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 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Lowest review score: 0 Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 895
895 movie reviews
  1. The secret of Volcano's success as a better-than-average disasterama is its nonstop pace.
  2. Brilliant, but shallow.
  3. 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.
  4. If Forgetting Sarah Marshall doesn't reach the inspired heights of "Knocked Up" or "Superbad," it runs a very respectable second.
  5. There's a great story here, but it feels like American Gangster hasn't been mined for all its riches.
  6. A mostly successful attempt to resuscitate a series soiled by silliness, sloppiness and Joel Schumacher.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    There are some moments that fall flat—the cinematic world might be a better place without Crystal's deeply unfunny parody of a gangster—and the delightful Lisa Kudrow is woefully under-used.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A warm-hearted romp that will leave you smiling -- and strutting.
  7. Ninety minutes into this massive movie the attack commences, and the spectacular images come hurtling like fireballs. This is, let's be honest, what we're here for, and what most Jerry Bruckheimer-produced movies serve up best: the poetry of destruction.
  8. The simplicity of Sicko's argument is also its power.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It has a timely resonance. While it doesn't have that transcendent quality of Majidi's earlier work -- the implied bleakness from across the border puts a slightly darker hue on the proceedings -- it does tell a story worth telling.
  9. It's hard not to be impressed by Kerry's courage and calm leadership--and to wonder if that guy will show up again.
  10. 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Adorable, if uneven, romantic comedy.
  11. Bizarre, edgy and haunting tale.
  12. 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
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    There's plenty of bravura camera work and two terrific supporting turns from Carla Gugino, as a terrified key witness, and Stan Shaw, as the soul-searching heavyweight champ. De Palma didn't hit the jackpot here, but he certainly didn't roll snake eyes.
  13. 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The old pros cavort grandly. Moore even strips down to a black bra and panties, and rolls in bed with her husband (George Segal).
    • Newsweek
  14. Kansas City can be regarded as a jazz tone poem on themes of race, politics, money and the movies themselves.
  15. Ratner's version is friskier, shallower-and more fun.
  16. 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.
  17. It's a testament to his (Amenabar's) cinematic flair that he has taken as daunting a subject as euthanasia and turned it into a crowd-pleasing movie. It's also an indication of what feels wrong here. I can't deny that I was moved, but it all goes down a bit TOO easy.
  18. Director Payne, who adapted Tom Perrotta's novel with Jim Taylor, has an authentically dire view of human behavior, which he expresses in crisp, edgy and sometimes startlingly raunchy style.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    This remake is like a live-action cartoon: all brio and no brains.
  19. Great Expectations has great style; that's not everything we want from the movies, but sometimes it's almost enough. [2 February 1998, p. 61]
    • Newsweek
    • 34 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Think Batman on crystal meth.
  20. 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    At the heart of all Morris's films -- from "The Thin Blue Line" to "Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control" -- is a fundamental belief in the unreliability of truth.
  21. Director Jay Roach ("Austin Powers") has a keen sense of comic timing, and the script keeps finding clever new ways to mortify our poor hero.
  22. 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."
  23. Though they’re full of undeniably spectacular moments, great production values and unusual ambition, a simple thing has gotten lost in these sequels: they’re not much fun.
  24. It’s not a particularly sexy movie. What’s shocking to Schrader is not Crane’s promiscuity, but his obtuseness. It’s the story of the unbearable lightness of Bob.
    • Newsweek
  25. 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.
  26. A complex, entertaining film that may have more ideas than it can handle, but certainly has real ideas.
  27. Silly as it is, The Contende has a lurid zest that keeps you hooked, and a rambunctiously good cast.
    • Newsweek
  28. Packs an irresistible emotional punch.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Harris leavens the familiar suburban angst with dark humor, rich characterizations and a terrific cast.
  29. There’s much to argue with, but this unconventional, oddly beautiful film resonates in unexpected ways.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Twohy knows how to shoot tense, bare-knuckle action, and his towering, gunmetal gray world is a fun sandbox to play in for two hours.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    You may leave the theater with a bit of a headache, but you'll feel amply compensated by the sense of having seen a master inventor at work.
  30. 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.
  31. The scary fun of the movie is embodied in a brilliantly filmed and edited chase sequence in which Smith tries to escape the ubiquitous cyber-eyes that see every inch of his flight.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    There's something for everyone in this 70-minute special effects frolic, and lovers of the cartoon will find the movie relatively faithful to its animated predecessor.
  32. Builds dread masterfully, but don't expect solace or "fun." This is not for those who like mysteries neatly resolved.
  33. Impersonal Hollywood filmmaking at its most paradoxical. It keeps you glued to your seat, and leaves no aftertaste whatsoever.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Wise, humble and effortlessly funny.
  34. Columbus's Harry Potter has many delights, but the magical alchemy that the book seemed to achieve so effortlessly eludes it.
