New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 631 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 Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me
Lowest review score: 0 Melancholia
Score distribution:
631 movie reviews
  1. My reservations about Copperhead are outweighed by the noble intentions that inspired it.
  2. Written and directed with precision and sensitivity by Thomas McCarthy (The Station Agent), it revives the pleasant art of storytelling most of today’s young filmmakers have all but abandoned, and cures (temporarily, anyway) my allergy to Adam Sandler.
  3. The Girl sounds like a real mess. It isn’t. It’s just a slow, well-made human interest story on a very small scale, ultimately touching but as inconsequential as a slice of pineapple at a Hawaiian luau.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    In the small-town-conspiring-on-a-big-lie genre, The Grand Seduction doesn’t get near the mastery of 1998’s "Waking Ned Devine," but the shots of the village in Newfoundland, where it was filmed, are beautiful, and the local accents are convincing.
  4. Beautifully shot and reeking with style, Last Night is as slow as sorghum; nothing ever really happens.
  5. Nothing to line up for or write home about, but it’s a pleasant time-passer, not a regrettable time-waster.
  6. Certainly not a bad movie, but a disappointing one. It knocks itself out trying to break your heart, but it's too starched and blow-dried for its own good. Maybe if it had manipulated me less, it would have moved me more.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Has brief moments of levity and charm, but mostly it's depressing.
  7. It does have a dark, satisfyingly sinister feeling of gothic creepiness that I somewhat reluctantly admit appealed to my enjoyment of perversity as entertainment.
  8. Mr. Gere is miscast as Eddie, too naturally regal in bearing to be the screw-up he’s supposed to be, and for a broken man, he still moves with the same confidence as his younger self did in "An Officer and a Gentleman."
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. I found Contagion both flawed and fascinating, but it's not an entertainment.
  12. 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.
  13. I found Howl a fascinating and imaginative evocation of mid-20th-century liberation, a mere and merciful 90 minutes long.
  14. Historians are already calling Anonymous preposterous humbug, but I found it a complex cornucopia of ideas and panache. You go away sated.
  15. 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.
  16. The film works because of Mr. Harrelson's magnetism.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Grousing aside, this is a disarmingly sweet movie, enjoyable to the hilt, with music that really stomps.
  22. Think Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Kindergarten Cop," but better.
  23. 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.

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