The New York Times' Scores

For 11,861 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
Highest review score: 100 The Babadook
Lowest review score: 0 Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Score distribution:
11861 movie reviews
  1. Brazil may not be the best film of the year, but it's a remarkable accomplishment for Mr. Gilliam, whose satirical and cautionary impulses work beautifully together. His film's ambitious visual style bears this out, combining grim, overpowering architecture with clever throwaway touches.
  2. Director Alfonso Cuarón works with a quicksilver fluidity, and the movie is fast, funny, unafraid of sexuality and finally devastating.
  3. Its explanatory title doesn’t begin to convey just how exhilarating or inspiring a documentary this truly is, and how excellent a trip this well-respected French director takes you on.
  4. A fascinating and fine-grained reconstruction of that period in its subject's life, a time when he (Capote) pursued literary glory and flirted with moral ruin.
  5. Might be described as an epic landscape film, a sweetly comic coming-of-age story or a lyrical work of social realism. But the setting -- a windswept, sparely populated steppe in southern Kazakhstan -- gives the movie a mood that sometimes feels closer to that of science fiction.
  6. Its violence is low-tech... and its look is old-school, but its message could not possibly be more momentous.
  7. It may get a few things wrong, but it aims at, and finally achieves, an authenticity at once more exalted and more primal than mere verisimilitude.
  8. Like its hero, who is brave without a trace of bravado, Overlord is unusually quiet and thoughtful. The scale and ambition of combat movies has usually been epic, but this one is disarmingly lyrical and subjective.
  9. Remarkable as much for its speculative restraint as for its philosophical reach.
  10. Ms. Hansen-Love surveys the territory with clear eyes, but also with an unmistakable shading of pity and with ideas, in particular about Nathalie’s sexuality and the political compromises of her generation, that seem more like assumptions than insights.
  11. The Grand Budapest Hotel, Mr. Anderson’s eighth feature, will delight his fans, but even those inclined to grumble that it’s just more of the same patented whimsy might want to look again. As a sometime grumbler and longtime fan, I found myself not only charmed and touched but also moved to a new level of respect.
  12. 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.
  13. Mr. Kechiche’s style is dizzy, obsessive, inspired and relentless, words that also describe Adèle and Emma and the fearless women who embody them. Many more words can — and will — be spent on “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” but for now I’ll settle for just one: glorious.
  14. Cinema, even in the service of journalism, is always more than reporting, and focusing on what Ms. Poitras’s film is about risks ignoring what it is. It’s a tense and frightening thriller that blends the brisk globe-trotting of the “Bourne” movies with the spooky, atmospheric effects of a Japanese horror film. And it is also a primal political fable for the digital age, a real-time tableau of the confrontation between the individual and the state.
  15. Recoing's performance is a sensitive portrayal of a man in the throes of an excruciating spiritual crisis.
  16. It reimagines the buddy film with such freshness and vigor that the genre seems positively new.
    • The New York Times
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Moviemaking of a rare and high order. (Review of Original Release)
  17. I can't remember the last time the movies yielded up a love story so painful, so tender and so true.
  18. The movie is at once a giddy mixture of farce, satire and opera buffa and a closely observed drama of social dislocation and cultural confusion.
  19. Beautifully shot by the French cinematographer Georges Périnal (whose credits include Cocteau's "Blood of a Poet"), the film soon evolves from a claustrophobic domestic affair into a mordantly discomfiting look at the betrayal of innocence.
  20. Network can be faulted both for going too far and not far enough, but it's also something that very few commercial films are these days. It's alive. This, I suspect, is the Lumet drive. It's also the wit of performers like Mr. Finch, Mr. Holden, and Miss Dunaway.
  21. Inside Job, a sleek, briskly paced film whose title suggests a heist movie, is the story of a crime without punishment, of an outrage that has so far largely escaped legal sanction and societal stigma.
  22. Never has a film so strongly been a product of a director's respect for its source. Mr. Jackson uses all his talents in the service of that reverence, creating a rare perfect mating of filmmaker and material.
