New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,744 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 0.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 The Class
Lowest review score: 0 Enough
Score distribution:
1,744 movie reviews
  1. One of the sharpest and funniest movies about the music business ever made.
  2. 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.
  3. So intimate and sensual and funny and psychologically self-revealing that it makes most of what passes for sex in the movies look like cheap hysterics.
  4. A hushed, small-scale masterpiece that moves into the shadowlands of tragedy.
  5. Jackson has a genuine epic gift: Few filmmakers have ever given gross-outs such resplendence.
  6. An astounding, one-of-a-kind movie.
  7. A rare example of first-rate filmed opera.
  8. You've seen the rest; now see the best.
  9. 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.
  10. The most visceral and cumulatively powerful account of civil war since Gillo Pontecorvo's "The Battle of Algiers."
  11. The most deeply and mysteriously satisfying animated feature to come along in ages.
  12. It has what the most heartfelt Disney animated features used to have: rapturous imagery matched with real wit.
  13. 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.
  14. 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?
  15. The most powerfully entrancing children's film in years. Of course, a true kid's classic is just as magical for adults.
  16. Sweetest, funniest, most humane movie I've seen all year.
    • 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.
  17. The visually stunning Sin City has grit to spare and a thrilling undercurrent of morality.
  18. Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds is huge and scary, moving and funny--another capper to a career that seems like an unending succession of captivations.
  19. Brilliant, tightly focused, and momentous.
  20. One of the most realistic documentaries I've ever seen--and, dry as it is, one of the most devastating in its implications.
  21. 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.
  22. You should see Happy Feet--not only because it's stupendous, but also because it features the best dancing you'll see on the screen this year.
  23. Bird clearly knows the great silent clowns: The slapstick he devises is balletic.
  24. For all its portentousness, this is the best Harry Potter picture yet. In some ways, it improves on J.K. Rowling’s novel, which is punishingly protracted and builds to a climactic wand-off better seen than read.
  25. Might be the most provocative teen sex comedy ever made; it is certainly one of the most convulsively funny.
  26. Above all is Langella, achingly vulnerable under layers of flesh. In one scene, alone, he eats peanut butter intensely, thoughtfully, and nothing he could do as Hamlet would seem deeper or more poetic.
  27. The film is a masterpiece in which “locked-in” syndrome becomes the human condition.
  28. Anderson’s fearless, bighearted filmmaking is an antidote to the toxic cloud of Manifest Destiny. He has made a mad American classic.
  29. The new Pixar picture Wall-E is one for the ages, a masterpiece to be savored before or after the end of the world.
  30. I've never seen a movie with this mixture of fullness and desolation. Rachel Getting Married is a masterpiece.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. Hats off to Olivier Assayas's plain yet hauntingly beautiful Summer Hours, a true--albeit nonsecular--meditation on art and eternal life.
  34. The end of The Cove is as rousing as anything from Hollywood. Manipulative? Sure--but isn't that fitting? Capitalism has driven an entire village to massacre dolphins and keep its work hidden.
  35. Pantheism, Cameronism: In Avatar, what's the diff? Now he's king of a world he made from scratch.
  36. For grown-ups, the film will touch something deeper: the heartfelt wish that childhood memories will never fade.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. This is, no doubt about it, a tour de force, a work that fully lives up to its director's ambitions.
  40. The vision is as hateful as it is hate-filled, but the fusion of form and content is so perfect that it borders on the sublime.
  41. Spielberg has been ridiculed for shooting his actors from below against impossibly Spielbergian skies and a denouement that lays the love on copiously. But there's nothing simpleminded about how he uses movie magic, as a spell to dispel nihilism, to save us from the worst of ourselves by summoning up the best.
  42. Everything he did in live-action movies with rolling boulders and runaway convoys he does bigger and better - by a factor of ten - in every frame. At the end of two hours, my jaw ached from grinning.
  43. The Deep Blue Sea is not a showy or pronounced movie. Open yourself up to it, however, and it might destroy you.
  44. Once the action starts - and it starts very quickly - The Raid is relentless, breathtaking in its sheer propulsive majesty. But it's also shot through with moments of bleak poetry amid the carnage.
  45. The Avengers is both campy and ­reverential. Comic-Con nerds will have multiple orgasms. I had a blast.
  46. Pi has designed his own terrarium to keep from staring directly into the abyss. It's not denial. It's faith in something else: the transformative power of storytelling. The film is transcendent.
