The New York Times' Scores

For 9,006 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Sweet Smell of Success (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Tied to a Chair
Score distribution:
9,006 movie reviews
  1. This time Mr. Burns is trying something in the Martin Scorsese street-realist mode, but his self-regarding sentimentality trips him up again.
  2. Alternately grisly and dull, with few surprises. [12 June 1987, p.C6]
  3. Should soon join Mr. Greenaway's last few efforts in obscurity.
  4. Mr. Carpenter has directed the film with B-movie bluntness, but with none of the requisite snap. And his screenplay (written under the pseudonym Frank Armitage) makes the principals sound even more tongue-tied than they have to. [4 Nov 1988, p.C8]
  5. The dialogue reports funny things instead of showing them. The movie remains in a limbo halfway between the informed anarchy of Monty Python comedy stripped of all social and political satire, and the comparatively genteel comedy of "The Lavender Hill Mob." [15 July 1988, p.C8]
  6. Disturbingly superficial in its approach to the material.
  7. Starts on a note of relative naturalism and under Mr. La Salle's nuanced direction gradually becomes more and more unhinged until it concludes in an altogether different genre.
  8. It has the melancholy mildew of both "Marty" and the 1940's weepie "The Enchanted Cottage."
  9. Less interested in politics than in profitably flattering the suspicions and resentments of its intended teenage audience.
  10. A piece of moldy wax fruit if ever there was one.
  11. Not even bags of body parts, a bitten-off tongue or a man forced to cut off a pound of his own flesh keep it from being dull. [22 September 1995, p. C18]
  12. An unfocused, overplotted, painfully derivative comic fantasy.
  13. This dumb, only intermittently (though sometimes even intentionally) funny sequel presumes that since almost everything else from the 1980's has come back, why not the cynosures of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Friday the 13th" movies?
  14. Disappointingly shallow and not terribly funny romantic comedy.
  15. A movie that pits a substantial actor like Mary McDonnell, playing a New York madam, against a bogus story that crossbreeds noirish affectations and romantic comedy into an unpalatable mush that suggests strawberry ice cream slathered with beer.
  16. An unholy, incoherent mess.
  17. This movie, a chaotic caper film at heart, wrecks its comic tone with some moments of gruesome violence.
  18. The movie equivalent of a box of Froot Loops followed by a half-gallon Pepsi chaser.
  19. They play cotton candy effigies of themselves named Kelly and Justin, and the best that can be said is that they don't embarrass themselves.
  20. A grindingly conventional comedy that insists on tying up its subplots in pretty ribbons and bows.
  21. Emotionally incoherent.
  22. Before Civil Brand erupts into over-the-top melodrama (which is pretty early), it shows some interest in its characters, and in its less screechy moments the dialogue has the rough, bantering ring of actual speech.
  23. The movie, which is crudely dubbed into English, lacks the raucous, anything-for-a-shock carnival humor of its American prototypes. After it's over, the only question worth asking is whether dear, cozy old Heidelberg can survive the slander.
  24. The results, to judge from the examples here, have been stuffy and disappointing, an unholy alliance between Playboy Channel prurience and PBS cultural alibis.
  25. It's like watching two superbly conditioned rowers try to race a boat made of folded newspaper. Hard as they work, they just can't make it go any faster.
  26. The $3 million reportedly paid for Mr. Eszterhas's screenplay did not buy a coherent ending.
  27. Admirably high-minded and visually gorgeous but fatally anesthetized by its own grandiosity.
  28. The movie works so diligently to convey a spirit of heroic uplift and fails so completely that it feels like a tragic misfire.
  29. Such few assets aren't enough to alleviate the film's shallowness.
  30. Rob Schneider runs an obstacle course of taste and emerges remarkably unsullied, considering the choices he faces.
  31. Unfortunately, the movie's real setting is a sentimental fantasy world, and its story is a spectacularly incoherent exercise in geopolitical wish fulfillment.
  32. Little more than a loose- jointed succession of goofy "Saturday Night Live"-style sketches and sight gags inspired by an actual event that is nearly half a century behind us.
