The New York Times' Scores

For 9,713 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 3.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Listen Up Philip
Lowest review score: 0 Soldiers of Fortune
Score distribution:
9,713 movie reviews
  1. In setting Andre on his search for self, Mr. Rock has carved out a third way, in the process creating a black character who’s fully human and a comedy that’s wholly a blast.
  2. 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.
  3. Her shoulders slumped, her eyes weary, her gait heavy, Ms. Cotillard moves past naturalism into something impossible to doubt and hard to describe. Sandra is an ordinary person in mundane circumstances, but her story, plainly and deliberately told, is suspenseful, sobering and, in the original, fear-of-God sense of the word, tremendous.
  4. Even if you think you know what’s coming, Selma hums with suspense and surprise. Packed with incident and overflowing with fascinating characters, it is a triumph of efficient, emphatic cinematic storytelling. And much more than that, of course.
  5. The visual beauty of the film, rather than distracting from the troubling story, makes it more troubling still.
  6. You come away from his film overwhelmed, hopeful and, perhaps paradoxically, illuminated.
  7. Winter Sleepers has many such breathtaking moments in which sounds and images synergize with an explosive precision.
  8. 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.
  9. Though small in physical scope, Reservoir Dogs is immensely complicated in its structure, which for the most part works with breathtaking effect. [23 Oct 1992]
    • The New York Times
  10. Scene by scene, The Rookie does a better job of capturing the rhythms and rituals of the playing field and the electricity that flows between a team and its fans than well-regarded baseball films like "Field of Dreams" and "The Natural."
  11. Humorously and fondly, with an entertaining supply of what he has called "prosaic license," Stillman again displays a pitch-perfect ear for both the cattiness and the camaraderie that bind his characters into collective friendship.
  12. Brilliant, over-the-edge concert film Notorious C.H.O. carries candid sexual humor into previously uncharted territory.
  13. Is, in the end, a boisterous love song -- a funny valentine to London, to chaos and to human decency.
  14. The raw intimacy of some of the scenes -- whether they take place at a diner, in the death house or in the bedroom -- is breathtaking.
  15. An almost unbearably powerful documentary.
  16. One of the most subtle and inspired comedies you'll see this year.
  17. One of those films that create a mix of erudition, pageantry and delectable acting opportunities, much as "Shakespeare in Love."
  18. Documenting war is a small, partial but indispensable step toward its eventual eradication. Mr. Frei's quiet, engrossing film is a sad and stirring testimony to this vision and to the quiet, self-effacing heroism with which Mr. Nachtwey has pursued it.
  19. 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
  20. A refreshing movie that's so good natured, so confident of its ability to provoke not queasy awe or numb exhaustion but pure delight.
  21. Ms. Zellweger accomplishes the small miracle of making Bridget both entirely endearing and utterly real.
  22. Fastidious and smart, and Ms. Swinton's fixated intensity isn't ever remote; we're always aware of how deeply she's feeling. Her work is magnificent.
  23. Experience filmgoing joy.
  24. Every shot seems measured for maximum effect, and when the pace suddenly quickens in a late action sequence on a deserted subway train, it results in a moment of pure Hitchcockian panic that reverberates like thunder in the fretful, melancholy air.
  25. Smoothly directed and acted with glee... showing quick-witted comic spirit.
  26. She (Varda) plucks images and stories from the world around her, finding beauty and nourishment in lives and activities the world prefers to ignore.
  27. 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.
  28. A Grin Without a Cat is a work of extraordinary journalism, but it is also a work of deft and subtle poetry, visual (in the rhyming of gestures and shapes across images and sequences) as much as verbal.
  29. Ultimately lacks the epic dimension of "Y Tu Mamá También," but its vision of that awkward age when sex threatens to overwhelm everything else is acute enough to make everyone who has been there squirm with recognition.
  30. It tells a finely nuanced tale of right, wrong and the gray area in between.
  31. A strange and funny film, smart, complex and difficult to shake.
  32. 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.
  33. The purity and breadth of this meticulous study are all the more gratifying in view of its unprepossessing style.
  34. A fine and loving memorial that preserves his charm, his intellect and his splendid body of work.
  35. At once admirable and deeply unsettling.
  36. Propelled by a captivating, wrenching performance by Karine Vanasse as Hanna, a 13-year-old girl adrift in a sea of powerful emotions in Montreal in 1963.
