The New York Times' Scores

For 9,644 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 3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 The Master
Lowest review score: 0 Phantom
Score distribution:
9,644 movie reviews
  1. Aiming for a moody portrait of psychological distress, Mark Jackson directs with a sluggish pace, an abstract style and a dismal aesthetic that rebuff involvement.
  2. Quirky goes a surprisingly long way before stalling out in Don McKay, an oddball comedy with the knowing, festering heart of a neo-noir.
  3. Some viewers may enjoy Give Me Your Hand simply as an excuse to gaze at the Carril brothers.
  4. If you can resist the urge to run for the exit, you may leave the theater feeling a lot more hopeful than when you went in.
  5. A sweeping but disorganized and sometimes monotonous exploration.
  6. A lackadaisical dive into backwoods barminess and masculine neuroses, this low-budget paean to indoor plumbing and rampant facial hair doesn't unfold so much as unravel.
  7. A curiously thrilling and often hilarious experience.
  8. To attempt a culinary metaphor, Ms. van der Oest manages a yolky, runny sitcom omelet rather than the airy soufflé of farce.
  9. A refreshingly mean-spirited gothic real estate comedy.
  10. Without Ms. Kidman's brilliantly nuanced performance, Birth might feel arch, chilly and a little sadistic, but she gives herself so completely to the role that the film becomes both spellbinding and heartbreaking, a delicate chamber piece with the large, troubled heart of an opera.
  11. The director's attention to details of character and locale makes for a precise evocation of a New York seldom seen in feature films.
  12. In casting about for new sources of fear, Marebito achieves its own level of mediocrity.
  13. Apart from the car chase, the only real fun in Jack Reacher comes from Mr. Herzog and Robert Duvall, called in near the end for some marvelously gratuitous scenery chewing as a gruff former Marine. They enliven the movie's atmosphere of weary brutality for a few moments, but they also call attention to the dullness of their dramatic surroundings.
  14. There are new tweeners every year. To them, the characters and plot devices in this perfectly competent film might well seem fresh.
  15. Nominally a story about sex, lies and faithfulness, Last Night is more truly a cautionary tale about mousetrap narratives.
  16. Even as Mr. Gilliam assails the tedium and pointlessness of Qohen’s existence, The Zero Theorem succumbs to those forces, spinning its wheels and repeating its jokes in a manic frenzy that is never as funny or as mind-blowing as it wants to be.
  17. The chief pleasures of this mild-mannered dud lie in watching two resourceful comic actors go through their paces like the pros they are.
  18. The appeal of character and story line here is thoroughly overshadowed by the various technical feats involved in bringing the film to the screen.
  19. Despite the glorious singing heard in archival footage from various periods of her career, the film is frustratingly sketchy.
  20. In 9 1/2 Weeks, he has created a work that might well qualify as a truly nouveau film. Here is a movie in which actors impersonating characters are blended into the decor so completely that they take on the properties of animated products, no more or less important than exquisitely photographed strawberries.[21 Feb 1986, p.C17]
    • The New York Times
  21. A confusion of tones, intentions and allusions, Two for the Money lurches from upbeat to downbeat without ever settling into a coherent groove.
  22. Mike may be a bumbling sad sack, but Mr. Zahn gives him just enough spunky appeal to lend this unlikely fly-by-afternoon coupling and its consequences a shred of credibility.
  23. The only distinguishing characteristic of this mildly agreeable variation of a worn-out formula is that the boisterous family under examination is Puerto Rican, and the screenplay includes a smattering of Spanish.
  24. Likable for its outlandishness, less so when it shows a self-important streak.
  25. Not a subtle film; and, most curiously -- to put it mildly -- for a sermon on tolerance, it resorts to history's eternal scapegoat.
  26. The real surprise, given the secondhand material, is that not everything proceeds by rote in Murder by Numbers.
  27. The story has enough nasty twists and tantalizing clues for its ingenious mechanics to remain engaging.
  28. Skillfully directed by Karan Johar and with an evocative score by Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy, “Khan” jerks tears with ease, while teaching lessons about Islam and tolerance.
  29. Exhaustive and exhausting, the new energy documentary Switch is so monotonous it makes "An Inconvenient Truth" look like "Armageddon."
  30. Everything goes pretty much as you guess it’s going to, but the conceit of seeing the whole story through the eyes of the videographer adds a dimension to the familiar goings-on.
  31. The cannibals, coconuts and landlocked locations have been replaced by the high-seas high jinks that made the first film so enjoyable.
  32. There is something both satisfying and frustrating about Madea Goes to Jail. Mr. Perry dutifully gives his audience what it wants, but you can't help feeling that he might also have more to offer: more coherent narratives, smoother direction, better movies.
  33. Appeal[s] to the delicate palates of an audience that craves the movie equivalent of tea and biscuits: stiff upper lips conceal hearts of gold, and all psychological conflicts are resolved with tearful confessions of vulnerability.
