Newsweek's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 901 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: 69
Highest review score: 100 The Quiet American
Lowest review score: 0 Down to You
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 901
901 movie reviews
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A surprisingly earnest and cautionary movie, careful to attract female viewers and not freak parents out too badly.
  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. Holes in the script cause the narrative to burp at times.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. A schizoid action flick bogs down in lofty intentions.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Once Fletcher starts telling the truth against his will, the movie delivers some perfect laughs.
  9. Fails to rouse any passion. A potentially great subject is frittered away, though this being a Scott movie, there's style to spare.
    • 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.
  10. Barring one dreadfully trumped-up climactic scene, they've managed to avoid the usual asylum-movie cliches.
    • Newsweek
    • 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
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    If it all seems a bit dizzying, it is, but there's plenty to enjoy.
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. This scary, eye-opening documentary looks back from a post-9/11 vantage point to see how Ike’s prophecy has come horribly true.
  14. A romantic comedy for an era of diminished expectations.
  15. 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.
  16. Stone creates such a sizzling, raunchy, vital world that the cliches almost seem new.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Meg Ryan lends her trademark feistiness to Anastasia, and John Cusack makes Dimitri eminently likable.
  17. There is one reason, and only one, for anyone to check out Vertical Limit. The hanging-by-a-fingernail mountain-climbing sequences are spectacular.
    • 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
  18. 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?
  19. Ridiculous, and oddly unforgettable.
  20. 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.
  21. The movie tries too hard. Too bad. This coulda been a contender.
  22. 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.
  23. As well-crafted and sensitive as it is, the movie remains one step removed from inspiration.
  24. 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.
  25. Richard Donner's sequel is more than eager to please -- it's desperate.
  26. Pitched too broadly to get very deeply under your skin. Still, there are some smarts at work here, and it will make you laugh.
  27. 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.
    • 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.
  28. Maverick moviemaker James Toback has latched on to the most fascinating cultural phenomenon of the American moment.
  29. Jones even manages to save this somewhat tiring film.
  30. 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
  31. 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.
  32. Uneven but spunkily energetic movie.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. Peaks early, then descends into portentous nonsense.
  38. 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
    • 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
  39. In trying to appeal to a wide audience, quirky material has been forced to fit a formula that can't really contain it.
  40. What charm, quirkiness and warmth the movie possesses is due largely to them (Cage and Leoni).
    • 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. I Am Legend can't seem to make up its mind just what kind of movie it wants to be.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    May be formulaic...but many good recipes are.
  43. This material is charged enough without piling on the melodrama and the lip-smacking violence. The movie too often sacrifices reportage for razzle-dazzle.
  44. The most incendiary movie to come out of Hollywood in a long time. It's a mess, but one worth fighting about.
    • Newsweek
  45. 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."
  46. 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.
  47. A movie of arresting pieces that don't harmonize into a satisfying whole.
    • Newsweek
  48. Frothing from two mouths, they parody film noir, megaviolent thrillers, sports allegories, ravaged-war-veteran movies, existentialist Westerns, even Busby Berkeley musicals.
  49. There's something decidedly mechanical about this intermittently gripping movie's bleak view of human nature.
  50. 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.
    • 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.
  51. 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.
  52. 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.
  53. 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
  54. As a moral fable Click holds no surprises; as a Sandler comedy, it's unusually dark, occasionally touching and pretty funny.
  55. The film seems to want us to pin a medal to its own chest.
  56. Busier, messier and thinner than its predecessor...the studied hipness can get so pleased with itself it borders on the smug.
    • 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.
  57. 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.
    • 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.
  58. 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.
  59. 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
  60. A topical thriller that manages to be watchable despite director Alan J. Pakula's best efforts to take all the fun out of it.
    • 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.
  61. Slightly soggy.
  62. Doubt stirs up a lot of stormy theatrical weather, but the stolid transfer from stage to screen does Shanley's play no favors.
  63. These actresses are always worth seeing in just about anything, as is Tuscany. Together they are able to make up for the meandering plot and lack of dramatic oomph.
  64. When George’s fortunes start to go from bad to worse, so does the movie.
    • 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
  65. Self-conscious to the point of suffocation.
    • Newsweek
  66. The storytelling is cheesy, but action fans won't want to miss the debut of the Next Big Thing in martial arts.
  67. Inside this numbingly formulaic action comedy there's a small, quirky movie not screaming hard enough to get out--the kind of movie that director and co-writer Ron Shelton (“Bull Durham,” “Tin Cup”) could have had some real fun with.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Couldn’t have arrived at a better time: movies have been so bad lately that audiences are positively starving for something mediocre.
  68. There are pleasures to be had in the handsome, heroic The Last Samurai. But they' all on the surface.
  69. But the tale has been squeezed to fit the mold of director John Hughes, which for long stretches makes it feel as much like the third "Home Alone" as the second "Dalmations."
  70. Resoundingly so-so.
  71. In the end, artifice overwhelms art. Apt Pupil is too serious to work as a genre movie, and too contrived to be taken seriously. [12 October 1998]
    • Newsweek
  72. It's sometimes hard to tell the characters from the candelabra. This lavish screen version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical is so chockablock with decorative detail the human figures are often competing with the decor for attention.
  73. Harron sets the stage expertly, but her lack of a point of view ultimately enervates the movie. [6 May 1996, p. 78]
    • Newsweek
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A slick but surprisingly empty genre movie that builds to a not particularly shocking shock.
  74. The storytelling seems occasionally disjointed, but more important, for all the special-effects wizardry, that touch of film magic never surfaces.
  75. The great '30s comedies had edge, bite and relentless forward momentum. Leatherheads is laid-back, amiable and terminally tepid.
  76. I don't want to sound like a party pooper (or deny that there is something wickedly funny about seeing these middle-age adolescents beating the crap out of a playground full of little bullying kids) but there's something depressing about the never-ending celebration of eternal adolescence in recent American comedies.
  77. In Lost Highway, reality has become a dream. But Lynch has forgotten how boring it is listening to someone else's dream.
  78. Slick and violent and reasonably tense, Ransom holds your attention without being the least bit interesting. [11Nov1996 Pg. 74]
    • Newsweek
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Too bad the film ultimately fails to explore [provocative questions], falling instead to cliches.
  79. Ultimately, Huckabees doesn't work. But it sure does stimulate. This is just the kind of "failure" we could use plenty more of.

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