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 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Lowest review score: 0 Fantastic Four
Score distribution:
2,004 movie reviews
  1. It's an entertainingly cynical small movie. Aaron Sorkin's dialogue tumbles out so fast it's as if the characters want their brains to keep pace with their processors; they talk like they keyboard, like Fincher directs, with no time for niceties.
  2. Jarecki shows off this footage as evidence of a truly dysfunctional family in various stages of denial. What it reveals at least as much is the modern phenomenon of reality-TV self-exposure carried to such lengths that, by comparison, the Osbournes look like the Cleavers.
  3. Except for a screamingly funny climax in which he attempts to kidnap Pamela Anderson (who reportedly wasn't in on the joke), I found the Borat feature (directed by Larry Charles, who does similar duties on "Curb Your Enthusiasm") depressing; and the paroxysms of the audience reinforced the feeling that I was watching a bearbaiting or pigsticking.
  4. Aside from yet another solid performance from Catherine Keener-playing a Harper Lee just preparing to publish "To Kill a Mockingbird," and here to act as Capote's unheeded moral conscience-that's the ONLY reason to see Capote.
  5. Birdman is the very definition of a tour de force, and Iñárritu’s overheated technique meshes perfectly with the (enjoyable) overacting—the performers know this is a theatrical exercise and obviously relish the chance to Do It Big. But what comes out of the characters’ mouths is not so fresh.
  6. Gomorrah isn't memorable. The structure feels random, and the characters remain at arm's length. Next to HBO's "The Wire," which depicted an enormous financial ladder and also brought to life the characters on every rung, the movie is small potatoes: excellent journalism, so-so art.
  7. More often McNamara comes across as Exhibit A in Morris's latest metaphysical creepshow.
  8. Talk to Her affects some people very deeply, while others, like me, find it high-grade kitsch.
  9. I hope I'm not raining on Beasts of the Southern Wild's deluge to say it doesn't always live up to its pretensions. There's a lot of unshaped babble and draggy landscape shots, and the music, so lovely in small doses, is numbing when it's ladled over everything.
  10. In the Mood for Love has novelty value, I suppose, and plenty of pretty camera moves, but it's not really a movie you can warm to.
  11. It’s the difference between artistry and knowingness. About Schmidt doesn’t bring us deeply into the lives of its people because it’s too busy trying to feel superior to them.
  12. It’s absorbing for a long while, at least half its two-hour running time — an evocatively photographed soap opera with actors who are impossibly gorgeous and yet human-looking — but it goes on and on, piling on twists, adding devices so clunky they’d have embarrassed most nineteenth-century problem-dramatists, refusing to jell despite the actors’ prodigious suffering.
  13. For all its indirection, Meek's Cutoff is an utterly conventional film. But it's worth asking whether Reichardt's drowsy rhythms, stripped-down scenario, and female vantage add up to something illuminating. And here's where she earns at least some of those plaudits she's been getting.
  14. I don't mean to unduly target Kill Bill Vol. 2 --it's certainly no worse than most of the blam-blam fare out there. But what I crave now are movies that speak to me in a different way about violence, that acknowledge the fact that real people are harmed.
  15. Frances Ha is an irritant when it lingers. When Baumbach’s touch is more glancing — when he cuts before the humiliation — it sings.
  16. Devos is especially fine as a woman whose inner solitude carries depth charges.
  17. The novelty wears off and the lack of imagination, visual and otherwise, turns into a drag. The Dark Knight is noisy, jumbled, and sadistic.
  18. I realize that Fosse's dark sizzle might seem a bit dated today, but surely something halfway snazzy could have been devised for this movie. It's toothless.
  19. Lynch needs to renew himself with an influx of the deep feeling he has for people, for outcasts, and lay off the cretins and hobgoblins and zombies for a while. Mulholland Drive is the product of David Lynch, Inc.
  20. It’s the writer, Diablo Cody, and the director, Jason Reitman, who have screws loose. Or maybe they’re just desperate to make their film a chick "Rushmore" or "Garden State."
  21. A bit too satisfied with its own sweet sensitivities.
  22. The movie’s take at times is fascinating. But it’s basically one long, sick joke played at half speed. It’s a ponderous, sick joke.
