New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 544 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 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 12 Years a Slave
Lowest review score: 0 The Paperboy
Score distribution:
544 movie reviews
  1. The kids make stunning debuts, but their accents are thicker than porridge, rendering a good 90 percent of the dialogue so unintelligible that it might as well be in Swahili. Some subtitles are provided out of necessity, but not enough.
  2. Another eccentric example of style over content, The Double stars creepy Jesse Eisenberg in two roles, when one is always more than enough.
  3. I think you’ll find it as fresh, original and breathlessly exciting as I did.
  4. The director’s vision is so dark — and Mr. Crowe’s grumbling, sour-stomach persona so much like a Tums commercial — that you don’t care much what happens to him or his ark, which looks like a big barge with a stove pipe in the middle.
  5. Haywire makes no sense whatsoever, which should come as no surprise. It's the latest brainless exercise in self-indulgence from Steven Soderbergh, whose films rarely make any sense anyway.
  6. Playing the cello is such a pleasant change of pace that he (Walken) eventually grows on you, scene by scene, proving for the first time since his role as Leonardo DiCaprio's troubled father 10 years ago in "Catch Me If You Can," that he really can act. He - along with the rest of the elegant cast - keeps A Late Quartet in tune when it threatens to go flat.
  7. A cynical, polished and deeply disturbing look at the kind of camera-ready liberal dreamboy who gets elected in 60-second sound bites, it is one of the most important films of the year.
  8. This futuristic tale of teenage violence is so not my kind of movie that I approached it grudgingly, so imagine my surprise when I ended up being totally exhilarated and enjoying it immensely.
  9. A structurally messy but emotionally effective coming of age movie that gets a lot of it right. High school is an ordeal only the fittest can survive.
  10. The movie is so clueless and time-warped it could be comprised of outtakes from "Father Knows Best."
  11. Flawed but bittersweet and enjoyable, this film may be the final chapter in a colorful and illustrious life.
  12. What emerges is time pleasantly spent with a slice of life that examines a romantic détente between two cultures. Like smoke from an Egyptian hookah, the melancholia lingers.
  13. The latest calcified bore by Sofia Coppola is less pretentious than "Marie Antoinette" but every bit as inertly stupefying as "Lost in Translation."
  14. The script is breezy, but neither of the two leads have the heft or charm to carry an entire feature-length film - separately or together.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Mr. Arestrup gives a full-bodied performance as the film’s most intriguing character, who blurs the line between senile irascibility and out and out malice.
  15. It's uneven, but its optimistic message-lost causes can find strength through friendship and bonding-is contagious.
  16. The result is a twitching convulsion of vicious drivel passing itself off as a movie, which can be best appreciated by the kind of people who dig "Showgirls," the "Saw" franchise and Spike Jonze-Charlie Kaufman flicks.
  17. It’s not perfect, but when it works, Byzantium towers above all of the romantic vampire slobber we’ve been getting lately. I fear that Dracula is watching from some moldy crypt somewhere, nodding approval.
  18. The actors are so exemplary that it is difficult to imagine this is not a documentary. They might not be household names, but they will be.
  19. Carefully directed and gorgeous to look at, with haunting performances and maximum suspense.
  20. He (Gordon-Levitt) can act, and there’s a possibility he can also direct, but there’s no evidence in Don Jon that he can do both at the same time.
  21. We know about Anne Frank's diary and Paul Verhoeven's masterpiece "Black Book," but director Martin Koolhoven has shed new light on what happened in Holland with a powerful and touching film.
  22. Neither another bland biopic about a self-destructive artist nor an historical scrapbook about a country in the grip of slavery, Black Butterflies is a dark, moving depiction of the life and death of a brave rebellious, idiosyncratic woman who made significant strides toward changing the world around her and paid a heavy toll for her passion.
  23. I think everything about the movie is too subtle and real to appeal to the "Batman" demographic, but for mature audiences who have forgotten how to smile, it takes up where "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' left off.
  24. The heart of the film derives from the fact that the more they all get to know each other, the more they all mature and their differences blend. The title comes from a lesson in Huckleberry Finn—that a lie is good if it helps others, the way Huck lied to save Jim from the slave traders.
  25. The effect is genuinely creepy, but do not even think of seeing Buried if you suffer from claustrophobia.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    The One I Love, Charlie McDowell’s debut feature, can’t decide what kind of film it wants to be. Atonal and aimless, it zigzags clumsily from mood to mood, without any clear direction.
  26. Best of all, I applaud the director's triumph of intimate terror over preposterous puppets and noisy computer-generated effects. In The Bay, the mayhem is both fresh and thrilling.
  27. It's when the music stops that we run into problems. For starters, there are so many questions left unanswered.
  28. What an extraordinary thrill to leave a movie exhilarated instead of drained, sated instead of empty, rejuvenated instead of depressed. It's a magical experience.

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