New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 2,004 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 46% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 52% 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 There Will Be Blood
Lowest review score: 0 The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)
Score distribution:
2,004 movie reviews
  1. In outline, In Darkness is a standard conversion melodrama, but little within those parameters is easy. The darkness lingers into the light.
  2. I Love You, Man is totally formulaic, but the formula is unnervingly (and hilariously) inside out.
  3. 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.
  4. We know these characters are going through a lot, even if we don’t always see it. And so, this short, ramshackle, shrinking movie manages to stick with you.
  5. It’s wonderfully inventive filmmaking: Amirpour’s striking compositions borrow from the iconography of both the Western and the horror film — wide, evocative vistas are intercut with dark, tense city streets where shadowy figures follow one another.
  6. The greatness of Golden Door is its tone; sympathetic but always wry.
  7. A tender, even-tempered elegy to a writer who at his peak could ingest staggering (literally) amounts of drugs and alcohol and transform, like Popeye after a can of spinach, into a superhuman version of himself--more trenchant, more cutting, more hilarious than any political journalist before or since.
  8. 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.
  9. I found The Promise pretty hard to resist. A heady blend of swordplay, somersaults, fairy-tale romance, and computer-generated whoosh.
  10. Sachs hits notes we've rarely heard in gay cinema, in which the hedonist bleeds into the humanist, the ephemeral into the enduring.
  11. It's the barbs, and not the inspirationalism, that work best in this movie.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A pitch-perfect farce for the post-Enron era.
  12. As playful as it is, Lenny Abrahamson’s film is mostly a surprisingly earnest story about the compromises and conflicts of art, stardom, and mental illness.
  13. In a scant hour and a quarter it enlarges your notion of what theater and cinema, what art itself, can do — it dissolves every boundary it meets.
  14. This is an extraordinary film.
  15. It's worth seeing, though, not only for its occasional moments of breathtaking beauty and sadness but also because its very rarity demands it.
  16. Cornish, like Edgar Wright (who directed "Shaun of the Dead" and was an executive producer here), can parody a genre in a way that revitalizes it, that reminds you why the genre was born in the first place. The movie is in a different galaxy than "Cowboys & Aliens": It has, in both senses, guts.
  17. Soderbergh’s alleged last theatrical film is paranoid and hopeless, but he leaves the field with a bounce in his step.
  18. In Collateral Damages, we are witness to heroism, all right, but it's a heroism unsullied by sentimentality.
  19. Don’t let the politics scare you off, though, for Jimmy’s Hall is a joyous movie. I wasn’t being glib with that earlier mention of "Footloose": Loach’s film isn’t technically a musical, but it has that same spirit, that same let’s-put-on-a-show vitality.
  20. Somehow, gradually, this intimate documentary portrait of one very unique person starts to take on the qualities of a national epic. Through the eyes of this man, we start to see our own country in a different light.
  21. Given that the movie doesn't have a single narrative surprise--you always know where it's going and why, commercially speaking, it's going there--it's amazing how good Blood Diamond is. I guess that's the surprise.
  22. Relatively speaking, Catching Fire is terrific. Even nonrelatively, it's pretty damn good.
  23. There's a thrilling madness to Phoenix's Method.
  24. Reeves has confidently entered his self-parodic period. You’ll enjoy his wry post-Matrix murmurs and squinty stares.
  25. Abrams and his writers (Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) have come up with a way to make you dig the souped-up new scenery while pining for the familiar--a good thing.
  26. The magnetic Alexander Skarsgard is the leader, Benji, a soft-spoken dreamboat, ever-direct but with a haunted quality, with something in reserve. Ellen Page gives a Lili Taylor–worthy performance (high praise) as a suspicious, abrasive young woman.
  27. The surprise is that, given the number of female college presidents, professors, and students, victims are still so reliably blamed, punishments so reliably weak, and serial offenders (responsible for 91 percent of all sexual assaults) so reliably undisturbed.
  28. 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.
  29. The dramatic arc of Roger Dodger may be banal, but Kidd manages some marvelous moments.
  30. The hurt and rage flying back and forth have primal power, like Russian-flavored Eugene O'Neill. It's rare for a movie to work as effectively as this one does on such parallel tracks.
  31. The patient storytelling and the elegant and colorful hand-drawn animation combine to give the film a pleasing, picture-book-like quality that should appeal to kids; there’s something very old-school about the film’s aesthetic. But in some senses, it also feels like a blast of fresh air, not the least because of where, and on whom, it chooses to place its focus.
  32. Computer-generated animated movies with wall-to-wall jokes can be excruciating, but these jokes are the funniest money can buy.
  33. Children of Men is a bouillabaisse of up-to-the-minute terrors. It's a wow, though.
  34. God, I love Plummer's performance - the twiddling fingers, the tipsy sway of the head, the reverberating roar, as well as the pathos of a man who can't stop acting long enough to hear the cry of his own soul.
