New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 690 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 My Week with Marilyn
Lowest review score: 0 To the Wonder
Score distribution:
690 movie reviews
  1. Proving again that her Best Actress Academy Award for playing Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose" was no fluke, the marvellously sensual Marion Cotillard, with her wounded doe eyes and look of permanent unfulfilled longing, delivers another kidney punch as a double amputee in love with an illegal bare-knuckle fighter in the French shocker Rust and Bone.
  2. Not a great movie, but satisfying enough to hold attention and win your affection - a rare blue-plate combo on today's overcrowded menu of movie chaos that sticks to your ribs and stays there.
  3. It's a slow, repetitive, meandering, mostly overacted little picture - perfectly agreeable but nothing special, and directed with a steamroller by David O. Russell. Go figure.
  4. This futuristic tale of teenage violence is so not my kind of movie that I approached it grudgingly, so imagine my surprise when I ended up being totally exhilarated and enjoying it immensely.
  5. Playing the cello is such a pleasant change of pace that he (Walken) eventually grows on you, scene by scene, proving for the first time since his role as Leonardo DiCaprio's troubled father 10 years ago in "Catch Me If You Can," that he really can act. He - along with the rest of the elegant cast - keeps A Late Quartet in tune when it threatens to go flat.
  6. If your own expectations are not too high, you crave period-costume drama and you’re one of those unfortunate people who refuses to watch anything in glorious black-and-white, this Great Expectations is worth the time and effort.
  7. Although they are no longer together and are living their own separate personal lives, their story, fictionalized but still autobiographical, bonded them for life. Apparently, they are best friends whose dedicated collaboration was the only way they could tell this harrowing story. It's a brave effort any way you slice it.
  8. A middling attempt to peek through a lace curtain for a glimpse of the other Upstairs/Downstairs staff members only leads to too many distracting social functions that fail to relieve the film's otherwise solemn pacing.
  9. In this overly familiar and ultimately meandering exercise in tedium, Mr. Burns also plays the lead.
  10. After Words is part adventure, part love story, part travelogue, and all as synthetic as rayon.
  11. It’s a movie that knocks itself cross-eyed trying to be hip, clever and today about acerbic seniors, but instead it only makes you long for old ladies in aprons exclaiming “Land sakes alive, I smell something burning in the oven!”
  12. If you have already begun to suspect that Something Borrowed may be something less than the sum of its parts-all of which do indeed seem borrowed from other movies and TV rom-coms too numerous to mention-you are right.
  13. It's a Clint Eastwood role that only proves you can't send a boy to do a man's job.
  14. The generic title In Secret is as uninspired as the movie itself.
  15. Far from the offbeat satire on the American dream gone sour it aims to be, The Brass Teapot is more like a dark flirtation with the American nightmare that backfires.
  16. Admirable and respectable, it engages you while you’re watching it, then leaves you empty and wanting more.
  17. It's when the music stops that we run into problems. For starters, there are so many questions left unanswered.
  18. Pan
    It’s not about Peter Pan, but about what happened before Peter Pan. The noise you hear is J. M. Barrie turning over in his grave.
  19. Dirty Girl is a bad movie with no insights that is broadly drawn and genuinely plagued by filthy dialogue. You don't laugh. You just wince, and wonder how the whole thing ever got financed.
  20. Not a masterpiece, perhaps, but technically polished, with inspired performances and enough suspense that by the time Mr. Hamm found the redemption that freed him from his own demons, I was so wired I needed a Valium.
  21. The entire movie is about as sexy as a root canal.
  22. This is an oddball tale that is well worth telling, but Mr. Carrey simply cannot resist turning it into a Three Stooges routine in drag.
  23. Too small and dark to appeal to a large audience, it's not a movie to cherish.
  24. Because it’s written and directed by slick slasher king Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel), expect some genuine, well-executed thrills that keep the adrenaline going. This is a good thing, because Keanu Reeves has the adrenaline rush of road kill.
  25. It's a fatiguing, low-key character study that drags along annoyingly and pleads for patience, but stick with it and you'll find the engrossing centerpiece performance by Ms. Theron a captivating reward that is well worth the effort.
  26. A well-meaning but desultory descent into darkness based on a memoir of the same name by Amy-Jo Albany, daughter of Joe Albany, the great jazz pianist who died in 1988 at age 63. The book, published in 2003, was subtitled Junk, Jazz and Other Fairy Tales From Childhood, and that just about covers it.
  27. This dumb movie turns from dubious to preposterous.
  28. One thing that defies debate: Zac Efron is going places as an actor of value. But he deserves better movies than Charlie St. Cloud.
  29. The movie, which has all the freshness and insight of a Movie of the Week on the Hallmark channel, is a first for the writer-director, which probably accounts for its lack of any definitive style or focus.
  30. My boy Viggo is always fascinating, but the movie is a concept searching for a story.

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