The New York Times' Scores

For 12,428 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
  1. Even at his shakiest, Mr. Blomkamp holds your attention with stories about characters banding together to emerge from a hell not of their own making, a liberation journey that just isn’t the same old, same old when a director was born in South Africa.
  2. It’s tough being a hitmaker who isn’t weighed down by corporate expectations, but for a while, Mr. Gunn does a pretty good job of keeping the whole thing reasonably fizzy, starting with an opener that winks at the audience with big bangs and slapstick.
  3. A great big juicy gob of apocalyptic paranoia.
  4. It is a beautifully made film - decorously composed, meticulously acted, cleanly photographed. But all of these qualities make it seem complacent and hypocritical when it wants to be honest and brave, and sentimental rather than emotionally daring.
  5. Its ideological leanings are evident and unsurprising, but more screen time for Mr. Nader's pre-2000 (or pre-post-2000) adversaries would have made a richer film.
  6. Avoids succumbing to the preachiness that is the bane of so many family films, and for a movie like this, that's no small feat.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The documentary Oswald’s Ghost initially plays as yet another primer on the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the vilification of Lee Harvey Oswald.
  7. Dark Skies certainly parades textbook genre trappings...But those elements are employed with consummate dexterity.
  8. An alternate title for Gut Renovation, Su Friedrich’s cranky, sarcastic documentary polemic about the gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood, might be “The Rape of Williamsburg.”
  9. Its tightly shot scenes never reveal much context, and the rather cryptic subtitles can lead a viewer to mistaken conclusions until the identities and motivations of the characters click into focus.
  10. This one-sided account brings some lesser-known offenses to light and advances a scenario that is bold and detailed. But it is hardly dispassionate.
  11. Occasionally, this richly lyrical movie passes over the line separating sympathetic exploration from freak-show condescension.
  12. A gaudy thriller saturated in sex and violence, is an extravagance that leaves you with your mouth hanging open - partly in admiration of its audacity and partly in disbelief at its preposterousness.
  13. That stink, like iffy contracts and child labor laws, remains unexplored. Filled with blind eyes and unspoken agreements, Girl Model opens a can of worms, then disdains to follow their slimy trails.
  14. The movie is a little claustrophobic -- a marathon of conference calls, frenzied pointing and clicking, and office pep talks.
  15. Filming over four years and tracking several cases, the Brazilian director Jorge W. Atalla favors a fevered shooting style that's repetitious and disorienting but also effortlessly dramatic.
  16. Has the bad luck to come on the heels of Kathryn Bigelow's beautifully made and politically impassioned "K-19," making this submarine picture -- a relatively modest, low-budget affair -- seem skimpy by comparison.
  17. Grosbard mercifully avoids melodrama -- the only real false notes are musical ones, from a score by Elmer Bernstein that turns familiar and trite when the film does not.
  18. A cinematic tasting menu consisting entirely of amuse-bouches. After two hours of such tidbits the palate is sated. But if there is no need for a main course, you still leave feeling vaguely disappointed at not being served one.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Rambling and disorganized. At the same time, though, The Hammer also has dry wit and unforced working-class swagger, and hits some surprising emotional notes.
  19. More reminiscent of public television than of cinema, this rather humbly wrought movie makes no claim to being comprehensive in recalling a scary time.
  20. Some of the scenes are like mislaid puzzle pieces, and they snap into place only when all three movies have been seen and absorbed. This makes watching any one of the episodes both more interesting and more frustrating than it might otherwise be, since a portion of dramatic satisfaction is always withheld.
  21. The movie jolts you with the realization that the AIDS epidemic and the public debate about such issues have retreated so far under the news radar as to be half-forgotten.
  22. A slight, amusing documentary.
  23. The tedium, I would argue, is not incidental but essential, because this is not really a spy thriller or even a foot-chase and fist-fight-driven action movie, but rather a somber meditation on the crisis of the Gen-X professional in the throes of middle age.
