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 Blue Jasmine
Lowest review score: 0 The Paperboy
Score distribution:
681 movie reviews
  1. The tender magnetism of Blythe Danner turns an intelligent, sensitive story of love among the not so young into a work of art.
  2. Carefully directed and gorgeous to look at, with haunting performances and maximum suspense.
  3. A joyous, well-researched and liberating film in the feel-good spirit of "Billy Elliot," "The Full Monty" and "Calendar Girls."
  4. American Hustle is an essay on the brilliance of corruption.
  5. Handsomely mounted, skillfully acted, exquisitely photographed and genuinely touching, Testament of Youth is one of those rare film experiences that is just about perfect.
  6. The result is a movie of enormous intelligence.
  7. An upscale, high-concept $40 million futuristic epic by the visionary South Korean director Bong Joon-ho. It’s too gruesome to recommend to everyone without reservation, but if you love movies, you can’t afford to miss it.
  8. Mr. Hanks, in yet another in a long line of diverse character studies, does a beautiful job as the voice of reason and logic, trying to inspire bravery and maintain order amid the noise and panic. In the big emotional scenes, as well as the small, nerve-jangling scenes, he is an artist at the top of his skill.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Despite extremely unpleasant material, he (Schwimmer) coaxes subtle, incredible performances from his cast and builds a tense, arresting narrative.
  9. Deadfall is an above-average genre piece with a terrific cast that builds to a bloody Thanksgiving dinner shoot-out I found pretty close to unforgettable.
  10. Some people might blindly and inaccurately accuse this movie of attacking family values, but it has exactly the opposite effect. Touching and funny in their upheaval, the people in The Kids Are All Right open the door to a brand new examination of family values that leaves you charged and cheering.
  11. Don’t miss Tom at the Farm, the latest controversy in the oeuvre of acclaimed French-Canadian actor-writer-director Xavier Dolan, who has been labeled the “enfant terrible of queer cinema.”
  12. I tend to forget how marvelous Ellen Barkin can be until she gets the rare chance to pull out all the stops in a movie like this.
  13. Sensitively acted, carefully written and directed with heartfelt compassion, Bringing Up Bobby is an engrossing little independent film made on an austere budget in 22 days.
  14. Bryan Cranston brings the complex personality of Trumbo to life with substance and humor.
  15. It's a film that deserves to be seen, savored, debated and given serious attention.
  16. The kids make stunning debuts, but their accents are thicker than porridge, rendering a good 90 percent of the dialogue so unintelligible that it might as well be in Swahili. Some subtitles are provided out of necessity, but not enough.
  17. This film transcends its trendy, obvious limitations with enough vitality and vitriol to make it as informative and breathless as it is entertaining.
  18. Like "Moneyball," this is real movie making that packs a solid entertainment punch.
  19. Neither another bland biopic about a self-destructive artist nor an historical scrapbook about a country in the grip of slavery, Black Butterflies is a dark, moving depiction of the life and death of a brave rebellious, idiosyncratic woman who made significant strides toward changing the world around her and paid a heavy toll for her passion.
  20. Unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. What the bloodsuckers in this frolic actually do, in or out of the shadows, is make you laugh.
  21. The story behind Touching Home is more inspiring than the film itself, but don't let that deter you. It's the kind of can-do miracle that reminds us all that anything can happen and everything is possible.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It doesn’t happen all at once, nor does the film imply that coming to terms with one’s past is any kind of panacea. Grace’s problems are long term, but, like her adolescent charges, one has the sense she’ll get by.
  22. La Mission, carefully directed by Peter Bratt and beautifully photographed by award-winning cinematographer Hiro Narita (Never Cry Wolf), explores the human side of a culture we know almost nothing about, in a world usually exploited on film to depict drugs and danger.
  23. It keeps you creeped out and fascinated.
  24. True originality is so rare that it’s a treat to welcome a movie as completely different and provocative as Upside Down. It’s unlike anything you have ever seen.
  25. Based on a story by Edgar Allan Poe, directed with style and imagination by Brad Anderson (The Machinist), filmed in the creepy darkness of Bulgaria (you hardly get this kind of movie anymore), and starring an illustrious cast solid and dedicated enough to craft to make you believe they’re in a depraved version of Hamlet staged in Elsinore Castle, this is a movie that is several cuts above your usual straitjacket thriller. Enter at your own risk.
  26. Kristin Scott Thomas breathes new life into a woman who was invented by Flaubert and copied by Francoise Sagan.
  27. Force Majeure is a good movie, but as thought provoking as the ending is, it peters out ineffectually, while the actual staging of the avalanche to the crashing movements of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” seems vaguely comedic and disappointingly corny, if you ask me.
  28. It might prove to be too insular to appeal to a wider movie audience, but to a passionate Anglophile like me, Queen and Country is a funny and nostalgic portrait of a bleak, rationed postwar England still digging its way out of the rubble.

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