  23. Throughout, White is filled with exquisite scenes that don't press too hard...and those moments are all the richer for their understatement.
  24. Doesn't try to cram messages of uplift down its audience's gullet. It's a great eggscape from banality.
  25. That film does have its attractions, notably in its two solid leads and standout support from Mr. Pearce.
  26. Furnished with faces as beaten as the vehicles the brothers drive and discard, Hell or High Water is a chase movie disguised as a western. Its humor is as dry as prairie dust...and its morals are steadfastly gray.
  27. Up
    Passages of glorious imagination are invariably matched by stock characters and banal story choices.
  28. Turns out to be a smashing success, a juggernaut of an action-adventure saga that owes noithing to the past. To put it simply, thi is a home run. [6 August 1993, p. C1]
    • The New York Times
  29. A supremely elegant and thoughtful parable. [14 September 1994, p. C11]
    • The New York Times
  30. Remarkable patchwork of unremarkable lives.
  31. Aquarius is a marvelous and surprising act of portraiture, a long, unhurried encounter with a single, complicated person. And that is enough to make it a captivating film, an experience well worth seeking out. But there is also, as I’ve suggested, more going on than the everyday experiences of a modern matriarch.
  32. Mr. Kaufman’s gift for quotidian horror remains startling; he’s a whiz at minor miseries.
  33. Digging into the psychological space between her wildly public life and intensely private death, Everything Is Copy is a pickle slathered in whipped cream. Just like its subject.
  34. Making sure that computer-generated animation will never be the same.
  35. The camerawork in Birdman is an astonishment, and an argument that everything flows together, which in this movie means the cinematography, the story, the people, even time and space.
  36. Not for the faint of heart, though it has no scenes of overt violence, and barely a tear is shed. It is also strangely thrilling, not only because of the quiet assurance of Mr. Kore-eda's direction, but also because of his alert, humane sense of sympathy.
  37. Life Is Sweet, a title that should not be taken as irony, demands that the audience accept its meandering manner without expectations of the big dramatic event or the boffo laugh. It is very funny, but without splitting the sides.
  38. The Dardennes know how to build a scene for maximum tension: you yearn to find out who bought Jimmy, and whether his fate lies with a childless couple or an organ mill. But because they make moral thrillers, what matters isn't only actions and events but their emotional, spiritual and psychological costs.
  39. This film isn’t content to be merely a “never forget” reminder; it wants to convey just how deep and lasting the pain is, from this attack and, by extension, many others.
  40. Ms. Armstrong instantly demonstrates that she has caught the essence of this book's sweetness and cast her film uncannily well, finding sparkling young actresses who are exactly right for their famous roles.
  41. What plays out is a cinematic experience of life as performance, performance as life, reality as a construction and reality as someone else’s construction impinging on your own. The pace, which picks up and slows down throughout, is not some kind of perverse challenge to the audience. It is intrinsic to the inescapable atmosphere of the work.
  42. The Spirit of the Beehive, like "Cinema Paradiso," also takes place at the particular intersection of reality and fantasy defined by youthful moviegoing.
  43. The importance of seeing, seeing the world deeply, is at the heart of this quietly devastating, humanistic work from the South Korean filmmaker Lee Chang-dong.
  44. Shakespeare meets Sherlock, and makes for pure enchantment in the inspired conjecture behind Shakespeare in Love.
  45. If Happy Hour doesn’t quite deliver all it promises, that may only be because it promises quite a lot.
  46. Coming in at a tight 75 minutes, this strikingly original travelogue glides on the lovely lilt of Mr. Santos's Portuguese narration.
  47. The audacity of The Missing Picture — a brilliant documentary about a child who held on to life in Cambodia’s killing fields — is equaled only by its soulfulness.
  48. This devastatingly raw documentary shows that for some the fighting may stop, but the suffering continues.
  49. Part of what's bracing about Gomorrah, and makes it feel different from so many American crime movies, is both its deadly serious take on violence and its global understanding of how far and wide the mob's tentacles reach, from high fashion to the very dirt.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The film is both a comeback story and, more profoundly, a coming to terms with aging.