  33. The home-movie crudeness of Dead or Alive: Final indicates it was made on the cheap with minimal preparation.
  34. Like a zombie picture directed by one of the undead.
  35. Affirms that soft-core porn is alive and well in cyberpunk.
  36. As long on adrenaline and special effects as it is short on genuine novelty and intellectual content.
  37. In the end the elaborate gimmickry of Inspector Gadget cannot conceal its very ordinary storytelling.
  38. Quickly collapses into an overloaded, slow-moving series of predictable jokes and forced situations.
  39. Although there is the germ of a very sharp comedy in the intersection of real mobsters and make-believe thugs in a Hollywood mob comedy, Analyze That is far too lazy to do much with it.
  40. Perhaps the directors are under the delusion that the dodging and leaping can make up for an ending that leaves the cast members of "Killer" adrift and nearly scratching their heads in puzzlement.
  41. The movie has a frantic staccato style that is more game-oriented than cinematic.
  42. Ultimately seems naïve. In developing the comparison of sex and cannibalism, it never goes beyond the standard Draculian symbol of blood to include other bodily substances.
  43. Even the imaginative gore can't hide the musty scent of Todd Farmer's screenplay.
  44. For all its intimations of fire and brimstone, the film isn't remotely frightening, and the high-school-level acting doesn't help.
  45. This mistaken-identity picture is so film-culture referential that the final product is a ghost.
  46. Many of the faces that emerge through the murk appear bug-eyed. And much of the dialogue, which is frequently shouted, is only semi-intelligible.
  47. Murky, third-rate martial-arts film.
  48. As the film loses its grip on its multiple stories, the title begins to suggest an overheated stew bubbling out of its pot. By the end of the film, the intersecting dramas and histrionic performances have spilled all over the floor, so to speak.
  49. In the end you have to wonder why the highly reputed director Michael Apted ("Coal Miner's Daughter") and the gifted screenwriter Nicholas Kazan ("Reversal of Fortune") chose to go slumming in territory like this. They must have been offered wads of money to do the dirty job.
  50. Breezing along on gusts of stale air and perky inanities, Two Weeks Notice is a romantic comedy so vague and sadly undernourished that it makes one of Nora Ephron's low-cal strawberry sodas seem as tempting as a Philip Barry feast.
  51. Even the handful of moments that are amusing feel recycled from old sketches of Mr. Murphy's.
  52. The lip movements of the animated figures are slightly slow, so you feel as if you're watching a badly dubbed Japanese creature feature from the 1960's. The dialogue is almost as stilted, and after a while you drift into that half-dream state that inert movies can create.
  53. There is little here to hold the attention of anyone older than 9. For families in search of entertainment, it may be time to find Nemo again.
  54. The documentary doesn't get near the prowess of its subject; it passes through your life like a minor daydream.
  55. The unfortunate thing is that children will probably waste their summers indoors watching "Recess" over and over again.
  56. Lazy would-be horror film.
  57. The emotional impact of Shark Skin Man is negligible.
  58. Even fans of open-wheel racing, the high-speed, high-stress pastime that is the subject of Renny Harlin's hectic new film, may walk away from it more logy than exhilarated.
  59. Quickly curdles into a nasty variation of the one-last-score genre.
  60. Proves that a movie about goodness is not the same thing as a good movie.
  61. Imagine "Last Tango in Paris" remade as a wan, low-budget romantic comedy.
  62. Pallid compared with the flaming id of television's "Will and Grace," the happy swizzle stick Jack, who's all appetites. When series television is more entertaining than a series of short independent films, that's something to worry about.
  63. Tacky and disposable.
  64. Only adds to the sense that Mr. Konchalovsky has lost his artistic moorings. He has certainly lost his common sense.
  65. The cinematographer-turned-director likes his MTV-style editing so much that in his drive for hyperkinetic overkill he sacrifices coherence to wallow in barely contained chaos.
  66. The very confusion that has made him (Rock) so unpredictable and funny onstage makes this on-screen exploration of contemporary racial mythologies curiously tentative and unfocused.
  67. A leaden, skimpily plotted space-age Outward Bound adventure with vague allegorical aspirations that remain entirely unrealized.
