The New York Times' Scores

For 9,355 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 2.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Sabrina
Lowest review score: 0 Unthinkable: An Airline Captain's Story
Score distribution:
9,355 movie reviews
  1. Mr. Howard has made Ransom in the same clean, swift, logical style that sent his "Apollo 13" into orbit, resulting in a spellbinding crime tale that delivers surprises right down to the wire.
  2. 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.
  3. The rapport between Ms. Watts and Mr. Serkis is extraordinary, even though it is mediated by fur, latex, optical illusions and complicated effects. Mr. Serkis, who also played Gollum in the "Lord of the Rings" movies, is redefining screen acting for the digital age, while Ms. Watts incarnates the glamour and emotional directness of classical Hollywood.
  4. It's movie making of the high, smooth, commercial order that Hollywood prides itself on but achieves with singular infrequency.
  5. Not since "Love Story" has there been a movie that so shrewdly and predictably manipulated the emotions for such entertaining effect.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Excellent quasidocumentary, which sends shivers down the spine. (Review of Original Release)
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    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)
  6. 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.
  7. A beautifully written, seamlessly directed film with award-worthy performances by Ms. Rampling and Ms. Young.
  8. Together with his extraordinary performers, Mr. Chéreau breathes life into characters who long ago set a course for death.
  9. A triumph of modesty and of seriousness that also happens to be one of the finest American films of the year.
  10. A sublimely nimble evisceration of that cult of celebrity known as the British royal family.
  11. Nikolaus Geyrhalter's superb documentary is an unblinking, often disturbing look at industrial food production from field to factory.
  12. The easy, complacent distance that informs much historical filmmaking is almost entirely absent from this supremely intelligent, unfailingly honest movie.
  13. A few scenes serve as hinges joining this movie to "Flags of Our Fathers." While Letters From Iwo Jima seems to me the more accomplished of the two films -- by which I mean that it strikes me as close to perfect -- the two enrich each other, and together achieve an extraordinary completeness.
  14. 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.
  15. A swift and accessible entertainment, blunt in its power and exquisite in its effects.
  16. The result is an American masterpiece, independent to the bone.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    In our wistful estimation, the most delightful comedy-romance in years.
  17. It is a film of enormous visceral power with, in the central role, a performance by Tom Cruise that defines everything that is best about the movie.
  18. An instant classic, a comedy that captures the sexual confusion and moral ambivalence of our moment without straining, pandering or preaching.
  19. I'll go out on a limb: I can't believe the year will bring forth anything to equal The Purple Rose of Cairo. At 84 minutes, it's short but nearly every one of those minutes is blissful.
  20. 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Scene for scene, The Camden 28 is a brilliant merger of political outrage and filmmaking chops, and the most suspenseful movie in theaters right now.
  21. Mr. Greengrass knows how to do his job, and there’s no one in Hollywood right now who does action better, who keeps the pace going so relentlessly, without mercy or letup, scene after hard-rocking scene.
  22. In Summer Palace Lou nonetheless succeeds in finding a cinematic language that does more than summarize the important events of a confusing decade. He distills the inner confusion -- the swirl of moods, whims and needs -- that is the lived and living essence of history.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Something close to a masterpiece, a work of extreme -- I am tempted to say evil -- genius.
  26. It’s a pitiless, violent story that in its telling becomes a haunting and haunted intellectual and aesthetic achievement.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Not merely a technical landmark -- shot entirely in digital 3D -- but also an aesthetic one, in that it’s the first Imax movie that deserves to be called a work of art.
  27. Duchess of Langeais seems to me a nearly impeccable work of art -- beautiful, true, profound.
  28. A haunting, voluptuously beautiful portrait of a teenage boy who, after being suddenly caught in midflight, falls to earth.
  29. A film of startling originality and beauty -- feels like a communiqué from another time, another place, anywhere but here.
  30. An astonishing documentary of culture clash and the erasure of history amid China’s economic miracle.
  31. 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.
  32. To say that Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York is one of the best films of the year or even one closest to my heart is such a pathetic response to its soaring ambition that I might as well pack it in right now.
  33. 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.
