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 Letters from Iwo Jima
Lowest review score: 0 Hulk
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 458
458 movie reviews
  1. So in all the tumult about this film, the eruption of its subject into wide attention and the consequent revelations about cowboys' lives in the past, let us--without forgetting the American sources of the screenplay--acknowledge the anomaly that the director is Chinese.
  2. The ability to conceive a compact drama on this huge subject and to embody it as perfectly as they have done, added to what they have already accomplished, puts Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne among the premier film artists of our time.
  3. Extraordinary--delicate, seriously disturbing, and lovely.
  4. With most historical films the informed viewer scrutinizes in order to cluck at errors. (There are books full of such cluckings.) With Shakespeare in Love, the more one knows, the more one can enjoy the liberties taken. [Jan. 4, 1999]
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  5. Any film that provides Ian Holm with a large role is off to a good start. The Sweet Hereafter gets off to that start and keeps going. [Dec 8, 1997]
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  6. Who is Billy Bob Thornton? The question fascinates after seeing Sling Blade, the extraordinary first film that he wrote and directed and in which he plays the leading role. [Feb. 10, 1997]
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  7. With the ship, with its totality of people, Cameron is wizardly, creating an entire society threading through the various strata of a world that has been set afloat from the rest of the world. [Jan. 5, 1998]
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  8. One other element helps Out of Sight tremendously: the editing. [3 Aug 1998]
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  9. Turtles Can Fly, is masterly: it courses before us with grace, a control that paradoxically bespeaks love and anger.
  10. The result is a peculiar small gem, a true Linklater gem. The verity of the film, rather than any novelty or twist, keeps us fixed.
  11. If this weren't a true story, who would believe it? Well, a good many of us, probably. First, it's the kind of exceptional circumstance we like to dwell on as proof that pessimists are wrong; second, Shine is markedly well made, therefore persuasive. [Nov. 18, 1996]
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  12. We are certainly entitled to marvel at its very existence, but that isn't enough. The work itself is extraordinary.
  13. The Truman Show is a reminder of the Beckett theme. The screenplay by Andrew Niccol starts from something like Beckett's abstraction and reifies it with details of contemporary culture, then moves on into fantasy. [June 29, 1998]
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  14. Gondry's virtuosity lifts the film far past science fiction into cinematic efflorescence. He shows us, more seductively than other directors have done, how freehand use of film can capture the flashes in our minds that slip between words.
  15. The last minutes of the film are exhilarating, but its real triumph is in everything that precedes the ending--the relatively simple lives of the three women up to that point.
  16. Soderbergh is helped enormously by the interplay of his actors, whom he has cast like a master... [He makes] a film that goes past what it shows to disclose what can't be seen. It's a fine achievement. [4 Sept 1989, p.26]
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  17. The screenwriter Angus MacLachlan and the director Phil Morrison and an astonishingly perfect cast have quietly made a daring picture.
  18. Herman handled his script cleanly and cast the picture well. [09Jun1997 Pg 30]
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  19. And Ben Kingsley--O rare Ben Kingsley!--is the Jewish accountant whom Schindler plucks from a condemned group to run his business and who combines gratitude with disdain, subservience with pride. (Actors who want to study the basis of acting--concentration--should watch Kingsley.) [13 Dec 1993]
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  20. If Boogie Nights were poorly made and acted, its materials would make it intolerably tawdry. But its so well done that we keep watching. [Nov. 10, 1997]
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  21. What an extraordinary idea it was to make this film. What a splendid achievement.
  22. Overall, the effect is presumably what Eastwood wanted: we are present at a momentous event, not watching a movie.
  23. Leigh, the writer, ties up things somewhat neatly and is a touch homiletic. Leigh, the director of cast and camera, is masterly. [Sept. 30, 1996]
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  24. In every aspect, his film is superbly made.
  25. The picture is spectacular.
  26. It is Akinshina's presence and performance that make the pedestrian story heart-wrenching. She is pretty, responsive, reflective. Without the slightest strain, she convinces us of the beauty and pathos and hope within Lilya.
  27. The very considerable impact of the picture is mainly the work of two men, the author and the star.
  28. Christine Jeffs has directed it with discretion and intimacy, almost a paradoxical privacy.
  29. It's dazzling and serious, with flurries of impulse playing around a persistent core of madness. [6 May 1996, p. 24]
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  30. Nothing about this film sounds, as described, novel. Yet it grips, because it has been made with plentiful feeling and vigor. [June 26, 1989]
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  31. "You'll have to be patient." Philibert said, "That's the point." This is the film's success: its patience, which in a way mirrors the teacher's.
  32. Son Frère is a real achievement, delicate, perceptive, somewhat muted but nonetheless strong.
  33. Despite the fact that parts of this film remind us of past pictures with comparable themes, the director and his actors make it immediate, gripping.
