New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 2,047 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 The Incredibles
Lowest review score: 0 Only God Forgives
Score distribution:
2,047 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. It’s an unshowy, quietly intense drama with grace notes in every scene — and a hellish punch.
  3. The first thing to know about The Diary of a Teenage Girl is that young British actress Powley is staggeringly good in it.
  4. Coming Home works best on a more lived-in, emotional level. It presents a trajectory not uncommon in Zhang's films: a journey from howling passion to somber, almost tragic acceptance.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. A meticulous, thoroughly engrossing lesson in how not to win friends (or wars) and influence people (or potential terrorists).
  10. Marvelously funny.
  11. 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.
  12. Half-amazing, half-ridiculous, thoroughly exhilarating.
  13. The mystery of the artistic process is left mysterious -- as it should be.
  14. The hotel scenes go on a tad long, but what holds us is that we’re right in the room as history is being made — with the guy, the actual guy, soon to be notorious all over the world.
  15. The Afghan boys’ kite-flying contests are the emotional core of the film, and Forster and his crew bring the camera into the sky and make it dip and soar along with the kites. It’s a thrilling spectacle, although it’s also tinged with a peculiarly emasculating aggression.
  16. It all adds up to a searing portrait of social misery.
  17. It’s the equal of "No End in Sight" in its tight focus on the nuts and bolts of incompetence, and it surpasses any recent melodrama in the empathy it evokes for both its victims and--surprisingly--victimizers.
  18. Anton Chekhov's The Duel is convincingly-yes--Chekhovian.
  19. Crosses the blood-brain barrier like … like … whatever the drug is, I haven't tried it, thank God. The movie eats into your mind - ­slowly.
  20. It's also breathtaking to watch a throwaway studio sequel break its corporate chains before your very eyes and become something thrilling and dangerous and alive.
  21. Most teen movies are cocktails of melancholy and elation. This one is best at its most un-transcendent —when it most evokes that period when we never knew what we were supposed to do with the pain.
  22. Downbeat as it is, Half Nelson is a genuinely inspirational film--a terrifically compelling character study and a tricky exploration of the links (and busted links) between the personal and the political.
  23. Little here is new, but the archival footage is well chosen, the interviewees are illuminating, and Gibney, as usual, potently synthesizes what’s out there.
  24. If you’re an Amy Schumer, you’ll be ecstatic to see her strut her stuff on the big screen in the mostly (about four-fifths) delightful sex comedy Trainwreck — and maybe a tad disappointed when the playbook turns out not to be entirely hers.
  25. Against a radiant backdrop of decay and rebirth, nothing needs to be said; everything in this lovely film is crystalline.
  26. It's a genuine genre vampire picture; and it's Swedish, winter-lit, Bergmanesque.
  27. This sensationally engineered promo film makes Justin Bieber look like a true force of nature.
  28. Cop Car does enough things so well for so long that to quibble with its finale feels churlish. This is a film very much worth seeing.
  29. Gabe Polsky's ingenious, touching documentary Red Army looks at the other side of this myth, the seemingly faceless, allegedly robotic players who made up the Soviet team. There, Polsky finds a story even more epic and powerful than the Miracle on Ice.
  30. Don’t expect incendiary topicality from The Golden Dream; this is more poetry than politics.
  31. The film is saying that, left to their own devices, all men would devolve into a morass of monastic grouches. Kitchen Stories is a prime piece of comic anthropology.
  32. It’s a drama, and it smartly uses its little moments of humiliation to open our eyes to a world of delicate, but deep, injustice.
  33. I was utterly gripped by The Italian. The only problem is that I was rooting for the bad guys.
  34. Has a poignant undertone: We may feel we already know in our bones just how suffocating this culture is; but the people who made this movie seem to be discovering each fresh horror for the first time. It's like watching a virgin sacrifice.
  35. It's a frisky, funny roundelay starring Stefania Sandrelli, and it features enough shouting and arm-waving to power a windmill.
  36. Queen of Earth is a psychodrama shot like a horror movie — "Persona" meets "The Shining." Right down to the haunting, minimalist score (by Keegan DeWitt) that’s perched dangerously, wonderfully between spooky and lyrical.
  37. Apocalypto turns into the best "Rambo" movie ever made. The worrisome part is that Gibson doesn't think he's making a boneheaded action picture. For him, torture and vengeance are the way of the world. This is Gibsonian metaphysics.
