The New Republic's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 458 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 39% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 58% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Brassed Off
Lowest review score: 0 Miller's Crossing
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 458
458 movie reviews
  1. The entire film feels like the result of a market study. Tests were held (it seems) to determine which problems would have the most audience-grab, particularly when combined with two other problems. [06 Mar 1995 Pg.30]
    • The New Republic
  2. Bertolucci's original story--a generous adjective--was made into a screenplay by the American novelist Susan Minot, who has an unwavering eye for the predictable and an ear for the tired phrase. [24 Jun 1996 Pg.32]
    • The New Republic
  3. The film, so far as it is betrayable, is betrayed by the casting of Jean. She is played by Jennifer Lopez, a sexy star who is out of key with the picture and is presumably on hand to supply the oomph that Redford no longer provides.
  4. What is outstandingly incredible are the high-flown pronouncements, including literary judgments, given suddenly to Costner. They make him sound like a dummy for Shelton the ventriloquist. [1 Aug 1988]
    • The New Republic
  5. Even at the low end of the Spielberg spectrum, there has always been some air of ingenuity, some sense of the maker's excitement. Not here. The Terminal plods in spirit and execution.
  6. Even with its latter-day (modified) frankness, Far From Heaven is only thin glamour that lacks a tacit wry base. Thus diminished, it can be tagged with a term that Susan Sontag once defined so well that she put it out of circulation: camp.
  7. We become so distracted by the jigsaw effect that soon we are more concerned with the assemblage itself than with what it is about.
  8. Rogozhkin's hard, hands-on directing technique and the physicality of all three actors are--or could be--impressive, but they are swamped here in a sea of ideological mush.
  9. The director, Sydney Pollack, who appears briefly in the film, has done his experienced best with this Scotch-taped script. But his two stars are insuperable handicaps.
  10. Witherspoon is flavorless, so she emphasizes the screenplay's skimpiness instead of at least partially redressing it.
  11. The best performance, the only one that can really be called acting, is Diane Ladd's as the mother. Ladd gives us a woman full of self-pity and shrewdness, full of sexual experience and guile, who has now reached the age when, if she wants to, she can turn off sexual heat in favor of cold power drive. [24 Sept 1990, p.32]
    • The New Republic
  12. The progress of the film is so mechanical that we can only wait for the finish, knowing far ahead of time what it will be.
  13. Haneke leaves the future of the human race ambiguous. Or would have left it so if his allegory had worked. But the film is such a pat construction, so dingily shot in heavy light, so dependent on our cooperation without earning it, that we are more aware of the exercise than affected by it
  14. The ghost is played by Patrick Swayze, who can't handle the part; his bereaved girlfriend, Demi Moore, is much better. [13 Aug 1990, p.30]
    • The New Republic
  15. The whole is just a wan rejection of traditional story, as well as a weak slap at those who still bother to attack the story tradition.
  16. This film by Nick Doob and Chris Hegedus forces us to make some decisions about him. For myself, I find him generally gross, in person and in manner.
  17. For all the film's frantic editing, it never really takes off, principally because of Gibson. He never seems concentrated, really present. He was better as Hamlet. [1996Dec9 Pg.27]
    • The New Republic
  18. Over and over in the course of the film, we can see Spacey, a good actor, reaching down into himself to find a source of verity for this plot-constructed character. It is not a pretty sight.
  19. His (LaBute's) work needs attention even at its nadir, which I hope this new film is.
  20. Gerry is all manner without any trace of depth.
  21. It's the flat, self-exposing dud that fate often keeps in store for the initially overpraised. [26 Jan 1998, p.24]
    • The New Republic
  22. After years of preparation in the hands of a man celebrated for his penetration and style, the picture adds almost nothing to our knowledge of its subject and adds it in a manner almost devoid of visual distinction. [27 July 1987]
    • The New Republic
  23. It all turns out a bedraggled mess. Lee presumably had two ideas, one an exposé of pharmaceutical greed, the other a sex comedy: then he decided that neither one would make a film in itself and came up with the lame idea of combining them. What makes the resulting blunder even worse is that, intrinsically, almost every scene is directed well.
  24. As is frequently the case when there is public fuss about a film or play, the work itself is not very good.
  25. Contrivances accrue so thickly that the source seems to be not 1978 Toback, but 1930s Warner Brothers. The film sweats to be up-to-date with ultra-hectic editing, pace, elision, and sangfroid, but they can't verify the pasteboard base.
  26. We get the feeling that, about nine-tenths of the way along, after he had all the characters knotted up, Bass suddenly thought, "Good heavens! I've got to find some way to finish off this thing." The way that he found is lame and makes a hash of what precedes it. [28 July 1997]
    • The New Republic
  27. The picture is cloudy in intent. That cloudiness is deepened by Susan Sarandon's performance as Sister Helen. If she were giving the role what it seems to demand, a glow of true religious light, the film would have some organic cohesion, a strong spiritual cord running through it. But Sarandon does little more than present her face. [Feb. 5, 1996]
    • The New Republic
  28. The tenuous conclusion is that all this metaphysical hugger-mugger was divinely ordered to reconcile Costner and his father. All those dead players were summoned from that Great Locker Room in the Sky in a painfully false move. [9 May 1989, p.26]
    • The New Republic
  29. DeLillo felt he needed a plot, and he invented one that is shockingly bad for a novelist of his accomplishment. It isn't the use of a plot that degrades the picture: it is the degrading plot itself--which isn't even a good cartoon of a too-busy plot.
