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 6.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Cold Mountain
Lowest review score: 0 Meet Joe Black
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 894
894 movie reviews
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Watching Croupier is rather like watching a roulette wheel--utterly mesmerizing.
  1. This powerful, lyrical meditation on Arenas's life achieves a kind of hallucinatory urgency as it leaps and twists through his life.
    • Newsweek
  2. Few films have explored the complicated bonds of love and resentment between brother and sister with such delightful honesty.
    • Newsweek
  3. An excruciatingly entertaining portrait of the filmmaking process that no Hollywood studio would ever allow to be shown. But Gilliam, bless his impish, obsessive heart, is anything but a Hollywood type.
  4. 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.
  5. Singleton's powerhouse movie has the impact of a stun gun. [15 July 1991]
    • Newsweek
  6. Courtney Love's performance as stripper Althea Leasure is an amazement. Funny, unfettered and almost scarily alive in front of a camera, she's the definition of a "natural."
  7. 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?
  8. The compositions, the editing, the lighting, the sound, the music: everything seems meticulously considered, conjuring up a hushed intimacy that instantly sucks you in.
  9. 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.
  10. Unnerving because it forces us into uncharted waters: Solondz doesn't tell us how to feel but makes us thrash out our responses for ourselves. In doing so, he has made one of the few indelible movies of the year.
  11. Creepily beautiful, acted with relish, Barton Fink is a savagely original work. It lodges in your head like a hatchet. [26 Aug 1991]
    • Newsweek
  12. Brings history to life with an uncanny sense of realism.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A miraculous movie. It will rattle both your head and heart
  13. Far from being a period piece, this love story/murder mystery/political thriller couldn’t seem more timely.
  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. As brutally unsparing as "Platoon" was, it was ultimately warm and embracing. Kubrick's film is about as embracing as a full-metal-jacketed bullet in the gut. [29 June 1987]
    • Newsweek
  16. Hilarious and captivating.
    • Newsweek
  17. 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.
    • Newsweek
  18. 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A gripping, utterly unexpected noir, glinting with bits of poetry and a hard, deadpan humor.
    • Newsweek
  19. It's a bravura, all-stops-out, inexhaustibly inventive performance. I don't know how much was improvised, and how much comes from White's sharp screenplay, but Black may never again get a part that displays his mad-dog comic ferocity to such brilliant effect. He, and the movie, kick ass.
  20. 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.
  21. As he did in “The English Patient,” Minghella artfully weds movie-movie romanticism with a dark historical vision. The man knows how to cast a spell.
  22. By the end of this white-knuckle movie, you stand in awe at the depth of man's will to survive. Touching the Void leaves you emotionally and physically spent, and grateful it was only a movie, not a mountain, you had to endure.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    All-embracing--funny and silly and tender, full of fun scares and endless sight gags.
  23. A piece of spectacular silliness, but that's not meant with disrespect. The key word is spectacular.
  24. A technological triumph. [19 May 1980]
    • Newsweek
    • 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.
  25. A hugely entertaining thriller shot through with dark shards of agony and paranoia. It takes nothing away from the original while delivering pleasures all its own.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. A meticulous, spellbinding, provocative depiction of the final days of the Third Reich.
  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. Howl's Moving Castle has the logic of a dream: behind every door lie multiple realities, one more astonishing than the next.
  33. It's a passionate, serious, impeccably crafted movie tackling a subject Clooney cares about deeply: the duty of journalism to speak truth to power. It also happens to be the most compelling American movie of the year so far.
  34. 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.
  35. A superbly taut and well-made thriller that jumps from Geneva to Rome, from Paris to Beirut, from Athens to Brooklyn, each lethal assignment staged with a mastery Hitchcock might envy.
  36. This brilliantly disturbing movie is constructed with surgical precision. Haneke lets no one off the hook least of all the viewer.
  37. Harrowingly intense odyssey.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. The movie belongs to Hudson as the proud, self-destructive Effie. When she's center stage, Dreamgirls transports you to movie musical heaven.
  43. It's unprecedented, a sorrowful and savagely beautiful elegy that can stand in the company of the greatest antiwar movies.
  44. Judd Apatow is making the freshest, most honest mainstream comedies in Hollywood.
  45. A film as rich as a sauce béarnaise, as refreshing as a raspberry sorbet.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. Depp is such a soulful presence he gives you a glimpse of this maniac's pain and pathos. Bonham Carter is extraordinary. She reinvents Mrs. Lovett from the inside out.
  51. 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.
