New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 651 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 Everly
Score distribution:
651 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Nimble, off the beaten track and very entertaining, it’s the cinematic equivalent of a lava lamp.
  6. It’s to the star’s immense credit that his spellbinding appeal provides a tension that the script’s funereal pace often lacks.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Another example of concept over coherence, but the entertainment value is considerable.
  15. As an epic of awesome achievement, it never bores.
  16. 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.
  17. Intelligent, dignified and emotionally satisfying.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. A grim, toxic, psychological British thriller, brimming with surprises, that always manages to be quite a bit more than it appears on the surface.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Solitary Man comes on the heels of last year's "A Serious Man" and "A Single Man," so it's small wonder that confusion reigns. But this film, co-directed by David Levien and Brian Koppelman (who also wrote the screenplay), is the best of the three.
  25. We Bought a Zoo has more soul than substance, but I'll be darned if it didn't put a smile on my face and keep it there.
  26. The best kind of horror film, about innocent people plunged into mind-boggling circumstances beyond their control.
  27. While the folks back at the Pentagon say stuff like “Where are our Navy Seals?” the audience is treated to jaw-dropping action sequences, enhanced by awesome special effects and staggering cinematography.
  28. The film investigates a gallery of kinks, fetishes, oddball turn-ons, and pent up sexual repressions like somnophilia (sex with someone who is asleep), dacryphilia (tears and sobbing), unconventional role-playing, and worse. The results are sad and often laugh-out-loud funny.

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