New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 800 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.7 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 Oldboy
Score distribution:
800 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Intelligent, dignified and emotionally satisfying.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Perhaps even more powerfully, the film informs us of stories we don’t know but should.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    While the film plays lip service (perhaps one too many times) to the healing power of music, it is really about how self-deception fuels and sustains. It may not keep us alive, but it will keep us going while we here.
  5. The physical abuse and emotional anguish sometimes borders on overkill, but the final outcome is overwhelming.
  6. Another riff on the aftermath of tragedy, Tumbledown is the meaningless title of a tender but clumsy romantic comedy.
  7. Bring plenty of Kleenex. A nickel pack won’t do.
  8. 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.
  9. A grim, toxic, psychological British thriller, brimming with surprises, that always manages to be quite a bit more than it appears on the surface.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. A saucy, twinkling star performance by Michael Keaton make this one of the must-see entertainments of the year.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. The best kind of horror film, about innocent people plunged into mind-boggling circumstances beyond their control.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A head-spinning, whirling dervish of an action movie.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Unpredictable, with a twisted surprise around each corner, Big Bad Wolves is a clever and arresting shocker from a country where blood and gore on the screen are least expected.
  23. A sweet, honest, well-acted and carefully constructed little film that truly lives up to its title.
  24. You won't find yourself yawning. It's a great double stretch for an actor and Mr. Cooper plays both the smoldering Latif and the bombastic Uday with combustible energy.
  25. Diary of a Chambermaid doesn’t quite add up to the chronicle of decadent abuse endured by the servant class in turn of the century France that it hopes to be, but it’s still worth seeing as another entry in the rise of Léa Seydoux, a star of Gallic charisma if ever I’ve seen one.
  26. Good Neighbors is a hotbed of twisted ideas with a straightforward yet novel approach to the Gothic horror in the hearts of mistakenly everyday people. Stressful and disconcerting but highly recommended, it gave me nightmares.

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