New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 588 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 5.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Le Week-End
Lowest review score: 0 They Came Together
Score distribution:
588 movie reviews
  1. It takes just under two hours of tedium before you find out what’s in the bag, and you might be sorry you waited.
  2. An hour and 20 minutes into this two-hour-and-11-minute endurance test, a hungry Kaiju attacks the city of Hong Kong and eats the neon signs of every Cantonese restaurant in Victoria Harbor. It’s sort of worth waiting around for.
  3. A ludicrously pretentious train wreck masquerading as a movie.
  4. Richard Brooks made a tougher and much better film about the tragedy of compulsive gambling in his 1985 film "Fever Pitch," and in 1949’s "The Lady Gambles," even Barbara Stanwyck made a more convincing fall from respectability into casino hell than Mark Wahlberg does here.
  5. Staying awake during this ordeal of incompetent, incomprehensible stupidity is not difficult. It’s so noisy that you can hear it in the next town. Staying interested is something else entirely.
  6. Unfortunately, with only the bare outline of a script, no acting is required. The structure of the film is 89 minutes of brutality with a college degree. This is a warning, not a recommendation.
  7. It's a stupid farrago of aborted ideas, misguided actors, lame direction, submental writing and follow-the-dots plotting that never comes anywhere within a 10-mile radius of what I used to call coherent filmmaking.
  8. What passes for a plot has been done a thousand times before — in much better films than A Single Shot.
  9. All of which makes me sad about Denzel Washington's disillusioning participation. I forgive him if the money was irresistible enough to pay off a mortgage or put his kids through Harvard, but Safe House is total junk, and he is one of the producers.
  10. Lamely directed by Brian A. Miller, who co-wrote it with Mr. Fairbrass, this is the kind of curiosity that used to fill the bottom half of a double feature in the day when we still had drive-ins. The real outsider is the movie itself.
  11. The charm, versatility and charisma of Jason Bateman and the camera-ready good looks of Ryan Reynolds should add up to more than a piece of crummy, amateurish junk called The Change-Up.
  12. At a time when every penny counts, where do they come up with the money to finance a movie this boring?
  13. Mr. Franco must have had a very boring adolescence, because Palo Alto is a very boring movie.
  14. The prevailing mood of Child of God, published in 1973, is filth, alienation and inertia. You can have it.
  15. As a movie, it's so tightly framed you gasp from claustrophobia. As a film of cryptic boredom, I cannot believe the actors were able to say their lines without cue cards.
  16. Halfheartedly, I give The Dark Knight Rises - the third and final Batflick in the Nolan trilogy - one star for eardrum-busting sound effects and glaucoma-inducing computerized images in blinding Imax, but talk about stretching things.
  17. Director Lloyd leaves it all to the imagination, but in a movie this slow and indecisive, the imagination is no longer enough when we've seen stronger stuff elsewhere.
  18. What to say about an uphill slog called Crazy, Stupid, Love? It's not nearly crazy enough to clear the clogged arteries of summer comedies, and when the love appears, it's in all the wrong places. Oh well, at least they nailed the stupid part.
  19. Congenial is the word for Larry Crowne, but it's as flat as an ironing board.
  20. The script, by Melissa James Gibson, is as scintillating as a dead rodent.
  21. The script is breezy, but neither of the two leads have the heft or charm to carry an entire feature-length film - separately or together.
  22. Artificial, irresponsible, filthy and forgettable, it knocks itself cross-eyed trying to make you roar with laughter at chemotherapy, with the nauseating Seth Rogen milking most of the yuks. But a stoner comedy about cancer? I don't think so.
  23. There’s nothing remarkable or even remotely intriguing about the dyspeptic gang of submental sad sacks in this dull, flat fiasco.
  24. I'd like to tell you just how bad Inception really is, but since it is barely even remotely lucid, no sane description is possible.
  25. A tedious exercise in tedium.
  26. A pointless nightmare of pretentious science fiction twaddle with no plot, no coherence and no heart.
  27. The result, in the case of Moonrise Kingdom, is what I call transcendentally brainless - an after school special aimed at asinine adolescents over the age of 40.
  28. He (Owen) doesn't fail the movie. The movie fails him. As his wife, the superb Carice van Houten has so little to do or say - so peripheral a relation to everything else in the movie - that she seems to be an intruder herself.
  29. This disoriented drivel was written by — and marks the directing debut of — Geoffrey Fletcher, who won an Academy Award for writing "Precious." It’s weird, but not in a good way.
  30. Jack Reacher is mostly grim, violent and stupid.

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