New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,853 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 Adventures of Tintin
Lowest review score: 0 Enough
Score distribution:
1,853 movie reviews
  1. The only reason to check out Big Bad Love is Debra Winger, last seen onscreen in 1995.
  2. From the look of this film, its prime appreciators will be heavy-metal futurist dweebs.
  3. Spacey is turning into another Robin Williams: Between this film and "Pay It Forward" he cops the prize for the Sappiest Performances by an Actor Previously Known to Have Great Talent.
  4. A stinker.
  5. The film's Russians are all played by French and Australian actors. Too bad Butterworth didn't find a Russian to play the Brit. That would have made the inauthenticity complete.
  6. It's as if an obsessed movie nut had decided to collect every bad war-movie convention on one computer and program it to spit out a script.
  7. There's less here than meets the eye or ear: We're a long way from Jonathan Swift, and any old episode of "Cops" is bound to be more engrossing, not to mention "real."
  8. Gets points for oddness. Excellence is another matter.
  9. The dance he (Wang) ended up with is on the wrong lap.
  10. Sandler being Chaplinesque isn't pretty; he's just doing his smart-aleck slacker shtick with a moister eye.
  11. O
    It's a doomy dirge of a movie, in which the protagonists, or at least the actors who play them, aren't equipped to handle their outsize passions.
  12. The only note of authenticity in the movie comes from Ian Holm, playing the royal physician. What is this nuanced performance -- at least until the final fireworks -- doing in this twaddle?
  13. Movie has been upstaged by the sum of our fears. The staunch heroics, frantic presidential huddles, and hairbreadth rescues all seem tinny and escapist, too Cold Warrior–ish, for what's really going on now.
  14. I've never been sold on this anti-TV thesis. It's snooty. It assumes we in the audience have seen the light denied the lower orders. Invariably, the people in these movies who are rendered blotto by the tube are dingbat common folk. EDtv takes this notion to a new low.
  15. The best way to kill the spirit of the sixties is to sanitize it with preachiness, which is what happens here. That rock-cock collection might as well be a box of baseball cards.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The general insensitivity of the atmosphere gets one down after a while. None of these people go together: Friends don't seem like friends, lovers don't seem like lovers. In brief, it's not enough just to have bad taste. You have to have talent, too.
  16. You would have to have been born yesterday to miss the switcheroos and reeking red herrings planted in this pulp.
  17. Sordid Thelma & Louise-ish spree, which also has certain affinities with Breathless but would be better termed Affectless.
  18. Based on an interminable 1994 international bestseller by Louis de Bernières that I found impossible to make my way through. The movie duplicates exactly my experience with the book, although I must say I was thankful to be spared serial outbreaks of hearty Greek dancing.
  19. The role plays all too easily into De Niro's worst current habits. He's dulled himself out in the service of a phony kitchen-sink pseudo-realism. For De Niro, less has become less.
  20. I Am Sam is about as connected to the real world as Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham, from which its title is derived -- in fact, in the realism department, Seuss may have the edge.
  21. He (Gibson) ramrods his way through the bugged-out hysterics as if he were appearing in a movie that actually made sense. What a brave heart.
  22. He's (Gandolfini) the true star of the film, and his stardom is achieved in the most honest of ways, through the sheer brute force of his talent.
  23. Since this is a coming-of-age movie about a poor rural kid who grapples with the big city, it would be nice if its protagonist weren’t such a lummox.
  24. An exuberantly garish French movie.
  25. The Grisham-esque murder-mystery plot got so scrambled that, finally, it’s anybody’s guess what the filmmakers intended.
  26. Eddie Murphy and Robert De Niro have made any number of lame movies on their own, but there's a special wastefulness connected to their first co-starring vehicle, Showtime: It's lameness times two, and then some.
  27. Probably the most garishly masochistic star turn since Mel Gibson's "The Man Without a Face." It could also be the most baroque chick flick ever made, the freakazoid spawn of "An Affair to Remember" and "The Matrix."
  28. Being a cultural icon is a time-limited occupation; after a while, the culture moves on, and if you don't move with it, you end up with a movie like Anything Else.
  29. Elf
    I was looking forward to something a tad more satirical than this Hallmark card of a movie, which plugs innocence and goodness like they’re going out of style.
  30. It’s forceful, to be sure, but in a lurid way that suggests a telenovela that’s been baking in the sun too long.
  31. Ends with a bunch of goofy outtakes--which are as dismal as the rest of the movie. How do you decide what to leave out when there's nothing worth keeping in?
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    If the woman’s love is obsessive and needy, the story becomes stupid and painful, and that is what happens in The Object of My Affection, the Stephen McCauley novel that has been adapted for the movies with disastrous panache by playwright Wendy Wasserstein and director Nicholas Hytner.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Wild Things, which was written by Stephen Peters and directed by John McNaughton, lacks fantasy and flamboyance, that it lacks, precisely, wild things, and that most of it is just flat.