    • Newsweek
  35. Gorgeous, mesmerizing, and stunningly well acted.
    • Newsweek
  36. Holofcener gets the milieu beguilingly right, but the abrupt ending leaves you wanting more.
  37. Under the reins of Jean-Pierre Jeunet ("Delicatessen"), the Alien franchise has lost none of its taste for acid-spewing, flesh-impaling, entrail-dripping gore.
  38. 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]
    • Newsweek
  39. 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.
  40. The movie, which ricochets between farce and poignancy, casts just enough romantic pixie dust to leave you smiling. It's certainly not the last word on the subject, but it's an amiable start.
  41. 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]
    • Newsweek
  42. Crash has no plot to speak of. It's a cinematic tone poem of collisions and coitus.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. A fanciful, featherweight, mostly charming concoction predicated on the old romantic myth that there is one true soul mate out there for us all.
    • Newsweek
  46. Slides gracefully between comedy and pathos (it aims for tragedy, but doesn't quite get there).
  47. 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    This achingly funny film is a string of vignettes with no real plot, so it has periods of pointlessness--come to think of it, it's all pointless. But it has "cult classic" written all over it.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Brims with youthful exhuberance, it just needs to cut to the quick a little quicker.
  48. Though the tale is told with crisp sangfroid and a wonderful twist, there's hardly a scene I haven't seen somewhere else.
  49. It's a picturesque tale that, hobbled by its episodic structure, never achieves full steam.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. A mix-and-match crowd-pleaser that shouldn't add up, but delightfully does.
  53. 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.
    • 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.
  54. What Eastwood and Streep have done is to bring a semblance of emotional reality to the story.
  55. A thick stew of sex, violence and suspicion, Lee's movie -- spiked up with a virtually nonstop soundtrack -- definitely has the power to jangle your nerves.
    • 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).
  56. There's no denying that Emmerich's film, though a good half hour too long, keeps us watching.
  57. Speed Racer creates a timeless, visually seductive world suspended somewhere between the pop '60s and the sci-fi future.
  58. Full of invention, but under the colorful icing is a slightly stale cake.
  59. It’s sad to see such stunning work self-destruct. You walk out haunted by the movie that might have been.
    • Newsweek
    • 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.
    • Newsweek
  60. Scott's finesse can't entirely disguise the mechanical nature of Nicholas and Ted Griffin's script, which has one too many twists for its own good. Fun while it lasts, but it's a bit of a con job itself.
  61. "The Final Frontier" is not as witty as the last installment, nor as well made as "The Search for Spock." But it has the Trek essence in spades. [19 June 1989, p.63]
    • Newsweek
  62. Ray
    It's hobbled by the too-familiar conventions of the musical biopic: with so many chapters of Charles's life to cover, Hackford's movie never finds a rhythm, a groove, to settle into. It wins its battles without winning the war.
    • Newsweek
    • 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.
  63. But if the endpoint is a homiletic given, the journey itself is more charming, and less sentimental, than you might suspect.
  64. 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.
    • Newsweek
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Tries too hard to prove it has a "heart" when the whole point is that its subjects do not.
  65. For those who believe that movies are a proper place to explore the riddle of sex, no holds barred, this movie is de rigueur.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Robert Rodriguez's second effort is a funny, craftily written piece of low-grade horror crapola.
  66. Relieved of his courting duties, Allen gives his funniest performance in ages.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Like Norma Desmond in "Sunset Boulevard," Indy is still big; it's just that, in the new world of movie franchises, The Crystal Skull feels smaller.
  67. In the antic, melancholy comedy The Royal Tenenbaums, the singular Wes Anderson (“Rushmore”) abandons his native Texas for a storybook vision of New York.
    • Newsweek
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Careening wildly between fairy tale and drama it doesn't know when to call it quits.
    • Newsweek
  68. Films about great theatrical divas (so temperamental! So divine!) all strike familiar notes. This Somerset Maugham adaptation is no exception. But Annette Bening, playing the queen of the '30s London stage, makes it worth another go-round.
  69. Has a quiet sense of community, a wry, unsentimental sweetness, that grows on you. It's a patient movie for impatient times.
    • Newsweek
  70. Zoo
    Zoo avoids any taint of exploitation, but it errs on the opposite extreme. I came away from it wanting a little less Art and a lot more simple reportage.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A surprisingly earnest and cautionary movie, careful to attract female viewers and not freak parents out too badly.
  71. For all its shortcomings, The Human Stain is an honorable, sometimes moving attempt, better at evoking the poignancy of Silk's autumnal affair than exploring the moral ambiguities of his deception.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Through the laughter, though, there is real empathy for the characters. It's a light-hearted movie.
    • Newsweek
  72. The demands of the historical epic form seem to hobble Jordan's imagination. He's a director who's at his best when he can follow the dark logic of his own subconscious.
    • 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.
  73. Holes in the script cause the narrative to burp at times.

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