New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 861 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 5.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Freeheld
Lowest review score: 0 All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
Score distribution:
861 movie reviews
  1. It’s a routine story, worth seeing for the galvanizing (pulverizing?) star performance by a smashing Liev Schreiber in the title role.
  2. Sleep Tight is a creepy - but highly effective and superbly made - horror movie from Spain in which the monster is spine-tinglingly human.
  3. Nothing in it comes close to the magic, the originality or the everlasting entertainment value of the original, which only cost $2.777 million and didn’t use a single computer-generated graphic. This says more about how much better movies were in 1939 than they are today. Still, I had enough fun to predict that history (or at least a tiny piece of it) seems destined to repeat itself. People just can’t get enough of this stuff.
  4. The awkward results are too contrived for comfort.
  5. Leonie is a rich tapestry of cross-cultural revelations, released to the public at last, and a welcome addition to an otherwise dreary movie season.
  6. From this less than enchanting excuse for a feature-length movie comes 5 to 7, featuring delicious performances, extremely witty dialogue without the customary Hollywood television punch lines, a convincing believability quotient, and some beautiful cameos, especially by Glenn Close and Frank Langella as Mr. Yelchin’s disapproving but modern, adaptable parents.
  7. The real star of the film is the magnetic, forceful and charismatic Matthew Fox, who steals the entire film as easily as if he were pitching a softball.
  8. We know about Anne Frank's diary and Paul Verhoeven's masterpiece "Black Book," but director Martin Koolhoven has shed new light on what happened in Holland with a powerful and touching film.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Mr. Rudd imbues Ned with an easy, charming sweetness and unpatronizing wisdom that make him seem simply guileless, not stupid. Indeed, the greatest flaw of Our Idiot Brother is in making Ned too saintly - despite the title, it's clearly the sisters who are the morons.
  9. 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.
  10. The theme is nothing new, and the film has no shortage of clumsy biopic clichés, but sometimes we need to see the simplicity of humanity at its best. On that score, this movie delivers in spades.
  11. Mr. Fiennes admirably humanizes the characters while exploring their contradictions and emphasizing their feelings. But his no-frills direction is a bit stodgy for my taste, and although this is not the Dickens you’d ever pay to hear read "Little Dorrit," there’s more vitality in his performance than the film itself.
  12. It doesn’t eventually add up to much, but the acting is deeply sincere, and I was touched in unexpected places.
  13. Every generation gets a new one, and this time, replete with computer graphics and singing mice, Kenneth Branagh has created a live-action fairy tale that pulls out every stop and spares no expense.
  14. 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?
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The show, however, belongs to Batman and Will Arnett. This is a movie that will be enjoyed heartily and repeatedly.
  15. 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.
  16. Paddington is a harmless delight that blends live action with animated technology in the manner of "Ted," but without the raunch.
  17. A thoughtful coming-of-age story with bracing performances, solid writing and direction by John Gray and inescapable take-home values that give you a feel-good lift.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The psychological payoffs outweigh any implausibilities. And what's the harm in logging off your network for a few hours to indulge in some good old-fashioned science fiction?
  18. The actors are superb. The nuanced writing and direction have insight. The three-dimensional portrayals of women in the rural South during the war are praiseworthy.
  19. Walking With the Enemy is a powerful piece of filmmaking that examines history and heroism with big-screen artistry, imagination and thrills.
  20. Seeking Justice is an intense thriller so full of shocks it keeps you wired from start to finish.
  21. Ms. Deneuve has been directed by everyone from François Truffaut to Roman Polanski, but she has gone on the record saying she has a special rapport with Mr. Ozon (the 2002 film "8 Women" remains a classic). He brings out such a loopy delicacy in her that she shines-a charming, witty centerpiece from start to finish.
  22. Kate Beckinsale is marvelous as a ruthless baddie in a bustier, and in summation, Love & Friendship gives off a lovely, restrained glow at a time in films when almost everything else has the subtlety of headlights.
  23. It’s so elegant and dreamlike — such a departure from most vampire epics — that you won’t be bored. It also has a wicked sense of humor you usually don’t find in the genre.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    You will take pleasure in the performances of three top-notch actors — Dakota Fanning, who has matured into a fine young film star, Jesse Eisenberg, frighteningly brooding, and the always excellent Peter Sarsgaard.
  24. A lot of the information in The Martian will be incomprehensible to the lay audience and the climax is…well, not exactly original. But it makes for one hell of an entertaining ride.
  25. There is a lot to admire here. Writer-director Alejandro Monteverde (Bella) is not afraid to take his time letting you get to know the characters or moving things along, but the movie never seems ponderous.
  26. Another war biopic opening on Christmas day, with tight, two-fisted direction by Clint Eastwood, and a compelling centerpiece performance by Bradley Cooper.

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