The New York Times' Scores

For 12,491 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 3.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Last Circus
Lowest review score: 0 Dirty Love
Score distribution:
12491 movie reviews
  1. Mr. Kore-eda, whose most noteworthy family dramas include “Still Walking” (2009) and “Like Father, Like Son” (2014), works in a quiet cinematic register, and the slightest error in tone could upend the whole enterprise. Slow-paced, sad, rueful and sometimes warmly funny, After the Storm is one of his sturdiest, and most sensitive, constructions.
  2. A movie that is almost indecently satisfying and at the same time elusive, at once intellectually lofty -- marked by allusions to Emerson, Shakespeare and Seamus Heaney as well as Nietzsche -- and as earthy as the passionate provincial family that is its heart and cosmos and reason for being.
  3. You may not agree with every observation in Michael Singh’s documentary Valentino’s Ghost. But this engrossing examination of American perceptions of Arabs and the Arab world gets you thinking.
  4. in spite of its historical specificity, BPM never feels like a bulletin from the past. Its immediacy comes in part from the brisk naturalism of the performances and the nimbleness and fluidity of the editing. The characters are so vivid, so real, so familiar that it’s impossible to think of their struggles — and in some cases their deaths — as unfolding in anything but the present tense.
  5. In the Shadow of the Moon is such a morale booster. The power of its archival images hasn’t diminished with familiarity.
  6. A tough and touching exploration of honor and friendship among thieves.
  7. It is a great movie, by a major figure in world cinema.
  8. Children of Men may be something of a bummer, but it’s the kind of glorious bummer that lifts you to the rafters, transporting you with the greatness of its filmmaking.
  9. The characters and situations are interesting enough, and the filmmaking is sufficiently skilled to provide a measure of reasonably thoughtful entertainment.
  10. The rare documentary that combines a wildly charismatic subject with an elegant structure...not-to-be-missed.
  11. Like the great films of the 1930's and early 40's, it is at once artful and unpretentious, sophisticated and completely accessible, sure of its own authority and generous toward characters and audience alike -- a movie whose intended public is the human race.
  12. Moonrise Kingdom breezes along with a beautifully coordinated admixture of droll humor, deadpan and slapstick. Like all of Mr. Anderson's films, though, there's a deep, pervasive melancholia here too.
  13. Even better on a second viewing because the film is such a pure expression of the director's love for the music, a love so infectious it should leave you elated.
  14. The puzzle-box narrative only grows more hypnotic with repeat viewings. The movie insists on having the audience, like Ventura, pass through madness to reach catharsis.
  15. An astonishing documentary of culture clash and the erasure of history amid China’s economic miracle.
  16. High Hopes manages to be enjoyably whimsical without ever losing its cutting edge.
  17. 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.
  18. A rebus, a romance, a gothic thriller and a woozy comedy, The Handmaiden is finally and most significantly a liberation story.
  19. Astonishingly well acted film, so much so that it seems unfair to single out any of the performances. Mr. Lawrence's camera sense is as sure and unobtrusive as his feel for acting. The movie just seems to happen, to grow out of the ground like a thorny plant, revealing the intricate intelligence of its design only in hindsight.
  20. The mystery of Séraphine de Senlis -- who died in a mental hospital in 1942 and whose work survives in some of the world’s leading museums -- is left intact at the end of Séraphine. Rather than trying to explain Séraphine, the film accepts her.
  21. Suzy's marriage, Nick's divorce, Paul's work history: none of it is my or anyone else's business. But these things -- these people -- have become, through Mr. Apted's films, a vital part of modern life, which seems to grow richer every seven years, when the new "Up" movie comes out.
  22. Naked is as corrosive and sometimes as funny as anything Mr. Leigh has done to date. It's loaded with wild flights of absurd rhetoric and encounters with characters so eccentric that they seem to have come directly from life. Nobody would dare imagine them.
