The New York Times' Scores

For 11,549 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 3.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 The Kid with a Bike
Lowest review score: 0 Martyrs
Score distribution:
11549 movie reviews
  1. In its time, this film represented the arrival of something new, and even now it can feel like a bulletin from the future.
  2. Best Kept Secret is an exemplary documentary: It spotlights an important issue yet never seeks to squeeze the truth into an easily digestible narrative frame. Instead it expands its storytelling to the boundaries of messy, joyful and painful reality.
  3. The profound pleasures they offer derive not only from their deft metaphysical playfulness but also from their storytelling genius.
  4. One of the most brutal and moving chronicles of American life ever designed within the limits of popular entertainment. [16 Mar 1972]
    • The New York Times
  5. For the most part, Nino Rota's music provides a rich melodic surrounding for the pictorial magnificence, and a heretofore unknown Verdi waltz that is played at the ball at the finish appropriately supplements this remarkably vivid, panoramic, and eventually morbid show. (Review of Original Release)
  6. In Boyhood, Mr. Linklater’s masterpiece, he both captures moments in time and relinquishes them as he moves from year to year. He isn’t fighting time but embracing it in all its glorious and agonizingly fleeting beauty.
  7. The movie is perfectly cast, from Trintignant and on down, including Pierre Clementi, who appears briefly as the wicked young man who makes a play for the young Marcello. The Conformist is flawed, perhaps, but those very flaws may make it Bertolucci's first commercially popular film. (Review of Original Release)
  8. Red succeeds so stirringly that it also bestows some much-needed magic upon its predecessors, "Blue" and "White." The first film's chic emptiness and the second's relative drabness are suddenly made much rosier by the seductive glow of Red.
  9. Its pleasures are almost obscenely abundant.
  10. Moonlight is both a disarmingly, at times almost unbearably personal film and an urgent social document, a hard look at American reality and a poem written in light, music and vivid human faces.
  11. This film, which was never released in America and will now be making its way across the country in limited release, has been immaculately restored and features new subtitles. You can get lost in the blackness of its heart and its shadows. You might never come back.
  12. One of the most purely enjoyable films ever made.
  13. A swift and accessible entertainment, blunt in its power and exquisite in its effects.
  14. On that simple framework and familiar story line, director Kurosawa has plastered a wealth of rich detail, which brilliantly illuminates his characters and the kind of action in which they are involved. He has loaded his film with unusual and exciting physical incidents and made the whole thing graphic in a hard, realistic western style.
  15. Hoop Dreams affirms the role of film as a medium for exploring social issues. And like any important documentary, this one raises crucial questions beyond what is on screen.
  16. Metropolis retains its power to overwhelm, trouble and move because it is connected to the deep anxieties of modern life as if by a high-voltage cable.
  17. It’s a pitiless, violent story that in its telling becomes a haunting and haunted intellectual and aesthetic achievement.
  18. As he (Wong Kar-wai) floods the screen with beauty and fills the soundtrack with hypnotic rhythms, he forges a filmmaking style of incomparable eroticism.
  19. Ran
    Though big in physical scope and of a beauty that suggests a kind of drunken, barbaric lyricism, ''Ran'' has the terrible logic and clarity of a morality tale seen in tight close-up, of a myth that, while being utterly specific and particular in its time and place, remains ageless, infinitely adaptable.
  20. The genius of 12 Years a Slave is its insistence on banal evil, and on terror, that seeped into souls, bound bodies and reaped an enduring, terrible price.
  21. Mr. Affleck, in one of the most fiercely disciplined screen performances in recent memory, conveys both Lee’s inner avalanche of feeling and the numb decorum that holds it back.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The French Connection is a film of almost incredible suspense, and it includes, among a great many chilling delights, the most brilliantly executed chase sequence I have ever seen. [8 October 1971]
    • The New York Times
  22. The ultimate touch of ghoulish humor is when we see the bomb actually going off, dropped on some point in Russia, and a jazzy sound track comes in with a cheerful melodic rendition of "We'll Meet Again Some Sunny Day." Somehow, to me, it isn't funny. It is malefic and sick.
