New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 541 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 6.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Made in Dagenham
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
541 movie reviews
  1. This is a rare feel-good treat that nudges the heartstrings and makes you feel optimistic about the human race.
  2. The Magic of Belle Isle is a warm, human, feel-good experience about bringing out the best in people, one that brings out Morgan Freeman's best performance in years.
  3. Sensitively acted, carefully written and directed with heartfelt compassion, Bringing Up Bobby is an engrossing little independent film made on an austere budget in 22 days.
  4. It's a film that deserves to be seen, savored, debated and given serious attention.
  5. Jane Fonda's first French-speaking film in 40 years finds her leading a joyous ensemble of septuagenarians in a sweet, thoughtful and spirited examination of how to grow old with dignity and pride in a regrettable era when senior citizens have been reduced to the status of a political agenda.
  6. 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.
  7. Sleep Tight is a creepy - but highly effective and superbly made - horror movie from Spain in which the monster is spine-tinglingly human.
  8. My biggest problem with Flight is not the unanswered questions it raises, but the eleventh-hour epiphany just in time for a happy ending. Maybe I'm naturally cynical, but I simply don't believe that people are basically good at heart - and I don't buy into sudden salvation. Otherwise, Flight is one hell of an entertainment.
  9. Best of all, I applaud the director's triumph of intimate terror over preposterous puppets and noisy computer-generated effects. In The Bay, the mayhem is both fresh and thrilling.
  10. Bond is back, and so is high-octane entertainment.
  11. In a bravura performance that is the primary don't-miss reason for its existence, he (Carlyle) gives California Solo all he's got; even in scenes that just exist to pass the time, his presence informs the essence of the man he plays and the humanity of the film itself.
  12. Deadfall is an above-average genre piece with a terrific cast that builds to a bloody Thanksgiving dinner shoot-out I found pretty close to unforgettable.
  13. The best thing about Gangster Squad is how they got the 1940s accoutrements right.
  14. The remarkably expressive Mr. Siddig is sympathetic and true as the tortured father, communicating reams of emotion with his eyes, and Ms. Tomei is totally charismatic as his discarded lover who helps him out of a sense of humanity.
  15. 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.
  16. The real star of the film is the magnetic, forceful and charismatic Matthew Fox, who steals the entire film as easily as if he were pitching a softball.
  17. 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.
  18. It’s far superior to what usually comes out of the British slums in the genre of gangland thrillers.
  19. Leonie is a rich tapestry of cross-cultural revelations, released to the public at last, and a welcome addition to an otherwise dreary movie season.
  20. 42
    It’s a perfectly unexceptional but slickly made, sincerely acted, often entertaining, sometimes manipulative and always watchable blend of action on the diamond and bravery behind the scenes that will please baseball fanatics more than movie historians. It’s a good enough biopic to make you wish it were a better motion picture.
  21. Despite occasional flaws, Disconnect is filled with fine performances, informed by an often sophisticated script and directed with passion.
  22. There are humorous intrusions (e.g., an art show at Jeanne’s gallery that includes Nazi symbols constructed from penises), and great performances throughout.
  23. As an epic of awesome achievement, it never bores.
  24. The point of The Iceman is “Even monsters are human,” but it takes a great actor to make a dubious theme convincing.
  25. Under Craig Zisk’s frisky direction, the entire cast is superb and wrinkle-free. The screenplay, by husband-wife team Dan and Stacy Chariton, is thin as a poker chip but as clever as it is contrived.
  26. Okay, The Prey is ridiculous hokum that proves the French can make overwrought Hollywood thrillers with the same indefatigable energy and implausible realism as anyone else. It is also a slick, suspenseful adrenalin rush disguised as unexpected, nerve-wracking fun.
  27. Unfinished Song moves too slowly for its own good (mourning is doubly taxing in a country where it’s always raining), but it’s a great showcase for Terence Stamp.
  28. It’s not perfect, but when it works, Byzantium towers above all of the romantic vampire slobber we’ve been getting lately. I fear that Dracula is watching from some moldy crypt somewhere, nodding approval.
  29. Fruitvale Station lacks the same global impact as Milk, but it’s still a harrowing film worth seeing and honoring for boldness and insight. It’s one of the most sobering must-see movies of the summer.
  30. It’s to the star’s immense credit that his spellbinding appeal provides a tension that the script’s funereal pace often lacks.

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