  23. Mr. Brooks's screenplay overstates matters both at the beginning of the film and at the end, with a prologue that strains to be cute and an epilogue that is just unnecessary. In between, however, the movie is a sarcastic and carefully detailed picture of a world Mr. Brooks finds fascinating and also a little scary.
  24. Opening an aperture into a process so ego-stripping that it feels unseemly to witness, The Work is enlightening yet also punishing.
  25. This chilly tale of violent secrets and unvoiced misery relies heavily on the skill of actors who seem to know that one false move could tip the whole enterprise into comedy.
  26. Harvey Milk was an intriguing, inspiring figure. Milk is a marvel.
  27. Looks grand without being overdressed, it is full of feeling without being sentimental. Here’s a film for adults. It’s also about time to recognize that Mr. Ivory is one of our finest directors. [5 November 1993, p. C1]
    • The New York Times
  28. One of the movie's dark running jokes is that everyone seems to speak a different language and has trouble communicating. The continual struggle of people to make themselves understood becomes a metaphor for the war itself.
  29. Lagaan may look naïve; it is anything but. This is a movie that knows its business — pleasing a broad, popular audience -- and goes about it with savvy professionalism and genuine flair.
  30. It rediscovers the aching, desiring humanity in a genre -- and a period-- too often subjected to easy parody or ironic appropriation. In a word, it's divine.
  31. Such an accurate depiction of cramped spirits, small-mindedness and men unable to make changes in their lives takes its toll. Distant feels as if it's going nowhere in no particular hurry, and finally leaves us distant from its characters.
  32. Heart of a Dog is about telling and remembering and forgetting, and how we put together the fragments that make up our lives — their flotsam and jetsam, highs and lows, meaningful and slight details, shrieking and weeping headline news.
  33. The film’s four-person shuffle turns into a bit of a hash.
  34. It’s a curious, bittersweet story, flecked with dashes of bombast and overstatement that Presley himself would have admired.
  35. As with Mr. Farhadi’s other films, every detail of speech and body language resonates.
  36. A mostly impressive array of experts (including, in the movie’s one unfortunate off note, Michael T. Flynn, who was forced to resign as national security adviser) adds to the merciless clarity of this tragic picture.
  37. Shot in richly toned, wide-screen black and white, Aferim! looks like an elegant exercise in period playacting. But it casts a fierce, revisionist eye on the past, finding the cruelty and prejudice that lie beneath the pageantry.
  38. Superstition, witchcraft, exorcism, talismans that ward off evil: in this land of the supernatural, irrationality prevails. But War Witch is so cleareyed that it makes you wonder how much more irrational this world is than the so-called civilized one under its camouflage of material wealth.
  39. Mr. Sauper has produced an extraordinary work of visual journalism, a richly illustrated report on a distant catastrophe that is also one of the central stories of our time.
  40. Maddin's real point -- and, for admirers of this brilliant and idiosyncratic artist, the true source of the movie’s interest -- is that Winnipeg explains him.
  41. Mystic River is the rare American movie that aspires to -- and achieves -- the full weight and darkness of tragedy.
  42. Visually distinctive and aurally delightful, "Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench" has style to burn. A soulful black-and-white commentary on love, art and their competing demands, this Boston-based musical from Damien Chazelle floats on a wave of spontaneity and charm.
  43. Mr. Trier and Mr. Lie - a quiet, recessive but nonetheless magnetically self-assured screen presence - emphasize Anders's individuality above all. Oslo, August 31st has the satisfying gravity of specific experience, and also, true to its title, a prickly sense of place.
  44. Mr. Johnson throws a lot at the screen, blasted corpses included, yet little here is as initially transfixing as Mr. Gordon-Levitt's mug.
  45. Graduation is long and intense, a rigorously naturalistic film that at times feels as claustrophobic and suspenseful as a horror movie. Like Mr. Mungiu’s other work, it is a thriller of sorts, built around an excruciating ethical problem. He is unstinting in his sympathy and unsparing in his judgment.
