New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 679 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 5.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Still Alice
Lowest review score: 0 Seven Psychopaths
Score distribution:
679 movie reviews
  1. Content to make movies for himself (Malick) that nobody else wants to see as long as he can find someone to foot the bill, he's also an iconoclast searching for significance. So am I, but not 138 minutes worth. Anyone seeking symmetry in this cinematic taffy pull risks emerging from it with a pretzel for a brain.
  2. Who goes to the movies for 104 minutes of punishment? Where is John Wayne, now that we need him?
  3. Fruitvale Station lacks the same global impact as Milk, but it’s still a harrowing film worth seeing and honoring for boldness and insight. It’s one of the most sobering must-see movies of the summer.
  4. The result, in the case of Moonrise Kingdom, is what I call transcendentally brainless - an after school special aimed at asinine adolescents over the age of 40.
  5. The Descendants is a soap opera with Hawaiian shirts.
  6. An upscale, high-concept $40 million futuristic epic by the visionary South Korean director Bong Joon-ho. It’s too gruesome to recommend to everyone without reservation, but if you love movies, you can’t afford to miss it.
  7. Dallas Buyers Club represents the best of what independent film on a limited budget can achieve — powerful, enlightening and not to be missed.
  8. Among the most gripping, well-paced, acted and directed, and generally thrilling of anything that I've seen (yet) this year.
  9. Mr. Hanks, in yet another in a long line of diverse character studies, does a beautiful job as the voice of reason and logic, trying to inspire bravery and maintain order amid the noise and panic. In the big emotional scenes, as well as the small, nerve-jangling scenes, he is an artist at the top of his skill.
  10. For a story about a man who cannot move, the ordeal unfolds at a pace that keeps you breathless.
  11. A true masterpiece of visual enchantment. One of the most original and unique geniuses in cinema today, Mr. Chomet directed, wrote, illustrated and composed the music for this holiday jewel, an homage to the sweet, sad melancholia of the legendary French comic Jacques Tati.
  12. It is quirky, dark, much maligned by feminists and too slow for some tastes, but it's a work worth seeing again, and Ms. Weisz is wonderful in it.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It doesn’t happen all at once, nor does the film imply that coming to terms with one’s past is any kind of panacea. Grace’s problems are long term, but, like her adolescent charges, one has the sense she’ll get by.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Thankfully, refreshingly, The Spectacular Now never once feels like a cautionary tale.
  13. There’s no humanity in this grave disappointment that justifies the passion his fans feel for the father of the iMac. Steve Jobs and all of the characters around him fail to come to life in any absorbing fashion. They’re not real people; they’re all hashtags.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The most striking thing about the love between Ben and George, the two men the movie focuses on, is how natural it seems.
  14. Blue Valentine is about real life, warts and all, over narrative conventions like action and plot mechanics. It is brutal, compassionate, beautiful in its ugliness and one of the bravest films of the year.
  15. Elegant and wrenching, Coming Home is a quiet, haunting masterpiece.
  16. Heading toward his destination as a decent man facing ruin by doing the right thing, Mr. Hardy does a great job acting out the phases of anxiety frustration, confusion, exasperation and ultimate resolve — while working overtime to save a movie that takes place entirely on a cell phone from getting boring.
  17. It’s a riveting film and I understood every word.
  18. It’s an amalgam of dramatic all-American themes including ambition, paranoia, greed and the ice cubes in the blood that fuel the ruthless pursuit of success in the competitive world of sports. Color it hair-raising.
  19. The best thing about Beginners is the way it accepts every character in a nonjudgmental way.
  20. Exactly what you might expect from the fearless, controversial director of "Pulp Fiction" - it's overlong, raunchy, shocking, grim, exaggerated, self-indulgently over-the-top and so politically incorrect it demands a new definition of the term. It is also bold, original, mesmerizing, stylish and one hell of a piece of entertainment.
  21. Bond is back, and so is high-octane entertainment.
  22. Overwhelmed by bad country-western ballads, Two Step is flawed but it makes you laugh and cringe at the same time, and passes 90 minutes painlessly.
  23. In a film so ripe with temptations for posturing, exaggeration and satirical overacting, nobody is anything less than natural, unpretentious and funny as hell.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Despite a too-long third act, dragging action sequences and an epilogue that would have been better left on the cutting room floor, the wordy wit and ingenuity of The World’s End is a sloppy triumph over this summer’s other alien/robot hybrid flick, "Pacific Rim."
  24. 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.
  25. At 88, after nearly seven decades in show business, Ms. Stritch is sharp, funny, brittle, caustic, demanding, exaggerated, critical (especially of herself) and infuriating. She is also elaborately unique and awesomely brilliant.
  26. A lot of the information in The Martian will be incomprehensible to the lay audience and the climax is…well, not exactly original. But it makes for one hell of an entertaining ride.

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