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
  1. Infused with the bleak romanticism of Melville's gangster movies ("Le Samouraï," "Bob le Flambeur"), and deepened by his own experiences in the Resistance, this hard-bitten tribute to freedom fighters makes most current movies look flabby and undisciplined. Don't miss it.
  2. Suspended between the brutally graphic and flights of lyrical fancy, Pan's Labyrinth unfolds with the confidence of a classical fable, one that paradoxically feels both timeless and startlingly new.
  3. It's one of the richest movie experiences of the year, a spellbinding American epic that holds you firmly in its grip for nearly three hours.
  4. A film as rich as a sauce béarnaise, as refreshing as a raspberry sorbet.
  5. Once again, the Pixar wizards have pushed the animation envelope in unexpected directions and come up with a winner. Wondrously inventive, funny and poignant, WALL*E is part sci-fi adventure, part cautionary fable, part satire and part love story, which may be the best and most improbable part of all.
  6. In Sideways, Payne has created four of the most lived-in, indelible characters in recent American movies. This deliciously bittersweet movie makes magic out of the quotidian.
  7. The second installment was better than the first, and this one is best of all. It has spectacular action scenes and imaginary creatures, and it’s by far the most moving chapter. The performances have deepened.
  8. At once elegant and sublimely silly, contemplative and gung-ho, balletic and bubble-gum, a rousing action film and an epic love story, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is one bursting-at-the-seams holiday gift, beautifully wrapped by the ever-surprising Ang Lee.
  9. Days of Heaven is a big advance, hauntingly beautiful in image, sound and rhythm, unashamedly poetic, brimming with sweetness and bitterness, darkness and light. [18 Sept. 1978, p.97]
  10. One of the year's best: a rich, funny, enormously humane portrait of a middle-class Taipei family in the throes of romantic, economic and spiritual upheaval.
  11. Schnabel, screenwriter Ronald Harwood and Spielberg's great cinematographer Janusz Kaminski have found a way to take us inside Bauby's mind--his memories, his fantasies, his loves and lusts--transforming a story of physical entrapment and spiritual renewal into exhilarating images.
  12. There Will Be Blood is ferocious, and it will be championed and attacked with an equal ferocity. When the dust settles, we may look back on it as some kind of obsessed classic.
  13. Once again Disney has come up with a winning animated feature that has something for everyone on the age spectrum.
  14. The Movie Works. It has real passion, real emotion, real terror, and a tactile sense of evil that is missing in that other current movie dealing with wizards, wonders and wickedness.
  15. A tad dark for little kids, this one-of-a-kind movie delivers 80 minutes of idiosyncratic inspiration.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Marvelous, and surprisingly intimate.
  16. A genuine work of the popular imagination. It's the first true populist science-fiction film, a blend of the most startling, far-out special effects with the most ordinary human material of the American Heartland. [21 Nov 1977, p.88]
  17. The images of war that Folman and his chief illustrator, David Polonsky, conjure up have a feverish, infernal beauty. Dreams and reality jumble together.
  18. The results are wondrous, wrenching and crazily funny to behold.
  19. Raises Hollywood's depiction of war to a new level.
  20. You have to pay close attention to follow the double-crossing intricacies of the plot, but the reward for your work is dark and dirty fun.
  21. Brings history to life with an uncanny sense of realism.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A moving, complex and dreamlike tale.
  22. Filled with delicious backstage drama, and superb actors reveling in the opportunity to play their 19th-century counterparts.
  23. I don't know how a movie this original got made today, but thank God for wonderful aberrations.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The vocal performances are a blast, Hunter's and Lee's in particular. The animation of the villain's tropical isle is stunning.
  24. Though acid is dropped, groupies are bartered like poker chips and rock-star egos flare like fireworks, what comes through is the relative innocence of that era.
  25. A painfully funny movie. There’s nothing in the history of movie courtship quite like the first meeting between Pekar and his future wife and fellow depressive, Joyce Brabner.
  26. A fine, well-groomed entertainment, but the road it takes has already been well paved.
  27. This is first-rate, visceral filmmaking, no question: taut, watchful, free of false histrionics, as observant of the fear in the young terrorists' eyes as the hysteria in the passenger cabin, and smart enough to know this material doesn't need to be sensationalized or sentimentalized.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A miraculous movie. It will rattle both your head and heart
  28. It’s like a nightmare that follows you around in daylight: you can’t quite decode it, you can’t shake it, you can’t stop turning it over and over in your mind. This is one queasily powerful movie.
  29. It's not to be missed in any language. In a year that has given us such marvelous animated movies as "Ratatouille" and "Paprika," this vibrant, sly and moving personal odyssey takes pride of place.
  30. Their (Murray/Johansson) brief, wondrous encounter is the soul of this subtle, funny, melancholy film.
  31. Smart, generous, as subtle as it is expansive, this is storytelling of a rare order. Six hours may seem like a big investment, but the emotional pay-back is beyond price.
