Newsweek's Scores

  • Movies
For 894 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 60% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Lowest review score: 0 Meet Joe Black
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 894
894 movie reviews
  1. The eroticism in Cuaron’s road movie (which broke all box-office records in Mexico) is the real deal: tactile, sexy, psychologically charged.
    • Newsweek
  2. This is humanism in drag: Almodovar's passionate redefinition of family values.
    • Newsweek
  3. This is Depp's coming-of-age role, and he's terrific. Pacino, who's shown more flash than substance recently, reminds us how great he can be when he loses himself inside a character. The bond between these two makes the film sing.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With her Doc Martens and her spiky, fire-engine hair, Franka Potente makes a perfect Lola. Like the film itself, her tough, flashy exterior cloaks a warm emotional center.
  4. A demonstration of bravura acting.
    • Newsweek
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    For diehard fans, X-Men is full of in jokes and sly references -- For everybody else, there's the thrill of the unknown.
  5. The true allure of Titanic is its invitation to swoon at a scale of epic moviemaking that is all but obsolete.
  6. Movie purists will tell you that a heavy reliance on voice-over is a sin (“show, don’t tell”), but when the words are this funny, to hell with purity.
    • Newsweek
  7. Never less than engaging; all that’s missing is a proper crescendo. The picture moves along briskly, even at two and a half hours, but it seems to be running on cruise control.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A surpassingly sweet, funny and picturesque movie.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Proyas floods the screen with cinematic and literary references ranging from Murnau and Lang to Kafka and Orwell, creating a unique yet utterly convincing world.
  8. Succeeds stunningly on its own terms.
  9. A stunning crime drama that shares its protagonists' rabid attention to detail—and love of adrenalin.
  10. Anyone who cares about ravishing filmmaking, superb acting and movies willing to dive into the mystery of unconditional love will leave this dark romance both shaken and invigorated.
  11. The result is fascinating -- a rich, strange, problematical movie full of wild tonal shifts and bravura moviemaking.
  12. Ferociously intense, furiously kinetic, it’s expressionist film noir science fiction that, like all good sci-fi, peers into the future to shed light on the present.
    • Newsweek
  13. Traffic doesn’t quite come to a full emotional boil at the end. Soderbergh is too knowing to offer easy solutions. But what a journey it takes us on: disturbing, exciting, completely absorbing.
  14. At its best, Magnolia towers over most Hollywood films this year.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A marvelous comedy from deep in left field -- immaculately written, unexpectedly touching and pure of heart.
  15. A delightful surprise... Jewison does his best work in decades. [21 Dec 1987]
    • Newsweek
  16. In every detail - the superb soundtrack, the rich cinematography, the dinstinctively edgy editing - Rain Man reveals itself as a movie made with care, smarts, and a refreshing refusal to settle for the unexpected. [19 Dec 1988]
    • Newsweek
  17. Luhrmann has raised the level of his game, deconstructing the Hollywood musical -- a genre all but left for dead -- and reassembling it with a potency that hasn’t been seen since “Cabaret.”
    • Newsweek
  18. This shamefully underpromoted, gloriously silly romp made me laugh harder than any other movie this summer. Make that this year.
  19. I don't know how a movie this original got made today, but thank God for wonderful aberrations.
    • Newsweek
  20. What blasts off the screen like a heat wave, burning in the heart, is the sheer toe-tapping, booty-shaking joy of making music.
  21. This one's done right. Here's an intelligent movie with no special effects. You have to pay close attention, to listen hard to its cross-fires of dialogue.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The result is a film of rare restraint and surprising power.
  22. Noyce uses his Hollywood craft to unfold this primal, powerful story, he has an epic feel for the harshly beautiful Australian landscape and he gets wonderfully natural performances from the three girls. His bold, lyrical images stay in your head, like an unaccountably beautiful nightmare.
    • Newsweek
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In the hearts of losers, Zwigoff’s found a real winner.
  23. Moore’s stunning, subtle performance as a woman trapped in the conventions of her time encapsulates the film’s brave, double-edged beauty.
    • Newsweek
  24. The superbly acted Spider is muted in comparison: it’s a quiet nightmare, painted in hospital greens and rust browns.
  25. Their (Murray/Johansson) brief, wondrous encounter is the soul of this subtle, funny, melancholy film.
  26. A haunted thriller of disturbing power.
  27. Filled with funny, gritty Tarantino lowlife gab and a respectable body count, but what is most striking is the film's gallantry and sweetness. Tarantino hits some new and touching notes with Grier and Forster.
