New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,956 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 0.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 The Class
Lowest review score: 0 Funny Games (2008)
Score distribution:
1,956 movie reviews
  1. A poky but blood-freezing throwback to the gothic horror films of the seventies, when ingénues moved tremulously down dark corridors without holding digital video cameras.
  2. Solondz conjures a world that's rotting away from the inside, in which only the children--freckle-faced Dylan Riley Snyder and Emma Hinz--weep over the loss of moral authority. This might be some kind of goddamned masterpiece, but I'm not sure I want to watch it again to say for sure.
  3. This wistful little film is at just the right temperature.
  4. A fine example of what a filmmaker can achieve when she takes on a great subject and lets it play out with all the respect and attention it deserves.
  5. Perhaps the film’s most telling part comes during the deep dives themselves. When Cameron finds himself alone in his submersible, crammed into a little turret from which he can watch and film the world around him, the bravado fades away, and he becomes a little kid again.
  6. It goes soft, but even a gelded traditional farce is more potent than most of our slob comedies.
  7. Caine is burlesquing his own iconography and enjoying every minute of it. He hasn't lost his dignity, though; it takes a lot of self-possession to act this blissfully silly. He even looks good with bad teeth.
  8. A collection of swashbuckling set pieces with the hustle of a vaudeville show.
  9. You can find fault with virtually every scene in Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby — and yet in spite of all the wrong notes, Fitzgerald (and the excess he was writing about and living) comes through. The Deco extravagance of the big party scenes is enthralling. Luhrmann throws money at the screen in a way that is positively Gatsby-like, walloping you intentionally and un- with the theme of prodigal waste.
  10. Wasikowska's Jane is as watchful as only a damaged soul can be, and, when challenged, frighteningly fast.
  11. Moment to moment, Sleepwalk With Me is smooth and very entertaining, but it's arrested somewhere between fiction and autobiography.
  12. Fanning is a child actor with a grown-up soul, and every move, every breath, seems mysteriously right.
  13. Delicate, wrenching, occasionally vexing.
  14. There’s a lot of cartoonish potential in Snitch, but director Ric Roman Waugh (who previously made the excellent prison drama "Felon," another exercise in somber desperation) seems intent on trying to sell the movie as a more serious enterprise. And amazingly, the gambit works.
  15. The movie doesn't quite come together, but it's full of smart, cynical talk, and it's very entertaining.
  16. The sheer scale of the movie is mind-blowing--it touches on every aspect of modern life. It's the documentary equivalent of "The Matrix": It shows us how we're living in a simulacrum, fed by machines run by larger machines with names like Monsanto, Perdue, Tyson, and the handful of other corporations that make everything.
  17. More fun than any civilization’s fiery extinction should ever be, Paul W.S. Anderson’s Pompeii 3-D is gloriously exciting kitsch – a poor man’s "Titanic" crossed with an even poorer man’s "Gladiator."
  18. For all its original touches, though, An Education follows a conventional trajectory.
  19. The confusion in For a Good Time, Call… is delightful, the phone-sex talk sweetening the vibe. Justin Long is peerlessly funny as the girls' gay pal, but the movie belongs to Graynor, who's like Sandra Bullock with a touch of Ginger Rogers–y brass.
  20. It's a different sort of experience: a stately, somewhat plodding but endurable science-fiction saga.
  21. It’s an inviting, approachable world that Murdoch creates for us — still a total fantasy, of course, but one with a veneer of plausibility. Get on its wavelength, and you’ll be utterly charmed. Don’t, and you’ll run screaming from the theater.
  22. For all the wizardry on display, Hugo often feels like a film about magic instead of a magical film.
  23. There are a couple of hundred instances in which Johnson or her actors could take condescending short cuts and slip into white-trash stereotypes, but I didn't see any - only gifted performers vanishing into their characters, refusing to pass judgment.
  24. In political terms, True Crime is a far cry from "Dirty Harry" -- it actually stands up for due process of law. In Hollywood, I believe this is known as mellowing.