  24. Although The Grace Lee Project is ostensibly about a name, it's really about cultural assimilation and a stereotype of virtue and subservience that has deep roots on both sides of the Pacific. As oppressive as her name may be, Ms. Lee also knows full well that there are worse fates than being a 16-year-old Harvard freshman.
  25. It’s more of a document than a documentary; calling it cinema seems like an error of categorization.
  26. It's big, colorful, slightly vulgar, occasionally boring and full of talent not always used to its limits.
  27. Easier to watch than it is to believe.
  28. Mr. Gilady, a documentarian making his fiction feature debut as a writer and director, over-stacks the deck with this belabored if artfully shot story.
  29. The film, adapted from a novel by James Hadley Chase, aspires to out-noir every other film noir that has been lumped under that popular term, including "The Big Sleep" (which it resembles), in plot trickery and steaminess.
  30. As Janice, Eileen Walsh, an engaging, wide-eyed actress whose teeth are a little too big for her mouth, infuses the movie with much of its slender, glinting charm.
  31. A good deal of anger washes through this acerbic portrait of the movie business in histrionically high gear. But so does a lot of sentimentality, and as the sentimentality quotient rises, it erodes the film's credibility.
  32. Years of tireless persistence have begun to work in Mr. Van Damme's favor. It's hard not to enjoy his energy, even if his acting gifts still leave a lot to be desired. The fact is that he looks good, behaves affably and kicks with gusto, which is quite enough to satisfy the demands of Timecop.
  33. The Roost proceeds with such youthful enthusiasm that its rawness is more charming than annoying.
  34. The plot favors simplicity over rationality with a cheerful insouciance that’s hard to dislike.
  35. The film’s enigmas are atmospheric, and somewhat superficial. It solicits the audience’s morbid curiosity rather than gripping our emotions or haunting our dreams. It’s a creepy and beguiling oddity, willfully weird but, at the same time, not quite weird enough.
  36. As guileless and eager as the most avid fan, Gunnin’ is neither cautionary nor analytical, allowing its insights to occur organically and without fancy camera moves.
  37. May be a busy trifle, but it has its good-natured charms and agreeable gross-outs.
  38. The plot undermines the film’s power. At the end you may be impressed at the skill on display, but you may also wish that you were more fully moved by the spectacle of a soul laid bare and transformed.
  39. When it works, the film serves as a modest reminder that the challenges of autism may sometimes be no more daunting or fearsome than those that face anyone in search of an independent life.
  40. An average romantic comedy put together with enough professionalism to keep your cynicism momentarily at bay, featuring good-looking actors who also, in this case, seem like pretty nice people.
  41. What it does offer, however, are the pleasures of watching its seasoned stars expertly go through their familiar paces.
  42. The film recreates Toby and Caroline's aimlessness, but without appearing to understand it enough to make it as moving and important as it ought to be.
  43. Several varieties of creepy run through As Good as Dead, a gruesomely alluring tale of long-simmering revenge.
  44. Incorporating his typically arduous, slow-paced style, Mr. Wang doesn’t make things easy for viewers.
  45. This witty first feature is a flawed but diverting meditation on finding inspiration while losing your soul.
  46. There’s a lot in this story about victimization and agency that Mr. Epstein and Mr. Friedman never satisfactorily address. It’s perhaps inevitable that they seem happier when nothing yet feels at stake, including during the production of “Deep Throat.”
  47. This quiet romantic drama never soars but keeps its sense of humor and its balance while taking its subject matter for granted in the best possible way.
  48. Female-empowerment fantasy or just plain prurience, "Grave" is extremely efficient grindhouse. If there is any message here at all, it's don't mess with a novelist: being creative is her job.
  49. An energetic, visually attractive but ultimately irritating comedy-drama.
  50. There may be little to give you the collywobbles, but there’s quite a lot to enjoy, with Ms. Morton heading the list. Swaddled in thick cardis and shapeless scrubs, she makes Katherine a well of overanxious care and castrating comments.
