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 What Maisie Knew
Lowest review score: 0 Phantom
Score distribution:
9,417 movie reviews
  1. It's the sort of unassuming discovery that could get lost in a crowd or suffer from too much big love, and while it won't save or change your life, it may make your heart swell. Its aim is modest and true.
  2. The movie is an entirely absorbing, occasionally revelatory portrait of a brilliant talent driven to greatness by an inner chorus of demons and angels.
  3. Debased, infantile and reckless in the extreme, this compendium of body bravado and malfunction makes for some of the most fearless, liberated and cathartic comedy in modern movies.
  4. The result is a movie that is challenging, accessible and hard to stop thinking about...But in too many recent movies intelligence is woefully undervalued, and it is this quality -- even more than its considerable beauty -- that distinguishes Little Children from its peers.
  5. Ms. Garofalo, in a lovely, winning performance, gives Abby lots of heart while also making defensive snappishness a big part of her charm.
  6. Neither sensationalistic nor sentimental, Ms. Berg’s film is clear-sighted, tough-minded and devastating, a portrait of individual criminality and institutional indifference, a study in the betrayal of trust and the irresponsibility of authority.
  7. Less a parable of literary ethics than a showcase of literary personality, and it is in the end more touching than troubling.
  8. In the process of drawing audiences into the twists and turns of a knotty detective tale, Mr. Franklin and his cinematographer, Tak Fujimoto, open up an enticing and languorous lost world.
  9. If Flags of Our Fathers feels so unlike most war movies and sounds so contrary to the usual political rhetoric, it is not because it affirms that war is hell, which it does with unblinking, graphic brutality. It’s because Mr. Eastwood insists, with a moral certitude that is all too rare in our movies, that we extract an unspeakable cost when we ask men to kill other men. There is never any doubt in the film that the country needed to fight this war, that it was necessary; it is the horror at such necessity that defines Flags of Our Fathers, not exultation.
  10. The brilliance of Borat is that its comedy is as pitiless as its social satire, and as brainy.
  11. It is a relief to encounter such exuberant and infectious silliness.
  12. Volver, full of surprises and reversals, unfolds with breathtaking ease and self-confidence. It is in some ways a smaller, simpler film than either "Talk to Her" or "Bad Education," choosing to tell its story without flashbacks or intricate parallel plots, but it is no less the work of a master.
  13. 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.
  14. The movie is at once a giddy mixture of farce, satire and opera buffa and a closely observed drama of social dislocation and cultural confusion.
  15. While the film’s desperately sad finale indicates that Philippe Garrel knows the truth of '68 better than most and might have suffered a crisis in faith in the years since, this magnificent film is itself proof that all was not lost.
  16. Bamako is something different: a work of cool intelligence and profound anger, a long, dense, argument that is also a haunting visual poem.
  17. 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.
  18. Rarely has a film with so much blood on its hands seemed so insistently alive.
  19. The Host is a cautionary environmental tale about the domination of nature and the costs of human folly, and it may send chills up your spine. But only one will tickle your fancy and make you cry encore, not just uncle.
  20. The Namesake, adapted from Jhumpa Lahiri’s popular novel, conveys a palpable sense of people as living, breathing creatures who are far more complex than their words might indicate.
  21. The history presented in The Wind That Shakes the Barley hardly feels like a closed book or a museum display. It is as alive and as troubling as anything on the evening news, though far more thoughtful and beautiful.
  22. It succeeds at showing how one man's psychic wounds contributed to an art that transmutes personal pain into garish visual satire.
  23. Undeniably, there's an element of corniness to this. But that doesn't keep An Officer and a Gentleman from being a first-rate movie - a beautifully acted, thoroughly involving romance.
  24. Mr. Demme has captured both the look and the spirit of this live performance with a daring and precision that match the group's own.
  25. A richly detailed tale of passion, perfidy and revenge adapted from a typically tricky Ruth Rendell novel.
  26. Mr. Ivory and Ismail Merchant have long since learned to breathe life into their material without excessive reverence, in a manner that is as decorous as it is dramatic. As might be expected, the costumes, settings and cinematography are once again ravishing.
  27. Mr. and Mrs. Bridge is wise and funny and just a little bit scary. Though it's an adaptation, it has the manner of a true original.
  28. The Big Chill represents the best of mainstream American film making. It's a reminder that the same people who turn out our megabuck fantasies are often capable of working even more effectively on the small, intimate scale of The Big Chill.
  29. I can't remember the last time the movies yielded up a love story so painful, so tender and so true.
  30. More elegantly plotted and streamlined than the first film.
  31. The ending of Jacob's Ladder, when it finally arrives, is, like much of the film, both quaint and devastating.
  32. 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.
