New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 519 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 6.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Labor Day
Lowest review score: 0 Charlie Countryman
Score distribution:
519 movie reviews
  1. If the best films hold you in a captive vise, entertain you, keep you spellbound and teach you something at the same time, then 12 Years a Slave is outstanding — brave, courageous and unforgettable.
  2. All Is Lost is movie magic on many levels but most importantly as the rare opportunity to watch a seasoned actor at the pinnacle of his power.
  3. Dallas Buyers Club represents the best of what independent film on a limited budget can achieve — powerful, enlightening and not to be missed.
  4. It’s profoundly moving and thoroughly mind provoking, but despite the poignant subject matter, I promise you will not leave Philomena depressed. I’ve seen it twice and felt exhilarated, informed, enriched, absorbed and optimistic both times.
  5. Sensational entertainment. This $100 million extravaganza is — let’s face it — rampantly over the top. Hell, it’s by Martin Scorsese, who is always over the top.
  6. It resonates with delicacy, passion and restraint, touching the heart in places where cynics fear to go.
  7. At 88, after nearly seven decades in show business, Ms. Stritch is sharp, funny, brittle, caustic, demanding, exaggerated, critical (especially of herself) and infuriating. She is also elaborately unique and awesomely brilliant.
  8. They are two intelligent, sophisticated people searching for the spicy condiment they need to keep their relationship fresh during a bittersweet weekend in Paris, and, like the film that frames them, they are smart, substantial and enchanting.
  9. Wrenching, profound and beautifully made, The Railway Man is one of the stunning don’t-miss surprises of the still-young 2014.
  10. A master stroke of enchantment from one of the few legitimate cinematic geniuses of the modern cinema, with a nimble and tender performance of enormous elegance and charm by Colin Firth that is heart-meltingly romantic.
  11. Every complex member of the writer’s legacy has an agenda, with varying gains and losses, and the power of the film rests in the way it captures so many tangled lives as they cross and intersect at curious angles. The camera is literal, so the film sometimes fails to escape its roots of literary inspiration. This did not bother me. How many times do you get the chance to curl up with a good movie?
  12. Among the most gripping, well-paced, acted and directed, and generally thrilling of anything that I've seen (yet) this year.
  13. Enhanced by superb writing and direction and nuanced performances by an ensemble of great actors, and enough take-home food for thought to keep the mind and senses totally focused from start to finish, The Company Men is pretty damn close to as good as it gets in a disappointing year at the movies.
  14. This meticulously nuanced, sensitively acted film version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Lindsay-Abaire gives Nicole Kidman her best role in years, and she chews it like raw steak.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Despite extremely unpleasant material, he (Schwimmer) coaxes subtle, incredible performances from his cast and builds a tense, arresting narrative.
  15. Too bleak and wrenching to recommend unconditionally. You need a strong constitution to watch it soberly, but it is a gripping experience that left me weak in the knees.
  16. This is a subtle, elegant and altogether triumphant film about a subject I thought I was tired of, told with an artistry and freshness that is positively thrilling.
  17. A cynical, polished and deeply disturbing look at the kind of camera-ready liberal dreamboy who gets elected in 60-second sound bites, it is one of the most important films of the year.
  18. In Darkness is gloomy and hard to take for a running time of 145 minutes, but it's an important film, related with deep conviction, and uncompromising in its understanding of the remarkable things members of the human race have done - to, for, and against each other - in the wilderness of war.
  19. Lee Hirsch is certainly one who is making a difference. I endorse him and his brave, powerful movie and urge you to see it for yourself. You might leave Bully with rage, but you will not leave Bully with indifference.
  20. It's a delectable slice of Southern Gothic humor, a side show of rednecks and Bubbas and Aunt Tooties.
  21. Considering the subject, ripe with titillating possibilities, it's surprisingly about as sexy as a week-old meat loaf. Tastefully directed by Tanya Wexler, it is a total joy from start to finish.
  22. Don't miss this one. A brave and inspired antidote to time-wasting mainstream movies, it is unlike anything you've seen before or will likely ever see again. In short, it is unforgettable.
  23. I think everything about the movie is too subtle and real to appeal to the "Batman" demographic, but for mature audiences who have forgotten how to smile, it takes up where "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' left off.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Laugh-out-loud funny and somewhat melancholic.
  24. The result is a movie of enormous intelligence.
  25. As a bare-knuckle assault on the corruption that has come to define the creeping rot of American politics, Knife Fight is neither as satirical as Barry Levinson's "Wag the Dog" nor as incisive and wrenching as George Clooney's "The Ides of March," but it's a noble, shocking and inspired film worthy of attention.
  26. Flawed but different, well-crafted and consistently powerful, At Any Price is the best film about impoverished farmers in the economic agricultural crisis since Jean Renoir’s "The Southerner."
  27. In one of the most wrenching performances I have seen on the screen in some time, it’s thrilling to watch a young actor with passion and charisma explore so many avenues of damage control with so much depth, allowing the viewer to grapple with an unsettling variety of personal emotions.
  28. World War Z towers above every other alleged summer blockbuster. It’s the real deal.

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