The New York Times' Scores

For 10,489 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 Somewhere
Lowest review score: 0 Gummo
Score distribution:
10,489 movie reviews
  1. Shot with a sure hand and a cast of unknowns, the film doesn't so much tell a story as develop a tone and root around a place that, despite the intimate camerawork, remains shrouded in ambiguity.
  2. A tale of cinema, a story about the agonies of trying to work outside the cinematic mainstream (even in France!). Yet what makes the movie so affecting is that it’s also a love story about a family.
  3. Much of the appeal of True Lies comes from the smooth grafting of battle-of-the-sexes comedy onto a high-tech action picture.
  4. A brave film simply for daring to portray a nightmare lurking in the minds of middle-aged workers, people who might fear a film that addresses their insecurities this bluntly.
  5. The film is a snort-out-loud-funny master class of controlled chaos.
  6. The low-key, hand-held Family Jams may not ever attain the stature of, say, a concert film like D. A. Pennebaker's "Don't Look Back." But it should, as a record of musicians in youthful flower, sharing a loose, heartfelt camaraderie and lack of pretension.
  7. 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.
  8. The fluidity and convenience of digital moviemaking tools explain some of its freshness, as does Ms. Klayman's history as a budding documentarian. It's clear from watching both the feature and its earlier iterations that, while she was learning about Mr. Ai, she was also learning how to tell a visual story. It's easy to think that hanging around Mr. Ai, a brilliant Conceptual artist and an equally great mass-media interpolater, played a part in her education.
  9. Kramer vs. Kramer is densely packed with such beautifully observed detail. It is also superbly acted by its supporting cast, including Jane Alexander, Howard Duff and George Coe.
  10. An attractive, messy drama riddled with violence and edged with comedy that comes with a hint of Grand Guignol, a suggestion of politics and three resonant, deeply appealing performances.
  11. Buoyed by a fully integrated soundtrack, Kati With an I delivers a lovingly personal observation of young people at a crossroads. The film's sound is not always crisp, but no matter: Kati's story is written in every vital, vérité frame.
  12. Dark Shadows isn't among Mr. Burton's most richly realized works, but it's very enjoyable, visually sumptuous and, despite its lugubrious source material and a sporadic tremor of violence, surprisingly effervescent.
  13. There is also a need for stories that address the complex entanglements of love and sex honestly, without sentiment or cynicism and with the appropriate mixture of humor, sympathy and erotic heat. Weekend, Andrew Haigh's astonishingly self-assured, unassumingly profound second feature, is just such a film.
  14. The most powerful thing about The Pirogue is the way it deals with emotionally charged events matter-of-factly, rather than melodramatically. The story Mr. Touré has chosen to tell is both painfully specific - about these individuals, in this boat - and immeasurably vast, since the experience it depicts is shared by millions of people around the world. And yet somehow he gets the scale just right.
  15. Mr. Eastwood is also an adept director of his own performances and, perhaps more important, a canny manipulator of his own iconographic presence.
  16. Mr. Amalric, who directed this dark, delectable, shivery tale, adapting it from the Georges Simenon novel, sets its uneasy, dank mood with energetic economy.
  17. A modest, near-flawless gem, This Is England is the fifth feature by the young British director Shane Meadows, doing his best work since he first hit the festival scene in the mid-1990s with his hilarious, raw-hewn shorts “Small Time.”
  18. A sustained, alternatingly exhausting and aesthetically exhilarating howl of a film.
  19. 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.
  20. A landmark feat of Japanese animation from the acknowledged master of the genre.
  21. There isn't a dishonest moment in Fairhaven, Tom O'Brien's piercing, wistful portrait of three longtime buddies in their mid-30s who reunite around a funeral in a southeastern Massachusetts fishing community.
  22. 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
  23. Offers the kind of experience that makes you glad movies exist.
  24. The curious thing about The Visitor is that even as it goes more or less where you think it will, it still manages to surprise you along the way.
  25. The film’s title, needless to say, has an ironic bite. One of the pleasures of The Merry Gentleman is Mr. Keaton's commitment to that bite, which never registers as cruel or gratuitous, just honest, weary, sad.
  26. Has a quiet, cumulative magic, whose source is hard to identify. Its simple, meticulously composed frames are full of mystery and feeling; it's an action movie that stands perfectly still.
  27. What is clear is that while there are several stories folded into Iris — a marriage tale, an ode to multiculturalism and a fashion spectacular — it is also about the insistent rejection of monocultural conformity.
  28. What resonates here are two men, two good men, whose lives have a paradoxically simple and complex bond beyond their profession. Step Up to the Plate asserts how family, in multifarious ways, can be the most deeply affecting of ensembles.
  29. Mongol -- or, as I prefer to think of it, "Genghis Khan: The Early Years" -- is a big, ponderous epic, its beautifully composed landscape shots punctuated by thundering hooves and bloody, slow-motion battle sequences.
  30. 5 Broken Cameras deserves to be appreciated for the lyrical delicacy of his voice and the precision of his eye. That it is almost possible to look at the film this way - to foresee a time when it might be understood, above all, as a film - may be the only concrete hope Mr. Burnat and Mr. Davidi have to offer.
