New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 826 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: 56
Highest review score: 100 Louder Than Bombs
Lowest review score: 0 Mojave
Score distribution:
826 movie reviews
  1. The terrific cast is well worth watching, but everything else about this wayward movie mistake leaves you feeling just awful.
  2. I wish all the agony in The Big Year was leading up to something fascinating in the end, but the most inviting thing in the movie was the exit door.
  3. Lincoln is also a colossal bore. It is so pedantic, slow-moving, sanitized and sentimental that I kept pinching myself to stay awake - which, like the film itself, didn't always work.
  4. Odd Thomas has high-speed chases, explosions, narrow escapes and masses of special effects—none special enough, I’m afraid, to save it from mediocrity.
  5. Empty, pointless and stupid, the barrage of gunfire called Welcome to the Punch is another unappealing entry in the overworked British gangster genre.
  6. As a film, though, Chlorine is as confusing as its title. Moviegoers be warned: With the skyrocketing cost of movie tickets (not to mention popcorn), this one is a bad investment.
  7. Ms. Carano still has a lot to learn about acting, but she’s certainly the one you want around in case of a home invasion.
  8. The script may be flawed and the narrative storytelling mechanical, but the period details are fascinating, the camerawork swaggers across a maze of squalid row houses and nightclub floors with visual velocity, and whenever either one Tom Hardy (or both) is onscreen, Legend is engrossing stuff indeed.
  9. Michael Caine is such a consummate actor that it's a major cause of concern to see him in Harry Brown, another hateful vigilante flick the wags in England have already labeled Dirty Harry Brown for reasons that are immediately obvious.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Why tell the Sleeping Beauty story anew? With this half-hearted film, Mr. Stromberg, the visual effects wizard behind such big-budget blockbusters as "Oz the Great and Powerful," "Alice in Wonderland" and "Avatar," can’t provide an answer.
  10. As a director, Mr. Crowe’s camera meanders all over the place; as an actor, he mumbles and growls his way through the carnage like it was nothing more important than a re-make of Gladiator, filmed on old sets from Gene Autry westerns.
  11. A sensitive career-changing performance by luminous Penélope Cruz dominates the Spanish film Ma Ma, but there’s no escaping the fact that the rest of it is not much more than a dreary, tear-stained soap opera.
  12. Danny Collins is nothing to write home about, but it kept me entertained without too much guilt, and I didn’t wince. By today’s American movie standards, that’s becoming very high praise indeed.
  13. Ms. Farmiga is the only one who seems to be having any fun, as an aging flower child stuck in an earlier decade and addicted to healing vortex workshops and primal screams. Mellow, but very much a work in progress, Goats has a bland but overcrowded menu that could benefit from a little feta.
  14. At least Gong is ravishing, which occasionally takes your mind off the gibberish that is going full tilt around her.
  15. 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.
  16. Like any good cautionary tale, Puncture tells a suspenseful story responsibly, creating food for thought and leaving the audience both enlightened and entertained.
  17. Despite its good intentions, this earnest little film seems embalmed.
  18. Armstrong is played by Ben Foster with an astonishing lack of animation or personality, and his literary prosecutor is played by the usually colorful, award-winning Chris O’Dowd with a dreariness that is stripped bare of his usual dynamism.
  19. A dreary bummer.
  20. Two lost souls on the highway of life — that’s what a well-acted but benign little trifle called Arthur Newman is about.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Live By Night boils over with ambience and charged with details, from Roaring 20s flapper costumes to shootouts in period cars, but too many aborted narratives in Affleck’s lifeless screenplay intertwine, fanning the confusion, while other subplots are abandoned altogether.
  24. 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.
  25. Anesthesia is a pile of incomprehensible existential gibberish by the vastly untalented actor-writer-director Tim Blake Nelson about the meaning of life in an age of technology, told in the tiresome style of multiple characters who intersect at odd angles in a follow-the-dots plot centered on a single tragic action.
  26. 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?
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The battle here is between the sincerity of the filmmakers’ intentions and the cynicism driving the film’s creation.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.

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