  28. Writer-director Ray has a no-fuss style that is quietly, thoroughly gripping.
  29. The movie's slight, anecdotal structure is deceptive; you wouldn't guess how big an emotional wallop it packs.
  30. A tad dark for little kids, this one-of-a-kind movie delivers 80 minutes of idiosyncratic inspiration.
  31. Eastwood is at his effortless, slyboots best and the film is as preposterous as it is delightful.
  32. What keeps you in your seat is the acting. Keener, crisply and coolly playing against type, commands the screen. [24 August 1998, p. 58]
    • Newsweek
    • 46 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dr. Dolittle is a zoo-and a blast. [6 July 1998, p. 67]
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's the characterization of Mulan, both in voice and visuals, that makes the film a keeper.
  33. Hilariously odd and prodigiously inventive.
  34. The payoff comes at the end, when the myriad threads pull together with a shock like a noose tightening around your neck. Built with old-fashioned craftsmanship, Lone Star is not a movie you'll quickly forget. [8 July 1996, p.64]
    • Newsweek
  35. The movie puts us in Maria's shoes, taking us step by suspenseful step through her physical and spiritual ordeal.
  36. All this is good fun -- some of which is anticipating the pained reaction from conservative Hollywood-hasslers. Director Rob Reiner has a fine smooth touch, Douglas is charismatic, Bening is scrumptious -- you want to put all these dream politicos in a doggy bag and take them home. [20 Nov 1995, p.28]
  37. Watching Moore battle the heavy odds may be formulaic fun, but it's genuine fun, and the formula is classic.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Takes the prize. It's a bloody hoot.
  38. Few films have shown so powerfully the slashing double edge of sports fever.
  39. It's a deliciously outrageous premise, and director Barry Levinson and writers David Mamet and Hilary Henkin know just how to spin it, savaging Washington and Hollywood with merciless wit. It's a hoot.
  40. Marvin's taciturn performance--a moving demonstration of masculine grace under pressure--may be his finest.
  41. DiCaprio is astonishing.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The vocal performances are a blast, Hunter's and Lee's in particular. The animation of the villain's tropical isle is stunning.
  42. Think of it as an epic poem, in which Scorsese's swirling, headlong baroque camera searches paradoxically for the stillness at the meditative heart of Buddhism. [22 December 1997, p. 86]
    • Newsweek
  43. This wonderful, one-of-a-kind movie hops from Taiwan to France, from tragedy to deadpan comedy and, in its mysterious conclusion, from the worldly to the otherworldly.
    • Newsweek
  44. By sticking resolutely to the facts of the most amazing rescue mission of all time, the movie builds tremendous suspense, even though most people will know how it came out.
  45. A pretty damn good summer movie.
  46. A smart and wicked delight.
  47. As writer and actress, Thompson has all the right Austen rhythms and filmmaker Ang Lee ("Eat Drink Man Woman") orchestrates with sensitivity and style.
  48. Akin's raw, powerful, multileveled movie takes us places we never expected to go.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Mimic is undoubtedly the best mutant-cockroach horror thriller ever made. Even granting that there hasn't been much competition, this is intended as a high compliment.
  49. Gripping from start to finish.
  50. Press and Blunt are major discoveries: in this sly and wonderfully atmospheric gem, they conjure up the role-playing raptures of youth with perfect poetic pitch.
  51. Jacquet's movie is as visually ravishing as "Winged Migration," and more gripping.
  52. A hauntingly beautiful tone poem.
  53. Funny, bittersweet, its understatement yielding surprising depth charges, Broken Flowers is a triumph of close observation and telling details.
  54. Face/Off is a summer movie extraordinaire: violent, imaginative, crazily funny and, oddly moving. Hollywood has finally wised up and let Hong Kong auteur John Woo strut his stuff in all its undiluted, over-the-top glory.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Using an almost seamless combination of documentary and fictional footage, Winterbottom provides a vivid picture of life during wartime -- so vivid in fact that it is often difficult to watch.
  55. The beauty of Welcome to the Dollhouse is its pokerfaced objectivity, which neither condescends to its pubescent victim nor romantically inflates her plight.
  56. A witty movie -- with a fine ear for the undertone of aimless chatter -- that never raises its voice to make hollow Gen-X proclamations.
  57. The mordant, deadpan humor that streaks through Dead Man is echt Jarmusch, but it's in the service of his most mysterious and deeply felt movie, a meditation on death and transfiguration that, by the end, has thrown off the protective veil of irony. [03 Jun 1996, Pg.75]
    • Newsweek
  58. Indoors, it's Jane Austen. Outdoors, this red-blooded, exuberantly romantic version of Pride and Prejudice plays more like Emily Brontë. Purists may object, but most will find this love story irresistible.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A surprisingly tender, even heartbreaking, film. Like the original, it's a tragic tale of beauty and the beast.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This complex tale is told with great buoyancy and wit thanks to the splendid performances.
