New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 2,364 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Monkey Kingdom
Lowest review score: 0 The Book of Henry
Score distribution:
2364 movie reviews
  1. The new Ghostbusters isn’t a horror, exactly. It’s just misbegotten. It never lives.
  2. 9
    For all the Saturday-matinee heroics, the movie is dreary and monotonous, the vision junky in more ways than one.
  3. 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.
  4. A hushed and powerful piece.
  5. 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.
  6. Sensationally effective.
  7. Trumbo is a film that at times can’t seem to decide what it wants to be. At its worst, it’s musty and awkward; at its best, it’s irreverent and funny. Unfortunately, it settles for the former more than the latter.
  8. Parker "opens up" a play that was perfectly wonderful closed down. Wilde subtitled his masterpiece "A Trivial Comedy for Serious People." This movie seems intent on being a trivial comedy for trivial people.
  9. Since this is a coming-of-age movie about a poor rural kid who grapples with the big city, it would be nice if its protagonist weren’t such a lummox.
  10. The camera moves with heightened sensitivity, as if on currents of emotion, and Kendrick is infinitely winning. She’s that rare thing, a movie star with a trained soprano.
  11. The superb English stage director David Leveaux keeps the pacing taut while creating space for his actors to work their magic.
  12. With Allied, Robert Zemeckis has fashioned a good old-fashioned World War II romantic espionage movie, but that wouldn’t matter a damn if the leads weren’t beautiful and didn’t look great in period clothes. They are and they do.
  13. The doughy Damon and aristocratic Blunt don't match up physically, and they never get any Hepburn-Tracy rhythms going that might create some current.
  14. Juicy, revved-up, semi-satisfying biopic.
  15. It comes by its emotions honestly and wins you over.
  16. The Heat is kind of a mess, but it’s a funny mess.
  17. When superb craftsmanship, discipline, and risk-taking (toning down Diaz and MacLaine; treating Collette as a desirous leading lady) are applied to accessible, even frivolous material, the results can be deeply pleasurable. In Her Shoes isn’t a masterpiece, but it’s the best Saturday-night movie millions of people are going to go to.
  18. It’s so smart, so winsome, so utterly rejuvenating that you’ll have to wait until your eyes have dried and your buzz has worn off before you can begin to argue with it. And you should argue with it — even if you had a blast, as I did, and want to see it again with the kids, as I do — because it’s a major pop-culture statement with all sorts of implications, both vital and nutty.
  19. Not every sight gag works, and there's a brief stretch in the middle where the action becomes landlocked. But once we're out to sea the movie goes swimmingly--its three protagonists fighting, flailing, and often on the verge of drowning as their tiny skiff surges toward the land of the Inuit.
  20. The movie version of Goosebumps replicates that balancing act. It’s a cheerful, nasty delight.
  21. Beatty is trying to elevate the material while at the same time draining it of energy. The movie is so misbegotten that it’s almost poignant. But I hope Beatty has a few more left in him.
  22. Barrymore pulls off the neatest trick of the year: She makes all this pop schlock matter.
  23. Spartan is a character study embedded in an action-hero scenario. Neither aspect ever really breaks loose.
  24. Taking pretty much every rom-com trope and distilling it into highly concentrated ridiculousness, Wain’s film is both a takedown and a tribute: As with his summer-camp-movie spoof "Wet Hot American Summer," you walk away with a renewed love for the genre.
  25. Gibson is better in the later scenes, when Walter tries to escape the Beaver's nefarious influence. And Gibson's never bad. It's just that we know how much is missing. As a raging nutcase, he's capable of so much more.
  26. It's an opulent, if instantly disposable, kinetic joyride.
  27. The problem might actually be (gasp) Michael Shannon himself — shocking, because he’s one of our greatest actors — who is only half-right for this film’s portrait of Kuklinski.
  28. The film centers almost entirely on the faces of the townspeople, which Von Trier frames vividly. There’s nothing static about his technique, but everything else about the movie is dreary and closed off.
  29. Outside of its open and shameless heartstring tugging, Gifted at least sets up a compelling, multisided moral dilemma.
  30. Crudely written, rife with clichés, and leaves out anything that would transform a piece of propaganda into a work of art akin to Samuel Fuller’s "The Steel Helmet," Brian DePalma’s "Casualties of War," or Steven Spielberg’s "Saving Private Ryan."
  31. What we're getting in this movie isn't necessarily better; it's just more.
    • 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.
