The New Republic's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 458 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 39% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 59% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Osama
Lowest review score: 0 Hulk
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 458
458 movie reviews
  1. 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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  2. "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.
  3. It contains little that will be new to any informed viewer; yet it fascinates for all of its 140 minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. Caouette has opened up a case history vividly, but he has left us without any conclusions, not even with much enlightening empathy. Something more than truth--dare one say "mere truth"?--is needed.
  6. 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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  7. 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.
  8. The English Patient is excitingly promising. Then the screenplay goes rotten, like an overripe melon. [Dec. 9, 1996]
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  9. Substantively there is no content. Everything we see or hear engages us only as part of a directorial tour de force. That force is exceptional, but since there is not much more to the picture, it leaves us hungry.
  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. If we can watch this picture at all, it is because this universally admired person (Eastwood) is in it.
  13. 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]
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  14. 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.
  15. To name only one of its predecessors -- for me, the towering one -- doesn't "Schindler's List" do everything that Polanski achieves and more?
  16. 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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  17. Turtles Can Fly, is masterly: it courses before us with grace, a control that paradoxically bespeaks love and anger.
  18. 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.
  19. The Coen brothers wrote McDormand’s role best. Much of the time they seem to have had “Pulp Fiction” in their ears--strings of incongruous banalities; but with this pregnant cop, they struck some gold of their own. [March 25, 1996]
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  20. Stands as a poignant marker in the career of a major artist.
  21. One other element helps Out of Sight tremendously: the editing. [3 Aug 1998]
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  22. 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.
  23. 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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  24. The segments are so cleverly arranged--Apted includes past pictorial references for each of the people we revisit--that now there is something almost mystical involved. It is as if a wizard were giving us an overview of forty-two years that mortals were possibly not meant to see.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Little more than the distended first half of a twisty, dark "Law & Order" script.
  28. Both these stories, which of course develop further, are more engaging than they may sound, because Desplechin directs them so intelligently and because they are so well acted.
  29. 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.
  30. 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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