  25. So deliriously chockablock with high-flying, color-coordinated fight scenes that non-aficionados may find it all a bit bewildering--a gorgeous abstraction. It sure is gorgeous, though, and it has a dream cast
  26. It all works on the level of a sprightly sitcom: lesbianism for the Lucy-and-Ethel crowd.
  27. I was blissed out during much of To Rome With Love, but I have to acknowledge its creepy side.
  28. Every generation has to discover the same clichés that were drummed into previous generations, and kids could do worse than to learn them from this film.
  29. [A] compelling film touching on the perils of being young - that's it, merely young - in a culture without justice.
  30. Eastwood's earnestness has its own stoic charm. There's something nutty but also heroic in how he plays this macho-man-with-the-heart-of-a-woman premise with a straight face.
  31. On its own terms, Bernie is smoothly made and reasonably entertaining, Linklater doing his Austin-based best not to condescend to the locals - at least the East Carthage locals.
  32. Anyone who sees the suffering faces of the victims in "Casualties" and "Redacted" knows that De Palma not only despairs over what he’s showing us but implicates his own medium--his own male gaze--in the crimes against nature.
  33. Yes, this farrago of fairy tale and sci-fi conspiracy flick is, on one level, howlingly obvious. But there are howls of derision and howls of amazement, and mine were of the latter kind, mostly.
  34. Stillman's comeback comedy Damsels in Distress is wobbly and borderline twee, but it deepens as it goes along and becomes rich.
  35. Sam Rockwell kills as the hero's loony tunes best friend, deliciously abetted by Christopher Walken as an aging, sad-sack dognapper.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The movie is no more than a well-produced confection designed for quick payoff in the big cities, but it's pretty consistently funny.
  36. Although the film's why-can't-we-all-get-along story line and even some of its quirk-laden pit stops feel familiar, the very texture of what we're seeing seems to change from one moment to the next, resulting in an occasionally breathtaking uncertainty.
  37. The To Do List feels fresh and strange and wondrously new. It shouldn’t, but it does.
  38. Casey Affleck has never had a pedestal like the one his brother provides him, and he earns it. His Patrick is pale and raspy, with a slight grogginess that gives him an astounding vulnerability--and makes his bursts of temper shocking.
  39. What unites everything is Jarmusch’s playful, hang-dog absurdism.
  40. As one of the few movies around not pushing state-of-the-art animation or Jude Law, Alexander is a damn good date movie.
  41. My favorite rock-concert movies, Jonathan Demme’s "Stop Making Sense" and "Neil Young: Heart of Gold," are organic: They chart a miraculous path from sound to soul. Scorsese stays on the outside, as befits his temperament and his subject. Yet there is, amid the whirligig spectacle, a spark of connection.
  42. David Fincher's American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo adds nothing to the previous adaptation, but it's certainly the more evocative piece of filmmaking.
  43. The acting, the on-the-fly atmosphere (the film was shot quickly), and Leguizamo's increasingly urgent hustle are deeply evocative, but parts of the movie are almost too painful to endure.
  44. Part goofy drug comedy, part shocking bloodbath. It’s a riot of tones and genres, but unlike that other recent hybrid, "Pineapple Express," the parts add up to something larger.
  45. Conrad's last film, the underrated "The Weather Man," was a parade of miseries, too, but the protagonist (Nicolas Cage) didn’t move very fast in the throes of his existential crisis, and the palette (it was Chicago in winter) was glacial. Here, those crazy San Francisco hills give the movie a lift, and Muccino frames it all airily, with a glancing touch.
  46. The terseness of a thriller, the clarity of a documentary, and a mixture of high drama and low humor.
  47. The filmmakers have done their job brilliantly: The Road to Guantánamo is yet more lousy PR for the infidels.
  48. Philip Seymour Hoffman carries the movie. As the CIA operative who hates Communists and his myopic superiors in equal measure, he has a wily, don’t-give-a-shit drive that makes you wish he’d been in Baghdad in 2003.