  32. The new film stars The Rock, but The Wood might be a better description of his performance.
  33. The catastrophe is so pulped and exaggerated that uninformed audiences will safely assume that global warming is just a Democratic scare tactic.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    At the end of Sphere, the three principals -- Dustin Hoffman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Sharon Stone -- agree, for the good of humanity, to forget everything that has happened to them in the movie up to that point. This is a pact I can only rush to join, and with exactly the same motive.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Stupidity is also an issue in the independent film The Real Blonde, in which everyone seems to have suffered an IQ slippage of some 40 points.
  34. Gunner Palace too often makes the grunts look like mean slackers -- precisely the opposite, one presumes, of what was intended.
  35. Mostly stiff acting and intentionally flat, banal dialogue.
  36. Kidman is stuck in this pomo movie about the making of a TV-show remake. It’s "Being John Malkovich for Morons."
  37. No matter where he (Von Trier) begins, his dramatic compass drifts toward the same pole: the sexual humiliation of his heroine (How could Daddy let you do this, Bryce?). But it's hard to get too worked up over racial injustice when a director has the temperament of a Klansman.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    This is a wan, shapeless, and amazingly conventional piece of work .
  38. If there's anything to be learned from this dud, it's that when you decide to adapt an explosive property like The Da Vinci Code, playing it safe isn't safe: Either swallow hard and make the damnable thing or give it to someone with more guts and/or less to lose. Here is a saga that bombards the very foundations of Western religion. But onscreen, there seems to be absolutely nothing at stake.
  39. Zwigoff doesn't get the tone right, and the picture goes from reasonably amusing (if crude) to puzzling to boring to (when a campus strangler enters the picture) hateful.
  40. Is Death of a President plausible? As political prognostication, perhaps. As a TV documentary, no way in hell. What's missing is shapeliness, suspense, narrative cunning, visual flair--in short, art. Are we really to believe that a network of the future would broadcast such a barbiturate?
  41. Exterminating Angels is meant as an autocritique--and yet the director can't get past his notion of himself as a fearlessly transgressive artist-hero, a martyr to the limitations of male gaze.
  42. The movie is endless even at less than 90 minutes. You could use it, "A Clockwork Orange" style, as aversion therapy for seemingly incorrigible con artists.
  43. Jumper is so in sync with the language of modern action movies that it’s possible to look past its soullessness and go with the quantum flow.
  44. Boarding Gate was evidently made quickly and cheaply, and parts of it are fun. It’s too bad there’s no real viewer equivalent--that you can’t WATCH a film quickly and cheaply.
  45. Forget Pacino; it’s all those red herrings that reek.
  46. A high-toned revenge-of-nature horror picture, it's a little depressed, with only gross-out shocks (gushing jugulars, bodies run over by lawnmowers) to relieve the torpor.
  47. This kind of reverence kills what it seeks to preserve. The movie is embalmed.
  48. When Lee isn't doing cinematic somersaults or mining for injustice, he doesn't seem to know where to put the camera. The logistics of the plot make no sense, and he has nothing to sell but the theme of our common humanity--in which, on the evidence, I don't think he believes.
  49. Sam Rockwell strips himself down to pure appetite and has a buoyant spirit. But the film sure doesn't. It's bizarrely flat--it has no affect.
  50. It would be a horrific story even if underplayed, but Eastwood shoots it like a horror movie.
  51. There are a bunch of other clunky immigrant subplots (the Jews get a comic one, the Turks a scary one), but it isn't until the massacre–cum–civics tutorial in the liquor store that Crossing Over crosses into the mythic realm of camp. What a waste. I still say it's better than "Crash," though.
  52. Klaatu is a dream role for the beautifully blank Reeves, since he doesn’t even have to pretend to emote.
  53. If the movie didn't pander so madly to the audience for "Sex and the City" and "Legally Blonde," it might have been a comedy touchstone instead of a cringeworthy footnote.
  54. The documentary has its roots in a monologue in which the "guest of Cindy Sherman" (what H-O's place-card read at a gala) stood up for his personhood and made himself the center of the story—only there's NO STORY, not even insight into what made this unlikely couple click. Remove the boldface names and there's no movie; that center does not hold.
  55. It’s all so glancing and superficial that the movie doesn’t seem to have a present tense. It goes by like coming attractions. It is, however, a treasury of bad biopic dialogue.
  56. Von Trier has said he wanted to make a genre horror picture, but he couldn’t even come up with a decent metaphor: The climax is out of a Grade C hack-’em-up with people chasing each other through the woods with axes and knives.