  31. Amy
    With Amy, Mr. Kapadia isn’t simply revisiting Ms. Winehouse’s life and death, but also — by pulling you in close to her, first pleasantly and then unpleasantly — telling the story of contemporary celebrity and, crucially, fandom’s cost.
  32. Inside this small canvas - almost the entire film unfolds in the one apartment - Mr. Eimbcke turns each character into an epic.
  33. Here Mr. Cantet -- whose earlier features include "Human Resources" and "Time Out," two other dramas about systems of power -- has done that rarest of things in movies about children: He has allowed them to talk.
  34. You want to see this movie, and you will want to talk about it afterward, even if the conversation feels a little awkward. If it doesn’t, you’re doing it wrong. There is great enjoyment to be found here, and very little comfort.
  35. Mr. German was just as stubborn in sticking to his personal vision (and revisions) as he was innovative in his storytelling, and he’s left behind a final opus that is hard to shake.
  36. Ms. Danhier manages to conjure a glorious and grungy bygone past without fetishizing it as a golden age. A bunch of people got together and did some stuff, and this is what it looked like.
  37. This movie is smarter and better acted and just plain funnier than most of its predecessors in the my-first-time genre, no matter which sex is losing what.
  38. Diner isn't lavish or long, but it's the sort of small, honest, entertaining movie that should never go out of style, even in an age of sequels and extravaganzas.
  39. Mr. Rotaru paces the film perfectly, mixing performance footage with scenes of the competitors talking about their lives and the role music plays for them.
  40. The clammy chill that pervades The Hunter, the fourth feature film by the Iranian director Rafi Pitts, seeps under your skin as you wait for its grim, taciturn protagonist to detonate.
  41. Reality is a story about one man’s desire to make it big on the small screen, and something of a familiar exploration of the blurring between reality and its simulations. More elliptically and more interestingly, it is also a look at an Italy engrossed with rituals and spectacle, in watching and being watched.
  42. Mr. Moretti finds broad comedy in the antics of some clerics, who can seem as sweet as children, but in Melville there is pathos and there is tragedy, and not his alone.
  43. One of the best entertainments this season has yet offered.
  44. Serves up its scattershot plots as if they were lined up on a menu, moving from appetizer to entree: there are more intrigues here than in the court of the Medicis.
  45. 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.
  46. A record of a man’s tormented youth, his broad artistic impulses and the price he paid for following them.
  47. A deliciously warped wallow in misogyny, depravity and dead-eyed manipulation, Cold Fish charts the twisted alliance of two tropical-fish salesmen with baleful glee.
  48. I hesitate, given the early date and the project's modesty, to call Into Great Silence one of the best films of the year. I prefer to think of it as the antidote to all of the others.
  49. One of the most subtle and inspired comedies you'll see this year.
  50. What appears on the screen has a starkness that is almost indelible.
  51. Bachelorette is more tartly written, better acted and less forgiving than male-centric equivalents like the "Hangover" movies.
  52. But instead of a dignified stroll down genealogy lane, Mr. Solnicki has made a sparking, gossipy soap opera that’s riddled with emotion and stuffed with strong characters.
  53. Anita is an important historical document about an event that prompted a larger cultural conversation about sexual harassment. But, perhaps more important, it conveys Ms. Hill’s journey from an accuser alone to an activist who shares with, and listens to, others.
  54. 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.
  55. Woven together, these monologues of bereavement and confusion, illustrated with images so terrible they repel rational explanation, form a tapestry of human misery that's impossible to shake off.
  56. It is a heartbreaking film, and cruelty sometimes seems to be not only its subject but its method. Like the child on a high cliff that is one of its recurring images, the film walks up to the edge of hopelessness and pauses there, waiting to see what happens next.
  57. This pull-no-punches portrait shocks and amuses with equal frequency.
  58. 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.
  59. The visual beauty of the film, rather than distracting from the troubling story, makes it more troubling still.
  60. Its subject is not addiction or ambition, or even love in a conventional romantic sense, but rather the more elusive and intriguing matter of intimacy: how it grows, falters and endures over time.
  61. Tamara Jenkins’s The Savages, is a beautifully nuanced tragicomedy about two floundering souls.
  62. A preternatural self-confidence and buoyancy infuse every syllable out of Ms. Channing's mouth in this entertaining film.
  63. Makes jaunty, imaginative use of both extraordinary technology and bold storytelling possibilities within the insect world.
  64. 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.
  65. There are few feelings as glorious as spreading your wings onstage for the first time. Ruby Yang captures that rare electricity in her documentary My Voice, My Life, about Hong Kong teenagers who put on a show.
  66. In many respects Ceausescu turns out to be as much the author of this brilliant documentary as the director, Andrei Ujica, who waded through more than 1,000 hours of filmed state propaganda, official news reports and home movies to create a cinematic tour de force that tracks the rise, reign and grim fall of its subject.
  67. One of the few films I've seen this year that deserves to be called art. Dark as pitch, as noir, as hate, by turns beautiful and ugly, funny and horrifying, the film is also as cracked as Mad magazine, though generally more difficult to parse.
