New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 2,183 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 0.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 The Big Short
Lowest review score: 0 Only God Forgives
Score distribution:
2183 movie reviews
  1. Smulders’s performance makes Unexpected more than worthwhile.
  2. Everest may disappoint those looking for a more awe-inspiring film with big vistas and jaw-dropping stunts and acts of surreal heroism. Unlike many mountain-disaster stories, this is the kind that makes you never want to look at a mountain again.
  3. A prime piece of whirlybird filmmaking, and the technique saps what might have been a powerful experience.
  4. A charming, funny, reactionary mating comedy.
  5. It’s intermittently very funny. But it doesn’t make the existential leap to the big screen, and it doesn’t have the density of gags or the lunatic free-association of the best episodes.
  6. Clever novelist and screenwriter Alex Garland makes a half-dandy directorial debut with Ex Machina, a sci-fi film that — like much of his work — fakes excitingly in the direction of breaking new ground before turning formulaic so fast.
  7. It may not always succeed, but the lovely, perplexing Winter Sleep is a very personal film from one of the world’s foremost filmmakers. It’s well worth your time.
  8. The movie's revisionist tone is startlingly enough to carry you along.
  9. This is one of the most immediate, personal costume dramas ever made, and so it's not unseemly to consider how the writer-director and her heroine overlap.
  10. Playing Teddy Roosevelt in these films was nowhere near a highpoint for Williams, but it did speak to his fondness for these CGI-infused kids’ spectacles. His final farewell here is gentle, reflectively and almost unbearably moving. It lends the the film a retroactive grace.
  11. Adams is lovely and tremulous, but Big Eyes would be even better if Waltz was in the same key.
  12. The most powerful aspect of this strange little movie is the sense that in an instant things could go very, very bad — even if they don’t. Palo Alto puts you on edge because it’s all dangerous corners.
  13. Ouija is confident, meat-and-potatoes horror, and that’s a lot harder to pull off than it sounds.
  14. The Nice Guys has a nice feel: just slick enough to keep from falling apart, just brutal enough to keep from seeming inconsequential.
  15. Maggie’s Plan doesn’t quite gel, but it’s very enjoyable, and it has a solid emotional core.
  16. Disney's Lilo & Stitch, which is animated in the traditional way, with watercolor backgrounds, is lovely, and funny, too. It owes a great deal to Japanese anime, but there's also a "Looney Tunes" friskiness to it that's distinctively homegrown.
  17. Fortunately, director Ken Kwapis, who's done a lot of briskly unsentimental TV work with young people--"Malcolm in the Middle," most notably--knows how to avoid mawk, keeps the squawk to a minimum, and gets wonderful performances out of at least two of the sisterhood, "Gilmore Girls'" Alexis Bledel as the modest Lena, and America Ferrera ("Real Women Have Curves") as the stubborn Carmen.
  18. The movie makes you empathize with the rage that drives these young men to violence--but it also makes you see how manly action wipes out their individuality, their uniqueness, and turns them into archetypal meatheads.
  19. A happier surprise is the smart work of director Richard Donner: 16 Blocks is all jumble and jangle--crowds, snarled traffic, and discordant car horns. The scariest moments have no music.
  20. Like Crazy has a lively syntax and could, in an ungrateful mood, be tagged as slick. But Doremus gets the tempos right.
  21. On one level: groan. On another: No one else seems about to make those arrests. The only thing that would scare Wall Street straight is the image of Michael Moore as the new sheriff in town.
  22. A surprisingly moving tale of friendship and family, dressed up as an adorably frivolous sci-fi comedy.
  23. Deliriously stupid romantic time-travel drama.
  24. The best thing about Insomnia is that despite director Christopher Nolan's soft spot for moody-blues obfuscation, he has the good sense to keep his star in practically every shot.
  25. The documentary is solid as … as … an anvil. And if you can forget Spinal Tap (hard), it's also rather touching the way these 50-year-olds still have the forged-in-fire fortitude.