  34. Harvey Milk was an intriguing, inspiring figure. Milk is a marvel.
  35. An entire family chronicle, along with four decades of French social and economic history, is recapitulated as a lavish, hectic dinner, complete with music and belly dancing. It will leave you stunned and sated, having savored an intimate and sumptuous epic of elation and defeat, jealousy and tenderness, life and death, grain and fish.
  36. Superior entertainment, the most elegantly pleasurable movie of its kind to come around in a very long time.
  37. Grace is also what defines Mr. Bahrani's filmmaking. I can't think of anything else to call the quality of exquisite attention, wry humor and wide-awake intelligence that informs every frame of this almost perfect film.
  38. It is both sad and hopeful, but the film's sorrow and its optimism arise from its rarest and most thrilling quality, which is its deep and humane honesty.
  39. In spite of its modest scale, tactful manner and potentially dowdy subject matter, is packed nearly to bursting with rich meaning and deep implication.
  40. The best nondocumentary American feature made yet about the war in Iraq.
  41. With Where the Wild Things Are Jonze has made a work of art that stands up to its source and, in some instances, surpasses it.
  42. The latest masterwork from Hayao Miyazaki, places emphasis on the natural world, its tumults and fragility.
  43. That the film manages to be understated, calm and intelligent in spite of its wrenching subject matter is perhaps its most impressive accomplishment. In avoiding sensationalism, it feels very close to the truth.
  44. This consistently gripping, visually intoxicating film stands as a landmark of contemporary Turkish cinema.
  45. Brilliant, maddeningly enigmatic puzzle of a movie.
  46. Belongs to a school of Central European surrealism that marries nightmarish horror with formal beauty.
  47. Glorious and goofy and blissfully deranged.
  48. 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.
  49. As sweet, as touching, as humane a movie as you are likely to see this summer.
  50. The rare sports movie that deals with -- indeed positively relishes -- humiliation and disappointment.
  51. It’s an exciting sports movie, an inspiring tale of prejudice overcome and, above all, a fascinating study of political leadership.
  52. A small movie perfectly scaled to the big performance at its center.
  53. And the ingenuity of “Sita” — is dazzling. Not busy, or overwhelming, or eye-popping. Just affecting, surprising and a lot of fun.
  54. One of those rare films in which the moral stakes are as insistent and thought through as the aesthetic choices.
  55. The movie itself is a nonstop barrage -- somewhere between a riot and an orgy -- of crude, obnoxious gags and riffs. If you are a connoisseur of sexual, scatological or just plain stupid humor, you will find your appetite satisfied, even glutted.
  56. 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.
  57. It is outrageously funny without ever exaggerating for comic effect, and heartbreaking with only minimal melodramatic embellishment.
  58. Lebanon is meticulous, nearly clinical in its attention to what happens in war -- specifically what happened in the first days of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 -- but it is also a palpably and intensely personal film.
    • The New York Times
  59. Its speedy, funny, happy-sad spirit is so infectious that the movie makes you feel at home in its world even if the landscape is, at first glance, unfamiliar.
  60. Was it all for naught? Only weeks after the 23 partisans were arrested (and all but two promptly executed), Paris was liberated. Army of Crime is a passionate act of remembrance.
  61. Mr. Fan's documentary is informed by a melancholy humanism, and finds unexpected beauty in almost unbearably harsh circumstances. It tells the story of a family caught, and possibly crushed, between the past and the future - a story that, on its own, is moving, even heartbreaking. Multiplied by 130 million, it becomes a terrifying and sobering panorama of the present.
  62. 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.
  63. Black Swan is visceral and real even while it's one delirious, phantasmagoric freakout.
  64. Mr. Boyle has a knack for tackling painful, violent or unpleasant subjects with unremitting verve and unstoppable joie de vivre.
  65. Ms. Denis has an extraordinary gift for finding the perfect image that expresses her ideas, the cinematic equivalent of what Flaubert called le mot juste.
    • The New York Times
  66. The opening shot of Somewhere, Sofia Coppola's exquisite, melancholy and formally audacious fourth feature, prepares you for what is to follow in a characteristically oblique and subtle manner.
  67. In some ways, much like Charles Laughton's "Night of the Hunter," which the Coens quote both musically and visually, True Grit is a parable about good and evil. Only here, the lines between the two are so blurred as to be indistinguishable, making this a true picture of how the West was won, or - depending on your view - lost.
  68. It is a great movie, by a major figure in world cinema.
  69. 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.
