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 Letters from Iwo Jima
Lowest review score: 0 Meet Joe Black
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 895
895 movie reviews
    • 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."
  1. Superman turns out to be a surprisingly infectious entertainment, nicely balanced between warmth and wit, intimacy and impressive special effects, comic-strip fantasy and several elements that make the movie eminently eligible for Deep Thinking about rescue fantasies, cherubic messiahs and other pieces of popcorn metaphysics. [1 Jan 1979, p.46]
    • Newsweek
  2. In this gorgeously melancholic fresco of love affairs, Tony Leung Chiu Wai plays a womanizing pulp-fiction writer in '60s Hong Kong.
  3. Will be remembered as a vintage Rohmer harvest.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
    • Newsweek
  7. A genuine work of the popular imagination. It's the first true populist science-fiction film, a blend of the most startling, far-out special effects with the most ordinary human material of the American Heartland. [21 Nov 1977, p.88]
    • Newsweek
  8. Like most of this refreshingly subtle film, it's not what you expect, and it's not something you've seen before.
  9. If this Popsicle of a movie melts long before it's over, the first half has more good laughs than all of “Sweethearts.”
  10. 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.
  11. A wonderfully taut cat-and-mouse thriller.
  12. Despite its bizarre intellectual project, Le Pecheur's film is seductive and shockingly sexy.
    • Newsweek
  13. Like many of Winterbottom's movies, it falls a step short of its full potential. Its tact is both its strength and its weakness. The climax feels rushed: it's the rare movie these days that feels too short.
  14. It's a minimalist almost-love story told with epic flourishes.
  15. Only near the end does the mix of melodrama, mush and message get out of hand.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A lightly entertaining, though not hilarious, film parody of comic book heroes.
  16. Ultimately achieves that lump in the throat that is the romantic comedy's promised land.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Although the film occasionally descends into mawkishness, Shyamalan is skilled at bringing the tension to excruciating heights.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Manages to maintain its humor and energy until the final scene.
  17. Director Robert Zemeckis and writer Bob Gale assume you've seen the original and are ready to swallow whatever zany time-travel notion they offer. They're not wrong. As unapologetically broad and silly as this sequel it, it's also a good deal of fun, and its relentless velocity is part of the joke. [4 Dec. 1989, p.78]
    • Newsweek
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Kapur can't decide if he's making an art movie or a melodrama, an opera or a soap opera.
  18. This is a good introduction to the affable Chan persona. The comedy is broad, the inner-city Americana hilariously off-base, and the English dubbing may prove disconcerting to U.S. audiences. But the cheesiness is part of the fun.
  19. What first feels like thin skit material gets funnier and sweeter. Damon and Kinnear make a terrific team.
  20. The Madame Bovary-in-suburbia motif may sound familiar, yet the unusual mix of satire and melodrama feels fresh. Not everything works (beware the football scenes), but this adaptation of Tom Perrotta's novel is hard to shake off.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The fight scenes are dynamic, intricately choreographed, and downright exciting.
    • Newsweek
  21. The wonder of Invictus is that it actually went down this way.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Thomas is supported in his first directorial endeavor by a truly spectacular cast.
  22. It's a marvelous premise, and Crudup's serpentine performance has a venomous grace. But Jeffrey Hatcher's screenplay too often sacrifices psychological insight for bogus theatricality.
  23. "The Search for Spock" is everything it ought to be: solemn and shlocky and rousing and heartfelt, like all good reunions. For those whose cup of tea this is, drink deep and enjoy. [11 June 1984, p.80]
    • Newsweek
  24. What holds the movie together is the fiercely self-contained commitment of Day-Lewis's performance and the palpable chemistry between him and Watson.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The plotting could use some finessing, but fine acting makes this film worthwhile.
  25. Flaws and all, this may be Spike's most purely enjoyable movie, and his best looking
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    You won't be able to resist the film's ribaldry and cynicism.
  26. Entertaining but farfetched, Spy Game might have looked less meretricious a few months back. But the real world has sabotaged its pretense of authenticity. Enjoy it for what it is, a fleet, handsome fantasy of globe-hopping blond demigods.
    • Newsweek
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    In the end, first-time writer-director Kasi Lemmon's ambitions exceed her skill, but her creativity and the breadth of her vision more than make up for her occasional missteps, luring us into a family album of secrets and lies that keeps the audience groping along with this fine ensemble cast for the truths buried in murky waters.
