New York Observer's Scores

  • Movies
For 803 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 5.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Still Alice
Lowest review score: 0 Hobo with a Shotgun
Score distribution:
803 movie reviews
  1. As a realistic political thriller about Americans in harm's way it is not half as suspenseful or entertaining as "Argo." We may never know the truth about how we found bin Laden, but I still believe what we do know makes a strong enough story on its own without Wonder Woman.
  2. Mr. Spall, winner of the Cannes and New York Film Critics Circle best-actor awards, does his best to bring an unpleasant character to life — grunting and snorting like a boar ready to charge, spitting on his canvases and dragging around with a constant wince like a fat baby with colic. With all due respect, he’s too repulsive to watch for 150 minutes.
  3. Lincoln is also a colossal bore. It is so pedantic, slow-moving, sanitized and sentimental that I kept pinching myself to stay awake - which, like the film itself, didn't always work.
  4. Amy
    Never failed to hold me spellbound, even when I saw obvious spots where easy cutting would reduce the agony to a much more comfortable running time.
  5. Content to make movies for himself (Malick) that nobody else wants to see as long as he can find someone to foot the bill, he's also an iconoclast searching for significance. So am I, but not 138 minutes worth. Anyone seeking symmetry in this cinematic taffy pull risks emerging from it with a pretzel for a brain.
  6. Despite the title, which relates to a song by Van Halen, it is never clear what everybody wants some of, but the film does feature a cast of obviously talented, charismatic unknowns.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Senna's accomplishments are impressive, but his story seems more suited to an ESPN special than a feature-length film.
  7. Preposterous, illogical, senselessly over-plotted and artificial as a ceramic artichoke, David Fincher’s Gone Girl is another splatterfest disguised as a psychological thriller about the disintegration of a murderous marriage that I find one of the year’s grossest disappointments.
  8. This exercise in hysteria is so over the top that you don't know whether to scream or laugh. Despite an emotionally gripping performance by Natalie Portman, it's nothing more than a lavishly staged "Repulsion" in toe shoes.
  9. A dreary bummer.
  10. It’s a movie that knocks itself cross-eyed trying to be hip, clever and today about acerbic seniors, but instead it only makes you long for old ladies in aprons exclaiming “Land sakes alive, I smell something burning in the oven!”
  11. I can't imagine what attracted these two megahunks to such a bore.
  12. Enough is enough. One good thing: The jungle scenes were shot in Hawaii, so at least they all got a paid vacation.
  13. For the Edgerton brothers and for their protagonists, The Square works on several levels, as it shows how far two people will go for love and profit--in more ways than one.
  14. Its eye is on the dirt floor of dullness.
  15. Dreary, depressing and desultory, A Most Wanted Man is not my cup of Schokolade mit Schlagsahne.
  16. The best thing about Super 8, by far, are the kids, all perfectly cast. The script does a much better job making them believable and real than the adults...The rest of the movie steals shamelessly from...
  17. This three-hander has an honesty and a momentum that I found grudgingly rewarding.
  18. Director McQueen shares no primal truths, offers no resolutions, and the movie seems pointless. It seems almost wicked to spread on all that enticement and titillation, and then throw the sandwich away.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The battle here is between the sincerity of the filmmakers’ intentions and the cynicism driving the film’s creation.
  19. It's a fatiguing, low-key character study that drags along annoyingly and pleads for patience, but stick with it and you'll find the engrossing centerpiece performance by Ms. Theron a captivating reward that is well worth the effort.
  20. Not everything from Ireland travels as well as the whiskey. Like mud-thick porridge, Shadow Dancer, another dreary, confusing conspiracy thriller about the Irish “troubles,” is one of them.
  21. Surreal but disappointingly drab, it's still not the best Almodovar in years. Despite the usual Almodovar plot twists, kinky sex and themes of sexual identity reversal, gender bending and mad desire, the cult auteur has gone off the tracks and lost his compass.
  22. The results are variable, exasperating, challenging, often both disappointing and exhilarating. These elements surface throughout Happy Christmas, often simultaneously. Mr. Swanberg is not a total amateur, but he is called “a doodler” for obvious reasons, all of them on red alert here.
  23. Unfortunately, Hide Your Smiling Faces is so slow it could use a few action sequences to speed things up.
  24. What will happen to the man-boy when he's all man and can no longer slouch about in baggy pants and hoodie sweatshirts with perpetually flushed cheeks?
  25. A good cast and the speed-dial theme of eco-terrorism should really add up to a film of more substantial mind over matter than the dull, talky and ultimately pointless espionage thriller The East.
  26. Another eccentric example of style over content, The Double stars creepy Jesse Eisenberg in two roles, when one is always more than enough.
  27. The director’s vision is so dark — and Mr. Crowe’s grumbling, sour-stomach persona so much like a Tums commercial — that you don’t care much what happens to him or his ark, which looks like a big barge with a stove pipe in the middle.
  28. The juxtaposition of tone, theme and content in the narratives fails beyond the basic ideas. This leaves the capable Gyllenhaal to do little more than scream and rant hysterically.

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