  23. The movie isn't as world-shattering as those bouts: It's a regretful-old-warrior weeper.
  24. Watching it is like getting a peek behind the curtain. But it's frustrating, too, because the casting of Emadeddin as a murderer-in-the-making precludes any psychological depth. And as an indictment of social inequality, which is the film's calling card, Panahi inadvertantly makes a far better case for the haves than for the have-nots.
  25. As amusing as the movie is, I think in the end that Ascher misses the labyrinth for the trees.
  26. Selick has a great fantasy filmmaker's artistry, but he lacks that overflowing Geppetto-esque love that brings puppets to life. In Coraline, he's woozy with his own lyricism.
  27. Clooney may be a specialist in embattled camaraderie--he helped revive "Ocean's Eleven," after all--but as in that caper remake, there's no depth to these characterizations, and Downey and Clarkson are squandered in a goes-nowhere subplot about their secret marriage.
  28. Unsatisfying even if, like me, you're a lifelong aficionado of Nixon-bashing.
  29. Undeniably powerful, but also rather numbing.
  30. The elements of Precious are powerful and shocking, but the movie is programmed. It is its own study guide.
  31. I like — as always — what Chandor attempts: not just to denounce capitalism but to explain in detail how people go wrong. But the overcomposed, sedate A Most Violent Year lacks the one thing it most needs: violence.
  32. An art piece in which everything seems to be a metaphor for something else, and as pleasing as it is to watch, it's too pretentious by half.
  33. Some first-rate animation and some second-rate storytelling.
  34. This director is too calculating to hold our trust for long, and skepticism will kill transcendence every time.
  35. At least the movie never bogs down. But you only get a taste of what made the Clash for a brief period the most exciting band on that side of the Atlantic.
  36. As Li’l Quinquin seesaws between the horrific and the ridiculous, between the playful and profound, between control and chaos, we may find ourselves both frustrated and riveted. Something tells me Bruno Dumont wouldn’t want it any other way.
  37. Every bit as dumb as August's "Conan the Barbarian" but awash in neon-lit nightscapes and existential dread, with killings so graphic that you can't entirely believe what you're gagging at.
  38. The best scene is when Hellboy and Abe get drunk and sing out raucously, which after "Hancock" suggests a trend toward superhero alcoholism.
  39. Though worth seeing, should be better than it is.
  40. Blue Ruin is more artful and evocative than any recent revenge picture, but it’s still drivel.
  41. Those shots are in contrast to those landscapes, which are craggy, primordial. It’s meant to be a haunting combination, and I have colleagues who’ve found it just that, who came out of the movie ashen, devastated. But I found it bludgeoning — I think it gives new meaning to the phrase hammer of God.
  42. A lovely minor achievement. It would have been major if Breillat had been more expansive with respect to Anaïs instead of contentedly letting her go on about her lumpish ways.
  43. This may sound like an Oprah episode, but the outcome is far from predictable and carries the force of a tragedy in which everyone, and no one, is to blame.
  44. The movie substitutes milky, washed-out color and funereal music for insight. The murders are purposely un-fluid: When you see Mohammad or Malvo take a shot, you don’t see the impact of the bullet. When you see the victim struck, you don’t see the shooter.
  45. Fortunately, there are more than enough moments when the heavy-handedness gives way to the sheer bliss of ordinary magic.
  46. I know I'm going to bring down the room by saying I think it's just okay. Well, Jennifer Hudson is more than okay.
  47. The non-ending turns the whole movie into an elaborate tease, too creepy to dismiss, too shallow to justify its "ambiguities."
  48. A central figure who’s all bad is even more boring than one who’s all good. He has no dramatic stature. He’s a case study. The audience should be paid to listen up.
  49. Mistress America is hit-and-miss. It’s not as burdened by blame as other Baumbach films — Gerwig leavens him. But it’s labored.
  50. After a few minutes you know everything about Louis you’re going to know; the only surprise in Nightcrawler is the level of grotesqueness it achieves. There’s more insight (and entertainment) in an average sketch from the old SCTV series; I kept imagining Joe Flaherty’s horror host Count Floyd climbing out of his coffin and chanting, “Oooh, that Louis, he’s veh-ry skerrrr-y, kiddies — ahwoooooooo!”
