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 The Sweet Hereafter
Lowest review score: 0 Hulk
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 458
458 movie reviews
  1. 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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  2. 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.
  3. Just a series of episodes: it has no trace of the structure that has supported drama and comedy for two millennia.
  4. 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.
  5. All in the cast are competent, and some of the slaughter scenes make us ache, but the overlaid material does not enrich, it impedes.
  6. The one attraction in the picture is DiCaprio's performance: easy yet strong, confident, humorous.
  7. Formally, Boyz is just one more old-time bad-neighborhood picture. Instead of, say, Manhattan's Lower East Side in Prohibition days, it's an LA lower-middle-class black neighborhood afflicted with drugs. And Singleton's control of his picture's flow is much less firm than was the other directors'. [2 Sept 1991]
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  8. The disaster is John Malkovich in the key role of Valmont... From the moment he steps out of a carriage at the start, he walks and gestures like Malkovich. He has done nothing to bring himself to the part, not even bothering to learn how to pronounce "mademoiselle." ("Madam-uhzell," says M.) [2 Jan 1989, p.24]
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  9. We can almost hear the way he (Keitel) will speak a line before he speaks it. The triteness of the role and its performance, instead of dramatizing the contrast between this philistine and the artist, makes the confrontation between the two men a smug setup.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. All these mystical elements are so sententiously handled and bump into one another so clumsily that they make the film seem nutty. But because spirituality is the theme of Bee Season, we are obviously not meant to laugh at it. Well, I wish I could get Jehovah's reaction to the picture.
  13. 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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  14. The best performance comes from Stanley Tucci as the Runway art director. Tucci presents a homosexual man without a trace of cartoon--shrewd, skilled, and weathered without being worn. It is a well-judged and accomplished piece of work.
  15. Midnight Run is two films. One is a succession of bright, razor-edge, nutty dialogues between two men. The other is the plot that keeps them together, which is stale and full of boring violent-comic action. [29 Aug 1988]
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  16. None of the film is exciting, and, despite the preeningly smooth flow of the story, little of it is interesting.
  17. Less would have been more. Still, CSA has some laughs, most of them bitter.
  18. The picture's effect: the sexual element is trenchant, while the status of Muslim youth registers strongly.
  19. Nicholson, one of the best actors in American screen history, is miscast again… He is quite visibly uncomfortable in his role. It needed an actor who could easily be viciously stuffy, like William Hurt. Nicholson struggles for the core of the man but never gets it. [Feb. 2, 1998]
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  20. The danger in Hong's procedure is obvious. Dramatists learned long ago that it is risky to include a static character because he may so easily bore the audience.
  21. 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.
  22. This sort of investigation has been done so masterfully by Sam Peckinpah in "The Wild Bunch" and Oliver Stone in "Natural Born Killers" that, in a sternly utilitarian sense, we don't need Cronenberg. He is not, as far as I have seen, in their class. He proves it again in A History of Violence.
  23. 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]
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  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Malkovich has done considerable directing in the theater, but nothing in the acting here shows acuteness of choice or subtlety of touch.
  27. 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.
  28. 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]
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  29. 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]
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  30. 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]
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