New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 606 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 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Still Alice
Lowest review score: 0 All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
Score distribution:
606 movie reviews
  1. Neither another bland biopic about a self-destructive artist nor an historical scrapbook about a country in the grip of slavery, Black Butterflies is a dark, moving depiction of the life and death of a brave rebellious, idiosyncratic woman who made significant strides toward changing the world around her and paid a heavy toll for her passion.
  2. Unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. What the bloodsuckers in this frolic actually do, in or out of the shadows, is make you laugh.
  3. The story behind Touching Home is more inspiring than the film itself, but don't let that deter you. It's the kind of can-do miracle that reminds us all that anything can happen and everything is possible.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It doesn’t happen all at once, nor does the film imply that coming to terms with one’s past is any kind of panacea. Grace’s problems are long term, but, like her adolescent charges, one has the sense she’ll get by.
  4. La Mission, carefully directed by Peter Bratt and beautifully photographed by award-winning cinematographer Hiro Narita (Never Cry Wolf), explores the human side of a culture we know almost nothing about, in a world usually exploited on film to depict drugs and danger.
  5. It keeps you creeped out and fascinated.
  6. True originality is so rare that it’s a treat to welcome a movie as completely different and provocative as Upside Down. It’s unlike anything you have ever seen.
  7. Based on a story by Edgar Allan Poe, directed with style and imagination by Brad Anderson (The Machinist), filmed in the creepy darkness of Bulgaria (you hardly get this kind of movie anymore), and starring an illustrious cast solid and dedicated enough to craft to make you believe they’re in a depraved version of Hamlet staged in Elsinore Castle, this is a movie that is several cuts above your usual straitjacket thriller. Enter at your own risk.
  8. Kristin Scott Thomas breathes new life into a woman who was invented by Flaubert and copied by Francoise Sagan.
  9. Force Majeure is a good movie, but as thought provoking as the ending is, it peters out ineffectually, while the actual staging of the avalanche to the crashing movements of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” seems vaguely comedic and disappointingly corny, if you ask me.
  10. It might prove to be too insular to appeal to a wider movie audience, but to a passionate Anglophile like me, Queen and Country is a funny and nostalgic portrait of a bleak, rationed postwar England still digging its way out of the rubble.
  11. Flawed but bittersweet and enjoyable, this film may be the final chapter in a colorful and illustrious life.
  12. The Vow is not exactly a woman's picture. It's more about how a man falls in love, loses his love and gives up everything in life to focus on regaining his love. Maybe it's a woman's picture from a male point of view. However you slice it, it's a welcome loaf-far from perfect, but as filling as a home-cooked meal.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It has a seedy underbelly that will appeal to hard-core Mickle fans; it’s more deranged than it initially seems.
  13. Some of the on-camera bitchery between Mr. Ford and Ms. Keaton is laugh-out-loud witty. For the most part, Morning Glory is a delicious movie that will make you jump for joy.
  14. There is plenty of excitement and pulse in Hereafter, as well as a reluctance to provide easy answers to life's great mysteries. I'm happy to see a great director take on the challenge of new and different material with his customary grace and impressive two-fisted technique intact.
  15. Filled with nuance, intricate emotion and a refreshing absence of melodramatics, Conviction is a moving exploration of light and love shining through the darkness of despair. Its impact cannot easily be shaken.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Words and Pictures doesn’t possess the tender grace of "Enough Said," Nicole Holofcener’s wonderful film about middle-aged love. Nor does it have the kinetic energy of a high school movie like "The History Boys", adapted from Alan Bennett’s play. But it’s a winning effort from a director whose varied oeuvre has consistently charmed viewers.
  16. It’s beautifully photographed and entertaining, with charming performances by Will Smith and newcomer Margot Robbie that tease and tantalize. You won’t be bored.
  17. Heading toward his destination as a decent man facing ruin by doing the right thing, Mr. Hardy does a great job acting out the phases of anxiety frustration, confusion, exasperation and ultimate resolve — while working overtime to save a movie that takes place entirely on a cell phone from getting boring.
  18. The film is a deeply heartfelt experience that addresses the struggles of everyday people in a strange land most of us know nothing about. You will not go away unmoved. See it, and learn something.
  19. You go away slack-jawed with shock and sated with the chilling bedtime-story elements of a great unsolved mystery novel you can't put down.
  20. Wonderful, honest and low-key performances inform and enhance The Yellow Handkerchief, an otherwise unexceptional little drama.
  21. It’s a metaphorical stretch for a simple movie title, but never mind. Closer to the Moon still manages to be a strange blend of history, black humor and art.
  22. Bond is back, and so is high-octane entertainment.
  23. It’s far superior to what usually comes out of the British slums in the genre of gangland thrillers.
  24. Ms. Bening does a touching, masterful job of conveying real emotional pain.
  25. For sure, it’s another example of style over substance — a richly deserved accusation that is always leveled at this kindergarten cop of a director, but I confess it’s a lot of scattered and disjointed fun.
  26. Sleep Tight is a creepy - but highly effective and superbly made - horror movie from Spain in which the monster is spine-tinglingly human.
  27. Nothing in it comes close to the magic, the originality or the everlasting entertainment value of the original, which only cost $2.777 million and didn’t use a single computer-generated graphic. This says more about how much better movies were in 1939 than they are today. Still, I had enough fun to predict that history (or at least a tiny piece of it) seems destined to repeat itself. People just can’t get enough of this stuff.

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