  27. Ultimately, Quills descends into overwrought melodrama. But at its bright and bawdy best, it bubbles with subversive wit.
  28. Director Michael Lehmann ("Heathers") nimbly keeps this airy concoction afloat.
  29. It’s a movie for movie lovers -- playful, hip and light as a feather.
    • Newsweek
  30. A powerful and moving experience -- once it overcomes its clunky, badly written and clichéd first act.
    • Newsweek
  31. Where the original gave you something to chew on, the sequel is more interested in chewing on you.
  32. While there are few huge laughs, the very lack of pushiness in Harold Ramis's direction comes as comic relief. [8 Aug 1983, p.55]
    • Newsweek
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Rarely have we seen black love be this sensual.
  33. It's preposterous, but never dull: Scott whips the action into a taut, tasty lather.
  34. Spacek is brilliantly funny, slowly transforming Helen from a nervous 60s housewife into a liquored-up one. I could have watched her in the vibrating fat-burner, eyes closed, lazily gripping a martini glass, for hours.
  35. Director Charles ("The Mask") Russell is no James Cameron. He can produce a requisite amount of suspense and mayhem..., but his filmmaking is strictly B-movie generic. [01 Jul 1996 Pg.62]
    • Newsweek
  36. Doesn't add up to any big deal. But it's a likable, lively little ditty -- one theme, some clever variations -- that never wears out its welcome.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Portman gives a superb, understated performance as a teen who gets whiplash from watching her mother's mood swings.
  37. This movie is so unself-consciously wholesome it's almost Gumpian.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Pollock can be clunky and TV-movie-ish. Still, Harris gives a fiery, convincing performance.
    • Newsweek
  38. What Mad Hot Ballroom lacks in depth, it more than makesup for in charm and vibrancy.
  39. The tale is a bit too insular and claustrophobic for its own good: in the end these characters lack the depth and complexity to resonate deeply. The pleasures of The Dreamers stay mostly on the surface. But when the surface is as stylish and sexy as this, it's hard to complain.
  40. Frances McDormand, as the lone female union rep, and Richard Jenkins, as Josie’s angry miner dad, cut through the predictability.
  41. This visually stunning movie serves up generous dollops of designer creepiness.
    • Newsweek
  42. The remarkable thing about Jarrold's movie is how much of the book it manages to capture.
  43. This is not a movie that can bear much postgame scrutiny. The minute you begin to question one element of the plot, gaping holes of logic appear throughout.
  44. Goes on too long, and much of it is hooey, but it’s hard not to have a good time.
  45. Defies any expectations you bring to it. There are sights in Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein's eye-opening documentary that will confirm and confound both right and left.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Refreshingly, the movie doesn't treat you like a moron who needs to be told which woman to root for. If Ben has to choose, why shouldn't you?
  46. Of course, hanging over this ironic tale is the deeper historical irony--that many of the "good guy" rebels Charlie is funding (and we're cheering) will become our mortal enemies...It's as if "Titanic" ended with a celebratory shipboard banquet, followed by a postscript: by the way, it sank.
  47. For a number of reasons The Duchess isn't all it could have been. It's fun, but falls short of fabulous.
  48. A brainy three-ring circus.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Holofcener has a wonderful breezy touch. She hides life issues in such sweet moments, you barely notice them as they go down.
  49. Fortunately, whenever the movie starts to sag, Depp flies to the rescue. It’s a truly piratical performance: with his flamboyantly fluttering fingers he steals every scene in the movie.
  50. Expect to be confused for 10 minutes. Then sit back and enjoy the ride.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A fairy tale reminding us that childhood fears are deep and tangled as tree roots.
  51. With an arsenal of cool f/x at their disposal, the Wachowskis have come up with a dizzyingly enjoyable junk movie that has just enough on its mind to keep the pleasure from being a guilty one.
  52. We're here for catty one-liners, movie-star camaraderie and fur-flying vengeance, and, in spite of a regrettable wimpiness that creeps in toward the end, that's what we get.
  53. Copycat is satisfyingly tense, but the disgusto factor is balanced by its obvious theatricality--neatly captured in the contrasting performaces of Weaver and Hunter, the one playing neurotic standard poodle to the other's tightly wound terrier. [6 Nov 1995, pg.86]
    • Newsweek
  54. Jumpy and ironic, Downey is a quicksilver delight and Kilmer is funny as the gay Perry. But Black’s inventive, self-conscious script--heavy on voice-over narration--can be too clever for its own good. The movie is baroque fun, but exhausting.
