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 2.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Osama
Lowest review score: 0 Miller's Crossing
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 458
458 movie reviews
  1. Jordan would like us to believe that the three films are stages in a metamorphosis, but the stitching shows… Part Two, explored and expanded, might have made a good film, especially since Davidson gives a quiet, knowledgeable, perfectly poised performance. [14 Dec 1992]
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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. 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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  4. 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.
  5. The English Patient is excitingly promising. Then the screenplay goes rotten, like an overripe melon. [Dec. 9, 1996]
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  6. To Van Sant's credit, let's note that he has evoked more lightness and variety from Kidman, more scrimshaw gesture and inflection than I thought she could muster. [23 Oct 1995]
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  7. If we can watch this picture at all, it is because this universally admired person (Eastwood) is in it.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. The film might be called a moral travelogue. Instead of showing us mosques and tourist spots in beguiling old Istanbul, it follows a couple of ordinary Turkish men in drab surroundings and affirms that they breathe the same doubt-laden air as much of the rest of the world.
  11. Little more than the distended first half of a twisty, dark "Law & Order" script.
  12. Throughout we keep waiting for the real Almodóvar film, and it never arrives.
  13. What helps Pfeiffer most is the fact that though she is exceptionally pretty, she patently doesn't rely on her prettiness: she wants to act. But, with her Ellen, though we know what she means from moment to moment, we simply don't feel it... Winona Ryder is disastrously miscast. [18 Oct 1993, p.30]
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  14. The film's title ought to be When We Were King's Pawns. Don King maximized the media circus aspects from the start, as the razzle-dazzle directing of Leon Gast, helped in the editing by Taylor Hackford and others, makes electrically clear.
  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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.
  18. The net effect of the incessant dazzle is depressing.
  19. 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.
  20. Though there is plenty of action, particularly at the start and at the end with two blasting sea battles, much of the film is not sufficiently interesting.
  21. 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.
  22. The film's trouble is in what happens in each section: not enough. Once the atmosphere of each period is established, the story is too weak to interest--and the characterizations are too thin to compensate.
  23. Bonham Carter is like an undergraduate in a university production who seems rather good considering that her performance is only an intelligent diversion while she prepares herself for a career in another field. [24 Mar 1986]
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  24. Yet the McCarthy/Murrow conflict in the picture is not pressing enough--these days, anyway--to justify the considerable skill expended on it.
  25. To read a Carver collection is to walk through a gallery of beautifully formed objects. To blend his stories into "soup," no matter how smartly, to see them "as just one story," is to vandalize good art, to rationalize filmic opportunism as aesthetic principle. [25 Oct 1993]
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  26. The five episodes in Broken Flowers are good enough to make us expect that the picture has a theme, but it hasn't.
  27. 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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  28. It is easy to point out gaps in Noujaim's account. (What, for instance, about the rebuilding that tries to go forward in Iraq?) But the prime importance of this film, I'd say, is that it is not an eye-opener. Of course this change in reporting, this bilateralism, has occurred so far only in wars where the U.S. was the overwhelming superior in force.
  29. But it is precisely with these contrapuntal strands of huge, timeless nature, of the complexity of every human mind, that Malick bloats his film into banality. [Jan. 25, 1999]
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  30. 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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