  35. My kind of Christmas movie--profane, subversive, and swarming with scuzzballs.
  36. The poetic Swedish vampire picture (with arterial spray) "Let the Right One In" has been hauntingly well transplanted to the high desert of Los Alamos, New Mexico, and renamed Let Me In.
  37. Audiences for this film should have no such qualms: When the camel lolls his jaws at dinnertime, or sways his Bactrian bulk, you may decide you've never seen anything quite so hilarious -- or magnificent.
  38. However cheeky and blasphemous, this is, at heart, a rather sweet little fable. Which of course would mean nothing if it weren’t explosively funny.
  39. Sensationally effective.
  40. When superb craftsmanship, discipline, and risk-taking (toning down Diaz and MacLaine; treating Collette as a desirous leading lady) are applied to accessible, even frivolous material, the results can be deeply pleasurable. In Her Shoes isn’t a masterpiece, but it’s the best Saturday-night movie millions of people are going to go to.
  41. The most blessedly traditional sort of documentary. It follows the twisty, complicated rise and fall of Enron in steady, chronological order, from the mid-eighties to the present.
  42. As both men lie to loved ones to keep their exchange alive, the tension builds and becomes unbearable.
  43. It's the perfect moment for the ridiculous but riotously enjoyable revolutionary comic-book thriller V for Vendetta-which will doubtless outrage conservatives and unnerve fuddy-duddys but liberate the rest of us with its magisterial irresponsibility.
  44. 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.
  45. It's one of the best kinds of documentaries--not calculated but serendipitous.
  46. The first two thirds and change of I Am Legend is terrific mindless fun: crackerjack action with gnashing vampires barely glimpsed (and scarier for that) and how’d-they-do-that New York locations that retroactively justify the traffic jams.
  47. Certainly for any fan of Cave’s, 20,000 Days on Earth makes for a creative, enthralling journey through the man’s world.
  48. This vital documentary gives you a world of hurt, prescribes nothing, and calls the ultimate questions you can ask as an American.
  49. A hell of a picture. And shrewd.
  50. Creepily evocative.
  51. Like Someone in Love has rather simple, sentimental, melodramatic underpinnings, but the vantage changes everything. It opens up this world — and the next. It’s an enthralling journey.
  52. Much more kid-oriented than any other computer-animated movie thus far. In other words, it's much more Disneyish. I enjoyed it.
  53. Sicko is Moore’s best film: a documentary that mixes outrage, hope, and gonzo stunts in the right proportions; that poses profound questions about the connection between health care and work.
  54. Moving Midway is thrilling.
  55. Buoyed by Chopin, Schubert, Schumann, and more, Seymour: An Introduction is lyrical without getting fancy, its director plainly rapt.
  56. Brown explores a potentially enraging subject--rigidly upheld racial segregation in the country's oldest Mardi Gras celebration, in Mobile, Alabama--but her touch is so unforced and her gaze so open that no one is bruised.
  57. Westfeldt, now 42, belongs to a generation (and class) of people for whom nothing about having kids is easy. Her intensity feels just right - better than in any film I've seen in years - for How We Breed Now.
  58. In the end, What If belongs to Zoe Kazan. And both she and it are wonderful.
  59. They’re great stories, and it’s through them that Jodorowsky’s Dune shows us how the greatest movie never made, in its own crazy little way, somehow still came to be.
  60. Premium Rush is that rare bird: a chase picture that's just a chase picture - and a dandy one.
  61. It’s a hyper-aestheticized meditation on the meaning of history, visually astonishing, dramatically stilted. No masterpiece, but quite a feat (and quite effete).
  62. Save the Date works best when it's getting under your skin, and it does that when it's capturing the queasy halfway point - part sadistic, part bittersweet - of still loving somebody while trying to move on to someone new. It's a kind of subtlety that movies, especially American movies, rarely do well, but this quietly unassuming, secretly brilliant little charmer nails it.
  63. A sci-fi saga that manages to be at once stirring and screwball, gut-busting and gut-wrenching, and more fun than you had at any bigger-budget movie this past summer.
  64. 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.
  65. [A] haunting, beautiful movie.
  66. Philippe Claudel's direction is both probing and delicate, and Scott Thomas's face, even immobile, keeps you watching, searching for hints of her character's past, unable to blink for fear of missing something vital.
  67. Gloria doesn’t lie about a woman’s dwindling options. It’s rife with disappointment and humiliation. But bleakness does not preclude buoyancy. It still manages to leave you with the urge to dance.
  68. The Korean director im Kwon-Taek has made more than 90 films since his first in 1962, and perhaps this explains why his latest, Chunhyang, seems so effortless and masterly. Based on a highly popular eighteenth-century Korean folktale, it's a movie that, stylistically, mixes the traditional with the avant-garde; the narrative may be ritualistic, but there's a let's-try-it-on-for-size friskiness to the filmmaking.
