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 6.9 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
  1. A schizoid action flick bogs down in lofty intentions.
  2. As Good as It Gets works: by the end you'll no doubt be won over by its cranky hero. But for those of us who cherish the quirkily unformulaic Brooks of old, it's a tainted victory.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Tries too hard to prove it has a "heart" when the whole point is that its subjects do not.
  3. This may be a less than ideal “Earnest,” but it still has delights, not least of all Anna Massey’s Miss Prism, Cecily’s dotty tutor, and Tom Wilkinson’s Dr. Chasuble, her clergyman admirer.
    • Newsweek
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    If it all seems a bit dizzying, it is, but there's plenty to enjoy.
  4. Frothing from two mouths, they parody film noir, megaviolent thrillers, sports allegories, ravaged-war-veteran movies, existentialist Westerns, even Busby Berkeley musicals.
  5. This material is charged enough without piling on the melodrama and the lip-smacking violence. The movie too often sacrifices reportage for razzle-dazzle.
  6. Uneven but spunkily energetic movie.
  7. Damon's Ripley is considerably different from the charming sociopath in Patricia Highsmith's novel or the smooth lothario played by Alain Delon in the 1960 French thriller "Purple Noon."
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A surprisingly earnest and cautionary movie, careful to attract female viewers and not freak parents out too badly.
  8. Those who haven’t seen “Lock, Stock” will probably get a bigger kick out of Snatch than those who have. The second time around, what seemed spontaneous can sometimes feel strained.
    • Newsweek
  9. The movie tries too hard. Too bad. This coulda been a contender.
  10. What makes you giggle your way through much of the movie isn't the jokes--Jonathan Gems's script is surprisingly feeble, and Burton's comic timing is often flat-- but the sheer, oddball chutzpah of it all. [23 Dec 1996]
    • Newsweek
  11. The most incendiary movie to come out of Hollywood in a long time. It's a mess, but one worth fighting about.
    • Newsweek
  12. Gangs is a dream project Scorsese has wanted to make for 30 years. You have to honor its mad ambition. But sadly, it feels like a dream too long deferred.
  13. Has a quiet sense of community, a wry, unsentimental sweetness, that grows on you. It's a patient movie for impatient times.
    • Newsweek
  14. Richard Donner's sequel is more than eager to please -- it's desperate.
  15. 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.
  16. Relieved of his courting duties, Allen gives his funniest performance in ages.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    For all its parodic elements, this clever 'whodunit' leaves us squirming and wincing at each slash of the killer. Prepare for a surprise and beware the person enjoying the film right next to you.
  17. 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.
  18. Alternately beguiling and bloated, witty and warmed over, smart and pandering. The majority is likely to swoon; the minority will squirm their way through it.
  19. What keeps this movie honest is the characters, each of them a mass of conflicting instincts, virtues and vices. You know Gonzalez Inarritu comes from outside Hollywood because he doesn't divide the world into heroes and villains.
  20. This sweet, sometimes clunky chick flick is a likable teen romance, but not likely to arouse the giddy swoons Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey generated back in ’87.
  21. In trying to appeal to a wide audience, quirky material has been forced to fit a formula that can't really contain it.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Meg Ryan lends her trademark feistiness to Anastasia, and John Cusack makes Dimitri eminently likable.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    That's the real problem with Fahrenheit 9/11: not the message, but the method… Moore’s default mode is overkill: he even notes that on the night before the attacks Bush slept on "fine French linen." Surely scratchy muslin wouldn't have stopped the evildoers.
  22. Robert Zemeckis's movie is frustratingly uneven. When it's good, it's very good. And when it's not, it can be as silly and self-important as bad '50s sci-fi.
  23. Nair and Witherspoon pull back from the ferocity of Thackeray's portrait: they're afraid we won't find Becky Sharp likable enough. Yes, she's the most brilliant, bold and vibrant creature in this social panorama, but she should also be chilling.
  24. Full of invention, but under the colorful icing is a slightly stale cake.
  25. 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.
  26. 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
  27. Ridiculous, and oddly unforgettable.
  28. Busier, messier and thinner than its predecessor...the studied hipness can get so pleased with itself it borders on the smug.