  37. It's not one of Kurosawa's great films.... But it is, within its own proportions, nearly perfect.
  38. An unexpected delight, a film that weds the humor and magic of a folk tale with a very modern feel for the psychological dynamics between men and women and for the subtle politics of male rivalry in a macho culture. It has been made and acted with intelligence and evident love, which deserves to be requited.
  39. Has enough going on to make it a classic. You'll want to own it.
  40. The concert scenes find the stage awash in such intense joy, camaraderie and nationalist pride that you become convinced that making music is a key to longevity and spiritual well-being.
  41. Mysterious, poetic and allusive, The Werckmeister Harmonies beckons filmgoers who complain of the vapidity of Hollywood movie making and yearn for a film to ponder and debate.
  42. If you have any affection at all for traditional American music, the movie itself -- is pretty close to heaven.
  43. The lovely clarity of this story, which seems to have been drawn from the literature of an earlier age, is well served by the artful subtlety of the telling. Mr. Majidi prefers imagery to exposition, and his shots are as dense with meaning, and as readily accessible, as Dutch paintings.
  44. Much more than a perfectly realized vignette about seduction. It is the latest and most powerful dispatch yet from Ms. Breillat, France's most impassioned correspondent covering the war between the sexes.
  45. Eminently likable...a splendid performance from Alec Baldwin in a far cry from his usual roles.
  46. Praise will stick with you. It's more than worthy of its title.
  47. Essential viewing for anyone who desires a sense of the finer human grain of a war that now commands the attention of the world as never before.
  48. What appears on the screen has a starkness that is almost indelible.
  49. One of the great movies of the 1960's, but it has been, in this country at least, maddeningly elusive. In spite of its bitter edge, Billy Liar is pure Ambrosia.
  50. Quite simply a treat for the ear.
  51. As La Ciénaga perspires from the screen, it creates a vision of social malaise that feels paradoxically familiar and new.
  52. Moves with fluidity and ease through brisk opening conventions to a perfectly poised and balanced endgame.
  53. Its effects seem more like those of a poem or a piece of music than a movie. Requires the reverent darkness and communal solitude of a theater.
  54. You probably won't feel comfortable when Humanité is over, but as you leave the theater you will feel more alive than when you entered.
  55. Beautiful and heartfelt, an oasis of humanity in a season of furious hyperbole.
  56. When you get the shivers watching this wintry tale unfold, it won't be from the cold.
  57. Such an accomplished piece of filmmaking that it interweaves enough characters and themes to fill three movies.
  58. Powerful and very bitter comedy.
  59. Even when it turns turbulent, the film sustains its warm summer glow, and makes itself a conversation piece about the moral issues it means to raise.
  60. The political implications of the film are manifest, as is the quiet courage of making it.
  61. It is, all in all, a rambunctious and inspired ride in which the Coen brothers' voracious fascination with the arcana of American popular culture and their whiz-kid inventiveness reach new heights of whimsy.
  62. One of the best entertainments this season has yet offered.
  63. Their comedy gives audiences that have never seen anything like it a hilarious window on a new world.
  64. So good it leaves you starved for more.
  65. Morris has fashioned a brilliant work of pulp fiction around this crime. [26 Aug 1988, p.C6]
    • The New York Times
  66. Something special.
  67. 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
  68. This modest, enormously likable film, about love and temptation and ties that bind, is about brotherhood most of all. [9 August 1995, p.C9]
    • The New York Times
  69. A narrative path leading from the sincere to the ludicrous, and culminating in a final image of flabbergasting transcendance, gives Breaking the Waves its surprising power.
  70. You are left with an overall impression of a movie so full of life that it is almost bursting at the seams.
  71. When this hugely ambitious project began, it was a longitudinal study of class divisions among English schoolchildren. But time and persistence have turned it into much more.
  72. Melancholy little gem of a movie.
  73. One of the juiciest male characters to pop up in an independent film this year.
  74. The masterstroke of this small, heartfelt directorial debut (by Peter Care, from a screenplay by Jeff Stockwell) is its integration of animated sequences (by Todd McFarlane) in which action-adventure caricatures of the comic book characters parallel or comment on events in the boys' lives.
