Newsweek's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 901 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: 69
Highest review score: 100 Downfall
Lowest review score: 0 Down to You
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 901
901 movie reviews
  1. (Douglas) is a superb (and underused) comic actor, one who knows that the secret of being funny is never begging for a laugh.
  2. 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.
  3. Juxtaposes beauty and horror to fashion a savage and lyrical cinematic poem.
  4. The nutty thing is, by the end of this jolly, oddly compelling and genuinely suspenseful documentary, the ridiculousness of such notions seems open to genuine debate.
  5. It's like a spectacular roadside accident: you can't turn away.
  6. The movie holds you in its grip from start to finish.
  7. A streak of pitch-black humor, some bawdy detours and a touch of sanguine, sun-baked poetry Sam Peckinpah would have liked.
    • 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.
    • Newsweek
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A brutal black comedy. It asks real questions and takes real chances.
  8. Seabiscuit may be too airbrushed for its own good, but in the end nothing can stop this story from putting a lump in your throat.
  9. Australia is a shameless—and shamelessly entertaining--pastiche. It works because Luhrmann, a true believer in movie-movie magic, stamps it all with the force of his own extravagant, generous personality.
  10. Perfectly reflects the range of this funny, disturbing and complex tale.
  11. 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.
    • Newsweek
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Arlington Road does a nice job of keeping things speculative enough to remain interesting.
  12. 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.
  13. Smith startles us with raw emotional honesty.
  14. Jordan is always best on his native Irish turf, and he's in grand mischievous form in this picaresque fable.
  15. Bjork gives what may be the most wrenching performance ever given by someone who has no interest in being an actor.
    • Newsweek
  16. Once again Disney has come up with a winning animated feature that has something for everyone on the age spectrum.
  17. 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.
  18. Woody Allen is back in sharp comic form, though it's likely that his abrasive black comedy Deconstructing Harry will alienate as many people as it tickles.
  19. The end is predictable after the first five minutes (two, if you're smart), but the film sucks you in all the same.
  20. For action junkies, The Bourne Ultimatum will be like a hit of pure meth. It's bravura filmmaking in the jittery, handheld, frenetically edited Paul Greengrass style.
  21. Instead of losing myself in the story, I often felt on the outside looking in, appreciating the craftsmanship, but one step removed from the agony on display. Revolutionary Road is impressive, but it feels like a classic encased in amber.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For the eternal adolescents of the '80s, "Warrior" is even more primal fun than its predecessor. Miller has perfected the popup Spielberg style and laced it with speed. [31 May 1982, p.67]
    • Newsweek
  22. Steven Knight’s smart, if overly plotted, script delivers social insights tautly wrapped in genre thrills.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
    • Newsweek
  25. Zwigoff doesn't hype up the gags, and his deliberately deadpan style gives even farfetched jokes an edge of reality.
  26. This hothouse tale of grief, sex and betrayal is told with a cool detachment that renders it commendably unsentimental--and slightly remote.
  27. A dizzying mixture of the sophisticated and the naive, the deft and the clumsy, Bulworth is overstuffed, excessive, erratic -- and essential.
  28. Comic electricity.
    • Newsweek
  29. 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.
    • Newsweek
  30. 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.
    • Newsweek
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Wong Kar-Wai's cinematic style is unmistakable: hip, colorful and energetic and the film's frenetic pacing and exuberant camera work make the streets of Hong Kong a neon wonderland.
  31. A vital entertainment that struts confidently between comedy and drama.
  32. Schrader has never been one to coddle an audience, and this is as uncompromising a vision as he has given us.
  33. He’s (González Iñárritu) conjured up a dark, brutal vision of urban life that sticks to your skin like soot.
    • Newsweek
  34. Intimate, moving and playful.
  35. A meditation on love, faith and science in the guise of a thriller, the movie's a tad schematic, but thoroughly gripping.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The result is a film that's really moving--and really moves.
  36. 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.”
    • Newsweek
  37. It's harmless fun, but it underutilizes Murphy, who's largely reduced to doing virtuoso variations on his iconic smile.
  38. Manages to be simultaneously subversive and sweet.
    • Newsweek
  39. Has a flavor all its own-sweet, whimsical, homegrown. A quirky romantic for the 21st century, July finds humor and magic in places where no one has looked before.
  40. The filmmakers are clearly in awe of the Chicks' fighting spirit. If you think Maines's original Bush remark was disrespectful, wait till you hear what she calls him here. Maines is not ready to make nice, and neither is this riveting documentary.
  41. This true story, deftly embellished by writer Jeremy Brock and directed at a bracing English trot by John Madden, is a splendid showcase for its three superb leads. [28 July, 1997, p. 69]
    • Newsweek
  42. The film is mostly successful in transporting the viewer to another age: the costumes, the body markings, the fierce Mayan masks, all feel right. And keeping the dialogue in subtitles was a smart move. Even better are the faces, which never fail to fascinate. But for all the anthropological research that went into the movie, what is Apocalypto trying to say?
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The summer's most compelling movie about teenagers.
  43. It’s as formulaic as "The Sum of All Fears," but it feels fresher, hipper, less inflated.
    • Newsweek
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Tamara Jenkins, a first-time writer-director, films the proceedings with such a quirky eye the movie looks like a retro postcard.
    • 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.
