The New York Times' Scores

For 10,496 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 Born on the Fourth of July
Lowest review score: 0 Mary
Score distribution:
10,496 movie reviews
  1. At once ardent and analytical, cerebral and swooning, Carol is a study in human magnetism, in the physics and optics of eros. With sparse dialogue and restrained drama, the film is a symphony of angles and glances, of colors and shadows.
  2. 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.
  3. Like a good novel, Les Destinées is many things: a family chronicle, a series of psychological portraits, a sumptuous re-creation of the past. But the film is also a pointed tribute to the French tradition of quality and distinction, a tradition in which it clearly includes itself.
  4. A swift and accessible entertainment, blunt in its power and exquisite in its effects.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. The film is slow, rigorously morose and often painful in its blunt reckoning of disappointment and failure. It is also extremely funny.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. This is not a biopic, it’s a Coen brothers movie, which is to say a brilliant magpie’s nest of surrealism, period detail and pop-culture scholarship. To put it another way, it’s a folk tale.
  12. 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.
  13. Not since "Love Story" has there been a movie that so shrewdly and predictably manipulated the emotions for such entertaining effect.
  14. Like "Inglourious Basterds," Django Unchained is crazily entertaining, brazenly irresponsible and also ethically serious in a way that is entirely consistent with its playfulness.
  15. An unqualified winner. Here is a fine dark comedy of flamboyant style and immense though seemingly effortless techniqe...It's an exhilarating original. [21 Aug 1991]
    • The New York Times
  16. Stupendously entertaining.
  17. Excellent quasidocumentary, which sends shivers down the spine. (Review of Original Release)
  18. A vibrantly vulgar comedy that never hangs around to admire its own cleverness.
  19. Clever, funny, wildly innovative film.
  20. Captain Phillips, a movie that insistently closes the distance between us and them, has a vital moral immediacy.
  21. In its time, this film represented the arrival of something new, and even now it can feel like a bulletin from the future.
  22. Mr. Loznitsa doesn’t lighten the mood with any familiar filmmaking tricks: there are, for instance, no musical cues to guide you over the troubling or ambiguous passages. Like the characters, you work through each surprising turn.
  23. Mystic River is the rare American movie that aspires to -- and achieves -- the full weight and darkness of tragedy.
  24. Like Hitchcock, Mr. Wong is at once a voyeur and fetishist par excellence.
  25. 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.
  26. Mr. Bale, like some other stars who embrace playing ugly, feels as if he’d been liberated by all the pounds he’s packed on and by his character’s molting looks, an emancipation that’s most evident in his delicately intimate, moving moments with Ms. Adams and Ms. Lawrence.
  27. Considering that he’s a stick figure, Bill, the main character in It’s Such a Beautiful Day, sure does have a complex internal life. And this animated film by Don Hertzfeldt does an amazing job of making you feel it, in all its sadness, terror and transcendence.
  28. Creates a cinematic mosaic of American lives unprecedented in its range, balance, subtlety and even-handedness.
  29. 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.
  30. A truly majestic visual tone poem.
  31. The great accomplishment of Gloria, the Chilean writer-director Sebastián Lelio’s astute, unpretentious and thrillingly humane new film, is that it acknowledges both sides of its heroine’s temperament without judgment or sentimentality.
  32. It’s a pitiless, violent story that in its telling becomes a haunting and haunted intellectual and aesthetic achievement.
  33. Watching E.T now, in an era dominated by cold, loud special-effects-laden extravaganzas, one is struck less by its lavish grandeur than by its intimacy and precision.
  34. Mr. Wright's Anna Karenina is different. It is risky and ambitious enough to count as an act of artistic hubris, and confident enough to triumph on its own slightly - wonderfully - crazy terms.
  35. Mr. Allen's most securely serious and funny film to date.
  36. This consistently gripping, visually intoxicating film stands as a landmark of contemporary Turkish cinema.
  37. And the ingenuity of “Sita” — is dazzling. Not busy, or overwhelming, or eye-popping. Just affecting, surprising and a lot of fun.
  38. 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.
  39. For all its high-flying zaniness the movie has the sting of life, and its humor feels dredged up from the same dark, boggy place from which Samuel Beckett extracted his yuks.
  40. I can't remember the last time the movies yielded up a love story so painful, so tender and so true.
  41. You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet is a sly, elegant meditation on the relationship between reality and artifice. But it is a thought-experiment driven above all by emotion.
