. Unfortunately, that serves to highlight the film's greatest failing, which is that all these big names and faces are given practically nothing to do.

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