  47. As a moral statement, Zero Dark Thirty is borderline fascistic. As a piece of cinema, it's phenomenally gripping - an unholy masterwork.
  48. Something sacred passes between Trintignant and Riva. The actress's eyes signal deep awareness as the sounds coming out of her mouth become animalistic.
  49. Fruitvale Station will rock your world — and, if the life of Oscar Grant means anything, compel you to work to change it.
  50. It’s true that the number of whales in captivity isn’t huge. But they’ve now become the mightiest symbols of our cultural hubris — of our inability to manage creatures we have the power to capture and imprison. It’s a metaphor for the ages.
  51. This is by light-years the most entertaining movie of the year. How many apocalyptic sci-fi action extravaganzas leave you feeling as if the world is just beginning?
  52. Osder has made a documentary that’s astonishingly in the present tense.
  53. 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.
  54. The movie is a slot machine that never stops spitting quarters.
  55. The LEGO Movie is the kind of animated free-for-all that comes around very rarely, if ever: A kids’ movie that matches shameless fun with razor-sharp wit, that offers up a spectacle of pure, freewheeling joy even as it tackles the thorniest of issues.
  56. 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.
  57. What's remarkable is how often the photographer's subjects allow themselves to be caught on film; it's as if they understood implicitly that Nachtwey was there not only to agitate for reform but to memorialize their agony. He does both.
  58. I've never seen another movie that so clearly expresses the sensual sustenance that great folk culture provides its practitioners.
  59. It's an elliptical tragedy in which the fate of its characters takes on a larger significance while never losing its intimacy.
  60. Michel Bouquet's performance makes Anne Fontaine's How I Killed My Father required viewing.
  61. The lifelong friends in Fred Schepisi's marvelous Last Orders actually seem like lifelong friends.
  62. Wiseman lets the material breathe in a manner unique to the subject.
  63. It's a truly prodigious piece of work, resembling a career summation far more than a maiden voyage.
  64. 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.
  65. A comedy in the best sense--it draws its life from the pitch-perfect authenticity of its characters.
  66. A mesmerizing documentary.
  67. Polanski’s strongest and most personally felt movie.
  68. Moodysson captures exactly the preening narcissism and gumption of these frazzled would-be revolutionaries trying to wriggle out of their bourgeois straitjackets.
  69. Linklater must have recognized a kindred spirit when he read Belber's play. He's given us a reality-fantasy game, a psychodrama, a harangue, and a detective story all rolled into one.
  70. The funniest and most emotionally charged erotic road movie since Bertrand Blier's "Going Places."
  71. The Pinochet Case is a searing album of remembrance from those who, having survived, suffered most.
  72. A movie that really zips along; it offers some of the same pleasures as the silent slapstick comedies, particularly the Keaton films, with their sense of how sheer velocity carries its own wit.
  73. A flashy, nasty triumph
  74. Sophisticated and nuanced, and every character is bursting with emotional contradictions.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A brilliant, disturbing, but unstable and half-crazy piece of work.
  75. Belzberg doesn't intervene during the moments of violence, believing that the film can force social change only by showing the worst. If she is correct, then this film should move mountains.
  76. At its best, the film compares favorably to its obvious antecedents, "Rififi" (which Melville once hoped to direct) and "The Asphalt Jungle."
  77. What it's really about is the euphoria that talent can bring to those who are possessed by it. That euphoria lights up the screen.
  78. Beautifully directed by Phillip Noyce, the film -- is a full experience, a love story and a murder mystery that expands into a meditation on the deep deceptions of innocence.
  79. The script, instead of being what we tolerate in order to savor the visuals, is a delight all by itself.
  80. A first-rate zombie movie. The best tribute I can offer is that it makes you want to go out directly afterward and down some expensive single-malt scotch.
  81. Spellbindingly original -- Like the wild orchid, Adaptation is a marvel of adaptation, entwined with its hothouse environment and yet stunningly unique.
  82. Achingly funny movie...Guest has cultivated a stock company of players whose work together is so intuitively sharp that it seems to redefine the boundaries of acting.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Andrew Davis, the director of "The Fugitive," one of the best thrillers of recent years, has added pace and heat and explicit sexuality to the material without whipping up phony excitement.
  83. 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.
  84. Linklater, whose previous movies include "Slacker," "Before Sunrise," and "Waking Life," may be the most versatile director of his generation. School of Rock is his most unabashedly mainstream movie by far, and yet it’s commercial in the best way.