  55. Kasdan has made a winning if overly pat first feature notable for its keen ear, its preference for character over plot and its refreshing modesty.
  56. The self-deluded, 21-year-old heroine, can be an awful pain, but her meddling misjudgments are redeemed by her wit, grace and budding moral intelligence, and it's Gwyneth Paltrow's triumph that we always keep sight of that potential as she blithely plucks all the wrong heartstrings in town.
  57. Director Sam Raimi, working from David Koepp's screenplay, wisely anchors his big action-adventure flick on Maguire's modest but beguiling persona.
    • Newsweek
  58. At its screeching, wall-breaking best, “T3” achieves heavy-metal slapstick.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The dedication of the Canadian team strains belief at times, and for good reason.
    • Newsweek
  59. Mandoki's gripping film may pull on the heartstrings too knowingly, but it's hard to forget the sight of the village’s children lying silent and still on every rooftop, praying the recruiting soldiers below will pass them by.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It's one of those juicy stories that have the added virtue of being true.
  60. This is a cute, clever "Superman," without the epic audacity of Richard Donner's Supe I, one of the most underrated of movies, despite the $300 million it grossed. [20 June 1983, p.83]
    • Newsweek
  61. It's basically a mindless paean to goofing off, with interludes of dubious seriousness. [16 June 1986]
    • Newsweek
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    For all its retro design, Spirit actually represents a delicate marriage of the hand and the computer.
    • Newsweek
  62. Living Out Loud is far from seamless -- the last third of the movie has a choppy rhythm and an ending that doesn't quite work -- but it's alive in all the ways that count.
  63. Intelligent, deadly serious, made in a spirit of patriotism and protest, Redford's movie is more civics lesson than drama and doesn't pretend otherwise. It is what it is: a call to action.
  64. Gets too earnest for its own good. But Billy Ray and Terry George’s screenplay, taken from a John Katzenbach novel, is expertly plotted.
    • Newsweek
  65. Wouldn't it have been more fascinating if, just once, they had to argue, as all debate teams must, against their own beliefs? That would have really tested these amazing kids' mettle--and the movie's too.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    With a strong soundtrack and a little humor, In Too Deep remains good entertainment.
    • Newsweek
  66. With Rachel Portman's music tugging too hard for tears, the movie sometimes comes dangerously close to being the soap opera McPherson worked so hard to disguise.
  67. Children of Men leaves too many questions unanswered, yet it has a stunning visceral impact. You can forgive a lot in the face of filmmaking this dazzling.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Stands as a wonderful ensemble piece not unlike Woody Allen's dramas "Interiors" and "September."
  68. Funny, sentimental, cheerfully bawdy story of a wedding reunion that stirs up a hornet's nest of old loves, lusts and jealousies.
    • Newsweek
  69. It's amazing how a sense of humor can turn a formula film into a frolic.
  70. It's worth the price of admission just to hear Vilanch bouncing ideas off of a revved-up Robin Williams.
    • Newsweek
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The script is lame...but U-571 works, thanks to the jittery handheld-camera work, the great, visceral sound editing and a few sneaky plot twists.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Though the movie suffers from an underdeveloped plot, it does benefit from solid acting.
  71. The Rock and Scott work up some nice comic chemistry, but it’s the dependably warped Walken who steals the most scenes. The frenetically edited fight sequences will satisfy the blood lust of the target audience.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Condon's obvious attempts to draw parallels between Whale's life and his work tend to be heavy-handed, and detract from an otherwise intriguing film.
  72. Ali
    I respect it enormously, but it feels like an art film in search of a movie.
    • Newsweek
  73. Ron Howard's version is--no surprise--a funny, audience-friendly entertainment that's ultimately less scathing satire than conventional Hollywood romantic comedy outfitted in trendy new clothes.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The true strength of the film lies in its vast ensemble of actors.
    • Newsweek
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    As a character study, the film is sensitive and precise, but the weak plot often flounders. Ultimately, Rudolph is a master at conveying mood, and gives Afterglow a melancholy feel that wisely never gives in to total despair.
  74. What stays with you finally is not the mystery's byzantine twists and turns, which are fun but don't resonate very deeply. It's the time, the place, the palpable feel of community. [2 Oct 1995, p.85]
    • Newsweek

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