New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 861 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 5.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Casino Royale
Lowest review score: 0 From Paris with Love
Score distribution:
861 movie reviews
  1. A sensitive career-changing performance by luminous Penélope Cruz dominates the Spanish film Ma Ma, but there’s no escaping the fact that the rest of it is not much more than a dreary, tear-stained soap opera.
  2. Danny Collins is nothing to write home about, but it kept me entertained without too much guilt, and I didn’t wince. By today’s American movie standards, that’s becoming very high praise indeed.
  3. 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.
  4. At least Gong is ravishing, which occasionally takes your mind off the gibberish that is going full tilt around her.
  5. Lazy, eccentric, chain-smoking and accident-prone, Mr. Murray gives ’em what they clamor for. His eventual redemption as a saint in disguise is predictable. The direction is negligent and the jokes are mild. It’s an O.K. little picture that doesn’t really go anywhere, but it has a resonance that is easy on the heart.
  6. Like any good cautionary tale, Puncture tells a suspenseful story responsibly, creating food for thought and leaving the audience both enlightened and entertained.
  7. Despite its good intentions, this earnest little film seems embalmed.
  8. Armstrong is played by Ben Foster with an astonishing lack of animation or personality, and his literary prosecutor is played by the usually colorful, award-winning Chris O’Dowd with a dreariness that is stripped bare of his usual dynamism.
  9. A dreary bummer.
  10. Two lost souls on the highway of life — that’s what a well-acted but benign little trifle called Arthur Newman is about.
  11. The film is awkward, the situations tenuous and underdeveloped, the pacing torturous as a slow drip from a leaking faucet, and the narrative just plods along, with the body count rising for no clear reason.
  12. Mr. Spall, winner of the Cannes and New York Film Critics Circle best-actor awards, does his best to bring an unpleasant character to life — grunting and snorting like a boar ready to charge, spitting on his canvases and dragging around with a constant wince like a fat baby with colic. With all due respect, he’s too repulsive to watch for 150 minutes.
  13. Live By Night boils over with ambience and charged with details, from Roaring 20s flapper costumes to shootouts in period cars, but too many aborted narratives in Affleck’s lifeless screenplay intertwine, fanning the confusion, while other subplots are abandoned altogether.
  14. A benign slice of life about suburban angst on Long Island. It's not much, but thanks to the noble efforts of a very good cast, I've seen worse.
  15. Anesthesia is a pile of incomprehensible existential gibberish by the vastly untalented actor-writer-director Tim Blake Nelson about the meaning of life in an age of technology, told in the tiresome style of multiple characters who intersect at odd angles in a follow-the-dots plot centered on a single tragic action.
  16. What will happen to the man-boy when he's all man and can no longer slouch about in baggy pants and hoodie sweatshirts with perpetually flushed cheeks?
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The battle here is between the sincerity of the filmmakers’ intentions and the cynicism driving the film’s creation.
  17. Content to make movies for himself (Malick) that nobody else wants to see as long as he can find someone to foot the bill, he's also an iconoclast searching for significance. So am I, but not 138 minutes worth. Anyone seeking symmetry in this cinematic taffy pull risks emerging from it with a pretzel for a brain.
  18. 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.
  19. The juxtaposition of tone, theme and content in the narratives fails beyond the basic ideas. This leaves the capable Gyllenhaal to do little more than scream and rant hysterically.
  20. Plotless and illogical.
  21. 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.
  22. Let it be said that Ms. Streep is galvanizing, even as the film slogs through too much information and not nearly enough illumination.
  23. In a footnote to history that is still too close for comfort, he’s the real meaning of paradise lost.
  24. Gun Hill Road is worth seeing for the acting. The great character actress Miriam Colon makes a brief but memorable appearance as the strong matriarch of the household, and Ms. Santana, a true transgendered teen who has never acted before, is especially wrenching.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Don’t be misled by the title Leaves of Grass. Do not expect literacy, either. This stoner comedy has nothing whatsoever to do with Walt Whitman or poetry of any kind.
  29. To be honest, I can rarely recall any film, on any subject, that made less sense.

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