  23. A nearly flawless piece of popular art, as well as one of the most persuasive portraits of an artist ever committed to film. It provides the kind of deep, transporting pleasure, at once simple and sophisticated, that movies at their best have always promised.
  24. For all of Mr. Cuarón’s formal wizardry and pictorial grandeur, he is a humanist at heart.
  25. Though its principal figure, the novelist, playwright and essayist James Baldwin, is a man who has been dead for nearly 30 years, you would be hard-pressed to find a movie that speaks to the present moment with greater clarity and force, insisting on uncomfortable truths and drawing stark lessons from the shadows of history.
  26. With Beauty and the Beast, a tender, seamless and even more ambitious film than its predecessor, Disney has done something no one has done before: combine the latest computer animation techniques with the best of Broadway.
  27. At once ardent and analytical, cerebral and swooning, Carol is a study in human magnetism, in the physics and optics of eros. With sparse dialogue and restrained drama, the film is a symphony of angles and glances, of colors and shadows.
  28. Thanks to exultant wit and so many distinctive voices, Toy Story is both an aural and visual delight.
  29. It goes beyond the impartiality of journalism. It has the manner of an official report on the spiritual state of a civilization for which there is no hope.
  30. Showcasing the best and the worst in human nature, Orlando von Einsiedel’s devastating documentary “Virunga” wrenches a startlingly lucid narrative from a sickening web of bribery, corruption and violence.
  31. When Mr. Eisenberg makes Mark's face go blank, the character seems scarily emptied out: it's a subtly great, at times unsettling, performance.
  32. Ms. Bigelow's direction here is unexpectedly stunning, at once bold and intimate: she has a genius for infusing even large-scale action set pieces with the human element.
  33. It is a rigorously honest movie about the difficulties of being honest, a film that tries to be truthful about the slipperiness of truth.
  34. Before Midnight is a wonderful paradox: a movie passionately committed to the ideal of imperfection that is itself very close to perfect.
  35. [A] sensitive and devastating portrait of a long, happy marriage in sudden crisis.
  36. The towering, lost dreaminess at the heart of the film is an unmistakable obsession of this director.
  37. A triumphant, cleverly disorienting journey through a demimonde that springs entirely from Mr. Tarantino's ripe imagination, a landscape of danger, shock, hilarity, and vibrant local color. Nothing is predictable or familiar within this irresistably bizarre world. You don't merely enter a theater to see Pulp Fiction; you go down a rabbit hole. [23 Sept 1994]
    • The New York Times
  38. The result is an American masterpiece, independent to the bone.
  39. Mr. Turner is a mighty work of critical imagination, a loving, unsentimental portrait of a rare creative soul. But even as it celebrates a glorious painter and illuminates the sources of his pictures with startling clarity and insight, the movie patiently and thoroughly demolishes more than a century’s worth of mythology about what art is and how artists work.
  40. The best nondocumentary American feature made yet about the war in Iraq.
  41. The first 40 minutes or so of Wall-E -- in which barely any dialogue is spoken, and almost no human figures appear on screen -- is a cinematic poem of such wit and beauty that its darker implications may take a while to sink in.
  42. Like the film itself, the performance (Giamatti's) is deeply controlled, played with restraint and with microscopic attention to detail.
  43. Throughout We Were Here there is not a hint of mawkishness, self-pity or self-congratulation. The humility, wisdom and cumulative sorrow expressed lend the film a glow of spirituality and infuse it with grace.
  44. It's been a long time since a commercially oriented film with the scale of "King" ended with such an enduring and heartbreaking coda.
  45. Inside Out is an absolute delight — funny and charming, fast-moving and full of surprises. It is also a defense of sorrow, an argument for the necessity of melancholy dressed in the bright colors of entertainment.
  46. Like the convictions of some born into religious families, his (Carlos) Marxism seems more a matter of habit than faith. What seems to turn him on is power, which, the movie suggests, he nurtured alongside his luxe tastes.