  42. The Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami's delicious brain tickler, Certified Copy, is an endless hall of mirrors whose reflections multiply as its story of a middle-aged couple driving through Tuscany carries them into a metaphysical labyrinth.
  43. For all of Mr. Cuarón’s formal wizardry and pictorial grandeur, he is a humanist at heart.
  44. What you see is the intensity of rock 'n' roll at a time when it still felt risky and thrilling.
  45. Mr. Cage digs deep to find his character's inner demons while also capturing the riotous energy of his outward charm. [27 October 1995, p. C3]
    • The New York Times
  46. Ahead of us lie many more documentaries similar in tone and spirit to this one. We can hope that at least a few of them are as intelligently and artfully made.
  47. Ms. Hui, a rare successful female director in the Hong Kong film industry, drew her story from real events, and the movie retains a tonic flavor of the everyday: its drama unfolds simply, without explosive moments but not without emotion. She and her two excellent leads keep the film buoyant.
  48. Something special.
  49. The movie expands in its frame, surpassing simple comprehension and continuing to grow in your mind — and perhaps to blow it — long after it’s over.
  50. A more concise and affecting summation of the Tibetan crisis would be hard to imagine.
  51. The film is careful to avoid explicit political statement, but its reticence makes its critique of the Iranian regime all the more devastating.
  52. The film's realism is a point of entry rather than the whole point of the exercise. Its setting is finally subordinate to the main character, as memorable and vivid a heroine as you are likely to see on screen this season.
  53. This dream of a movie is set in such a place; with its delicate shifts of tone, it could be a fairy tale by Faulkner
  54. Waves of melancholy wash over the story and keep the treacle at bay, as do the spasms of broad comedy, much of it nimbly executed by Mr. Baron Cohen.
  55. This movie is crowded and sprawling, and if it rambles sometimes, that's just fine. Like those big, boxy Caddies (and like Howlin’ Wolf, if he did say so himself), it's built for comfort, not for speed. It hums, it purrs and it roars.
  56. Galiana's quietly monumental performance is one for the ages.
  57. Nuances of faith, politics and sexual identity enrich what initially presents as a classic good son-bad son tale.
  58. This document of youthful confusion has not aged one minute. If anything, its detached, discursive and sympathetic observation of the earnest foolishness of post-baccalaureate, pre-1968 Parisians is more acute, and more prophetic, than ever.
  59. Mr. Bogosian's venomously funny play, which he adapted himself for the screen, is given warmth and generosity by Mr. Linklater, whose elegantly fluid direction and great skill with actors are accentuated by the play's spareness.
  60. Smoothly directed and acted with glee... showing quick-witted comic spirit.
  61. 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.
  62. This is no splatter movie: spare, suspenseful and brilliantly invested in silence, Bryan Bertino's debut feature unfolds in a slow crescendo of intimidation.
  63. The story is at once hilarious and horrific, its significance both self-evident and opaque. The same could be said of most of the Coen brothers’ movies, in which human existence and the attempt to find meaning in it are equally futile, if also sometimes a lot of fun. (For us, at least.)
  64. That Borgman restrains itself from turning into a full-scale horror movie makes it all the more unsettling, although it has its bumpy moments.
  65. Commendably, the film, narrated by John Leguizamo, sugarcoats nothing, and the people involved - the players, their trainers, their parents, the scouts - are remarkably forthright.
  66. The result is a movie that is challenging, accessible and hard to stop thinking about...But in too many recent movies intelligence is woefully undervalued, and it is this quality -- even more than its considerable beauty -- that distinguishes Little Children from its peers.
  67. Mr. Stevens’s watchful restraint gives the early scenes a slow burn and a sinister glaze.
  68. Cool-headed, lighthearted and outrageously entertaining.
  69. The Simpsons Movie, in the end, is as good as an average episode of "The Simpsons." In other words, I’d be willing to watch it only -- excuse me while I crunch some numbers here -- 20 or 30 more times.
  70. Since her character wears no historical costumes and suffers from no debilitating ailment, it is likely that Ms. Curtis will be overlooked when Oscar season rolls around. This is a shame, since it is unlikely that any other actress this year will match the loose, energetic wit she brings to this delightful movie.
