The New York Times' Scores

For 9,417 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 Brazil
Lowest review score: 0 I Will Follow You Into the Dark
Score distribution:
9,417 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. This poisonous, brazenly autobiographical comedy shows off the best of Mr. Allen's misanthropic humor.
  4. A political thriller that manages to be at once silly and clever, buoyantly satirical and sneakily disturbing, but he (Demme) has recovered some of the lightness and sureness of touch that had faded from his movies after "The Silence of the Lambs."
  5. To watch the biggest stars of their time in casual conversation, trading riffs and passing bottles, without benefit of publicists, handlers and security goons is to relive an innocent, anarchic time in the entertainment business when music, not marketing, was at the center of the enterprise.
  6. It is galvanizing because of Al Pacino's splendid performance in the title role and because of the tremendous intensity that Mr. Lumet brings to this sort of subject. (Review of Original Release)
    • 100 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    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)
  7. The brilliant, sinister French thriller Red Lights is a twisty road movie in which every sign points toward catastrophe.
  8. By the end of this reflective, wise, often hilarious movie, you feel as though he (McElwee) has slapped a huge chunk of raw, palpitating life onto the screen.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Mr. Bernal's soulful, magnetic performance notwithstanding, the real star of the film is South America itself, revealed in the cinematographer Eric Gautier's misty green images as a land of jarring and enigmatic beauty.
  13. Marks the emergence of one of the more original and promising new voices to hit the international cinema scene in recent years.
  14. The film is a snort-out-loud-funny master class of controlled chaos.
  15. A handsome and fully imagined work of cautionary futuristic fiction.
  16. Drawing a parade of colorful performances from a constantly surprising cast, the curiously titled ''John Grisham's 'The Rainmaker' '' is Mr. Coppola's best and sharpest film in years.
  17. Elegant and deeply disquieting drama.
  18. Certainly one of the strangest and most interesting movies of the year, and I suspect that in years to come a number of other strange and interesting movies will show traces of its influence.
  19. The English director Mike Leigh's best work in a decade.
  20. Mr. Russell's wonderfully mad odyssey of a movie, in which a man sets out to find his biological parents and winds up meeting more weirdos than Alice found down the rabbit hole.
  21. Like the film itself, the performance (Giamatti's) is deeply controlled, played with restraint and with microscopic attention to detail.
  22. Remarkable concert documentary.
  23. Wag the Dog, the poison-tipped political satire that's as scarily plausible as it is swift, hilarious and impossible to resist.
  24. Mr. Condon's great achievement is to turn Kinsey's complicated and controversial career into a grand intellectual drama.
  25. Gathers riveting, rarely seen news clips from the era into a chronology that plays like a suspenseful police drama.
  26. In both its intellectual reach and the elegant simplicity of its form, A Talking Picture bears resemblance to Andrei Sokurov's "Russian Ark."
  27. A work so smartly written, so beautifully filmed, so perfectly acted, that it does the almost impossible trick of turning sentimentality into true emotion.
  28. All the drinking, arguing and brooding, which in lesser hands might have produced oppressive and unvarying dreariness, somehow adds up to a tableau of extraordinary vividness and variety.
  29. The director manages to evade both the stuffy antiquarianism and the pandering anachronism that subvert so many cinematic attempts at historical inquiry.
  30. Mr. Scott's is something that must be seen. It is, in a word, compelling.
  31. This hilarious fake documentary -- deserves a place beside the comedies of Christopher Guest in the hall of fame of semi-deadpan spoofs.
  32. Tsai not only gives the audience a chance to breathe but also lets us luxuriate in the mood of deadpan melancholy his movie evokes so beautifully.
  33. A big commercial entertainment of unusually satisfying order. [11 Dec 1992]
    • The New York Times
  34. Grandly entertaining...matches the Austen-based "Clueless" for sheer run. [13 Dec 1995]
    • The New York Times
  35. 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.
  36. A hilariously brazen comedy whose heroine is an improbable hoot.
  37. A visual adventure worthy of that much degraded adjective, awesome.
  38. Not for the faint of heart, though it has no scenes of overt violence, and barely a tear is shed. It is also strangely thrilling, not only because of the quiet assurance of Mr. Kore-eda's direction, but also because of his alert, humane sense of sympathy.
