The New York Times' Scores

For 13,074 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 3.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Mean Streets
Lowest review score: 0 Dracula 2000
Score distribution:
13074 movie reviews
  1. The severely beautiful film is painted in a dauntingly austere manner, as if lost in a war against itself, with confrontations underplayed and the rural landscapes making more of an impression than the detoured drama.
  2. It is neither floridly melodramatic nor showily minimalist. The virtue - and also the limitation - of this movie is that it confronts senselessness and insists on remaining calm and sane.
  3. But the film's central figure remains a cipher, the subject of a colorful scrapbook rather than a revealing portrait.
  4. Ms. Silverman is a skilled performer, and Jesus Is Magic is occasionally very funny, but don't be fooled: naughty as she may seem, she's playing it safe.
  5. Driven by mostly Spanish-language folk music, the movie provides a potent if piecemeal counterbalance to the sensationalism of “Breaking Bad.”
  6. Not quite good enough to jump out of the pack of Asian swordplay movies but is too well crafted to sink into utter anonymity.
  7. Mr. Ceylan performs this particular operation with rigorous solemnity, technical virtuosity and precision tools — his lapidary visual style rises to the challenge of the natural environment — yet there’s something missing from the very start, namely the spark of breathed-in life.
  8. A sly retrospective exercise in corporate self-congratulation masquerading as an insider’s tell-all.
  9. Above all, it loves its characters and the actors who play them. A fearless, talented filmmaking auteur working on a limited budget, Mr. Lipsky insists on doing it his way and letting the chips fall where they may. More power to him.
  10. The Absent One finds Mr. Kaas as watchable as before, though a few well-intentioned attempts to lighten up his character — an orphaned cat is brought in, a speech about his motivations is given — are clumsily executed, and instead divert from his terse and magnetic personality.
  11. The actor Tim Roth makes a fierce, disturbing directorial debut with a film that treats incest as something worse than a terrible secret.
  12. The film is too busy, and in some ways too gross, to sustain an effective atmosphere of dread. It tumbles into pastiche just when it should be swooning and sighing with earnest emotion.
  13. The beauty and absurdity (things also get harrowing) don’t entirely compensate for the overheated romanticism in which the movie is grounded, but they do make Two Lovers and a Bear a nearly singular cinematic trek.
  14. The final act of Stoker walks a fine line between the sensational and the silly. Mr. Park is less interested in narrative suspense than in carefully orchestrated shocks and camouflaged motives.
  15. A sometimes enthralling, sometimes exhausting tour de force.
  16. A noncommittal, occasionally surreal portrait of hardscrabble lives and omnipresent risk.
  17. Uncle Kent 2, directed (for the most part) by Todd Rohal from Mr. Osborne’s script, is a funnier and more imaginative film than its predecessor, but it’s still what you might call a niche proposition.
  18. Kill Dil has excellent songs by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, and one memorable, stakes-clarifying dance sequence that juxtaposes two styles.
  19. It’s a chronically underachieving movie, but relatively amusing in its quaint wish fulfillment.
  20. Ms. Streisand hasn't been called on to deliver an immortal or even interesting performance, but she is a pip to watch.
  21. Reasonably enjoyable until its guys are forced to grow up. Because bad behavior is usually more fun to watch than good, the movie is especially fine during the preliminaries.
  22. Making sadomasochism appear less erotic than stamp collecting, Leap Year is a slow flare of emotional agony.
  23. Part of the pleasure of this film, directed by Ritesh Batra (“The Lunchbox”), lies in the rediscovery of what wonderful actors they can be, and how good they are together.
  24. Depending on your age, sex and mechanical inclinations, Tales of the Rat Fink will convince you that Mr. Roth should either have been canonized or smothered at birth.
  25. Except perhaps for Lux, who, like The Virgin Suicides itself, is a hothouse flower perishing for want of sunshine and fresh air.
  26. Seriously, if not always elegantly, the film portrays the great Ip Man as someone trying to survive, which is to say just as often a victim as a victor.
