Newsweek's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 898 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 Touching the Void
Lowest review score: 0 Down to You
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 898
898 movie reviews
  1. It's as smart, quiveringly alert and fleet of foot as a purebred pointer on the scent of fresh game.
    • Newsweek
  2. Rozema's handling of the entangled amours and social gamesmanship at Mansfield Park is delightful and the open-minded moviegoer will have a hard time resisting this stylish and stirring movie.
    • 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.
  3. A witty movie -- with a fine ear for the undertone of aimless chatter -- that never raises its voice to make hollow Gen-X proclamations.
  4. It's a swirling, fluid retelling of the tale that packs an impressive cargo of laughs, thrills and wonders into a watertight 88 minutes.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. Lehmann isn't in perfect control - the movie gets off to a flat-footed start, and the conclusion is chaotic - but when Heathers hits its stride, it reaches wild and original comic heights. [2 April 1989]
    • Newsweek
  8. Schygulla's heartbreaking performance--like the movie itself--will stay with you long after the film's quietly devastating final frame.
  9. Thanks to everyone involved, the movie radiates a hundred pleasures.
  10. 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.
  11. A haunted thriller of disturbing power.
  12. Hilariously odd and prodigiously inventive.
  13. 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
  14. Elf
    Ferrell is a hoot. So is much of this witty holiday family entertainment, which, up until the end, when the “true spirit of Christmas” must be reaffirmed, happily favors slapstick over treacle.
  15. Fascinating but repetitious, Better Living Through Circuitry nevertheless does a good job describing the scene.
    • Newsweek
  16. Everyone will be tickled pink by this sleek Mike Nichols remake.
  17. Written with brio and staged rousingly by director Taylor Hackford, the film is good, kitschy fun -- after all, how can you hate a movie that casts litigators as the new legions of Lucifer?
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Directed by Tom Shadyac ("Ace Ventura"), it's nearly sociopathic in its quest for laughs, and busts a very big gut.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Affleck directed, stars in, and co-wrote The Town, a suspenseful, fiercely paced movie about bank robbers that is also about love, brotherhood, and the desperate need to escape a crooked life. It proves that "Gone Baby Gone," his accomplished directing debut, was no fluke.
  18. Screenwriters Heather Hach and Leslie Dixon have devised some lovely and hilarious variations on Rodgers’s irresistible premise.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Though there was little surprise by the end--how could there be?--Notorious,' a movie about the life and death of rapper Christopher Wallace (a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G., a.k.a. Biggie Smalls, a.k.a. Biggie), still managed to stun, unsettle and move me.
  19. Mingling reality and fantasy, Forster has given us a luminous, touching meditation on life and art.
  20. It's hands down the funniest of the year, both pushing the boundaries of bad taste and exploring how those boundaries keep shifting.
    • 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.
  21. That's the paradox that makes this parade of folly so much fun: it feels as if everyone involved is having a high old time, and their enthusiasm is contagious.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Troy is a fun, energizing piece of summer entertainment, even if it doesn't have the depth or the sustained intensity of "Gladiator."
  22. Though it lacks "Wallace and Gromit"'s charm, its mile-a-minute inventiveness is impressive.
  23. Though some of the violence is nastier than it needs to be and the obligatory climactic melee, complete with choppers, skidding trucks and explosions, overstays its welcome, The Long Kiss Goodnight stays fun because it plays its heroine's split personality for laughs, not trauma.
  24. A shameless crowd-pleaser.
  25. Unlike many dramas of middle-class family wreckage, which tilt toward soapoperatic revelations, The Ice Storm is told from an ironic, almost meditative distance that gives the movie its paradoxical power.
  26. The script is an odd take on the Cinderella formula, but Barrymore makes it shine with her relentless charm.
  27. The beauty and scale of Miyazaki's vision shines through.
  28. 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.
    • Newsweek
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A moving, complex and dreamlike tale.
  29. Take the movie's first words to heart: watch closely. You'll be well rewarded.
  30. The uncontestable triumph of Goblet of Fire, however, is Brendan Gleeson's Alastor (Mad-Eye) Moody, the grizzled new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    At its best it's a marvel: bold, exciting and full of visions.
  31. Ferocious and sometimes creepily funny, Bully is a raunchy suburban "Crime and Punishment."
  32. A Single Man's sleek surface may go against Isherwood's crisp, understated prose, yet the story's beating, wounded heart and its spiky intelligence still come through, personified in Firth's moving, eloquently internalized performance.
  33. Luke has real movie-star power. He's enormously sympathetic, but this moving, well-crafted movie, written by Shawn Slovo, mercifully doesn't turn him into a plaster saint.
  34. 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.
    • Newsweek
  35. It has a surprising charm.
  36. (There's) a half dozen other deftly sketched show-biz desperadoes who make this slight but tangy sleeper such an unpretentious delight.
  37. Ultimately, one's reservations are overwhelmed by the story's urgency; it's impossible not to be shattered.
  38. The cruelly funny Margot at the Wedding shares many of the virtues of "Squid"--it's psychologically astute, sociologically dead on, refreshingly unformulaic--but it's a considerably tougher, less ingratiating movie. People who insist on likable, "sympathetic" protagonists may find it a bitter pill to swallow.
  39. 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]
    • Newsweek
  40. (Katja von Garnier's) talent makes this original film exciting and moving, a raucous ride.
  41. This is first-rate, visceral filmmaking, no question: taut, watchful, free of false histrionics, as observant of the fear in the young terrorists' eyes as the hysteria in the passenger cabin, and smart enough to know this material doesn't need to be sensationalized or sentimentalized.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Here's a surprise: of the four actors in Closer, Clive Owen is the least famous, but he delivers the most memorable performance.