  51. Powerfully rendered in every respect - and another testament to how bad the Nazis are for drama.
  52. Demme’s Manchurian Candidate is far from a disgrace, but it's not freewheeling enough, not strange enough to make sense of our gathering dread.
  53. This is another of those dead-kid dramas in which the terrible event is handled like a striptease--tantalizing flashes until the climax.
  54. It may not entirely work as a movie, but The Muppets shines as a piece of touching pop nostalgia.
  55. Anderson is something of a prodigy himself, and he's riddled with talent, but he hasn't figured out how to be askew and heartfelt at the same time. When he does, he'll probably make the movie The Royal Tenenbaums was meant to be, and it'll be a sight to see.
  56. The filmmakers betray the essentially childlike appeal of Shrek by piling up all these too-hip Hollywood references aimed at adults. It's not just kids who will feel cheated.
  57. Spy
    Feig keeps throwing so much stuff at you — gross-out gags, chases, brutal violence, not to mention actors working their heads off — that he finally wears down your resistance. In the end, I admired him for keeping this ramshackle construction together, casting performers I adore, and proving that Melissa McCarthy can, indeed, hold a gun. A mixed victory. A definitively mixed review.
  58. Here's what's depressing: that, given the millions spent on defense by multinational conglomerates, our last best hope isn't the courts but the fickle attentions of glossy magazines and the noblesse oblige of celebrities.
  59. An unusually powerful mess, a broad satire of suburban self-indulgence with little in the way of a consistent style, and with a character who's serious business: a convicted child molester.
  60. A veritable orgy of immorality, each scene making the same point only more and more outrageously, the action edited with Scorsese's usual manic exuberance but to oh-so-monotonous effect.
  61. As murderous amusements go, the film is mildly diverting, but it's like a faint facsimile of a Claude Chabrol film.
  62. There's something a bit condescending about how the movie devolves into a falling-out-between-friends scenario, as if the only way our attention could be held by this subculture were if it was presented to us sentimentally.
  63. I think of Waitress as an overstuffed, overcooked pie--too ungainly to eat all of, too generous to pass up, too heartbreaking to contemplate for long.
  64. The climactic interaction between Rachel and the film that Greg has made for her is so ecstatically weird that it gets points for its audacity. It’s almost inspired. But the coda — an ode to Greg’s self-sacrifice — is unforgivable, a testament to the ego - and power-trip that is the movie’s ultimate reason for being.
  65. Inception manages to be clunky and confusing on four separate levels of reality.
  66. Villeneuve is trying like hell to elevate what turns out to be a dumb genre picture.
  67. With all the narration and fits of slow motion, the movie seems like the work of a nervous chain-smoker. It lacks concentration--and with it, the potential for rapture.
  68. Too often, it’s the MOVIE that isn’t there. What’s meant to be archetypal comes across as superficial.
  69. The Coens have a true feeling for the sleek surfaces of the genre, but they don't connect with its sordid, sexy undercurrent; that's why Crane is made to seem so passive.
  70. I'm not sure any other actress today could have pulled this off without seeming cheap or manipulative. The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for the movie itself, which often traffics in the manipulative.
  71. Spurlock's movie is an attack on our eating habits, but it's also a prime example of an all-American sport--making a spectacle of oneself for fun and profit. Spurlock, you'll be surprised to learn, is developing a TV spinoff, with himself as host.
  72. This one is dully conventional even by family-uplift standards. The details are sweated, all right: It's a triumph of perspiration over inspiration.
  73. A bit too awed by its depiction of the healing power of love. It's minor indeed compared with "In the Bedroom," which deals with a similar subject and doesn't back away from the rawness of grief.
  74. Despite all the computer-generated effects and highflying superhero theatrics, this roughly $120 million movie is, with few exceptions, remarkable only in its small human touches.
  75. It's plotless. It fits no category -- "docudrama tone poem" probably comes closest.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Ray
    Sure, it’s the Jamie Foxx breakout role. But the movie around it is so systematically “inspirational” that it comes perilously close to sabotaging the breakout.