  70. Of Gods and Men is supple and suspenseful, appropriately austere without being overly harsh, and without forgoing the customary pleasures of cinema. The performances are strong, the narrative gathers momentum as it progresses, and the camera is alive to the beauty of the Algerian countryside.
  71. Rango, which may take place entirely within its hero's head - that kind of ambiguity worked in "Inception" and "Black Swan," so why not here? - is about the appetite for myths and stories, whether or not they make sense. It is about the worlds we dream inside our fishbowls, helped by the weird reflections on the walls.
  72. A splendid example of how to tackle the daunting duty of turning a beloved work of classic literature into a movie. Neither a radical updating nor a stiff exercise in middlebrow cultural respectability, Mr. Fukunaga's film tells its venerable tale with lively vigor and an astute sense of emotional detail.
  73. My Perestroika gives you a privileged sense of learning the history of a place not from a book but from the people who lived it. Watching it is a little like attending a party in an unfamiliar city and discovering the place's secrets from the guests.
  74. Meek's Cutoff is as unsentimental and determined as Ms. Williams's character, its absolutely believable heroine. It is also a bracingly original foray into territory that remains, in every sense, unsettled.
  75. The best movie of its kind since the French director Guillaume Canet's hit from 2006, "Tell No One."
  76. The 3-D is sometimes less than transporting, and the chanting voices in the composer Ernst Reijseger's new-agey score tended to remind me of my last spa massage. Yet what a small price to pay for such time traveling!
  77. City of Life and Death isn't cathartic: it offers no uplifting moments, just the immodest balm of art. The horrors it represents can be almost too difficult to watch, yet you keep watching because Mr. Lu makes the case that you must.
  78. The strength of Tuesday, After Christmas, Mr. Muntean's fourth feature, lies in its rigorous, artful and humane fidelity to quotidian circumstance.
  79. With disarming sincerity and daunting formal sophistication The Tree of Life ponders some of the hardest and most persistent questions, the kind that leave adults speechless when children ask them.
  80. It is a rich, beautifully organized and illustrated modern history of Eastern European Jewry examined through the life and work of the author, born Sholem Rabinovich in Pereyaslav (near Kiev) in 1859.
  81. Brilliant, bizarre, dazzling and utterly demented, The Last Circus views Franco-era Spain through the crazed eyes of two clowns doing battle for the love of one magnificent woman.
  82. 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.
  83. It's hard to imagine anyone but Mr. Pitt in the role. He's relaxed yet edgy and sometimes unsettling.
  84. By introducing funky licks, fancy footwork and many of his own compositions to the band's stodgy set list of jazz standards, this indomitable leader (whose declining health adds a poignant twang to the film's final scenes) instilled racial pride alongside musical competency.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Check your cynicism at the ticket booth. To Be Heard is one of the best documentaries of the year.
  85. 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.
  86. This is not a work of film history but rather a generous, touching and slightly daffy expression of unbridled movie love.
  87. A first-rate art-house thriller, Miss Bala tells the strange, seemingly impossible story of a Mexican beauty queen who becomes the accidental pawn of a drug cartel. It's an adventure story that could be called a contemporary picaresque if it weren't so deadly serious.
  88. The movie is too beautiful to be described as an ordeal, but it is sufficiently intense and unyielding that when it is over, you may feel, along with awe, a measure of relief. Which may sound like a reason to stay away, but is exactly the opposite.
  89. How did Mr. Panahi do this? I'm at a bit of a loss to explain, to tell you the truth, since my job is to review movies, and this, obviously, is something different: a masterpiece in a form that does not yet exist.
  90. The Oscars are swell, but once in a while a film comes along that is so courageous it deserves consideration for the Nobel Prize. An entire generation has been born and gone to college since the Beastie Boys defined that most basic of civil liberties: You've got to fight for your right to party.
  91. A quietly rapturous film about love and redemption.
  92. To put the matter perhaps more abstractly than such a sensual film deserves, it is about the fate of untameable, irrational desire in a world that does not seem to have a place for it.
  93. 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.
  94. This movie is a blast of sheer, improbable joy, a boisterous, thrilling action movie with a protagonist who can hold her own alongside Katniss Everdeen, Princess Merida and the other brave young heroines of 2012.

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