  71. Urgent, informative and artfully assembled documentary.
  72. Much like the Dardennes, Mr. Joachim holds to the truth that the personal is political, which is why this isn’t simply a movie about a woman and an unspeakable crime, but also an exploration of the power and cruelty that brought her to that very dark place.
  73. The picture is more fun than it has a right to be.
  74. Pitched at the divide between art and industry, poetry and entertainment, it goes darker and deeper than any Hollywood movie of its comic-book kind.
  75. Mr. Wiseman's particular genius has always been to convey, through judicious editing and dogged filming, the tedium, busyness and quiet intensity of group labor.
  76. Like the best westerns, Red Hill is a stripped-down morality tale; like the best horror movies, its true monsters remain cloaked until the final reel.
  77. Praise will stick with you. It's more than worthy of its title.
  78. Like the great space epics of the past, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar distills terrestrial anxieties and aspirations into a potent pop parable, a mirror of the mood down here on Earth.
  79. Bolstered by animated re-enactments and Bob Richman's frosty cinematography, Unraveled is a mesmerizing one-man dive into narcissism, entitlement and unchecked greed.
  80. It's undeniably a trifle, but rarely is something like this done with such skill and, well, savoir-faire.
  81. If Mr. Haney sometimes struggles to find focus, he has no trouble locating heroes, including the doggedly energetic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and a slew of stalwart locals and fearless outsiders. And the black heart of coal country - and, as the film shows, our national energy debate - has never seemed so in need of white knights.
  82. Jerry Maguire is loaded with them: bright, funny, tender encounters between characters who seem so winningly warm and real. [13 December 1996, p.C-1]
    • The New York Times
  83. A sardonic, smart screwball comedy.
  84. Banishing showy effects and cheap scares, the Ecuadorean director Sebastián Cordero has meticulously shaped a number of sci-fi clichés — from the botched spacewalk to the communications breakdown — into a wondering contemplation of our place in the universe.
  85. Wag the Dog, the poison-tipped political satire that's as scarily plausible as it is swift, hilarious and impossible to resist.
  86. Interviewing a wide range of concerned parties, Mr. Thurman's presentation is admirably evenhanded; though he clearly supports the scientists.
  87. Good sports movies are always about more than sports... Red Army touches on themes of friendship and perseverance, and also offers a compact and vivid summary of recent Russian history.
  88. To call The Son a masterpiece would be to insult its modesty. Like the homely, useful boxes Olivier teaches his prodigals to build, it is sturdy, durable and, in its downcast, unobtrusive way, miraculous.
  89. Frozen, for all its innovations, is not fundamentally revolutionary. Its animated characters are the same familiar, blank-faced, big-eyed storybook figures. But they are a little more psychologically complex than their Disney forerunners.
  90. A metaphysical road movie about life, death and the limits of knowledge, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia has arrived just in time to cure the adult filmgoer blues.
  91. It seems almost unthinkable that such a charismatic, generous and lively man could be gone. It also makes you understand what it means for a country like Haiti to lose a citizen like Jean Dominique.
  92. Mr. Howard doesn’t just want you to crawl inside a Formula One racecar, he also wants you to crawl inside its driver’s head.
  93. A Jim Carrey movie all the way: a good one, I might add. With his manic glare, ferociously eager smile, hyperkinetic body language and talent for instant self-transformation, Mr. Carrey has rarely been more charismatic on the screen.
  94. Here, excessive piety and rampant paganism are equally malevolent forces, the film's baleful view of human nature mirrored in Sebastian Edschmid's swampy photography. As is emphasized in a nicely consistent coda, the Lord's side and the right side are not necessarily one and the same.
  95. Melancholy little gem of a movie.
  96. Stuffed with zingers and zippy stunts, it comes with pretty young things of all hues and hair types - few prettier than its lead, Joseph Gordon-Levitt - and start-to-finish clever special effects, none more clever or special than Michael Shannon.
  97. On a deeper level, Shoot Me is an unflinchingly honest examination of a woman who is aware that the end is approaching.
  98. An effectively creepy thriller about a 911 operator and a young miss in peril, The Call is a model of low-budget filmmaking.
  99. Like the film itself, the performance (Giamatti's) is deeply controlled, played with restraint and with microscopic attention to detail.
  100. A mindblower of a mockumentary, Colossus will leave you reeling in the best of ways, dizzy from a rock ’n’ roll Tilt-A-Whirl that swirls with duplicity and hilarity.

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