New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 2,255 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 Of Men and War
Lowest review score: 0 Movie 43
Score distribution:
2255 movie reviews
  1. Free speech isn't merely a shibboleth in The Agronomist. As embodied by Dominique, it's a fire-breathing force.
  2. I've never seen a movie with this mixture of fullness and desolation. Rachel Getting Married is a masterpiece.
  3. 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.
  4. It’s another in a long, honorable line of films that chart the poisonous effects of colonialism on indigenous populations and their ecosystems, but with an unusually invigorating perspective, like a reverse-angle "Heart of Darkness."
  5. Indigènes is a stupendous work--and why that new title stinks to heaven.
  6. Devos is especially fine as a woman whose inner solitude carries depth charges.
  7. The hurt and rage flying back and forth have primal power, like Russian-flavored Eugene O'Neill. It's rare for a movie to work as effectively as this one does on such parallel tracks.
  8. The novelty wears off and the lack of imagination, visual and otherwise, turns into a drag. The Dark Knight is noisy, jumbled, and sadistic.
  9. In Mysteries of Lisbon, the prolific Chilean-born director and egghead Raúl Ruiz has achieved something remarkable, at once avant-garde and middlebrow: the apotheosis of the soap opera.
  10. All in all, Frozen River is gripping stuff. Except it's also rigged and cheaply manipulative.
  11. I think this tale of woe can principally be seen as a plea for a heightened sense of community. It takes a village to keep us all afloat.
  12. So intimate and sensual and funny and psychologically self-revealing that it makes most of what passes for sex in the movies look like cheap hysterics.
  13. An astounding, one-of-a-kind movie.
  14. The jamboree is beautifully shot and directed, by Chris Menges and David Leland respectively, and there is a haunting touch: the presence of George’s son, Dhani, on guitar, looking near-identical to his dad in his twenties.
  15. The mystery may be resolved, but the suspense and uncertainty remain. And so, Guiraudie ends his film on a cold, almost cruel note of existential solitude that just might, if you let it, break your heart.
  16. At its midpoint, the film could go either way: toward "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" psychosis or something more hopeful and humanistic. It’s a testament to Saavedra’s tough performance that even with a happy ending, you wouldn’t want to leave her with your kids.
  17. It’s engrossing, and Mueller-Stahl’s mix of Old World chivalry and murderousness is scarier than Jason and Freddy combined.
  18. What keeps Sicario from cynicism is the nature and depth of Villeneuve’s gaze, not childishly wide-eyed but capable still of feeling pain. He’s a terrific director. You know that if his heroine, Alice, gets out of Cartel-land alive, she might spend a few months in an asylum, but she’ll be back, hell-bent on seizing the foreground.
  19. I can’t help thinking the movie’s amorphousness would have worked better with a more definite actor — someone who didn’t disappear so fully into the scene. Eden has a remarkable orbit, but it spins around a void.
  20. Experimenter is busily, thrillingly reflective. Its artificiality makes it seem even more alive, more in the present tense.
  21. I'd like to hear from some women about the sole scene I didn't buy--Bello getting angry, then super-turned-on when she learns about her calm Tom's tough-guy origins--but otherwise, A History of Violence is a remarkably convincing examination of heroism, hero worship, and the seductive allure of villainy.
  22. 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.
  23. Achingly funny movie...Guest has cultivated a stock company of players whose work together is so intuitively sharp that it seems to redefine the boundaries of acting.
  24. More Eurocentric but quite enjoyable, even for those of us who don’t follow British “football.”
  25. Why did Villeneuve and the screenwriter, Eric Heisserer, let the grade-B military melodrama run away with the story?
  26. 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."
  27. Raw
    Raw is certainly nasty, but its gore is strategic and sparse. It is, however, a very stressful film to watch from beginning to end, even before the real feasting gets underway.
  28. Blue Valentine leaves you with the shattering vision of its truest victim-the one who'll someday look for safety in places it might not be. And the psychodrama will go on and on …
  29. The director of "Gallipoli" and "The Year of Living Dangerously" has muffled the rage and darkness of his best work in favor of an antiquated pleasingness. Master and Commander is a too-comfy classic.
  30. It is filmed with simplicity, a purity of intent, and I wanted to watch the faces of these men in their last seconds of life--not for the sake of history, but because of Wajda's imperative to put his father's death onscreen. He needed to do this. And somehow, sanity is restored.
  31. Coming Home works best on a more lived-in, emotional level. It presents a trajectory not uncommon in Zhang's films: a journey from howling passion to somber, almost tragic acceptance.
  32. I’m not crying “masterpiece” here. Locke is too contained, too well-carpentered, too self-consciously “classical.” But tours don’t come much more forceful. Once you’ve taken this 90-odd-minute drive with Tom Hardy, you’ll never forget his face.