  38. A sense of unease, of incompleteness, is, I think, the appropriate response to this movie. Instead of trying to fill in the blanks, Curran and Gross leave things open and ambiguous. Just like life.
  39. Scattershot but rousing documentary.
  40. A part with this much sobbing, hand-wringing, and mournful gazing into the middle distance could be, in the wrong hands, a laugh riot, but Lawrence’s instincts are so smart that she never goes even a shade overboard. She’s a hell of an actress.
  41. This Bond is haunted, not yet housebroken, still figuring out the persona. In Casino Royale, the reset button has been pressed in the manner of "Batman Begins."
  42. As the political rhetoric between Washington and Tehran becomes dangerously overheated, Offside offers an intimate antidote: an affectionate glimpse into the cultural schisms that young Tehranis face every day. Western audiences will cheer the rebellious girls on.
  43. Ought to have been an eye-roller. What a surprise that it's so seductive. The Woodman lives!
  44. For all the limitations of its setting and palette, this is a gorgeous, visually exciting movie.
  45. For my money, Flags (however clunky) cuts more deeply, but Letters is more difficult to shake off. Together, they leave you with the feeling that even a just and necessary war is an abomination.
  46. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is in the scabrous mode, and I like it better than "Trainspotting" -- it doesn't pretend its shenanigans are revolutionary.
  47. If Penn really lets these actors sing, his watchful camera also knows how to respect their silences.
  48. It's Lawrence who knocked me sideways. I loved her in "Winter's Bone" and "The Hunger Games" but she's very young - I didn't think she had this kind of deep-toned, layered weirdness in her.
  49. The final twist is both baffling and repulsive, but as an evocation of the triumph of evil, it's peerless.
  50. Although Paltrow is radiant (and she nails the character’s ditzy sense of entitlement), it's Phoenix's movie. He is, once again, stupendous, and stupendous in a way he has never been before.
  51. 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.
  52. It’s a bracing antidote to the usual “Beautiful Mind”–style Hollywoodization of mental illness.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An expertly woven narrative, as nail-bitingly effective as any good Hollywood thriller.
  53. Sylvie Testud gives such a ferociously controlled performance that the messy murder seems like a necessary release.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The best movie ever made about a man of God -- which is to say, the most honest and morally the most ambiguous.
  54. Delightful, insightful documentary.
  55. The movie is brilliant and infectious, much like Bennett's voice: English-deadpan but never snide, and generous to a fault.
  56. A marvelous literary thriller that gets at the way books can stay with people forever.
  57. Even with all its elisions and distortions it tells a cracking good story. Turing is played with captivating strangeness by Benedict Cumberbatch.
  58. Téchiné gets deep inside the dread and exhilaration of people who have lost their bearings so suddenly they don't even have the luxury of grief.
  59. The film is a deeply felt and beautifully acted hagiography.
  60. Director Bill Pohlad (working with frequent Wes Anderson cinematographer Robert Yeoman) is extraordinarily sensitive to the amorphous nature of Wilson’s life and art, and Atticus Ross’s score creates a floating, evocative soundscape, which is Brian Wilson–esque without a trace of plagiarism.
  61. The real passion here is the almost erotic thrill that acting still holds for Moreau.
  62. If time-travel is your thing, you learn to shrug off inconsistencies. You debate chicken-egg questions over drinks or dope and mull over all the permutations. You graph it. You wish like hell you had a time machine. You savor every discombobulating, ludicrous, thrilling second of Predestination.
  63. HPATDH 2 works like a charm. A funereal charm, to be sure, but then, there's no time left for larks.
  64. The result is perhaps the most elegantly shot, and certainly the most disturbing, of the recent fantasy films.
  65. Based on a novel by Marco Franzoso, Hungry Hearts is a riveting, relentless film. It may also be an infuriating one, and not always in a good way.
  66. Refreshingly uncategorizable: It’s somewhere between a marital-discord drama and a mystery thriller, but it also has its madcap moments.
  67. That's the beauty of Mafioso: that what begins as a comedy of disconnection becomes a tragicomedy of connection -- of roots that go deep and branches that span continents.
  68. It's probably easier for an ex-prosecutor known for macho threats to say he got caught screwing than for him to say he got screwed. But folks, he was reamed.
  69. Gracefully directed by Robert Schwentke, the film has a perfect performance by Bana, rangy and haunted, never at home in his body.