  75. It proves to be one of the more exotic blooms in the Disney hothouse, what with voluptuous flora, hordes of fauna, charming characters and excitingly kinetic animation that gracefully incorporates computer-generated motion.
  76. Recoing's performance is a sensitive portrayal of a man in the throes of an excruciating spiritual crisis.
  77. A rueful, warmly affecting film featuring a wonderful performance by Mr. Troisi, The Postman would be attention-getting even without the sadness that overshadows it. [14 June 1995, p. C15]
    • The New York Times
  78. This film has a conquering spirit. The dankness is replaced by an optimistic blast of sunlight at the end, a contrast to the earlier lighting dimmed with human misery. Mr. Frears blasts away the blight, though he doesn't have to work to restore Okwe's dignity. It shines through from the start.
  79. Remarkable for its genuine, unpretentious lyricism.
  80. There hasn't been a film in years to use creative energy as efficiently as Monsters, Inc.
  81. What lifts the film above many other high-minded documentaries dealing with poverty and the welfare cycle is this filmmaker's astounding empathy for both Diane and Love.
  82. Though it cannot regain the brash originality of ''Raiders of the Lost Ark,'' in its own way 'The Last Crusade' is nearly as good, matching its audience's wildest hopes.
  83. Who would have expected Ms. Zellweger --- and Miramax -- to come through in a musical? And it's one of the few Christmas entertainments to run under two hours. Who couldn't love that?
  84. Gives you the steady pulse of life in a beautiful city viewed through the eyes of a character who, in spite of tragic loss and increasing decrepitude, knows in his bones that he is one of the luckiest men alive.
  85. One of the funniest, and most telling, films of the year. The filmmakers call "Kid" a documentary, but the movie is one of the unusual kind that is firmly lodged inside the subject's perspective.
  86. By allowing the stories to play off one another and allowing layers of meaning to accumulate before we even notice them, the filmmakers capture some of the essential strangeness of life -- the way our relations are governed by laws that remain invisible to us until art reveals their workings.
  87. Delicate and altogether satisfying romantic comedy.
  88. A magnificent conjuring act, an eerie historical mirage.
  89. Mr. Patwardhan has located so much information and found so many willing interview subjects that his War and Peace has a riveting intelligence all its own and earns its epic title.
  90. Mr. Peck's gambit works, and the result is a great film and a great performance.
  91. Offers the clearest analysis of globalization and its negative effects that I've ever seen on a movie or television screen.
  92. Never has a film so strongly been a product of a director's respect for its source. Mr. Jackson uses all his talents in the service of that reverence, creating a rare perfect mating of filmmaker and material.
  93. The movie is full of juices that give it a healthy, pungent flow.
  94. The film's strength is that it sustains an intimate and realistic tone. Mr. Fishburne, who is called upon to deliver several lectures, manages to do so with enormous dignity and grace, and makes Furious a compelling role model, someone on whom the whole film easily pivots.
  95. Thrillingly smart, but not, like so many other pictures in this vein, merely an elaborate excuse for its own cleverness. As you puzzle over the intricacies of its shape, which reveal themselves only in retrospect, you may also find yourself surprised by the depth of its insights.
  96. Unfolds beautifully, with a rueful, knowing intelligence that rises above easy assumptions. [27 September 1996, p.C1]
    • The New York Times
  97. It is the work of a master -- of more than one, for that matter. Mr. Godard, who once called it "my first real film," was showing the obsession with, and mastery of, cinematic technique that would make him one of the culture heroes of the 1960's.
  98. There is no denying that Amélie is, to paraphrase its title, fabulous.
  99. Polanski, who was a Jewish child in Krakow when the Germans arrived in September 1939, presents Szpilman's story with bleak, acid humor and with a ruthless objectivity that encompasses both cynicism and compassion.
  100. In spite of its limited perspective on Vietnam, its churning, term-paperish exploration of Conrad and the near incoherence of its ending, (it) is a great movie. It grows richer and stranger with each viewing, and the restoration of scenes left in the cutting room two decades ago has only added to its sublimity.

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