  57. Chill to the core, Haneke presents human cruelty not to make us empathize with the victims or understand the oppressors but to rub our noses in the crimes of our species. He thinks he’s held on to the subversive ideals of punk, but all I smell is skunk.
  58. It isn’t a train wreck--a train wreck would be memorable. What’s wrong is wrong by design.
  59. The most depressing thing about Sex and the City 2 is that it seems to justify every nasty thing said and written about the series and first feature film.
  60. No Strings Attached is so palpably calculated that you know if the camera had pulled back a foot from the bed in which Portman and Kutcher were pretending to have sex, you'd have seen their agents standing by beaming: proud parents, proud pimps.
  61. Amusing and annoying in the wrong ratio, maybe 30/70.
  62. I've never seen a film in which what was actually onscreen seemed so irrelevant.
  63. A well-polished cowpat that will confuse and bore those who know nothing about Shakespeare and incense those who know almost anything.
  64. The Rum Diary has no mighty gonzo wind. Even with a push from its Thompson-worshipping star, Johnny Depp, it leaves our freak flag limp.
  65. The movie spreads bad vibes like a virus.
  66. It has been a long time since I've heard people - many people - distinctly yell, "Boo!" Usually they just growl or moan or hiss. They don't bother actually to articulate the word "Boo!" I second their statement. The ending reeks.
  67. Believe it or not, the delicate-featured, whisper-thin actress manages to (mostly) pull it off, but the abysmal movie around her lets her down.
  68. His performance feels so disingenuous, so forced, that an otherwise perfectly acceptable high-concept comedy comes crashing down around him.
  69. Somehow both annoyingly overstuffed and depressingly thin.
  70. Rock of Ages withholds nothing and makes miracles seem cheap.
  71. The movie, written and directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, is desultory when it's not inept, but the set-up is so good that you can't help sticking it out to the (unforgivable) end.
  72. What a whorish film this is: Even the serial killer lectures the detective.
  73. If anything, this series has gotten dumber and more inert as it has progressed, with this last one finally reaching over into an extended wallow in camp.
  74. If the similarly situated "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" took itself too seriously, the problem with Hansel & Gretel is that it doesn't quite take itself seriously enough - which sounds insane, but it's not too much to ask that the movie go beyond its one and only joke. Instead, amid all the fake Sturm und Drang, all we hear is the movie giggling to itself.
  75. For all of R’s allegedly humorous observations about the wasteland of the undead through which he walks, they feel tacked on — like somebody decided to turn this thing into a comedy at the last second.
  76. Olympus Has Fallen is a disgusting piece of work, but it certainly hits its marks — it makes you sick with suspense.
  77. If all this sounds outrageous, and extreme … don’t worry, it’s not. Provocation coupled with ineptitude doesn’t reveal the ugliness of humanity; it simply reveals the ugliness of the filmmakers themselves.
  78. For all its attempts at wonder and spectacle and play, Epic is mostly a slog.
  79. Were Shyamalan and Smith deliberately invoking the terror — now omnipresent in urban African-American communities — of lethal asthma attacks in children? I’m not sure how I feel about something so real and so wrenching in the context of a Grade D (unfit for human habitation) sci-fi picture like After Earth.
  80. The original film also featured Rob Schneider. I can’t quite believe I’m saying this, but his presence is sorely missed here.
  81. The Canyons isn’t just bad, it’s rank — and it takes a peculiar sort of integrity to denude the frame of life to the point where it smells to heaven.
  82. City of Bones isn’t the worst of its kind, but crap served with flair is still basically crap.
  83. Maybe, in another time and place, and with different actors and a better director, it might have worked. But this thing collapses right from the get-go.
  84. Getaway’s only claim to fame is that it may be the dumbest movie released this summer.
  85. As a result, we get relatively little insight into the other characters as they react to Riddick. Without an unknown force to spark our own imaginations, the result is mostly dead air.
  86. A fair number of people have responded with tears and laughs to Saving Mr. Banks, but I found it interminable.
  87. My daughter wants you to know that the movie is great and that you shouldn’t listen to a hater like me. I envy her belief.
  88. Does anybody really find this crap scary anymore?
  89. Whatever its politics, Gimme Shelter fails on multiple levels.
  90. Eckhart plays Frankenstein’s monster in a monotonous, teeth-gritting mode, as if someone had one gun on him and another on his family.
  91. The problem here isn’t the writer-director’s politics, but his stifling lack of imagination, his complete refusal to even attempt narrative dexterity.
  92. One reason Oculus feels so talky and monotonous in spite of its tricky syntax is that the space itself isn’t charged with malignancy. And the monster doesn’t compensate — it’s dumb, blockish, inert. The mirror doesn’t have two faces. It barely has one.
  93. It should be wilder, funnier, nuttier.
  94. This demonic possession story is at times so lame it makes the last "Paranormal Activity" flick look like a masterpiece.

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