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 2.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Shakespeare in Love
Lowest review score: 0 Miller's Crossing
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 458
458 movie reviews
  1. A new voyeurism has arisen in the last two decades or so, and Trainspotting caters to it--an addiction to addiction-watching. [August 19, 1996]
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  2. Scorsese's style, fierce as it is, doesn't accomplish what he clearly expected of it. Often, in many arts, fresh treatment can redeem familiar subjects, but it doesn't happen here. [Oct 22, 1990]
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  3. All in the cast are competent, and some of the slaughter scenes make us ache, but the overlaid material does not enrich, it impedes.
  4. Two cheery notes: Nicolas Cage, as the erring brother, shows surprising signs of life, and Cher, as the erring fiancee, confounds those who swore she was a remote-control robot. [8 Feb 1988]
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  5. Cruise is becoming a real star, confident and gleaming. But neither he nor Hoffman nor the cleverness of the director, Barry Levinson, can prevail against a screenplay that has a beginning at the Ohio home, a finish in L.A., and nothing much in between. [9 Jan 1989]
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  6. One reasonably dependable pleasure in Woody Allen's films is that he uses old-time songs, in moderately jazzed-up versions, on his soundtracks.
  7. Meyer's screenplay has been called unsuccessful, and I agree; but, without glossing some bumps that are his doing, I'd say that in this case the trouble with the screen adaptation is the novel.
  8. Patently intended to be a serious exploration of a cultural encounter, but this intent withers through a lack of writers' gravity and a mass of action clich├ęs.
  9. The screenplay is schizoid. The first half is figuratively brassy, but then the violins begin to soar.
  10. Still, it never quite realizes the oneiric quality because, paradoxically, of its best achievement--the performances of the two boys. They are vital, insistent. Their beings contradict the dreaminess and make us ask the questions mentioned above.
  11. Combination of comedy and gravity is certainly common enough, but it requires a sure hand and perceptible intent. This screenplay has some neat touches, but it never makes up its mind.
  12. The writer of Very Bad Things has done poorly by the director. This is particularly painful because they are the same person, Peter Berg. Director Berg shows lively talent, focused and controlled. Writer Berg shows some talent, too, but he is wobbly in design and purpose. [14 December 1998, p.26]
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  13. The best way to watch this film is while sipping coffee in a café. Nicotine optional.
  14. Martin himself still seems to be filing in at run-throughs for the real star who couldn't make rehearsals. [11 March 1991, p.28]
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  15. Fahrenheit 9/11 is sometimes slipshod in its making and juvenile in its travesty, and of course it has no interest in overall fairness to Bush. But it vents an anger about this presidency that, as the film's ardent reception shows, seethes in very many of us.
  16. The script is a tidy work of carpentry, in several time planes and with a tart finish. Tense moments abound, fights and shootings and near-drownings, but they seem items drawn from casework files. [5 Aug 1996, p.26]
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  17. Pappas's talking heads can't exactly solve the problem, but they help to keep us from forgetting it.
  18. The director, Michael Mann, remembers the best of film noir pretty well, but it doesn't protect his film against its ultimate Movieland silliness.
  19. The actors understand completely why they are there. The editing, complex because of several time strands, is more than skillful. But the screenplay by von Trotta and Pamela Katz suborns its subject.
  20. It's sad to see two talented actresses, Rebecca de Mornay and Jennifer Jason Leigh, wasted in puppet parts. [17 June 1991, p.28]
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  21. Just a series of episodes: it has no trace of the structure that has supported drama and comedy for two millennia.
  22. Leaves the viewer with the sense of a writing-directing talent concocting complexities. Everything he touches is well-turned, but he now feels compelled to put the pieces together in something other than a lucid design.
  23. Everything falls into place, click click click. Like many a formulaic piece, this one engages a real theme--here it's the conflict between the concept of duty and the idea of the individual--and does little with it. [25 Jan 1993]
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  24. The trouble, which becomes quickly and oppressively apparent, is that the screenplay has no point except its plot. No theme, no intent of anything like Oliver Stone weight, is ever manifested.
  25. The picture is too long. It repeats and repeats. Thirty minutes, instead of its eighty-six, could have told us all we need to know about the danger and tedium of these lives.
  26. Both Wong and Soderbergh have understandably expressed their gratitude at, even in this tripartite way, being part of an Antonioni project... But Eros is better for what they contribute than for his work.
  27. The picture's effect: the sexual element is trenchant, while the status of Muslim youth registers strongly.
  28. Its very existence as a film sets up expectations that wouldn't exist within a book -- another reason I'd bet that there would be more pleasure in reading the screenplay. I can't remember ever thinking that previously about a film. (1998 May 23, p. 26)
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  29. The film is repetitious. Herzog has varied the original footage with some interviews that he conducted with a former Treadwell girlfriend and some other friends and observers. Still, an hour of it would have been more effective than the present feature length.
  30. Candor about homosexuality is now so widely accepted as part of theater-film possibilities that plays and films offering not much more than such candor seem dated. In that sense Love! Valour! Compassion! is an important, if dull, milestone. [09Jun1997 Pg 30]
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