New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 585 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 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Still Alice
Lowest review score: 0 All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
Score distribution:
585 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Put a staggering accomplishment called The Impossible, from Spanish director J. A. Bayona, at the top of the season's must-see list.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Dallas Buyers Club represents the best of what independent film on a limited budget can achieve — powerful, enlightening and not to be missed.
  7. Get ready for a smash hit. Gimmicky but delicious, this is a valentine to the movies I promise you will cherish.
  8. 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.
  9. Acutely observed, subtly but sharply written and expertly acted.
  10. 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.
  11. Everything works miraculously here, making Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky one of the most bountiful experiences of the year.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. It’s an amalgam of dramatic all-American themes including ambition, paranoia, greed and the ice cubes in the blood that fuel the ruthless pursuit of success in the competitive world of sports. Color it hair-raising.
  20. A grand, shocking saga of a movie, The Homesman is the kind they don’t make much anymore.
  21. Not since "The Straight Story," when Richard Farnsworth traveled all the way from Iowa to Wisconsin by lawn mower to see his dying brother, have the wisdom, innocence and pride of a senior citizen combined so powerfully as a metaphor for the courage to face mortality. Unforgettable.
  22. As a bare-knuckle assault on the corruption that has come to define the creeping rot of American politics, Knife Fight is neither as satirical as Barry Levinson's "Wag the Dog" nor as incisive and wrenching as George Clooney's "The Ides of March," but it's a noble, shocking and inspired film worthy of attention.
  23. In one of the most wrenching performances I have seen on the screen in some time, it’s thrilling to watch a young actor with passion and charisma explore so many avenues of damage control with so much depth, allowing the viewer to grapple with an unsettling variety of personal emotions.
  24. The end result of this stoned-cold picnic is both haphazardly successful and somewhat disappointing, but it’s worth seeing, thanks enormously to the tremendous charisma of Sam Rockwell.
  25. The movie is wrenchingly slow — you know from the start that nothing is ever going to happen — but Nebraska has a charm that grows on you like a lichen, a wicked sense of humor that makes you laugh in spite of yourself, a concealed heart soft as a Hostess Twinkie, and a generous, welcome respect for the basic decency of the human race, more valuable than any lottery ticket.
  26. I think everything about the movie is too subtle and real to appeal to the "Batman" demographic, but for mature audiences who have forgotten how to smile, it takes up where "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' left off.
  27. This is a subtle, elegant and altogether triumphant film about a subject I thought I was tired of, told with an artistry and freshness that is positively thrilling.
  28. Flawed but different, well-crafted and consistently powerful, At Any Price is the best film about impoverished farmers in the economic agricultural crisis since Jean Renoir’s "The Southerner."
  29. Enhanced by superb writing and direction and nuanced performances by an ensemble of great actors, and enough take-home food for thought to keep the mind and senses totally focused from start to finish, The Company Men is pretty damn close to as good as it gets in a disappointing year at the movies.
  30. Among the most gripping, well-paced, acted and directed, and generally thrilling of anything that I've seen (yet) this year.

Top Trailers