  51. Letters transforms a picture-postcard location and odd-couple narrative into a pretty, and pretty predictable, snooze. Yet the acting is flawless, the tone gentle and observational, and Leila's transformation, when it occurs, is unforced and unaccompanied by pious lecturing.
  52. A formulaic sports romance with the texture of a strawberry smoothie.
  53. Mr. Sharma's film emphasizes testimony over context to such a degree that it feels at first of little use to anyone except gay Muslims who might take comfort in knowing they're not alone. But the documentary gains depth of feeling as it goes and even develops something of a nail-biting narrative.
  54. Regrettably, the film, almost devoid of music, is drastically undermined at its end by an inadvertently comic rap tribute by the Kansas City performance artist to the "American citizen with Palestinian blood."
  55. Past Life is a page-turner that transforms into a clarion call: always compelling, but slightly stifled by noble intentions.
  56. An investigation among the attendees grants Mr. Andò the opportunity to pursue pithy, discursive exchanges about power, austerity and capitalism amid high-end accommodations and a tasteful classical soundtrack.
  57. Neither Mr. Gibson’s fans nor his detractors are likely to accuse him of excessive subtlety, and the effectiveness of Apocalypto is inseparable from its crudity. But the blunt characterizations and the emphatic emotional cues are also evidence of the director’s skill.
  58. There’s so much great vintage footage of Ali... and he’s so charismatic, it would be hard to watch the movie and not take something from it.
  59. Rambling, occasionally very funny reflection on the meaning of family in contemporary Japan.
  60. In Search of a Midnight Kiss has its derivative moments along with awkward patches -- the inelegantly shaped climax tries to force uninteresting parallels between the two central couples -- it manages the difficult task of creating a sustained, plausible and inviting world.
  61. Dry but thoughtful drama.
  62. It hits a couple of ecstatically funny high points, only to plummet into a bog of second-rate gags, emerging a long time later to engage the audience by the sheer, unstoppable force of the Brooks chutzpah.
  63. Because it is a French film, or rather the kind of French film that wants to serve its sentimentality with a dollop of prestige, The Midwife doesn’t offer an entirely shameless version of the “dying free spirit imbues uptight caretaker with a new lust for life” scenario.
  64. If you don't get the jokes, there isn't a whole lot else to get, and it's a safe assumption that non-Latino, non-Spanish-speaking viewers are going to miss a lot of them.
  65. After Hours is not, ultimately, a satisfying film, but it's often vigorously unsettling.
  66. At the end Ms. Maclean forsakes all the unsettling subtlety and nuance she has had so clearly in her command to serve up a finale that I found frankly confounding, despite its having been foreshadowed.
  67. Mr. Mekas makes little attempt to smooth out his transitions between takes or scenes, which only reinforces the intensely personal, even handmade nature of the work.
  68. Kim Chapiron, proves an excellent choreographer of brutality...But without a strong political point (unlike its source material), Dog Pound feels hollow and hopeless.
  69. It's when The Deal leaves the corporate offices behind that the story turns into a bogus, convoluted mess. Once the Russian mafia, personified by Angie Harmon playing an evil seductress with a terrible Russian accent, rears its head, the ballgame is over.
  70. As the movie jumps back and forth in time, it displays an impressive cut-and-paste agility, skillfully interweaving humor and drama without tipping over into farce or soap opera.
  71. Higher Learning culminates in facile violence instead of the assurance that this film maker, in trying to explain forces that oppress his characters, has really done his homework.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It’s a cut above other films of its type because every scene is packed with details like those pliers -- touches that suggest that the film’s writer and director, Malcolm D. Lee (“The Best Man”), is working overtime to smuggle life into formula.
  72. Has a ghoulish wit. It's not as cheekily knowing as the "Scream" movies or as trashily Grand Guignol as the "Evil Dead" franchise, but like those pictures it recognizes the close relationship between fright and laughter, and dispenses both with a free, unpretentious hand.