  26. You keep watching not just because she and Brad and the Mediterranean are beautiful, but also because small, surprising details start to take on great importance.
  27. Indeed, to even call Josh Trank's film a superhero movie seems wrong: Rather, it's about what the average teenage boy might actually do with superpowers - and there is very little heroism or villainy on display here. Chronicle's very lack of scope is its strength.
  28. The movie makes for a good old-fashioned wide-screen wallow. Norton isn’t remotely credible, but Toby Jones is dandy as a sleazeball with a core of decency, and Watts is so open, so soulfully petulant, so transcendentally pretty, that even Maugham might reconsider the pleasures of the flesh.
  29. The fullness of Duck Season is in direct proportion to its smallness; its modesty makes it bloom.
  30. Somehow, miraculously, the Veronica Mars movie is definitely not bad. It's pretty damn good, actually.
  31. Days of Grace is strong, brutal, despairing stuff. It’s also somewhat anticlimactic, by design.
  32. The good news is that The Dictator is a loose and silly and occasionally exhilarating political farce in the tradition of Chaplin's The Great Dictator (obviously) and the Marx Brothers' antiwar masterpiece "Duck Soup." And it comes in at a fleet 83 minutes - just right.
  33. Reygadas is both a sophisticate and a primitive: He sets up his film as a religious allegory, with the nameless painter as a kind of suffering Christ and the old woman--whose name is Ascen, as in Ascension--as his redeemer.
  34. Here are two action stars having fun; watching them work together as a team is a lot more entertaining than you might have expected. Try not to think too hard about it, and Escape Plan is stupid, stupid fun.
  35. They’ve taken "2001" and Tarkovsky’s "Solaris" and "Silent Running," mixed in stuff from save-the-earth pictures like "The Core" and "Deep Impact," and thrown in a cheesy climax out of "Alien."
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Gorgeously shot and utterly respectful of the story of the fourteenth Dalai Lama, but it’s dramatically inert.
  36. While it was often all over the place, it worked, because directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller ladled out the chaos with such charm.
  37. Cold Turkey is a simmering piece of holiday dystopia with a good, scorching boil-over.
  38. It’s a rare “reboot” that transcends its studio’s money-grubbing. It has some Big Ideas.
  39. It's surprising that The Greatest Movie Ever Sold plays so entertainingly, given that Spurlock's quest is essentially beside the point.
  40. In the end, the movie is more than the sum of its fragments. The montages are intense, the images ravishing. The movie is tactile. When you finally feel this place, you understand just how little you understand.
  41. The new James Bond movie Spectre makes a satisfying final chapter to the four-film saga of Daniel Craig’s 007, even if that saga turns out to be less than the sum of its parts.
  42. To like Trance as much as I did, you have to revel in the senseless showmanship — in watching Boyle indulge his taste for cinematic flight, in this case teasing you with the old “Is this real or a dream?” number so artfully that you don’t care that much about the answer.
  43. The resulting film is amiable, pretty, and charming in all the right ways — even if it ultimately settles for a fairly typical tale of a late bloomer finding his way.
  44. For all the fecal matter flying around, and all the dick jokes, Bad Grandpa turns out to be an act of redemption: It’s the anti-Borat. And for all its flaws, it might just be the most heartwarming movie of the year.
  45. Weisz is an excellent Hypatia. For all her intelligence, there's something childish, off-kilter, vaguely otherworldly in her aura. She's just the type to be gazing into the heavens while around her all hell breaks loose.
  46. See The War Tapes. Maybe this picture can be worth a thousand lives.
  47. It’s when the Somalis spirit Phillips away in a closed lifeboat that Captain Phillips becomes a great thriller, in part because Barry Ackroyd’s camera is stuck inside with the characters and its jitters finally seem earned.
  48. All over the map, but it's worth enduring the botched gags, formula plotting, and even the racism to marvel at the genius of Robert Downey Jr.
