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 The Untouchables
Lowest review score: 0 Back in the Day
Score distribution:
10,496 movie reviews
  1. Infused with an infectious love for its subject, Symphony of the Soil presents a wondrous world of critters and bacteria, mulch and manure.
  2. 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.
  3. The most remarkable achievement of the film is its presentation of Lilya's story as both an archetypal case study and a personal drama whose spunky central character you come to care about so deeply that you want to cry out a warning at each step toward her ruination.
  4. A brilliant feat of rug-pulling, sure to delight fans of movies like "The Usual Suspects" and "Pi."
  5. The actors in 24 City bring their own existential realities to their short, touching performances. In the end, the deep emotions they stir up -- the actress Lv Liping delivers a harrowing story about a lost child -- constitute another kind of monument to the workers of Factory 420.
  6. Soul Power, as aptly and succinctly titled a movie as I have ever seen, takes you to a place where the discipline that produces great popular art is indistinguishable from the ecstasy that art creates.
  7. This strikingly humane film may function as a prequel to Animal Planet’s “Whale Wars” but is light years ahead in visual clarity and narrative ambition.
  8. Visually distinctive and aurally delightful, "Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench" has style to burn. A soulful black-and-white commentary on love, art and their competing demands, this Boston-based musical from Damien Chazelle floats on a wave of spontaneity and charm.
  9. Hoop Dreams affirms the role of film as a medium for exploring social issues. And like any important documentary, this one raises crucial questions beyond what is on screen.
  10. Big Words is an engrossing, coming-of-middle-age drama that shows how disappointment can fester and derail a life. By the end, hope and change seem possible but far from guaranteed.
  11. Powerful and very bitter comedy.
  12. Like its gyrating, spasmodic staccato beats, Get On Up refuses to stand still. It whirls and does splits and jumps, with leaps around in time and changes in tempo that are jarring and abrupt and that usually feel just right.
  13. Ten
    A work of inspired simplicity.
  14. Be warned: it's a downer, and a knockout.
  15. Shorter than a bad blind date and as sour as a vinegar Popsicle, Young Adult shrouds its brilliant, brave and breathtakingly cynical heart in the superficial blandness of commercial comedy.
  16. Like its hero, the movie has a blunt, exuberant honesty, pulling off even its false moves with conviction and flair.
  17. 28 Weeks Later is not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach. It is brutal and almost exhaustingly terrifying, as any respectable zombie movie should be. It is also bracingly smart, both in its ideas and in its techniques.
  18. 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.
  19. It succeeds at showing how one man's psychic wounds contributed to an art that transmutes personal pain into garish visual satire.
  20. The Peanuts Movie may be simultaneously the most charming and the most daring experiment in human genetics ever conducted. At issue is whether the character summaries and back stories of fictional pop-culture figures can be passed from one generation to the next solely through DNA.
  21. A big commercial entertainment of unusually satisfying order. [11 Dec 1992]
    • The New York Times
  22. The dialogue and the ensemble acting maintain a near-perfect pitch.
  23. A master of voice-over and metaphor (the title alone has an amazing payoff), [Mr. Guzmán] sifts through essential truths and draws links between Chile’s past and present inhabitants.
  24. A wrenching, richly layered feminist allegory as well as a geopolitical one.
  25. Stringent, clinical and almost unbearably moving.
  26. Comedy and poignancy weave together in Mr. Virzì's hands, but the maudlin meter only occasionally goes into the red zone. And Ms. Pandolfi gives such an exquisitely understated performance that you don't realize until the very end that the film was as much about her character as it was about Bruno and Anna.
  27. What’s energizing and exciting about Amy, especially when compared with the sexless cuties populating rom-coms, in which female pleasure is often expressed through shopping, is that her erotic appetites aren’t problems that she needs to narratively solve and vanquish.
  28. Underneath it all, The Gift is a merciless critique of an amoral corporate culture in which the ends justify the means, and lying and cheating are O.K., as long as they’re not found out.
  29. The kidnapping and ensuing complications make for a harrowing spectacle of cruelty and bumbling from which the camera doesn’t shrink.
  30. It really is not the two lovers that are the focus of interest in this film; it is the music, the movement, the storm of color that go into the two-day festival. M. Camus has done a superb job of getting the documented look not only of the overall fandango but also of the buildup of momentum the day before. (Review of Original Release)
  31. May be the first Hollywood movie since Robert Altman's "Nashville" to infuse epic cinematic form with jittery new rhythms and a fresh, acid- washed palette.
  32. You realize you are witnessing a psychodrama of novelistic intricacy and epic scope.
  33. The film is earnestly and unabashedly melodramatic to an extent that may baffle audiences accustomed to clever, knowing historical fictions. But it also has a depth and purity of feeling that makes other movies feel timid and small by comparison.
  34. Louisiana's delta country has never looked more darkly, lusciously sensual than it does in Eve's Bayou, a Southern gothic soap opera, written and directed by Kasi Lemmons, that transcends the genre through the sheer rumbling force of its characters' passions.
