The New York Times' Scores

For 12,819 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 Inside Job
Lowest review score: 0 Unthinkable: An Airline Captain's Story
Score distribution:
12819 movie reviews
    • 96 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Miss Farrow is quite marvelous, pale, suffering, almost constantly on-screen in a difficult role that requires her to be learning for almost two hours what the audience has guessed from the start...Everyone else is fine, but the movie—although it is pleasant—doesn't quite work on any of its dark or powerful terms.
  1. Such folks as delight in murder stories for their academic elegance alone should find this one steadily diverting, despite its monotonous pace and length...But the very toughness of the picture is also the weakness of its core, and the academic nature of its plotting limits its general appeal.
  2. The film is so artfully contrived, the plot so interestingly started, the dialogue so racy and sharp, and John Frankenheimer's direction so exciting in the style of Orson Welles when he was making Citizen Kane and other pictures that the fascination of it is strong. So many fine cinematic touches and action details pop up that one keeps wishing the subject would develop into something more than it does.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It is full of elegant and striking photography; and it is an intolerably artsy, artificial film.
  3. Almayer's Folly is not friendly terrain to traverse; like some sinister version of Proust, it is a prolonged fever dream that ultimately yields madness.
  4. After Hours is not, ultimately, a satisfying film, but it's often vigorously unsettling.
  5. The Seventh Continent is one of the most stylish films in this year's New Directors/New Films series. With its fragmented pattern of beautifully composed and repeated images from middle-class life, it rejuvenates a 1960's style that would seem to be exhausted by now. But the Austrian writer and director Michael Haneke pulls viewers through a good portion of the film on the sheer strength of his visual flair, avoiding the classic trap of how to create a film about boredom that is not boring.
  6. 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.
  7. Night of the Living Dead is a grainy little movie acted by what appear to be nonprofessional actors, who are besieged in a farm house by some other nonprofessional actors who stagger around, stiff-legged, pretending to be flesh-eating ghouls.
  8. What they give us in Goldfinger is an excess of science-fiction fun, a mess of mechanical melodrama, and a minimum of bedroom farce...It is good fun, all right, fast and furious, racing hither and yon about the world as Double-Oh Seven pursues the intrigues of a mysterious financier named Goldfinger.
  9. It is a spotty, uneven drama in which the entire opening phase representing the basic-training program in a gladiatorial school is lively, exciting and expressive, no matter how true to history it is, and the middle phase is pretentious and tedious, because it is concerned with the dull strife of politics.
  10. There are a few moments when Richard Attenborough as the chief engineer of the whole project demonstrates some impressive strength and poise. But for much longer than is artful or essential, The Great Escape grinds out its tormenting story without a peek beneath the surface of any man, without a real sense of human involvement. It's a strictly mechanical adventure with make-believe men.
  11. 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.
  12. When My Neighbor Totoro, which was written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, is dispensing enchantment, it can be very charming. Too much of the film, however, is taken up with stiff, mechanical chitchat.
  13. 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The movie is so completely absorbed in its own problems, its use of color and space, its fanatical devotion to science-fiction detail, that its is somewhere between hypnotic and immensely boring.
  14. Los Angeles Plays Itself, in spite of its length, is rarely tedious, an achievement it owes mainly to the movies it prodigiously excerpts.
  15. When you add it all up, Only Angels Have Wings comes to an overly familiar total. It's a fairly good melodrama, nothing more.
  16. The Double Life of Veronique doesn't end. About three-quarters of the way through, it starts to dissolve, like mist, so that by the time it is actually over the screen seems to have been blank for some time.
  17. Atonement fails to be anything more than a decorous, heavily decorated and ultimately superficial reading of the book on which it is based.
  18. The only remarkable thing about Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather, Part II is the insistent manner in which it recalls how much better his original film was...Even if Part II were a lot more cohesive, revealing, and exciting than it is, it probably would have run the risk of appearing to be the self-parody it now seems.
  19. Blue doesn't seduce the viewer into its very complex, musically formal arrangements. The narrative is too precious and absurd. The interpretation it demands seems dilettantish.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Mr. de Palma has ordered universal overacting. Piper Laurie does it with considerable grace—the wicked witch in a children's pantomime. The marvel, though, is Sissy Spacek. She makes us perfectly aware that she is overacting, and yet she is very effective. Her hysteria is far too hysterical. Her delight in being taken to the prom is far too radiant. But it moves us.
