The New York Times' Scores

For 11,482 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 Days of Being Wild (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Dirty Love
Score distribution:
11482 movie reviews
  1. It’s ultimately a movie — one of the most rigorous and thoughtful I’ve seen — about the ethical and existential traps our fame-crazed culture sets for the talented and the mediocre alike.
  2. 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.
  3. In exchange for three hours of your time, Yi Yi will give you more life.
  4. The final shot, accompanied by an improbable but perfect musical cue, is an astonishing cinematic gesture, an appalling, hilarious statement about modern values, the state of the world, human nature and everything else. This is a movie that lives up to its name.
  5. 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
  6. Probably the most breathtakingly gorgeous film of the year, dizzy with a nose-against-the-glass romantic spirit that has been missing from the cinema forever.
  7. 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.
  8. Line for line, scene for scene, it is one of the best-written American film comedies in recent memory and an implicit rebuke to the raunchy, sloppy spectacles of immaturity that have dominated the genre in recent years.
  9. It is a great movie, by a major figure in world cinema.
  10. What Maisie Knew lays waste to the comforting dogma that children are naturally resilient, and that our casual, unthinking cruelty to them can be answered by guilty and belated displays of affection. It accomplishes this not by means of melodrama, but by a mixture of understatement and thriller-worthy suspense.
  11. Something close to a masterpiece, a work of extreme -- I am tempted to say evil -- genius.
  12. Mr. Boyle has a knack for tackling painful, violent or unpleasant subjects with unremitting verve and unstoppable joie de vivre.
  13. 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.
  14. Mr. Nance turns his thought into a performance of vulnerability that’s all too relatable in its indulgences. It has heart without becoming cloying.
  15. Even in the most chaotic fights and collisions, everything makes sense. This is not a matter of realism — come on, now — but of imaginative discipline. And Mr. Miller demonstrates that great action filmmaking is not only a matter of physics but of ethics as well. There is cause and effect; there are choices and consequences.
  16. Dropping us into a perfect storm of avarice, this cool and incisive snapshot of global capitalism at work is as remarkable for its access as for its refusal to judge.
  17. Full of brilliantly executed coups de théâtre, showing the director's natural flair for spectacle.
  18. Not merely an interesting document from a far-off place; it is a masterpiece.
  19. [Allen's] most sustained, satisfying and resonant film since “Match Point.”
  20. 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.
  21. Duchess of Langeais seems to me a nearly impeccable work of art -- beautiful, true, profound.
  22. A small movie perfectly scaled to the big performance at its center.
  23. "Print the legend," Mr. Wilson says at one point, both quoting John Ford and laying the foundation for his own often fact-free fabulous fabulism. And this movie is just that -- fabulous.
  24. Thanks to exultant wit and so many distinctive voices, Toy Story is both an aural and visual delight.
  25. With its careful, unassuming naturalism, its visual thrift and its emotional directness, Million Dollar Baby feels at once contemporary and classical, a work of utter mastery that at the same time has nothing in particular to prove.
  26. 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
  27. 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.
  28. A beautifully written, seamlessly directed film with award-worthy performances by Ms. Rampling and Ms. Young.
  29. Lacking epic pretensions and modest in scale, running under 90 minutes, Anesthesia is really closer in spirit to Rodrigo García’s delicate 2005 gem, “Nine Lives.” And it doesn’t waste a word or an image.
  30. A tough, gorgeous, vastly entertaining throwback to the Hollywood that did things right. As such, it enthusiastically breaks most rules of studio filmmaking today.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. Even as Mr. Mungiu maintains a detached, objective point of view, allowing the details of the story to speak for themselves, he also allows you to glimpse the complex and volatile inner lives of his characters.
  34. 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.
  35. This lean character-driven movie has such an acutely observant screenplay that it is easy to empathize with people struggling to make a decent living by hook or crook. Its psychological precision elevates it to something more than a genre piece.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. Despite its affection for the quirks of its characters and their milieu, the film is most memorable for its gravity, for the almost tragic nobility it finds in sad and silly circumstances.
  39. Here he (Murray) supplies the kind of performance that seems so fully realized and effortless that it can easily be mistaken for not acting at all.
  40. 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.
  41. Merchant, Ivory and Jhabvala triumph again with their entertaining, richly textured film. [13 March 1992]
    • The New York Times
  42. Nikolaus Geyrhalter's superb documentary is an unblinking, often disturbing look at industrial food production from field to factory.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. Mr. Zürcher has concocted something intimate yet otherworldly with this highly original debut.
  46. With her dramatically pale face framed by a voluptuous dark cloud of hair, Ms. Elkabetz is never more effective than when she’s holding still, her face so drained of emotion that it transforms into a screen within the screen on which another, indelibly private movie is playing.
  47. It's movie making of the high, smooth, commercial order that Hollywood prides itself on but achieves with singular infrequency.
  48. It’s an impeccable, creepy and genuinely transporting movie.
  49. 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.
  50. Ms. Bell, who plays Carol with a perfect blend of diffidence, goofiness and charm, has written and directed an insightful comedy that is much more complex and ambitious than it sometimes seems.
  51. By the time the movie is over, you feel as if the people in it were friends you know well enough to tire of, and to miss terribly when they go away.
  52. In most movies, something happens; in Archipelago, many things happen, quietly yet meaningfully.
  53. 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.
  54. 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.
