New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 2,275 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 0.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Don't Think Twice
Lowest review score: 0 The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)
Score distribution:
2275 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. It confronts, but it doesn’t exploit. It’s about one of the most horrifying events of recent years, and yet it’s defined by its austerity, its sense of quiet. It is as much about the complex, dull horror of memory as it is about the brute, sharp horror of that day.
  3. It comes together neatly, perhaps too neatly to be … poetry. But it's not prosaic, either. It has a lucid grace.
  4. Of Men and War’s compassion is matched only by its relentlessness.
  5. 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.
  6. The emotional honesty of this movie rescues it from sentimentality. To Be and to Have is about more than a dedicated teacher and his pupils; it’s about how difficult and exhilarating it is to grow into an adult.
  7. Brooklyn doesn’t quite capture Brooklyn, but its ambivalence about being Irish is gloriously epic.
  8. It’s breezy, then suspenseful, and gradually, crushingly sad. On its own terms, it’s a perfect film.
  9. A pungent delight.
  10. The first thing to know about The Diary of a Teenage Girl is that young British actress Powley is staggeringly good in it.
  11. In his late seventies, Robert Redford has never held the camera as magnificently as he does in the survival-at-sea thriller All Is Lost.
  12. Stevan Riley’s Listen to Me Marlon is the greatest, most searching documentary of an actor ever put on film, and it’s no coincidence that it’s about film’s greatest and most searching actor.
  13. More often McNamara comes across as Exhibit A in Morris's latest metaphysical creepshow.
  14. Uncle Boonmee is entrancing-and also, if you're not sufficiently steeped in its rhythms, narcotizing.
  15. The remarkable thing director Ang Lee has done is to have made a film that remains firmly in the Western genre while never retreating from its portrayal of a tragic love story.
  16. Despite the simplicity of the brothers' technique, The Kid With a Bike has deep religious underpinnings, a relentless drive toward the mythos of death and resurrection. The film is not just in the tradition of Pinocchio and A.I.: It is a worthy successor.
  17. HPATDH 2 works like a charm. A funereal charm, to be sure, but then, there's no time left for larks.
  18. By all odds, Tarnation should have been an unwatchable, masochistic morass, but Caouette's love for the broken Renee--which is the true subject of the film--is awe-inspiring.
  19. A truly strange, wondrous beast. It has the playful humor and charm of a children’s movie, but its design is dark and unsettling.
  20. The movie doesn't quite come together, but it's full of smart, cynical talk, and it's very entertaining.
  21. Only the generic title disappoints. Leo Rockas, who turned Lady Susan’s epistles into an Austen-esque novel, suggests Flirtation and Forbearance or Coquetry and Caution. But by any title this is a treat.
  22. Being a puckish Swedish, the writer-director Ruben Ostland slips into a tone that makes Force Majeure almost seem like a deadpan — frozen — comedy.
  23. It’s a hyper-aestheticized meditation on the meaning of history, visually astonishing, dramatically stilted. No masterpiece, but quite a feat (and quite effete).
  24. Lincoln is too sharply focused to deserve the pejorative "biopic" label. It's splendid enough to make me wish Spielberg would make a "prequel" to this instead of another Indiana Jones picture.
  25. Room is astonishing: It transmutes a lurid, true-crime situation into a fairy tale in which fairy tales are a source of survival.
  26. The movie is a triumph of an especially satisfying kind. It arrives at a kind of gnarled grace that’s true to this sorry old man and the family he let down in so many ways.
  27. The whole thing is irresistibly preposterous.
  28. There’s an extended shot in Trey Edward Shults’s remarkable debut feature, Krisha, that’s a showstopper of bad vibes, a psycho-symphony that bumps the film to a different — more ominous — level of reality.
  29. This is Kent’s first feature — an astonishing debut. Not perfect, though.
  30. In sum, Last Days is the best kind of documentary — it ties you up in knots.
  31. The power of Little Men is in how the characters resist the melodramatic flow (which is, come to think of it, how Chekhov works, too).
  32. The self-satire of The Kids Are All Right is so knowing, so rich, so hilarious, so damn healthy that it blows all thoughts of degeneracy out of your head.