  34. Thoroughly blurs the line between high-minded outrage and lurid torture-porn.
  35. Fur is a folly, though not a dishonorable one.
  36. Too soft and silly to be satire, too upbeat to be a cautionary tale, the film is a fun-house fable that both exaggerates and understates the absurdities of our democracy in this contentious election year.
  37. The most pleasing paradox in Storytelling -- a determinedly paradoxical and, in spite of much of what I've said here, a genuinely pleasing movie -- is that it sets out to debunk this notion and ends up affirming it.
  38. The direction occasionally rises to the level of marginal competence, but for most of the film it is hard to tell who is chasing who or why.
  39. The end may be a bit of a letdown, but much of Garage Days is choice cuts indeed.
  40. Letters to Juliet represents an interesting paradox: it is a movie that is very nearly perfect without being especially good.
  41. Christoph Baaden, the director, loses sight of the fact that, for people who don't run, the cult of running is kind of boring.
  42. Glossy, witty eye candy with some moderately chewy stuff in the middle. This lavish, exhaustingly kinetic film is smarter than you might expect, and at the same time dumber than it could be. It's an impressive product: a triumph of cloning that almost convinces you that it possesses a soul.
  43. The prevailing presence in this crowd-pleaser is Ice Cube, whose evolution from hip-hop threat to screen paterfamilias is now complete.
  44. This shockingly flabby effort from Mr. Anderson — who, in features like “The Machinist” (2004) and “Session 9” (2001), showed a much surer hand with oppressive atmospheres and troubled psyches — feels as nutty as its characters.
  45. A “Decalogue” for special-ed students, The Ten leans too often toward the bizarre and the bewildering. And though rough sex is a recurring motif, the movie’s overall tone is less blasphemous than raunchy.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    An unsettling, rudely funny but not entirely credible feature.
  46. Poised unwaveringly between gentle comedy and delicate drama, Maya Kenig's Off White Lies keeps a lot to itself. But this narrative withholding, while infuriating at times, presents no real barrier to our engagement with the film's unconventional look at the growing connection between a shy teenage girl and her shiftless father.
  47. What Mr. Franco does have is Mr. Haze, whose mesmerizing performance gives the movie its ballast and its fitful, nervous energy.
  48. The shaky comedy My Super Ex-Girlfriend must have been a dream to pitch: "Fatal Attraction" meets "Wonder Woman," but funny.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    An earnest sequel to the 2006 cornball musical drama “Step Up,” mixing new characters into the original’s setting.
  49. A surprisingly cheesy horror film to come from Mr. Carpenter (''Halloween,'' ''Escape From New York,'' among others), a director whose work is usually far more efficient and inventive.
  50. Shot in handsome, often vividly contrasting black and white, "____ Year" weighs in as an attempt at poetic expressionism, a bid to create a visual representation of Colleen's diffuse and fragmented mind. Mr. Archer's narrative ambitions are laudable, and some of his images (the cinematographer is Aaron Platt) are striking, though a lot of scenes also look like glossy fashion magazine layouts come to relative life. These poses and pretty rooms may accurately reflect Colleen's visual aesthetic, the world she inhabits or wants to, but whether hers or Mr. Archer's, it's not compelling.
  51. In rushing in where wise men might fear to tread, Mr. Franco has accomplished something serious and worthwhile. His As I Lay Dying is certainly ambitious, but it is also admirably modest.
  52. Above all, it loves its characters and the actors who play them. A fearless, talented filmmaking auteur working on a limited budget, Mr. Lipsky insists on doing it his way and letting the chips fall where they may. More power to him.
  53. Generating suspense without blowing the special-effects budget, Mr. Sanchez paints an intimate portrait of a tormented personality. Though horrors are eventually unveiled, the film is more chilling in its slower, quieter moments.
  54. Super rides on the carefully bent performances of its stars.
  55. Probably serves some useful purpose, despite its ham-fisted preachiness and mediocre acting.
  56. At its most provocative, the movie explores the masculine mystique and the myth of the black stud.
  57. The best cartoons are built on the contradictory pursuit of meticulously arranged anarchy. But they never seem needy, or desperate for laughs, as Home on the Range does. The film seems hungrier for a pat on the head than a chuckle.
  58. Played in a loud sketch-comedy style that might be described as "Gay Mad TV." The haranguing, badly acted farce wears out its comic welcome within half an hour.
  59. Pretty much pure boilerplate: a reasonably well-executed throwaway that, when you finally get around to seeing it in its proper setting, will make you glad you decided to travel by air instead of by sea.
  60. Long before the story culminates with a preposterous final revelation, whatever hopes you had that Now You See Me might have had anything to say about the profession of magic, rampant greed or anything else have been dashed.
  61. Probes class consciousness with rather more sensitivity than originality.
  62. Forced to compete for kingly favors, the women were soon rivals, a contest that, in its few meagerly entertaining moments, recalls the sisterly love in “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”
  63. For the most part this is perfectly painless mush. The movie is irrepressibly silly -- what were you expecting? -- but a few hours of Mr. Gyllenhaal jumping around in leather and fluttering his long lashes has its dumb-fun appeal.