  32. Marvelously funny.
  33. If Life of Crime transcends its lightheartedness to actually make us care for what happens to its characters, it doesn’t quite transcend its own haphazard, impoverished story.
  34. Hateship Loveship is in no way a comedy, but Wiig's enormous presence threatens to make it so. She can't disappear into the void, so the drama onscreen becomes hard to take seriously.
  35. This is no antique show: Faced with an audience, they are still amazingly vital and sometimes amazingly lewd.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It’s a pleasant movie -- very pleasant, in fact -- but soft as a down quilt.
  36. Pacino in low doses can be fulsome, and this is 10,000 cc’s of super-concentrated Al and his patented air of electrified stuporousness — which means it’s always on the border between thrilling and insufferable.
  37. The movie isn't a dud: It has exuberant bits and breathtaking (money money money) effects. But it's supposed to be fun and inspirational, and it's too leaden for liftoff.
  38. Jolie gets the dirty/ennobling job done. If the narrative is finally unsatisfying, it’s because the last vital chapter — the way in which Zamperini was able to have a life after years of unspeakable cruelty and the dashing of his Olympic hopes — is signaled in a couple of title cards before the closing credits. Unbroken proves that Zamperini could take it and make it — but make what of it?
  39. Cunningham's depth of feeling transformed the book's premise into something beyond sniggers or camp, and the best moments in the movie, which was directed by theater veteran Michael Mayer in his film debut and adapted by Cunningham, have a similar emotional charge.
  40. 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.
  41. It's a pure (guilty) pleasure trip. That's pleasure, De Palma–style -- twisted, dirty, voyeuristic, a vast glissando of amorality.
  42. It’s the work of a filmmaker who has been honing her own jarring, idiosyncratic sense of rhythm and character for years. As a debut feature, it feels auspicious; as a snapshot of a masculine emergency, it feels timeless.
  43. The movie improves on Koppelman’s ungainly novel but is generally dreary and light on insight. Director Adam Salky steers clear of the usual addiction-movie clichés, but he doesn’t have anything to replace them with, so it’s as if all the connective tissue is gone.
  44. A shameless but exuberantly well-done caper comedy.
  45. While it was often all over the place, it worked, because directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller ladled out the chaos with such charm.
  46. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies feels thoroughly inconsequential — a bloated, portentous mess that, in a just world, should not exist.
  47. Glenconner is such a class-conscious caricature that he doesn't need the filmmakers to do him in; he does a sterling job all by himself.
  48. It's too bad J. Edgar is so shapeless and turgid and ham-handed, so rich in bad lines and worse readings. Not DiCaprio, though.
  49. Mr. Peabody & Sherman is slight, but it’s exceedingly charming, making good use of a talented voice cast.
  50. The whole movie is a good try.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    You’re either someone who didn't like American Idol at all or you’re someone who loved it and and believe the concept could only be improved upon with the addition of talking cartoon animals.
  51. Gray knows how to sell the idea of unalterable destiny with a car chase: That’s the mark of a real action director.
  52. Shyamalan wants to be the metaphysical poet of movies, but he's dangerously close to becoming its O. Henry. The best surprise ending he could give us in his next movie would be no surprise ending at all.
  53. For all of R’s allegedly humorous observations about the wasteland of the undead through which he walks, they feel tacked on — like somebody decided to turn this thing into a comedy at the last second.
  54. Although it’s patchy and gives off an air of trying too hard, the movie is surprisingly funny.
  55. A thoroughly charming comedy that bobs on a sea of incongruities.
  56. A sentimental, feel-good look at a family in mourning, but Jake Gyllenhaal rises above the clichéd script with a brilliantly creative performance.
  57. It’s as if the film is taking after its own heroines: aspiring to something bigger than it should, and too often looking awkward in the process.
  58. Most of The Dead Lands, in fact, adheres to a fairly simple action film template. But the dynamic between the characters works because Fraser keeps it tough.
  59. 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.
  60. By the end of the film, everybody has been triple- and quadruple- and even quintuple-crossed, but the characters still standing all seem to be very pleased with themselves for a job well done. If only we could figure out what the job was exactly.
  61. Whatever else you say about Jurassic World, its amazing special effects — not just hurtling dinosaurs but flying killer pterodactyls — make it one of the most rousing people-running-away-from-stuff movies ever made. At its best, it’s good enough to take your mind off its worst, which is saying a lot.
  62. LaBute is attacking our society’s obsession with the surface of things, whether it be a painter’s canvas or a human one, but his drama is, in itself, relentlessly superficial.
