New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 609 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 Still Alice
Lowest review score: 0 All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
Score distribution:
609 movie reviews
  1. This gruesome thriller set in a fogbound insane asylum is incomprehensible and fatally flawed, but having said all of that, I will also say this: It never seems anything less than the work of a skillful film buff. Mr. Scorsese may be a smart aleck, but he’s a professional smart aleck.
  2. With a different cast and director, this movie would be just another fuzzily lit made-for-TV movie. But because of the performances and the rather gorgeous cinematography, one is left wishing that it just could have been something more.
  3. I found Contagion both flawed and fascinating, but it's not an entertainment.
  4. Has moments of heart-pounding suspense and brief glimmers of greatness, thanks to fine performances by Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan and Olivia Williams, but overall feels uneven, sprawling and strangely incomplete.
  5. I found Howl a fascinating and imaginative evocation of mid-20th-century liberation, a mere and merciful 90 minutes long.
  6. Historians are already calling Anonymous preposterous humbug, but I found it a complex cornucopia of ideas and panache. You go away sated.
  7. Despite the work of a first-rate cast, it doesn’t feel real to me.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The Grandmaster offers welcome relief from a moviegoing summer spent in sensory overload.
  8. The film works because of Mr. Harrelson's magnetism.
  9. But the direction by Joe Johnston (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids) sacrifices originality for computer graphics and stop-motion camera tricks, and the script, by Andrew Kevin Walker and David Self, bulges with real howlers: “I didn’t know you hunted monsters.” “Sometimes monsters hunt you!”
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    A Teacher is more in the vein of Michael Haneke’s brooding 2001 film, "The Piano Teacher."
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Mr. Arestrup gives a full-bodied performance as the film’s most intriguing character, who blurs the line between senile irascibility and out and out malice.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Mr. Green has managed to turn a story about two road workers doing roadwork into something compelling. Sometimes that is a credit to his quirky script, but mostly it happens when he lets the dramatic scenery speak for itself.
  10. There is no way I would call this a good movie. But! I was indeed entertained the whole way through, and there were enough genuinely interesting scenes to almost make up for the incredibly clunky moments provided by a very wooden screenplay.
  11. The trajectory consists of one damn thing after another, with the able Mr. Walker giving it all he’s got without getting out of the vehicle to catch his breath.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    As a thriller, The Imposter is gripping. As a documentary, it provokes confusion and annoyance.
  12. The great screenwriter Steven Zaillian's elaborate, convoluted script, so muddled that even after it's over you still don't know what it's all about, is a drawback - but the movie is a master class in sinister style, tense and deeply uncomfortable.
  13. Grousing aside, this is a disarmingly sweet movie, enjoyable to the hilt, with music that really stomps.
  14. Think Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Kindergarten Cop," but better.
  15. Proving again that her Best Actress Academy Award for playing Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose" was no fluke, the marvellously sensual Marion Cotillard, with her wounded doe eyes and look of permanent unfulfilled longing, delivers another kidney punch as a double amputee in love with an illegal bare-knuckle fighter in the French shocker Rust and Bone.
  16. Not a great movie, but satisfying enough to hold attention and win your affection - a rare blue-plate combo on today's overcrowded menu of movie chaos that sticks to your ribs and stays there.
  17. It's a slow, repetitive, meandering, mostly overacted little picture - perfectly agreeable but nothing special, and directed with a steamroller by David O. Russell. Go figure.
  18. This futuristic tale of teenage violence is so not my kind of movie that I approached it grudgingly, so imagine my surprise when I ended up being totally exhilarated and enjoying it immensely.
  19. Playing the cello is such a pleasant change of pace that he (Walken) eventually grows on you, scene by scene, proving for the first time since his role as Leonardo DiCaprio's troubled father 10 years ago in "Catch Me If You Can," that he really can act. He - along with the rest of the elegant cast - keeps A Late Quartet in tune when it threatens to go flat.
  20. If your own expectations are not too high, you crave period-costume drama and you’re one of those unfortunate people who refuses to watch anything in glorious black-and-white, this Great Expectations is worth the time and effort.
  21. Although they are no longer together and are living their own separate personal lives, their story, fictionalized but still autobiographical, bonded them for life. Apparently, they are best friends whose dedicated collaboration was the only way they could tell this harrowing story. It's a brave effort any way you slice it.
  22. A middling attempt to peek through a lace curtain for a glimpse of the other Upstairs/Downstairs staff members only leads to too many distracting social functions that fail to relieve the film's otherwise solemn pacing.
  23. In this overly familiar and ultimately meandering exercise in tedium, Mr. Burns also plays the lead.
  24. If you have already begun to suspect that Something Borrowed may be something less than the sum of its parts-all of which do indeed seem borrowed from other movies and TV rom-coms too numerous to mention-you are right.
  25. It's a Clint Eastwood role that only proves you can't send a boy to do a man's job.

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