The New York Times' Scores

For 10,263 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 12 Years a Slave
Lowest review score: 0 Equilibrium
Score distribution:
10,263 movie reviews
  1. Tchoupitoulas does explore the border between innocence and experience. It is alive with the risk and curiosity of youth, and unapologetic in insisting that the pursuit of fun can be a profound and transformative experience.
  2. While occasionally unpleasant, the film never crosses the line from bearably chilling to unbearably gruesome, keeping its characters credible and its events explicable.
  3. An exquisite film about the institutionalized oppression of an entire class of women and the way patriarchal imperatives inform religious belief.
  4. 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.
  5. 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."
  6. You are left with an overall impression of a movie so full of life that it is almost bursting at the seams.
  7. This is not a fable of assimilation or alienation, but rather the keenly observed story of two people seeking guidance in painful and complicated circumstances.
  8. 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.
  9. Melancholia is emphatically not what anyone would call a feel-good movie, and yet it nonetheless leaves behind a glow of aesthetic satisfaction.
  10. Instead of being contemptuous and sardonic, the portrait of inchoate adolescent longing in Paradise: Hope is poignant.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. As a comedy of manners it has a dependably keen aim, with its most wicked barbs leavened by Mr. Mazursky's obvious fondness for his characters.
  14. 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.
  15. Here the clinical, stopwatch precision of Mr. Tykwer's explorations of synchronicity and Kieslowski's warmer, metaphysically dreamy speculations about the role of chance and coincidence in human affairs synchronize into a film whose formal elegance is matched by its depth of feeling.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. The revelations keep coming in Sing Your Song and it's hard not to go googly eyed when, for a 1963 CBS special, you see Mr. Belafonte discussing the march on Washington with some fellow marchers, Mr. Poitier, Marlon Brando, James Baldwin, Charlton Heston and the film director Joseph L. Mankiewicz.
  19. A slender Chekhovian vignette about the joys and regrets of old age and the pleasures of sociability.
  20. Bully forces you to confront not the cruelty of specific children - who have their own problems, and their good sides as well - but rather the extent to which that cruelty is embedded in our schools and therefore in our society as a whole.
  21. Ms. Scherson’s style — backed wholeheartedly by the cool cinematography of Ricardo de Angelis — may value mood over information, but it’s the perfect vehicle for a portrait of two damaged souls grasping for a security they no longer possess.
  22. The Mother of Tears is silly, awkward, vulgar, outlandish, hysterical, inventive, revolting, flamboyant, titillating, ridiculous, mischievous, uproarious, cheap, priceless, tasteless and sublime.
  23. Love & Mercy doesn’t claim to solve the mystery of Brian Wilson, but it succeeds beyond all expectation in making you hear where he was coming from.
  24. Heavily seasoned with epigrams worthy of Oscar Wilde, this entertaining documentary portrays Vidal as a pessimistic political prophet with streaks of paranoia and misanthropy, but a truth teller nonetheless.
  25. Scarface is the most stylish and provocative - and maybe the most vicious - serious film about the American underworld since Francis Ford Coppola's "Godfather."
  26. 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.
  27. The movie’s eerie, climactic image challenges our conventional notions of human identity and leaves us reflecting on the possibility that every being in the universe is an alien in disguise.
  28. It is marvelously romantic, even though - or precisely because - it acknowledges the disappointment that shadows every genuine expression of romanticism.
  29. The messiness of the film seems appropriate to its subject, which is the attempt to bring at least a measure of order - and even a touch of grace - to a chaotic and frequently ugly reality.
  30. As in many road movies, the trip becomes an occasion for philosophizing, a journey inward and out as the men joust and parry, improvising and entertaining each other, at times by imitating, hilariously, someone else (Michael Caine, Sean Connery).
  31. 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.
  32. Needlessly complicated, life already has more than enough petty dramas. Let It Rain may not be funny in a ha-ha sense, but it gave me an amused open-mouthed appreciation of life’s absurdities, including unanticipated nuisances like bad weather.
  33. Its effects seem more like those of a poem or a piece of music than a movie. Requires the reverent darkness and communal solitude of a theater.
  34. Who would have expected Ms. Zellweger --- and Miramax -- to come through in a musical? And it's one of the few Christmas entertainments to run under two hours. Who couldn't love that?
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. Carefully assembled and soberly presented, Robert May’s Kids for Cash takes a lacerating look at America’s juvenile justice system.
  38. Though the movie is playfully postmodern in its pastiche of styles and its mingling of sincerity and self-consciousness, there is also something solidly old-fashioned about the way it tells its story.
  39. As La Ciénaga perspires from the screen, it creates a vision of social malaise that feels paradoxically familiar and new.
  40. Rust and Bone is a strong, emotionally replete experience, and also a tour de force of directorial button pushing. Mr. Audiard is a canny showman, adept at manipulating the audience's feelings and expectations with quick edits and well-chosen songs.
  41. Testament of Youth, James Kent’s stately screen adaptation of the British author Vera Brittain’s 1933 World War I memoir, evokes the march of history with a balance and restraint exhibited by few movies with such grand ambitions.
  42. It is all perfectly dreadful and at times appallingly funny. Mr. Solondz winds thin tendrils of narrative around the dinner-table conversations, and allows everyone a chance to be earnestly foolish, unguardedly selfish and also, almost by accident, cruelly honest.