  33. It’s Rylance who keeps Bridge of Spies standing. He gives a teeny, witty, fabulously non-emotive performance, every line musical and slightly ironic — the irony being his forthright refusal to deceive in a world founded on lies.
  34. Certain Women turns out to be a study in women’s uncertainties, in the experience of pain that leads not to action but acceptance. It’s a slow go — but you get there.
  35. Shaun the Sheep might look like an exciting, no-nonsense tale for little kids — and it totally is, on one level — but beneath its pitch-perfect simplicity lies great wisdom and beauty.
  36. A bit too satisfied with its own sweet sensitivities.
  37. 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.
  38. Mike Mills's marvelously inventive romantic comedy Beginners is pickled in sadness, loss, and the belief that humans (especially when they mate) are stunted by their parents' buried secrets, their own genetic makeup, and our sometimes-sociopathic social norms.
  39. Young Edie Martin, with her chaotic swarm of red ringlets and deadpan dutifulness (she has few lines, but they’re goodies), is the movie’s sign of eternal spring--the butterfly atop the just-opened blossom.
  40. Guilt and alienation from Argentina’s Lucrecia Martel, so arty, enervated, and allegorical it might have been made by a European in the early sixties.
  41. I hate to damage so fragile a work with overpraise, but, gay or straight, if you don't see yourself in this movie, you need to get a life.
  42. Arnold's first feature, "Red Road" (2006), centers on another outsider, a woman who monitors security cameras. The film is formally brilliant, but it doesn't have the breathtaking openness of Fish Tank.
  43. Jackie is a hard movie to love, but its brittleness might be its most admirable quality.
  44. Hot Fuzz is fun, and it's nice to see all the English character actors who aren't busy in Harry Potter films, but it lacks its predecessor's freshness.
  45. Django Unchained doesn't merely hit its marks; it blows them to bloody chunks. It's manna for mayhem mavens.
  46. It’s wonderfully inventive filmmaking: Amirpour’s striking compositions borrow from the iconography of both the Western and the horror film — wide, evocative vistas are intercut with dark, tense city streets where shadowy figures follow one another.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A brilliant, disturbing, but unstable and half-crazy piece of work.
  47. If all three of the women’s lives had come across with equal weight and artistry, the film, which glides back and forth among them, might have approached the symphonic. But only the Streep section truly inspires the kind of awe and terror that the film as a whole strives for.
  48. The best film of the year? Possibly …
  49. Chris & Don is the rarest of documentaries: a realistic portrait of the human spirit.
  50. The movie isn't as world-shattering as those bouts: It's a regretful-old-warrior weeper.
  51. It's an unusually funny, literate, worked-out script, and Mendes seems hell-bent on making the best Bond since "Goldfinger" - or the best, period, given that he exhumes Bond's old Aston Martin only to shoot it cheekily to pieces.
  52. I’ve seen Upstream Color twice and liked it enormously while never being certain of anything.
  53. Adam Shankman's movie of the Broadway Hairspray gets better as it lumbers along, but there’s something garish about its hustle--it’s like an elephant trumpeting in your face.
  54. Goodnight Mommy is a very disquieting, very suspenseful film, but proceed with caution.
  55. 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.
  56. Starred Up is an edgy, teeming thriller, brilliantly disorienting, making strange a world we thought we knew, at least from other movies.
  57. This supernatural comedy isn't just Allen's best film in more than a decade; it's the only one that manages to rise above its tidy parable structure and be easy, graceful, and glancingly funny, as if buoyed by its befuddled hero's enchantment.
  58. Lindholm finds a unique balance between social and individual responsibility. There’s plenty of blame to go around.
  59. 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.
  60. This is by light-years the most entertaining movie of the year. How many apocalyptic sci-fi action extravaganzas leave you feeling as if the world is just beginning?
  61. The movie has already blown away advance-sale records, and when you go (which, of course, you will) I bet you’ll have fun — I did, mostly. But it’s the fun of seeing something fairly successfully redone, with the promise of more of the same to come.
  62. May be at once too gimmicky and too sincere. But it still exerts an uncanny power: Like the best of Almodóvar’s work, it throws you a first-love sucker punch that will stagger your heart, mind, and soul.
  63. It's Lawrence who knocked me sideways. I loved her in "Winter's Bone" and "The Hunger Games" but she's very young - I didn't think she had this kind of deep-toned, layered weirdness in her.
  64. I've never seen another movie that so clearly expresses the sensual sustenance that great folk culture provides its practitioners.
  65. Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me is one of those showbiz docs that’s not exactly pleasurable but offers a penetrating glimpse — sometimes too penetrating — into what it means to eat, drink, and be contrary in the public sphere.