  85. The jamboree is beautifully shot and directed, by Chris Menges and David Leland respectively, and there is a haunting touch: the presence of George’s son, Dhani, on guitar, looking near-identical to his dad in his twenties.
  86. Sean Penn is so frighteningly good in this movie that he outdoes even the best of his earlier work.
  87. It’s a magical little movie about a most unmagical subject.
  88. Tsunashima gives a deft performance in a role that starts out as caricature but becomes full-bodied. Collette commands the screen virtually the entire time.
  89. 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.
  90. As a piece of inspirationalism about human stamina, Touching the Void is peerless, but what it doesn't--perhaps can't--explain is why people place themselves in such peril.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Antz, with its deadpan witticisms, its heart-stopping shifts of perspective, is completely entertaining, a kids' movie that will leave grown-ups quoting the best lines to one another.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The movie is a volatile combination of ambitious mythmaking and nasty reality, and like most of Spike Lee’s work, it is also an inextricable combination of good and bad.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Writer-director Richard Kwietniowski has never made a feature before, but this debut effort is a triumph, a buoyant and elegant achievement -- romantic and ruminative yet always precise, a comedy of longing propelled by a strong current of satirical observation.
  91. Kim exalts nature--life’s passage--without stooping to sentimentality. He sees the tooth and claw, and he sees the transcendence. Whether this is a Buddhist attribute, I cannot say, but the impression this movie leaves is profound: Here is an artist who sees things whole.
  92. Free speech isn't merely a shibboleth in The Agronomist. As embodied by Dominique, it's a fire-breathing force.
  93. Most of the time we are with Cruise and Foxx, and their interplay is never less than galvanizing.
  94. While making his new film, he (McElwee) imagines that his boy is looking back at his screen image from some distant point in the future, when McElwee himself is gone. No child of a moviemaker could ask for a more beautiful bequest.
  95. When this long movie is over, all you want to do is clap and weep and watch it all over again immediately.
  96. The result is an admirably bumpy ride of a biopic, a rare one that leaves you feeling not safe but bracingly unsettled.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dedee is a great, entertaining caricature, an updated teen version of a forties-noir seductress and murderess -- Lana Turner without corsets... Ricci possesses a devastating way with a nasty line; she could curdle mother's milk from 30 paces.
  97. In the best moments of Howl's Moving Castle and in his extraordinary body of work, Miyazaki teaches his viewers more valuable lessons.
  98. Stunning, explosively moving.
  99. Murray's performance is at once enormously generous and fiercely, concisely witty.
  100. Ralph Fiennes gives one of the year's subtlest, yet most exciting, screen performances.
  101. A film that transcends its obvious timeliness to say some elemental things about personal loyalty and institutional betrayal.
  102. 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.
  103. Demme is in such perfect sync with Young's music that even the painted prairie backdrop (and the painted farmhouse interior screen, complete with hearth, that slides in front of it) only makes you roll your eyes in retrospect.
  104. Sometimes you forget how great an actor is, then he or she is reborn in an Altman movie.
  105. The film is phenomenally well directed by Kevin Macdonald and edited by Justine Wright to bring out every bit of scary volatility in the most casual interactions.
  106. 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.
  107. Indigènes is a stupendous work--and why that new title stinks to heaven.
  108. Anyone who loves live-wire acting will gasp in awe at Blanchett, more emotionally exposed than ever, and, most of all, at Dame Judi, who’s so electric she makes you quiver.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Live Flesh, the best movie from Almodóvar since that Iberian screwball classic "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown."
  109. It's a Parisian romantic roundelay with sundry couples connecting and disconnecting, but it looks and sounds like no sex comedy ever made: It's transcendentally yummy.
  110. I’ve sat through so many claustrophobic examples of the genre I forgot how exhilarating, how pure a great one could be. Interview is a great one--electric as theater and cinema.
  111. Very entertaining (and doesn’t overstay its welcome) but it’s a little depressing to contemplate.
  112. I came out giddy, feeling lighter--by about five-sixths--than I did when I went in.
  113. Lake of Fire centers on abortion, but Kaye understands that while dead fetuses are the hook, the agenda covers the whole life cycle.
  114. His (Sidney Lumet) touch in Before the Devil is so sure, so perfectly weighted, that it’s hard to imagine him capable of making a bad movie. The thing is just enthralling.
  115. A brilliant study in the link between moral corruption and narcissism.
  116. It’s a near masterpiece.
  117. The Savages is a delightful movie--the perfect companion piece (and antidote) to the year’s other superb convalescent-dementia picture, "Away From Her."
