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 6.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Barton Fink
Lowest review score: 0 Meet Joe Black
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 894
894 movie reviews
  1. Most of the time, Demme's deliberately unstable mixture of moods and genres produces electric results. Rachel Getting Married takes a familiar subject--the raw nerves of American family life with--and draws fresh blood.
  2. Eastwood tells his haunting, sorrowful saga with such a sure, steady hand, only a very hardened cynic could fail to be moved.
  3. Desplechin is an inspired impurist. His Christmas Tale is untidy, overstuffed and delicious: a genuine holiday feast.
  4. Lyrical, original, misshapen and deeply felt, this is one flawed beauty of a movie.
  5. The images of war that Folman and his chief illustrator, David Polonsky, conjure up have a feverish, infernal beauty. Dreams and reality jumble together.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An extraordinary documentary.
  6. There hasn't been a studio movie as unapologetically adult, sophisticated, and nuanced as Up in the Air in some time.
  7. Crazy Heart gets to you like a good country song--not because it tells you something new, but because it tells it well. It's the singer, not the song.
  8. Rabbit Hole deftly sidesteps sentimentality and still wrenches your heart.
  9. Urgent, gritty, sometimes weirdly funny, The Fighter might be considered his first feel-good movie. But Russell's too honest and acute an observer to serve up affirmation without leaving a subversive aftertaste of ambivalence and unease.
  10. If the film has a problem, it's a kind of excess of goodness at the expense of imaginative excitement. The real hero is the psychiatrist, played with a riffing Jewish beat by Hirsch as a counterpoint to the tight Wasp rhythms of Conrad's family. There's a feeling of therapy more than revelation, but perhaps for our multifariously sick society therapy has become revelation. This seems to have been a major point in Guest's novel, and Redford has dramatized it with integrity, honor and compassion. [22 Sept 1980, p.76]
  11. Brutal and precision-made, Thief is a high-tech crime movie that closes in on its subject with such relentless purpose that it approaches abstraction. Nothing enters Mann's frame that is not designed to be there: the expertise he honors in his criminal hero is mirrored by his own meticulous craftsmanship. He gets the job done--and blows you away while doing it. [30 Mar 1981, p.82]
  12. Every character--not just the kids, but the teachers as well--comes alive with a complexity worthy of Jean Renoir. The lyricism of Wild Reeds doesn't cast a smoke screen of nostalgia, it brings us closer to the experience of adolescence.
  13. [Stillman] has a keen sense of group dynamics and a fine comic ear.
  14. It is an intense study of the human condition, and man's relationship with God, aka the Big Kahuna.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Kaufman's new script isn't as inspired as "Malkovich." It's a precious little concoction -- the B-plus work of a madcap genius.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Has its flaws, but at its best it’s a fleet, fun action movie -- and certainly one of the cooler blockbusters that Hollywood will cough up this godforsaken summer.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Arlington Road does a nice job of keeping things speculative enough to remain interesting.
  15. Comic electricity.
  16. The comedy gets better, and more unpredictable, as it goes, and so do the performances.
  17. Lively, likable and refreshingly unsensationalistic about the drugs and sex that come with the territory, this techno-propelled mash note to the rave spirit sticks to the surface.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    She's (Zellweger) so disarming and so deeply Bridget -- gliding between mortifying slapstick and pathos -- that she's entirely won you over by the time the credits have rolled. The opening credits.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A very funny movie, full of eccentric, deadpan little moments. What's more, it resonates, and has subtle, tender and acute things to say about romance, art, class and -- why not? -- interior decorating. It's a winning tribute to the flighty Aphrodite.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An engrossing, superbly acted film that will haunt the viewer's thoughts long after the film is over.
  18. (Katja von Garnier's) talent makes this original film exciting and moving, a raucous ride.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A touching thriller, a movie that's particularly hard to resist if there are things you never said to your own dad because you didn't have the chance, the inclination or the right ham radio.
  19. Slick, gaudily suave guilty pleasure of a movie.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Whether Series 7, filmed on digital video for less than $1 million, is reactive or prescient doesn’t change the fact that it’s a dead-on parody of the form.
