New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 574 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 5.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 The Conspirator
Lowest review score: 0 Maladies
Score distribution:
574 movie reviews
  1. I wish all the agony in The Big Year was leading up to something fascinating in the end, but the most inviting thing in the movie was the exit door.
  2. Johnny Depp is dismally miscast as the alter ego of the rebellious author with the "screw you" attitude.
  3. As agreeable as she is to watch, the disappointing thing I feel is that she plays everything the same way. For a film about one person that reveals so little about the subject, 94 minutes is longer than it sounds. My advice is to wait for the DVD. This is definitely a movie to watch with a remote control.
  4. 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.
  5. I can't imagine what attracted these two megahunks to such a bore.
  6. Director McQueen shares no primal truths, offers no resolutions, and the movie seems pointless. It seems almost wicked to spread on all that enticement and titillation, and then throw the sandwich away.
  7. 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.
  8. Let it be said that Ms. Streep is galvanizing, even as the film slogs through too much information and not nearly enough illumination.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. Boring and sedentary, not to mention only occasionally coherent, this creaking-door mystery is not much of a vehicle to display young Mr. Radcliffe's range and charm.
  12. Too small and dark to appeal to a large audience, it's not a movie to cherish.
  13. The movie is not about the dog. It's about the people who find love, settle their differences, and get their priorities straight while searching for him. Still, when all is said and done, the dog is the only thing you care about in Darling Companion.
  14. As good as Citizen Gangster is, it would be even better if you could understand the dialogue.
  15. Battleship is dopey, preposterous and unintentionally hilarious in all the wrong places, but as directed by Peter Berg, it is also energetic, fast-moving and bracing.
  16. This three-hander has an honesty and a momentum that I found grudgingly rewarding.
  17. To Rome with Love has moments of isolated charm, but it's only moderately entertaining, it isn't very funny, and it's entirely too long.
  18. 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.
  19. When this sick, ludicrous cocktail of sex, violence and mayhem was first unveiled a year ago at the Toronto International Film Festival, one wag aptly described it as "the ghost of Tennessee Williams meets the spirit of Quentin Tarantino."
  20. Ms. Farmiga is the only one who seems to be having any fun, as an aging flower child stuck in an earlier decade and addicted to healing vortex workshops and primal screams. Mellow, but very much a work in progress, Goats has a bland but overcrowded menu that could benefit from a little feta.
  21. In the often illustrious career oeuvre of Clint Eastwood, Trouble with the Curve is a minor entry, a cinematic footnote.
  22. James Franco's role hardly exists. He's a doped-up cipher who attends museum openings and drives his car into a cement wall, looking as bored and out of place as he did hosting the Academy Awards.
  23. The film is worth seeing for the excellent ensemble work by a cast that, although diligent and appealing, remain somewhat less than thrilling. They do their best to plumb the depths of domestic dysfunction, but in the end, The Oranges does not quite deliver the goods.
  24. The film was shot in Louisiana, which looks nothing like Iowa. Nobody along the way seems to have a care in the world about cholesterol. And it's the first movie in history that makes Hugh Jackman look repulsive.
  25. The film's weakest link is Rufus Sewell's rumpled gumshoe, inarticulate and mumbling to the point of madness.
  26. 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.
  27. Lincoln is also a colossal bore. It is so pedantic, slow-moving, sanitized and sentimental that I kept pinching myself to stay awake - which, like the film itself, didn't always work.
  28. In this overly familiar and ultimately meandering exercise in tedium, Mr. Burns also plays the lead.
  29. As a realistic political thriller about Americans in harm's way it is not half as suspenseful or entertaining as "Argo." We may never know the truth about how we found bin Laden, but I still believe what we do know makes a strong enough story on its own without Wonder Woman.
  30. It is to her everlasting credit that a famously exasperating perfectionist like Barbra Streisand could survive a limp noodle like The Guilt Trip.

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