New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 681 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 5.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Midnight in Paris
Lowest review score: 0 The Color of Time
Score distribution:
681 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. A grand, shocking saga of a movie, The Homesman is the kind they don’t make much anymore.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. It’s a touching film that entertains with warmth and humor while teaching us something about history, law and justice with enormous heart, subtlety and compassion, brilliantly acted and skillfully written. Is there anything Helen Mirren cannot do?
  6. 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.
  7. Written with wit and nuance and sensitively directed by Maya Forbes, who makes a formidable feature-film debut, this is a movie that informs and entertains, with a centerpiece performance by the great, often underrated and always surprising Mark Ruffalo.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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."
  13. 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.
  14. Among the most gripping, well-paced, acted and directed, and generally thrilling of anything that I've seen (yet) this year.
  15. Considering the subject, ripe with titillating possibilities, it's surprisingly about as sexy as a week-old meat loaf. Tastefully directed by Tanya Wexler, it is a total joy from start to finish.
  16. This is their story. It is true. It is history. As a film, it is riveting, suspenseful, harrowing and exciting, and somehow, it also manages to be something rare among war pictures—a big-scale entertainment.
  17. What makes this one different is the dedication, commitment and sincerity the star brings to every aspect of the role. This is a pugilist with a heart.
  18. It’s a feel-good film with an infectious sense of fun and inspiration that brings out the best in people instead of catering to their lowest instincts.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    What is truly amazing, especially in this age of Ponzi schemes and the misappropriation of people’s life savings, is the fact that Herb and Dorothy have never sold a single piece in their collection.
  19. World War Z towers above every other alleged summer blockbuster. It’s the real deal.
  20. Every complex member of the writer’s legacy has an agenda, with varying gains and losses, and the power of the film rests in the way it captures so many tangled lives as they cross and intersect at curious angles. The camera is literal, so the film sometimes fails to escape its roots of literary inspiration. This did not bother me. How many times do you get the chance to curl up with a good movie?
  21. Lee Hirsch is certainly one who is making a difference. I endorse him and his brave, powerful movie and urge you to see it for yourself. You might leave Bully with rage, but you will not leave Bully with indifference.
  22. As Robin Williams’ final film, it tolls a wonderful bell for the legacy of a distinguished career.
  23. Too bleak and wrenching to recommend unconditionally. You need a strong constitution to watch it soberly, but it is a gripping experience that left me weak in the knees.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Laugh-out-loud funny and somewhat melancholic.
  24. Don't miss this one. A brave and inspired antidote to time-wasting mainstream movies, it is unlike anything you've seen before or will likely ever see again. In short, it is unforgettable.
  25. The heart of the film derives from the fact that the more they all get to know each other, the more they all mature and their differences blend. The title comes from a lesson in Huckleberry Finn—that a lie is good if it helps others, the way Huck lied to save Jim from the slave traders.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Lovelace may be a movie about a porn star, but it’s not pornographic. At least, not sexually.
  26. It's a delectable slice of Southern Gothic humor, a side show of rednecks and Bubbas and Aunt Tooties.
  27. This meticulously nuanced, sensitively acted film version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Lindsay-Abaire gives Nicole Kidman her best role in years, and she chews it like raw steak.

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