  29. Spanglish feels hemmed in, visually monotonous. There are signs that a lot has been cut, and in trimming his film Brooks may have squeezed too tight: his movie needs breathing space.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Once Fletcher starts telling the truth against his will, the movie delivers some perfect laughs.
  30. For all the enhanced ingenuity of the special effects in The Lost World, the element of surprise and originality (the idea of cloning dinosaurs from fossilized DNA) is no longer present. And screenwriter David Koepp (the movie is very loosely based on Michael Crichton's sequel to his novel "Jurassic Park") has come up with a pretty conventional story line.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Beautifully appointed, fairly bursting with splendid sets and divine costumes, but it ultimately fails to capture the essence of Wilde's airy wit.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Through the laughter, though, there is real empathy for the characters. It's a light-hearted movie.
    • Newsweek
  31. A romantic comedy for an era of diminished expectations.
  32. The film seems to want us to pin a medal to its own chest.
  33. The good news about the amiable but only partly satisfying Tin Cup is that it frees Kevin Costner from playing a monument and restores to us the loose, sparkling comic actor he used to be. [19 August 1996, p.66]
    • Newsweek
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Robert Rodriguez's second effort is a funny, craftily written piece of low-grade horror crapola.
  34. Holes in the script cause the narrative to burp at times.
  35. Andy Tennant's flimsy but generally likeable comedy is tailor-made for Smith's cheerfully suave comic style, and the movie goes out of its way to avoid any hint of sleaziness.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Inside Deep Throat is more scattershot than deep, but it vividly evokes the days when the "sexual revolution" was supposed to liberate the American libido.
  36. Peaks early, then descends into portentous nonsense.
  37. Fails to rouse any passion. A potentially great subject is frittered away, though this being a Scott movie, there's style to spare.
  38. As long as it stays focused on showbiz, Bewitched is light, frothy fun. But Ephron insists on turning Bewitched into a love story, and that's when the fun starts to seep out of the movie.
  39. A topical thriller that manages to be watchable despite director Alan J. Pakula's best efforts to take all the fun out of it.
  40. This fragile, precious chamber piece, co-written with Susan Minot, rarely seems worthy of the high style lavished upon it. [24 Jun 1996 Pg.83]
    • Newsweek
  41. It's an expertly made film that, scene by scene, holds your attention. But both emotionally and intellectually, it doesn't add up.
  42. This Man in Black is, frankly, a bit of a wuss. As a love story, Walk the Line can seduce. As a biopic, it treads awfully familiar Overcoming Adversity turf.
  43. This scary, eye-opening documentary looks back from a post-9/11 vantage point to see how Ike’s prophecy has come horribly true.
  44. 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.
  45. Pitched too broadly to get very deeply under your skin. Still, there are some smarts at work here, and it will make you laugh.
  46. As a moral fable Click holds no surprises; as a Sandler comedy, it's unusually dark, occasionally touching and pretty funny.
  47. Nightmarish scenes are intercut with interviews with the real men. These could be more probing, and the film's urgency can tilt toward shrillness, but nobody else has made the disaster of Guantánamo so painfully vivid.
  48. When the satire stays focused on Streep or her snooty Brit assistant (Emily Blunt), "Prada" is malicious fun. But the central story about how smart, idealistic Anne Hathaway, as Miranda's drably dressed new assistant, loses her soul in pursuit of success and great shoes is dramatically anorexic.
  49. Shortbus tends to work better in its first, comic half, than in its second, more serious stretch, where the characters' trials and tribulations flirt with soap opera. The actors, formidable with their clothes off, aren't always as expressive fully dressed.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Depp attacks his role with relish, stamping his boot heels and recounting improbable erotic adventures in a wonderful Castilian lisp. Unfortunately, Depp's the only one flying over this cuckoo's nest. [24 Apr 1995, p.64]
    • Newsweek
  50. 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    In the end, this Western is serviceable enough. Herod says if you're born bad, you're bad forever. The Quick was born bad, but it got better. [20 Feb 1995, p.72]
    • Newsweek
  51. As the proud, independent young author, Hathaway is both subdued and alluring--it's her most mature performance. The movie goes down easy, but there's a thin line here: is this an homage or a parasite?
  52. I Am Legend can't seem to make up its mind just what kind of movie it wants to be.
    • 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.
