New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 803 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 5.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 All Is Lost
Lowest review score: 0 To the Wonder
Score distribution:
803 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. It overcomes inescapable boxing and martial arts clichés and leaves you thoroughly sated, energized and wanting more.
  5. Its virtues are many and this filmed version of Hardy’s fourth novel is well worth seeing. It rises head and shoulders above most of what we’ve been seeing lately.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Laugh-out-loud funny and somewhat melancholic.
  6. 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    While the film plays lip service (perhaps one too many times) to the healing power of music, it is really about how self-deception fuels and sustains. It may not keep us alive, but it will keep us going while we here.
  7. 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.
  8. This one, by the jarringly untalented writer-director Shane Black, is merely violent, vulgar and stupid.
  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. The film works because of Mr. Harrelson's magnetism.
  13. I found Contagion both flawed and fascinating, but it's not an entertainment.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Told with a quiet cinematic bravura that somehow never calls attention to itself, this is a movie that captures, with singular intimacy and humanity, just how difficult it can be to communicate with the people you love the most.
  14. 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.
  15. Mr. Franco must have had a very boring adolescence, because Palo Alto is a very boring movie.
  16. Once in awhile, a movie comes along that is so touching and sincere, without a moment of false emotion or manipulative self-indulgence, that it establishes squatters’ rights and moves into your heart to stay.
  17. 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.
  18. Unfortunately, Hide Your Smiling Faces is so slow it could use a few action sequences to speed things up.
  19. Another example of concept over coherence, but the entertainment value is considerable.
  20. 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.
  21. It’s one of the most powerful films about the Arab-Israeli conflict that has ever been attempted on the screen.
  22. The question is, How big an audience is ready to relive the horror of a tragedy so close to home, especially in the light of the terrorist attacks that continue to assault our senses daily?
  23. You get compassion and intelligence instead of cracker-barrel homilies. And you get mesmerizing performances.
  24. The movie is nothing more than a labored series of skits that play like ideas from rejected TV pilots.
  25. Fair Game is an important exposé of corrupt political power gone toxic. It's good enough that it deserves to be better.
  26. 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.

Top Trailers