  118. 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.
  119. Burton, bless him, constricts the space and concentrates the melodrama; he finds the perfect balance between the funereal and the ferocious. Above all, he treasures these ghouls: He digs both their bloodlust and their melancholy.
  120. We’ve never sat through anything with Cloverfield’s subjective sting. You’d have to be tougher than I was not to be blown sideways by it.
  121. The coup de grâce is especially graceless because everything we know is already visible in Marinca’s eyes. The actress is extraordinary.
  122. Paranoid Park is a supernaturally perfect fusion of Van Sant’s current conceptual-art-project head-trip aesthetic and Blake Nelson’s finely tuned first-person “young adult” novel.
  123. In The Flight of the Red Balloon, the great Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao Hsien uses Albert Lamorisse’s 1956 masterpiece "The Red Balloon" as a springboard for his own masterpiece--a distinctively modern and allusive one, yet so tender and plaintive that you understand what Hou is up to on a preconscious level.
  124. Loyal assistant, Pepper Potts, isn't much of a part, but Gwyneth Paltrow is a presence. She stands around looking amused and flabbergastingly pretty, slinging wisecracks with serene aplomb.
  125. The Edge of Heaven is powerfully unsettled--it comes together by not coming together.
  126. It takes about an hour after it's over for the heart to slow, the brain to recalibrate, and the nonsensicalness of the thing to sink in.
  127. Chris & Don is the rarest of documentaries: a realistic portrait of the human spirit.
  128. It was splendid! No, it’s not a larky kid-pic. We're firmly in the realm of English horror.
  129. Among the most enraging (documentaries) I've ever seen, and while it's fine and heartfelt and I commend it to those of you with strong constitutions, it is the film that has finally broken me.
  130. The whole thing is irresistibly preposterous.
  131. Is A Christmas Tale a masterpiece? Maybe. I have to play with it longer. It's certainly Desplechin's most accessible film, in part because its dysfunctional-family-holiday-reunion genre is so comfy and its palette so warm.
  132. The film is lyrical, expansive, unbearably beautiful.
  133. The ensemble is stupendous--howlingly great--and the music goes deep.
  134. The movie is a political remake of "The Passion of the Christ," only more aestheticized: It's rigorous, evocative, and, in spite of its grisly imagery, elegant. It's a triumph--of masochistic literal-mindedness.
  135. Doubt is still overpowering; it took me a while when it was over to stop shaking. It's the dramatist’s business to sow doubt, to set down points of view that can't be reconciled, and Shanley makes visceral the notion that one can be right but never absolutely right, that doubt might be our last, best hope.
  136. There isn't a banal moment in Winslet's performance--not a gesture, not a word. Is Winslet now the best English-speaking film actress of her generation? I think so.
  137. 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.
  138. Troell’s entrancingly beautiful Everlasting Moments uses surfaces--light, texture, faces--to hint at another world, a shadow realm.
  139. Like his protagonist, Bahrani never gives up on William; his camera never stops probing. He loves West's face, and he honors its mystery.
  140. Observe and Report is the rare "action-comedy" (almost always a muddled hybrid) that earns its cathartic climax. The blood is real because the psychosis is real. But somehow--the magic of comedy--it's also uproarious.
  141. No filmmaker I know has gotten as close to a professional athlete as James Toback gets to Mike Tyson in his new documentary.
  142. 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.
  143. Truly, this is manna from hell.
  144. Séraphine is one of the most evocative films about an artist I've ever seen--and in its treatment of madness one of the least condescending.
  145. Sheridan’s actors work with their intellects fully engaged--and they engage us on levels we barely knew we had.
  146. Endlessly enchanting.
  147. A Serious Man is not only hauntingly original, it’s the final piece of the puzzle that is the Coens. Combine suburban alienation, philosophical inquiry, moral seriousness, a mixture of respect for and utter indifference to Torah, and, finally, a ton of dope, and you get one of the most remarkable oeuvres in modern film.
  148. Up in the Air is poised to be a smash, and Clooney--slim, dark, perfectly tailored--glamorizes insincerity in a way that makes you want to go out and lie.
  149. Outrageously entertaining.
  150. This movie is utterly irresistible.
  151. Arnold's first feature, "Red Road" (2006), centers on another outsider, a woman who monitors security cameras. The film is formally brilliant, but it doesn't have the breathtaking openness of Fish Tank.