  39. One of the strengths of Sunset Story is that it introduces us to a pair of extraordinary women who have kept their dignity and independence in a world that conspires against them having either. The story of Lucille and Irja may break your heart, but it will also make your day.
  40. Few films have explored the human face this searchingly and found such complex psychological topography. That's why The Wings of the Dove succeeds where virtually every other film translation of a James novel has stumbled.
  41. Mr. Gast skillfully blends photographs, celebrity interviews with Norman Mailer and others, and colorful forays into the Zairian countryside, where Ali fostered black brotherhood and became a huge favorite, in a film that ''gazes well beyond the ring and seeks engagement with history''.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. A huge, initially ambivalent but finally adoring, Pop portrait of one of the most brilliant and outrageous American military figures of the last one hundred years.
  45. 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.
  46. The Holy Girl may occasionally frustrate your desire for clarity and order, but in the end it will reward your patience, and you leave the theater in a state of quiet awe.
  47. A gorgeous, heartbreaking and utterly convincing work of art.
  48. Near the beginning of the movie, the younger Wexler admits that the film is his attempt to get closer to his father. This sense of personal mission helps make Tell Them Who You Are the richest documentary of its kind since Terry Zwigoff's "Crumb."
  49. This is by far the best film in the more recent trilogy, and also the best of the four episodes Mr. Lucas has directed. That's right (and my inner 11-year-old shudders as I type this): it's better than "Star Wars."
  50. Conceived in the shadow of American pop rather than in its bright light, this tense, effective iteration of Bob Kane's original comic book owes its power and pleasures to a director who takes his material seriously and to a star who shoulders that seriousness with ease.
  51. Sophie, in both her incarnations, joins an impressive sisterhood of Miyazaki heroines, whose version of girl power presents a potent alternative to the mini-machismo that dominates American juvenile entertainment. Not that children are the only viewers likely to be haunted and beguiled by Howl's Moving Castle - all that is needed are open eyes and an open heart.
  52. The film is a triumph of mood and implication.
  53. The film is a requiem for the living as well as for the dead.
  54. Like a perfect, short-lived love affair, its pleasure is accompanied by a palpable sting of sorrow. It leaves you wanting more, which I mean entirely as a compliment.
  55. Mr. Sauper has produced an extraordinary work of visual journalism, a richly illustrated report on a distant catastrophe that is also one of the central stories of our time.
  56. The most horrifying thing in Kiyoshi Kurosawa's fiercely original, thrillingly creepy Pulse (released as "Kairo," or "Circuit," in Japan) is the way the ghosts move.
  57. His Breakdown is a tough, vigorous exercise in pure action, shot with throwback expertise and, most refreshingly, without special effects.
  58. Mr. Pitt moves through this unexpectedly solid thriller with dazzling confidence, showing off all the star power that he usually works overtime to hide.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. One reason the film version of Terrence McNally's play Love! Valour! Compassion! is so moving is that this complicated group portrait never loses its slippery emotional footing.
  62. As directed exquisitely by Gillian Armstrong in a headstrong spirit that recalls her debut feature, "My Brilliant Career," this elliptical tale makes up in visual beauty whatever it lacks in universal meaning.
  63. 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.
  64. A fascinating and fine-grained reconstruction of that period in its subject's life, a time when he (Capote) pursued literary glory and flirted with moral ruin.
  65. Both sharply comical and piercingly sad. Mr. Baumbach surveys the members of the flawed, collapsing Berkman family with sympathy but without mercy, noting their individual and collective failures and imperfections with relentless precision.
  66. 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.
  67. 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.
  68. The animation is a marvel - all the more so because the most demanding sequences seem almost casually tossed off. The world of Wallace and Gromit is one of the few genuinely eccentric places left in the movies, a place where lumpy, doughy characters achieve a peculiar dignity in spite of their grotesque features and the ridiculousness of their circumstances.
  69. Together, however, they add up to a film that may be the closest movies have come to the cinematic equivalent of a collection of Chekhov short stories.
  70. With a fine vengeance along with flashes of great, unexpected tenderness, Mr. Solondz lethally evokes every petty humiliation that his seventh-grade heroine can't wait to forget.
