New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 745 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 6.1 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 Lovers
Score distribution:
745 movie reviews
  1. An unrecognizable Michael Keaton seems to have aged 40 years since the last time he appeared on the screen, but he’s still the best (i.e., only) reason to suffer through a miserable load of deranged, deluded crap masquerading as a black comedy called Birdman.
  2. Call The Master whatever you want, but lobotomized catatonia from what I call the New Hacks can never take the place of well-made narrative films about real people that tell profound stories for a broader and more sophisticated audience. Fads come and go, but as Walter Kerr used to say, "I'll yell tripe whenever tripe is served."
  3. Who goes to the movies for 104 minutes of punishment? Where is John Wayne, now that we need him?
  4. The result, in the case of Moonrise Kingdom, is what I call transcendentally brainless - an after school special aimed at asinine adolescents over the age of 40.
  5. There’s no humanity in this grave disappointment that justifies the passion his fans feel for the father of the iMac. Steve Jobs and all of the characters around him fail to come to life in any absorbing fashion. They’re not real people; they’re all hashtags.
  6. Melancholia is his latest pile of undiluted drivel, nauseatingly filmed by a wonky hand-held camera and featuring a crazy, mismatched ensemble headed by Kirsten Dunst, who won an acting award in Cannes last year for looking totally catatonic.
  7. The original western won John Wayne a puzzling and undeserved Oscar for finally falling off his horse. Don't expect the same miracle for Jeff Bridges. In the numbing hands of pretentious filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen, history does not repeat itself in any way whatsoever.
  8. Before the carnage ends, the entire cast has been tortured, mutilated and murdered by so many weapons it’s hard to keep them straight. When the shotguns, box cutters and machetes run out, it’s time to cue the flesh-eating attack dogs.
  9. At a time when every penny counts, where do they come up with the money to finance a movie this boring?
  10. I certainly wish Ms. Johansson hadn’t shown up at all. She’s never less than interesting to watch, but Under the Skin is a big waste of her time.
  11. Halfheartedly, I give The Dark Knight Rises - the third and final Batflick in the Nolan trilogy - one star for eardrum-busting sound effects and glaucoma-inducing computerized images in blinding Imax, but talk about stretching things.
  12. Ambiguous and ludicrous at the same time, director Mr. Nichols (Mud) claims to have structured Midnight Special as a fast-moving thriller, but it’s slow as an inchworm and about as thrilling as buttermilk. Clearly, he’s been watching too many Christopher Nolan movies.
  13. As a movie, it's so tightly framed you gasp from claustrophobia. As a film of cryptic boredom, I cannot believe the actors were able to say their lines without cue cards.
  14. A pointless, pathetic and profoundly boring send-up of universally acknowledged anti-social author Philip Roth, Listen Up Philip is a juvenile experiment in pretentious idiosyncrasy by amateurish writer-director Alex Ross Perry. He calls his miserable protagonist Philip Friedman, but who’s kidding who?
  15. The movie knocks itself unconscious trying to be offbeat, but instead of cinematic heart, the director self-indulges in cinematic art, drowning the whole thing in freeze frames, slow-motion and color-coding, owing everything he knows to the worst of Jean-Luc Godard and Wes Anderson.
  16. What it turns out to be is a preposterous puzzle that fails every test under scrutiny, leaving the spectator with a “Huh?” that is meant to be uttered only while chewing gum.
  17. I'd like to tell you just how bad Inception really is, but since it is barely even remotely lucid, no sane description is possible.
  18. It still has a long way to go before the term Mumblecore (which sounds like a Harry Potter major at Hogwart's) can be confused with the term Class Act.
  19. It is really not about anything at all except the mistakes, pitfalls and dumb decisions that plague the career of talented but misguided Australian actor Guy Pearce in his attempts to become an American film star.
  20. A creepfest so stupid it makes trashy slash-and-burn epics like "Humans Versus Zombies" and "I Spit on Your Grave" seem like Molière and Proust.
  21. Artificial, irresponsible, filthy and forgettable, it knocks itself cross-eyed trying to make you roar with laughter at chemotherapy, with the nauseating Seth Rogen milking most of the yuks. But a stoner comedy about cancer? I don't think so.
  22. Lena Dunham makes a 98-minute home video seem like 98 days of hard labor.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    By the time the end finally comes, there's no relief. You're left with the vague recollection of an interesting movie you were watching before you got kidnapped and subjected to over an hour of torture porn starring a fat, sadistic clown.
  23. This one, by the jarringly untalented writer-director Shane Black, is merely violent, vulgar and stupid.
  24. Mr. Franco must have had a very boring adolescence, because Palo Alto is a very boring movie.
  25. What some critics praise as astute and compelling, I find juvenile and fraught with hysteria. There's no arc here, no real pathos, and the direction is like watching snow melt on the side of a road.
  26. The movie is nothing more than a labored series of skits that play like ideas from rejected TV pilots.
  27. There is no hope on the horizon for movies as leaden as The Exploding Girl.
  28. Sightseers is a morose, unsettling blend of pathology for sport and murder for laughs.
  29. What to say about an uphill slog called Crazy, Stupid, Love? It's not nearly crazy enough to clear the clogged arteries of summer comedies, and when the love appears, it's in all the wrong places. Oh well, at least they nailed the stupid part.

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