New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 2,128 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 51% 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 The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)
Score distribution:
2128 movie reviews
  1. It's an opulent, if instantly disposable, kinetic joyride.
  2. Here's what's depressing: that, given the millions spent on defense by multinational conglomerates, our last best hope isn't the courts but the fickle attentions of glossy magazines and the noblesse oblige of celebrities.
  3. Apart from having no particular reason to exist onscreen, especially at these prices, it's not half bad.
  4. 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.
  5. The movie does a good job of capturing how ostracism and liberation are sides of the same spinning coin.
  6. It's tricky, it's surprising, and it's largely faithful to the original mini-series, but in context it's a nonevent. It's like a time bomb that's never dismantled but never explodes. The movie is good enough that the ending leaves you … not angry, exactly. Unfulfilled.
  7. This is not the kind of material for a stately biopic or a political drama. This is nasty, strange business — perfect for Ferrara, whose work often hovers between art and exploitation, between angst and sleaze.
  8. Has an appealing rawness.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Ray
    Sure, it’s the Jamie Foxx breakout role. But the movie around it is so systematically “inspirational” that it comes perilously close to sabotaging the breakout.
  9. Hercules has no right to be as entertaining as it is.
  10. The descent into a tepid thriller of sexual jealousy slowly negates the abstract, almost metaphorical quality of this film — and it ultimately undoes the spell cast by that mesmerizing first half.
  11. Something is missing, though. The themes are all there, but the movie doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier and rev you up.
  12. Franklin directs smoothly, but except for Freeman, the theatrics are pretty pro forma.
  13. It’s puffed up in obvious ways but disarmingly puckish in others. As that capering pirate, De Niro is god-awful--yet his gung-ho spirit wins him Brownie points.
  14. It’s a cracker­jack piece of filmmaking, a declaration that he’s (Eastwood) not yet ready to be classified as an Old Master, that he can out-Bigelow Kathryn Bigelow. Morally, though, he has regressed from the heights of Letters From Iwo Jima (2006). In more ways than one, the Iraq occupation is seen through the sight of a high-powered rifle. The movie is scandalously blinkered.
  15. Suggests a cross between "Sunset Boulevard" and "All About Eve." The suggestion, alas, doesn't go very far, but Bening's performance approaches the pantheon.
  16. The movie isn't as world-shattering as those bouts: It's a regretful-old-warrior weeper.
  17. It’s a genre-bending mash-up, a non-vampire vampire movie about class, race, love, and cruelty. It consciously seeks to marry its diverse influences in an attempt to present something between schlock and art house, between passionate gore and urbane chill. It contains multitudes, and not always all that well.
  18. This one is dully conventional even by family-uplift standards. The details are sweated, all right: It's a triumph of perspiration over inspiration.
  19. Look closely and you may see that this madame is alive in all sorts of ways. At least for its first half, this is a textured, haunted, remarkably empathetic film.
  20. Earth to Echo resonates, despite itself.
  21. Much of the bloat is still there, but The Desolation of Smaug, the second film in the Hobbit trilogy, is a real improvement – filled with inventive action set pieces and dramatic face-offs that we (finally, at long last, hallelujah!) care about.
  22. The fifth entry in the popular dance-off franchise is, like the others, a fantasia that upends the usual rules of filmmaking. Here, the more threadbare the scenario, and the more unmotivated an action, the better. Character and story just get in the way of all the awesome dancing.
  23. The Scorch Trials isn’t a particularly good movie, but it’s just fast and nutty enough to keep you entertained.
  24. This is familiar terrain jazzed up by unfamiliar voices--principally Terrence Howard and his high-pitched, singsong drawl. You don't quite know what he's thinking; he might even be demented. But he keeps you watching and guessing.
  25. Hardy, it seems, is an ecosystem of love and hate and betrayal and madness unto himself. The rest of Legend just can’t keep up.
  26. 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.
  27. Suffragette is slick and efficient, but also diffuse and formless; it’ll pass the time but it fails to engage.
  28. Except for a few brilliant flashes, mostly from Peter O'Toole as Hector’s father, the Trojans' magisterially woebegone King Priam, Troy is a fairly routine action picture with an advanced case of grandeuritis.
  29. Even when it spreads itself too thin, Look Both Ways enlarges your perception of the here-and-now--and what movies can do to transcend it.
    • 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.
  30. 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.
  31. Margot at the Wedding doesn’t develop; it just skips from one squirmy scene to the next.
  32. It's the worm set pieces that rule, as our hero must carry out a dare to eat ten worms ten ways between sunup and sundown.