  27. However you judge the movie’s politics, and whatever its flaws, there is something inarguable, something irreducibly honest and right, about Mr. Jones’s performance.
  28. Has the sense of gritty, practical politics of a Japanese samurai epic combined with the high-flying stunt work and magical special effects of a Hong Kong romp. Ultimately this film by Yojiro Takita is satisfying on neither level, but not for lack of trying.
  29. At a certain point, Mr. Carruth's fondness for complexity and indirection crosses the line between ambiguity and opacity, but I hasten to add that my bafflement is colored by admiration.
  30. Brawny, dumb and preposterous, it nonetheless comes tantalizingly close to being a high-impact allegory of race, class and real estate in a postindustrial, new-Gilded Age America.
  31. If you go, expect a diverting summer action adventure with occasional laughs, not a diverting stoner comedy with occasional action.
  32. Ms. Wang delves further into Dylan’s past. If by the end she probably still puts too much trust in Dylan’s aphorisms, give her credit for recognizing the shortcomings of her footage and correcting course.
  33. Softening that apocalyptic undercurrent is a counter-strain of quiet nobility.
  34. For the first half of the film, amusing monster humor keeps things interesting; some monsters, it turns out, are better at party games than others.
  35. The connections made in Photographic Memory are more tentative than those found in Mr. McElwee's earlier films, which also seek answers in roundabout ways while maintaining an acute eye for light, color, space and atmosphere.
  36. As the movie glides along, it may not elicit explosive laughter, but it plants a steady smile on your face and doesn't leave you feeling molested. If that's another way of saying Johnny English Reborn is old-fashioned, so be it.
  37. Mr. Payet, who is one of the film’s directors and screenwriters, is a comedy star in France, and this movie is facile with its comic rhythms and dramatic flow.
  38. An agreeable documentary about the pop singer Rick Springfield and his legions of female fans.
  39. JFK
    The movie, which is simultaneously arrogant and timorous, has been unable to separate the important material from the merely colorful.
  40. The fight is the thing in Man of Tai Chi, Keanu Reeves’s down-and-dirty and generally diverting directing debut.
  41. The closest sensory approximation of an acid trip ever achieved by a mainstream movie and the latest example of Mr. Gilliam's visual bravura.
  42. Mostly mediocre melodrama, though the actors suffering over love's labors lost are quite fine.
  43. There’s much sympathy but little tension in P J Raval’s new documentary.
  44. As a whole, it doesn’t quite work, but the parts — particular moments, observations and insights about the way people behave and perceive themselves — are frequently excellent.
  45. Many little touches in the film reflect the offbeat hand of Ms. Delpy. But she sells herself short by not giving the mother-son conflict a bit of a sharper edge beyond Lolo’s awfulness.
  46. As is often the case with movies of this type, the real stars are the special-effects team, which does some admirably disgusting work.
  47. There is nothing new here, but Mr. Waters, as he showed with the smarter and more daring "Mean Girls" and "Freaky Friday," knows how to keep things buzzing along.
  48. While it flickers with grace and imagination during its initial half, largely because of Jack, it devolves into a dreary, platitudinous therapy movie in its second, largely because of Ma.
  49. Wicked, but it works.
  50. Like Walt Whitman, another hard-to-classify embodiment of the spirit of New York, he is contradictory and multitudinous. The hour and a half Mr. Barsky provides might be enough time for a lesser figure. Mr. Koch...needs more.
  51. Most watchable during the majestic brutality of the battle sequences. This is not only because of the handsome staging, but also because the keywords sacrifice and honor are evoked with verve and simplicity, more so than in the "exchange of idea" chats between Algren and Katsumoto, which sound like statements being read into the Congressional Record by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
  52. A raucous, rambling comedy, offering some laughs, some groans and a feast for fans of the musical idioms it mocks and celebrates.
  53. A kaleidoscopic travelogue depicting demonstrations of faith worldwide.
  54. Lockout, is as dopey an entertainment as imaginable, but it's also a reminder that the film's star, Guy Pearce, has always had great screen magnetism, to which he has now added a bedrock of muscle. Also: he can act.