  49. Watching this movie, you get the feeling that the Depression existed so that Seabiscuit could be memorialized.
  50. The film is freaky, amusing, and sickening in equal measures—part fly-on-the-wall vérité, part multiple-perspective Altmanesque tragicomedy.
  51. White Reindeer is a deliberately awkward little movie, and it’s a hard one to shake.
  52. James Toback seems oddly nice in Nicholas Jarecki's delicious cult-of-personality documentary The Outsider.
  53. Breezily enjoyable but thin.
  54. Midway through, an eerier theme creeps in, all the more powerful for Herzog's lack of insistence. By the "end of the world" he means the end of the world.
  55. It’s an interesting idea, and the deep pall of suspicion that hangs over some of Ned Rifle is occasionally compelling. But the movie doesn’t exactly go anywhere.
  56. Holofcener’s plotting can seem casual (many characters, no speeches pointing up the themes, no conventional climaxes), but her dialogue is smart, an oscillating mixture of abrasiveness and balm, of harsh satire and compassionate pullback.
  57. When Marnie Was There may start off a bit awkwardly, but it'll have you bathing in your own tears by the time it's over.
  58. I've saved the best for last: The love interest played by that throaty redheaded (here blonde) darling Emma Stone, whose blue eyes radiate so much intelligence that any actor on whom she trains them in adoration becomes an instant movie star.
  59. Arkin has a great and gentle feeling for small-time malcontents, and he knows how to make their woes our own. He does justice to the human comedy -- and redeems the movie.
  60. What begins like your basic police procedural becomes more and more choppy and diffuse. To a point, that’s intentional: Zodiac was never caught, and Fincher aims to creep you out with the lack of closure.
  61. Clooney is as good as he has ever been.
  62. A meathead revenge picture, but it’s very satisfying. Director Martin Campbell, coming off "Casino Royale," has a style that’s blunt and bruising.
  63. If only Knightley had a co-star equal to her here: The 1995 edition of Colin Firth, come to think of it, would have been perfect.
  64. Thanks for Sharing is never quite crazy or funny enough to transcend its “disease-of-month” template. The title turns out to not be ironic — a mixed blessing.
  65. What makes My Brother Is an Only Child so alive and entertaining is how it dramatizes the endless tug-of-war between political conviction and personal experience--the way the lines twist and blur and finally implode.
  66. You admire the movie for refusing to ever, ever slow down, but you also wonder what might have happened had Kahn dared to settle, even just a bit. Instead, what we get is a mad kaleidoscope of genre, with occasional glimpses into the mysteries of the exploding teenage heart.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The new version of Lolita, released at last, turns out to be a beautifully made, melancholy, and rather touching account of a doomed love affair between a full-grown man and a very young woman.
  67. A comfort movie about comfort food, Chef won’t knock your socks off, but it believes in itself — and for Favreau, that’s all that matters.
  68. In The Circle, which is banned in Iran, the enforced society of women is, in effect, a community of adults treated as children.
  69. Given that the movie is one long chase--Neeson's motive withheld until the end, the monotony broken only by the slaying of one member of his posse after another--the film is surprisingly gripping.
  70. The film was adapted from a 1993 novel by Robert Bober, who drew on his own childhood experiences, and as it unwinds, one begins to appreciate Deville's desire to see things work out well for these people.
  71. Of all the dumb megabudget "Die Hard"–like action pictures of the last few years (including that other White House Goes Boom movie, "Olympus Has Fallen"), this is both the most entertaining and the most inviting of viewers' input.
  72. Like much of Soderbergh's recent work, Contagion feels a little sterile, more like a cinematic exercise than something with blood pumping through it. It's certainly high-minded - it might be the most high-minded disaster movie ever made.
  73. For all the sprawl, American Gangster feels secondhand. It’s like "Scarface" drained of blood, at arm’s length from the culture that spawned it.
