New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 479 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 5.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 What Maisie Knew
Lowest review score: 0 American Mary
Score distribution:
479 movie reviews
  1. Entertaining dialogue and a collection of tightly knit performances — especially a wonderful, unexpectedly funny star turn by Andy Garcia — make At Middleton a nice surprise.
  2. Whatever you think of Mr. Gibson, whatever he has lost, he still has talent, and here displays acting of power and resonance. It's a pleasure, for a change, to see the best side of his split personality at work.
  3. The point of The Iceman is “Even monsters are human,” but it takes a great actor to make a dubious theme convincing.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Despite extremely unpleasant material, he (Schwimmer) coaxes subtle, incredible performances from his cast and builds a tense, arresting narrative.
  4. Director Gilles Paquet-Brenner has done an elegant job of reducing a complex piece with many components into a riveting narrative that grabs you by the lapels and refuses to loosen its grip.
  5. I expected more from a movie about the most feared man in America for half a century. Whatever else you think about him, in retrospect, he had balls of brass - an essential quality replaced in J. Edgar by dull indifference.
  6. Intelligent, dignified and emotionally satisfying.
  7. These are neither good people nor interesting savages, and they're not worth caring about. Neither is the movie.
  8. Directed with a pulsating fervor by Neil Burger, Limitless is absurd but entertaining action-adventure escapism. Bradley Cooper is versatile and virile, and a valiant leading man.
  9. A movie only a hedge fund manager could love.
  10. A grisly, authentic, meticulously researched, pulse-quickening political chiller about a hot-button topic that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
  11. It’s rare to see a film directed by a woman who knows more about men than they themselves do. With Handsome Harry, the widely respected independent filmmaker Bette Gordon has hit a bull’s eye.
  12. As agreeable as she is to watch, the disappointing thing I feel is that she plays everything the same way. For a film about one person that reveals so little about the subject, 94 minutes is longer than it sounds. My advice is to wait for the DVD. This is definitely a movie to watch with a remote control.
  13. Plotless and almost mute, To the Wonder is the kind of fiasco that keeps film-festival programmers salivating and discriminating audiences stampeding toward the exit doors. It’s a simpering yawn that makes "The Tree of Life" seem like an action thriller with Bruce Willis. It is about … nothing.
  14. The brilliant screenplay by Mr. Letts sets up the narrative story of the Weston clan in a carefully constructed series of episodes in which the family history is finally revealed. There’s great acting in every frame, but by the end of the ordeal, the viewer may be too exhausted to care.
  15. It does have a dark, satisfyingly sinister feeling of gothic creepiness that I somewhat reluctantly admit appealed to my enjoyment of perversity as entertainment.
  16. In the often illustrious career oeuvre of Clint Eastwood, Trouble with the Curve is a minor entry, a cinematic footnote.
  17. We Bought a Zoo has more soul than substance, but I'll be darned if it didn't put a smile on my face and keep it there.
  18. Okay, The Prey is ridiculous hokum that proves the French can make overwrought Hollywood thrillers with the same indefatigable energy and implausible realism as anyone else. It is also a slick, suspenseful adrenalin rush disguised as unexpected, nerve-wracking fun.
  19. Don’t be misled by the title Leaves of Grass. Do not expect literacy, either. This stoner comedy has nothing whatsoever to do with Walt Whitman or poetry of any kind.
  20. Wrenching, profound and beautifully made, The Railway Man is one of the stunning don’t-miss surprises of the still-young 2014.
  21. This one is so bad it’s hilarious. Sheri Moon Zombie is no Mia Farrow, Rob Zombie is no Roman Polanski, and The Lords of Salem seems to have been made by people on the rubber bus headed for a rubber room with bars on the windows.
  22. You go away slack-jawed with shock and sated with the chilling bedtime-story elements of a great unsolved mystery novel you can't put down.
  23. Movies like Sleeping Beauty are as sensual as cottage cheese, not to mention passé.
  24. It has warmth, humor and an understated sweetness that is not to be taken for granted.
  25. In a movie without adults, the children are spontaneous and natural. And Ms. Ronan is captivating throughout.
  26. Although the going is so sluggish at times that the film often looks like it needs artificial respiration, stick it out. The end result is oddly entertaining.
  27. A middling attempt to peek through a lace curtain for a glimpse of the other Upstairs/Downstairs staff members only leads to too many distracting social functions that fail to relieve the film's otherwise solemn pacing.
  28. Jane Fonda's first French-speaking film in 40 years finds her leading a joyous ensemble of septuagenarians in a sweet, thoughtful and spirited examination of how to grow old with dignity and pride in a regrettable era when senior citizens have been reduced to the status of a political agenda.
  29. It's still worth seeing for its two dazzling centerpieces.

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