  35. His sumptuous film is as strange and mesmerizing as it is imaginatively ghastly. It's a sophisticated, spookily intense rendering of Ms. Rice's story.
  36. Painfully stark yet utterly magnetic, You Don't Like the Truth: 4 Days Inside Guantánamo presents excerpts from the 2003 interrogation of the 16-year-old Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen accused of killing an American soldier during a firefight in an Afghan village.
  37. What Bridegroom celebrates is not simply gay rights; it’s the human spirit.
  38. Ms. Blecher draws fine performances out of the young actors and, to her credit, sugarcoats nothing.
  39. Mr. Urzendowsky, with his dark curls, fine cheekbones and sad eyes, is a very credible first love, while Ms. Créton uncannily captures Camille's resolution as well as her almost willful vulnerability.
  40. A documentary about the unending mess that is the Atlantic Yards project, is unabashedly slanted and as a result will probably be dismissed by those it portrays unflatteringly. That's unfortunate, because this film should be discouraging and dismaying for people on all sides of the project, for what it says about oversize expectations and missed opportunities.
  41. The anomalous proliferation of scenic beauty gives Mr. Nolan irony to play with, and he uses it spectacularly. The director and his gifted cinematographer, Wally Pfister, are clearly turned on by all this wasted beauty.
  42. Marley is a detailed, finely edited character study whose theme - Marley's bid to reconcile his divided racial legacy - defined his music and his life.
  43. 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.
  44. Ms. Garofalo, in a lovely, winning performance, gives Abby lots of heart while also making defensive snappishness a big part of her charm.
  45. Making sure that computer-generated animation will never be the same.
  46. Ape
    A biting, sometimes droll look at the allure of humiliation, Ape appears simple, but its underlying machinery is joltingly clever.
  47. [A] handsome, intelligently absorbing and stirring biographical portrait.
  48. Mr. Alverson jacks up the tension with exquisite restraint.
  49. Metropolis retains its power to overwhelm, trouble and move because it is connected to the deep anxieties of modern life as if by a high-voltage cable.
  50. The film ominously conveys a world of too much information but too little communication, where people have become slaves to glowing hand-held devices that were designed to make life easier but have made it busier and more complicated.
  51. The Day He Arrives has real force and its experimentation is in the service of a moving story about a man who, as he says at the start, has nowhere to go. And so he returns to a bar, a woman and situations that are always the same and yet always different - snow falls during one kiss but not another - playing a director whose life resembles a movie he keeps remaking.
  52. Ms. Chaplin, in one of her most touching screen performances, imbues Anne with a world-weary melancholy that makes your heart sink.
  53. In its unassuming way, this tiny, low-budget film is a universal reflection on issues of personal identity and choice for which there are no easy answers.
  54. Innocenc doesn't just reveal a wealth of visual enchantments; it restates the case that there can and should be more to feature-length animations than cheap jokes, bathos and pandering.
  55. Mr. Pirozzi’s film is an unsparing and meticulous reckoning of the effects of tyranny on ordinary Cambodians. It is also a rich and defiant effort at recovery, showing that even the most murderous totalitarianism cannot fully erase the human drive for pleasure and self-expression.
  56. The puzzle-box narrative only grows more hypnotic with repeat viewings. The movie insists on having the audience, like Ventura, pass through madness to reach catharsis.
  57. It's not one of Kurosawa's great films.... But it is, within its own proportions, nearly perfect.
  58. The Iron Ministry is neither boring nor confining, which is just to say that it’s not a long trip through a faraway country. It’s a work of art — vivid and mysterious and full of life.
  59. 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.
  60. Two in the Wave honors that collaboration by carefully recounting its details and arguing for its significance. The films of Truffaut and Mr. Godard stand or fall by themselves, but together they made history.
  61. With his sound designer, Pablo Lamar, Mr. Mendonça has created the aural landscape of a horror movie. And, for much of its running time, a thriller without a plot.
  62. Ronin can be watched as appreciatively for its hard-boiled performances as for its visceral excitement.
  63. An exquisitely simple movie. Mr. Kim manages to isolate something essential about human nature and at the same time, even more astonishingly, to comprehend the scope of human experience.
  64. Mr. Scott's is something that must be seen. It is, in a word, compelling.
  65. Remarkable for its genuine, unpretentious lyricism.
  66. Offers the clearest analysis of globalization and its negative effects that I've ever seen on a movie or television screen.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A complex and quietly devastating indictment of chauvinist societies that see women as lovers, mothers and servants, and treat anyone who can’t fulfill those roles as a nonperson.
  67. The hard-pounding heart of Mother, Ms. Kim is a wonderment. Perched on the knife edge between tragedy and comedy, her delivery gives the narrative -- which tends to drift, sometimes beguilingly, sometimes less so -- much of its momentum.
  68. Ms. Abt provides an unusually honest, compassionate and challenging view of contemporary youth, neither sugarcoated nor prurient.