  46. The action is gorgeously fluid, the idiosyncratic 3-D visual conceits (including floating eyeballs undersea) are startling, and the story and its metaphors resolve in unexpected and moving ways.
  47. No admirer of Mr. von Trier's work should miss this compelling rarity.
  48. A giggly cocktail, though it's more foam than drink.
  49. Late in his new film Kings and Queen, the wildly gifted French director Arnaud Desplechin yanks the rug from under his characters and sends both them and us reeling.
  50. A triumph of modesty and of seriousness that also happens to be one of the finest American films of the year.
  51. Mr. Jacobs has succeeded at one of the most difficult tasks given a director, which is to make a character come alive through the filmmaking, not exposition.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    And, riskiest of all, the film makers eschewed another grainy documentary go at the subject in favor of a movie drama of one of the most compelling true stories of the modern troubles.
  52. Each individual shot creates a frisson of desolation that resonates far beyond the facile irony suggested by the movie’s title.
  53. Shot with a sure hand and a cast of unknowns, the film doesn't so much tell a story as develop a tone and root around a place that, despite the intimate camerawork, remains shrouded in ambiguity.
  54. Volver, full of surprises and reversals, unfolds with breathtaking ease and self-confidence. It is in some ways a smaller, simpler film than either "Talk to Her" or "Bad Education," choosing to tell its story without flashbacks or intricate parallel plots, but it is no less the work of a master.
  55. Even though The Square depicts widely covered recent events, it still feels like a revelation. This is partly because of the immediacy of Ms. Noujaim’s approach, which often puts the viewer in the midst of chaos as it unfolds.
  56. It looks to be clean and pure and without artifice, even though it is possibly as sophisticated as any commercial American movie ever made.
  57. What makes Le Amiche so bracing -- so sad and, sometimes, so funny -- is that its heroines are fallible, flawed, vain and powerful, each in her own way. They often make one another miserable, but their company is always a pleasure.
  58. Engrossing, poetic and often very funny, "Position," like its predecessors, uses the lens of a single family to view the tumult of an entire country.
  59. A Ghost Story is suspenseful, dourly funny and at times piercingly emotional.
  60. 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.
  61. This movie is rigorously and intensely lifelike, which is to say that it’s also a strange and moving work of art.
  62. Is still sleek, gripping entertainment with a raw-nerved, changeable camera style that helps to amplify its meaning.
  63. Those unfamiliar with the book will simply appreciate a stirring, many-sided fable, one that is exceptionally well told.
  64. To call The Descendants perfect would be a kind of insult, a betrayal of its commitment to, and celebration of, human imperfection. Its flaws are impossible to distinguish from its pleasures.
  65. Curiously exhilarating. Some of this comes from the simple thrill of witnessing something, or rather everything, done well.
  66. Though the movie is playfully postmodern in its pastiche of styles and its mingling of sincerity and self-consciousness, there is also something solidly old-fashioned about the way it tells its story.
  67. Mr. Leigh has never been an artist for whom happy (word or idea) has been an easy fit. Life is sweet, as the title of another of his films puts it with a heart-swelling yes, but it’s also an eternal fight against doom and gloom, the soul-crushing no.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Lassie balances cruelty and tenderness, pathos and humor without ever losing sight of its youngest audience member.
  68. War may be terrible, but for a woman like Shideh there’s no horror like home.
  69. Part of what makes Get Out both exciting and genuinely unsettling is how real life keeps asserting itself, scene after scene.
  70. Mr. Chappelle looks and sounds alternately ebullient and weary. It was directed by Michel Gondry, the madcap genius behind "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," but in its tone and vibe feels like Mr. Chappelle's all the way.
  71. What appears on the screen has a starkness that is almost indelible.
  72. Eloquent, meticulously structured documentary -- Sober political and legal analysis alternates with grim first-hand accounts of torture and murder in a film that has the structure of a choral symphony that swells to a bittersweet finale.
