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 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Lowest review score: 0 Only God Forgives
Score distribution:
1,755 movie reviews
  1. Living with Mason and his parents over time you feel an intimacy, an empathy, a shared stake. I’m not saying Boyhood is the greatest film I’ve ever seen, but I’m thinking there’s my life before I saw it and my life now, and it’s different; I know movies can do something that just last week I didn’t. They can make time visible.
  2. His palette here is deep-toned, with bottomless blacks and supersaturated oranges and blues--as if the Walt Disney of "Pinocchio" had collaborated with Goya.
  3. You've seen the rest; now see the best.
  4. The coup de grâce is especially graceless because everything we know is already visible in Marinca’s eyes. The actress is extraordinary.
  5. 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.
  6. Bird clearly knows the great silent clowns: The slapstick he devises is balletic.
  7. The movie is as cornball as all get-out and — once you discern the narrative arc — as predictable. But then there’s the part that’s — as we serious cinephiles like to say — infuckingcredible.
  8. It's an entertainingly cynical small movie. Aaron Sorkin's dialogue tumbles out so fast it's as if the characters want their brains to keep pace with their processors; they talk like they keyboard, like Fincher directs, with no time for niceties.
  9. As a moral statement, Zero Dark Thirty is borderline fascistic. As a piece of cinema, it's phenomenally gripping - an unholy masterwork.
  10. What makes it so good is that no one is bad. These humans, desperate to do right, are caught up in a perfect storm of inhumanity. The evil is in the ecosystem.
  11. Before Midnight counts on our previous investment to keep us riveted. We are. And we want them back in spirit on that train to Vienna as much as they do. What’s next — After Sunrise?
  12. The most deeply and mysteriously satisfying animated feature to come along in ages.
  13. The Hurt Locker might be the first Iraq-set film to break through to a mass audience because it doesn't lead with the paralysis of the guilt-ridden Yank. The horror is there, but under the rush.
  14. The new Pixar picture Wall-E is one for the ages, a masterpiece to be savored before or after the end of the world.
  15. What reveals Pontecorvo as an artist, and not simply a propagandist of genius, is the sorrow he tries to stifle but that comes flooding through anyway--the sense that ALL sides in this conflict have lost their souls, and that all men are carrion.
  16. Sweetest, funniest, most humane movie I've seen all year.
  17. Jackson is rare among the makers of epic movies in that he knows how to do the small stuff, too. The Return of the King has “heart”--how else could it pump out all that blood?
  18. Shot by shot, scene by scene, it's a fluid and enthralling piece of work. I wasn't bored for a millisecond.
  19. Something sacred passes between Trintignant and Riva. The actress's eyes signal deep awareness as the sounds coming out of her mouth become animalistic.
  20. Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis is an exquisitely crafted tale of woe with heartfelt early-sixties folk music — and an overarching snottiness.
  21. The film is a masterpiece in which “locked-in” syndrome becomes the human condition.
  22. Cantet's real-time classroom scenes are revelations: They make you understand that teaching is moment to moment, an endless series of negotiations that hang on intangibles—on imagination and empathy and the struggle to stay centered. This is a remarkable movie.
  23. Anderson’s fearless, bighearted filmmaking is an antidote to the toxic cloud of Manifest Destiny. He has made a mad American classic.
  24. Smashing for much of the way; as a piece of fantasy moviemaking, franchise-style, it beats the bejesus out of "Harry Potter."
  25. For grown-ups, the film will touch something deeper: the heartfelt wish that childhood memories will never fade.
  26. At times it's plodding and inchoate, but there's certainly nothing else like it in the movies right now, and it has at least one great sequence.
  27. The most joyously cinematic movie I've seen this year. Chomet's astonishing imagination conjures images you could swear you've seen in your dreams.
  28. At its best, the film compares favorably to its obvious antecedents, "Rififi" (which Melville once hoped to direct) and "The Asphalt Jungle."
  29. The Queen is the most reverent irreverent comedy imaginable. Or maybe it's the most irreverent reverent comedy. Either way, it's a small masterpiece.
  30. So Polley has gone meta — exuberantly, entertainingly, with all her heart.
  31. It has taken an animated film to go where live-action dramas and even documentaries haven't--to tickle our synapses and slip into our bloodstream.
  32. It’s a near masterpiece.
  33. The Gatekeepers doesn't play like agitprop. The storytelling is strong, the images stark. The camera roams among multiple monitors showing multiple satellite views while an ambient score works on your nerves.
  34. Rahim is an exciting, unpredictable presence, and Arestrup’s César has a stature that’s nearly Shakespearean.
  35. For all the horror, it's the drive toward life, not the decay, that lingers in the mind. As a modern heroine, Ree Dolly has no peer, and Winter's Bone is the year's most stirring film.