  69. In the end, Revenge of the Electric Car is a slick, enjoyable valentine to a retooling industry. This optimistic film lacks the outrage of the earlier work, but that's O.K. A movement needs its triumphs too.
  70. At once fuzzy-wuzzy and industrial strength, the tacky-sounding Kung Fu Panda is high concept with a heart.
  71. Is, in the end, a boisterous love song -- a funny valentine to London, to chaos and to human decency.
  72. Has enough going on to make it a classic. You'll want to own it.
  73. The film's depiction of the raw fear lurking below the brothers' braggadocio is the most pronounced emotion in a movie whose focus on the personalities of its criminals suggests an Australian answer to "Goodfellas," minus the wise-guy humor.
  74. A rush of a movie from South Korea that slips and slides from horror to humor on rivers of blood and offers the haunting image of a man, primitive incarnate, beating other men with an enormous, gnawed-over meat bone.
  75. This heartfelt documentary is also, more subtly, a tribute to the squadron of caregivers that has enabled Mr. Becker not only to survive for an extraordinarily long time but also to continue to compose music, using virtually the only part of him that still moves, his eyes.
  76. Fame High, a timely plug for arts education, does what its subjects hope to do: it opens our hearts and entertains with truth.
  77. Mr. Leigh has never been an artist for whom happy (word or idea) has been an easy fit. Life is sweet, as the title of another of his films puts it with a heart-swelling yes, but it’s also an eternal fight against doom and gloom, the soul-crushing no.
  78. For the most part, Nino Rota's music provides a rich melodic surrounding for the pictorial magnificence, and a heretofore unknown Verdi waltz that is played at the ball at the finish appropriately supplements this remarkably vivid, panoramic, and eventually morbid show. (Review of Original Release)
  79. Mr. Day-Lewis, looking wearily rugged and battling his way through several plausible boxing matches, once again breathes fire into the character of a high-minded loner, and his vitality lends real force to the film's moral arguments.
  80. When Mr. Eisenberg makes Mark's face go blank, the character seems scarily emptied out: it's a subtly great, at times unsettling, performance.
  81. A stirring, unexpectedly moving story of love and blood.
  82. Unfolding in New England over four vibrantly represented seasons, "Feelings" is a small-scale wonder. Pivotal events play out in the spaces between scenes, leaving only emotional imprints that we interpret within a timeline that may not be entirely linear.
  83. A spry teenage comedy that gets everything right, Stick It takes the usual batch of underdogs, dirt bags, mean girls and bimbos and sends them somersaulting through happy clichés and unexpected invention.
  84. Though it is, finally, an affecting story of two damaged men bound by blood and something like love (and also a thrillerish catalog of double crosses and shifting allegiances), it is, above all, a study in the patterns of chaos that govern penitentiary life.
  85. If Hadewijch is Mr. Dumont's most overtly religious film, it is not pro-faith in any specific way, although the director clearly respects the religious impulse.
  86. By the time the final measure of rough cosmic justice is meted out, The Square has completed a tour of moral squalor that is suspenseful, invigorating and sometimes harshly funny.
  87. It is a relief to encounter such exuberant and infectious silliness.
  88. Paxton's Dad may be the most terrifying father to appear in a horror film since Jack Nicholson went crazily homicidal in "The Shining."
  89. With beauty, mild and sharp jolts, and mesmerizing camerawork, he (Gaspar Noe) tries to open the doors of perception.
  90. Elegant and deeply disquieting drama.
  91. Even through improbable moments and abrupt changes of pace and tone, Ms. Dench and Mr. Coogan hold the movie together.
  92. A mood poem to summer loving and sexual awakening, It Felt Like Love powerfully evokes a time when flesh is paramount, and peer behavior is the standard by which we judge our own.
  93. Although Mr. Petri quite consciously makes movies about ideas, he has, in his "Investigation," made a movie in which the ideas, and the man who seethes with them, have the shock and impact of the most fundamental kind of melodrama.
  94. By showing how fiercely dedicated idealists are making a difference, it is a call to arms.
  95. In the manner of a Satyajit Ray film, The Pool avoids melodrama, the better to capture the texture of Venkatesh's vagabond life.
  96. The movie takes no political positions. With an icy detachment, it peers through the fog of war and examines the slippery military intelligence on both sides to portray a world steeped in secrecy, deception and paranoia.
  97. Like other stories of musical tutelage, Keep On Keepin’ On is ultimately an examination of the pursuit of greatness. It is a grueling and demanding endeavor, for sure, but also, for Mr. Terry and anyone lucky enough to enter his orbit, a source of unending joy.
  98. Exquisitely captured in natural light by the cinematographer Alexis Zabé, Juan’s journey is framed by sherbet-colored houses and lemon sidewalks, dipping palm fronds and a burnished, turquoise horizon. The director calls his style "artisan cinema"; I just call it dreamy.
  99. If the film doesn't add up to a cogent legal argument, neither does it have trouble delivering 2 hours and 20 minutes' worth of sturdy, highly charged drama.

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