  33. Fortunately, there are more than enough moments when the heavy-handedness gives way to the sheer bliss of ordinary magic.
  34. Zoo
    Devor doesn't endorse horse-on-man sex, but he does attempt--with sympathy--to account for the appeal.
  35. Holy Rollers fuses a somber, old-world palette with a jittery urban unease--a good mix of tones. It’s also wonderfully acted.
  36. The film itself is uneven, but it’s kind of awesome seeing Bateman act so vile.
  37. 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.
  38. Powerfully rendered in every respect - and another testament to how bad the Nazis are for drama.
  39. Hotel Transylvania 2 is minor, to be sure, but given the comedian’s recent work, it still counts as a pleasant surprise.
  40. 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.
  41. Scene by scene, Jindabyne has dramatic force, but it's an awfully long slog. Carver's smartest tactic was never outstaying his welcome.
  42. Too bad the movies collapses at the end when we find out what's really going on. Baghead is so much more vivid when it's indefinite.
  43. It’s campier than its predecessor, but its gung ho union of black, white, and Asian gangs against reactionaries who’d destroy them is a virtuosic assertion of punky Parisian multiculturalism.
  44. The Croods isn’t particularly smart, but it has just enough wit to keep us engaged and just enough speed to keep us from feeling restless.
  45. It gets the job done and then some, but it's ugly and clumsily shaped, and every scene is there to rack up sociological points.
  46. There aren’t too many ingenious new concepts in today’s horror and fantasy films, but I’ll be damned if Horns doesn’t come close, at least at first.
  47. By now we’ve seen so many good, bad, and indifferent Sherlocks that it’s almost a relief to get something different, however wrongheaded. And there’s no such thing as too much Downey.
  48. As amusing as the movie is, I think in the end that Ascher misses the labyrinth for the trees.
  49. Though a mess by all conventional narrative standards, Avengers: Age of Ultron is a fascinating case study in the rules of “universe” storytelling. Chief among them is that a film may not be self-contained — it must constantly allude to worlds outside its own. Marvel fans want extra characters, extra subplots, in-jokes that pander to their supposed breadth of knowledge. They don’t want closure.
  50. The problem is that Allen is getting a bit long in the tooth to be playing a romancer-rescuer, and since he and Helen Hunt have a rather frigid actorly rapport, we have plenty of time to notice the awkward, and barely acknowledged, disparity in their ages.
    • 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.
  51. Clooney may be a specialist in embattled camaraderie--he helped revive "Ocean's Eleven," after all--but as in that caper remake, there's no depth to these characterizations, and Downey and Clarkson are squandered in a goes-nowhere subplot about their secret marriage.
  52. 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.
  53. 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.
  54. In any case, the last twenty minutes of Breaking Dawn are so harrowing that it's possible to forget that most of the acting is soap-operatic (the guy who plays Carlisle is aging to look like Liberace) and the dialogue from hunger. The movie's that primal.
  55. A true story of courage and survival, yes. But viewing the destruction of the World Trade Center--in a film called World Trade Center--through this kind of prism represents a distinctly Hollywood brand of tunnel vision.
  56. 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.
  57. Once the surprise of seeing something so miserable depicted with such wit and poetry wears off, you’re left with a nagging ugh, as well as the feeling that this emotional/psychological syndrome isn’t nearly as universal as Kaufman thinks it is.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. Hit and Run works less as a film and more as a likable, semi-documentary romp among friends. The illusion of the drama may be gone, but it's been replaced by something more authentic and adorable. And we might be okay with that.
  61. Moverman is attempting something hugely ambitious with Time Out of Mind: a socially conscious, existential-displacement art movie. I think it would have worked better with a little less rigor and a little more intimacy.
  62. The movie itself isn’t dull. It’s moderately stylish, moderately suspenseful, fun in patches. It hits its marks. But the setup lacks urgency.
  63. Spy
    Feig keeps throwing so much stuff at you — gross-out gags, chases, brutal violence, not to mention actors working their heads off — that he finally wears down your resistance. In the end, I admired him for keeping this ramshackle construction together, casting performers I adore, and proving that Melissa McCarthy can, indeed, hold a gun. A mixed victory. A definitively mixed review.
  64. The destination is often familiar and not always particularly interesting, but the ride itself isn’t always so bad, especially when you’ve got Bill Murray along for company.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Two Girls and a Guy isn’t a satisfying movie, but Downey is alarmingly brilliant in it -- a man locked in torment who can’t find the way out.