  74. The film is impressive. It has a bit of the cinematic whoop-de-doo of his noxious "Natural Born Killers," in which serial killers became existential heroes, celebrated for attaining absolute freedom.
  75. Once past the clunky prologue, the film is great fun, with a good balance between computer effects and athleticism.
  76. Has a mixture of edginess and melancholy that's beautifully sustained until the climax, when the tang of realism becomes the cudgel of melodrama.
  77. The Best Man Holiday is an inelegant movie, but its cast is so damn likable that we’re still willing to follow them — even when they’re not going anywhere.
  78. A pretty good documentary about a great subject.
  79. One of the glummest and most forbidding thrillers ever.
  80. For all its high-end ambitions, This So-Called Disaster has a tabloid-TV-like appeal: We want to see if these volatile performers get on each other's nerves.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Reitman may have his drawbacks but no one has ever accused his films of lacking heart. With sports movies especially, ya gotta have heart.
  81. Like Pynchon’s novel, it’s a little insular, too cool for school. It’s drugged camp. Some of the plot points get lost in that ether — it’s actually less coherent than Pynchon, no small feat. It’s not shallow, though.
  82. Dracula Untold is a dumb, lowest-common-denominator kind of movie, but it’s a surprisingly entertaining one. It’s brisk, which counts for a lot in this overbaked genre. The action is directed with verve and imagination — and it’s all gorgeously bleak, with black clouds of bats whipping around remote, craggy castles beneath portentous Carpathian skies.
  83. A haunting duet for two great actors who haven't lost a step and have gained the most exquisite lyricism.
  84. She has the perfect nervy, nerdy, needy alter ego in Anna Kendrick.
  85. Michael Cuesta’s Kill the Messenger made me so angry over the apparent injustice done to its journalist hero, Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner), that I found it hard to remain in my seat.
  86. A smart little teen picture that, for a change, actually features recognizable teens.
  87. For all their fuck-ups, we never question why these two characters are still together. In these actors’ hands, ably guided by a director who deserves to be better known, this minor little crime caper becomes a very human romantic drama.
  88. Cuban Fury has a surprising amount of fun with these acknowledged clichés. At times, the movie has the energy of an "Anchorman"-style spoof — a hilarious late-movie dance-off between Bruce and Drew takes on absurdist overtones, as they dance on car roofs and do increasingly impossible moves.
  89. Writer-director Rian Johnson gives the usual teen angst an entertaining kick. But the joke wears off, and what's left is as convoluted and monotonous as any conventional hard-boiled mystery.
  90. More entertaining than it has a right to be. It's pulpy and preposterous, and yet it gets at a real truth.
  91. The pleasantly disposable animated flick Hotel Transylvania, which gathers all the monsters in the world under one roof, is better than it should be, if not quite as good as it could be.
  92. Don't worry, parents, only you--and not your 5-year-old--will get that the chicken's stoned out of his gourd.
  93. If that sounds like Schwarzenegger might actually be called on to act this time, you're right. And to his credit, this is the loosest the guy's been in ages. His amiable banter rarely feels forced, and even the obligatory jokes about his age feel genuine.
  94. Part of the pleasure in watching The Best Offer is the elegant, unassumingly suspenseful way it unfolds. You never quite know where it’s all headed, in part because it never quite tells you what kind of movie it is. I called it a “romantic thriller,” but there’s a lot more movie here than that.
  95. Is it scary? Not especially. But there are enough gory surprises around every bend to keep you laughing/screaming/cringing.
  96. Joe
    You can be of two minds about the movie’s climax without shame. It’s galvanizing and, after all the accumulated tension, longed-for. And it’s too easy. And it’s rousingly well done. And it’s cheap. And that’s what makes the vigilante myth so vexing.
  97. Shallow but satisfying, largely because of Meryl Streep and her big fake English teeth and gift for using mimicry as a means of achieving empathy.

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