  49. The movie is ludicrous, but Eastwood’s consistency is poignant. He has an agenda and sticks to it.
  50. Chinese Puzzle isn’t much of a story, but in leaning into and embracing its complications Klapisch is able to isolate little instances — exchanges, glances, fragments from which he can mine profundity. That may feel like a cheat, but it isn’t, because this is a world where the moment conquers all.
  51. The film does, however, have the best weapon in the world against the perception of slickness: an actress without a smidgen of actressiness.
  52. We basically know where Laggies is headed; the film is a soft, straight, easy pitch down the middle, story-wise. And it’s a light movie: You won’t get a particularly profound look at adults who act like kids from it.
  53. Powerful, uneven police drama.
  54. Occasionally you see a documentary and it hits you how much you don’t know about someone who was part of your mental landscape.
  55. Noé shoots his sequences in long, unbroken takes, and the unblinking horror that results is, I think, the opposite of exploitation. There has been so much lurid bloodletting in the movies that you might think nothing could faze us anymore. Think again.
  56. Surprisingly intimate and nuanced.
  57. Crudely ­powerful. You can object to the thuggish direction and the script that’s a series of signposts, but not the central idea, which is genuinely illuminating.
  58. The film’s brooding tension would probably work even without the recent tragedy of real-life events. But now, while uneven, the film is uniquely involving — right down to a final shot that will break your heart into a million pieces.
  59. A heartbreaking vérité documentary by Jennifer Venditti about a misfit Maine teenager--a film that makes you think about (and question) what fitting in really entails.
  60. Welcome to Me might as well have been called The Kristen Wiig Show, for better or for worse. It makes a splendid showcase for the brilliant actress’s brand of mousy absurdism, and for her ability to modulate tone. The film dances between hilarity and disquiet, between goofiness and pathos. But I’m not even sure it can be called a movie; it feels like a setup and a character in search of a story.
  61. It’s all big, dumb, broad strokes, with plot points visible from miles away. But it works where it matters: The music is fantastic, and the film invests you in its central relationship.
  62. Unlike the '70s Italian cannibal movies, The Green Inferno doesn’t have a mondo vibe. It’s artfully made and acted with skill.
  63. Wingard is also clearly enamored of the synthesized soundtracks of Giallo and John Carpenter films, and here, he turns that into a whole thing, too: A mix Anna makes for David becomes a plot point, giving the director an excuse to practically drench his scenes in dreamy electronica.
  64. It’s funny, clunky, earnest, and barely credible, but it’s all of a piece.
  65. The Maze Runner only answers some of the questions it so marvelously sets up. And while I probably now know too much about the story for it to work a similar magic next time, I find myself genuinely anticipating the next one.
  66. What makes Fracture hum is the way Hopkins bares his teeth, twitches his nostrils, and trains his shiny pinprick Lecter eyes on his co-star.
  67. The kind of documentary that’s smart enough to step back and let its charming subject take over. It won’t break new ground, but it’s not lazy or generic.
  68. Any war picture in which the heroine stalls the villain with a quiet, painstaking tea ceremony until the wind shifts direction and the good guys can firebomb the bad guys into oblivion is too ineffably Zen not to love.
  69. Pierrepoint is worth seeing for Shergold's attention to process and for all the ghoulish details.
  70. Excitingly convoluted.
  71. The first act is a thing of beauty and the second, good enough. Shame about that third act, though, and the ending that retroactively diminishes everything that preceded it.
  72. The film is a canny balancing act, making Koch's arrogance so plain that you quickly move past it and concede that he accomplished remarkable things for a city that was broke and in chaos and with much of its housing stock in ruins.
  73. There's a huge change that turns the nihilistic carnage of Craven's original into something suffused with old-fashioned family values, so that we can relax and enjoy watching the bad guys get beaten, skewered, dismembered by garbage disposals, and tortured with microwave ovens.
  74. Keys takes a scattershot approach to Cuban music, filming not only specific artists, like Los Cohibas and Los Zafiros, but also street musicians in the barrio and just about everywhere else he can find them.