  20. (There's) a half dozen other deftly sketched show-biz desperadoes who make this slight but tangy sleeper such an unpretentious delight.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The film is short on biographical details and the history of the music, and long on impressions of the musicians' character and motivations.
  21. Bjork gives what may be the most wrenching performance ever given by someone who has no interest in being an actor.
  22. Gets a lot of the details right. Outside Providence is a sweet, funny little movie.
  23. Fascinating but repetitious, Better Living Through Circuitry nevertheless does a good job describing the scene.
  24. Despite its bizarre intellectual project, Le Pecheur's film is seductive and shockingly sexy.
  25. Keeps you hanging on every twist and turn of its wilder-than-fiction plot.
  26. More sweet than savage, this amiable farce creates laughs with old-pro efficiency.
  27. Will be remembered as a vintage Rohmer harvest.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Pure formula. But thanks to charming performances, particularly from its two stars, the winsome Stiles and a hunky Heath, it gets the recipe right, and the result is surprisingly sweet.
  28. A dizzying mixture of the sophisticated and the naive, the deft and the clumsy, Bulworth is overstuffed, excessive, erratic -- and essential.
  29. Ulee's Gold possesses an attribute that's increasingly rare in American filmmaking, independent or Hollywood: call it soul.
  30. (Douglas) is a superb (and underused) comic actor, one who knows that the secret of being funny is never begging for a laugh.
  31. The movie itself, like these guys, is defiantly old school -- confident, relaxed, professional.
  32. Schrader has never been one to coddle an audience, and this is as uncompromising a vision as he has given us.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The portraits are spare but right on target. And the film keeps you laughing even as you feel the pain of the characters.
  33. A premise this preposterous must be carried off with unflappable comic conviction, and Cusack is just the right man for the job.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Director Doug Liman has an impressive eye for detail and an even better ear for dialogue, producing a perceptive and delightfully funny take on the buddy movie.
  34. Smith startles us with raw emotional honesty.
  35. The end is predictable after the first five minutes (two, if you're smart), but the film sucks you in all the same.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A moving, complex and dreamlike tale.
  36. Armageddon is as irresistible as it's indefensible.
  37. He’s (González Iñárritu) conjured up a dark, brutal vision of urban life that sticks to your skin like soot.
  38. Steven Knight’s smart, if overly plotted, script delivers social insights tautly wrapped in genre thrills.
  39. The script is an odd take on the Cinderella formula, but Barrymore makes it shine with her relentless charm.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A highly entertaining movie in a genre that is often as stiff as the Lady Gibson's boning.
  40. As brilliantly shot as it is brutally single-minded, this is a war movie shorn of all its usual accouterments: the battle is the plot.
  41. Using shadows and strikingly designed sounds, Pellington skillfully creates an atmosphere of otherworldly, invisible menace. Gere and Linney, both solid, dance around the edges of a romance.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    At its best it's a marvel: bold, exciting and full of visions.
  42. This spirited rerun, neatly mixing parody and panache, squeezes a surprising amount of fun out of the old war horse.
  43. Manages to be simultaneously subversive and sweet.
  44. Unfaithful shows what a powerful, sexy, smart filmmaker Lyne can be. It’s a shame he substitutes the mechanics of suspense for the real suspense of what goes on between a man and a woman, a husband and a wife.
  45. This is not exactly standard children's fare, but kids (and their parents) should be smitten by its wit and wisdom.
  46. One of the things that makes Signs such a refreshing summer movie is that it goes against almost all the grains of contemporary Hollywood razzle-dazzle filmmaking -- as did “The Sixth Sense.”
  47. Juxtaposes beauty and horror to fashion a savage and lyrical cinematic poem.
  48. Though acid is dropped, groupies are bartered like poker chips and rock-star egos flare like fireworks, what comes through is the relative innocence of that era.
  49. Told from both women's points of view, this fascinating, if sometimes overwrought, tale packs a wallop.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Like its subject, American Movie works entirely on its own quirky terms.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A stunning glimpse at acting -- and life -- in the raw.
