New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 1,832 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 53% 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 Late Marriage
Lowest review score: 0 Only God Forgives
Score distribution:
1,832 movie reviews
  1. Field made a thriller about what we are capable of in the name of hatred -- and of love.
  2. The Great Beauty is a subtly daring cinematic high-wire act — an entire film built around one character’s unrealized, unspecified yearning. And it might just be the most unforgettable film of the year.
  3. 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.
  4. Hot-dog Hong Kong action stylist Johnnie To has never achieved the cult status of John Woo in this country, but his explosively entertaining — and startlingly splattery — Drug War should win him new fans.
  5. A marvel of cunning, an irresistible blend of cool realism and Hollywood hokum.
  6. Creepily evocative.
  7. As with much of Soderbergh's avant-garde work, his garde isn't quite as avant as he would have us believe it is. Still, Soderbergh's jazzed stylistics can be smartly entertaining. Without them, an uneven movie like Traffic might seem more of a mélange than it already is.
  8. Talk to Her affects some people very deeply, while others, like me, find it high-grade kitsch.
  9. If I seem cool, it might be because I came in hoping for the same level of blood-and-thunder as in the Evangelical scenes of "There Will Be Blood," whereas The Master is a cerebral experience. But Anderson has gone about exploring fundamental tensions in the American character with more discipline than I once thought him capable.
  10. What gives Los Angeles Plays Itself its extraordinary density is the way Andersen transforms a cliché into a metaphysical truth that encompasses far more than L.A.
  11. A prime piece of whirlybird filmmaking, and the technique saps what might have been a powerful experience.
  12. The movie works smashingly, especially if you haven't seen its Hong Kong counterpart and haven't a clue what's coming. But for all its snap, crackle, and pop, it's nowhere near as galvanic emotionally.
  13. Liam Neeson has gravely splendid pipes as Ponyo’s father, a once-human wizard who lives underwater and despises humankind for polluting the planet.
  14. Ernest and Celestine is a modest, beautiful little children’s fable with a wise, grown-up heart.
  15. Osder has made a documentary that’s astonishingly in the present tense.
  16. 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.
  17. In The Flight of the Red Balloon, the great Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao Hsien uses Albert Lamorisse’s 1956 masterpiece "The Red Balloon" as a springboard for his own masterpiece--a distinctively modern and allusive one, yet so tender and plaintive that you understand what Hou is up to on a preconscious level.
  18. It’s not just vérité--it’s battlefield vérité; it triggers your fight-or-flight instincts.
  19. Polanski’s strongest and most personally felt movie.
  20. Belzberg doesn't intervene during the moments of violence, believing that the film can force social change only by showing the worst. If she is correct, then this film should move mountains.
  21. The Edge of Heaven is powerfully unsettled--it comes together by not coming together.
  22. The Savages is a delightful movie--the perfect companion piece (and antidote) to the year’s other superb convalescent-dementia picture, "Away From Her."
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Kim exalts nature--life’s passage--without stooping to sentimentality. He sees the tooth and claw, and he sees the transcendence. Whether this is a Buddhist attribute, I cannot say, but the impression this movie leaves is profound: Here is an artist who sees things whole.
  28. For all its original touches, though, An Education follows a conventional trajectory.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. The movie, a near-masterpiece, is a monument to intoxication: of sexual conquest, of military conquest, and, most of all, of cinema.
  32. Wiseman lets the material breathe in a manner unique to the subject.
  33. Harrowingly straightforward.
  34. 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.
  35. Demme is in such perfect sync with Young's music that even the painted prairie backdrop (and the painted farmhouse interior screen, complete with hearth, that slides in front of it) only makes you roll your eyes in retrospect.
  36. Nichols has a genius for making landscapes and everyday objects resonate like crazy, for nailing the texture of dread.
  37. 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.
  38. One of the sharpest and funniest movies about the music business ever made.
  39. Atonement works reasonably well as a tragic romance, but that sting is dulled. As a book, it was a blow to the head; as a movie, it’s an adaptation of a book.
  40. The Host packs a lot into its two tumultuous hours: lyrically disgusting special effects, hair-raising chases, outlandish political satire, and best of all, a dysfunctional-family psychodrama--an odyssey that's like a grisly reworking of "Little Miss Sunshine."
  41. The film is a nearly unrelenting nightmare. Even interviews shot with the survivors after the fact have a current of dread.
  42. After warming up with "The Thin Red Line" and "The New World," Malick has succeeded in fully creating his own film syntax, his own temporal reality, and lo, it is … kind of goofy. But riveting.
  43. The cutting is hyperkinetic, yet Lee is always in synch with the cast’s phenomenal energy. He’s in their thrall--and so are we.
  44. 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.
  45. Fruitvale Station will rock your world — and, if the life of Oscar Grant means anything, compel you to work to change it.
  46. In The Circle, which is banned in Iran, the enforced society of women is, in effect, a community of adults treated as children.
  47. Holy Motors is typically confounding but on every level that matters a work of unfettered - and liberating - imagination.
  48. Is A Christmas Tale a masterpiece? Maybe. I have to play with it longer. It's certainly Desplechin's most accessible film, in part because its dysfunctional-family-holiday-reunion genre is so comfy and its palette so warm.
  49. I came out giddy, feeling lighter--by about five-sixths--than I did when I went in.
  50. My Winnipeg is overloaded and digressive--it comes with the territory--but it's also grounded in a place, Maddin's Manitoban hometown, and it's painfully engrossing.
