New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 688 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 5.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Brooklyn
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
688 movie reviews
  1. In a film so ripe with temptations for posturing, exaggeration and satirical overacting, nobody is anything less than natural, unpretentious and funny as hell.
  2. War Horse is a don't-miss Spielberg classic that reaches true perfection.
  3. It’s anyone’s guess whether the amazing Mr. Redmayne’s most prestigious performance will go down in the archives as Stephen Hawking in "The Theory of Everything" or as the tortured, androgynous woman trapped in a man’s body in The Danish Girl. But it’s a sure thing that he’ll be nominated for another Oscar.
  4. This first-cabin director returns to top form, with this revelatory film his best in years. More than that, Mao's Last Dancer is a masterpiece.
  5. A grisly, authentic, meticulously researched, pulse-quickening political chiller about a hot-button topic that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
  6. For a story about a man who cannot move, the ordeal unfolds at a pace that keeps you breathless.
  7. It’s a remarkable accomplishment.
  8. Wake in Fright is the closest a movie can get to a primal scream.
  9. This is the extraordinary biopic about the fascinating, complex and inspirational example set by genius cosmologist and physicist Stephen Hawking.
  10. Exactly what you might expect from the fearless, controversial director of "Pulp Fiction" - it's overlong, raunchy, shocking, grim, exaggerated, self-indulgently over-the-top and so politically incorrect it demands a new definition of the term. It is also bold, original, mesmerizing, stylish and one hell of a piece of entertainment.
  11. A sensitive, dewy-eyed yet mature performance by Saoirse Ronan is the appealing centerpiece of Brooklyn.
  12. Put a staggering accomplishment called The Impossible, from Spanish director J. A. Bayona, at the top of the season's must-see list.
  13. This is one of the best movies of 2012. With rich performances, a riveting and articulate screenplay, meticulous direction and enough grounded emotional intensity to keep your pulse pounding, Hitchcock grabs you by the lapels like a suspense classic by Hitch himself - a knockout from start to finish.
  14. What an extraordinary thrill to leave a movie exhilarated instead of drained, sated instead of empty, rejuvenated instead of depressed. It's a magical experience.
  15. Don't let Amour join the legion of "Best Films You Never Saw." I urge you to share its sweetness and wisdom, and learn something.
  16. Dallas Buyers Club represents the best of what independent film on a limited budget can achieve — powerful, enlightening and not to be missed.
  17. Get ready for a smash hit. Gimmicky but delicious, this is a valentine to the movies I promise you will cherish.
  18. The Sessions is fascinating, informative, engaging and heartbreaking stuff. Its easygoing, matter-of-fact tone makes it subtle and rewarding, not weird. Roses all around to all and sundry for one of the year's most captivating films.
  19. Acutely observed, subtly but sharply written and expertly acted.
  20. It’s profoundly moving and thoroughly mind provoking, but despite the poignant subject matter, I promise you will not leave Philomena depressed. I’ve seen it twice and felt exhilarated, informed, enriched, absorbed and optimistic both times.
  21. Everything works miraculously here, making Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky one of the most bountiful experiences of the year.
  22. A true masterpiece of visual enchantment. One of the most original and unique geniuses in cinema today, Mr. Chomet directed, wrote, illustrated and composed the music for this holiday jewel, an homage to the sweet, sad melancholia of the legendary French comic Jacques Tati.
  23. A master stroke of enchantment from one of the few legitimate cinematic geniuses of the modern cinema, with a nimble and tender performance of enormous elegance and charm by Colin Firth that is heart-meltingly romantic.
  24. Another must-see movie this year-end awards season (the other one is The Theory of Everything) is the brilliant encapsulation of one of the greatest stories of our time — the genius, heroism and ultimately shameful destruction of Alan Turing.
  25. Blue Valentine is about real life, warts and all, over narrative conventions like action and plot mechanics. It is brutal, compassionate, beautiful in its ugliness and one of the bravest films of the year.
  26. The year is not over, but I’ve already seen my favorite film of 2015. It’s Thomas McCarthy’s brilliant, responsible, galvanizing and unforgettable Spotlight.
  27. In beauty, tone, technical achievement and cinematic artistry on every level, Hyde Park on Hudson is a movie unto itself - funny, believable, historic and hugely entertaining.
  28. The keenly observed patterns of behavior and the witty, intimate dialogue pay off.
  29. A cynical, polished and deeply disturbing look at the kind of camera-ready liberal dreamboy who gets elected in 60-second sound bites, it is one of the most important films of the year.
  30. In Darkness is gloomy and hard to take for a running time of 145 minutes, but it's an important film, related with deep conviction, and uncompromising in its understanding of the remarkable things members of the human race have done - to, for, and against each other - in the wilderness of war.

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