  30. After the three hours--though it seemed longer--I was still bewildered. Stone is a unique and fiery talent. Why did he make this film?
  31. Not every stupid film sets out to be that way. But a furious zeal to entertain, especially to find twists, can push filmmakers past credibility, past twist, even past social decency. A dreadful example is Pushing Tin.
  32. A series of disconnected scenes alternating between two story lines, neither of which is cogent or concluded. The picture is tinged with the irrational.
  33. Allen is wretched. It is no kind of pleasure to say so, especially with the memory of the good things he has done; but here he simply plunks front and center the fact that he cannot act and never could.
  34. The really relevant defect of this thriller is that it isn't scary.
  35. The surprise is that a picture made to be exciting for 136 minutes is so unexciting most of the time. It starts with a bang and keeps banging, so there's little suspense and no crescendo. [12 Aug 1991, p.28]
    • The New Republic
  36. In crudest terms, there's no one to root for, and unlike Mamet or Pinter, for instance, the story isn't remotely strong enough to thrive without such a center… [The film s]trains hard to be smart and is ultimately repellent. [11 May 1992]
    • The New Republic
  37. The banality of the plot and the writing make the presence in the cast of the celebrated William Hurt, Andie MacDowell and Bob Hoskins all the more disheartening. [03 Mar 1997 Pg.30]
    • The New Republic
  38. For this mortal, the film converts piety into pathology and then converts it back again at the end with a Song of Bernadette conclusion. I don't know what the title means. I do know that this ridiculous film won the Grand Jury Prize at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival.[ Dec. 9, 1996]
    • The New Republic
  39. The film's intent was presumably satirical in the vein of "Catch-22" or "M*A*S*H," but the satire is so weak, the action so devoid of comic perspective, that we are left with a naked gaggle of ugly episodes.
  40. At the last, we're left with a film that tries to doll up a conventional genre with hints of depth, hoping to disguise the cross-dressing by putting it in the shape of an epic. Murnau, Mizoguchi, Ford, even you authors of the Book of Genesis, rest easy. [12 Oct 1992]
    • The New Republic
  41. Fonda believed in acting. She doesn't seem to believe in it anymore. Her performance in this film is a collection of reactions, vocal whoops, and pouncings that we have seen often before in lesser actors.
  42. So this is not, as vaunted, a documentary about a film destroyed by temperaments and tizzies. It is the account of a medical catastrophe that could have spoiled the opening of a supermarket.
  43. Virtually everything that happens in Adaptation is almost juvenile showing off - daring to make a film that is in search of a script.
  44. The plot, the gags, the action are so stupid and strident, so unfunnily parodic, that the film's only interest is in wondering how they did it-the mix of animation and live action. [1 Aug 1988]
    • The New Republic
  45. Birth is one of those films occasionally encountered that make me question my nativity or that of the film-makers. Were they and I born on the same planet? If so, how could we now have such vastly different criteria of a film story's believability?
  46. Disembodied, patchy, pointless work, which isn't even successfully pretentious.
  47. It's just one more dunk in the slime pit of exploitation. [13 Apr 1992, p.26]
    • The New Republic
  48. A lot of talent has gone down the drain, an apt term since bathrooms loom in the picture. [22 Jun 1998, p. 26]
    • The New Republic
  49. Imagine finding the will to get up every morning to do another day's work on this stale story tarted up with relevance.
  50. For me, the execution of the picture is so weak, so imitative, so facile that it makes all the thematic discussion seem idle. [25 Nov 1996, Pg.30]
    • The New Republic
  51. Penn's film is very slow, sententious, ill-judged about the tensions he wants in long scenes. [18 Dec 1995, Pg.28]
    • The New Republic
  52. An overwrought, hollowly symbolic glob of glutinous nonsense... I haven't seen a sillier film about a woman and a piano since John Huston's "The Unforgiven" (1960), a Western in which Lillian Gish had her piano carried out into the front yard so she could play Mozart to pacify attacking Indians. [13 Dec 1993]
    • The New Republic
  53. The dialogue that is wrapped around the sexual activities only helps to make the film disgustingly ridiculous.
  54. His (writer/director Konchalovsky's) plunge into the world of mental distortion is so garish, so exploitative, that the picture needs only a few clicks of the dial to move from the horrible to the ludicrous
  55. A braggart piece of empty exhibitionism.
  56. Billed as a comedy, but it could also be billed as a drama, a satire, an allegory, or a film (partially) noir. It wouldn't matter, or help... Not since Robert Altman has any American filmmaker been as overrated as this pair. [30 Sept 1991]
    • The New Republic
  57. A lifeless, tedious picture... A complete dud. [29 Oct 1990, p.26]
    • The New Republic
  58. In future Lee can best serve his versatility by never doing anything like this again.

Top Trailers