  47. Mr. Berliner’s film bravely brings us to the edge of language and experience.
  48. A pictorial tone poem of astonishing visual intensity and emotional depth.
  49. A masterpiece about life, death and everything in between.
  50. Its account of patrician degradation will cause you to blink your eyes. Although it is only fiction, it wafts a thick and acrid air of smoldering truth.
  51. What makes it so instructively entertaining is the pivotal character of Claus von Bulow, played by Jeremy Irons within an inch of his professional life. It's a fine, devastating performance, affected, mannerly, edgy, though seemingly ever in complete control. [17 Oct 1990]
    • The New York Times
  52. The picture is more fun than it has a right to be.
  53. Toni Erdmann, proceeding in a perfectly straightforward manner, from one awkward, heartfelt, hilarious scene to the next, wraps itself around some of the thorniest complexities of contemporary reality.
  54. Spotlight is a gripping detective story and a superlative newsroom drama, a solid procedural that tries to confront evil without sensationalism.
  55. But the film Schindler's List, directed with fury and immediacy by a profoundly surprising Steven Spielberg, presents the subject as if discovering it anew. [15 Dec 1993]
    • The New York Times
  56. La La Land succeeds both as a fizzy fantasy and a hard-headed fable, a romantic comedy and a showbiz melodrama, a work of sublime artifice and touching authenticity.
  57. A brilliantly graphic estimation of a whole swath of society in sad decay and, eventually, a withering commentary upon the tragedy of the overcivilized. (Review of Original Release)
  58. Acting of this sort is rare in films. It is a display of talent, which one gets in the theater, as well as a demonstration of behavior, which is what movies usually offer. Were Mr. De Niro less an actor, the character would be a sideshow freak. (Review of Original Release)
  59. An exceptionally absorbing documentary.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Buñuel has made a marvelously complex, funny and vigorously moral movie that also is, to me, his most perfectly cast film. [21 Sept. 1970]
    • The New York Times
  60. And the ingenuity of “Sita” — is dazzling. Not busy, or overwhelming, or eye-popping. Just affecting, surprising and a lot of fun.
  61. It succeeds at showing how one man's psychic wounds contributed to an art that transmutes personal pain into garish visual satire.
  62. This is not a biopic, it’s a Coen brothers movie, which is to say a brilliant magpie’s nest of surrealism, period detail and pop-culture scholarship. To put it another way, it’s a folk tale.
  63. Even in the throes of grief, Mr. Cave retains his mystique as a rock shaman.
  64. In exchange for three hours of your time, Yi Yi will give you more life.
  65. In his memoir Mr. Bauby performed a heroic feat of alchemy, turning horror into wisdom, and Mr. Schnabel, following his example and paying tribute to his accomplishment, has turned pity into joy.
  66. Here Mr. Cantet -- whose earlier features include "Human Resources" and "Time Out," two other dramas about systems of power -- has done that rarest of things in movies about children: He has allowed them to talk.
  67. The entire film is played at such high pitch it may well exhaust audiences that don't come prepared. And, at the heart of the film, there is the mystery of Jake himself, but that is what separates Raging Bull from all other fight movies, in fact, from most movies about anything. Raging Bull is an achievement.
  68. In its modest scope and mellow tone, 35 Shots of Rum resembles Olivier Assayas’s "Summer Hours," another recent film by a French director who has sometimes trafficked in provocation and extremity. Both movies embed extraordinary thematic richness within a simple, almost anecdotal narrative framework, and both achieve a rare eloquence about the state of the world by means of tact and reticence.
  69. Everyone treats his material with the proper combination of solemnity and good humor that avoids condescension. One of Mr. Lucas's particular achievements is the manner in which he is able to recall the tackiness of the old comic strips and serials he loves without making a movie that is, itself, tacky.
  70. Timbuktu is an act of resistance and revenge because it asserts the power of secularism not as an ideology but rather as a stubborn fact of life.
