New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 615 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 6.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Still Alice
Lowest review score: 0 From Paris with Love
Score distribution:
615 movie reviews
  1. Two lost souls on the highway of life — that’s what a well-acted but benign little trifle called Arthur Newman is about.
  2. The film is awkward, the situations tenuous and underdeveloped, the pacing torturous as a slow drip from a leaking faucet, and the narrative just plods along, with the body count rising for no clear reason.
  3. Mr. Spall, winner of the Cannes and New York Film Critics Circle best-actor awards, does his best to bring an unpleasant character to life — grunting and snorting like a boar ready to charge, spitting on his canvases and dragging around with a constant wince like a fat baby with colic. With all due respect, he’s too repulsive to watch for 150 minutes.
  4. A benign slice of life about suburban angst on Long Island. It's not much, but thanks to the noble efforts of a very good cast, I've seen worse.
  5. 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?
  6. Content to make movies for himself (Malick) that nobody else wants to see as long as he can find someone to foot the bill, he's also an iconoclast searching for significance. So am I, but not 138 minutes worth. Anyone seeking symmetry in this cinematic taffy pull risks emerging from it with a pretzel for a brain.
  7. Battleship is dopey, preposterous and unintentionally hilarious in all the wrong places, but as directed by Peter Berg, it is also energetic, fast-moving and bracing.
  8. 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.
  9. Let it be said that Ms. Streep is galvanizing, even as the film slogs through too much information and not nearly enough illumination.
  10. Gun Hill Road is worth seeing for the acting. The great character actress Miriam Colon makes a brief but memorable appearance as the strong matriarch of the household, and Ms. Santana, a true transgendered teen who has never acted before, is especially wrenching.
  11. By my rough calculation, the real Jack Ryan should be approximately 103. Preposterous but moderately engaging, Jack Ryan has outlived his welcome, and there’s no end in sight.
  12. To Rome with Love has moments of isolated charm, but it's only moderately entertaining, it isn't very funny, and it's entirely too long.
  13. The good twin/bad twin conceit in 2014 doesn’t have a shred of the original surprise, and Zoe Kazan doesn’t have the chops to carry it off anyway.
  14. 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.
  15. To be honest, I can rarely recall any film, on any subject, that made less sense.
  16. There are some lovely and moving things here, but over the long haul it’s more like watching an hour and a half of someone’s weekend trip to Knott’s Berry Farm.
  17. 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.
  18. Trading in her red locks for kohl-lined eyes like a raccoon and the vampire look of Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, [Chastain] is the spookiest thing in Mama. Everything else is cable television.
  19. It eventually fails, not because of its philosophical ideas, but because it introduces so many of them at the same time that even a viewer with a score pad can't keep up.
  20. A 2½-hour art film that is something of a well-intentioned mess.
  21. 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."
  22. In case you think Sarah Palin-You Betcha! is a hit job on an easy subject, see the movie and learn something. It's terrifying, but in all fairness, no disgrace, no rumor of extramarital affairs in office, no broadside is explored unless it can be substantiated.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's a sweet, harmless, meandering tale with an engaging gimmick, but a great love story - or a great movie - it's not.
  23. The film is worth seeing for the excellent ensemble work by a cast that, although diligent and appealing, remain somewhat less than thrilling. They do their best to plumb the depths of domestic dysfunction, but in the end, The Oranges does not quite deliver the goods.
  24. 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."
  25. The movie is not about the dog. It's about the people who find love, settle their differences, and get their priorities straight while searching for him. Still, when all is said and done, the dog is the only thing you care about in Darling Companion.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    In the end, 30 Minutes or Less is a tidy, entertaining nerd action movie that should provide a good distraction for viewers this summer.
  26. The film was shot in Louisiana, which looks nothing like Iowa. Nobody along the way seems to have a care in the world about cholesterol. And it's the first movie in history that makes Hugh Jackman look repulsive.
  27. 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.
  28. A movie only a hedge fund manager could love.

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