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 Ratatouille
Lowest review score: 0 Meet Joe Black
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 894
894 movie reviews
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Brims with youthful exhuberance, it just needs to cut to the quick a little quicker.
  1. There's no denying that Emmerich's film, though a good half hour too long, keeps us watching.
  2. 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.
  3. The secret of Volcano's success as a better-than-average disasterama is its nonstop pace.
  4. 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.
  5. It's all kept light and funny, but underlying the broad sight gags is a movie that actually has something to say about competition, fathers and sons, machismo and caffeine.
  6. What Mad Hot Ballroom lacks in depth, it more than makesup for in charm and vibrancy.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It's one of those juicy stories that have the added virtue of being true.
  7. Imagine "The War of the Roses" remade as a James Bond fantasy, with appropriately high-tech weaponry, and you have some idea of what Doug Liman's heavily armed comedy has in store.
  8. A mostly successful attempt to resuscitate a series soiled by silliness, sloppiness and Joel Schumacher.
  9. Builds dread masterfully, but don't expect solace or "fun." This is not for those who like mysteries neatly resolved.
    • 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.
  10. Crash has no plot to speak of. It's a cinematic tone poem of collisions and coitus.
    • 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.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Think Batman on crystal meth.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Just about everything in this lavish, animated feature is for the pigtail set, especially a big romance between Pocahontas (Irene Bedard) and the strapping John Smith (Mel Gibson).
  11. Frances McDormand, as the lone female union rep, and Richard Jenkins, as Josie’s angry miner dad, cut through the predictability.
  12. 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.
  13. It's a minimalist almost-love story told with epic flourishes.
  14. 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    All the ingredients for a classic doomed-by-overnight-success movie can be found in the trajectory of Jean Michel Basquiat's short, sad life.
  15. 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]
  16. 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.
  17. Though the tale is told with crisp sangfroid and a wonderful twist, there's hardly a scene I haven't seen somewhere else.
  18. There's almost nothing you haven't seen before in this slick, preposterous, but occasionally exciting thriller. An angry Ford absorbs, and dishes out, massive punishment for a fellow his age, while Virginia Madsen is sadly wasted as his wife.
    • 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. What Eastwood and Streep have done is to bring a semblance of emotional reality to the story.
  22. This movie is so unself-consciously wholesome it's almost Gumpian.
  23. Holofcener gets the milieu beguilingly right, but the abrupt ending leaves you wanting more.
  24. Ratner's version is friskier, shallower-and more fun.
  25. Bizarre, edgy and haunting tale.
  26. 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.
  27. Director Michael Lehmann ("Heathers") nimbly keeps this airy concoction afloat.
  28. 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]
  29. 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]
  30. It's preposterous, but never dull: Scott whips the action into a taut, tasty lather.
  31. Blood Diamond only skims the surface of many important subjects--the script doesn't begin to explain what the civil war was about. But if it opens a few eyes, it will have done its job.
  32. Still, even if the movie's vast reach exceeds its grasp, it's a spellbinding history lesson. The Good Shepherd demands you watch it like a spy: alert, paranoid, never knowing whom you can trust, or who will stab you in the back.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. There are times when you wish the movie was a mini-series. This is meant both as a tribute, for the Ganguli family is so engaging you'd be happy spending much more time with them, and an acknowledgment that a tale this expansive doesn't always fit comfortably within the constraints of a feature-length frame.
  36. 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Wise, humble and effortlessly funny.
  37. Where the original gave you something to chew on, the sequel is more interested in chewing on you.
  38. This one is all about the boys. But as glad as we are to see them, watching the third installment is like attending a college reunion too soon after the last one: after the initial welcome, there's not all that much to say.
  39. 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.
  40. The simplicity of Sicko's argument is also its power.
  41. What this version offers is the chance to watch Russell Crowe and Christian Bale—two of the more charismatic, macho leading men around--duke it out psychologically, while another fine but less well-known intensity artist, Ben Foster, steals
  42. It's the casting of Iraq vet and non-professional Jake McLaughlin as Specialist Bonner, who fought alongside Deerfield's son in Iraq, that strikes a deeper emotional chord. His scenes with Jones, fraught with a complicated mix of bitterness, concern and guilt, are the best things in the movie.
  43. As a genre movie, The Kingdom delivers atmosphere, heroic American derring-do and some decent thrills, though director Peter Berg's approximation of a jerky documentary style suffers from its proximity to the more textured "Bourne Ultimatum."
  44. A return to form after the flat "Life Aquatic," Darjeeling has a lightweight, coloring-book charm that deepens and darkens after these odd, privileged ducks are thrown off the train.
  45. Gillespie’s movie walks a delicate line through a minefield of potential bad taste. Directed with patient, low-key sensitivity, it never goes for a cheap laugh at its protagonist’s expense.
