New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 615 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 46% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Still Alice
Lowest review score: 0 From Paris with Love
Score distribution:
615 movie reviews
  1. I expected more from a movie about the most feared man in America for half a century. Whatever else you think about him, in retrospect, he had balls of brass - an essential quality replaced in J. Edgar by dull indifference.
  2. Johnny Depp is dismally miscast as the alter ego of the rebellious author with the "screw you" attitude.
  3. Timely but sluggish and confusing.
  4. This exercise in hysteria is so over the top that you don't know whether to scream or laugh. Despite an emotionally gripping performance by Natalie Portman, it's nothing more than a lavishly staged "Repulsion" in toe shoes.
  5. Something is missing here, like a clear perspective.
  6. It’s described as a smart, suspenseful psychological thriller, but there’s nothing smart about it, and as an alleged thriller, when the mysteries are explained in a twist finale, it could use a psychologist of its own. The only suspense is waiting to see if Diane Lane’s reputation will survive.
  7. James Franco again, more subdued and less hokey than usual, this time in something called Good People, the kind of routine thriller they used to show on Thursday and Friday nights before the big Saturday double features, back in the good old studio years when the marquees changed every two days.
  8. Disappointingly tedious, On My Way is a contrived vehicle for Gallic icon Catherine Deneuve. At 70, she’s still the embodiment of placid ripeness we know and love, but the movie has little substance.
  9. Cowboys & Aliens is one of the silliest movies ever made, but so many otherwise serious people have attached their names to it that, as Arthur Miller wrote in Death of a Salesman, attention must be paid.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It’s a genuine stab at romantic comedy that stumbles more than it strides.
  10. The actors are so good, though, that they make you want to see what they could do in a better movie than this tedious acting-class experiment.
  11. Petunia augurs more titillation than it delivers and only works occasionally.
  12. If you’re patience doesn’t wear out, the movie culminates in that clever shock ending that not only explains everything but gives what you’ve just seen a rewarding jolt.
  13. Dreary, depressing and desultory, A Most Wanted Man is not my cup of Schokolade mit Schlagsahne.
  14. The director’s vision is so dark — and Mr. Crowe’s grumbling, sour-stomach persona so much like a Tums commercial — that you don’t care much what happens to him or his ark, which looks like a big barge with a stove pipe in the middle.
  15. Clumsy and contrived, the film never manages to connect the dots in a trio of stories set in three different cities, and I had to pinch myself to keep from falling asleep.
  16. This one blends the scented candles of a daytime soap with the tamer aspects of a middling thriller. Some folks will bring Kleenex. Others will need NoDoz.
  17. The film's weakest link is Rufus Sewell's rumpled gumshoe, inarticulate and mumbling to the point of madness.
  18. A good idea gone bad plagues this movie adaptation of D.M.W. Greer’s controversial 1992 play Burning Blue.
  19. He (Gordon-Levitt) can act, and there’s a possibility he can also direct, but there’s no evidence in Don Jon that he can do both at the same time.
  20. Burning Palms is too sick to attract the masses, but he's onto something subversively valid, and the film is never boring.
  21. The actors work hard to convey terror-especially Mr. Christensen, who proved he could act when he played disgraced journalist Stephen Glass in the marvelous, underrated "Shattered Glass"-but the panic that overtakes the characters never quite grips the audience.
  22. The lugubrious pop songs by Gregg Alexander are execrable. Ms. Knightley isn’t remotely believable as a bike-riding pop singer. The saving grace is Mark Ruffalo, the only actor on the premises who shows any grit or passion for his character or for the music business.
  23. Too relentlessly depressing to recommend to the everyday audience. It seems to be on automatic pilot. Horrible, sad things keep happening, but it just goes on.
  24. Ultimately, everyone in the movie is wasted, including Catherine Zeta-Jones, who provides great eye candy but has nothing important to say or do. Most of the roles are so ambiguous you end up scratching your head in the final reel, and some of the loose ends are so irrelevant they seem to have ended up on the cutting-room floor. With Russell Crowe, it really helps if you can read lips.
  25. October Gale features picturesque scenery, crisply photographed by Jeremy Benning, and composed in shots that could pass for glossy tourist postcards. The two stars are pretty to look at, but Canada is hard to upstage.
  26. Shot by Barry Ackroyd, the same cinematographer who filmed "The Hurt Locker," and using the same camera techniques, this movie looks like outtakes from a much better film.
  27. It opens our eyes to a subculture about which most of us know very little, but it is so unsteady in its focus that interest wanes.
  28. The Innkeepers, a desultory indie-prod poorly written and lamely directed by Ti West, and filmed on the cheap at the actual location, is a poor-man's rip-off of Stanley Kubrick's hotel spookfest, "The Shining," promising paranormal horrors to all who dare to enter. Where is Jack Nicholson when we need him?
  29. The D Train is so confusing it’s hard to track what anyone had in mind.

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