New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 585 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 Still Alice
Lowest review score: 0 All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
Score distribution:
585 movie reviews
  1. The result is a movie of enormous intelligence.
  2. Unpredictable, with a twisted surprise around each corner, Big Bad Wolves is a clever and arresting shocker from a country where blood and gore on the screen are least expected.
  3. This is not a movie for everybody, but that assessment is not exactly intended as a thumbs down. Alarming thrills are guaranteed.
  4. Elegant and understated, Belle is a true story about the effects of slavery on 18th-century England, told in the style of a sweeping romantic saga by Jane Austen or the Brontë sisters.
  5. A filthy, pretentious, brutally violent and utterly pointless load of rubbish called Killing Them Softly.
  6. It never scales the cinematic heights or reaches the same groundbreaking level as "Saving Private Ryan," but it’s intensely ferocious and relentlessly rough on the senses. You’ll know you’ve been to war, and not on the Hollywood front.
  7. Hey, Boo solves the mystery of Boo, and also, to some degree, the mystery of Harper Lee. It's a fine film, well worth seeing.
  8. Lazy, eccentric, chain-smoking and accident-prone, Mr. Murray gives ’em what they clamor for. His eventual redemption as a saint in disguise is predictable. The direction is negligent and the jokes are mild. It’s an O.K. little picture that doesn’t really go anywhere, but it has a resonance that is easy on the heart.
  9. The Grey avoids smug clichés, takes you to places you least expect and settles for no comfortable solutions, while it explores the dark shadows of the male psyche and finds more emotional fragility there than you find in the usual phony macho myths from Hollywood.
  10. Ms. Cardellini plays it like a zombie, and she isn't helped by all the loitering camera angles and repetitive close-ups of her head framed against car windows. It's a worthy subject, ploddingly explored in a film that is too modest for its own good.
  11. The two-handed duet at the center of Love Crime radiates, but the parade of easily parodied men who stomp in and out of their corporate offices just seem like script rejects from "Mad Men."
  12. More bitter, bleak lives of American mill workers without a compass and no place to go if they had one are showcased in the pessimistic drama Out of the Furnace. It’s getting to be a dismal film director’s obsession bordering on cliché.
  13. A tedious exercise in tedium.
  14. I found Howl a fascinating and imaginative evocation of mid-20th-century liberation, a mere and merciful 90 minutes long.
  15. Shot by Barry Ackroyd, the same cinematographer who filmed "The Hurt Locker," and using the same camera techniques, this movie looks like outtakes from a much better film.
  16. World War Z towers above every other alleged summer blockbuster. It’s the real deal.
  17. This gruesome thriller set in a fogbound insane asylum is incomprehensible and fatally flawed, but having said all of that, I will also say this: It never seems anything less than the work of a skillful film buff. Mr. Scorsese may be a smart aleck, but he’s a professional smart aleck.
  18. In this overly familiar and ultimately meandering exercise in tedium, Mr. Burns also plays the lead.
  19. 42
    It’s a perfectly unexceptional but slickly made, sincerely acted, often entertaining, sometimes manipulative and always watchable blend of action on the diamond and bravery behind the scenes that will please baseball fanatics more than movie historians. It’s a good enough biopic to make you wish it were a better motion picture.
  20. In a bravura performance that is the primary don't-miss reason for its existence, he (Carlyle) gives California Solo all he's got; even in scenes that just exist to pass the time, his presence informs the essence of the man he plays and the humanity of the film itself.
  21. When this sick, ludicrous cocktail of sex, violence and mayhem was first unveiled a year ago at the Toronto International Film Festival, one wag aptly described it as "the ghost of Tennessee Williams meets the spirit of Quentin Tarantino."
  22. As an epic of awesome achievement, it never bores.
  23. The lugubrious pop songs by Gregg Alexander are execrable. Ms. Knightley isn’t remotely believable as a bike-riding pop singer. The saving grace is Mark Ruffalo, the only actor on the premises who shows any grit or passion for his character or for the music business.
  24. Nimble, off the beaten track and very entertaining, it’s the cinematic equivalent of a lava lamp.
  25. Directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland), it’s basically another tough genre workout that is all too familiar, with enough tension and violence to keep an audience alert if not riveted.
  26. Wonderful, honest and low-key performances inform and enhance The Yellow Handkerchief, an otherwise unexceptional little drama.
  27. Ted
    Most of Ted eludes description, analysis and explanation. You just have to hold onto your own certifiable sense of humor and let Mr. MacFarlane take you where he wants to go. Then get out of the way and enjoy it.
  28. Too bleak and wrenching to recommend unconditionally. You need a strong constitution to watch it soberly, but it is a gripping experience that left me weak in the knees.
  29. Boring and sedentary, not to mention only occasionally coherent, this creaking-door mystery is not much of a vehicle to display young Mr. Radcliffe's range and charm.
  30. It's a Clint Eastwood role that only proves you can't send a boy to do a man's job.

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