  20. Thornton is sadly affecting in the film's central role.
  21. For all its pretty glimpses of the desert island, the film never offers a clear, overall sense of what the place looks like; neither the camera nor the boy really goes exploring.
  22. The film’s four-person shuffle turns into a bit of a hash.
  23. Homicide, which refers to metaphorical as well as literal murder, may be Mr. Mamet's most personal and deeply felt work. It's also his most blunt and despairing. Both "House of Games" and "Things Change" deal with conspiracies of some sort. Yet the scam that is the center of this film is unconvincing.
  24. 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.
  25. Has a number of other virtues that make it a surprisingly painless adventure. Among these are the screenplay by Bill Lancaster, Burt's son, who has the talent and discipline to tell the story of The Bad News Bears almost completely in terms of what happens on the baseball diamond or in the dugout.
  26. As in Nicolas Philibert’s similar French documentary “To Be and to Have” (2002), the relative absence of conflict in the interactions between a seasoned teacher and wonderful pupils grows tedious at feature length, and there is — presumably by design — relatively little meat on this documentary’s bones.
  27. The Salt of the Earth leaves no doubt about Mr. Salgado’s talent or decency, and the chance to spend time in his company is a reason for gratitude. And yet his pictures, precisely because they disclose harsh and unwelcome truths, deserve a harder, more robustly critical look.
  28. A B-movie with flair.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    One of those dimly realized personal statements that ultimately says a lot less than the written program notes that accompany it.
  29. The visual environment created by the filmmakers (Phil Lord and Christopher Miller of “21 Jump Street” wrote and directed; the animation is by Animal Logic) hums with wit and imagination... The story is a busy, slapdash contraption designed above all to satisfy the imperatives of big-budget family entertainment.
  30. The Second Mother goes soft toward the end, defusing its conflicts too easily and inconsequentially.
  31. The Empire Strikes Back is not a truly terrible movie. It's a nice movie. It's not, by any means, as nice as "Star Wars." It's not as fresh and funny and surprising and witty, but it is nice and inoffensive and, in a way that no one associated with it need be ashamed of, it's also silly.
  32. The whole turns out to be less than the sum of its elegantly constructed and cleverly uncategorizable parts.
  33. It isn't nearly as successful a showcase for this filmmaker's extraordinary talents.
  34. This is compelling stuff, but there is something deeply distracting in the use of recreated material.
  35. It’s more of a document than a documentary; calling it cinema seems like an error of categorization.
  36. The care that Mr. Friedkin and Mr. Blatty have taken with the physical production, and with the rhythm of the narrative, which achieves a certain momentum through a lot of fancy, splintery crosscutting, is obviously intended to persuade us to suspend belief. But to what end? To marvel at the extent to which audiences will go to escape boredom by shock and insult.
  37. It’s all just empty calories; what this movie desperately needs is conflict.
  38. Mr. Villeneuve, aided by Taylor Sheridan’s lean script, Roger Deakins’s parched cinematography and Johann Johannsson’s slow-moving heart attack of a score, respects the imperatives of genre while trying to avoid the usual clichés. It’s not easy, and he doesn’t entirely succeed.
  39. Cindy and Dean remain, for all their sustained agony and flickering joy, something less than completely realized human beings. Mr. Cianfrance's ingenious chronological gimmick, coupled with his anxious, clumsy plotting, leaves them without enough oxygen to burst into breathing, loving life.
  40. Cousin Jules is in many ways a wonder to see and hear, but there is less to it than meets the eye.
  41. Refreshingly unpredictable but also frustrating.
  42. It is a cheap piece of bald-faced slapstick comedy that treats the hideous depredations of that sleazy, moronic pair as though they were as full of fun and frolic as the jazz-age cutups in "Thoroughly Modern Millie."
  43. The conclusion would be chilling if it weren’t so reserved. For Denmark, the film, an Oscar nominee in the foreign-language category, might seem quietly radical, but Mr. Lindholm errs too far on the side of quiet.
  44. 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.
  45. Mr. Gomes has a tendency to revel in his own cleverness and to indulge in self-conscious cinematic jokes. He also has a penchant for obscurantism, a habit of confusing ambiguity with depth.
  46. Sometimes it flaunts its clichés...and other times it cloaks them in rough visual textures and jumpy, bumpy camera movements, so that a rickety genre thrill ride feels like something daring and new. It isn’t. It’s stale, empty and cold.