  73. Fowler may be the richest character of Mr. Caine's screen career. Slipping into his skin with an effortless grace, this great English actor gives a performance of astonishing understatement whose tone wavers delicately between irony and sadness.
  74. Grandly entertaining...matches the Austen-based "Clueless" for sheer run. [13 Dec 1995]
    • The New York Times
  75. Infuriating and depressing but rivetingly watchable.
  76. There is warmth and intelligence here, and undeniable sincerity, but also a determination, in the face of much painful and fascinating history, to play it safe.
  77. From 300 hours of material, Mr. Longley has created a collage of images, sounds and characters, an intimate, partial portrait of an unraveling nation -- a portrait that gains power partly by virtue of its incompleteness.
  78. Like the director's cover story, the movie is a Trojan horse: an exceptionally well-made documentary that unfolds like a spy thriller, complete with bugged hotel rooms, clandestine derring-do and mysterious men in gray flannel suits.
  79. Neither the neighborhood intimacy of "Mean Streets" nor the grandeur of the "Godfather" movies is imaginable without Visconti's example. Its richness, though, is inexhaustible, and well served by the spotless new 35-millimeter print being shown at Film Forum.
  80. The variable incongruities of Glory give it a queasy power uncommon in contemporary cinema. It’s the feel-bad movie of the spring.
  81. It's the sort of unassuming discovery that could get lost in a crowd or suffer from too much big love, and while it won't save or change your life, it may make your heart swell. Its aim is modest and true.
  82. Scrupulously apolitical, The Waiting Room is the opposite of a polemic like Michael Moore's "Sicko." But by removing any editorial screen, it confronts you head-on with human suffering that a more humane and equitable system might help alleviate.
  83. 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.
  84. For all its eccentricities and technical quirks, Dracula is a compelling expressionistic work.
  85. One of the most pleasant foreign films of the year, a funny, graceful and immensely good-natured work.
  86. A stirring, unexpectedly moving story of love and blood.
  87. There’s a stillness to the filmmaking, coupled with Saunder Jurriaans and David Bensi’s truly lovely original score, that lends specific shots... a near-heartbreaking melancholy.
  88. Pugilists and philosophers of all kinds converge in Frederick Wiseman's mesmerizing documentary Boxing Gym.
  89. A small movie perfectly scaled to the big performance at its center.
  90. The Fool is a hard movie to shake.
  91. Everybody Wants Some!! is more than just nostalgic. It’s downright utopian, a hormonal pastoral endowed with the innocent charm of a children’s book. There are plenty of movies about lust-addled youth, but it’s unusual to find one that feels truly wholesome.
  92. Like any good work of criticism, De Palma will be catnip for passionate fans while also serving as a primer and a goad for the skeptical and the curious. Mr. De Palma is remarkable company — witty, insightful and neither unduly modest nor overbearingly vain.
  93. Shaking off the solemnity that smothers many a well-meaning, high-minded family film, this one revels in an exuberant sense of play, drawing its audience into the wittily heightened reality of a fairy tale. The material, like the title, is a tad precious, but the finished film is much too spirited and pretty for that to matter.
  94. In juxtaposing two extraordinary personal histories, it ponders in a refreshingly original way unanswerable questions about memory, imagination, history and that elusive thing we call truth.
  95. This movie operates in the limbo between memory and oblivion that we recognize as daily life. It bears courageous and stringent witness to the impossibility of bearing witness.
  96. I realize that the fear of contracting writer's block from a fictional character is crazy, but in the brilliantly scrambled, self-consuming world of Adaptation it has a certain plausibility.
  97. Glorious and goofy and blissfully deranged.
  98. On one viewing, at least, it is a typically impenetrable Maddin film: zany one minute, pompous the next. Ardent Maddin admirers, of whom I am not one, might discern a grand design of what often feels like a post-Freudian horror comedy.

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