  34. Crudup is whole. He creates the man who has pride in what he does, who is suddenly stripped of the work and the pride; and who makes his way, somewhat painfully, to another sort of pride. His story is a small but acute poignancy in the history of the theater, and Crudup realizes it completely.
  35. The cast could not -- one could almost say need not -- be improved.
  36. The insinuating quality of 3-Iron is irresistible.
  37. Denis and her editor, Nelly Quettier, have assumed that they do not have to show the details of sex because we know them already. Instead, Denis and Quettier create a small visual poem on the subject.
  38. The making of the film is so slick, the acting so exceptional, that we find ourselves trapped - caring about what happens to the three principals. [6 May 1991, p.26]
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  39. Washington Heights, under De Villa's guidance, bubbles. Once more, as in comparable films, it creates a foreign nexus in a domestic setting -- a group of people who live in two cultures.
  40. The essence of the film is that French gambit which Leconte has called "the magic of the unlikely encounter.
  41. Loach's cast fits perfectly, and his directing has his usual extra tang of commitment. He provides almost a sensory response to his material: we seem to feel the textures and scent the air.
  42. Sembène's love of his people and his commitment to the richness that underlies the poverty of their condition have always made his films gems of truth, as they do once again here.
  43. An unusually fine screenplay, then, yet LaBute's accomplishment goes further. He has envisioned a cinematic style for his film that harmonizes exactly with its theme and mood. [Sept 1, 1997]
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  44. This is Sollett's first feature film -- he has previously made only one short -- and it shows, more than exceptional talent for cinema itself, his ability to evoke character, in a kind of sidewise offhand way, and to create a sense of community both within and around the film.
  45. García wanted to paint a canvas of nine elements, rather than one large element; and, though only a few of the vignettes are related, the film leaves us with a sense of wholeness, not of stunt.
  46. It is Theron who transmutes and sustains this journey through the lower depths.
  47. Spider is not a pulse-quickening experience, but Fiennes's art makes it engrossing.
  48. It seems quite possible that Me and You marks the arrival of an artist who may affect--disturbingly yet helpfully--films and audiences to come.
  49. One particular bit of luck for this reissue is the fact that Melville's cinematographer, Pierre Lhomme, was on hand to help with the restoration of this thirty-five-year-old film. The result is a paradoxical beauty. Very many of the scenes are in sunlight--Melville avoided such facile stuff as shadows for suspense--yet they are chilly. The seasons vary, but the general effect is of a bright winter day that is freezing.
  50. The result, except for the stock action climax, is sharp, fast, bitter. [19 September 1994, p. 38]
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  51. The film's authority rests first and finally on the two actors in the leading roles. They are utterly reassuring. [4 August 1997, p. 26]
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  52. A comedy that surfs from beginning to end on a wave of high spirits. The tone is young but not juvenile, sexy but not cynical, optimistic but not stupid. [22 April 1996, p.28]
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  53. The picture depends completely on those two performances (Whalberg, Forster), and the two actors come through.
  54. It contains little that will be new to any informed viewer; yet it fascinates for all of its 140 minutes.
  55. Coppola handles her film with very pleasant economy, with a kind of warm precision. Her father, who was one of this picture's producers, can be as proud of her as we are grateful.
  56. Irons, busily offset by Silver, gleefully choreographed by Schroeder, gives the picture its real bravura reason for being. [19 Nov 1990]
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  57. Sheridan and colleagues understood their chief problem: how to sustain interest in a story that was well-known in advance, not a large historical subject with its own prestige but a news story now dated. So they concentrated on character and on acid irony. [03 Jan 1994 Pg. 28]
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  58. Happiness very quickly displays finesse and control, colored by a nearly exultant glee. [9 Nov 1998]
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  59. The brothers have given us another treasure. Once again they have made a drama of redemption, and once again they convince us that it is possible.
  60. A good Listless Film carries a double melancholy for all: it makes us sad for its characters and sad for the world that has thus affected them. Old Joy is such a film.
  61. It is Fellini's face that is peculiarly welcome, the face that -- in a probably fantasizing but pertinent way -- endorses his films.
  62. Ozpetek is an enriching director. More than a presentation of its contents, every scene seems also to be a distillation of the matters that led to it. He can take a somewhat worn device--moving the camera around his people as they talk--and make it savory.
  63. Nothing like a full picture of Che--nor of Granado and his eventual scientific career in Cuba, for that matter. But it exhilarates with the spirit of these young men in Act One of their lives.
  64. Its rich movie-ness is heightened by the talents involved. John Mortimer knows how to shape scenes with dialogue, much as painters know how to turn shapes with color. Zeffirelli, in his long career as designer and director of opera, theater, and film, has not been noted for restraint; yet here his directing is generally taciturn and implicative. [7 June 1999, p. 32]
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  65. To name only one of its predecessors -- for me, the towering one -- doesn't "Schindler's List" do everything that Polanski achieves and more?