  47. Mr. Gibney, who enters swinging and keeps on swinging, comes across as less interested in understanding Scientology than in exposing its secrets, which makes for a lively and watchable documentary if not an especially enlightening one.
  48. The biggest, longest, most expensive Leone Western to date, and, in many ways, the most absurd... Granting the fact that it is quite bad, Once Upon the Time in the West is almost always interesting, wobbling, as it does, between being an epic lampoon and a serious hommage to the men who created the dreams of Leone's childhood. (Review of Original Release)
  49. The details are minutely observed and, to me, just a bit boring.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Although it is impudent, bold, and often very funny, it lacks the sense of order (even in the midst of disorder) that seems the special province of successful comedy.
  50. There is a fine line between delving into the mysteries of life and engaging in mystification, and Mr. Gomes lands on the wrong side of it. There is something disingenuous in the way this movie disowns its own ambitions and scorns the possibility of clarity or coherence. Maybe its opacity is a matter of principle. Or maybe it’s just an excuse.
  51. 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It is no good at all, but fun, at moments, to watch.
  52. A film that tries to be too many things at once - funny but not campy, sad and scary, a horror story and a human tragedy
  53. At its strongest, Gone Girl plays like a queasily, at times gleefully, funny horror movie about a modern marriage, one that has disintegrated partly because of spiraling downward mobility and lost privilege. Yet, as sometimes happens in Mr. Fincher’s work, dread descends like winter shadows, darkening the movie’s tone and visuals until it’s snuffed out all the light, air and nuance.
  54. The film’s solemnity is seductive — as is Mr. Scorsese’s art — especially in light of the triviality and primitiveness of many movies, even if its moments of greatness also make its failures seem more pronounced.
  55. Startlingly original at first, Wings of Desir' is in the end damagingly overloaded. The excesses of language, the ceaseless camera movement, the unyielding whimsy have the ultimate effect of wearing the audience down. (Review of Original Release)
  56. Once the violence starts, Green Room settles into horror movie logic, becoming steadily more gruesome and less terrifying as the body count grows. You know some people are going to die, and figuring out who and in what order feels more like a brainteaser than like a matter of deep moral or emotional concern.
  57. In many ways, Only Lovers Left Alive is among Mr. Jarmusch’s most voluptuous movies — full of rare and gorgeous images and sounds, heavy with wistful sighs and sprinkled with wry, knowing jokes — but it is also thin and pale, and perhaps too afraid of daylight for its own good.
  58. Its subject matter is intrinsically upsetting.
  59. The access the filmmakers gained to Junge is remarkable, and it compensates for a lack of cinematic flair; it's concrete, cold and hard, with Junge speaking about being a few feet away from arguably the worst tyrant of the 20th century.
  60. The movie invites you to believe in all kinds of marvelous things, but it also may cause you to doubt what you see with your own eyes - or even to wonder if, in the end, you have seen anything at all.
  61. Over all, this movie is less “you are there” than “you had to be there.”
  62. The virtuosity on display is also the director's, of course, and that, for better and for worse, is pretty much the point of Drive, the coolest movie around and therefore the latest proof that cool is never cool enough.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It is not simply that the movie fails to make sense. A lot of good movies are weak on sense—though they don't often require a leading man to be quite so dense for quite so long in interpreting the behavior of a psychotic leading woman. But they must not be weak in sensibility, in that logic of emotional response that is the real motive power of the atmospheric thriller.
  63. Almost in spite of itself, The House of Mirth is powerful, at times even moving.
  64. Eureka never comes to life. -- In pursuing its aesthetic agenda so single-mindedly, the movie leaves the characters behind in the muck.
  65. A kind of murder mystery, but eventually the only victim is the audience's interest -- the picture is uncompromising and inauspicious.
  66. It is, of course, art rather than history - an elegant composition of dreams, memories and suggestive images - but its artfulness seems like an alibi, an excuse for keeping the ugliness of history out of the picture.
  67. Mr. De Niro and Mr. Grodin are lunatic delights, which is somewhat more than can be said for the movie, whose mechanics keep getting in the way of the performances. [20 July 1988, p.C15]
    • The New York Times
  68. Much like its young hero, played by Daniel Radcliffe, the film has begun to show signs of stress around the edges, a bit of fatigue, or maybe that’s just my gnawing impatience.
