Newsweek's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 911 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 6.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Spider-Man 2
Lowest review score: 0 Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 911
911 movie reviews
  1. The storytelling seems occasionally disjointed, but more important, for all the special-effects wizardry, that touch of film magic never surfaces.
  2. The great '30s comedies had edge, bite and relentless forward momentum. Leatherheads is laid-back, amiable and terminally tepid.
  3. 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.
  4. In Lost Highway, reality has become a dream. But Lynch has forgotten how boring it is listening to someone else's dream.
  5. 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.
  6. Ultimately, Huckabees doesn't work. But it sure does stimulate. This is just the kind of "failure" we could use plenty more of.
  7. 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.
  8. The saving grace of Con Air is its sense of its own absurdity.
  9. 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.
  10. If only the laughs were bigger, smarter and more frequent than they are.
  11. It’s not half bad, with cool locations and a great stunt leap from the top of a Hong Kong high-rise.
  12. It's not as cool as it sounds.
    • Newsweek
  13. Wanted has one good plot twist in store (though it makes little sense), and its sense of humor about its own silliness keeps the fantasy afloat for a while. But as the body count rises, so does the portentous tone, and the relentlessness of Bekmambetov's overamped style becomes oppressive.
  14. Alternately enrapturing and exhausting, brilliant and glib, this is a "Romeo and Juliet" more for the eyes than the ears. [4 Nov 1996, pg.73]
    • Newsweek
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    While the first half showcases an impressive new directorial talent, the last two quarters fail to score.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The main problem is the script, which has a few scares but little smarts.
  15. An ambitious, intense, but overdetermined exploration of the varieties of ethnic intolerance.
  16. It succeeds in bringing O'Barr's comic-book vision to life, but there's little else going on behind the graphic razzle-dazzle and the moody, ominous soundtrack.
  17. Howard redeems this lumpy fantasy. Soft-spoken and mysterious, he presides over the movie with a dangerous, feline grace.
  18. It's gorgeous. It's epic. It's spectacular. But two hours later, it also proves to be emotionally impenetrable.
    • 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.
  19. This time out, Shyamalan the writer lets Shyamalan the director down badly.
    • Newsweek
  20. I might buy Babel if it had any real interest in its characters, but it's too busy moving them around its mechanistic chessboard to explore any nuances or depths.
  21. A fine film; as an Ed Norton picture, it's a disappointment.
  22. Just because Sandler's Sonny makes little sense as an actual human being doesn't mean he won't make you laugh.
  23. How do you literalize heaven? It's a problem moviemakers have struggled with forever, and Jackson hasn't solved it.
  24. The longest, grimmest and least funny of the trilogy.
  25. Congo is basically the old African ooga-mooga movie brought into the P.C., high-tech age.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Payback may not always be P.C., but it's not interested in making friends, anyway. Just killing enemies.
  26. The plain fact is that Halloween II is quite scary, more than a little silly and immediately forgettable. [16 Nov 1981, p.117]
    • Newsweek
  27. There are inspired moments in this edgy, unstable comedy.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    At least in the new Omen, the filmmakers have the sense to keep evil Damien's dialogue to a minimum. His villainy is all in the dimples. But is it too familiar to be scary anymore?
  28. Baby Mama is rescued by two scene-stealing veterans: Sigourney Weaver as the smug, patrician owner of the surrogate company, and a priceless, ponytailed Steve Martin as the self-infatuated New Age owner of Round Earth. These two aren't onscreen a lot, but the movie seems most fully alive when they are.
  29. It's filled with Mann's signature macho verisimilitude, but essentially it's the stuff of what, in saner fiscal times, would have been a B movie. Miami Vice delivers the thrills, atmosphere and romance it promises, but it doesn't resonate like major Mann.
  30. 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
  31. Sometimes stunning, ultimately stupefying epic .
  32. Soft to the point of squishiness, Phenomenon is rescued from terminal bathos by Travolta's radiant conviction.
  33. The movie does have somewhat more lilt and levity, much of it due to Jim Carrey as the Riddler. But there's still plenty of murk, physical and metaphysical, and more psychobabble about Bruce Wayne's obsessions and repressions.