  66. Jacques Richard has fashioned an adoring tribute to this wonderfully maniacal man.
  67. The film holds us principally because of its Napoleon. Philippe Torreton doesn't perform the role: he exists.
  68. Green treats his people with affectionate knowledge, untinged with patronizing. And he sees them in ways that are free of cinematic cliché.
  69. [Reiner] pulls everything together adroitly to make Harry Met Sally a real refreshment. It's what they call a summer picture, which means that, if it's good as this one is-it will seem summery even in winter. [21 Aug 1989, p.26]
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  70. Bellochio, who began his career in 1965, has made some of the most trenchant Italian films on political themes, and Good Morning, Night is one more of them.
  71. Kaminski, who is as good as any cinematographer working today, matches the chromatic tones of shots to their content in ways that can only be called exciting.
  72. The picture holds us, not only through our wonderment at the mixture but through Serreau's dexterity and her casting.
  73. It's agreeable to see a picture that holds us without perspiring to do so. We are treated not as an audience but as café chums to whom a story is being told
  74. Payne's directing is alert, warm, patient. He knows that the surface must keep us interested until we go below it, and his confidence holds us.
  75. One of the best elements in the adaptation is Caine's blending, like le Carré's, of the past and the present so that one can enrich the other. There are no stilted flashbacks: both past and present are treated as present, which gives the film a texture of depth.
  76. Twister is full of marvelous special effects. The story exists only to provide some respite between those marvels, like dialogue in an opera full of terrific arias. [10 June 1996, p.24]
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  77. Frances McDormand plays the record-producing mother with the nativity that talent makes possible.
  78. Every moment of Longley's film is interesting, and the more we watch, the more clearly we realize that the film cannot solve anything for us.
  79. The contrast between Holm's pearly speech and the dark things that he tells us and that we see almost outlines twentieth-century civilization, elevation and brutality at opposite ends of the spectrum.
  80. A documentary, thoughtfully made.
  81. Steven Spielberg's new film begins as a monumental epic; then it diminishes; and, by its finish, is baffling. [August 24, 1998]
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  82. No element in the story, or collection of stories, has much novelty: yet the picture grips, because we sense that the director clearly knows he is treating familiar material and forges ahead out of passion.
  83. This film holds and convinces, even evokes empathy, because of Anne Reid, an actress long experienced in British television and film. She gives May intelligence and spirit and a somewhat genteel wonder at the resurging of desire.
  84. What Burger and his colleagues have done is to entrance us with a richly acted, beautifully produced story.
  85. But Anker's real success here is himself. He was obviously able to get these men and women to open up to him. And thus, quite obliquely, they remind us of a threat. As everyone knows, American symphony orchestras are in trouble. Attendance is dropping, and managements are trying various maneuvers, even stunts, to attract people.
  86. His performance here made me suspect that Schreiber is, in a sense, another Kenneth Branagh--an extraordinary actor who is simply not a film star.
  87. Noyce has treated this story almost like a page of holy writ. If he has erred, it is in the very awe of his approach.
  88. In this film the lovers are seeking the impossible through the possible. The knowledge of that impossibility makes the scenes all the more powerful. This is the core of Lawrence's novel, and Ferran has understood it.
  89. Even if this film were more gripping than it is, and it grips somewhat, it would be a bit disappointing because it aims so low. Let's hope that Branagh now has the Hollywood adoration out of his system. [16 Dec 1991, p.30]
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  90. The name of Hugo Colace ought to be known to the film world. He is the cinematographer of an Argentinean film called Intimate Stories. Not since some Tibetan films have I seen such vastness, sparsely inhabited, almost ringing with immensity.
  91. Why was this film made after the homes had already been abolished? One reason, hardly trifling, is that it was made excellently. Thematically, however, it stings -- as a reminder that Catholicism is only one religion that is dominated by males and that this domination is proprietary.
  92. Stands as a poignant marker in the career of a major artist.
  93. A lively, long, intelligent documentary.
  94. Spielberg directs so fluently that it takes a while to perceive how well made the film is.
  95. The opening minutes in a Union Army camp are as good as anything in Glory; and the buffalo hunt, as edited by Travis, is a marvel. [10 Dec 1990, p.28]
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  96. It is too weak to say that Herzog disregards conventions of narrative structure and editing: he is there to punish us for attending his film and to make us enjoy it. Other directors have at times made masochists of us: Herzog excels at this, and he doesn't often do it more stunningly than in Cobra Verde.
  97. Aesop endowed animals with human traits to teach us lessons. Seabiscuit almost does the reverse. By means of Ross's adroit shooting and editing, we ourselves pound bravely along the track.
  98. Even though no reasonably well-informed viewer will learn much factual information from the picture, it grips; it even torments, because it lets us move and breathe and shiver and resolve with two particular young men.
  99. It is the central performance that holds us. Cillian Murphy glows.
  100. The film leaves the viewer with an increased sense of Shepard's exceptional being and talent--a prime playwright of his time who, if he had so chosen, could also have been one of its leading film stars.

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