  36. The most visceral and cumulatively powerful account of civil war since Gillo Pontecorvo's "The Battle of Algiers."
  37. Her
    In Her, Jonze transforms his music-video aesthetic into something magically personal. The montages — silent, flickering inserts of Theodore and his ex-wife recollected in tranquility — are sublime.
  38. It has what the most heartfelt Disney animated features used to have: rapturous imagery matched with real wit.
  39. In totalitarian societies, artists have found all sorts of ways - some brilliantly imaginative - to disguise their political protest, but Panahi has no subterfuges left. This Is Not a Film ends with a whimper that is a bang. He must be freed.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The sleek beauty, crafty wit, family warmth, and impeccable slapstick suffusing The Incredibles immediately vaults it to a new, higher level of entertainment.
  40. It would be a mistake to regard American Splendor as an anthem for the common man. It is the UNCOMMON that is being celebrated here.
  41. A love affair between performer and filmmaker. The director shows off his ardor by eliciting from his actors aspects of their gifts that they themselves may not have known they had.
  42. Brilliant, tightly focused, and momentous.
  43. Jarecki shows off this footage as evidence of a truly dysfunctional family in various stages of denial. What it reveals at least as much is the modern phenomenon of reality-TV self-exposure carried to such lengths that, by comparison, the Osbournes look like the Cleavers.
  44. The movie is a slot machine that never stops spitting quarters.
  45. Satrapi’s parents ship her off to a French school in Vienna, but she’s rudderless, ungrounded. She’s drawn back to a devastated Tehran, where she can’t design a life, either. This great film, by Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, is that life, designed. It freed her mind; it frees ours.
  46. The resulting film is bizarre to the point of ­trippiness, yet it’s one of the most lucid portraits of evil I’ve ever seen.
  47. Coppola both wrote and directed, and there’s a pleasing shapelessness to her scenes. She accomplishes the difficult feat of showing people being bored out of their skulls in such a way that we are never bored watching them.
  48. Ulrich Mühe gives a marvelously self-contained performance. There isn't an ounce of fat on his body, or in his acting: He has pared himself down to a pair of eyes that prowl the faces of his character's countrymen for signs of arrogance--i.e., of independent thinking.
  49. The most miraculous thing about Man on Wire is not the physical feat itself, 1,350 feet above the ground, but that as you watch it, the era gone, the World Trade Center gone, the movie feels as if it's in the present tense. That nutty existentialist acrobat pulled it off. For an instant, he froze time.
  50. Ida
    The movie’s chill is hard to shake off. It’s a grimly potent portrait of repression, of what happens to a society that buries its past in an unmarked grave — and lives its present in a state of corrosive denial.
  51. Except for a screamingly funny climax in which he attempts to kidnap Pamela Anderson (who reportedly wasn't in on the joke), I found the Borat feature (directed by Larry Charles, who does similar duties on "Curb Your Enthusiasm") depressing; and the paroxysms of the audience reinforced the feeling that I was watching a bearbaiting or pigsticking.
  52. A meticulous, thoroughly engrossing lesson in how not to win friends (or wars) and influence people (or potential terrorists).
  53. Like his protagonist, Bahrani never gives up on William; his camera never stops probing. He loves West's face, and he honors its mystery.
  54. It comes together neatly, perhaps too neatly to be … poetry. But it's not prosaic, either. It has a lucid grace.
  55. For most of Eternal Sunshine, I found myself fighting off Gondry's hyperactive intrusions in order to get at the melancholia at its core. Fortunately, the idea behind this movie is so richly suggestive that it carries you past Gondry's image clutter.
  56. For my money, Flags (however clunky) cuts more deeply, but Letters is more difficult to shake off. Together, they leave you with the feeling that even a just and necessary war is an abomination.
  57. No other concert film has ever expressed so fervently the erotic root of rock. Seeing it is the opposite of taking a trip down memory lane; it's more like a plunge into the belly of the beast.
  58. The funniest and most emotionally charged erotic road movie since Bertrand Blier's "Going Places."
  59. Aside from yet another solid performance from Catherine Keener-playing a Harper Lee just preparing to publish "To Kill a Mockingbird," and here to act as Capote's unheeded moral conscience-that's the ONLY reason to see Capote.
  60. It becomes a meditation on the dual nature of film, on a "reality" at once true and false, essential and tainted.
  61. The movie goes on for three hours without an emotional letup — it’s finally overwhelming.
  62. A hushed, small-scale masterpiece that moves into the shadowlands of tragedy.
  63. Away From Her is a twilight-of-life love story, one that harshly demolishes our romantic notions of love and loyalty, then replaces them with something deeper and, finally, more consoling.
  64. That's the beauty of Mafioso: that what begins as a comedy of disconnection becomes a tragicomedy of connection -- of roots that go deep and branches that span continents.
