New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 870 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Casino Royale
Lowest review score: 0 All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
Score distribution:
870 movie reviews
  1. When it comes to thrillers, this one is as good as it gets. Not for the squeamish, but for anyone who loves movies, it’s too exhilarating to miss.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Made in Dagenham is a retro romp with heart, smarts, soul and wit that will restore your faith in the power of the picket line.
  2. No matter where your political leanings lie, the great thing about The Conspirator is that Mr. Redford is wise enough to let the audience decide what the parallels are. See it, enjoy a ripping good yarn and learn something.
  3. The best war film since "Saving Private Ryan." It is violent, harrowing, heartbreaking and unforgettable. And yes, it was directed by Mel Gibson. He deserves a medal, too.
  4. Manchester by the Sea is the best movie of the year.
  5. As the actor of the year in the film of the year, I can't think of enough adjectives to praise Firth properly. The King's Speech has left me speechless.
  6. Once in awhile, a movie comes along that is so touching and sincere, without a moment of false emotion or manipulative self-indulgence, that it establishes squatters’ rights and moves into your heart to stay.
  7. In a film so ripe with temptations for posturing, exaggeration and satirical overacting, nobody is anything less than natural, unpretentious and funny as hell.
  8. War Horse is a don't-miss Spielberg classic that reaches true perfection.
  9. It’s anyone’s guess whether the amazing Mr. Redmayne’s most prestigious performance will go down in the archives as Stephen Hawking in "The Theory of Everything" or as the tortured, androgynous woman trapped in a man’s body in The Danish Girl. But it’s a sure thing that he’ll be nominated for another Oscar.
  10. This first-cabin director returns to top form, with this revelatory film his best in years. More than that, Mao's Last Dancer is a masterpiece.
  11. A grisly, authentic, meticulously researched, pulse-quickening political chiller about a hot-button topic that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
  12. For a story about a man who cannot move, the ordeal unfolds at a pace that keeps you breathless.
  13. It’s a remarkable accomplishment.
  14. Beautifully cast, intelligently written and a gorgeously assembled range of beautifully gauged emotions about movies and war, Their Finest is one of the best films of a still-young 2017.
  15. Wake in Fright is the closest a movie can get to a primal scream.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A gorgeous color palette and a tactile sensitivity to the emotions and intelligence of rural people help to create an organic work that integrates brilliant casting, yummy production and costume design, and fine cinematography.
  16. Romantic, bittersweet and funny as hell, Café Society turns Hollywood inside out, rooting through the superficial tinsel to find the real tinsel. You go away gobsmacked, beaming and happy to be both.
  17. This is the extraordinary biopic about the fascinating, complex and inspirational example set by genius cosmologist and physicist Stephen Hawking.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Told with a quiet cinematic bravura that somehow never calls attention to itself, this is a movie that captures, with singular intimacy and humanity, just how difficult it can be to communicate with the people you love the most.
  18. Exactly what you might expect from the fearless, controversial director of "Pulp Fiction" - it's overlong, raunchy, shocking, grim, exaggerated, self-indulgently over-the-top and so politically incorrect it demands a new definition of the term. It is also bold, original, mesmerizing, stylish and one hell of a piece of entertainment.
  19. Another illuminating performance by Rachel Weisz and a brilliant screenplay by the distinguished British playwright David Hare make Denial one of the most powerful and riveting courtroom dramas ever made.
  20. The best ensemble work of the year
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    You have to see all 10 not because they add up to a coherent whole, but because each is excellent in a distinctive way. I don’t want to go into each of the plots in any detail because one of the joys of Decalogue is its flair for storytelling in the most enjoyable way imaginable.
  21. A sensitive, dewy-eyed yet mature performance by Saoirse Ronan is the appealing centerpiece of Brooklyn.
  22. Put a staggering accomplishment called The Impossible, from Spanish director J. A. Bayona, at the top of the season's must-see list.
  23. This is one of the best movies of 2012. With rich performances, a riveting and articulate screenplay, meticulous direction and enough grounded emotional intensity to keep your pulse pounding, Hitchcock grabs you by the lapels like a suspense classic by Hitch himself - a knockout from start to finish.
  24. What an extraordinary thrill to leave a movie exhilarated instead of drained, sated instead of empty, rejuvenated instead of depressed. It's a magical experience.
  25. Don't let Amour join the legion of "Best Films You Never Saw." I urge you to share its sweetness and wisdom, and learn something.
  26. Dallas Buyers Club represents the best of what independent film on a limited budget can achieve — powerful, enlightening and not to be missed.

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