New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 900 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 51% 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 I, Tonya
Lowest review score: 0 All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
Score distribution:
900 movie reviews
  1. Never embroidered or rehearsed, the way so many biopics are, this is a wonderful movie that feels freshly observed, like an uninvited peek through some forbidden White House keyhole, at the woman we called Jackie.
  2. Once in awhile, a movie comes along that is so touching and sincere, without a moment of false emotion or manipulative self-indulgence, that it establishes squatters’ rights and moves into your heart to stay.
  3. Beautiful, bold and blazing with sex and suspense, Allied is a gorgeously photographed, intensely romantic, action-packed film by the great director Robert Zemeckis with two titanic star performances by Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard that delivers something for everyone.
  4. We’ve seen it all before in dozens of low-budget slasher movies. This one just has a better cast — dismally wasted and left to seek better employment elsewhere.
  5. 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.
  6. Manchester by the Sea is the best movie of the year.
  7. "Enemy" and "Sicario" were unspeakable disasters, and Arrival, the director’s latest exercise in pretentious poopery, gives me every reason to believe I have parted company with Denis Villeneuve for good.
  8. As a movie, it lacks the unlimited manpower to equal Hacksaw Ridge, but as a dramatic postscript to the factors that led to Japanese surrender, its power and importance are undeniable.
  9. It’s too twisted and implausible to be everybody’s cup of tea, but it keeps you glued to the screen from beginning to end. Boredom and bathroom breaks are not an option.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Perhaps even more powerfully, the film informs us of stories we don’t know but should.
  10. Nothing much revelatory here, but what makes the movie a keeper is the energy of director Ben Younger (Boiler Room) and the charisma of Miles Teller, the sensational young actor from "Whiplash," who invests the role of a prizefighter with the same intensity he brought to the role of an obsessively driven drummer in that film.
  11. The best war film since "Saving Private Ryan." It is violent, harrowing, heartbreaking and unforgettable. And yes, it was directed by Mel Gibson. He deserves a medal, too.
  12. People who ask nothing more for their money than a lot of nerve-scrambling computerized special effects might get through Doctor Strange, another in a long line of lengthy, stupid and unbearable Marvel Studios comic books on film, with minimal brain damage.
  13. This film is too long for a documentary, and only a true Sidney Lumet fan is likely to sit through nearly two hours of it undistracted. Still, it’s a fascinating exploration of how a great mind worked by allowing the quality of his scripts to determine the style of each film—including not only the inner life but the camera, the clothes, the entire visual approach.
  14. American Pastoral tries to be loyal in its adaptation, but the material is film-resistant and flat as cardboard.
  15. King Cobra is a cut above most homoerotic masturbatory screen fantasies, but not by much.
  16. A guaranteed cure for insomnia, an abomination called The Whole Truth is a courtroom movie that looks like a colorized version of an old Perry Mason TV show, starring Renée Zellweger’s new face and Keanu Reeves, who has the charisma and animated visual appeal of a mud fence.
  17. Desierto is an action thriller that delivers unforgettable punches at a feverish pace. You won’t doze through this one.
  18. Comprising three separate, unrelated and thoroughly inconsequential short stories about lonely, miserable women in the isolated landscape of Montana, Certain Women is the latest thumping bore from Kelly Reichardt, a writer-director-editor who makes bland, low-budget films about various hidden aspects of women’s lives they are reluctant to reveal, then take forever to do so.
  19. Special praise goes to Alex Wolff as Jamie and Stefania Owen as his sympathetic, agreeable girlfriend Dee Dee, and veteran actor Chris Cooper makes a complex but astonishingly convincing cameo as the great Jerome David Salinger himself. I went to Coming Through the Rye expecting nothing and left feeling enriched, enlightened and warm all over.
  20. So it’s less bloody and gruesome than "12 Years a Slave." But make no mistake about it; the legion of protestors with no plans to see The Birth of a Nation is growing.
  21. Sweet but inconsequential, The Great Gilly Hopkins will satisfy family audiences and pre-teens with minimal demands for their money.
  22. A rewarding family film indeed, at a time when we badly need one.
  23. Australian films are like local wines from Australian vineyards. They don’t always travel. A bore called The Dressmaker is the latest example.
  24. This is a movie about action, not acting, and although, under the circumstances, the cast does yeoman work in roles that can only be called generic, in the long haul they can’t save the script and direction from being sometimes boring and always predictable.
  25. Another illuminating performance by Rachel Weisz and a brilliant screenplay by the distinguished British playwright David Hare make Denial one of the most powerful and riveting courtroom dramas ever made.
  26. The most moving moments in Sully occur in a coda that introduces the actual passengers and crew who lived through the experience and Sully himself. No movie defines heroism with the same impact as reality itself.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 12 Critic Score
    A singularly unpleasant and ugly topic film about a profoundly unpleasant and ugly topic, Goat possesses all the directness of a fraternity paddle whack across the keister, but with only a fraction of the subtlety. As to which experience is more enjoyable to live through, it’s pretty much a tie.
  27. Come What May is not exactly a new idea but a sensitive, polished and carefully executed film anyway, extremely thoughtful and well worth seeing.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The film effectively explores nature of identity, celebrity, and the creative process in a way that is satisfying, even if many of the questions it raises don’t go entirely answered.

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