  50. The interest of To Be and to Have, though, is not sociological: it is not really about the French educational system, rural life or even the way children learn. It is, rather, the portrait of an artist, a man whose work combines discipline and inspiration and unfolds mysteriously and imperceptibly.
  51. Brooklyn endows its characters with desires and aspirations, but not with foresight, and it examines the past with open-minded curiosity rather than with sentimentality or easy judgment.
  52. Full of brilliantly executed coups de théâtre, showing the director's natural flair for spectacle.
  53. A marvelous toy. It's funny, it's full of tricks and it manages to be royally entertaining, which is really all it aims for.
  54. Fire at Sea occupies your consciousness like a nightmare, and yet somehow you don’t want it to end.
  55. About Elly is gorgeous to look at. The ever-changing sky and sea lend it a moodiness so palpable that the climate itself seems a major character dictating the course of events; the weather rules.
  56. Its themes are a bit nostalgic and some of its technology looks dated, but there is nothing else in theaters now that feels quite as new.
  57. Dawson City now enters that time line as an instantaneously recognizable masterpiece.
  58. Mr. Franklin delivers the kind of symmetry, surprise and detail that easily transcend the limits of the genre.
  59. There is hardly a shortage of movies about rock ’n’ roll, but there are few as perfect — which is to say as ragged, as silly, as touching or as true — as We Are the Best!.
  60. The animation is a marvel - all the more so because the most demanding sequences seem almost casually tossed off. The world of Wallace and Gromit is one of the few genuinely eccentric places left in the movies, a place where lumpy, doughy characters achieve a peculiar dignity in spite of their grotesque features and the ridiculousness of their circumstances.
  61. The novel is life-specific, but what makes Minnie — on the page and now on the screen — greater than any one girl is how she tells her own story in her own soaringly alive voice.
  62. Post-Soviet Russia in Andrei Zvyagintsev's somber, gripping film Elena is a moral vacuum where money rules, the haves are contemptuous of the have-nots, and class resentment simmers. The movie, which shuttles between the center of Moscow and its outskirts, is grim enough to suggest that even if you were rich, you wouldn't want to live there.
  63. The ancient Greeks believed that character should be revealed through action. I can’t think of another film that has upheld this notion so thoroughly and thrillingly. There is certainly no other actor who can command our attention — our empathy, our loyalty, our love — with such efficiency.
  64. While its subject means that "Listen to Me” is easy to like, Mr. Riley’s shaping of Brando’s words can make the movie, every so often, difficult to fully embrace.
  65. Gideon’s Army is a bare film with no narrator and a minimal soundtrack. That’s all it needs to grab you by the throat.
  66. It is galvanizing because of Al Pacino's splendid performance in the title role and because of the tremendous intensity that Mr. Lumet brings to this sort of subject. (Review of Original Release)
  67. Sustains a documentary authenticity that is as astonishing as it is offhand. Even when you're on the edge of your seat, it never sacrifices a calm, clear-sighted humanity for the sake of melodrama or cheap moralizing.
  68. It represents something stranger and, to those of us with only a secondhand or thirdhand knowledge of that history, more disturbing: a survivor's conviction that there were aspects of the experience itself that can only be described as beautiful.
  69. If there's one movie that ought to be studied by military and civilian leaders around the world at this treacherous historical moment, it is The Fog of War, Errol Morris's sober, beautifully edited documentary portrait of the former United States defense secretary Robert S. McNamara.
  70. Encountered in an appropriately exploratory frame of mind, it can produce something close to bliss.
  71. Mr. Ledger magically and mysteriously disappears beneath the skin of his lean, sinewy character. It is a great screen performance, as good as the best of Marlon Brando and Sean Penn.
  72. The mood Mr. Weerasethakul conjures is all the more extraordinary when you consider that the movie’s premise, in the hands of almost any other director, would be used to build some kind of horror movie.