  69. There's nothing in David Ayer's cop drama End of Watch that you haven't already seen, but the film has moments so riveting that you might not care too much.
  70. My Winnipeg is overloaded and digressive--it comes with the territory--but it's also grounded in a place, Maddin's Manitoban hometown, and it's painfully engrossing.
  71. The actors playing parents and spouses (among them Steve Buscemi, Halley Feiffer, Portia, and Kevin Hagan) are stunningly believable. I'm not sure how Morton made sense of her character's ebbs and flows, but I never doubted her. She's a mariner in uncharted seas of emotion.
  72. What a mind-bending odyssey ensues--a tale of good old-fashioned American free expression at war with good old-fashioned American capitalism.
  73. You can't make this stuff up. You can, however, capture it on film for all time. Trouble the Water is ineradicably moving.
  74. Exposed, abandoned, branded as traitors, the Wilsons finally have no choice but to tell their story, the latest chapter of which is this potent Hollywood melodrama.
  75. Fortunately, it never dips into bathos. These two actors SHOULD be noticed. They've crafted the most ingenious résumé of the year.
  76. Paddington is decidedly, proudly unhip. It’s a lovely, endearing chocolate-box of a movie.
  77. Le Week-End is a marital ­disintegration–reintegration drama that opens with a dose of frost and vinegar and turns believably sweet—and unbelievably marvelous, in light of what had seemed a depressing trajectory.
  78. Hedges keeps everything in balance: The sadness and frivolity all seem to be part of the same emotional continuum. He’s made a lingeringly poignant little movie.
  79. The cutting is hyperkinetic, yet Lee is always in synch with the cast’s phenomenal energy. He’s in their thrall--and so are we.
  80. Operates as stealth art: stately, moving, beautifully acted, and urgently subversive to our own status quo.
  81. Should you ever be tempted to wax nostalgic for an age in which wars were fought according to the laws of cause and effect and for reasons that may confidently be labeled “rational,” pick up Vera Brittain’s World War I memoir Testament of Youth or steel yourself for James Kent’s mournful, very fine new film starring Alicia Vikander as Brittain.
  82. Romantic comedies involving people moving on after divorce are a dime a dozen, but rarely are they as generous, sharply observed, and humane as Angus MacLachlan’s Goodbye to All That.
  83. Django Unchained doesn't merely hit its marks; it blows them to bloody chunks. It's manna for mayhem mavens.
  84. It's so money! It's so fun!
  85. An elaborate techno-heist thriller, The Italian Job features some spectacular chase scenes, but for a change, the people doing the chasing are also worth watching.
  86. What she (Ullmann) does achieve is a couple of scenes of lacerating power.
  87. Still, in its own Saturday-morning-serial kind of way, Attack of the Clones is a commendable example of the sort of movie we once loved and then outgrew. Of course, if it was even better, we wouldn't feel as if we'd outgrown it.
  88. It elevates female sacrifice into an aesthetic. The movie isn't about suffering, really. It's about how you look when you suffer, how you dress up for it. Style is all.
  89. Salles hasn't reinvented On the Road, but rather turned it into a rambling, beautiful, and occasionally even heartbreaking museum piece.
  90. If Timbuktu has a “takeaway,” it’s a deeply humanist one and so, in this context, political: that there’s no such thing as a monolithic Muslim culture; that the threat is nowhere near as great to Westerners as to the people of Mali, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, etc.; that ideology is deaf and blind and anti-life; and that cinema (and all art) can blow it to what I’d once have called Timbuktu.
  91. It’s an unshowy, quietly intense drama with grace notes in every scene — and a hellish punch.
  92. The first thing to know about The Diary of a Teenage Girl is that young British actress Powley is staggeringly good in it.
  93. Narrated by Rhys Ifans with the dryness of a dessicated toad, Exit Through the Gift Shop is both an exhilarating testament to serendipity and an appalling testament to art-world inanity.
  94. This is the rare “profile” documentary that is also a transcendent work of art. It raises questions we’ll be trying to answer for as long as there is art.
  95. The actors are in a nice place--poking fun at themselves without spilling into travesty. Fogged by self-absorption, Coogan makes you like him most when he's most dislikable; he has a fool's vulnerability.
  96. 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.
  97. A meticulous, thoroughly engrossing lesson in how not to win friends (or wars) and influence people (or potential terrorists).
  98. Marvelously funny.
  99. Dope isn’t perfect — it’s got a couple too many endings, and it loses the romantic subplot for a distressingly long time. But it moves with amazing energy, the dialogue and soundtrack and imagery a constant stream of pop-culture references, in-jokes, and digressions.

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