  68. The film's only bright idea is a duo named Chain Saw (Cameron) and Dave (Riley), who love horror films and instigate grisly but imaginative practical jokes, like pretending to be attacked by bunnies when the class makes a field trip to a petting zoo. [22 July 1987, p.C22]
  69. Exists in a realm beyond sense, and induces in the viewer a trancelike state, leaving the mind free to ponder the mysteries of the universe.
  70. Flagrantly old-fashioned, triple-hankie tear-jerker.
  71. The most indolent waste of screen time since Andy Warhol's marathon shot of the Empire State Building.
  72. This tirelessly violent, ultimately exhausting film has the utter sincerity of all good science fiction, and a lot more flair than most, but it suffers from a certain confusion of purpose. In the end, it amounts to quite the pistol-packing plea for peace.
  73. Sitting through the lavish and dumb action spectacular Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is about as much fun as watching someone else play a video game.
  74. So preoccupied with delivering its effects that it doesn't bother to make sense of its story.
  75. The screenplay never begins to finds a workable balance between wit and adventure. And the performances in several smaller roles are so mechanical that they lend Kill Me Later the tone of a vanity production.
  76. Tries to show it has its heart in the right place, but it's such a crude undertaking that it doesn't actually seem to have a heart at all.
  77. This crude comedy delivers on the "No Shame, No Mercy" threats from the original. Unfortunately, it all adds up to "No Good."
  78. Just a parade of scattershot gags, more often weird than funny an dmost often just flat. [13 Dec 1996, p.C5]
  79. A lumpy three-and-a-half-hour glob of Civil War history.
  80. Summer is like an episode of the religious children's series "Davey and Goliath," without the entertainment value of animation and a talking dog.
  81. Plays every convention twice, once as parody and once by the book, but the movie, trying to be two things at once, fails at both.
  82. Mr. Jones, who recently starred in "Zig-Zag," a similarly striving, overwrought picture, is a disciplined and likable performer, and he bravely perseveres in the face of narrative absurdity and rampant overacting.
  83. It's an oddity that will be avoided by millions of people, this new Pinocchio. Osama bin Laden could attend a showing in Times Square and be confident of remaining hidden.
  84. The film's bright look and visual energy are much more liberating than the machinations of its teen queens.
  85. The best thing that can be said about Boys and Girls is that it is studiously inoffensive.
  86. A ski party movie in which the clothes are a little more revealing than they were 35 years ago, the practical jokes are a little more tasteless, and the uncertainty over sex is pretty much nonexistent.
  87. The only thing missing is a coherent story -- or even, for that matter, an interesting idea for one.
  88. Relentlessly bright and superficial, even when the subject turns to self-destruction.
  89. With the exception of some of the battles, which have the angry desperation of Mr. Yuen's inspired martial-arts choreography, Close is a nominal effort.
  90. This poorly acted, ramshackle tour of the lower echelons of the Los Angeles rock scene has the feel of a largely improvised home movie filmed without retakes, and its sense of humor could only be fully appreciated by struggling musicians.
  91. Rather than exhilaration, this bilious film offers only entrapment and despair. It's about as much fun as sitting in on an autopsy.
  92. Starts to seem less like a political documentary than a one-sided "Battle of the Network Stars," with the younger generation clearly winning the charisma challenge.
  93. Proves to be both too much and not enough: yet another slick, empty package of ersatz entertainment.
  94. Doesn't have a genuinely human moment.
  95. A bubbling crockpot of farcical mush to warm the tummies of anyone who really and truly misses "The Brady Bunch," and I mean really and truly.
  96. Having established its premise and set in motion an overloaded plot, the picture lurches this way and that, evoking more restlessness than laughter and more boredom than pathos.
  97. The spectacle of two mature stars forced to grovel in the bathroom for cheap laughs is pathetic.
  98. By Monday, Torque will look like a period piece with its expiration date, January 2004, prominently displayed. The inevitable movie-inspired video game will appear more realistic.
  99. The question remains: why work so hard to make something deliberately bad, when the world is hardly running a shortage of mediocre movies?
  100. A high-concept, low-reward hodgepodge that mingles elaborate stunts and shootouts with stereotypical ethnic humor.

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