  73. In his third and most comfortable effort to model the Bond mantle, Pierce Brosnan bears noticeably more resemblance to a real human being.
  74. M. Butterfly as idiosyncratic as Mr. Cronenberg's work always is, is sometimes too flat and ambiguous for its own good.
  75. A crude but stirring video documentary filmed over last year and this by Amos Poe, while Mr. Earle and his band were on tour.
  76. The Exception is a diverting and occasionally exciting film, though it is rarely disturbing or thought-provoking in ways the material might require.
  77. The cinematic equivalent of a visit from a cherished but increasingly dithery maiden aunt.
  78. The nerd in me wants a bit more rigor, a bit more plausibility underneath the exuberant fakery. Maybe in the next episode.
  79. The movie turns two hours of bombings, subway crashes, car chases and helicopter pursuits into the ultimate roller-coaster ride.
  80. As broad and cartoonish as the screenplay is, there is an accuracy of observation in the work of the director, Frank Novak, that keeps the film grounded in an undeniable social realism.
  81. What is missing here, though it might have been the first thing expected from an ostensible film biography, is an answer to the simplest question: Who was Andy Kaufman, and how did he get that way?
  82. This is a film unafraid to look at [Burden's] acts, but timid when approaching his ideas.
  83. The major miscalculation in Wonderful World is the presence of a dream figure, known as the Man (Philip Baker Hall)...he throws this delicate, intelligent film, which at its best suggests a muted hybrid of “The Visitor” and “It’s a Wonderful Life,” off balance.
  84. The efforts to document the teams' creative processes aren't particularly successful - no camera can capture something that elusive - but the filmmakers do a fine job with the back stories of the featured poets.
  85. Ridiculous and undeniable, it's a punchy cartoon, rightly confident of its power to entertain. Why resist?
  86. With a cackling nihilistic glee, the movie rubs our faces in the stinking, screaming muck of raw human appetite and insists that that's all there is.
  87. The low-key realism is so meticulously maintained that Summer in Berlin feels somewhat trivial. There is nothing larger here than meets the eye. It is "Sex and the City" on a stringent budget with fewer characters.
  88. Perhaps the most gripping thing about the ultimately disappointing Japanese horror film Uzumaki is the patient way the picture develops mood.
  89. It’s all kind of cute. Maybe a little too cute, but it does have a nice circle-of-life ending. And along the way, Mr. Byington shows a knack for observational humor, slipping in sly jokes that force you to keep paying attention despite the slim plot. Droll and interesting; just not very substantial.
  90. Sharp yet overdetermined, Blumenthal doesn’t breathe naturally — it’s a comedy in a box. Just not a box that everyone will want to open.
  91. Despite its spasms of brutality and a swerve into the macabre, After the Apocalypse is, by comparison with more recent films of this type (the "Mad Max" series), gentle at heart and terribly sincere.
  92. Probably the first romantic drama ever narrated by a smelly dead fish.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    In the end, the characters seem less archetypal than vague, and aside from its sophisticated presentation, Alone With Her doesn't differ all that much from its template: the late-’80s and early-’90s Fill-In-the-Blanks-From-Hell movies that followed in the wake of "Fatal Attraction," many of whose elements (including the heroine’s inquisitive, doomed best friend) Mr. Nicholas revives almost verbatim.
  93. This movie is a more conventional, but also more believable, exploration of the potential cost of thumbing your nose at society.
  94. The concert itself was a bold, life-affirming project, but with a couple of additional extended music sequences, Mr. Xido’s film might have been more powerful and way more hardcore.
  95. From a technical standpoint, Taking Lives is competent and sometimes even impressive. It is cleanly edited and nicely shot -- at times as cool and rich as a York Peppermint Pattie. Beyond that, there is not much to say.
  96. The stilted and awkward physical and vocal performances in combination with the visually flat cinematography bring to mind the look, sound and visual texture of American daytime soaps, an association that perversely makes the movie more and more watchable.

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