New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 514 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 6.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 The Railway Man
Lowest review score: 0 To the Wonder
Score distribution:
514 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Resonating with warmth and sardonic wit and containing a majestic performance by Robert Duvall.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Blue Caprice, a disturbingly intimate look at the Beltway sniper attacks of 2002, isn’t a horror film, but it certainly feels like one.
  3. It’s profoundly moving and thoroughly mind provoking, but despite the poignant subject matter, I promise you will not leave Philomena depressed. I’ve seen it twice and felt exhilarated, informed, enriched, absorbed and optimistic both times.
  4. It’s a remarkable accomplishment.
  5. My biggest problem with Flight is not the unanswered questions it raises, but the eleventh-hour epiphany just in time for a happy ending. Maybe I'm naturally cynical, but I simply don't believe that people are basically good at heart - and I don't buy into sudden salvation. Otherwise, Flight is one hell of an entertainment.
  6. It’s to the star’s immense credit that his spellbinding appeal provides a tension that the script’s funereal pace often lacks.
  7. Creepy and serenely suspenseful, Martha Marcy May Marlene is a riveting study in what it's like to escape from a physically, psychologically abusive cult, and how hard it is to return to normal life after being brainwashed.
  8. As a movie, it's so tightly framed you gasp from claustrophobia. As a film of cryptic boredom, I cannot believe the actors were able to say their lines without cue cards.
  9. I can't imagine what attracted these two megahunks to such a bore.
  10. This meticulously nuanced, sensitively acted film version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Lindsay-Abaire gives Nicole Kidman her best role in years, and she chews it like raw steak.
  11. The movie knocks itself unconscious trying to be offbeat, but instead of cinematic heart, the director self-indulges in cinematic art, drowning the whole thing in freeze frames, slow-motion and color-coding, owing everything he knows to the worst of Jean-Luc Godard and Wes Anderson.
  12. Mr. Baumbach has a knack for capturing real-life dialogue--particularly and hilariously how people tend not to listen to the person on the other side of the conversation.
  13. It's a delectable slice of Southern Gothic humor, a side show of rednecks and Bubbas and Aunt Tooties.
  14. Mr. Fiennes admirably humanizes the characters while exploring their contradictions and emphasizing their feelings. But his no-frills direction is a bit stodgy for my taste, and although this is not the Dickens you’d ever pay to hear read "Little Dorrit," there’s more vitality in his performance than the film itself.
  15. Enough is enough. One good thing: The jungle scenes were shot in Hawaii, so at least they all got a paid vacation.
  16. Sensational entertainment. This $100 million extravaganza is — let’s face it — rampantly over the top. Hell, it’s by Martin Scorsese, who is always over the top.
  17. For the Edgerton brothers and for their protagonists, The Square works on several levels, as it shows how far two people will go for love and profit--in more ways than one.
  18. What it turns out to be is a preposterous puzzle that fails every test under scrutiny, leaving the spectator with a “Huh?” that is meant to be uttered only while chewing gum.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    You will take pleasure in the performances of three top-notch actors — Dakota Fanning, who has matured into a fine young film star, Jesse Eisenberg, frighteningly brooding, and the always excellent Peter Sarsgaard.
  19. Acutely observed, subtly but sharply written and expertly acted.
  20. I'd like to tell you just how bad Inception really is, but since it is barely even remotely lucid, no sane description is possible.
  21. Lee Hirsch is certainly one who is making a difference. I endorse him and his brave, powerful movie and urge you to see it for yourself. You might leave Bully with rage, but you will not leave Bully with indifference.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    David Lowery’s quietly beautiful new film, his most ambitious to date, is at first glance a standard love story, set in the American West of what appears to be the early 1970s. Over time, however, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints transcends its plot, revealing itself as a cinematic meditation on the daunting power of loneliness.
  22. In Darkness is gloomy and hard to take for a running time of 145 minutes, but it's an important film, related with deep conviction, and uncompromising in its understanding of the remarkable things members of the human race have done - to, for, and against each other - in the wilderness of war.
  23. It still has a long way to go before the term Mumblecore (which sounds like a Harry Potter major at Hogwart's) can be confused with the term Class Act.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    What is truly amazing, especially in this age of Ponzi schemes and the misappropriation of people’s life savings, is the fact that Herb and Dorothy have never sold a single piece in their collection.
  24. When it comes to thrillers, this one is as good as it gets. Not for the squeamish, but for anyone who loves movies, it’s too exhilarating to miss.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The psychological payoffs outweigh any implausibilities. And what's the harm in logging off your network for a few hours to indulge in some good old-fashioned science fiction?
  25. Dreary, depressing and desultory, A Most Wanted Man is not my cup of Schokolade mit Schlagsahne.

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