  34. Mangold is something of a pseudo-Scorsese, assembling elements of other pictures like "Internal Affairs" and "Bad Lieutenant" into an eclectic mix that lacks its own vital reality.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Charming cinematic bauble.
  35. This slick, handsomely produced thriller only gets the pulse half racing.
    • Newsweek
  36. A style so chic, studied and murky it resembles a cross between a Nike commercial and a bad Polish art film.
  37. Hughes is just treading lukewarm water. Stotz is the blandest of his teen heroes yet. [16 Mar 1987]
    • Newsweek
  38. A flat, cliched film in a flat, cliched genre.
  39. Along the way, not just the storytelling but the original intention has gotten muddled. You leave The Alamo uncertain of what you're meant to feel: is this a celebration of patriotic sacrifice or an illustration of war's futility?
  40. Unless you’re 15 at heart, you may need anger management yourself after sitting through this aggressively crass comedy, which alternates between mean-spirited slapstick and arbitrary uplift.
  41. Lurching uncertainly from slapstick to tears, The Family Stone works hard to warm the cockles of our hearts. The cast is attractive. The sentiments are commendable. But the love Bezucha wants us to feel for the family couldn't possibly compete with the love they already feel for themselves.
  42. Never mean-spirited, A Dirty Shame has some big laughs, but it's a one-joke movie that shows its strain well before the finish line.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  43. The semifunny Semi-Pro is amiable enough, but you never feel there's much at stake.
  44. For me, there's a problem with The Hulk, always has been, though it hasn't seemed to bother the tale's legions of fans. When the sensitive, physically unprepossessing Banner/Norton turns into the gargantuan, muscle-bound, growling Hulk, there's a total disconnect.
  45. 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
  46. 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.
  47. Manages to take an urgent, important topic and turn it into standard Hollywood melodrama. What a waste.
  48. This is one of the silliest movies ever made--and lots of instantly forgettable fun.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There is too much disconcerting and nasty violence in this light-hearted caper, but when it sticks to its romantic guns, it is often charming.
  49. You're not sure where it's headed, but with an ensemble this good the aimlessness seems invigorating. It's when the plot kicks in that Newell's movie gets less interesting. It's frustrating to see such a promising premise, and such a delightful cast, wasted.
  50. Spielberg has gone to such lengths to avoid boredom that he has leaped squarely into the opposite trap: this movie has such unrelenting action that it jackhammers you into a punch-drunk stupor. This may be the first movie whose audience O.D.'s on action. [4 June 1984, p.78]
    • Newsweek
  51. A decidedly mixed bag.
    • Newsweek
  52. The movie becomes a crazy quilt of competing stories, none of them properly developed. You could cut half the major characters out of Mr. Brooks and never miss them.
  53. You don't have to have lived through the period to find this wrenching. And you don't have to doubt Estevez's sincerity to find it emotionally opportunistic.
  54. The dialogue is tacky, the characters stock and the special effects no improvement on anything George Lucas did 20 years ago.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The more obvious special effects are downright hokey, such as a weird swirling water creature who looks like something out of a toilet cleaner commercial. As the outcome of all the sword-flinging and catapult-launching is never in question, it's hard to stay engaged with the movie once the fighting begins.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    As preposterous as the movie gets, it's clearly reveling in its own hokiness.
    • Newsweek
  55. There are some very funny moments, and Coughlan is a delight as Leigh Anne's best friend.
  56. Comes off as surprisingly unmagical, with characters you only half care about.
  57. No matter how important teamwork is on a job of industrialized entertainment like these ostensibly visionary films, the vision itself has to come from a single inspired sensibility. Despite some intriguing ideas, episodes and effects, that isn't the case with "Star Trek." [17 Dec. 1979, p.110]
    • Newsweek
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Roberts and Gibson form a "pas de deux," two lonely urbanites fighting vague yet common enemies in a plot that never quite comes together.
