Newsweek's Scores

  • Movies
For 895 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 Dreamgirls
Lowest review score: 0 Meet Joe Black
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 895
895 movie reviews
  1. 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
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The summer's most compelling movie about teenagers.
  2. Screenwriters Heather Hach and Leslie Dixon have devised some lovely and hilarious variations on Rodgers’s irresistible premise.
  3. A clever, pleasingly sentimental tale of prehistoric times.
    • Newsweek
  4. 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.
  5. While Whale Rider is a doozy of a female-empowerment fantasy, it’s mercifully free of any feminist smugness.
  6. A hilarious, rousing musical comedy set at a summer camp where NOBODY plays sports and EVERYBODY worships Stephen Sondheim.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The plot is predictable, but the frights are real.
  7. A delirious example of grrrl power, Hong Kong style.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Zwigoff doesn't hype up the gags, and his deliberately deadpan style gives even farfetched jokes an edge of reality.
  11. When it catches fire, this great-looking movie offers hilarious diversions.
  12. 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.
  13. The rage and sadness behind this film -- the first from Afghanistan since the Taliban's fall -- is matched by its artistry.
  14. Hamer, a meticulous observer himself, is a minimalist with heart.
  15. 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.
  16. His smart, raunchy movie offers no answers (how could it?), but it poses its questions with painfully hilarious honesty.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The result is a film that's really moving--and really moves.
  17. Smart, informative and lively polemic.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Glenn Close, Bette Midler and Roger Bart (who plays one half of a gay couple slated for Stepfordizing) are hilarious, and even Nicole Kidman flashes comedic gifts not seen since "To Die For."
  18. This hothouse tale of grief, sex and betrayal is told with a cool detachment that renders it commendably unsentimental--and slightly remote.
  19. It's harmless fun, but it underutilizes Murphy, who's largely reduced to doing virtuoso variations on his iconic smile.
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. It's like a spectacular roadside accident: you can't turn away.
  24. A wonderfully quirky cast under Francis Ford Coppola's direction makes this one of the more enjoyable John Grisham movies.
  25. 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?
  26. 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.
  27. A meditation on love, faith and science in the guise of a thriller, the movie's a tad schematic, but thoroughly gripping.
  28. Mingling reality and fantasy, Forster has given us a luminous, touching meditation on life and art.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  29. Ultimately, one's reservations are overwhelmed by the story's urgency; it's impossible not to be shattered.
  30. A smooth mixture of satire and sentiment that owes an obvious debt to "The Apartment," not to mention "Jerry Maguire."
    • 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
  31. Everyone will be tickled pink by this sleek Mike Nichols remake.
    • 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.
  32. Powerful images hook you immediately.
  33. Day-Lewis, who imbues Jack with a ravaged, Keith Richards charisma, is once again extraordinary.
    • 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. As a history lesson (Depression 101), Cinderella Man feels a bit secondhand. As a true-grit tale of redemption, however, it lands one solid body punch after another.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. It's hands down the funniest of the year, both pushing the boundaries of bad taste and exploring how those boundaries keep shifting.
  41. In this gorgeously melancholic fresco of love affairs, Tony Leung Chiu Wai plays a womanizing pulp-fiction writer in '60s Hong Kong.
    • 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.
  42. A streak of pitch-black humor, some bawdy detours and a touch of sanguine, sun-baked poetry Sam Peckinpah would have liked.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The film delivers the warm fuzzies without apology, and you find yourself giving in.
  43. 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.
  44. Jordan is always best on his native Irish turf, and he's in grand mischievous form in this picaresque fable.
  45. The Syrian Bride would be an out-and-out comedy were it set anywhere but in the Middle East.
  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. A shameless crowd-pleaser.
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
    • 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.
  50. 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.
  51. The movie crackles with the serio-comic tension of thin-skinned New Yorkers thrown together in a crisis.
  52. 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.
  53. As eye-popping as anything Pixar has done. But Cars inspires more admiration than elation. It dazzles even as it disappoints. This time around, John Lasseter and his codirector, the late Joe Ranft, seem more interested in dispensing Life Lessons than showing us a roaring good time.
  54. 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
  55. Take the movie's first words to heart: watch closely. You'll be well rewarded.
  56. 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.
  57. 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.
  58. Though it lacks "Wallace and Gromit"'s charm, its mile-a-minute inventiveness is impressive.
  59. 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?
  60. 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.
  61. A wonderfully taut cat-and-mouse thriller.
  62. The movie holds you in its grip from start to finish.
  63. 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.
  64. 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.
  65. In one of his most impudently engaging movies, Lee's heroine has a lot of sex—on the telephone.
  66. Written with an acute ear by Barbara Turner (Leigh's mother) and directed by Ulu Grosbard, it's a resonant, grittily specific film.
    • 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.
  67. While the elements in this coming-of-age saga may seem familiar, Eszterhas brings a fresh, immigrant's-eye perspective to his tale.
  68. 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.
  69. As taut and exciting as many edge-of-your-seat Hollywood escape movies.
  70. A vital entertainment that struts confidently between comedy and drama.
  71. Shankman and his screenwriter, Leslie Dixon, prove you can make a lightweight Broadway musical into big movie fun.
  72. 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.
  73. To blends sentimentality, shoot-outs and cool humor into a bewitchingly entertaining brew.
  74. As we watch the astonishing NASA footage, they eloquently evoke the optimism, anxiety and excitement of those voyages.
  75. Like most of this refreshingly subtle film, it's not what you expect, and it's not something you've seen before.
  76. 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.
  77. 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.
  78. Downey and Favreau give the movie a quirky flavor it can call its own. For that we can be grateful.
  79. Perfectly reflects the range of this funny, disturbing and complex tale.
  80. Intimate, moving and playful.
  81. 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.
  82. If we must have teen movies, let them all be as sweet and seductive as Sollett's smartly observed romance.
  83. 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.
  84. 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.

Top Trailers