  70. The movie is overcalculating and occasionally coarse, but it has a gentle spirit. We should count its existence as a blessing.
  71. The performances are amazing.
  72. Now, at last, comes a fun dystopian sci-fi epic — a splattery shambles with a fat dose of social satire and barely a lick of sense. It’s Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, which must be seen to be disbelieved.
  73. The real revelation here is Plaza, whose shtick - the willowy cutie deadpanning about how lousy her life is - should be grating and tired, but it works remarkably well for some reason.
  74. This time around, though, the Coens' usual arch deliberateness isn't quite as deliberate, and there's an appealing shagginess to some of the episodes and performances.... This is the Coen brothers' most emotionally felt movie, and that's not meant as faint praise.
  75. Morton is one of those tingly actresses whose skin barely covers her soul, and to watch her search for tender mercies in a crazy-hostile world is a gift. The film is appallingly good.
  76. Before you quite know what’s happening, you’re swerving into another sort of movie altogether. And then another. You might not buy them all, but what a great ride.
  77. That's the feeling Stephen Chbosky captures in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, his exquisite adaptation of his best-selling YA novel about a Pittsburgh high-school freshman who doesn't fit in and then all of a sudden does, for a spell.
  78. The Tribe is a harrowing, corrosive film, but there’s great, urgent beauty in it.
  79. Although Junge had consulted with a few historians and moviemakers over the years, she had never really unburdened herself, and this 90-minute documentary is a devastating act of personal confession.
  80. Blue Valentine leaves you with the shattering vision of its truest victim-the one who'll someday look for safety in places it might not be. And the psychodrama will go on and on …
  81. The Angels’ Share is a rare upbeat Ken Loach comedy — and a wee dram of bliss. Set in Scotland, it has a blessedly funny overture.
  82. The compact Hennie is a wonderful actor, smoothly congenial when confident, uproarious when rattled. And he will be rattled-as well as stabbed, shorn, bitten, mangled, and worse.
  83. Has a mixture of bloodletting and exultation that would make Sam Peckinpah sit up in his grave and howl with pleasure.
  84. Grandma marks a new era in gay cinema — one’s that confident and mature enough to acknowledge regret.
  85. Office Space is so enjoyable that you wish it were even better...Once the scheme to bilk Initech is set in motion, the off-kilter humor flattens into a take-this-job-and-shove-it thing, and the ending seems pooped-out.
  86. Another year, another Mike Leigh gem.
  87. Holy Motors is typically confounding but on every level that matters a work of unfettered - and liberating - imagination.
  88. Payne is too acerbic - maybe too much of an asshole - to settle for easy humanism. But he's too smart a dramatist to settle for easy derision. Mockery and empathy seesaw, the balance precarious - and thrillingly so. It's the noblest kind of satire: cruel and yet, in the end, lacking the killing blow.
  89. His palette here is deep-toned, with bottomless blacks and supersaturated oranges and blues--as if the Walt Disney of "Pinocchio" had collaborated with Goya.
  90. Jodorowsky’s fondness for the surreal and grotesque is in full evidence here. What makes his films so captivating, however, isn’t their strangeness, but their refusal to divide the world into good and bad, even when it’s easy to do so.
  91. By the end of the movie, the characters are numbed, while the audience is sensitized to the mayhem to an almost unbearable degree.
  92. Calculated to enrage and pulling it off like gangbusters, Don Argott’s documentary The Art of the Steal pits the legacy of the late Albert C. Barnes’s Barnes Foundation (which boasts arguably the world’s finest collection of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art) against the social-climbing, philistine, downright Nixonian machinations of Philadelphia’s wealthiest--who gamed the system and pried the collection loose in defiance of Barnes’s legal will.
  93. Belle does have a clear moral compass, but it refuses easy answers and withholds easy judgments. As such, it feels profoundly human.
  94. A cool summer thriller whose laughs don't slow down the suspense.
  95. A wrenching elegy to the "greatest generation"--a film with enough breadth and spectacle and poetry to transcend some clunky storytelling.
  96. Lynn Shelton's marvelous chamber comedy Humpday butts up against the same sort of taboos as "Brüno," and in its fumbling, semi-improvised way, it’s equally hilarious and even more subversive.
  97. Ida
    The movie’s chill is hard to shake off. It’s a grimly potent portrait of repression, of what happens to a society that buries its past in an unmarked grave — and lives its present in a state of corrosive denial.
  98. The results are soul-corrodingly funny.

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