  53. W.
    Like all Stone movies, W. has energy and forward momentum--particularly in the pre-presidential sections, when Bush is in his loose-cannon phase. It's not boring, and Brolin is often remarkable.
  54. The Reader can feel stilted and abstract: the film's only flesh-and-blood characters spend half the movie separated. But its emotional impact sneaks up on you. The Reader asks tough questions, and, to its credit, provides no easy answers.
  55. "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
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    For Trek devotees, it's a supernova of unpredictable sci-fi thrills, though the earthbound may find this trip through the heavens a bit tiresome, especially when the movie tries too hard to wax philosophic. [18 Nov. 1994, p.88]
    • Newsweek
  56. Ready to Wear is all appetizers: the main course never arrives. Still, the critical savagery puzzles me. Altman's movie may be indefensible, but it's not unenjoyable. The fun of it is entirely superficial, like skimming a gossip column.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Charming cinematic bauble.
  57. There are some very funny moments, and Coughlan is a delight as Leigh Anne's best friend.
  58. When George’s fortunes start to go from bad to worse, so does the movie.
    • Newsweek
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    As long as Polanski keeps his focus on character and ambiance, the film is an eerie pleasure. But he doesn't, and it degenerates into a second-rate chase movie which takes its supernatural overtones either too seriously or too lightly to be convincing.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    As preposterous as the movie gets, it's clearly reveling in its own hokiness.
    • Newsweek
  59. A fine film; as an Ed Norton picture, it's a disappointment.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Offers easy wisdom and light-hearted fun.
  60. Enough already with the faux documentary!
  61. Labour teeters on the edge of the amateur. Yet it's hard not to root for its moonstruck spirit, or to succumb to the panache of the pastiche.
  62. It's not as cool as it sounds.
    • Newsweek
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    In the end, it's just another novice-teacher-takes-on-inner-city-kids-and-nobody's-life-will-ever-be-the-same film
  63. This slick, handsomely produced thriller only gets the pulse half racing.
    • Newsweek
  64. This time out, Shyamalan the writer lets Shyamalan the director down badly.
    • Newsweek
  65. Just because Sandler's Sonny makes little sense as an actual human being doesn't mean he won't make you laugh.
  66. Go
    John August's trickily structured script owes an all too obvious debt to "Pulp Fiction," but Liman's film is more like kiddie Tarantino.
  67. Poor Affleck. He doesn’t just have to singlehandedly save the world from nuclear destruction, he has to erase our memories of Ford and Baldwin. That’s a tall order for any actor, and Affleck, an expert at playing cocky, callow yuppies, just doesn’t have the heft.
    • Newsweek
  68. A style so chic, studied and murky it resembles a cross between a Nike commercial and a bad Polish art film.
  69. Robbins eschews leftist diatribes for a bold cartoon version of history. It's as crowded and energetic as a big parade...and just about as subtle.
    • Newsweek
  70. Self-conscious to the point of suffocation.
    • Newsweek
  71. There isn't an ounce of genuine affection on display. Fenton and Barbato already made a documentary of the same title about Alig, and their fascination with this vapid, charmless pied piper of decadence remains a mystery.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There's an ample sense of foreboding in Last Night -- but sadly, very little else.
  72. Hughes is just treading lukewarm water. Stotz is the blandest of his teen heroes yet. [16 Mar 1987]
    • Newsweek
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A slick but surprisingly empty genre movie that builds to a not particularly shocking shock.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Provides some great laughs, but founders when it tries to tackle more serious issues. Entitled "10 Dates," it might have been a much better film.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The film has its dumb points: too many shots of churning surf and lovers nestled in beach blankets, not to mention the premise that women find incommunicative, hulking shells like Blake the height of irresistibility. But it gets you.
  73. Before it degenerates into Indiana Potter and the Chamber of Doom, the movie holds promise -- it hints at why the Harry Potter movies aren’t half as wonderful as they ought to be, why they feel created from the outside in. Magic isn’t made by committee.
    • Newsweek
  74. Resoundingly so-so.
  75. A flat, cliched film in a flat, cliched genre.
  76. Why does this chronicle of a passionate life refuse to catch fire? For all of Taymor’s flashy embellishments -- surreal dream sequences, constructivist collages come to life -- it trudges through the Kahlo chronology with the dutiful step of a conventional Hollywood biopic.

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