The New Republic's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 458 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 39% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 59% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Letters from Iwo Jima
Lowest review score: 0 Miller's Crossing
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 458
458 movie reviews
  1. Built on one of those particularly ludicrous plots in which, just before the end, we are meant to believe that a long succession of coincidences was really a diabolical scheme. [23 Feb 1998, p. 24]
    • The New Republic
  2. Black comedy? Black enough, but they muffed the other word. Robert Benton and Harold Ramis, put on dunce caps and go stand in the corner.
  3. I could have managed to bear all the film's shortcomings if it weren't for Clooney. Where was he during the making of this film? His face is there, he knows his lines, he moves as needed, but any traces of the intelligence and rapport, the subtlety and understanding, that have marked his best work are excruciatingly missing. Clooney behaves as if he discovered after he had committed to the film that he really didn't like the script as much as he thought he did but would go through with it anyway. The result is puppetry.
  4. Malkovich has done considerable directing in the theater, but nothing in the acting here shows acuteness of choice or subtlety of touch.
  5. The $25 million of his own that Gibson is said to have put into this film may be conscience money, and the savagery in the picture may--consciously or not--be Gibson's way of saying that violence is not always valueless.
  6. Brazil doesn't add up to much, not only because its cautionary tales are familiar, but because it has no real point of view, nothing urgent under its facile symbols. And the story winds on and on looking for a finish. Three or four times I reached for my coat prematurely. [17 Feb 1986, p.26]
    • The New Republic
  7. Literal-minded to the last, I felt nothing but pity for Tom Cruise, fanged, wigged and costumed, trying hard with his considerable talent to make his sanguinary appetite real. [12Dec1994 Pg. 24]
    • The New Republic
  8. And as film, Apollo 13 is dull… Partly it's because there are no characters, no room for any substantive character development… Apollo 13 is staffed with human puppets. [31 July 1995]
    • The New Republic
  9. Dismal and heavy, and the failure rests chiefly with Johnny Depp, who plays Barrie.
  10. Soderbergh, the writer and director, has slowed his metronome almost to a crawl, has repeated and delayed and protracted, in an attempt at depth. The net effect is a small paradox: incomprehensibility caused by drag, not by rush.
  11. Where Russell wobbles in this screenplay, which he wrote with Jeff Baena, is not in his intent but that he omitted to make it funny.
  12. Nelson's writing, as arranged by Simpson, adds absolutely nothing to our experience of September 11.
  13. Is Scorsese desperate? This screenplay has the scent of it, as if he is scraping for material to feed his basic filmic interests. But the risk in this case--not evaded--was that his need led him close to painful strain. I can't remember another Scorsese moment as shockingly banal as the finishing touch here.
  14. Little in [Connery's] character is explored or colored. It's not a highly complex role, but the man has qualities that could make him interesting; after all, it's his aberrant action that initiates the whole naval plot. Connery merely fulfills his contractual obligations to the producer-no depth in him at all. [26 Mar 1990, p.26]
    • The New Republic
  15. The picture as a whole lacks the energy and incisiveness --the sheer anger-- that have marked Costa-Gavras's best films. A pity, because it is a true Costa-Gavras subject.
  16. The dialogue creaks, all the more so since we know better than it does what it is going to say.
  17. As Freundlich surely knew, he must have counted, as do we, on the revelation of character to enrich the piece. It doesn't happen. None of the people is particularly interesting, not even the obligatory neurotic, well enough played by Julianne Moore. [6 October 1997, p. 28]
    • The New Republic
  18. The grave story is leaden, the comic story isn't funny, and the comparison--the rivalry--between the two modes is never crystallized.
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. We become so distracted by the jigsaw effect that soon we are more concerned with the assemblage itself than with what it is about.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Witherspoon is flavorless, so she emphasizes the screenplay's skimpiness instead of at least partially redressing it.
  29. 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
  30. 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.

Top Trailers