New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 870 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Casino Royale
Lowest review score: 0 All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
Score distribution:
870 movie reviews
  1. It’s sexy, violent and creepy, but damn if it didn’t keep me glued to my chair with tension.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    It is just that when some of its lines fall flat, pulling in portents of a future we all know well, it wakes us from a dream few of us want to be over.
  2. My reservations about Copperhead are outweighed by the noble intentions that inspired it.
  3. Written and directed with precision and sensitivity by Thomas McCarthy (The Station Agent), it revives the pleasant art of storytelling most of today’s young filmmakers have all but abandoned, and cures (temporarily, anyway) my allergy to Adam Sandler.
  4. The Girl sounds like a real mess. It isn’t. It’s just a slow, well-made human interest story on a very small scale, ultimately touching but as inconsequential as a slice of pineapple at a Hawaiian luau.
  5. Five Nights in Maine is too inconsequential to spend money on in a major release, which, I predict, will be brief.
  6. Die Another Day is the most thrilling, lavishly designed and imaginative Bond picture in years. It is also the most preposterous.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    In the small-town-conspiring-on-a-big-lie genre, The Grand Seduction doesn’t get near the mastery of 1998’s "Waking Ned Devine," but the shots of the village in Newfoundland, where it was filmed, are beautiful, and the local accents are convincing.
  7. Beautifully shot and reeking with style, Last Night is as slow as sorghum; nothing ever really happens.
  8. Nothing to line up for or write home about, but it’s a pleasant time-passer, not a regrettable time-waster.
  9. In this case two mesmerizing performances by Clive Owen and his astounding co-star, a remarkably adroit child actor named Jaeden Lieberher, who is going places fast.
  10. Watching Richard Gere’s charm and sweetness, as he turns into a metaphor for the nobodies of the world who hock their souls to be somebodies, is something very special indeed.
  11. The violence is intense, and at two hours and 12 minutes the movie is too long and the pace too leisurely to sustain it, but I wasn’t bored. When in doubt, bring on the Troglodytes.
  12. Certainly not a bad movie, but a disappointing one. It knocks itself out trying to break your heart, but it's too starched and blow-dried for its own good. Maybe if it had manipulated me less, it would have moved me more.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Has brief moments of levity and charm, but mostly it's depressing.
  13. It does have a dark, satisfyingly sinister feeling of gothic creepiness that I somewhat reluctantly admit appealed to my enjoyment of perversity as entertainment.
  14. Mr. Gere is miscast as Eddie, too naturally regal in bearing to be the screw-up he’s supposed to be, and for a broken man, he still moves with the same confidence as his younger self did in "An Officer and a Gentleman."
  15. 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.
  16. With a different cast and director, this movie would be just another fuzzily lit made-for-TV movie. But because of the performances and the rather gorgeous cinematography, one is left wishing that it just could have been something more.
  17. I found Contagion both flawed and fascinating, but it's not an entertainment.
  18. Has moments of heart-pounding suspense and brief glimmers of greatness, thanks to fine performances by Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan and Olivia Williams, but overall feels uneven, sprawling and strangely incomplete.
  19. I found Howl a fascinating and imaginative evocation of mid-20th-century liberation, a mere and merciful 90 minutes long.
  20. Historians are already calling Anonymous preposterous humbug, but I found it a complex cornucopia of ideas and panache. You go away sated.
  21. It’s a late-life coming-of-age story, and it’s not great. But she gives it all she’s got, and she’s never been sunnier or funnier.
  22. Despite the work of a first-rate cast, it doesn’t feel real to me.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The Grandmaster offers welcome relief from a moviegoing summer spent in sensory overload.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The film ends up getting stuck in a no man’s land between fiction and documentary, never quite coming together as a complete narrative.
  23. The film works because of Mr. Harrelson's magnetism.
  24. But the direction by Joe Johnston (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids) sacrifices originality for computer graphics and stop-motion camera tricks, and the script, by Andrew Kevin Walker and David Self, bulges with real howlers: “I didn’t know you hunted monsters.” “Sometimes monsters hunt you!”
  25. This is a movie about action, not acting, and although, under the circumstances, the cast does yeoman work in roles that can only be called generic, in the long haul they can’t save the script and direction from being sometimes boring and always predictable.

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