    • Newsweek
  44. A clever, pleasingly sentimental tale of prehistoric times.
    • Newsweek
  45. Leaner and meaner, "The Road Warrior" had more nonstop thrills. But Miller was right not to try to top that act: he's opted to expand the moral geography of his funk Wasteland. With crazy and beautiful Mel and Tina backed up by a raging gallery of mutant humanity, only a glutton could complain he didn't get his fill. [29 July 1985, p.58]
    • Newsweek
  46. This is a movie that sticks its political neck out, that throbs with dread, paranoia and outrage, that doesn't coddle the audience by neatly tying things up.
  47. If we must have teen movies, let them all be as sweet and seductive as Sollett's smartly observed romance.
  48. A premise this preposterous must be carried off with unflappable comic conviction, and Cusack is just the right man for the job.
  49. Looks like a true epic...even if it is both bloody and bloody long.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Like its subject, American Movie works entirely on its own quirky terms.
  50. The juiciest battle here is Spidey vs. Spidey, or, if you prefer, superego vs. id. When Peter starts to go seriously bad, the movie becomes seriously fun.
  51. Let the Right One In unfolds with quiet, masterly assurance.
  52. The Syrian Bride would be an out-and-out comedy were it set anywhere but in the Middle East.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Pretty charming. Audiences may like it more than critics, but everyone should agree it's one of the most wickedly stylish movies of the year.
    • 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.
    • Newsweek
  53. Told from both women's points of view, this fascinating, if sometimes overwrought, tale packs a wallop.
  54. As taut and exciting as many edge-of-your-seat Hollywood escape movies.
  55. While Whale Rider is a doozy of a female-empowerment fantasy, it’s mercifully free of any feminist smugness.
  56. How you feel about Milk may depend on whether you've seen Rob Epstein's great, Oscar-winning 1984 documentary "The Times of Harvey Milk." Van Sant's movie lacks that film's shattering emotional impact. (Rage is not a color in the director's palette.) For those coming to Milk's story for the first time, however, this will be a rousing experience.
  57. Ulee's Gold possesses an attribute that's increasingly rare in American filmmaking, independent or Hollywood: call it soul.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Hilariously unhinged, but also desperate and confused.
    • Newsweek
  58. A delirious example of grrrl power, Hong Kong style.
  59. Novelist Andre Dubus's plotting may be too much for a two-hour movie. But the story's details feel fresh. The vivid clarity of the images, the compressed fury of the tale, are impossible to get out of your head.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's gory stuff, but it's also a visually arresting blitzkrieg with action so bare-knuckled you'll leave the theater spitting out teeth.
  60. A smooth mixture of satire and sentiment that owes an obvious debt to "The Apartment," not to mention "Jerry Maguire."
  61. Hamer, a meticulous observer himself, is a minimalist with heart.
  62. Keeps you hanging on every twist and turn of its wilder-than-fiction plot.
    • Newsweek
  63. Defies all laws of gravity in its pursuit of thrills and laughs—and it's so disarmingly eager to please that only a stone-faced kung fu purist could object.
  64. Lucas manages to turn the audience's familiarity to his advantage: like a jigsaw puzzle whose final form has always been known, the fun is in discovering how the last pieces fit.
  65. It is an intense study of the human condition, and man's relationship with God, aka the Big Kahuna.
    • Newsweek
  66. Written with an acute ear by Barbara Turner (Leigh's mother) and directed by Ulu Grosbard, it's a resonant, grittily specific film.
  67. Gets a lot of the details right. Outside Providence is a sweet, funny little movie.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The masterful Duvall skillfully illuminates the paradoxes of a very complex man; he also elicits honest performances from his cast. The zealous churchgoers seem more like real people than actors.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The film delivers the warm fuzzies without apology, and you find yourself giving in.
  68. 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.
    • Newsweek
  69. Suspended between the brutally graphic and flights of lyrical fancy, Pan's Labyrinth unfolds with the confidence of a classical fable, one that paradoxically feels both timeless and startlingly new.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A stunning glimpse at acting -- and life -- in the raw.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Newsweek
  70. This spirited rerun, neatly mixing parody and panache, squeezes a surprising amount of fun out of the old war horse.
  71. 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.
    • Newsweek
  72. Slacker is a very funny, oddly touching, weirdly appealing look at the young (and not so young) people who live (sort of) in the nooks and crannies of this college town. [22 July 1991, p.57]
    • Newsweek
  73. Despite an overwrought finale, this stylish horror film is genuinely creepy. See it before the inevitable Hollywood remake.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The only thing you can count on in this exhilarating movie is that nothing is what it seems. Even the borough of Queens looks beautiful.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An engrossing, superbly acted film that will haunt the viewer's thoughts long after the film is over.
    • Newsweek
  74. As we watch the astonishing NASA footage, they eloquently evoke the optimism, anxiety and excitement of those voyages.
  75. Superman II is a success, a stirring sequel to the smash of '79. Whether you will prefer it to the original is like choosing between root beer and Fresca. They're both bubbly, but the flavor is different. What the follow-up doesn't have is the epic lyricism of Richard Donner's version; it's harder edged, fleeter on its feet, less reverential. [22 June 1981, p.87]
    • Newsweek
  76. More sweet than savage, this amiable farce creates laughs with old-pro efficiency.
    • Newsweek
  77. A hilarious, rousing musical comedy set at a summer camp where NOBODY plays sports and EVERYBODY worships Stephen Sondheim.
  78. A wonderfully quirky cast under Francis Ford Coppola's direction makes this one of the more enjoyable John Grisham movies.
  79. Shankman and his screenwriter, Leslie Dixon, prove you can make a lightweight Broadway musical into big movie fun.

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