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. Lena Dunham makes a 98-minute home video seem like 98 days of hard labor.
  2. It’s far superior to what usually comes out of the British slums in the genre of gangland thrillers.
  3. It's a fatiguing, low-key character study that drags along annoyingly and pleads for patience, but stick with it and you'll find the engrossing centerpiece performance by Ms. Theron a captivating reward that is well worth the effort.
  4. 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.
  5. Not everything from Ireland travels as well as the whiskey. Like mud-thick porridge, Shadow Dancer, another dreary, confusing conspiracy thriller about the Irish “troubles,” is one of them.
  6. It overcomes inescapable boxing and martial arts clichés and leaves you thoroughly sated, energized and wanting more.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Laugh-out-loud funny and somewhat melancholic.
  7. As much as I liked it, I have to admit Run & Jump is a work of no action — of love unrequited, feelings unexpressed and goals never reached. Sitting through it requires great patience. I don’t think this is an Ireland that would interest John Ford.
  8. Unlike most alleged Hollywood rom-coms, Like Crazy is delicate, uplifting and definitely worth investigating.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    By the time the end finally comes, there's no relief. You're left with the vague recollection of an interesting movie you were watching before you got kidnapped and subjected to over an hour of torture porn starring a fat, sadistic clown.
  9. Sleep Tight is a creepy - but highly effective and superbly made - horror movie from Spain in which the monster is spine-tinglingly human.
  10. Director Dolan gets the feeling of emptiness so right that anyone who has ever known the heartbreak of a crushing affair can easily identify, even with subtitles.
  11. Surreal but disappointingly drab, it's still not the best Almodovar in years. Despite the usual Almodovar plot twists, kinky sex and themes of sexual identity reversal, gender bending and mad desire, the cult auteur has gone off the tracks and lost his compass.
  12. Another must-see movie this year-end awards season (the other one is The Theory of Everything) is the brilliant encapsulation of one of the greatest stories of our time — the genius, heroism and ultimately shameful destruction of Alan Turing.
  13. The film works because of Mr. Harrelson's magnetism.
  14. I found Contagion both flawed and fascinating, but it's not an entertainment.
  15. Unfortunately, Hide Your Smiling Faces is so slow it could use a few action sequences to speed things up.
  16. The results are variable, exasperating, challenging, often both disappointing and exhilarating. These elements surface throughout Happy Christmas, often simultaneously. Mr. Swanberg is not a total amateur, but he is called “a doodler” for obvious reasons, all of them on red alert here.
  17. Mr. Franco must have had a very boring adolescence, because Palo Alto is a very boring movie.
  18. What some critics praise as astute and compelling, I find juvenile and fraught with hysteria. There's no arc here, no real pathos, and the direction is like watching snow melt on the side of a road.
  19. Solitary Man comes on the heels of last year's "A Serious Man" and "A Single Man," so it's small wonder that confusion reigns. But this film, co-directed by David Levien and Brian Koppelman (who also wrote the screenplay), is the best of the three.
  20. It’s one of the most powerful films about the Arab-Israeli conflict that has ever been attempted on the screen.
  21. You get compassion and intelligence instead of cracker-barrel homilies. And you get mesmerizing performances.
  22. Fair Game is an important exposé of corrupt political power gone toxic. It's good enough that it deserves to be better.
  23. Enhanced by superb writing and direction and nuanced performances by an ensemble of great actors, and enough take-home food for thought to keep the mind and senses totally focused from start to finish, The Company Men is pretty damn close to as good as it gets in a disappointing year at the movies.
  24. What will happen to the man-boy when he's all man and can no longer slouch about in baggy pants and hoodie sweatshirts with perpetually flushed cheeks?
  25. There is no hope on the horizon for movies as leaden as The Exploding Girl.
  26. Sightseers is a morose, unsettling blend of pathology for sport and murder for laughs.
  27. I can tell you only that this is a film unlike anything I've seen before-harrowing, haunting and sordid. Be forewarned, it is not for the squeamish. But take a chance and you will be rewarded with a work of nightmarish force that is unforgettable.
  28. What to say about an uphill slog called Crazy, Stupid, Love? It's not nearly crazy enough to clear the clogged arteries of summer comedies, and when the love appears, it's in all the wrong places. Oh well, at least they nailed the stupid part.

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