  33. Scarface is the most stylish and provocative - and maybe the most vicious - serious film about the American underworld since Francis Ford Coppola's "Godfather."
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. Thanks in large part to Miss Streep's bravura performance, it's a film that casts a powerful, uninterrupted spell.
  37. Its low-key affect and decidedly human scale endow Once with an easy, lovable charm that a flashier production could never have achieved. The formula is simple: two people, a few instruments, 88 minutes and not a single false note.
  38. This film aspires to be a meditation on (among other things) art, trust, loyalty, politics and popular culture. With utter simplicity, and with unexpectedly intense storytelling, it achieves all that and more.
  39. Falling Down is the most interesting, all-out commercial American film of the year to date, and one that will function much like a Rorschach test to expose the secrets of those who watch it.
  40. A gorgeous riot of future-shock ideas and brightly animated imagery, the doors of perception never close.
  41. "Ocean's 23," oops, Ocean's Thirteen, is also a gas; it's lighter than air, prettier than life, a romp, a goof and an attentively oiled machine.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Funny, outrageous, and touching, The Graduate is a sophisticated film that puts Mr. Nichols and his associates on a level with any of the best satirists working abroad today.
  42. There is nothing more enthralling than a good yarn, and Ten Canoes interweaves two versions of the same story, one filmed in black and white and set a thousand years ago, and an even older one, filmed in color and set in a mythic, prehistoric past.
  43. It looks to be clean and pure and without artifice, even though it is possibly as sophisticated as any commercial American movie ever made.
  44. Ms. Armstrong instantly demonstrates that she has caught the essence of this book's sweetness and cast her film uncannily well, finding sparkling young actresses who are exactly right for their famous roles.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Labyrinth, a fabulous film about a young girl's journey into womanhood that uses futuristic technology to illuminate a mythic-style tale, is in many ways a remarkable achievement.
  45. GREASE is not really the 1950's teen-age movie musical it thinks it is, but a contemporary fantasy about a 1950's teen-age musical—a larger, funnier, wittier and more imaginative-than-Hollywood movie with a life that is all its own. It uses the Eisenhower era — the characters, costumes, gestures and particularly, the music—to create a time and place that have less to do with any real 50's than with a kind of show business that is both timeless and old-fashioned, both sentimental and wise. The movie is also terrific fun.
  46. A River Runs Through It, Mr. Redford's beautiful and deeply felt new movie, puts him in an entirely new category as a film maker.
  47. This Lady Chatterley, winner of five César awards in France, feels bracingly fresh, vital and modern.
  48. It’s a sober, revelatory and absolutely vital film.
  49. The Simpsons Movie, in the end, is as good as an average episode of "The Simpsons." In other words, I’d be willing to watch it only -- excuse me while I crunch some numbers here -- 20 or 30 more times.
  50. 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.”
  51. 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.
  52. Audacious as it is, the movie is also a little scary.
  53. The rigor of Mr. Cronenberg’s direction sometimes seems at odds with the humanism of Mr. Knight’s script, but more often the director’s ruthless formal command rescues the story from its maudlin impulses. Mr. Knight aims earnestly for your heartstrings, but Mr. Cronenberg insists on getting under your skin. The result is a movie whose images and implications are likely to stay in your head for a long time.
  54. You don’t have to know anything about Joy Division to grasp the mysterious sorrow at its heart.
  55. The film is much more than a biography of the Clash’s guitarist and lead singer: It’s history, criticism, philosophy and politics, played fast and loud.
  56. Among its many achievements, Todd Haynes’s I’m Not There hurls a Molotov cocktail through the facade of the Hollywood biopic factory.
  57. What is so remarkable about Mr. Langella is that he seems to hold Leonard’s intellectual cosmos inside him, to make it implicit in the man’s every gesture and pause.
  58. Tamara Jenkins’s The Savages, is a beautifully nuanced tragicomedy about two floundering souls.
  59. In his memoir Mr. Bauby performed a heroic feat of alchemy, turning horror into wisdom, and Mr. Schnabel, following his example and paying tribute to his accomplishment, has turned pity into joy.
  60. Juno respects the idiosyncrasies of its characters rather than exaggerating them or holding them up for ridicule.
  61. More of a hoot than any picture dealing with the bloody, protracted fight between the Soviet Army and the Afghan mujahedeen has any right to be.
  62. Persepolis, austere as it may look, is full of warmth and surprise, alive with humor and a fierce independence of spirit.
    • 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.
  63. Featuring exceptional people doing extraordinary things, Blindsight is one of those documentaries with the power to make you re-examine your entire life -- or at least get off the couch.
  64. In the end what elevates Mr. Hou’s films to the sublime -- and this one comes close at times -- are not the stories but their telling.