  64. Dark Skies certainly parades textbook genre trappings...But those elements are employed with consummate dexterity.
  65. Self-consciously edgy and romantically limp.
  66. Bel Borba Aqui gives us plenty to look at, but not much to think about.
  67. At the very least 28 Hotel Rooms, the first feature written and directed by Matt Ross, is an impressively executed acting exercise for Chris Messina and Marin Ireland.
  68. Stir Crazy is an energetic but spiritless shambles.
  69. This is crudely mounted, earnest advocacy, getting its points across at any cost.
  70. What keeps the film's fragile realism intact are actors who can make even small moments count.
  71. In case you have forgotten, all women are prostitutes, and all men are johns.
  72. Favreau wavers uncertainly between goofy pastiche and seriousness in a movie that wastes its title and misses the opportunity to play with, you know, ideas about the western and science-fiction horror.
  73. Kill or be killed isn’t the official tag line of The Purge: Anarchy, but it fits. It would also make a more suitable title for this satisfyingly creepy, blunt, down-and-dirty thriller, one of those follow-ups that improves on the original.
  74. The best part of B. Monkey is reveling in the dark side of Rupert Everett.
  75. As intense an immersion in military ambience as a Hollywood movie could hope to provide in just over 90 minutes.
  76. The film falls far short of its goals, but it is a classic of sorts. It belongs in that Blockbuster on Mount Olympus, where pristine new copies of "I Changed My Sex," "Dracula's Dog," "Blackenstein" and "Battlefield Earth" play constantly.
  77. The full explanation for the movie's graphically depicted horrors is preposterous even by the almost-anything- goes standards of the action-thriller conspiracy genre.
  78. Such few assets aren't enough to alleviate the film's shallowness.
  79. A lightweight comedy that has more than enough laughs to justify its silly, scatterbrained premise.
  80. This competently made picture seems a rehash, and not a terribly interesting one. What's remarkable about it is how unremarkable it is.
  81. The comedy in Alfie is plentiful but bittersweet, and the character's bad behavior pleases more than it repels, principally because the star Jude Law's beauty and easy charm go a long way to softening the edges.
  82. Coasts to a smooth, frictionless stop, but its star doesn't; he works as if his career depended on this movie.
  83. Carrying far more weight than their screen time would warrant, the "interviews" with actors playing young children are the best part of the film.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A fine example of how feature films can be used to deliver urgent political messages, but as drama, it doesn’t quite work.
  84. Sometimes a film feels a bit too pat and yet is impossible to resist. The Mighty Macs, based on the national championship run of the 1972 women's basketball team at Immaculata College near Philadelphia, is such a film: lots of button pushing, but in the end you're glad you saw it.
  85. Not that Dr. Bot and the oblivious self-righteousness won’t delight certain fans, but this remains a protracted, scattershot comedy sketch that never quite nails its tone.
  86. Woody Allen’s latest excursion to the dark side of human nature, is good enough that you may wonder why he doesn’t just stop making comedies once and for all.
  87. May take place entirely in New York, but that doesn't stop it from being a classic example of Bollywood family values.
  88. Shot in a quasi-documentary style at the actual locations where the events took place, including the sidewalk outside the Dakota, the movie is extremely uncomfortable to watch.
  89. The script never gives them the kind of memorable exchange that makes fans howl with delight. But all in all, Escape Plan does what it sets out to do.
  90. Starting as a coldly realistic thriller, this film eventually loses its bearings as the director Miguel Ángel Vivas succumbs to a fit of nihilism, transforming Kidnapped into gruesome tit-for-tat torture porn.
  91. If there is anything worth discovering in this sad slog of a story, it is the two fierce performances by Cho Je-Hyun and Seo Won, who play the lovers and turn the harsh drama into a showcase for their pained expressions.
  92. So mild and thin that it doesn't inspire much of a reaction at all. With one exception - a dinner table scene that is by far the most memorable in the movie - the racial humor is studiously unprovocative.
  93. The sweetheart leads, Josh Zuckerman and Amanda Crew, are easy to spend time with, and Seth Green as an Amish hipster and Clark Duke as an unlikely lady-killer hit every sweet-and-sardonic note with panache.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    As a director, Mr. Perry has his strong points, including a genuine interest in showing the resilience of African-American life and traditions (including church sermons and blues music, which are accorded equal significance here). But those aspects get lost in this turgid and ungainly film.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Many interviewees concede that the resistance is both disorganized and decentralized, and imply that some of the fighters are ethnic partisans jockeying for a slice of what will remain should the United States pull out.
  94. Because the material gives off such a delicious vibe, even though the movie itself feels a little old, you want to like Simone. It would be easier if it were a more forceful comedy. But Mr. Niccol's style is that of reticence -- as a director, he's a little coquettish.
  95. Ms. Ryan's lean, eagle-eyed golden girl is enough to curdle milk.

Top Trailers