  50. No simple diatribe against capital punishment, it's a strong film, made stronger by two terrific performances.
  51. With honesty, charm and an uncanny sympathy for all its characters, the film takes us deep inside the awkward and exhilarating experience of first love.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A brutal black comedy. It asks real questions and takes real chances.
  52. If this Popsicle of a movie melts long before it's over, the first half has more good laughs than all of “Sweethearts.”
  53. Ferocious and sometimes creepily funny, Bully is a raunchy suburban "Crime and Punishment."
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Hilariously unhinged, but also desperate and confused.
  54. If some nagging sense of anachronism, a bit too much Freudian Vienna in his postmodern New York, prevents Eyes Wide Shut from being at the top of his list, Kubrick's 13th and last film is his most humane.
  55. A fine, well-groomed entertainment, but the road it takes has already been well paved.
  56. This time out the versatile Soderbergh has cast himself as a sleight-of-hand artist. He's made deeper films, but this carefree caper movie is nothing to sneeze at.
  57. Cusack is a master at playing smart, frazzled, self-flagellating hipsters, and the movie, propelled by his arias of angst, lets him strut his best stuff.
  58. This is a fleet, funny family entertainment that should tickle parents as well as tykes.
  59. Gus Van Sant, working from the tangy, well-written script, gets so much humor, grit and emotional truth out of this tale that the familiar formulas behind it simply fall away.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Artfully ambivalent, Danny Boyle's film, twists with a junkie's logic. It does not preach; it wallows in the pain and, more daringly, in the pleasure.
  60. It’s too early to place Eminem alongside those Hollywood giants (Jimmy Cagney/John Garfield), but the promise is there. He understands the power of being still in front of a camera. Compact, volatile and burningly intense, he’s got charisma to spare.
  61. Thanks to fine acting and its vividly unconventional protagonist, it pumps fresh blood into a conventional formula.
  62. It’s like a nightmare that follows you around in daylight: you can’t quite decode it, you can’t shake it, you can’t stop turning it over and over in your mind. This is one queasily powerful movie.
  63. A cliffhanger with no real ending. When the lights come up, think of it as the start of a six-month intermission. For better and worse, Reloaded leaves you hungry for more.
  64. It’s as formulaic as "The Sum of All Fears," but it feels fresher, hipper, less inflated.
  65. Looks like a true epic...even if it is both bloody and bloody long.
  66. Chocolat is a seriocomic plea for tolerance, gift-wrapped in the baby blue colors of a fairy tale and served up with a sybaritic smile.
  67. It might, however, have been a greater film if its villain were as compelling as its flawed hero. Williams is effectively creepy, but next to Pacino’s rich, multileveled portrait he seems one-note, and one we’ve seen before.
  68. It has a surprising charm.
  69. This German movie, with its lush cinematography and lovely score, has the sturdiness of an old-fashioned Hollywood epic. What isn’t Hollywood is Link’s refusal to tell the audience how to feel at every moment.
  70. Flirts throughout with cliches, and some of the more melodramatic plot devices creak at the joints. Still, the potency of this pop romantic can't be denied. [24 Aug 1987]
  71. The beauty and scale of Miyazaki's vision shines through.
  72. Despite an overwrought finale, this stylish horror film is genuinely creepy. See it before the inevitable Hollywood remake.
  73. It’s too bad that at the very end L.I.E. settles for an easy, melodramatic resolution; it flies in the face of everything that makes this perceptive, original movie so special.
  74. Nair’s stereotype-shattering movie -- like the polymorphous culture it illuminates -- borrows from Bollywood, Hollywood and cinema verite, and comes up with something exuberantly its own.
  75. Raises Hollywood's depiction of war to a new level.
  76. Every bit as tasteless, irreverent, silly and smart as the Comedy Central cartoon that catapulted creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone into the Hollywood catbird seat.
  77. Once again Disney has come up with a winning animated feature that has something for everyone on the age spectrum.
  78. Punch-Drunk Love is one dark, strange-tasting sorbet, its sweetness shot through with startling, unexpected flavors. It’s a romantic comedy on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
  79. Where so many comic-book movies feel as disposable as Kleenex, the passionate, uncynical Hulk stamps itself into your memory. Lee’s movies are built to last.

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