  51. Children of Men is a bouillabaisse of up-to-the-minute terrors. It's a wow, though.
  52. It left me bemused instead of moved, but true Andersonites will likely float away in a state of nirvana.
  53. Séraphine is one of the most evocative films about an artist I've ever seen--and in its treatment of madness one of the least condescending.
  54. Profoundly different from the others. On the cusp of their half-century mark, Apted's British subjects have accommodated themselves to what they were, what they are, and what they will be.
  55. Milk is one of the most heartfelt portraits of a politician ever made--the man himself remains just out of reach.
  56. If you've never experienced a Bollywood musical before, seeing Lagaan will be like watching "Gone With the Wind" without ever having seen a Hollywood movie.
  57. It elevates female sacrifice into an aesthetic. The movie isn't about suffering, really. It's about how you look when you suffer, how you dress up for it. Style is all.
  58. 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.
  59. Sean Penn is so frighteningly good in this movie that he outdoes even the best of his earlier work.
  60. 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.
  61. Hats off to Olivier Assayas's plain yet hauntingly beautiful Summer Hours, a true--albeit nonsecular--meditation on art and eternal life.
  62. 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.
  63. If high-toned futuristic time-travel pictures with a splash of romance float your boat the way they do mine, you'll have yourself a time.
  64. This Romanian movie defies categorization--it's halfway between a black comedy and a Fred Wiseman documentary. And it haunts you like the ghost of any dead person you've ever ignored.
  65. The script, instead of being what we tolerate in order to savor the visuals, is a delight all by itself.
  66. Against a radiant backdrop of decay and rebirth, nothing needs to be said; everything in this lovely film is crystalline.
  67. Before it loses its fizz--maybe two thirds of the way through--Volver offers the headiest pleasures imaginable.
  68. The Square is inner-world-shaking.
  69. 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.
  70. His (Sidney Lumet) touch in Before the Devil is so sure, so perfectly weighted, that it’s hard to imagine him capable of making a bad movie. The thing is just enthralling.
  71. Leigh has been giving actors their tongues for decades, and of all his films, Happy-Go-Lucky is the easiest, the least labored.
  72. The Pinochet Case is a searing album of remembrance from those who, having survived, suffered most.
  73. Beautifully directed by Phillip Noyce, the film -- is a full experience, a love story and a murder mystery that expands into a meditation on the deep deceptions of innocence.
  74. 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
  75. Despite its downbeat context (a plague at its height), the movie is a crowd-­pleaser — graceful and funny enough to distract you from its gaps and elisions.
  76. 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.
  77. The end of The Cove is as rousing as anything from Hollywood. Manipulative? Sure--but isn't that fitting? Capitalism has driven an entire village to massacre dolphins and keep its work hidden.
  78. That's a knock on ­Bujalski -- that his characters exist in a vacuum, with few references to popular culture or politics or much of anything, really. Of course, one artist's vacuum is another's poetic distillation, and there's something about Mutual Appreciation (which is shot in an unassuming black and white) that spoke more directly to my inner slacker than any film since, well, "Funny Ha Ha."
  79. This amazing, maddening film presents a series of extended, mostly static, terrifying tableaux of despair, poverty, and decay.
  80. Moodysson captures exactly the preening narcissism and gumption of these frazzled would-be revolutionaries trying to wriggle out of their bourgeois straitjackets.
  81. Spellbindingly original -- Like the wild orchid, Adaptation is a marvel of adaptation, entwined with its hothouse environment and yet stunningly unique.
  82. Pantheism, Cameronism: In Avatar, what's the diff? Now he's king of a world he made from scratch.
  83. Endlessly enchanting.
  84. It all adds up to a searing portrait of social misery.
  85. There's a timelessness, an immanence to what she (Varda) shows us.
  86. It's a truly prodigious piece of work, resembling a career summation far more than a maiden voyage.
  87. Rarely has there been so obscenely precise a depiction of ravaged innocence. This young girl has nothing to live for--and an entire life ahead of her in which to live it.
  88. 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.
  89. Bahrani’s concentration is close to supernatural as he tracks the young, prepubescent Ale (Alejandro Polanco) from job to soul-numbing job, some legal, some extralegal, to the point where you’re forced to suspend altogether your moral judgments and watch with a mixture of pain and awe.
  90. A comedy in the best sense--it draws its life from the pitch-perfect authenticity of its characters.
  91. It’s true that the number of whales in captivity isn’t huge. But they’ve now become the mightiest symbols of our cultural hubris — of our inability to manage creatures we have the power to capture and imprison. It’s a metaphor for the ages.
  92. Ineffably sad - yet there's almost no loitering. The film is crisp, evenly paced, its colors bright, as sharp as the winter cold.
  93. You get a bad feeling early in Project Nim, the brilliant, traumatizing documentary by James Marsh (Man on Wire).
  94. It’s romantic, tragic, and inexorably strange.
  95. The set pieces, such as an unmasked Spider-Man trying to stop a runaway subway car, are furiously scary, and compensate for all the icky mooning and moping that Peter does whenever he's questioning his gift, which is most of the time.
  96. You gasp at the ecstatic convergence of lung power and spirit.
  97. Paranoid Park is a supernaturally perfect fusion of Van Sant’s current conceptual-art-project head-trip aesthetic and Blake Nelson’s finely tuned first-person “young adult” novel.
  98. Early on, writer-director David Michôd serves up "Trainspotting"-like tricks and narration that is beguiling, if rarely apropos. But the actors are something.
  99. For all the wizardry on display, Hugo often feels like a film about magic instead of a magical film.
  100. 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.

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