The New York Times' Scores

For 9,352 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 Children of Tokyo
Lowest review score: 0 America the Beautiful
Score distribution:
9,352 movie reviews
  1. What makes the performance(s) even better is that Mr. Irons invests these bizarre, potentially freakish characters with so much intelligence and so much real feeling. [23 Sept 1988, p.C10]
    • The New York Times
  2. All sorts of macabre things have gone on, and are still going on just offscreen, in Jonahan Demme's swift, witty new suspence thriller.[14 February 1991]
    • The New York Times
  3. Switching gears radically, bravely defying conventional wisdom about what it takes to excite moviegoers, Lynch presents the flip side of "Blue Velvet" and turns it into a supremely improbable triumph.
  4. Director Alfonso Cuarón works with a quicksilver fluidity, and the movie is fast, funny, unafraid of sexuality and finally devastating.
  5. It weaves life and art into a rich tapestry of love, loss and compassion.
  6. As Lucy Honeychurch, Miss Bonham Carter gives a remarkably complex performance of a young woman who is simultaneously reasonable and romantic, generous and selfish, and timid right up to the point where she takes a heedless plunge into the unknown.
  7. It is easily the finest American comedy since David O. Russell's "Flirting With Disaster," another road movie that never ran out of poignantly funny surprises.
  8. Crackling good... the best crime movie in a long while.
  9. 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.
  10. He's (Kingsley) pure violence, a sociopath who radiates menace even while sitting perfectly still mouthing pleasantries.
  11. Supremely entertaining.
  12. Kubrick left one more brilliantly provocative tour de force as his epitaph.
  13. Paxton's Dad may be the most terrifying father to appear in a horror film since Jack Nicholson went crazily homicidal in "The Shining."
  14. A nifty example of how to make something out of nothing. Nothing but imagination, and a game plan so enterprising it should elevate its creators to pinup status at film schools everywhere.
  15. It has taken only two films, "Welcome to the Dollhouse" and now Happiness, for Todd Solondz to establish his as one of the most lacerating, funny and distinctive voices in American film.
  16. Kirk Jones, who wrote and directed this blithe comedy, has been a prize-winning director of television commercials. And he has the knack of finding rubbery, expressive faces and letting each villager's quirks emerge on cue.
  17. Nothing Miss Close has done on the screen before approaches the richness and comic delicacy of her work as the Marquise. [21 Dec 1988, p.C22]
    • The New York Times
  18. Witty, exquisitely fine-tuned screen adaptation of Nick Hornby's 1995 novel
  19. The script's bare bones are familiar, yet the film also has fine acting, steady momentum, a sharp eye and a very warm heart.
  20. A handmade dream, cobbled together from dirt, wood and more imagination than most of us can muster in our most fevered states. Because this Czech master refuses to work in the scrubbed, antiseptic manner of most animators, this fable comes to life as hilarious and creepy.
  21. Ten
    A work of inspired simplicity.
  22. Offers the kind of experience that makes you glad movies exist.
  23. A brilliant satire of emotional politics.
  24. Mr. Ozon gives the movie to Ms. Rampling, whose performance is like a perfectly executed piano etude, finding precise, impossibly subtle shadings of pleasure, confusion and distress.
  25. Extremely enjoyable, though a few degrees shy of perfection.
  26. The level of accomplishment in the filmmaking is overwhelming.
  27. Mr. Parker has brilliantly updated his source and grasped its essence, composing a sorrowful and hilarious tone poem about alienated labor, or an absurdist workplace sitcom, as if a team of French surrealists had been put in charge of "The Drew Carey Show."
  28. The film they have put together is dense with sound and information, but it moves with a swift, lilting rhythm that is of a piece with the musical heritage it explores.
  29. Mr. Jarecki finds a way to show that denial and hope often grow from the same vine. Lives are built around the way they're harvested -- and this talented director has a feel for the soil.
  30. It's amazing to see a film so brazenly experimental, so committed to reflecting on the circumstances and techniques of its making, that is at the same time so intent upon delivering old-fashioned cinematic pleasures like humor and pathos, character and plot.
  31. 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
  32. There are times when The Shawshank Redemption comes dangerously close to sounding one of those "triumph of the spirit" notes. But most of it is eloquently restrained. [23 Sept 1994, p.C3]
    • The New York Times
  33. (Spielberg) tells the story slowly and films it with lucid, mesmerizing objectivity, creating a mood as layered, dissonant and strange as John Williams's unusually restrained. modernist score.
  34. So entertaining, so flip and so genially irreverent that it seems to announce the return of the great gregarious film maker whose "Nashville" remains one of the classics of the 1970's.