  52. 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]
    • Newsweek
  53. Urgently, without sentimentality, "La Promesse" shows us the birth of a conscience, and its cost. This fleet, powerful movie may prove to be a classic. [30 June 1997, p.79]
    • Newsweek
  54. 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.
  55. JFK
    If history is a battlefield, JFK has to be seen as a bold attempt to seize the turf for future debate. It is also "just" a movie, and one that for three hours and eight minutes of dense, almost dizzying detail, is capable of holding the audience rapt in its grip. [23 Dec 1991, p.50]
    • Newsweek
  56. 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.
  57. Barry Sonnenfeld's bouncy, immensely likable adaptation.
  58. Filled with delicious backstage drama, and superb actors reveling in the opportunity to play their 19th-century counterparts.
  59. Rozema's handling of the entangled amours and social gamesmanship at Mansfield Park is delightful and the open-minded moviegoer will have a hard time resisting this stylish and stirring movie.
  60. Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy are both in peak form.
  61. This delightful film, with its surprising depth charges of emotion, has the feel of a movie that's going to lodge itself in the public's affections for a long time to come.
    • Newsweek
  62. Zaillian's meaty movie, at once bleak and hopeful, speaks volumes about the maddening distance between justice and the justice system.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A beautifully told story of a child's innocence and faith, filmed with exquisite detail and stunning cinematography
    • Newsweek
  63. 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.
  64. 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.
  65. A languorous, funny and lovingly detailed memory film.
  66. There’s not a whisper of melodrama or sentimentality in the way Moretti tells his tale, guiding us through the stages of grief with calm, devastating lucidity.
    • Newsweek
  67. Deep Blue Sea gives good rush -- earning its stripes as one terrific junk movie.
  68. I expected to laugh; I didn't expect to be moved.
  69. Full of bravura moments and high-wire performances.
    • Newsweek
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A Walk on the Moon not only effectively captures the emotional development of all its characters, but it also neatly encapsulates the tumult of the 60s.
  70. What sets Jerry Maguire above any other romantic comedy this year is Crowe's writing. He captures the venal, high-stakes world of pro sports with deadly wit and an ex-journalist's sense of detail.
  71. There are few movies around that take such huge risks: this is high-wire filmmaking, without a net of irony.
  72. Lehmann isn't in perfect control - the movie gets off to a flat-footed start, and the conclusion is chaotic - but when Heathers hits its stride, it reaches wild and original comic heights. [2 April 1989]
    • Newsweek
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This film has everything for the all-important female audience: feisty heroines, lots of slapstick, great clothes.
  73. It's a swirling, fluid retelling of the tale that packs an impressive cargo of laughs, thrills and wonders into a watertight 88 minutes.
  74. It has the stately, well-crafted anxiety of a Hitchcock movie, except that the protagonist and antagonist are one and the same.
    • Newsweek
  75. Sarandon and Davis give superb, wonderfully interactive performances: funky, fierce, funny and poignant. [27 May 1991]
    • Newsweek
  76. 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.
  77. The best movie of the last 20 years about young people in love is 1989’s.
  78. A terrific piece of work: smart, inventive and executed with state-of-the-art finesse.
    • Newsweek
  79. Vertical Ray slows our rhythms and heightens our senses: it's a shimmering, tactile experience.
  80. Exuberantly theatrical yet every inch a movie, and some numbers ("The Cell Block Tango") are so entertaining you might want to applaud.
  81. The movie is, from start to finish, a hoot... Both a savvy satire of smalltown boosterism and an affectionate salute to the performing spirit. [10 Feb 1987, p.66]
    • Newsweek
  82. The results are wondrous, wrenching and crazily funny to behold.
  83. 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.
  84. Peirce's taut, sure-footed first film sidesteps sensationalism without sacrificing any of the story's wonder and horror
  85. Has an almost perfect-pitch grasp of those messy, idealistic, vibrant times, when everyone was trying to reinvent himself from the ground up.
  86. It's as smart, quiveringly alert and fleet of foot as a purebred pointer on the scent of fresh game.
    • Newsweek
  87. Reveals a chilling reality: how hard it is to tell a simple truth when big business doesn't want it told.
  88. It starts quietly, introducing its splendid gallery of fowl, rats and humans, then builds and builds until it achieves full comic liftoff.
    • Newsweek
  89. Scherfig and her wonderful cast slyly transmute the quotidian into the magical. It’s like watching flowers bloom in a concrete garden.
    • Newsweek
  90. Blackly funny, unafraid to shift emotional gears from farce to horror, peppered with spectacular action.
  91. 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Hilarious, affectionate spoof.
    • Newsweek

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