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 Truman Show
Lowest review score: 0 Miller's Crossing
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 458
458 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  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. 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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  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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]
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  11. Witherspoon is flavorless, so she emphasizes the screenplay's skimpiness instead of at least partially redressing it.
  12. 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.
  13. Dismal and heavy, and the failure rests chiefly with Johnny Depp, who plays Barrie.
  14. 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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  15. The grave story is leaden, the comic story isn't funny, and the comparison--the rivalry--between the two modes is never crystallized.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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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  21. 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
  22. The dialogue creaks, all the more so since we know better than it does what it is going to say.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Gerry is all manner without any trace of depth.
  29. 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
  30. A series of disconnected scenes alternating between two story lines, neither of which is cogent or concluded. The picture is tinged with the irrational.

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