  58. The theatricality is off the charts. Lane aims for the balconies; Broderick tones it down for the camera a bit.
  59. Strikingly devoid of suspense. It’s not always clear who’s the protagonist and who’s the antagonist. Nor is it scary—at its most intense moments, it’s merely yucky.
    • Newsweek
  60. Technology has squeezed character to a few measly pixels on the digital screens. Explosions have replaced dramatic climaxes.
  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. Quantum of Solace isn't frivolous or cheesy, but it isn't all that much fun either.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Offers easy wisdom and light-hearted fun.
  63. Demme is understandably reluctant to linger on the horrors of slavery, but it's a dramaturgical mistake. The quick, shocking flashbacks of Sethe's brutalization by her white masters don't do the job--they're horrific, but with a B movie luridness.
  64. Penn's eye for landscapes is stunning, and his affection for outsider lifestyles is tangible. Hirsch, who carries the film on his increasingly emaciated shoulders, performs heroically, but there's an edge missing. The ideal casting would have been the young Sean Penn.
  65. The presence of Connery is pure balm, purring those Celtic tones like smoky single-malt Scotch.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There's an ample sense of foreboding in Last Night -- but sadly, very little else.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Shot in crisp black and white, this homage to "La Dolce Vita" nonetheless lacks the charm and energy of Fellini's farcical original.
  66. Director Mimi Leder fills the mindless-action-movie quota quite stylishly. The trouble is, The Peacemaker thinks it has a mind.
  67. Just at the point when Alien 3 should kick into high terror gear, it becomes clear that this hushed, somber sequel doesn't know how to deliver the goods. Fincher has style to spare -- and the sets, cinematography and special effects are all first rate -- but the nuts and bolts of storytelling elude him. [1 June 1992, p.73]
    • Newsweek
  68. Aims for a "Princess Bride" mix of whimsy and wonderment, the sardonic and the romantic, with only sporadic success. Both visually and narratively cluttered, the film diverts more than it enchants.
  69. There’s a great, piercing story here, but too often you feel you’re watching it through the wrong end of the telescope.
  70. The fans who have kept John Berendt's nonfiction tale on the best-seller list for more than three years may come away feeling they've seen "Perry Mason" on Valium. [1 December 1997, p.87]
    • Newsweek
  71. It has a lovely score by Thomas Newman, stunning production design, striking costumes and gorgeous cinematography. Unfortunately, it just doesn't jell.
  72. Enough already with the faux documentary!
  73. There's a quirky, honest movie struggling to emerge from Then She Found Me (April's Jewish heritage is refreshingly portrayed, and there are lovely, scattered moments when the characters surprise you), but Hunt, in her directorial debut, can't seem to decide whether she'd rather make a spicy ethnic dish or bland comfort food.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It does justice to its source material -- and that may be the problem.
  74. This clumsy attempt to merge Jane Austen's classic with Bollywood musical conventions falls painfully flat.
  75. Instead of being moved by Christ's suffering, or awed by his sacrifice, I felt abused by a filmmaker intent on punishing an audience, for who knows what sins.
  76. Unfortunately, this narf's a drag: she talks like a fortune cookie and doesn't really do anything. Still, the multicultural cast is fun, the images have a painterly beauty and there are some beguiling comic touches before the story sinks into a swamp of solemn metaphysical glop.
  77. Attempting a frame-by-frame duplication of Warner Bros. '40s filmmaking--even the extroverted acting style apes the period--Soderbergh has produced a movie so self-conscious that it's drained of all life.
  78. 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
  79. Maybe you have to be 14 to find all of this terribly clever.
    • Newsweek
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    May only be remembered for featuring the first homoerotic nude bathing scene in children's animated movie history.
  80. It's not just that the movie is formulaic; it's disingenuous. It relies on Roberts's smile to erase all misgivings. But all the stardust in the world can't disguise the fact that this is more package than picture.
  81. Spielberg has brought forth a farce that is both relentlessly spectacular and spectacularly unfunny. [17 Dec 1979, p.111]
    • Newsweek
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It's a little late to be spoofing Westerns, and most of the high-noonery in BTTF III falls flat. [4 June 1990, p.82]
    • Newsweek

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