  66. This is one of the most galvanizing documentaries I've ever seen.
  67. 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.
  68. The Martian is shot, designed, computer-generated, and scripted on a level that makes most films of its ilk look slipshod. Scott and writer Drew Goddard aren’t trying to make an “important” sci-fi movie like Interstellar. They aim lower but blow past their marks.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Writer-director Richard Kwietniowski has never made a feature before, but this debut effort is a triumph, a buoyant and elegant achievement -- romantic and ruminative yet always precise, a comedy of longing propelled by a strong current of satirical observation.
  69. 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.
  70. Troell’s entrancingly beautiful Everlasting Moments uses surfaces--light, texture, faces--to hint at another world, a shadow realm.
  71. The vision is as hateful as it is hate-filled, but the fusion of form and content is so perfect that it borders on the sublime.
  72. For Greenfield, the Siegels are a brilliant metaphor for everything farkakte about the U.S. economy and the culture that shaped it.
  73. The film remains grounded in the elemental, the practical, and the real. That’s not to say it isn't beautiful.
  74. The movie doesn't quite jell, but you'll feel its sting for hours.
  75. If Nine Queens were a great film, instead of just a very good one, this rottenness would be so pervasive that it would burst the bounds of the plot; it would make us shudder.
  76. This Bond is haunted, not yet housebroken, still figuring out the persona. In Casino Royale, the reset button has been pressed in the manner of "Batman Begins."
  77. Director Bill Pohlad (working with frequent Wes Anderson cinematographer Robert Yeoman) is extraordinarily sensitive to the amorphous nature of Wilson’s life and art, and Atticus Ross’s score creates a floating, evocative soundscape, which is Brian Wilson–esque without a trace of plagiarism.
  78. True Grit isn't as momentous an event as you might hope, but once you adjust to its deliberate rhythms (it starts slowly), it's a charming, deadpan Western comedy.
  79. It’s a cop movie that’s largely uninterested in cops, crimes, or criminals. And yet, despite all that, the film is at times an effective, evocative mood piece. The funereal pall of sorrow that hangs over everything these characters do has a strange, surprising pull.
  80. Koreeda's compositions have a sympathetic detachment that Americans rarely value but is, for many Japanese, the whole point of art. That means you can contemplate the wonder in these glowing young faces without feeling as if you're on an intravenous drip of corn syrup.
  81. Entertaining documentary.
  82. Gibney’s a bit like a kid in an exposé-candy store here, and you can sense him trying to cram as much as he can into the film. Good for him: Going Clear is jaw-dropping. You wouldn’t really want it any other way.
  83. Árpád Halász is the credited “animal trainer for 280 dogs,” Teresa Ann Miller the handler of Bodie and Luke — better actors than half this year’s Academy Award nominees. This is the new gold standard for nature-bites-back movies.
  84. In this otherwise rather schematic swatch of social catharsis, Brazil's Fernanda Montenegro gives the best performance by an actress I've seen all year.
  85. In the best moments of Howl's Moving Castle and in his extraordinary body of work, Miyazaki teaches his viewers more valuable lessons.
  86. It’s intermittently very funny. But it doesn’t make the existential leap to the big screen, and it doesn’t have the density of gags or the lunatic free-association of the best episodes.
  87. It’s a tale of class privilege gone wrong, the relentless hunger for fame, stoic mourning and submerged family neuroses, and the crazy contortions caused by money and ownership. In 82 svelte minutes, Finders Keepers encapsulates something ineffable about the modern American experience.
  88. As amusing as the movie is, I think in the end that Ascher misses the labyrinth for the trees.
  89. I found the first half-hour a snooze, but once I adjusted to the movie's rhythms, I was completely enraptured. Ferran weaves the love affair into nature, but not in the mystical, sanctified manner of Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain."
  90. The Band’s Visit resounds with tenderness and melancholy.
  91. 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.
  92. There are no bad guys, and no real violence. Horror fiends looking for cheap thrills may be disappointed. But those with a flair for the offbeat might find themselves unnerved and riveted.
  93. The actors are in a nice place--poking fun at themselves without spilling into travesty. Fogged by self-absorption, Coogan makes you like him most when he's most dislikable; he has a fool's vulnerability.
  94. 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.
  95. Nolan sustains an arty note of existential dread that probably will work better for noir-steeped film critics and overserious philosophy grad students than for general audiences, but he brings off a few brisk bravura moments.
  96. There's nothing like a film about wayward passions to remind you how differently people feel things.
  97. Little Miss Sunshine is an enchanting anthem to loserdom -- a dark comedy that piles on setback after setback and yet never loses its helium.
  98. Another year, another Mike Leigh gem.

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