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 Sling Blade
Lowest review score: 0 Miller's Crossing
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 458
458 movie reviews
  1. 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]
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Gerry is all manner without any trace of depth.
  5. 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]
  6. A series of disconnected scenes alternating between two story lines, neither of which is cogent or concluded. The picture is tinged with the irrational.
  7. His (LaBute's) work needs attention even at its nadir, which I hope this new film is.
  8. The picture is cloudy in intent. That cloudiness is deepened by Susan Sarandon's performance as Sister Helen. If she were giving the role what it seems to demand, a glow of true religious light, the film would have some organic cohesion, a strong spiritual cord running through it. But Sarandon does little more than present her face. [Feb. 5, 1996]
  9. In crudest terms, there's no one to root for, and unlike Mamet or Pinter, for instance, the story isn't remotely strong enough to thrive without such a center… [The film s]trains hard to be smart and is ultimately repellent. [11 May 1992]
  10. As is frequently the case when there is public fuss about a film or play, the work itself is not very good.
  11. After years of preparation in the hands of a man celebrated for his penetration and style, the picture adds almost nothing to our knowledge of its subject and adds it in a manner almost devoid of visual distinction. [27 July 1987]
  12. The surprise is that a picture made to be exciting for 136 minutes is so unexciting most of the time. It starts with a bang and keeps banging, so there's little suspense and no crescendo. [12 Aug 1991, p.28]
  13. Over and over in the course of the film, we can see Spacey, a good actor, reaching down into himself to find a source of verity for this plot-constructed character. It is not a pretty sight.
  14. The really relevant defect of this thriller is that it isn't scary.
  15. It's the flat, self-exposing dud that fate often keeps in store for the initially overpraised. [26 Jan 1998, p.24]
  16. It all turns out a bedraggled mess. Lee presumably had two ideas, one an exposé of pharmaceutical greed, the other a sex comedy: then he decided that neither one would make a film in itself and came up with the lame idea of combining them. What makes the resulting blunder even worse is that, intrinsically, almost every scene is directed well.
  17. After the three hours--though it seemed longer--I was still bewildered. Stone is a unique and fiery talent. Why did he make this film?
  18. The tenuous conclusion is that all this metaphysical hugger-mugger was divinely ordered to reconcile Costner and his father. All those dead players were summoned from that Great Locker Room in the Sky in a painfully false move. [9 May 1989, p.26]
  19. Not every stupid film sets out to be that way. But a furious zeal to entertain, especially to find twists, can push filmmakers past credibility, past twist, even past social decency. A dreadful example is Pushing Tin.
  20. We get the feeling that, about nine-tenths of the way along, after he had all the characters knotted up, Bass suddenly thought, "Good heavens! I've got to find some way to finish off this thing." The way that he found is lame and makes a hash of what precedes it. [28 July 1997]
  21. Contrivances accrue so thickly that the source seems to be not 1978 Toback, but 1930s Warner Brothers. The film sweats to be up-to-date with ultra-hectic editing, pace, elision, and sangfroid, but they can't verify the pasteboard base.
  22. For all the film's frantic editing, it never really takes off, principally because of Gibson. He never seems concentrated, really present. He was better as Hamlet. [1996Dec9 Pg.27]
  23. The banality of the plot and the writing make the presence in the cast of the celebrated William Hurt, Andie MacDowell and Bob Hoskins all the more disheartening. [03 Mar 1997 Pg.30]
  24. DeLillo felt he needed a plot, and he invented one that is shockingly bad for a novelist of his accomplishment. It isn't the use of a plot that degrades the picture: it is the degrading plot itself--which isn't even a good cartoon of a too-busy plot.
  25. Allen is wretched. It is no kind of pleasure to say so, especially with the memory of the good things he has done; but here he simply plunks front and center the fact that he cannot act and never could.
  26. This film by Nick Doob and Chris Hegedus forces us to make some decisions about him. For myself, I find him generally gross, in person and in manner.
  27. So this is not, as vaunted, a documentary about a film destroyed by temperaments and tizzies. It is the account of a medical catastrophe that could have spoiled the opening of a supermarket.
  28. It's just one more dunk in the slime pit of exploitation. [13 Apr 1992, p.26]
  29. The plot, the gags, the action are so stupid and strident, so unfunnily parodic, that the film's only interest is in wondering how they did it-the mix of animation and live action. [1 Aug 1988]
  30. Virtually everything that happens in Adaptation is almost juvenile showing off - daring to make a film that is in search of a script.
  31. A lot of talent has gone down the drain, an apt term since bathrooms loom in the picture. [22 Jun 1998, p. 26]
  32. Disembodied, patchy, pointless work, which isn't even successfully pretentious.
  33. Birth is one of those films occasionally encountered that make me question my nativity or that of the film-makers. Were they and I born on the same planet? If so, how could we now have such vastly different criteria of a film story's believability?
  34. Fonda believed in acting. She doesn't seem to believe in it anymore. Her performance in this film is a collection of reactions, vocal whoops, and pouncings that we have seen often before in lesser actors.
  35. An overwrought, hollowly symbolic glob of glutinous nonsense... I haven't seen a sillier film about a woman and a piano since John Huston's "The Unforgiven" (1960), a Western in which Lillian Gish had her piano carried out into the front yard so she could play Mozart to pacify attacking Indians. [13 Dec 1993]
  36. Billed as a comedy, but it could also be billed as a drama, a satire, an allegory, or a film (partially) noir. It wouldn't matter, or help... Not since Robert Altman has any American filmmaker been as overrated as this pair. [30 Sept 1991]
  37. Imagine finding the will to get up every morning to do another day's work on this stale story tarted up with relevance.
  38. His (writer/director Konchalovsky's) plunge into the world of mental distortion is so garish, so exploitative, that the picture needs only a few clicks of the dial to move from the horrible to the ludicrous
  39. A braggart piece of empty exhibitionism.
  40. The dialogue that is wrapped around the sexual activities only helps to make the film disgustingly ridiculous.
  41. Penn's film is very slow, sententious, ill-judged about the tensions he wants in long scenes. [18 Dec 1995, Pg.28]
  42. For me, the execution of the picture is so weak, so imitative, so facile that it makes all the thematic discussion seem idle. [25 Nov 1996, Pg.30]
  43. A lifeless, tedious picture... A complete dud. [29 Oct 1990, p.26]
  44. In future Lee can best serve his versatility by never doing anything like this again.

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