  73. A quietly rapturous film about love and redemption.
  74. Childhood ends, this time forever, with tears and howls, swirls of smoke, the shock of mortality and bittersweet smiles in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the grave, deeply satisfying final movie in the series.
  75. Particle Fever is a fascinating movie about science, and an exciting, revealing and sometimes poignant movie about scientists.
  76. Certainly one of the strangest and most interesting movies of the year, and I suspect that in years to come a number of other strange and interesting movies will show traces of its influence.
  77. The evenness of its emotional pitch almost incidentally helps the film become an unusually deep exploration of sports, machismo and the competitive spirit.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Life Itself is a work of deftness and delicacy, by turns a film about illness and death, about writing, about cinema and, finally, and very movingly a film about love.
  78. In its humor, its fairy tale origins and the characters’ rounded features, it plays more like a vintage Disney work, only nimbler and freer.
  79. Fortunately, Hicks's direction has an elegance and dignity that rescue Shine from the exploitative and give the film an acute, genuinely sensitive style.
  80. Mr. Herzog is also no ordinary filmmaker. It is the rare documentary like Grizzly Man, which has beauty and passion often lacking in any type of film, that makes you want to grab its maker and head off to the nearest bar to discuss man's domination of nature and how Disney's cute critters reflect our profound alienation from the natural order.
  81. It weaves life and art into a rich tapestry of love, loss and compassion.
  82. A stunning feat of literary adaptation as well as a purely cinematic triumph.
  83. In many respects Ceausescu turns out to be as much the author of this brilliant documentary as the director, Andrei Ujica, who waded through more than 1,000 hours of filmed state propaganda, official news reports and home movies to create a cinematic tour de force that tracks the rise, reign and grim fall of its subject.
  84. It's hard to imagine anyone but Mr. Pitt in the role. He's relaxed yet edgy and sometimes unsettling.
  85. With marvelous discipline, Mr. Shapiro crams a wealth of material into a tight 77 minutes, smoothly communicating the group effort required to achieve the perfect shot.
  86. In the end there is nothing especially campy about “The Duke of Burgundy,” which neither mocks its heroines nor the breathless, naughty screen tradition to which they belong. It’s a love story, and also a perversely sincere (and sincerely perverse) labor of love.
  87. My Golden Days is a memory movie, a story told through a glass darkly.
  88. At times, most often when Mr. Bennett is onscreen, Love & Friendship is howlingly funny, and as a whole it feels less like a romance than like a caper, an unabashedly contrived and effortlessly inventive heist movie with a pretty good payoff.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Under the direction of James (''The Terminator'') Cameron, [the special effects team has] put together a flaming, flashing, crashing, crackling blow-'em-up show that keeps you popping from your seat despite your better instincts and the basically conventional scare tactics.
  89. This brilliant, viciously amusing takedown of bourgeois complacency, gender stereotypes and assumptions and the illusion of security rubs your face in human frailty as relentlessly as any Michael Haneke movie.
  90. If Mr. Ghobadi's dominant theme is the devastation of the Kurds, his subdominant tone is one of strength, resistance and fertility.
  91. A magnificent conjuring act, an eerie historical mirage.
  92. Go see this movie. Take your children, even though they may occasionally be confused or fidgety. Boredom and confusion are also part of democracy, after all. Lincoln is a rough and noble democratic masterpiece - an omen, perhaps, that movies for the people shall not perish from the earth.
  93. Its effects seem more like those of a poem or a piece of music than a movie. Requires the reverent darkness and communal solitude of a theater.
  94. Astonishing... One of the freshest American films of the decade. [4 Aug 1989]
    • The New York Times
  95. If you think about Jaws for more than 45 seconds you will recognize it as nonsense, but it's the sort of nonsense that can be a good deal of fun, if you like to have the wits scared out of you at irregular intervals.
  96. Mr. Coppola, the writer as well as the director, has nearly succeeded in making a great film but has, instead, made one that is merely very good.

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