  68. So verbally dexterous and visually innovative that you can't absorb it unless you have all your wits about you. And even then, you may want to see it again to enjoy its subtle humor and warm humanity.
  69. 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.
  70. Before we go numb from such prefab excitement, here comes a mega-movie that actually delivers what mega-movies promise: strong characters, smart plotting, breathless action and a gimmick that hasn't been seen before.
  71. What plays out is a cinematic experience of life as performance, performance as life, reality as a construction and reality as someone else’s construction impinging on your own. The pace, which picks up and slows down throughout, is not some kind of perverse challenge to the audience. It is intrinsic to the inescapable atmosphere of the work.
  72. The film sustains an air of overarching mystery in which the viewer, like the title character, is in the position of a sheltered child plunked into an alien environment and required to fend for herself without a map or compass.
  73. Often soaringly beautiful melodrama.
  74. Brooklyn endows its characters with desires and aspirations, but not with foresight, and it examines the past with open-minded curiosity rather than with sentimentality or easy judgment.
  75. There are no easy payoffs in Stuck Between Stations, but the chemistry of its stars is reward enough.
  76. Over time, as the movie returns to specific spaces, touching on human rights and gentrification along the way, it develops into a deeply stirring ode to the immigrant experience and American identity.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Mr. Wang's slow-reveal psychological drama isn't just a showcase for his excellent ensemble cast. Beautifully modulated and stylistically sui generis, In the Family is also one of the most accomplished and undersold directorial debuts this year.
  77. Astonishingly, this is neither as depressing nor as arm-twistingly uplifting as you might expect. Mr. DaSilva’s experience behind a camera shows in his brisk pacing, clear narrative structure and the awareness that a story of sickness needs lighthearted distractions.
  78. Brutal, urgent, devastating -- the documentary The Devil Came on Horseback demands to be seen as soon as possible and by as many viewers as possible.
  79. The Playroom captures the malaise of mid-’70s suburbia with a merciless accuracy not seen since Ang Lee’s 1997 film, “The Ice Storm.”
  80. This small, nearly perfect film is a reminder that personal upheavals are as consequential in people's lives as shattering world events.
  81. During this meticulously written and exquisitely acted film, you come to sense the bonds and the wounds binding three generations of Monopolis, who definitely love one another, but with reservations.
  82. A kinetically visceral, enjoyable nasty joy ride, “A Hard Day” is pretty much as advertised.
  83. More elegantly plotted and streamlined than the first film.
  84. To call this thrillingly original, deeply felt movie a coming-of-age story would be to insult it with cliché. It’s much more the story, or rather a series of interlocking, incomplete stories, about what it feels like to be a certain age and to feel caught, as the title suggests, between the desire to be yourself and the longing to fit in.
  85. Mr. Herzog’s film is a pulpy, glorious mess. Its maniacal unpredictability is such a blast that it reminds you just how tidy and dull most crime thrillers are these days.
  86. Like a Ken Loach drama stripped to bare bones, The Arbor springs to life in the bright bitterness of Dunbar's prose, showcased in alfresco performances of contentious scenes from the play.
  87. He [Clooney] has found a cogent subject, an urgent set of ideas and a formally inventive, absolutely convincing way to make them live on screen.
  88. 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.
  89. Concentrating on the fine-tuned trivia that fuels so much television comedy, it also creates two bright, appealing heroines and watches them face life's little insults with fresh, disarming humor.
  90. Mr. Stone has taken a public tragedy and turned it into something at once genuinely stirring and terribly sad. His film offers both a harrowing return to a singular, disastrous episode in the recent past and a refuge from the ugly, depressing realities of its aftermath.
  91. Time slows to a near-standstill as the film peers into humanity’s troubled soul, glimpsed through the individual faces, which sometimes appear to be studying us as intently as we are studying them.
  92. She (Varda) plucks images and stories from the world around her, finding beauty and nourishment in lives and activities the world prefers to ignore.
  93. Alan, who Mr. Sachs has said was based on his own father, is a great character - passionate, complicated, bursting with life. Those words also describe Mr. Torn's performance.
  94. 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.
  95. The story grips you entirely even if Ms. Denis’s worldview here finally feels like a tomb: terrifying, pitiless, inevitable.
  96. 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.
  97. There are no simple answers or obvious conclusions to be gleaned from this movie, which, like its soundtrack, is both sad and vibrant, meandering and formally sure-footed. It is an exciting debut, and a film that, without exaggeration or false modesty, finds interest and feeling in the world just as it is.
  98. Far more than Norman's adventure, which takes him from home to a cemetery and deep into his town's history, what pulls you in, quickening your pulse and widening your eyes, are the myriad visual enchantments - from the rich, nubby tactility of his clothes to the skull-and-bones adorning his bedroom wallpaper.
  99. With a visual style and a deadpan humor that owes an obvious debt to the Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki ("Drifting Clouds"), they hold their shots long enough for you to scan details, look deep into faces and think on how little (or much) it takes to be happy. Here a painted Jesus hovers on a chipped wall, but it's an unholy family of three that finds heaven on earth.

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