  33. What Now? Remind Me is all over the place, but it never feels messy or lax.
  34. It’s the closest I’ve seen a film come to an act of genuine hypnosis.
  35. Cave of Forgotten Dreams is sometimes frozen by Herzog's awe. But it's hard not to love him for always trying to look beyond the surface of things, to find a common chord in the landscape of dreams.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Infused with honesty and authenticity, Michael Showalter’s crowd-pleaser is an instantly winning heart-stealer and a superbly well-timed story of culture clash that resolves into a lovely tale of mutual understanding and acceptance.
  36. Field made a thriller about what we are capable of in the name of hatred -- and of love.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. A marvel of cunning, an irresistible blend of cool realism and Hollywood hokum.
  41. Creepily evocative.
  42. 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.
  43. Talk to Her affects some people very deeply, while others, like me, find it high-grade kitsch.
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. A prime piece of whirlybird filmmaking, and the technique saps what might have been a powerful experience.
  47. Liam Neeson has gravely splendid pipes as Ponyo’s father, a once-human wizard who lives underwater and despises humankind for polluting the planet.
  48. Ernest and Celestine is a modest, beautiful little children’s fable with a wise, grown-up heart.
  49. Osder has made a documentary that’s astonishingly in the present tense.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. My Life As a Zucchini is a deft work of empathy, and unlike a few of its fellow animation Oscar contenders, it works on a more intimate scale, without a big message or master thesis to carry it to its conclusion.
  53. It’s not just vérité--it’s battlefield vérité; it triggers your fight-or-flight instincts.
  54. All I can is that I didn’t draw too many breaths during the last half hour.
  55. Polanski’s strongest and most personally felt movie.
  56. 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.
  57. Amy
    Alternately thrilling and devastating, throwing you back and forth until the devastation takes over and you spend the last hour watching the most supernaturally gifted vocalist of her generation chase and find oblivion.
  58. The Edge of Heaven is powerfully unsettled--it comes together by not coming together.
  59. The Savages is a delightful movie--the perfect companion piece (and antidote) to the year’s other superb convalescent-dementia picture, "Away From Her."
  60. Drolly funny and rigorously executed, Corneliu Porumboui’s The Treasure offers a fine example of the conceptual boldness that characterizes much of New Wave Romanian cinema.
  61. What’s extraordinary about Tangerine is that it’s everything an entertaining, old-fashioned, mainstream Hollywood comedy should be but no longer is. That nowadays you have to get this kind of stuff via Sundance from directors using iPhones is a drag — the wrong kind.
  62. 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.
  63. 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.
  64. 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.
  65. 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.
  66. 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.
  67. 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.
  68. For all its original touches, though, An Education follows a conventional trajectory.
  69. 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.
  70. 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.
  71. The movie, a near-masterpiece, is a monument to intoxication: of sexual conquest, of military conquest, and, most of all, of cinema.
  72. Wiseman lets the material breathe in a manner unique to the subject.
  73. Harrowingly straightforward.
  74. 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.
  75. 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
  76. 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.
  77. Nichols has a genius for making landscapes and everyday objects resonate like crazy, for nailing the texture of dread.
  78. 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.
  79. One of the sharpest and funniest movies about the music business ever made.
  80. 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.
  81. 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.
  82. 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."
  83. The film is a nearly unrelenting nightmare. Even interviews shot with the survivors after the fact have a current of dread.
  84. 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.
  85. 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.
  86. Fruitvale Station will rock your world — and, if the life of Oscar Grant means anything, compel you to work to change it.
  87. In The Circle, which is banned in Iran, the enforced society of women is, in effect, a community of adults treated as children.
  88. Holy Motors is typically confounding but on every level that matters a work of unfettered - and liberating - imagination.
  89. 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.
  90. I came out giddy, feeling lighter--by about five-sixths--than I did when I went in.
  91. Children of Men is a bouillabaisse of up-to-the-minute terrors. It's a wow, though.
  92. It left me bemused instead of moved, but true Andersonites will likely float away in a state of nirvana.
  93. Graduation, like Mungiu’s lauded "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," layers misfortunes and mistakes on top of one another in a way that feels both oppressive and true.
  94. I still don’t know how a gore-meister like Park Chan-wook could have made the year’s most irresistible romance. Maybe it’s that he hates oppression — chauvinist, colonialist, Sadean — so deeply that in hoisting his old boys on their own petards, he has discovered the wellsprings of love.
  95. 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.
  96. 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.
  97. Milk is one of the most heartfelt portraits of a politician ever made--the man himself remains just out of reach.
  98. 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.
  99. 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.

Top Trailers