  69. Mr. Mann may well become a very good theatrical film maker but, among other things, he's going to have to learn how to edit himself, to resist the temptation to allow dialogue that is colorful to turn, all of a sudden, into deep, abiding purple. Time after time scenes start off well and slip into unintentionally comic excess.
  70. As it turns out, nothing else in Tracks matches the dramatic pow of a camel being relieved of his testes. Despite the otherworldly scenery and some predictable tragedy — Robyn can be maddeningly careless about the welfare of her animals — this proves to be a rather logy amble.
  71. It is startling that a three-hour film dealing largely with the history of the Middle East should find no time to mention either the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the role of oil in the region. And it is more than a little unsatisfying to see the complex history of American conservatism reduced to the dreams and schemes of a handful of intellectuals.
  72. Visually sumptuous if disappointingly hollow account of Hughes's early life.
  73. Mr. Malick presents these events as if he had drawn them not from his mind but from some repository of celestial memory. Which may be to say that Voyage of Time ultimately proves his point about the way the universe and human consciousness mirror each other. But it’s a point that might have been more powerful if he had left it unspoken.
  74. Despite foodie-baiting close-ups of nigiri sushi brushed with soy sauce, and montages of skillful food prep, the film falls short as a satisfying exploration of craft. Like many other such portraits, it wastes valuable time declaring its subject's excellence that could be spent fleshing out demonstrations, explanations, context.
  75. In stark contrast to their furry, blundering star, the makers of Paddington have colored so carefully inside the lines that any possibility of surprise or subversion is effectively throttled.
  76. While its slender, two-tiered plot links love affairs that happen largely by accident, the film's real interest seems to lie in raffish affectation. Mr. Wong has legitimate visual flair, but his characters spend an awful lot of time playing impish tricks.
  77. The Red Riding trilogy looks fine blown up on the big screen, though it’s easier to watch at home, where the remote offers fast relief from a grim fiction that, with its murky palette and unyielding cruelty, serves up a nihilistic vision that is unyielding, hermetic, unpersuasive and finally self-indulgent.
  78. While this The Jungle Book is lightly diverting, it is also disappointing, partly because it feels like a pumped-up version of Disney’s 1967 animated film, with more action and less sweetness. It also feels strangely removed from our moment.
  79. It’s too bad that the filmmakers don’t allow an occasional breath of air into the sepulchral proceedings or ease up on the increasingly heavy-handed lessons.
  80. As I, Tonya skips here and there and thickens the plot, it becomes increasingly baffling why the filmmakers decided to put a comic spin on this pathetic, dispiriting story. No matter how hard the movie tries to coax out laughs, there’s little about Ms. Harding, her circumstances or her choices that skews as funny.
  81. The Hunt doesn’t know where to stop. It is undermined with a short, unsatisfying epilogue whose shocking final moment isn’t enough to justify its inclusion.
  82. May not be a great piece of filmmaking, but its power comes from its soul's-eye view of how well-meaning patronizing masked a social injustice, at least as represented by this case.
  83. Despite its hip, off-center style and pointed de-glamorization of its singles, the movie adds up to little more than feel-good fluff.
  84. The agile handling of the soap-opera elements -- conventional plotting at best -- finally makes "Wedding" a pop, facile take on Capulet versus Montague stuff, likable but square.
  85. 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.
  86. Though Mr. Billingsley, Mr. Gavin, Miss Dillon and the actress who plays Ralphie's school teacher are all very able, they are less funny than actors in a television situation comedy that one has chosen to watch with the sound turned off.
  87. The screenplay, by Daniel Petrie Jr. and Jack Baran, has a number of funny lines and situations, but the end result looks fiddled with by people attempting to ''fix'' things.
  88. Instead of feeling universal, the movie feels claustrophobic.
  89. Kandahar feels like a Magritte painting rendered in sand tones, and your eyes are drawn to the screen. There aren't enough of these moments, though, and Mr. Makhmalbaf lessens their power by repeating them.
  90. 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.
  91. Like the sitcom version of a Woody Allen film, full of amusing lines and scenes, all infused with an uncomfortable sense of deja vu.
  92. The ideological charge leveled for decades at this strain of filmmaking is that such eye-catching tableaus romanticize poverty, but prettified squalor has become sadly familiar in global documentary filmmaking. In Machines, even at barely more than an hour, the style leads to diminishing returns.

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