  76. The Camden 28 is slapdash: more talking heads, reunion footage with the mother reading from her own testimony, newscasts of the day. But the editing supplies some urgency, and the subjects remain radiant yet down-to-earth--too good-humored to be beatific.
  77. Writer-director Billy Ray is so eager to be fair-minded about everything and everyone that you can't help thinking he's a patsy, too. If he directed a movie of Othello, he'd probably try to make us feel warm and fuzzy about poor, misunderstood Iago.
  78. It’s a cracker­jack piece of filmmaking, a declaration that he’s (Eastwood) not yet ready to be classified as an Old Master, that he can out-Bigelow Kathryn Bigelow. Morally, though, he has regressed from the heights of Letters From Iwo Jima (2006). In more ways than one, the Iraq occupation is seen through the sight of a high-powered rifle. The movie is scandalously blinkered.
  79. It turns out that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is half goofy-great, and half just a goof.
  80. The movie does a good job of capturing how ostracism and liberation are sides of the same spinning coin.
  81. The empathy never lifts off -- never becomes poetry. It doesn't help that Leigh indulges his unfortunate habit of larding the soundtrack with draggy, mournful music, heavy on the cello.
  82. Pretty much the whole movie is a series of poses, static and uninvolving, except for cinematographer Eduardo Serra’s lighting, which makes everything look convincingly Vermeer-ish. I’d like to see what he could do with Rembrandt.
  83. The bigger problem is that Singer’s weighty rhythms are disastrous for Superman, and the movie actually gets heavier in its last half-hour.
  84. It would be easy to dismiss as 100 percent ersatz if it didn't rekindle at least some of the old excitement - and if the magic of Spielberg's older movies didn't filter through, like light from a distant galaxy.
  85. There is in The Mother a rich understanding of where old age takes you. Along with the myth that seniors don't have sex drives, the film dispels a larger one: that the years bring wisdom.
  86. Still, it does eventually become a bit tedious, and for all the breathless kineticism of the film's second act, you may find yourself twiddling your thumbs. It's a cool game, to be sure, but watching someone else play it gets old after a while.
  87. What saves it is Dennis Quaid.
  88. Inland Empire is way, way beyond my powers of ratiocination. It's the higher math.
  89. If The Theory of Everything cut as deeply as Redmayne's performance, it might be on the level of "My Left Foot." But there are so damn many problems, easy to ignore at first in the elation of watching Redmayne and the gossamer Felicity Jones as his future wife, Jane, but impossible to shake off in the last third.
  90. There are too many musical performances in this movie, even for a country fan such as myself, to keep the city slickers engaged. This bespeaks great faith in the charisma of the stars, who merit it. They also, however, deserved a better script.
  91. Inspires the requisite shock and awe, but a little goes a long way. About the fifth time I saw someone slip-sliding away from a 60-foot wave, I longed to hear someone on the soundtrack say, “That guy is really nuts.”
  92. Leconte films in an austere yet invigorated style; the action never settles into stiff tableaux.
  93. Has an appealing rawness.
  94. There’s a ravishing aliveness to the spacious imagery; at least the clichés have room to roam free.
  95. At its best, 22 Jump Street is less an action comedy than a loosely plotted revue, and though it’s not as witty as either Joe Dante’s "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" or Edgar Wright’s "Hot Fuzz" (in which the directors evinced genuine love for their chosen genres), it’s sure as hell better than a straight buddy-cop sequel.
  96. Intolerable Cruelty, while tolerable, isn't very radical--or very good, either. The Coens wrote the script eight years ago on assignment, not intending to direct it, and that may explain why the result often lacks their customary bizarro facetiousness.
  97. This is not the kind of material for a stately biopic or a political drama. This is nasty, strange business — perfect for Ferrara, whose work often hovers between art and exploitation, between angst and sleaze.
  98. I'm not sure I have it in me to rant yet again about what a deprivation it is for our finest actor to deny us his genius in this way.
  99. Predictable, not so much from his (Zhang Yimou) previous movies as from the work of the many sentimentalists who have already plowed this well-tilled turf.

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