  32. It's hard to believe this is von Donnersmarck's first feature. His storytelling gifts have the novelistic richness of a seasoned master. The accelerating plot twists are more than just clever surprises; they reverberate with deep and painful ironies, creating both suspense and an emotional impact all the more powerful because it creeps up so quietly.
  33. This is comedy from the danger zone, and it will genuinely offend some folks who feel certain subjects are not to be laughed at. They'd best stay at home. Fans should be warned as well: Borat can make you laugh so hard it hurts.
  34. It's unprecedented, a sorrowful and savagely beautiful elegy that can stand in the company of the greatest antiwar movies.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In the hearts of losers, Zwigoff’s found a real winner.
  35. It has the stately, well-crafted anxiety of a Hitchcock movie, except that the protagonist and antagonist are one and the same.
  36. Sarandon and Davis give superb, wonderfully interactive performances: funky, fierce, funny and poignant. [27 May 1991]
  37. For anyone who grew up worshiping at the shrine of Julie Christie, the notion that she could be playing a white-haired woman drifting into senility is a jolt to the system. But her radiance, beauty and talent are undiminished: she's hauntingly, heartbreakingly good.
  38. What's remarkable is how immediately, after a full year, The Two Towers seizes your attention, and how urgently it holds you through three seamless, action-packed hours.
  39. It starts quietly, introducing its splendid gallery of fowl, rats and humans, then builds and builds until it achieves full comic liftoff.
  40. The eroticism in Cuaron’s road movie (which broke all box-office records in Mexico) is the real deal: tactile, sexy, psychologically charged.
  41. The superrealist images beguile us with their bold wit, and the storytelling is so tight, urgent and inventive there doesn't seem to be a wasted moment. Which makes you wonder -- why can't scripts this clever be written for human beings?
  42. Harrowingly intense odyssey.
  43. The beauty of this extremely clever movie, directed with fleet, robust theatricality by John Madden, is how deftly it manages to work on multiple levels.
  44. Superman II is a success, a stirring sequel to the smash of '79. Whether you will prefer it to the original is like choosing between root beer and Fresca. They're both bubbly, but the flavor is different. What the follow-up doesn't have is the epic lyricism of Richard Donner's version; it's harder edged, fleeter on its feet, less reverential. [22 June 1981, p.87]
  45. The movie puts us in Maria's shoes, taking us step by suspenseful step through her physical and spiritual ordeal.
  46. There's neither coyness nor self-importance in Brokeback Mountain--just close, compassionate observation, deeply committed performances, a bone-deep feeling for hardscrabble Western lives. Few films have captured so acutely the desolation of frustrated, repressed passion.
  47. Thanks to fine acting and its vividly unconventional protagonist, it pumps fresh blood into a conventional formula.
  48. This is humanism in drag: Almodovar's passionate redefinition of family values.
  49. Succeeds stunningly on its own terms.
  50. A smart and wicked delight.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A marvelous comedy from deep in left field -- immaculately written, unexpectedly touching and pure of heart.
  51. Eastwood takes the audience to raw, profoundly moving places. If you fear strong emotions, this is not for you. But if you want to see Hollywood filmmaking at its most potent, Eastwood has delivered the real deal.
  52. Peirce's taut, sure-footed first film sidesteps sensationalism without sacrificing any of the story's wonder and horror
  53. The compositions, the editing, the lighting, the sound, the music: everything seems meticulously considered, conjuring up a hushed intimacy that instantly sucks you in.
  54. Traffic doesn’t quite come to a full emotional boil at the end. Soderbergh is too knowing to offer easy solutions. But what a journey it takes us on: disturbing, exciting, completely absorbing.
  55. It has the feel of a classic coming-of-age story. It's the sleeper of the summer.
  56. Superman turns out to be a surprisingly infectious entertainment, nicely balanced between warmth and wit, intimacy and impressive special effects, comic-strip fantasy and several elements that make the movie eminently eligible for Deep Thinking about rescue fantasies, cherubic messiahs and other pieces of popcorn metaphysics. [1 Jan 1979, p.46]
  57. The Departed is Scorsese's most purely enjoyable movie in years. But it's not for the faint of heart. It's rude, bleak, violent and defiantly un-PC. But if you doubt that it's also OK to laugh throughout this rat's nest of paranoia, deceit and bloodshed, keep your eyes on the final frames. Scorsese's parting shot is an uncharacteristic, but well-earned, wink.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    In the end, the film lacks the skill of its actors and ends up feeling disjointed and confused about its own message.
  58. This powerful, lyrical meditation on Arenas's life achieves a kind of hallucinatory urgency as it leaps and twists through his life.
  59. For action junkies, The Bourne Ultimatum will be like a hit of pure meth. It's bravura filmmaking in the jittery, handheld, frenetically edited Paul Greengrass style.