  65. As he proved in his Iraq-centered "No End in Sight," policy wonk turned documentarian Charles Ferguson has no peer when it comes to tracking the course of a preventable catastrophe.
  66. Jackson has a genuine epic gift: Few filmmakers have ever given gross-outs such resplendence.
  67. It's a prizewinning combination, terribly English and totally Hollywood, and Firth is, once more, uncanny: He evokes, in mid-stammer, existential dread.
  68. Up
    By all means, see Up in its 3-D incarnation: The cliff drops are vertiginous, and the scores of balloons--bunched into the shape of one giant balloon--are as pluckable as grapes.
  69. Wes Anderson’s latest cinematic styling is The Grand Budapest Hotel, an exquisitely calibrated, deadpan-comic miniature that expands in the mind and becomes richer and more tragic.
  70. The Dardennes' most accessible film. Their handheld camera catches tiny flickers of emotion that few filmmakers come near; you feel as if you're watching the movements of a soul.
  71. Gomorrah isn't memorable. The structure feels random, and the characters remain at arm's length. Next to HBO's "The Wire," which depicted an enormous financial ladder and also brought to life the characters on every rung, the movie is small potatoes: excellent journalism, so-so art.
  72. A pungent delight.
  73. In his late seventies, Robert Redford has never held the camera as magnificently as he does in the survival-at-sea thriller All Is Lost.
  74. More often McNamara comes across as Exhibit A in Morris's latest metaphysical creepshow.
  75. Uncle Boonmee is entrancing-and also, if you're not sufficiently steeped in its rhythms, narcotizing.
  76. The remarkable thing director Ang Lee has done is to have made a film that remains firmly in the Western genre while never retreating from its portrayal of a tragic love story.
  77. 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.
  78. HPATDH 2 works like a charm. A funereal charm, to be sure, but then, there's no time left for larks.
  79. By all odds, Tarnation should have been an unwatchable, masochistic morass, but Caouette's love for the broken Renee--which is the true subject of the film--is awe-inspiring.
  80. The movie doesn't quite come together, but it's full of smart, cynical talk, and it's very entertaining.
  81. Has a mixture of bloodletting and exultation that would make Sam Peckinpah sit up in his grave and howl with pleasure.
  82. It’s a hyper-aestheticized meditation on the meaning of history, visually astonishing, dramatically stilted. No masterpiece, but quite a feat (and quite effete).
  83. Lincoln is too sharply focused to deserve the pejorative "biopic" label. It's splendid enough to make me wish Spielberg would make a "prequel" to this instead of another Indiana Jones picture.
  84. It’s the closest I’ve seen a film come to an act of genuine hypnosis.
  85. The movie is a triumph of an especially satisfying kind. It arrives at a kind of gnarled grace that’s true to this sorry old man and the family he let down in so many ways.
  86. The whole thing is irresistibly preposterous.
  87. The emotional honesty of this movie rescues it from sentimentality. To Be and to Have is about more than a dedicated teacher and his pupils; it’s about how difficult and exhilarating it is to grow into an adult.
  88. The self-satire of The Kids Are All Right is so knowing, so rich, so hilarious, so damn healthy that it blows all thoughts of degeneracy out of your head.
  89. Cave of Forgotten Dreams is sometimes frozen by Herzog's awe. But it's hard not to love him for always trying to look beyond the surface of things, to find a common chord in the landscape of dreams.
  90. Field made a thriller about what we are capable of in the name of hatred -- and of love.
  91. The Great Beauty is a subtly daring cinematic high-wire act — an entire film built around one character’s unrealized, unspecified yearning. And it might just be the most unforgettable film of the year.
  92. One job of memoir is to show the world through another's eyes and inspire you to live more alertly, and that is the glory of The Beaches of Agnès.
  93. Hot-dog Hong Kong action stylist Johnnie To has never achieved the cult status of John Woo in this country, but his explosively entertaining — and startlingly splattery — Drug War should win him new fans.
  94. A marvel of cunning, an irresistible blend of cool realism and Hollywood hokum.
  95. Creepily evocative.
  96. As with much of Soderbergh's avant-garde work, his garde isn't quite as avant as he would have us believe it is. Still, Soderbergh's jazzed stylistics can be smartly entertaining. Without them, an uneven movie like Traffic might seem more of a mélange than it already is.
  97. Talk to Her affects some people very deeply, while others, like me, find it high-grade kitsch.
  98. If I seem cool, it might be because I came in hoping for the same level of blood-and-thunder as in the Evangelical scenes of "There Will Be Blood," whereas The Master is a cerebral experience. But Anderson has gone about exploring fundamental tensions in the American character with more discipline than I once thought him capable.
  99. What gives Los Angeles Plays Itself its extraordinary density is the way Andersen transforms a cliché into a metaphysical truth that encompasses far more than L.A.

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