  65. One of the more enjoyably terrible movies of the year.
  66. The film plays out mostly like an occasionally above-average episode of the show.
  67. The decomposition of the soul is the goal of a Stasi incarceration, the promised end for an enemy of the state, and there is something about the movie’s pacing--the silences, the drone of the narration ("The name of your enemy is hope?…?")--that wears you down.
  68. There are too many musical performances in this movie, even for a country fan such as myself, to keep the city slickers engaged. This bespeaks great faith in the charisma of the stars, who merit it. They also, however, deserved a better script.
  69. Evocative, gorgeous, occasionally maddening film.
  70. Ultimately, what comes through most forcefully in The Hundred-Foot Journey is the longing of the immigrant, the overwhelming push-pull between the need to belong and the need to assert one’s own identity.
  71. I like the movie, though. It forced me to rethink the way sexual desire saturates everything, along with extreme vulnerability of children.
  72. A.C.O.D. is reasonably pleasant and therapeutic and antiseptic and you just wish somebody would bring a chandelier down on somebody else at some point.
  73. Jolie gets the dirty/ennobling job done. If the narrative is finally unsatisfying, it’s because the last vital chapter — the way in which Zamperini was able to have a life after years of unspeakable cruelty and the dashing of his Olympic hopes — is signaled in a couple of title cards before the closing credits. Unbroken proves that Zamperini could take it and make it — but make what of it?
  74. There is in The Mother a rich understanding of where old age takes you. Along with the myth that seniors don't have sex drives, the film dispels a larger one: that the years bring wisdom.
  75. Ken Hixon's script contrives a lot of mutual-healing set pieces and then sadly but shrewdly aborts them: That makes the drama more Chekhovian than "quite real."
  76. Boulevard is a sad, hesitant little movie about a sad, hesitant little man. That may be a far cry from the Robin Williams roles we knew and loved, but it’s not a bad one on which to go out.
  77. As in his pithy, tuneful songs-many written from different perspectives, in different styles-Merritt is committed to stylizing his misery instead of boring you with it.
  78. Danny Huston is screamingly funny as the alternately finicky and savage Head Ghoul--he’s like something spewed forth from the bowels of the Politburo. The problem is structural.
  79. Were it not for these performances (Blanchett, Ribisi, Swank, Reeves), The Gift would be fairly negligible.
  80. The Heat is kind of a mess, but it’s a funny mess.
  81. Bachelorette has some big gaps, and it isn't what you'd call fun - it's not "Bridesmaids 2." But lovely women doing genuinely ugly things makes for a potent combination.
  82. I don’t mind the movie’s retro-ness, but I wish Mostow didn't take pulp so seriously.
  83. If Life of Crime transcends its lightheartedness to actually make us care for what happens to its characters, it doesn’t quite transcend its own haphazard, impoverished story.
  84. 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.
  85. The film is too wan and distanced to sweep you up, but it holds you.
  86. 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.
  87. Extraordinary Measures has a soppy piano-and-strings score, but the primal fear of loss sharpens every scene.
  88. Demme’s Manchurian Candidate is far from a disgrace, but it's not freewheeling enough, not strange enough to make sense of our gathering dread.
  89. Kick-Ass 2, a movie that, for all its predictable sequel-ness, manages to conjure up pretty much the same dark magic that the earlier film did, albeit with more troubling results. Believe it or not, Kick-Ass 2 is even more of a provocation than the first Kick-Ass.
  90. Depressing, disgusting, and dated, Edmond is worth braving to experience America’s best-known serious playwright at his most gruesomely undiluted.
  91. It's not bad, exactly; the songs are catchy, the cameos are okay, and some of the jokes work fine. Set your expectations super-low, and you'll probably be fine.
  92. The screenwriter, James Solomon, does the poor job only a liberal could at making the case for a Cheneyesque "dark side," and he isn't helped by Kline's wooden acting. Too bad. The Conspirator is eloquent enough to let the other side have its say.
  93. For all its calculation and manipulation, there's a very human movie somewhere within Marigold Hotel. You might just have to wade through a thousand clichés to get to it.
  94. 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.
  95. The prolific Patrice Leconte takes a break from mythic, life-and-death scenarios with My Best Friend, a sitcom that threatens to take a rockier emotional path before swerving back into the comfy zone. It’s better when it’s threatening, but Leconte knows his audience.
  96. Devos is especially fine as a woman whose inner solitude carries depth charges.

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