New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 661 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 Dallas Buyers Club
Lowest review score: 0 We Need to Talk About Kevin
Score distribution:
661 movie reviews
  1. Another war biopic opening on Christmas day, with tight, two-fisted direction by Clint Eastwood, and a compelling centerpiece performance by Bradley Cooper.
  2. 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.
  3. The question is: how much should one talented but sensitive individual be willing to suffer for his art at the hands of one brilliant but terrifying bully? The two stars are fully committed to the concept that the pursuit of perfection doesn’t always triumph, and the film pounds in the temples with the feverish tempo of a jazz riff.
  4. As vital as it is, racial strife is a subject that cries out for a more volatile treatment than this. The Alabama marching sequences and resulting violence, filmed in Selma, where they actually happened, are too understated for my taste. And the home life of King and his vacillating wife Coretta are muted.
  5. Whatever you think of Mr. Gibson, whatever he has lost, he still has talent, and here displays acting of power and resonance. It's a pleasure, for a change, to see the best side of his split personality at work.
  6. The movie often seems too good to be true, but by the end I wanted a dolphin just like Winter for my own swimming pool.
  7. You go away exhilarated. The movie has been through as many hurdles getting here as dear, sweet Jolene, but sometimes the most engaging movies are the ones worth waiting for.
  8. Entertaining dialogue and a collection of tightly knit performances — especially a wonderful, unexpectedly funny star turn by Andy Garcia — make At Middleton a nice surprise.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Starts out as though it’s gearing up for romantic comedy terrain, but quickly confounds your expectations.
  9. Linus Sandgren’s lush camerawork and the glittering, throbbing musical score by A. R. Rahman contribute a distinctive flavor of their own. The performances are superb.
  10. Nimble, off the beaten track and very entertaining, it’s the cinematic equivalent of a lava lamp.
  11. It’s to the star’s immense credit that his spellbinding appeal provides a tension that the script’s funereal pace often lacks.
  12. The intelligence and unhackneyed humor of the believable, unself-conscious screenplay by fledgling director Mr. Zwick (son of veteran director Edward Zwick) deserves special praise. It never hits a false note.
  13. Creepy and serenely suspenseful, Martha Marcy May Marlene is a riveting study in what it's like to escape from a physically, psychologically abusive cult, and how hard it is to return to normal life after being brainwashed.
  14. The result is a somewhat reserved but sensual and gratifying movie that finds and polishes connections between literature and the screen while further catapulting the wonderful British actress Gemma Arterton several notches up the ladder toward international stardom.
  15. The awesome effects take over where the plot used to be, and although this is the end, my guess is that it will fire the imagination for years to come. What fun to feel like a kid again. I had a marvelous time.
  16. These are characters so repulsive that it's hard to care what happens to them, but it's to the credit of a superb cast that you do end up caring.
  17. 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.
  18. Director Gilles Paquet-Brenner has done an elegant job of reducing a complex piece with many components into a riveting narrative that grabs you by the lapels and refuses to loosen its grip.
  19. Another example of concept over coherence, but the entertainment value is considerable.
  20. As an epic of awesome achievement, it never bores.
  21. A film of maturity and courage, one that kept me consistently engaged. Quite an accomplishment, really, for a new filmmaker on her first date with a camera.
  22. Intelligent, dignified and emotionally satisfying.
  23. Although Enough Said never really surmounts its TV sitcom style and structure, the director provides a nuanced entertainment that is enjoyable. She is aided beyond measure by the charisma of her two stars — especially Mr. Gandolfini, who reveals a side of himself we’ve never seen before.
  24. It's one of those revolting, raunch-fueled movies churned out in their sleep by the Farrelly brothers and Judd Apatow that I usually hate, but with real cleverness, off-center wit and edgy imagination. Imagine an X-rated Three Stooges farce, and you get the picture.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    There is much violence in The Devil’s Backbone , but there is also catharsis and redemption. As ghost movies go, The Devil’s Backbone is much less self-indulgent than the wildly overrated The Others.
  25. The movie is about how he learns to show what's in his heart even when he can't find the spoken words to express his feelings aloud. Under the careful guidance of Mr. Nunez, Mr. Becker does both, in ways that reminded me of a Hispanic James Dean.
  26. A grim, toxic, psychological British thriller, brimming with surprises, that always manages to be quite a bit more than it appears on the surface.
  27. I can tell you only that this is a film unlike anything I've seen before-harrowing, haunting and sordid. Be forewarned, it is not for the squeamish. But take a chance and you will be rewarded with a work of nightmarish force that is unforgettable.
  28. What emerges is time pleasantly spent with a slice of life that examines a romantic détente between two cultures. Like smoke from an Egyptian hookah, the melancholia lingers.

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