  63. The sequel to an influential eighties motion picture is so loaded with characters and crosscurrents that we wonder why it isn't a thirteen-hour cable mini-series instead of an impacted two-hour mess. The film is like my portfolio: full of promise, with minuscule returns.
  64. Dredd 3-D places you firmly in an unreal, dreamlike world and rouses you with its unexpected grace and its rhythms and its movement. The plot ceases to matter after a certain point: This is a great big beautiful music video, and there's nothing really wrong with that.
  65. In the end, What If belongs to Zoe Kazan. And both she and it are wonderful.
  66. Unfriended really does use everything teens cherish about their technology lifestyle against them. It’s a mean, potent little movie.
  67. 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.
  68. The ending is a huge letdown, doing little besides setting the stage for the sequel… But for a good hour and change, the film is a big toy box that teases you out of the Gloom.
  69. This film really doesn’t know what to do with itself, except to show us the difference between Jerry’s happy world and his dark world as if it’s some kind of revelation; it’s the one move the film has, and it does it over and over again.
  70. A lovely confection.
  71. 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.
  72. To the Wonder feels like generalized woo-woo—and self-parody.
  73. Beneath the goofy plot, the tacky fashions, the fronting rappers, and the exploding bodies, there’s an undeniable earnestness to Tokyo Tribe. It’s the craziest film you’ll see this year, but it’s also — dear God, am I really saying this? — one of the sweetest.
  74. The film mostly retains its humanity, largely thanks to Deutch’s performance and Russo-Young’s insistence on keeping her at the forefront of almost every shot.
  75. A well-crafted family flick that gets the job done, then gets out of the way.
  76. In the all-star movie adaptation of August: Osage County, another play that holds the stage with fang and claw feels less momentous onscreen.
  77. A derivative horror picture that somehow rises to the level of a primal scream. The premise is simple, by which I mean both easy to understand and feeble-minded.
  78. It's a fast and enjoyable B-movie, though, and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine brings some good stormy drama to the proceedings.
  79. As a result, Jarhead is utterly predictable (boys endure tough training; boys encounter another culture and are baffled), studded with first-rate performances.
  80. Cosmopolis is often beautiful, but at times it feels like a movie sealed off from itself.
  81. As an actor, Matt Damon has too much integrity to pretend he can multitask to that advanced degree and still be, you know, a fun person. So he turns his face into a mask of stoicism and gives the dullest performance of his career.
  82. It appears that the filmmakers have taken Hannah Arendt's notion of the "banality of evil" way too literally.
  83. Wasikowska drabs herself down. Her body is undefined in dowdy clothes, her hair hangs limply. But her eyes usher you into her inner world, with its battle between girlish longing and the impatience to move on and be what she really is — whatever that might be. It’s a richer performance than the movie deserves.
  84. Has William Hurt ever been this perfectly cast? He uses his groggy self-importance to make the pastor the victim of evil and the very fount of it.
  85. As cheap as the whole set-up is, the actors make wonderful music together - even if there's not much left of Eastwood's vocal cords except a handful of dust.
  86. The Keeping Room is slow and rather arty, with a chamber-music (plus harmonica and fiddle) score and cinematography that shrouds the faces in shadow. But it’s a fine piece of storytelling and earns its look and feel.
  87. Cameron Crowe is a romantic bordering on utopian, and his authentic family values - biological and surrogate - shine through in his enchanting We Bought a Zoo.
  88. Hyams's film, which may at first seem like a glorified VOD entry in a forgotten franchise starring has-been action stars, is an admirably tense sci-fi/horror adventure that somehow turns its considerable limitations into virtues.
  89. In the end, Turbo is an unambitious movie about a very ambitious character, but it has an infectious sense of fun. Don’t expect too much from it, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
  90. 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.
  91. If the staging were as witty as the plotting, Quantum of Solace might have been a corker like "Casino Royale." But when the action starts, art-house-refugee director Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball) mashes together close-ups in the manner of "The Dark Knight," and every big set piece is borderline incoherent.
  92. As a technical achievement, K-19 is right up there with Das Boot. Don't expect much dramatic depth, though. The fathoms descended in this movie are strictly nautical.
  93. Days of Grace is strong, brutal, despairing stuff. It’s also somewhat anticlimactic, by design.
  94. Creative Control is the most elegant vision imaginable of a world in the process of losing its moorings.
  95. Bello is an excellent actress and makes Sophie’s anguish credible, although she can’t rise above the material.
  96. The result, however clichéd, is spectacularly unnerving: hair-trigger horror.
  97. 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.

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