  152. The movie, a near-masterpiece, is a monument to intoxication: of sexual conquest, of military conquest, and, most of all, of cinema.
  153. The film is a nearly unrelenting nightmare. Even interviews shot with the survivors after the fact have a current of dread.
  154. It becomes a meditation on the dual nature of film, on a "reality" at once true and false, essential and tainted.
  155. This is one of the most galvanizing documentaries I've ever seen.
  156. 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.
  157. Shot by shot, scene by scene, it's a fluid and enthralling piece of work. I wasn't bored for a millisecond.
  158. The Kidman in Rabbit Hole is a revelation.
  159. Blessed is the go-for-it movie that can make room for dissonances and weirdness.
  160. The movie doesn't quite jell, but you'll feel its sting for hours.
  161. This supernatural comedy isn't just Allen's best film in more than a decade; it's the only one that manages to rise above its tidy parable structure and be easy, graceful, and glancingly funny, as if buoyed by its befuddled hero's enchantment.
  162. Mike Mills's marvelously inventive romantic comedy Beginners is pickled in sadness, loss, and the belief that humans (especially when they mate) are stunted by their parents' buried secrets, their own genetic makeup, and our sometimes-sociopathic social norms.
  163. Meehl, in her directing debut, is attuned to the rhythms of Buck, who's attuned to the horses.
  164. In Mysteries of Lisbon, the prolific Chilean-born director and egghead Raúl Ruiz has achieved something remarkable, at once avant-garde and middlebrow: the apotheosis of the soap opera.
  165. Nichols has a genius for making landscapes and everyday objects resonate like crazy, for nailing the texture of dread.
  166. Fiennes and Logan haven't made a definitive Coriolanus, but they've made a sensationally gripping one. They have the pulse of the play, its firm martial beats and its messy political clatter. They tell a damn good story.
  167. 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.
  168. 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.
  169. You could never call Solondz a humanist, but he achieves something I've never seen elsewhere: compassionate revulsion.
  170. Jarecki puts the veteran actor to brilliant use in the insanely gripping Arbitrage.
  171. No actor is as brilliant, or as cunning, as Denzel Washington at portraying superhuman coolness and the scary prospect of its loss.
  172. 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.
  173. So Polley has gone meta — exuberantly, entertainingly, with all her heart.
  174. The movie’s singular acting triumph is Nathan Fillion’s Constable Dogberry, one of Shakespeare’s simpler buffoons made poetic by understatement. Fillion speaks softly, with ­uninflected sincerity, a brilliant departure from the standard gregarious-­hambone Dogberry. It’s his insularity — his imperviousness to the interjections of more observant people — that makes him such a touchingly credible clown.
  175. Downey found a way to channel his working-class audience’s anger against liberal shibboleths and not incidentally take down both his dad and his surrogate dad — Teddy ­Kennedy. It’s a ­riveting Oedipal tragedy.
  176. The movie is gorgeous, mesmerizing, poetic; the lyricism actually heightened by harsh jets of gore.
  177. 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.
  178. 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.
  179. In short, I'd be the happiest person in the world if Wong announced there was a four-hour cut of this film somewhere. For now, neither version is perfect, but they’re both so beautiful, so heartbreaking, that the question may be moot. Whatever its flaws, seeing The Grandmaster theatrically, in any version, should be a sacrament for any true film lover — a spiritual duty.
  180. 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.
  181. The movie goes on for three hours without an emotional letup — it’s finally overwhelming.
  182. 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.
  183. 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.
  184. 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.
  185. 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.
  186. With her swanlike neck and ever-flushing complexion, Felicity Jones has a perfect nineteenth-century look, but there’s something forward and modern about her physiognomy, her huge eyes and strong nose and overbite. As she gazes down in enforced modesty, you feel her soul about to burst. The performance is startlingly vivid.
  187. The mystery may be resolved, but the suspense and uncertainty remain. And so, Guiraudie ends his film on a cold, almost cruel note of existential solitude that just might, if you let it, break your heart.
  188. 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.
  189. I’m not crying “masterpiece” here. Locke is too contained, too well-carpentered, too self-consciously “classical.” But tours don’t come much more forceful. Once you’ve taken this 90-odd-minute drive with Tom Hardy, you’ll never forget his face.
  190. Gregory and Demme have turned A Master Builder into (pardon my invoking the name of a Strindberg work) a dream play, and have made it once more madly, bitingly, chillingly alive.

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