  71. This document of youthful confusion has not aged one minute. If anything, its detached, discursive and sympathetic observation of the earnest foolishness of post-baccalaureate, pre-1968 Parisians is more acute, and more prophetic, than ever.
  72. The film is above all a consummate work of art, one that transcends the historically fraught context of its making, and its pleasures are unapologetically aesthetic. It reveals, excites, disturbs, provokes, but the window it opens is to human consciousness itself.
  73. The playful spookiness of Mr. Jackson's direction provides a lively, light touch, a gesture that doesn't normally come to mind when Tolkien's name is mentioned.
  74. A fascinating study of a man, and a firm, deeply changed by catastrophe.
  75. Steven Spielberg's giant, spectacular Close Encounters of the Third Kind...is the best—the most elaborate—1950's science fiction movie ever made, a work that borrows its narrative shape and its concerns from those earlier films, but enhances them with what looks like the latest developments in movie and space technology.
  76. The director, Andrey Zvyagintsev, has a heavenly eye but a leaden hand, and his movie is as heavy as it is transporting, filled with stirring shots of the natural world and deep dives into a human realm flooded with tears and vodka.
  77. Mysterious, poetic and allusive, The Werckmeister Harmonies beckons filmgoers who complain of the vapidity of Hollywood movie making and yearn for a film to ponder and debate.
  78. As sweet, as touching, as humane a movie as you are likely to see this summer.
  79. Seemingly banal in its conceit, wildly startling in its execution, it tracks a film crew that, like a detective squad, investigates what became of an ordinary man.
  80. A painful, profoundly empathetic work of moral reckoning.
  81. Using a limited frame, Mr. Maitland does his own commemorating, inherently raising questions about terror, the nature of heroism and what it means to really survive. He also does something even more necessary: He turns names on a plaque into people.
  82. To skip Moolaade would be to miss an opportunity to experience the embracing, affirming, world-changing potential of humanist cinema at its finest.
  83. A Summer’s Tale has room to focus on Rohmer’s brilliance at revealing human nature through articulate, multidimensional characters, perfectly cast, who in some ways seem to exist outside of time.
  84. Not merely an interesting document from a far-off place; it is a masterpiece.
  85. May be the oddest movie of the year, by turns sweet and sinister, insouciant and grotesque, invitingly funny and forbiddingly dark. It may also be one of the best, a tour de force of ink-washed, crosshatched mischief and unlikely sublimity.
  86. Offers the kind of experience that makes you glad movies exist.
  87. A sublimely nimble evisceration of that cult of celebrity known as the British royal family.
  88. An absolute knockout of a movie in the psychological horror line has been accomplished by Roman Polanski in his first English-language film. (Review of Original Release)
  89. That it is more -- a small masterpiece, perfect in design and execution -- almost goes without saying, but the film’s profundity and its charm go hand in hand.
  90. Stories We Tell has a number of transparent virtues, including its humor and formal design, although its most admirable quality is the deep sense of personal ethics that frames Ms. Polley’s filmmaking choices.
  91. "E.T." is as contemporary as laser-beam technology, but it's full of the timeless longings expressed in children's literature of all eras.
  92. Like Mr. Panahi’s cab, his film is equipped with both windows and mirrors. It’s reflective and revealing, intimate and wide-ranging, compact and moving.
  93. A remarkable piece of work. [30 June 1989]
    • The New York Times
  94. A film that has the sweep and esthetic power of a full-length ballet.
  95. A memoir, a history lesson, a combat picture, a piece of investigative journalism and an altogether amazing film.
  96. Unfolds beautifully, with a rueful, knowing intelligence that rises above easy assumptions. [27 September 1996, p.C1]
    • The New York Times
  97. A huge, initially ambivalent but finally adoring, Pop portrait of one of the most brilliant and outrageous American military figures of the last one hundred years.
  98. No Country for Old Men is purgatory for the squeamish and the easily spooked. For formalists -- those moviegoers sent into raptures by tight editing, nimble camera work and faultless sound design -- it’s pure heaven.

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