New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 2,132 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 Room
Lowest review score: 0 Arthur
Score distribution:
2132 movie reviews
  1. It's a sensational trip -- gorgeous, gaga.
  2. Knocked Up feels very NOW. The banter is bruisingly funny, the characters BRILLIANTLY childish, the portrait of our culture's narrowing gap between children and their elders hysterical--in all senses.
  3. The movie, in a very real sense, is about the privilege, the sexiness, of being a movie star. Certainly it isn't about the heist; never was.
  4. It’s a potentially grisly setup, but the actual movie makes death look downright fun.
  5. Gooses you even in its barren patches and gets fresher and funnier as it goes along. It builds to a shriekingly funny (and scary) revelation and a dénouement so brilliant it's almost demonic.
  6. It’s smoothly written and smartly paced, and Michael Douglas is riveting.
  7. When it comes time for some of the girls to flee, the result is one of the most emotionally satisfying of all prison breaks.
  8. I've heard it said that Le Carré's work lost its savor with the end of the Cold War, which is as dumb as discounting "Coriolanus" because Romans and ­Volscians are no longer killing each other. Le Carré's subject was the national character and what happened to it under threat and in the absence of public scrutiny. It could hardly be, mutatis mutandis, more contemporary.
  9. It’s occasionally beautiful, but just as often stomach-turning. You watch it at a remove, but still with a dull combination of pity and horror and regret. Maybe that’s the idea. For a brief, agonizing moment, you share the spiritual quicksand with these disgraced men.
  10. 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?
  11. Vacation is lazy, idiotic, and gross — and I laughed my ass off at it.
  12. Terence Davies's The House of Mirth is a rigorously elegant adaptation of the Edith Wharton novel, and unlike in some other Davies movies, the rigor here doesn't turn into rigor mortis.... This is dourness of a degree you won't find in Wharton, but in its own shadowed terms the film is a triumph.
  13. '71
    Whenever the film focuses on Gary, it’s O’Connell’s show. And the actor’s ability to quietly express a whole range of emotions with his body language and his eyes, is staggering — especially since, for much of the film, he’s limping and covered in blood.
  14. The documentary could hardly be more timely or essential.
  15. For all the artfulness, the feel of the film is rough-hewn, almost primitive. It’s a fabulous tree house of a movie.
  16. It’s great not just because we’re eavesdropping on two rock survivors, but also because we’re seeing, in these living legends, the handiwork of the two unsung men to whom this film pays tribute.
  17. That title would suit a melodrama with an emphasis on doomed love, which is not what Loach has crafted. There is a (chaste) love story and plenty of bloodletting. But what engages him and his screenwriter, Paul Laverty, is the growing tension between brother Irish rebels.
  18. This is no antique show: Faced with an audience, they are still amazingly vital and sometimes amazingly lewd.
  19. Kohn’s gripping Manda Bala is the opposite of a high-school science doc. It’s a free-form portrait of a place--Brazil--with scary running motifs: kidnapping, mutilation, plastic surgery, bulletproofing, and frog farming.
  20. Tim’s Vermeer starts off in a playful fashion, but as he soldiers on, our intrepid, mild-mannered technologist finds himself getting emotional. In the presence of art, something happens. By the time it’s over, don’t be surprised if you’re more in awe of the work of an artist than ever before. Maybe this is Penn and Teller’s final, subtle rug-pulling moment: An attempt to demystify the artistic process ends up posing even greater mysteries.
  21. Theron breaks through with a ferocious performance--a real career-changer.
  22. Red Lights is the most ambiguously compelling romance around.
  23. The unexpected element is a series of letters (some never before heard) Joplin wrote to her family back home in Port Arthur, Texas, read by Chan Marshall (a.k.a. Cat Power) in a voice that captures the cadences of Joplin’s speech without being an imitation. The letters are heartbreaking in their own way.
  24. It's hard to do justice to Hawkins's acting, because you never actually see it: Her Rita simply is.
  25. James Scurlock's documentary Maxed Out, tells the bone-chilling, bloodcurdling, hair-raising story of a country (guess which one?) that's up to its eyeballs in credit-card debt.
  26. Even given the spate of post-apocalyptic and dystopian films that rule the multiplexes, this is the bleakest “franchise” in human history, and I’m curious if there will be any balm whatsoever in the next close encounter of the furred kind.
  27. What makes the movie such an unexpectedly potent little number is that Adventureland comes to stand for Stagnationland; the real roller coaster (i.e., life) is just outside the park.
  28. By the time this twisty, probing, altogether enthralling movie hits its final notes, the crimes against the Constitution and humanity have been upstaged by personal demons. Which is our woe as well.
  29. By the end of Heaven Knows What, you see Ilya’s fragile, unguarded soul through Harley’s eyes, and the film’s discordances sound like the music of the spheres.