  60. Few films have explored the complicated bonds of love and resentment between brother and sister with such delightful honesty.
  61. This powerful, precision-made movie offers hope as well -- an act of kindness from a German officer that saves the pianist’s life, the music that sustains his soul.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A stunning glimpse at acting -- and life -- in the raw.
  62. Schygulla's heartbreaking performance--like the movie itself--will stay with you long after the film's quietly devastating final frame.
  63. It sounds grimmer than it plays, thanks to Jenkins's sardonic, deadpan humor and the superb cast, who invest these damaged characters with rich, flawed, hilarious humanity. This bittersweet X-ray of American family dynamics may not be a Hallmark-card notion of a holiday movie, but it's one any son or daughter can take to heart.
  64. Judd Apatow is making the freshest, most honest mainstream comedies in Hollywood.
  65. Powerful images hook you immediately.
  66. If the film has a problem, it's a kind of excess of goodness at the expense of imaginative excitement. The real hero is the psychiatrist, played with a riffing Jewish beat by Hirsch as a counterpoint to the tight Wasp rhythms of Conrad's family. There's a feeling of therapy more than revelation, but perhaps for our multifariously sick society therapy has become revelation. This seems to have been a major point in Guest's novel, and Redford has dramatized it with integrity, honor and compassion. [22 Sept 1980, p.76]
  67. This powerfully contained, painfully funny performance has to rank with the greatest work Nicholson's ever done -- This road movie gives you emotional whiplash, and you’ll be glad you went along for the ride.
  68. This is not exactly standard children's fare, but kids (and their parents) should be smitten by its wit and wisdom.
  69. No two-hour film could ever capture all the riches of McEwan's masterly novel. But Wright and Hampton's Atonement comes tantalizingly close, while adding sensual delights all its own.
  70. Lucky for us there are no ordinary circumstances in this smart, tasty adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel and it gets quirkier, funnier and sexier as it goes.
  71. Desplechin is an inspired impurist. His Christmas Tale is untidy, overstuffed and delicious: a genuine holiday feast.
  72. As we watch the astonishing NASA footage, they eloquently evoke the optimism, anxiety and excitement of those voyages.
  73. 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Like its subject, American Movie works entirely on its own quirky terms.
  74. Mike Leigh's stunning, corrosive Naked is one of the best movies of the year, and one of the toughest... Its manic mix of tenderness and degradation, hilarity and scariness, keeps you dangerously off balance.
  75. How you feel about Milk may depend on whether you've seen Rob Epstein's great, Oscar-winning 1984 documentary "The Times of Harvey Milk." Van Sant's movie lacks that film's shattering emotional impact. (Rage is not a color in the director's palette.) For those coming to Milk's story for the first time, however, this will be a rousing experience.
  76. Moore’s stunning, subtle performance as a woman trapped in the conventions of her time encapsulates the film’s brave, double-edged beauty.
  77. A haunted thriller of disturbing power.
  78. Puiu's is the art of the seemingly artless: he takes a story that's utterly unglamorous and mundane, and transforms it into something mythic.
  79. Hilarious and captivating.
  80. The great Spanish director's fourth triumph in a row--following "All About My Mother," "Talk to Her" and "Bad Education"--Volver (which means "coming back") flows effortlessly between peril and poignancy, the real and the surreal, even life and death.
  81. Reveals a chilling reality: how hard it is to tell a simple truth when big business doesn't want it told.
  82. Far from being a period piece, this love story/murder mystery/political thriller couldn’t seem more timely.
  83. As writer and actress, Thompson has all the right Austen rhythms and filmmaker Ang Lee ("Eat Drink Man Woman") orchestrates with sensitivity and style.
  84. Has an almost perfect-pitch grasp of those messy, idealistic, vibrant times, when everyone was trying to reinvent himself from the ground up.
  85. Crazy Heart gets to you like a good country song--not because it tells you something new, but because it tells it well. It's the singer, not the song.
  86. An inspired flight of fancy, an oddly poignant examination of the creative process, a rumination on adaptation (orchids to their environment, books to the screen and misfits like Charlie to life) and, in its ultimate irony, a story in which our hero learns a life-altering lesson.
  87. The beauty of Welcome to the Dollhouse is its pokerfaced objectivity, which neither condescends to its pubescent victim nor romantically inflates her plight.
  88. He’s (González Iñárritu) conjured up a dark, brutal vision of urban life that sticks to your skin like soot.
  89. The rage and sadness behind this film -- the first from Afghanistan since the Taliban's fall -- is matched by its artistry.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Amazingly, it's not all the visual splendor or killer action sequences that elevate Spider-Man 2 above its predecessor and almost every superhero movie that has come before.
  90. Leon Gast's remarkable film -- which is intercut with terrific recent interviews with eyewitnesses Norman Mailer and George Plimpton -- is about much more than one stupendous fight.

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