  35. Not since "Y Tu Mamá También" has a movie so palpably captured the down-to-earth, flesh-and-blood reality of high-spirited people living their lives without self-consciousness.
  36. 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.
  37. Packed with revelations and withheld information that comes to life; it is like an old movie castle full of false fireplaces and trap doors.
  38. Fowler may be the richest character of Mr. Caine's screen career. Slipping into his skin with an effortless grace, this great English actor gives a performance of astonishing understatement whose tone wavers delicately between irony and sadness.
  39. Like so many European pictures these days, Read My Lips seems destined to be remade in Hollywood, and it is unlikely to be improved by the addition of vainer actors, a simpler screenplay and flashier direction.
  40. Be warned: it's a downer, and a knockout.
  41. At the end, when they have created a vibrant new theater program for their school, their sense of triumph is infectious. " 'Our Town' Is Ghetto!" one of them exults. Thornton Wilder, wherever he is, would understand and take it as a compliment.
  42. In an era whose culture was defined by what the literary critic Richard Poirier called the performing self, Mr. Ali's persona was one of the greatest performances of all.
  43. Galiana's quietly monumental performance is one for the ages.
  44. The playful spookiness of Mr. Jackson's direction provides a lively, light touch, a gesture that doesn't normally come to mind when Tolkien's name is mentioned.
  45. As the movie's frenetic visual rhythms and mood swings synchronize with the zany, adrenaline-fueled impulsiveness of its lost youth on the rampage, you may find yourself getting lost in this teeming netherworld.
  46. 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.
  47. It's too smart to be maudlin.
  48. If Mr. Ghobadi's dominant theme is the devastation of the Kurds, his subdominant tone is one of strength, resistance and fertility.
  49. 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.
  50. The real thing. It's a sneakily rude, truly zany farce that treats its lunatic characters with a solemnity that perfectly matches the way in which they see themselves.
  51. It seems to me that by describing horror with such elegance and beauty, Kubrick has created a very disorienting but human comedy, not warm and lovable, but a terrible sum- up of where the world is at... Because it refuses to use the emotions conventionally, demanding instead that we keep a constant, intellectual grip on things, it's a most unusual--and disorienting--movie experience.
  52. Elegant, festive and very, very funny. [9 March 1994, p. C15]
    • The New York Times
  53. A landmark feat of Japanese animation from the acknowledged master of the genre.
  54. If you don't share the film's piercing vision of what really matters, someday you will.
  55. Like the great films of the 1930's and early 40's, it is at once artful and unpretentious, sophisticated and completely accessible, sure of its own authority and generous toward characters and audience alike -- a movie whose intended public is the human race.
  56. 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.
  57. Enough drama, humor and unfiltered nail-biting suspense to put all the thrill-mongering screenwriters in Hollywood to shame.
  58. One of the few recent movies I have seen that plunged me into that rare, giddy state of pleasurable confusion, of not knowing what would happen next, which I associate with the reading and moviegoing experiences of my own childhood. But there is no reason that children should have a monopoly on this primal, wonderful experience.
  59. The picture is more fun than it has a right to be.
  60. The towering, lost dreaminess at the heart of the film is an unmistakable obsession of this director.
  61. So good because it is one of those rare documentaries that combine information with smashing entertainment.
  62. Ronin can be watched as appreciatively for its hard-boiled performances as for its visceral excitement.
  63. Heist is a pleasure to watch, and the greatest pleasure is to watch Mr. Lindo and Mr. Hackman steal it.
  64. The cumulative effect is that of watching misspent lives disintegrate before your eyes. Ms. Miller's canny accomplishment is a triumph, giving the material weight and heart. This is one of the finest pictures of the year.
  65. The kind of movie that seduces you into becoming putty in its manipulative card-sharking hands and making you enjoy being taken in by its shameless contrivance.
  66. This is historical filmmaking without the balm of right-thinking ideology, either liberal or conservative. Gangs of New York is nearly a great movie. I suspect that, over time, it will make up the distance.
  67. Ingenious fantasy.
  68. 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.
  69. The humor bubbling through Finding Nemo is so fresh, sure of itself and devoid of the cutesy, saccharine condescension that drips through so many family comedies that you have to wonder what it is about the Pixar technology that inspires the creators to be so endlessly inventive.
  70. A brilliant feat of rug-pulling, sure to delight fans of movies like "The Usual Suspects" and "Pi."
  71. There is nothing quite like this movie, and I'm not altogether sure there is much more to it than its lovely peculiarity. But at a moment when so many films strive to be obvious and interchangeable as possible, it is gratifying to find one that is puzzling, subtle and handmade.