  55. The resulting compromise does not produce a perfect film, but it is a fine record of a classic production and an important reminder of an event that has not stopped echoing in American culture.
  56. The film is intriguing, but ultimately opaque, a lovely, inert object that offers, in the name of movie love, an escape from so much that is vital and interesting about movies.
  57. Paranormal Activity 4 will please the fans, and that should sustain this low-budget, highly profitable franchise.
  58. When the going gets weird, Hunter S. Thompson used to say, the weird turn pro, but these filmmakers never transcend their own amateurism. They turn what could have been a brilliant exploration of the hidden corners of contemporary reality into an opportunity for gawking and condescension.
  59. Sid and Nancy doesn't try to win its audience's sympathy in any conventional way, which is just as well, since that would have been a losing battle. But it does succeed in offering bleak, nasty and sometimes hilarious glimpses of life in the punk demimonde.
  60. At least this movie, like its predecessor, has Ashley Bell as Nell. An actress who suggests religious piety, carnal fire and satanic aggression with equal dexterity, Ms. Bell provides a pulse an audience can connect with amid the standard-issue atmospheric accouterments.
  61. Yet for all the film's hard work at capturing Savannah's spirit, there is seldom enough context to make these characters seem anything but adorably whimsical to excess.
  62. This isn’t exactly “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”; it’s more like a film version of a TV series you could comfortably let your tweens watch.
  63. There’s a lot to learn from How to Make Money Selling Drugs, but sometimes there’s just a lot.
  64. Unfortunately the plot thickens so rapidly and so lumpily that one very soon loses interest in spite of the quite stunning and gory special effects.
  65. Directed by Ritesh Batra from a screenplay by Nick Payne, The Sense of an Ending maintains intrigue and emotional magnetism as its mystery unfolds.
  66. As the movie becomes more explosive - and more demanding of its cast - it loses some of the quiet, careful intensity that made Silviu's situation worth attending to in the first place. The seams of the narrative start to show, and by the end you are more aware of the filmmakers' ideas than of the character's life.
  67. The overall effect is one of lulling beauty and immersion in the landscape and culture - certainly enough to carry you through the film - but also an irritating sensation of being led by the nose through Ms. Álvarez's highly aestheticized ruminations.
  68. While the movie creates an intriguing emotional space in which characters at the end of their ropes can open up, there’s the distinct sense of a missed opportunity.
  69. Although Robbins might have drawn some of these characters with less obviousness and more satirical bite, he ably keeps this lively, complicated film on track.
  70. Mr. Sembène was an inspiration; as a film, Sembène! is something less than that, petering out as it goes on, but at least offering a fair-minded tribute to a master.
  71. If the storytelling disappoints (shocking!), the film mostly doesn't. It relies on action and effects and Bollywood's trump card, star power, to carry the day. This is Mr. Khan's movie, and once he sheds Shekhar's droopy locks, he shines as the deadpan, action-hero robot with digital snot and smooth moves on the dance floor.
  72. Minnelli's comedy had its serious underpinnings: by the end of the film, a girl had become a woman. By the end of Ms. Gordon's film, the girl is still a girl, but a girl with much cooler stuff, including a stately home, a butler and a cute British boyfriend.
  73. The happy surprise of Ek Main aur Ekk Tu a Bollywood romcom that bears a vague resemblance to "What Happens in Vegas," is that it's not crude, sniggering or vindictive. Instead it's rather sweet and sometimes even a little unexpected.
  74. The Square is ultimately a long version of Christian’s rambling apology, ostentatiously smart, maybe too much so for its own good, but ultimately complacent, craven and clueless.
  75. This crowd-pleasing spectacle is like a series of showstopper sequences from a musical without much attention paid to the story that is supposed to hold it all together.
  76. Nothing if not earnest. It's also eccentric enough to remain interesting even when its ghost story isn't easy to believe.
