New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 555 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 5.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 The Judge
Lowest review score: 0 The Paperboy
Score distribution:
555 movie reviews
  1. The two-handed duet at the center of Love Crime radiates, but the parade of easily parodied men who stomp in and out of their corporate offices just seem like script rejects from "Mad Men."
  2. More bitter, bleak lives of American mill workers without a compass and no place to go if they had one are showcased in the pessimistic drama Out of the Furnace. It’s getting to be a dismal film director’s obsession bordering on cliché.
  3. A tedious exercise in tedium.
  4. I found Howl a fascinating and imaginative evocation of mid-20th-century liberation, a mere and merciful 90 minutes long.
  5. Shot by Barry Ackroyd, the same cinematographer who filmed "The Hurt Locker," and using the same camera techniques, this movie looks like outtakes from a much better film.
  6. As an epic of awesome achievement, it never bores.
  7. World War Z towers above every other alleged summer blockbuster. It’s the real deal.
  8. 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.
  9. In this overly familiar and ultimately meandering exercise in tedium, Mr. Burns also plays the lead.
  10. 42
    It’s a perfectly unexceptional but slickly made, sincerely acted, often entertaining, sometimes manipulative and always watchable blend of action on the diamond and bravery behind the scenes that will please baseball fanatics more than movie historians. It’s a good enough biopic to make you wish it were a better motion picture.
  11. In a bravura performance that is the primary don't-miss reason for its existence, he (Carlyle) gives California Solo all he's got; even in scenes that just exist to pass the time, his presence informs the essence of the man he plays and the humanity of the film itself.
  12. When this sick, ludicrous cocktail of sex, violence and mayhem was first unveiled a year ago at the Toronto International Film Festival, one wag aptly described it as "the ghost of Tennessee Williams meets the spirit of Quentin Tarantino."
  13. The lugubrious pop songs by Gregg Alexander are execrable. Ms. Knightley isn’t remotely believable as a bike-riding pop singer. The saving grace is Mark Ruffalo, the only actor on the premises who shows any grit or passion for his character or for the music business.
  14. Wonderful, honest and low-key performances inform and enhance The Yellow Handkerchief, an otherwise unexceptional little drama.
  15. Ted
    Most of Ted eludes description, analysis and explanation. You just have to hold onto your own certifiable sense of humor and let Mr. MacFarlane take you where he wants to go. Then get out of the way and enjoy it.
  16. Too bleak and wrenching to recommend unconditionally. You need a strong constitution to watch it soberly, but it is a gripping experience that left me weak in the knees.
  17. It's a Clint Eastwood role that only proves you can't send a boy to do a man's job.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    If you can suspend your disbelief that a cute 22 year-old had the power to succeed with civil rights where Martin Luther King and President Kennedy failed, The Help actually has a lot to offer.
  18. Boring and sedentary, not to mention only occasionally coherent, this creaking-door mystery is not much of a vehicle to display young Mr. Radcliffe's range and charm.
  19. The Trollhunter writers either have an abundance of imagination or they've been smoking a controlled substance.
  20. Valhalla Rising is nothing more than an updated version of the kind of time-honored Hollywood Viking movie Kirk Douglas used to do in his sleep, which means lots of inhuman, bone-crunching violence and no plot.
  21. Filled with nuance, intricate emotion and a refreshing absence of melodramatics, Conviction is a moving exploration of light and love shining through the darkness of despair. Its impact cannot easily be shaken.
  22. A 2½-hour art film that is something of a well-intentioned mess.
  23. The realism is honorable, the acting is exemplary, and all do good work, but life among the unlucky and disenfranchised who exist without hope is not a subject that will put a glow in your heart or a smile on your face. Be forewarned: The depression is inescapable.
  24. This is one terrific movie about one terrific horse. It enthralls on so many levels-emotional, cinematic, historic.
  25. Incompetently directed by Scott Coffey and weakly written by Andrew Cochran, a rotten egg called Adult World is anything but.
  26. Scathing and funny and cynical about contemporary society and the hypocritical way we live now, Carnage may not be the dream movie I expected, but it has a dream cast of pure, unimpeachable ensemble perfection.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    While the movie may not, in the end, be so effective in tapping into our current class anxieties, that hardly seems to matter. Like a trip to Elysium, it’s a wild ride.
  27. 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Mr. Rudd imbues Ned with an easy, charming sweetness and unpatronizing wisdom that make him seem simply guileless, not stupid. Indeed, the greatest flaw of Our Idiot Brother is in making Ned too saintly - despite the title, it's clearly the sisters who are the morons.

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