New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 530 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 6.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 What Maisie Knew
Lowest review score: 0 We Need to Talk About Kevin
Score distribution:
530 movie reviews
  1. It’s a real pleasure to share some quality time with Mr. Caine as an old man wise enough to know there’s rarely any such thing as a second time around but brave enough to take a chance anyway. But the writing and direction by Sandra Nettelbeck barely support his forceful presence.
  2. The realism is honorable, the acting is exemplary, and all do good work, but life among the unlucky and disenfranchised who exist without hope is not a subject that will put a glow in your heart or a smile on your face. Be forewarned: The depression is inescapable.
  3. Enough is enough. One good thing: The jungle scenes were shot in Hawaii, so at least they all got a paid vacation.
  4. Statham and Franco, both well-known sleepwalkers on camera, seem more animated than usual. Suspend belief, and you’ll find Homefront predictable but entertaining.
  5. More bitter, bleak lives of American mill workers without a compass and no place to go if they had one are showcased in the pessimistic drama Out of the Furnace. It’s getting to be a dismal film director’s obsession bordering on cliché.
  6. 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.
  7. By my rough calculation, the real Jack Ryan should be approximately 103. Preposterous but moderately engaging, Jack Ryan has outlived his welcome, and there’s no end in sight.
  8. The good twin/bad twin conceit in 2014 doesn’t have a shred of the original surprise, and Zoe Kazan doesn’t have the chops to carry it off anyway.
  9. The generic title In Secret is as uninspired as the movie itself.
  10. Odd Thomas has high-speed chases, explosions, narrow escapes and masses of special effects—none special enough, I’m afraid, to save it from mediocrity.
  11. As a film, though, Chlorine is as confusing as its title. Moviegoers be warned: With the skyrocketing cost of movie tickets (not to mention popcorn), this one is a bad investment.
  12. 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.
  13. Unfortunately, Hide Your Smiling Faces is so slow it could use a few action sequences to speed things up.
  14. This is not a movie for everybody, but that assessment is not exactly intended as a thumbs down. Alarming thrills are guaranteed.
  15. 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.
  16. Ms. Carano still has a lot to learn about acting, but she’s certainly the one you want around in case of a home invasion.
  17. It stars Woody Allen, but it still drags along like an oyster trying to walk.
  18. It is not a sequel, just another retread of tired material in a franchise that is more than ready for the big comic book bonfire. And why the title? There is nothing amazing about it.
  19. Another eccentric example of style over content, The Double stars creepy Jesse Eisenberg in two roles, when one is always more than enough.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Why tell the Sleeping Beauty story anew? With this half-hearted film, Mr. Stromberg, the visual effects wizard behind such big-budget blockbusters as "Oz the Great and Powerful," "Alice in Wonderland" and "Avatar," can’t provide an answer.
  20. A good idea gone bad plagues this movie adaptation of D.M.W. Greer’s controversial 1992 play Burning Blue.
  21. A bleak and pointless exercise in pretentious existentialism.
  22. It takes nearly an hour and a half to watch the charade go south. I’m not sure it’s worth the wait.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Dreary, depressing and desultory, A Most Wanted Man is not my cup of Schokolade mit Schlagsahne.
  26. The results are variable, exasperating, challenging, often both disappointing and exhilarating. These elements surface throughout Happy Christmas, often simultaneously. Mr. Swanberg is not a total amateur, but he is called “a doodler” for obvious reasons, all of them on red alert here.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It’s a genuine stab at romantic comedy that stumbles more than it strides.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Speaking of afterthoughts, Olivia Wilde has a bit part as a single mom who unwittingly aids and abets the Brennans in their escape, and Brian Dennehy lurches silently through a number of scenes as John's working-class father. It's jarring to see such big-name actors in such thankless roles.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    I'm not sure what went wrong with this picture. It could just be bad judgment on the part of screenwriter Steve Adams, who for all we know finds stalking adorable.

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