  42. Red Dragon is certainly an improvement on “Hannibal.” It has something the Ridley Scott movie didn’t -- a good story -- and it will no doubt keep the franchise rolling in dough.
    • Newsweek
  43. Day-Lewis, who imbues Jack with a ravaged, Keith Richards charisma, is once again extraordinary.
  44. In one of his most impudently engaging movies, Lee's heroine has a lot of sex—on the telephone.
  45. Malick's magnificent, frustrating epic mixes fact and legend to conjure up a reverie about Pocahontas (Q'orianka Kilcher), her love for Capt. John Smith (Colin Farrell) and her crossing from one culture to another.
  46. Powerful images hook you immediately.
    • 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.
    • Newsweek
  47. His smart, raunchy movie offers no answers (how could it?), but it poses its questions with painfully hilarious honesty.
  48. A fine, well-groomed entertainment, but the road it takes has already been well paved.
  49. This is a fleet, funny family entertainment that should tickle parents as well as tykes.
    • Newsweek
  50. When this historical adventure kicks in, it's thrilling in the way old-fashioned epics used to be, but its romanticism has a fierce, violent physicality that gives it a distinctively modern stamp.
  51. Armageddon is as irresistible as it's indefensible.
  52. A one-of- a-kind horror movie: hilarious, a little scary and strangely poignant. Campbell’s cranky, valiant, sad-sack King is a soulfully funny creation.
  53. The first-time writer-director, Englishman Richard Kwietniowski, has adapted Gilbert Adair's novel with wit, economy and a delicate understanding that the funniest comedies are played with dead seriousness.
  54. 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.
  55. The movie itself, like these guys, is defiantly old school -- confident, relaxed, professional.
  56. With Saraband, the great writer-director has stepped back into the ring for one last epic wrestle with his demons. There is, as always, no easy outcome. But no one ever fought for higher emotional and spiritual stakes.
  57. The movie crackles with the serio-comic tension of thin-skinned New Yorkers thrown together in a crisis.
  58. While the elements in this coming-of-age saga may seem familiar, Eszterhas brings a fresh, immigrant's-eye perspective to his tale.
  59. To blends sentimentality, shoot-outs and cool humor into a bewitchingly entertaining brew.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The plot is predictable, but the frights are real.
  60. Narnia, brightly lit and kid-friendly, has an appealingly old-fashioned feel to it. Adamson, codirector of "Shrek," wisely doesn't try to hip-ify the tale, leaving its curious blend of medieval pageantry, Christian fable and children's bedtime story intact.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A highly entertaining movie in a genre that is often as stiff as the Lady Gibson's boning.
  61. 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    New York City has never looked so slick and shallow as it does in Hamlet, an innovative, contemporary adaptation.
    • Newsweek
  62. Slick, gaudily suave guilty pleasure of a movie.
  63. The rage and sadness behind this film -- the first from Afghanistan since the Taliban's fall -- is matched by its artistry.
  64. Downey and Favreau give the movie a quirky flavor it can call its own. For that we can be grateful.
  65. This is not exactly standard children's fare, but kids (and their parents) should be smitten by its wit and wisdom.
  66. Greenaway uses the screen rather like the calligraphers of the story use the body so that the film becomes a kind of visual "pillow book;" a multi-layered series of inscriptions and reflections with almost hypnotic power.
  67. 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.
    • Newsweek
  68. No simple diatribe against capital punishment, it's a strong film, made stronger by two terrific performances.
    • 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.
  69. Thanks to fine acting and its vividly unconventional protagonist, it pumps fresh blood into a conventional formula.
  70. When it catches fire, this great-looking movie offers hilarious diversions.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Although the film is clumsy and overheated at times, it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful films of the year. Set in turn-of-the-century London and Venice, its rich colors and opulent textures will linger long after the plot has been forgotten.
  71. Smart, informative and lively polemic.
  72. Raises Hollywood's depiction of war to a new level.
    • 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.
  73. Mann vividly captures the nocturnal pulse of East L.A. in this taut, confined game of cat and mouse. In the homestretch the thrills get too generic and farfetched for their own good. But the first two thirds are a knockout.
  74. Frost/Nixon works even better on screen. Director Ron Howard and Morgan, adapting his own play, have both opened up the tale and, with the power of close-ups, made this duel of wits even more intimate and suspenseful.
  75. The comedy gets better, and more unpredictable, as it goes, and so do the performances.
    • Newsweek
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Altman has a sorcerer's ability to crack open scenes and invite us in to wander through them, and he keeps Vincent & Theo bristling with emotions and ideas.
  76. This movie is about giving us a privileged glimpse of the Stones in action. It's a record of an astonishing musical chemistry that has been evolving, with no signs of calcification, for nearly five decades. As a bonus, there are delicious guest appearances by Buddy Guy and Jack White.
  77. [Stillman] has a keen sense of group dynamics and a fine comic ear.
  78. In Lee's understandable eagerness to let a few rays of hope shine, the polemicist trips up the dramatist--movie conventions replace honest observation. But the passion of this raw, mournful urban epic remains, in spite of the false moves. [25 Sep 1995, p.92]
    • Newsweek
  79. (Douglas) is a superb (and underused) comic actor, one who knows that the secret of being funny is never begging for a laugh.
  80. Explores both prepubescent and teen sexuality with an honesty that may make some people uncomfortable, which is a sign of its potency, and a badge of honor.
  81. Juxtaposes beauty and horror to fashion a savage and lyrical cinematic poem.

Top Trailers