  46. There's a great story here, but it feels like American Gangster hasn't been mined for all its riches.
  47. I'm not sure what kids are going to make of Bee Movie. The shiny, vivid computer-animated images pop off the screen with the vibrancy of the Pixar movies, but the understated, throwaway humor is pure Seinfeld: adult, observational, feasting on the small ironies of human (make that "beeish") behavior.
  48. 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.
  49. Forster's solid, unpretentious movie hits its marks squarely, and isn't afraid to wear its heart on its sleeve. Only a mighty tough viewer could fail to be moved.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. If Forgetting Sarah Marshall doesn't reach the inspired heights of "Knocked Up" or "Superbad," it runs a very respectable second.
  53. Thanks to Ejiofor's wonderful performance--his easy, commanding body language wordlessly convinces you of his character's nobility--and Mamet's knowing take on the arcane world of Brazilian jiujitsu, Redbelt never loses its muscular hold on your attention.
  54. Speed Racer creates a timeless, visually seductive world suspended somewhere between the pop '60s and the sci-fi future.
  55. You may emerge more exhausted than elated. Nolan wants to prove that a superhero movie needn't be disposable, effects-ridden junk food, and you have to admire his ambition. But this is Batman, not "Hamlet." Call me shallow, but I wish it were a little more fun.
  56. The remarkable thing about Jarrold's movie is how much of the book it manages to capture.
  57. For a number of reasons The Duchess isn't all it could have been. It's fun, but falls short of fabulous.
  58. The wonder of Invictus is that it actually went down this way.
  59. Slides gracefully between comedy and pathos (it aims for tragedy, but doesn't quite get there).
  60. 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]
  61. Beverly Hills Cop is no masterpiece, but it uses Murphy to maximum effect. At its best, the movie is exactly as brazen, charming and mercurial as Murphy himself, which is to say it is unimaginable without him. [3 Dec. 1984, p.81]
  62. 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]
  63. "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]
  64. The latest "Star Trek" is the most down-to-earth, and certainly the funniest, movie in the series, further evidence of the show's amazing durability. [1 Dec. 1986, p.89]
  65. Kansas City can be regarded as a jazz tone poem on themes of race, politics, money and the movies themselves.
  66. 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]
  67. But if the endpoint is a homiletic given, the journey itself is more charming, and less sentimental, than you might suspect.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There still is enough tightly staged action and sly humor to earn this latest installment a memorable place in Bond canon.
  68. There is one reason, and only one, for anyone to check out Vertical Limit. The hanging-by-a-fingernail mountain-climbing sequences are spectacular.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    We don't really need some young punk to tell us that anarchy is an untenable idea, but watching him live it is an invigorating experience.
  69. There are just enough fresh, funny gags and witty throwaways to keep the 88-minute MIB2 percolating -- it fulfills its end of the bargain: a good time will be had by almost all.
  70. Barring one dreadfully trumped-up climactic scene, they've managed to avoid the usual asylum-movie cliches.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Careening wildly between fairy tale and drama it doesn't know when to call it quits.
  71. Stone creates such a sizzling, raunchy, vital world that the cliches almost seem new.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Sort of like a Jennifer Lopez video: pretty to look at, easy on the ears, but ultimately completely vacuous and lackluster.
  72. Hollywood rarely mounts these lavish period epics anymore. It's nice to see them try, even if the result is somewhat less than heart-stopping.
  73. For those who believe that movies are a proper place to explore the riddle of sex, no holds barred, this movie is de rigueur.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    May be formulaic...but many good recipes are.
  74. Maverick moviemaker James Toback has latched on to the most fascinating cultural phenomenon of the American moment.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A film of ideas; meaty ideas about Catholicism, faith, and the true nature of jealousy, love and hate, that are rarely contemplated in today's cinema.
  75. Jones even manages to save this somewhat tiring film.
  76. There's something decidedly mechanical about this intermittently gripping movie's bleak view of human nature.
  77. It’s sad to see such stunning work self-destruct. You walk out haunted by the movie that might have been.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    In the second half the film meanders into all the danger areas one might expect: predictable plot twists, tearful separation scenes between the lovers, and even a joyful reunion in Rome.
  78. As well-crafted and sensitive as it is, the movie remains one step removed from inspiration.
  79. As anthropology, it's fascinating, and everything about the production is first class. But the human drama at the heart of this movie is stillborn.
  80. A movie of arresting pieces that don't harmonize into a satisfying whole.
  81. Forman's decision to stick to the surface is probably, in the end, a wise one. Kaufman always wanted to keep us guessing, and this movie respects his wishes.
  82. What charm, quirkiness and warmth the movie possesses is due largely to them (Cage and Leoni).
  83. In the antic, melancholy comedy The Royal Tenenbaums, the singular Wes Anderson (“Rushmore”) abandons his native Texas for a storybook vision of New York.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    If the film has a problem, it's that the Farrelly brothers, co-writers and directors, seem content to bunt for long stretches between home runs.

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