  59. This is a one-of-a-kind action flick: a tale of triumph tinged at every moment with tragedy.
  60. Puiu's is the art of the seemingly artless: he takes a story that's utterly unglamorous and mundane, and transforms it into something mythic.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Splendiferous.
  61. This Superman, which infuses its action with poetry, soars as a love story filled with epic yearnings, thwarted desires and breathtaking imagery.
  62. This is the most personal, deeply felt film from the gifted director of "Under the Sand" and "Swimming Pool." Ozon leaches his melodrama of all sentimentality, and moves us all the more.
  63. This indie, a sweet, tart and smart satire about a family of losers in a world obsessed with winning, is an authentic crowd pleaser. There's been no more satisfying American comedy this year.
  64. World Trade Center celebrates the ties that bind us, the bonds that keep us going, the goodness that stands as a rebuke to the horror of that day. Perhaps, in the future, the times will call for more challenging, or polemical, or subversive visions. Right now, it feels like the 9/11 movie we need.
  65. Forest Whitaker, uncorking the power that he usually holds in check, gives a chilling, bravura performance as Ugandan tyrant Idi Amin, whose bloody regime slaughtered more than 300,000 people. This intelligent, sometimes gruesome thriller is based on a novel by Giles Foden.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Marvelous, and surprisingly intimate.
  66. An epic both raw and contemplative, is neither a flag-waving war movie nor a debunking.
  67. A welcome paradox--an intelligent, rousing adventure for grown-up kids. [17 Apr 1995, p.66]
    • Newsweek
  68. It's hard to believe this is von Donnersmarck's first feature. His storytelling gifts have the novelistic richness of a seasoned master. The accelerating plot twists are more than just clever surprises; they reverberate with deep and painful ironies, creating both suspense and an emotional impact all the more powerful because it creeps up so quietly.
  69. A heartbreaking comedy that is simultaneously funny and sad, raunchy and sweet, funky and elegiac. These fresh, unexpected juxtapositions are a specialty of the writer Hanif Kureishi ("My Beautiful Laundrette"), a sworn enemy of cliché.
  70. A wicked delight. Adapted by playwright Patrick Marber from Zoe Heller's acclaimed novel, it's at once a comedy of cluelessness and class, a melodrama of two women in the grips of wildly inappropriate obsessions, and a "Fatal Attraction"-style thriller.
  71. Loach hurls us into the fracas, circa 1920, and creates such a vivid sense of the nuts and bolts of guerilla war you almost forget you are watching a period piece. Unlike the epic sweep of Neil Jordan's "Billy Collins," which spoke in a syntax closer to Hollywood's, "The Wind" doesn't paint over its political arguments with a patina of nostalgia.
  72. Comedy and suspense, satire and shame are all mashed together--with breezy confidence.
  73. Thanks to everyone involved, the movie radiates a hundred pleasures.
  74. Summer hasn't arrived, but the funniest riff on a summer movie genre has already landed.
  75. For anyone who grew up worshiping at the shrine of Julie Christie, the notion that she could be playing a white-haired woman drifting into senility is a jolt to the system. But her radiance, beauty and talent are undiminished: she's hauntingly, heartbreakingly good.
  76. It happens to be one of the most wildly (and disturbingly) inventive animated films I've seen.
  77. It has the feel of a classic coming-of-age story. It's the sleeper of the summer.
  78. As a "Revenge of the Nerds" redux, Superbad isn't perfect. But it's super close.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Brilliantly strange, often funny and ultimately heartbreaking film.
  79. It sounds grimmer than it plays, thanks to Jenkins's sardonic, deadpan humor and the superb cast, who invest these damaged characters with rich, flawed, hilarious humanity. This bittersweet X-ray of American family dynamics may not be a Hallmark-card notion of a holiday movie, but it's one any son or daughter can take to heart.
  80. A great horror movie is like a good shrink--and a lot cheaper, too. It purges us through petrification. That horror movie, thankfully, has arrived. It's called The Orphanage," and it is seriously scary.
  81. Schygulla's heartbreaking performance--like the movie itself--will stay with you long after the film's quietly devastating final frame.
  82. Tropic Thunder is the funniest movie of the summer--so funny, in fact, that you start laughing before the film itself has begun.

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