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 My Week with Marilyn
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
803 movie reviews
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    You have to see all 10 not because they add up to a coherent whole, but because each is excellent in a distinctive way. I don’t want to go into each of the plots in any detail because one of the joys of Decalogue is its flair for storytelling in the most enjoyable way imaginable.
  1. If the best films hold you in a captive vise, entertain you, keep you spellbound and teach you something at the same time, then 12 Years a Slave is outstanding — brave, courageous and unforgettable.
  2. Manchester by the Sea is the best movie of the year.
  3. Accept Gravity as pure, popcorn-munching show business fun and nothing else, and you won’t go away disappointed.
  4. Gorgeously photographed, sensitively written and directed, flawlessly acted, and deeply, intensely important, Carol is Todd Haynes’ most brilliant film since Far From Heaven and one of the triumphs of 2015.
  5. This film transcends its trendy, obvious limitations with enough vitality and vitriol to make it as informative and breathless as it is entertaining.
  6. 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.
  7. The year is not over, but I’ve already seen my favorite film of 2015. It’s Thomas McCarthy’s brilliant, responsible, galvanizing and unforgettable Spotlight.
  8. So in spite of its flaws, La La Land has moments of pleasure and satisfaction that are worth the price of admission. It’s not that it’s a bad movie; it’s just not an outstanding entertainment, the way great movies (especially musicals) should be.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Perhaps even more powerfully, the film informs us of stories we don’t know but should.
  9. American Hustle is an essay on the brilliance of corruption.
  10. As vital as it is, racial strife is a subject that cries out for a more volatile treatment than this. The Alabama marching sequences and resulting violence, filmed in Selma, where they actually happened, are too understated for my taste. And the home life of King and his vacillating wife Coretta are muted.
  11. It’s too twisted and implausible to be everybody’s cup of tea, but it keeps you glued to the screen from beginning to end. Boredom and bathroom breaks are not an option.
  12. Get ready for a smash hit. Gimmicky but delicious, this is a valentine to the movies I promise you will cherish.
  13. The question is: how much should one talented but sensitive individual be willing to suffer for his art at the hands of one brilliant but terrifying bully? The two stars are fully committed to the concept that the pursuit of perfection doesn’t always triumph, and the film pounds in the temples with the feverish tempo of a jazz riff.
  14. For sure, it’s another example of style over substance — a richly deserved accusation that is always leveled at this kindergarten cop of a director, but I confess it’s a lot of scattered and disjointed fun.
  15. As the actor of the year in the film of the year, I can't think of enough adjectives to praise Firth properly. The King's Speech has left me speechless.
  16. Wake in Fright is the closest a movie can get to a primal scream.
  17. A sensitive, dewy-eyed yet mature performance by Saoirse Ronan is the appealing centerpiece of Brooklyn.
  18. All Is Lost is movie magic on many levels but most importantly as the rare opportunity to watch a seasoned actor at the pinnacle of his power.
  19. The awesome effects take over where the plot used to be, and although this is the end, my guess is that it will fire the imagination for years to come. What fun to feel like a kid again. I had a marvelous time.
  20. 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.
  21. Kate Beckinsale is marvelous as a ruthless baddie in a bustier, and in summation, Love & Friendship gives off a lovely, restrained glow at a time in films when almost everything else has the subtlety of headlights.
  22. 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.
  23. Too grim and heartbreaking for some viewers, Room is nevertheless an extraordinary film so powerful and unforgettable that it must be seen.
  24. 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.
  25. It doesn’t eventually add up to much, but the acting is deeply sincere, and I was touched in unexpected places.
  26. 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Both Hosseini and Alidoosti underplay their parts with an apparent naturalism. And, yet, Farhadi constantly reminds the audience that they are watching a movie, that these handsome folks are actors playing actors in a film.
  27. Argo is a triumph. It has tension, sincerity, mystery, artistic responsibility, entertainment value, technical expertise, a narrative arc and a thrilling respect for the tradition of how to tell a story with minimum frills and maximum impact. It's a great footnote to history, one of the best films of 2012 and a sure-fire contender on Oscar night.

Top Trailers