  72. A more concise and affecting summation of the Tibetan crisis would be hard to imagine.
  73. The sweet, solemn music of George Harrison, who died two years ago, has rarely sounded more majestic than in the sweeping performances of the enlarged star-studded band that gathered in London at Royal Albert Hall on Nov. 29 to commemorate his legacy.
  74. The movie's writer and director, Tom McCarthy, has such an appreciation for quiet that it occupies the same space as a character in this film, a delicate, thoughtful and often hilarious take on loneliness.
  75. Something not seen in movie theaters for a long time: an intelligent, modern screwball comedy, a minor classic on the order of competent, fast-talking curve balls about deception and greed like Mitchell Leisen's "Easy Living" and Billy Wilder's "Major and the Minor."
  76. Hedges's intelligent and touching farce, Pieces of April, makes an important contribution to a small and insignificant subgenre: Thanksgiving Day failure. It does so by raising the bar.
  77. An astute and surprisingly gripping drama not only about the ethics of magazine writing, but also, more generally, about the subtle political and psychological dynamics of modern office culture.
  78. May be the oddest movie of the year, by turns sweet and sinister, insouciant and grotesque, invitingly funny and forbiddingly dark. It may also be one of the best, a tour de force of ink-washed, crosshatched mischief and unlikely sublimity.
  79. Dense, contradictory and distressingly honest, Valley of Tears is that rarity among political documentaries: a genuinely thought-provoking film.
  80. Marvelously quick-witted and gloriously goofy hand-drawn feature shows there's still more than 21 grams of life left in the form.
  81. Osama's unvarnished vulnerability, along with the director's combination of tough-mindedness and lyricism, prevents the movie from becoming at all sentimental; instead, it is beautiful, thoughtful and almost unbearably sad.
  82. Deftly swings to a spartan, engrossing climax, and the final twists spell out what the murderers are made of and the setting responsible for creating them. It is a true piece of film magic.
  83. At once highly naturalistic and dreamily abstract, playing out its mythic themes through vibrantly detailed characterizations (and remarkable performances by the entire cast). The Return announces the arrival of a major new talent.
  84. Makes jaunty, imaginative use of both extraordinary technology and bold storytelling possibilities within the insect world.
  85. Fierce and disturbing, with a plot that skillfully resists following any familiar course. The film's hero fears that he's half-crazy, and for two hours Mr. Gilliam artfully keeps his audience feeling the same way.
  86. A big, awkward, crazily ambitious, sometimes breathtaking motion picture that comes as close to being a popular epic as any movie about this country since "The Godfather."
  87. Those unfamiliar with the book will simply appreciate a stirring, many-sided fable, one that is exceptionally well told.
  88. Mr. Redford has found his own visually eloquent way to turn the potboiler into a panorama, with a deep-seated love for the Montana landscape against which his rapturously beautiful film unfolds.
  89. Brilliantly reimagines the glam-rock 70's as a brave new world of electrifying theatricality and sexual possibility, to the point where identifying precise figures in this neo-psychedelic landscape is almost beside the point.
  90. Stringent, clinical and almost unbearably moving.
  91. 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.
  92. Fascinating. Anyone interested in the challenges and techniques of acting -- which is really to say, anyone interested in human behavior -- should turn off E! and head down to Mr. Almereyda's film.
  93. Sustains a perfect balance of pathos, humor and a clear-headed realism. One tiny misstep, and it could have tumbled into an abyss of tears.
  94. Easily one of the finest pictures of 2003 or any other year.
  95. 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.
  96. Better than its predecessor, and also superior to most other comic-book-based movies. It has a more credible (and more frightening) villain, a more capacious and original story and a self-confidence based not only on the huge success of the first "Spider-Man" but also on Mr. Raimi's intuitive and enthusiastic grasp of the material.
  97. You realize you are witnessing a psychodrama of novelistic intricacy and epic scope.
  98. This is high-speed action realism carried off with the dexterity of a magician pulling a hundred rabbits out of a hat in one graceful gesture. The crowning flourish is an extended car chase through the streets and tunnels of Moscow that ranks as one of the three or four most exciting demolition derbies ever filmed.
  99. Everywhere the camera turns in this tense and volatile drama, it finds enough interest for a truckload of conventional Hollywood fare. Whatever its limitations, Cop Land has talent to burn.
  100. This poisonous, brazenly autobiographical comedy shows off the best of Mr. Allen's misanthropic humor.

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