  71. Along the way, Paradise Now sustains a mood of breathless suspense. Politics aside, the movie is a superior thriller whose shrewdly inserted plot twists and emotional wrinkles are calculated to put your heart in your throat and keep it there.
  72. No other performer (Jack Nicholson) in an Antonioni film, except Jeanne Moreau in "La Notte," has so gracefully submitted to Mr. Antonioni and survived intact. (Review of Original Release)
  73. This is a formula film, but it has the kind of good cheer and fine tuning that occasionally give slickness a good name.
  74. Mr. Sarsgaard gives the riskiest screen performance of his career. Save perhaps for Sean Penn's outbursts in "Dead Man Walking" and "Mystic River," no actor in a recent American film has delivered as explosive a depiction of a man emotionally blasted apart.
  75. Gathers you up on its white horse and gallops off into the sunset. Along the way, it serves a continuing banquet of high-end comfort food perfectly cooked and seasoned to Anglophilic tastes.
  76. A tough and touching exploration of honor and friendship among thieves.
  77. The movie is perfectly cast, from Trintignant and on down, including Pierre Clementi, who appears briefly as the wicked young man who makes a play for the young Marcello. The Conformist is flawed, perhaps, but those very flaws may make it Bertolucci's first commercially popular film. (Review of Original Release)
  78. The gloom of random, meaningless existence has rarely been so much fun, and Mr. Allen's bite has never been so sharp, or so deep. A movie this good is no laughing matter.
  79. 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.
  80. Much of the appeal of True Lies comes from the smooth grafting of battle-of-the-sexes comedy onto a high-tech action picture.
  81. It represents something stranger and, to those of us with only a secondhand or thirdhand knowledge of that history, more disturbing: a survivor's conviction that there were aspects of the experience itself that can only be described as beautiful.
  82. One of the enduring icons of gay male eroticism, the phenomenon known as Peter Berlin is explored, explained, ogled and interviewed in the superb documentary That Man: Peter Berlin.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    And, riskiest of all, the film makers eschewed another grainy documentary go at the subject in favor of a movie drama of one of the most compelling true stories of the modern troubles.
  83. This is not just a movie-within-a-movie, but a movie-within-a-movie-within-a-movie, something that sounds unbearably arch but that is swift, funny and surprisingly unpretentious.
  84. The Spirit of the Beehive, like "Cinema Paradiso," also takes place at the particular intersection of reality and fantasy defined by youthful moviegoing.
  85. Love is a mournful thriller about the myth of assimilation and the way nurture - or, more precisely, the lack of it - fashions identity and character. Elegantly directed by Vladan Nikolic using multiple viewpoints and an elliptical, nonlinear narrative, the movie presents a New World disrupted by old grievances and a neglected community living by its own rules.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    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)
  86. Mr. Chappelle looks and sounds alternately ebullient and weary. It was directed by Michel Gondry, the madcap genius behind "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," but in its tone and vibe feels like Mr. Chappelle's all the way.
  87. Mr. Hong is not yet the equal of Mr. Antonioni, but it has become increasingly difficult to see intellectually stimulating, aesthetically bold films like this in American theaters.
  88. The dialogue and the ensemble acting maintain a near-perfect pitch.
  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. Inside this small canvas - almost the entire film unfolds in the one apartment - Mr. Eimbcke turns each character into an epic.
  91. 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 clich├ęs and unexpected invention.
  92. An exquisite film about the institutionalized oppression of an entire class of women and the way patriarchal imperatives inform religious belief.
  93. This is the exceedingly rare film that understands how lonely, insecure preadolescent children can become so consumed by their feelings that they lose sight of ordinary boundaries and unconsciously act out their parents' darkest fantasies of passion and revenge.
  94. It's not a perfect movie, and it does not aspire to be a great one. It's just wonderful.
  95. Like its hero, who is brave without a trace of bravado, Overlord is unusually quiet and thoughtful. The scale and ambition of combat movies has usually been epic, but this one is disarmingly lyrical and subjective.
  96. 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.
  97. What makes Half Nelson both an unusual and an exceptional American film, particularly at a time when even films about Sept. 11 are professed to have no politics, is its insistence on political consciousness as a moral imperative.

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