  55. Succeeds in finding something larger than one man's misery. It turns dark truthfulness into the cinematic sentiment most worth celebrating this season.
  56. 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.
  57. Everything depends on the subtlety of the direction and the charisma of the performances. Augustine is intellectually satisfying partly because it communicates its ideas at the level of feeling, through the uncanny power of Soko’s face and body.
  58. 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.
  59. So effective does it close the distance between you and Mr. Bernstein that afterward you may find yourself scanning the streets, hoping to catch sight of him, as if for an old friend.
  60. 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
  61. A sublimely nimble evisceration of that cult of celebrity known as the British royal family.
  62. The result is an American masterpiece, independent to the bone.
  63. 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
  64. The filmmakers record the flash of youth’s headlong energies, its bumps and bruises, and its melancholies and brilliant chaos.
  65. In what has been called the Year of the Documentary, "My Flesh and Blood" stands beside "Capturing the Friedmans" and "The Fog of War" as an unforgettable experience.
  66. With its swift, jaunty rhythms and sharp, off-kilter jokes, Frances Ha is frequently delightful. Ms. Gerwig and Mr. Baumbach are nonetheless defiant partisans in the revolt against the tyranny of likability in popular culture.
  67. A masterpiece about life, death and everything in between.
  68. One may legitimately debate the validity of Malick's vision, but not, I think, his immense talent. Badlands is a most important and exciting film.
  69. The best movie of its kind since the French director Guillaume Canet's hit from 2006, "Tell No One."
  70. Chan Is Missing is not only an appreciation of a way of life that few of us know anything about; it's a revelation of a marvelous, completely secure new talent.
  71. Mr. Lee means for Malcolm X to be an epic, and it is in its concerns and its physical scope. In Denzel Washington it also has a fine actor who does for Malcolm X what Ben Kingsley did for “Gandhi.” [18 November 1992]
    • The New York Times
  72. Harvey Milk was an intriguing, inspiring figure. Milk is a marvel.
  73. The profound pleasures they offer derive not only from their deft metaphysical playfulness but also from their storytelling genius.
  74. Astonishing... One of the freshest American films of the decade. [4 Aug 1989]
    • The New York Times
  75. One of the most spectacular entertainments in years.
  76. 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.
  77. 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.
  78. My Golden Days is a memory movie, a story told through a glass darkly.
  79. 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.
  80. 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.
  81. Extraordinary labor of love.
  82. As fascinating as it is freakish. It confirms Mr. Lynch's stature as an innovator, a superb technician, and someone best not encountered in a dak alley. [19 September 1986]
    • The New York Times
  83. A devilishly entertaining crime story with a heroine who must be seen to be believed, is as satisfying an ensemble piece as “Red Rock West.” [26 October 1994, p. C13]
    • The New York Times
  84. By surrendering any semblance of rationality to create a post-Freudian, pulp-fiction fever dream of a movie, Mr. Lynch ends up shooting the moon with Mulholland Drive.
  85. Bathed in the flamingo colors and Caribbean rhythms of its location, this deeply personal debut from the writer and director Mariette Monpierre develops with a lingering attention to sensation and sound.
  86. An irresistible black comedy and a wicked delight. [27 Sept 1995]
    • The New York Times
  87. Mr. Heinzerling is an artist too. The window he has opened onto the lives of his subjects is a powerful and beautiful visual artifact in its own right.
  88. Fire at Sea occupies your consciousness like a nightmare, and yet somehow you don’t want it to end.
  89. Barbara is a film about the old Germany from one of the best directors working in the new: Christian Petzold. For more than a decade Mr. Petzold has been making his mark on the international cinema scene with smart, tense films that resemble psychological thrillers, but are distinguished by their strange story turns, moral thorns, visual beauty and filmmaking intelligence.
  90. It’s a psychological thriller, a strangely dry-eyed melodrama, a kinky sex farce and, perhaps most provocatively, a savage comedy of bourgeois manners. Mostly, though — inarguably, I would say — it is a platform for the astonishing, almost terrifying talent of Isabelle Huppert.
  91. In our wistful estimation, the most delightful comedy-romance in years.
  92. When Krisha stands in the kitchen, wild-eyed amid all these human sights and sounds, you see a woman overwhelmed by life itself, as well as a movie that is an expressionistic tour de force.
  93. Hollywood's latest big-budget, high-concept, mass-market reworking of material not entirely fresh, has more endings than Beethoven's Fifth, but it's also packed with surprises, not the least being that it's a smashing work. It's vulgar, violent, funny and sometimes breathtakingly beautiful.
  94. A triumph of modesty and of seriousness that also happens to be one of the finest American films of the year.
  95. One of the most insightful and wrenching portraits of the joys and tribulations of being a classical musician ever filmed.
  96. 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.
  97. The film’s strange mixture of primitive and poetic images becomes etched into memory. Weaving observation and a shared dream state, this is an intuitive and intricate exploration into the feeling of sound.
  98. It is a movie about the lure and folly of greatness that comes as close as anything I've seen recently to being a great movie. There will be skeptics, but the cult is already forming. Count me in.
  99. The filmmaker Sarah Leonor has a keen eye and a gentle, unassuming touch. In The Great Man, she discreetly changes moods and storytelling modes like a pianist sliding her hand down a short, soft glissando.
  100. The rare sports movie that deals with -- indeed positively relishes -- humiliation and disappointment.

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