New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 527 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 6.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 I Am Love
Lowest review score: 0 Life During Wartime
Score distribution:
527 movie reviews
  1. The Trollhunter writers either have an abundance of imagination or they've been smoking a controlled substance.
  2. Even as a prime example of rotten summer silliness, this is a paralyzing experience.
  3. This is bargain-basement moviemaking, and looks it. Here's wishing Mr. Pierce a vigorous movie career, and better luck next time.
  4. Congenial is the word for Larry Crowne, but it's as flat as an ironing board.
  5. It's a stupid farrago of aborted ideas, misguided actors, lame direction, submental writing and follow-the-dots plotting that never comes anywhere within a 10-mile radius of what I used to call coherent filmmaking.
  6. What to say about an uphill slog called Crazy, Stupid, Love? It's not nearly crazy enough to clear the clogged arteries of summer comedies, and when the love appears, it's in all the wrong places. Oh well, at least they nailed the stupid part.
  7. The charm, versatility and charisma of Jason Bateman and the camera-ready good looks of Ryan Reynolds should add up to more than a piece of crummy, amateurish junk called The Change-Up.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    By the time the end finally comes, there's no relief. You're left with the vague recollection of an interesting movie you were watching before you got kidnapped and subjected to over an hour of torture porn starring a fat, sadistic clown.
  8. Artificial, irresponsible, filthy and forgettable, it knocks itself cross-eyed trying to make you roar with laughter at chemotherapy, with the nauseating Seth Rogen milking most of the yuks. But a stoner comedy about cancer? I don't think so.
  9. How many ways can a film go wrong? Too many to list, and Trespass finds them all.
  10. As a movie, it's so tightly framed you gasp from claustrophobia. As a film of cryptic boredom, I cannot believe the actors were able to say their lines without cue cards.
  11. Rarely has Mr. Gere walked through any movie with so little energy and so much indifference. I've seen more fervor on the face of a man parking a car.
  12. Movies like Sleeping Beauty are as sensual as cottage cheese, not to mention passé.
  13. You anticipate every scene before it happens and figure out every secret before it's revealed.
  14. Haywire makes no sense whatsoever, which should come as no surprise. It's the latest brainless exercise in self-indulgence from Steven Soderbergh, whose films rarely make any sense anyway.
  15. And there is Ewan McGregor, who makes entirely too many movies and only occasionally makes an effort to speak the kind of English anyone can understand.
  16. 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.
  17. All of which makes me sad about Denzel Washington's disillusioning participation. I forgive him if the money was irresistible enough to pay off a mortgage or put his kids through Harvard, but Safe House is total junk, and he is one of the producers.
  18. Gifted and sincere as she always is, there's not much Ms. Seyfried can do with this tripe.
  19. Detachment drives a coffin nail through a noble profession with such ruthless virulence that it makes no point at all.
  20. He (Owen) doesn't fail the movie. The movie fails him. As his wife, the superb Carice van Houten has so little to do or say - so peripheral a relation to everything else in the movie - that she seems to be an intruder herself.
  21. A creepfest so stupid it makes trashy slash-and-burn epics like "Humans Versus Zombies" and "I Spit on Your Grave" seem like Molière and Proust.
  22. The result, in the case of Moonrise Kingdom, is what I call transcendentally brainless - an after school special aimed at asinine adolescents over the age of 40.
  23. A nasty piece of work that's been hanging around for two years looking for an audience.
  24. Red Lights goes astray on so many levels that I gave up trying to figure it out before the end of the second reel.
  25. These are neither good people nor interesting savages, and they're not worth caring about. Neither is the movie.
  26. Halfheartedly, I give The Dark Knight Rises - the third and final Batflick in the Nolan trilogy - one star for eardrum-busting sound effects and glaucoma-inducing computerized images in blinding Imax, but talk about stretching things.
  27. Director Lloyd leaves it all to the imagination, but in a movie this slow and indecisive, the imagination is no longer enough when we've seen stronger stuff elsewhere.
  28. The script is breezy, but neither of the two leads have the heft or charm to carry an entire feature-length film - separately or together.
  29. Call The Master whatever you want, but lobotomized catatonia from what I call the New Hacks can never take the place of well-made narrative films about real people that tell profound stories for a broader and more sophisticated audience. Fads come and go, but as Walter Kerr used to say, "I'll yell tripe whenever tripe is served."

Top Trailers