  30. Ted
    Ted runs out of invention in its last act (the bear is coveted by a chillingly deadpan sociopath, played by Giovanni Ribisi, and the villain's fat son), but I can't think of a better movie to see if you're male and want to get high and relive your idiot adolescence.
  31. A startling achievement, but its lack of psychological dimension prevents it from making much human contact with us. It ends where it begins: in a state of shock.
  32. Lafleur’s film is a quiet trifle that sneaks up on you, like a pleasant dream you might have and then gradually forget. Its very slightness is its greatest weapon.
  33. Since washing out as a pretty-boy leading man, Law is what he always should have been: a high-strung character actor. In Black Sea, he’s convincingly hard, like Jason Statham with more vocal colors and without the shtick.
  34. Young Edie Martin, with her chaotic swarm of red ringlets and deadpan dutifulness (she has few lines, but they’re goodies), is the movie’s sign of eternal spring--the butterfly atop the just-opened blossom.
  35. One of the letdowns of Vera Drake is that once Vera is arrested, we lose her voice.
  36. It's better to think of Magic Mike as arty but energetic soft-core porn, with no pickle shots but plenty of juice. You should see it if only for McConaughey, an underrated leading man who finally gets a chance to use his strange timing.
  37. Each film in Nicolas Winding Refn's mesmerizingly brutal Pusher trilogy can stand on its own, but it's fun to see all three and observe the way the bad guys in one become the sympathetic heroes (or anti-heroes) in another.
  38. Each film in Nicolas Winding Refn's mesmerizingly brutal Pusher trilogy can stand on its own, but it's fun to see all three and observe the way the bad guys in one become the sympathetic heroes (or anti-heroes) in another.
  39. Slattery adapted the book with Alex Metcalf and gets the tone just right. The film is damnably amusing.
  40. 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.
  41. The Square is inner-world-shaking.
  42. In outline, In Darkness is a standard conversion melodrama, but little within those parameters is easy. The darkness lingers into the light.
  43. I Love You, Man is totally formulaic, but the formula is unnervingly (and hilariously) inside out.
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. The greatness of Golden Door is its tone; sympathetic but always wry.
  48. 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.
  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. I found The Promise pretty hard to resist. A heady blend of swordplay, somersaults, fairy-tale romance, and computer-generated whoosh.
  51. Sachs hits notes we've rarely heard in gay cinema, in which the hedonist bleeds into the humanist, the ephemeral into the enduring.
  52. 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.
  53. 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.
  54. 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.
  55. This is an extraordinary film.
  56. It's worth seeing, though, not only for its occasional moments of breathtaking beauty and sadness but also because its very rarity demands it.
  57. 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.
  58. Soderbergh’s alleged last theatrical film is paranoid and hopeless, but he leaves the field with a bounce in his step.
  59. In Collateral Damages, we are witness to heroism, all right, but it's a heroism unsullied by sentimentality.
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. 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.
  63. Relatively speaking, Catching Fire is terrific. Even nonrelatively, it's pretty damn good.
  64. There's a thrilling madness to Phoenix's Method.
  65. Reeves has confidently entered his self-parodic period. You’ll enjoy his wry post-Matrix murmurs and squinty stares.
  66. 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.
  67. 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.
  68. 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.
  69. 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.
  70. The dramatic arc of Roger Dodger may be banal, but Kidd manages some marvelous moments.
  71. 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.
  72. 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.
  73. Computer-generated animated movies with wall-to-wall jokes can be excruciating, but these jokes are the funniest money can buy.
  74. Children of Men is a bouillabaisse of up-to-the-minute terrors. It's a wow, though.
  75. 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.
  76. My kind of Christmas movie--profane, subversive, and swarming with scuzzballs.
  77. 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.
  78. 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.
  79. 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.
  80. Sensationally effective.
  81. 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.
  82. The most engrossing part of Truth is the gradual, grueling retreat from the story, first by its participants and then by the network that broadcast it.
  83. 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.
  84. As both men lie to loved ones to keep their exchange alive, the tension builds and becomes unbearable.
  85. 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.
  86. 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.
  87. It's one of the best kinds of documentaries--not calculated but serendipitous.
  88. 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.
  89. Certainly for any fan of Cave’s, 20,000 Days on Earth makes for a creative, enthralling journey through the man’s world.
  90. This vital documentary gives you a world of hurt, prescribes nothing, and calls the ultimate questions you can ask as an American.
  91. A hell of a picture. And shrewd.
  92. Creepily evocative.
  93. 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.
  94. Much more kid-oriented than any other computer-animated movie thus far. In other words, it's much more Disneyish. I enjoyed it.
  95. 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.
  96. Moving Midway is thrilling.
  97. Buoyed by Chopin, Schubert, Schumann, and more, Seymour: An Introduction is lyrical without getting fancy, its director plainly rapt.
  98. 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.
  99. 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.

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