  77. City of Men has a more humane, you might say bleeding-heart, perspective on this anarchic culture than “City of God.”
  78. The film is at once a sort of Indian "Stella Dallas," which finds the heroine making sacrifice after sacrifice on behalf of her family, and a "Gone With the Wind"-style epic of social change.
  79. Magdalena relies on the magical-realism aspects of religious devotion, even though it began as a story more firmly, and admirably, rooted in a gritty reality.
  80. Following the efforts of a South African housing rights group, the documentary Dear Mandela illustrates how fresh injustices have succeeded the inequality once enforced by apartheid.
  81. A sufficiently entertaining, adamantly old-fashioned adaptation that follows the play’s general outline without ever rising to the passionate intensity of its star-cross’d crazy kids.
  82. Most of the modest pleasures are in the ways the men expertly play off one another and invest their shallow characters with more depth than any filmmaker could reasonably expect.
  83. This isn't to say that this particular extravaganza, directed by Frank Oz, is in the same super league as The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper. This may be only an impression, based on the fact that the past always looks greener than the present, but The Muppets Take Manhattan seems just a little less extraordinaire than the two other features. [13 July 1984, p.C10]
    • The New York Times
  84. There’s a loose, bohemian quality to Mr. Cohen’s sketch of a film.
  85. 5 Flights Up would be nothing without its stars, whose humanity warms up a movie that otherwise portrays New Yorkers as coldblooded, slightly crazy, hypercompetitive sharks.
  86. As wild as the premise is, Under Siege is almost guiltily enjoyable.
  87. The most interesting thing about The Good Shepherd is how hard the filmmakers work not only to demystify the agency, but also to strip it of its allure, its heat.
  88. Whatever the facts, Mr. Gracia’s messily structured film works best as a document of fear in today’s Ukraine and as a kind of ghost story about the Soviet Union.
  89. In My Mother's Arms takes a distressing snapshot of an ongoing struggle.
  90. Bathed in a nostalgic glow that just avoids maudlin, the group’s problems — a sexless marriage, an unexpected job loss — bark but don’t bite. Scenes flirt with cliché, yet the writing has spark.
  91. Mr. Cassavetes is effectively black-hearted, and makes a striking figure, and Randy Quaid does a lot with the underdeveloped role of a local sheriff. Mr. Marvin directs at a brisk pace, but his screenplay, though lively, seems to be written in an alien language.
  92. Like so many political films of this type made for British television, this documentary contains more information than analysis, not to mention predictably spooky music.
  93. Mi America is not just about a murder case but about how residents of divided communities share a history and deal with one another, sometimes hopefully, always warily.
  94. A derivative but efficient chiller that cribs from “Solaris,” “The Shining” and “The Amityville Horror” yet also shows glimmers of imagination.
  95. Moments of insight flare like fireflies and disappear, whether from underfinancing or overambition is unclear. Either way, this maddening mind game is likely to be more enthusiastically received in philosophy classrooms than in the multiplex.
  96. As a musical experience, it is generous and moving. But as a documentary, “Sing Me the Songs” is an awkward hybrid of concert film and rock-star biography.
  97. Mr. Wirthensohn, who has known Mr. Reay since both were models, sees Mr. Reay’s life as a metaphor for the vanishing middle class. But Mr. Reay merely comes across as an aging casualty of Manhattan fashion, vainly chasing his fortune in a fickle industry that prizes youth.
  98. Until it goes haywire with the cabbage scene, Stray Dogs sustains a hypnotic intensity anchored in exquisite cinematography that portrays the modern industrial cityscape as a chilly wasteland.
  99. Mr. Giraldi, who also directs commercials, takes a fairly ordinary approach to this easygoing teen-age comedy about a stockbroker in his mid-20's who must pretend to be a high-school student. The material is pleasant enough, and Mr. Cryer is a good deal less strained here than he has been in other roles, affecting a natural manner and a good way with wisecracks.
  100. The scenarios and their attendant psychologies are utterly conventional, but the characters and cast are appealing in equal measure.

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