  65. As the director of the documentary Shine a Light, Martin Scorsese is a besotted rock ’n’ roll fan who wholeheartedly embraces its mythology.
  66. 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.
  67. An exuberant, exhilaratingly playful testament to being young and hungry -- for life and meaning and immortality, and for other young and restless bodies -- Reprise is a blast of unadulterated movie pleasure.
  68. By the end you know the characters in it so well that you can't believe you've seen the movie only once, yet on a second viewing it seems completely new. And that may be because the world they inhabit is immediately recognizable -- until we get to heaven, it's where we live -- and like no place you've been before.
  69. This is no splatter movie: spare, suspenseful and brilliantly invested in silence, Bryan Bertino's debut feature unfolds in a slow crescendo of intimidation.
  70. At once fuzzy-wuzzy and industrial strength, the tacky-sounding Kung Fu Panda is high concept with a heart.
  71. Pitched at the divide between art and industry, poetry and entertainment, it goes darker and deeper than any Hollywood movie of its comic-book kind.
  72. 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.
  73. The Mother of Tears is silly, awkward, vulgar, outlandish, hysterical, inventive, revolting, flamboyant, titillating, ridiculous, mischievous, uproarious, cheap, priceless, tasteless and sublime.
  74. Like many of Mr. Herzog's movies, fiction and nonfiction, Encounters at the End of the World itself has the quality of a dream: it's at once vivid and vague, easy to grasp and somehow beyond reach.
  75. The elegantly structured documentary weaves extensive footage of Mr. Bachardy rummaging through their house and reminiscing with readings from Isherwood's diaries by Michael York, old interviews with Isherwood, home movies of their travels and glamorous social life, and commentary by friends, including Leslie Caron and the British filmmaker John Boorman.
  76. What’s explicit here is ravenous passion and the depiction of desire as a creating, destroying force that invades the very flesh. It's terribly French.
  77. It is to Mr. Gibney’s great credit that while he pays due attention to the outsize, cartoonish celebrity persona Thompson fell back on when his literary powers began to wane, this film concentrates on the bold, innovative journalism that secured Thompson’s reputation and assures his immortality.
  78. Beautifully written and acted, Tell No One is a labyrinth in which to get deliriously lost.
  79. 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.
  80. Thorough, understated and altogether enthralling documentary.
  81. Eschewing voice-over or any obvious trace of an on-screen or off-screen presence, she (Brown) lets her images, a little text and other people do the talking for her. Her quiet has its own force.
  82. Ms. Hunt's eye for detail has the precision of a short story writer's. She misses nothing.
  83. An erotically charged, beautifully directed story of a woman preyed upon by different men and her own warring desires.
  84. How was this careless, self-destructive human rhythm machine able to outlast almost all her peers? Maybe the vitality of the jazz she made kept her alive. She was one tough lady.
  85. A misanthropic dentist, a roguish ghost and a zany Egyptologist: as these unlikely companions scamper around Manhattan in the buoyant comedy Ghost Town, they resurrect the spirits of classic movie curmudgeons like W. C. Fields and such romantic comedians as Cary Grant and Carole Lombard in Woody Allen territory.
  86. Mr. Jacobs has succeeded at one of the most difficult tasks given a director, which is to make a character come alive through the filmmaking, not exposition.
  87. In the manner of a Satyajit Ray film, The Pool avoids melodrama, the better to capture the texture of Venkatesh's vagabond life.
  88. May not advance any grand new thesis about the South and its history, but it turns an old house into a rich and strange repository of local knowledge.
  89. 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.
  90. It’s a small movie, and in some ways a very sad one, but it has an undeniable and authentic vitality, an exuberance of spirit, that feels welcome and rare.
  91. 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.
  92. This movie is crowded and sprawling, and if it rambles sometimes, that's just fine. Like those big, boxy Caddies (and like Howlin’ Wolf, if he did say so himself), it's built for comfort, not for speed. It hums, it purrs and it roars.
  93. What will happen to her? The strength of this short, simple, perfect story of a young woman and her dog is that this does not seem, by the end, to be an idle or trivial question. What happens to Wendy -- and to Lucy -- matters a lot, which is to say that Wendy and Lucy, for all its modesty, matters a lot too.
  94. Mr. Eastwood is also an adept director of his own performances and, perhaps more important, a canny manipulator of his own iconographic presence.
  95. Like its hero, the movie has a blunt, exuberant honesty, pulling off even its false moves with conviction and flair.
  96. 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.
  97. The movie's steady attention to detail lends it a texture rarely found in films about domestic life. Its eye and ear for the particular and for what is left unsaid in tense conversation is unerring.

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