  75. Morel will inevitably be compared to John Woo, whom he trounces. He has fewer mannerisms (no damn doves) and a keener eye; his fastest, most kinetic shots flow together like frames in a flipbook.
  76. The Awakening has the good sense to find a mood and stick with it. It's not afraid to take itself seriously. It'll send shivers up your spine, both as a thriller and as the melodrama it eventually becomes.
  77. Here’s a movie about the efforts to bring the soldiers stationed at Auschwitz to justice, and it’s strangely light on its feet.
  78. Gray knows how to sell the idea of unalterable destiny with a car chase: That’s the mark of a real action director.
  79. Unfriended really does use everything teens cherish about their technology lifestyle against them. It’s a mean, potent little movie.
  80. In the end, perhaps the most touching quality of this film is its low-key, but sensitively rendered portrait of a young, awkward child who hasn't quite managed to figure his way out in the world yet.
  81. As with all Ozon's work, Time to Leave resounds with grace notes. The wide-screen cinematography by Jeanne Lapoirie offsets (or maybe disguises) the movie's narrow scope, and there's something private--withholding--in Poupaud's beauty that gives his misanthropy a touch of mystery.
  82. Deadpool is a send-up of Marvel movies but in no way a takedown of them. It’s not subversive — it’s meant to elasticize and enhance the superhero genre, to flatter the audience for being hip enough to get all of those in-jokes.
  83. Caine makes a grave, soulful vigilante avenger, and first-time director Daniel Barber gives the film a dank, streaky, genuinely unnerving palette.
  84. Cosmopolis is often beautiful, but at times it feels like a movie sealed off from itself.
  85. The movie is semi-infantile camp but often riotous.
  86. May be at once too gimmicky and too sincere. But it still exerts an uncanny power: Like the best of Almodóvar’s work, it throws you a first-love sucker punch that will stagger your heart, mind, and soul.
  87. The movie is too long (nearly two hours), but the acting--Gere, Molina, the peerlessly edgy Hope Davis, Marcia Gay Harden as Irving's loopy Swiss-German painter wife--keeps you giggling. And the story has something up its sleeve--a dream finish.
  88. It’s funny, fast, and charming.
  89. If you’ve never seen a Johnnie To crime picture, Exiled is a simple, stylish, and utterly delightful introduction.
  90. Jake Paltrow's comedy takes familiar male-angst material and turns it into a painful--but fun--string of jokes.
  91. This is a deceptively weird movie. There’s always been an immediacy to Jacquot’s visual style; he likes to follow his characters closely, and he gets performances that are energetic but quiet.
  92. As in many a French movie, especially crime movie, the philosophe and the crook turn out to be each other’s mirror image.
  93. Although Catfish is opportunistic, even borderline exploitive, it gets at-by indirection, through the back door-the magic-carpet aspect of this scary new medium. Real people are so complicated and irreducible, you know?
  94. I’m only half-kidding when I suggest that you see the movie but leave (especially if you have kids) at what’s obviously the end of the first act. You’ll still get the dissonances, ambiguities, and portents of doom, along with much that is pure enchantment. And you won’t leave thinking the movie had been made by the Big Bad Wolf.
  95. A delightfully goofy slapstick cartoon with a surprisingly dark heart.
  96. It’s both lowdown and effete, a jamboree of whoopee jokes and sick wit.
  97. Early on, writer-director David Michôd serves up "Trainspotting"-like tricks and narration that is beguiling, if rarely apropos. But the actors are something.
  98. Lisa Kudrow does a dazzling turn as a guidance counselor who's a flickering mixture of sympathy and narcissism. But the movie belongs to Stone, that gorgeous, husky-voiced redhead.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Mamet has to learn to trust the camera more than he does; he has to stop trying to control everything with language; he has to let loose a little and just give in to the fluency, the ease, the free-flowing pleasure of making a movie.

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