New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 574 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 Argo
Lowest review score: 0 V/H/S/2
Score distribution:
574 movie reviews
  1. The Descendants is a soap opera with Hawaiian shirts.
  2. Dallas Buyers Club represents the best of what independent film on a limited budget can achieve — powerful, enlightening and not to be missed.
  3. Among the most gripping, well-paced, acted and directed, and generally thrilling of anything that I've seen (yet) this year.
  4. 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.
    • 83 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.
  5. For a story about a man who cannot move, the ordeal unfolds at a pace that keeps you breathless.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. The best thing about Beginners is the way it accepts every character in a nonjudgmental way.
  12. 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.
  13. Bond is back, and so is high-octane entertainment.
  14. 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."
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Melancholia is his latest pile of undiluted drivel, nauseatingly filmed by a wonky hand-held camera and featuring a crazy, mismatched ensemble headed by Kirsten Dunst, who won an acting award in Cannes last year for looking totally catatonic.
  18. The original western won John Wayne a puzzling and undeserved Oscar for finally falling off his horse. Don't expect the same miracle for Jeff Bridges. In the numbing hands of pretentious filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen, history does not repeat itself in any way whatsoever.
  19. In one of the most wrenching performances I have seen on the screen in some time, it’s thrilling to watch a young actor with passion and charisma explore so many avenues of damage control with so much depth, allowing the viewer to grapple with an unsettling variety of personal emotions.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Senna's accomplishments are impressive, but his story seems more suited to an ESPN special than a feature-length film.
  20. The Sessions is fascinating, informative, engaging and heartbreaking stuff. Its easygoing, matter-of-fact tone makes it subtle and rewarding, not weird. Roses all around to all and sundry for one of the year's most captivating films.
  21. A joyous, well-researched and liberating film in the feel-good spirit of "Billy Elliot," "The Full Monty" and "Calendar Girls."
  22. It's all about personality and Joan's inimitable style, which fills every second of its 84 minutes.
  23. Preposterous, illogical, senselessly over-plotted and artificial as a ceramic artichoke, David Fincher’s Gone Girl is another splatterfest disguised as a psychological thriller about the disintegration of a murderous marriage that I find one of the year’s grossest disappointments.
  24. These are characters so repulsive that it's hard to care what happens to them, but it's to the credit of a superb cast that you do end up caring.
  25. It’s so elegant and dreamlike — such a departure from most vampire epics — that you won’t be bored. It also has a wicked sense of humor you usually don’t find in the genre.

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