  43. The film's passionate insistence on remembrance lends it a moral as well as a metaphysical weight. Mr. Guzmán's belief in eternal memory is an astounding leap of faith.
  44. Ms. Holland, working from a script by Stepan Hulik, a Czech screenwriter born in 1984, turns a sprawling story into a tight and suspenseful ethical thriller.
  45. The movie is an entirely absorbing, occasionally revelatory portrait of a brilliant talent driven to greatness by an inner chorus of demons and angels.
  46. 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.
  47. The very definition of modest, Las Acacias articulates emotional transformation with simplicity and grace. Rarely has a film managed to say so much while saying so little.
  48. Mr. Zemeckis is able both to keep the story moving and to keep it from going too far. He handles Back to the Future with the kind of inventiveness that indicates he will be spinning funny, whimsical tall tales for a long time to come.
  49. Gliding from intimate to surreal, from aurally disjunctive to visually seductive, Rubberband is a languorous ballad of sadness and disappointment.
  50. 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.
  51. The title of Terms and Conditions May Apply is unlikely to excite, but the content of this quietly blistering documentary should rile even the most passive viewer.
  52. This modest, enormously likable film, about love and temptation and ties that bind, is about brotherhood most of all. [9 August 1995, p.C9]
    • The New York Times
  53. 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.
  54. It weaves life and art into a rich tapestry of love, loss and compassion.
  55. Like the director's cover story, the movie is a Trojan horse: an exceptionally well-made documentary that unfolds like a spy thriller, complete with bugged hotel rooms, clandestine derring-do and mysterious men in gray flannel suits.
  56. Its violence is low-tech... and its look is old-school, but its message could not possibly be more momentous.
  57. The woman in Christopher Munch's lovely, delightfully idiosyncratic Letters From the Big Man, resplendent with its own dense forests and cloudy Oregon days, has already fallen to earth and is looking for a way back up or maybe just forward. She gets help from a sasquatch.
  58. Its insistent zaniness makes Soul Kitchen very different in spirit from Mr. Akin's two previous films, "Head-On" and "The Edge of Heaven," which established him as a major European filmmaker. Seriously silly, it evokes the same high-spirited, pan-European multiculturalism in which people of all ages and backgrounds blithely traverse national borders as they aggressively pursue their destinies.
  59. Few moments in recent nonfiction cinema are as piercing as the one in which Ms. Schwartz asks her mother if she might have settled down with Mr. Parker had he not been black.
  60. It is a deeply personal piece of art that never descends into the confessional or the therapeutic, and a work of social and literary criticism that never lectures or hectors, but rather, with melancholy, tenderness and wit, manages to sing.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If the film suggests that there's something bittersweet about a life dedicated to a single pursuit cultivated with an almost religious fervor, it also stands in awe of its subject's seemingly inexhaustible, self-abnegating capacity to remain attuned to the expression of others.
  61. The most gripping scene in this near-perfect little sports comedy is a fraternal arm-wrestling contest that reaches apoplectic intensity.
  62. Ms. DuVernay, from start to finish in this very fine movie, works to make sure that Ruby is a woman to remember.
  63. This devastating film persuasively portrays them (Tillman family) as finer, more morally sturdy people than the cynical chain of command that lied to them and used their son as a propaganda tool.
  64. With enough tragic-restorative plot twists for a 12-hour mini-series, Botso is an enchanting film for two reasons: Mr. Korisheli’s humanity is magnetic, and no more beautiful case could be made for the psychological healing power of making music.
  65. It's a gift for moviegoers to have this much freedom, and exhilarating. In Holy Motors you never know where Mr. Carax will take you and you never know what, exactly, you're to do once you're there.
  66. It is a crowded, complex crime story that is also a tale of sexual awakening and an understated exercise in kitchen-sink realism. In short - or rather at mesmerizing, necessary length - this film has everything, and is well worth a day of your life.
  67. Quietly courageous drama .
  68. A taut, unnerving, forcefully unromantic fictional film.
  69. Captivating documentary about the creation of, and reaction to, the breakthrough play "The Boys in the Band."
  70. The variety of physical perspectives lends a vivid you-are-there aspect to this record of the Zuccotti Park protest in New York in 2011.
  71. 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.
  72. This Lady Chatterley, winner of five César awards in France, feels bracingly fresh, vital and modern.
  73. The film was written, directed and somehow willed into unlikely existence by the extravagantly talented Carlos Reygadas, whose immersion in this exotic world feels so deep and true that it seems like an act of faith.
  74. Might be described as an epic landscape film, a sweetly comic coming-of-age story or a lyrical work of social realism. But the setting -- a windswept, sparely populated steppe in southern Kazakhstan -- gives the movie a mood that sometimes feels closer to that of science fiction.
  75. Crammed with color and imagination, every one of Jake Pollock's gorgeously photographed images feels timelessly suspended between innocence and awareness.
  76. 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.
  77. If you compared the two main characters with the cowboys in "Brokeback Mountain," they would be ignoble versions of Ennis del Mar (Jimmy) and Jack Twist (Lars). Like their American counterparts, they barely know what to do with their passion.
  78. Mr. Elba’s towering performance lends “Long Walk to Freedom” a Shakespearean breadth.
  79. Its account of patrician degradation will cause you to blink your eyes. Although it is only fiction, it wafts a thick and acrid air of smoldering truth.
  80. Sweet Sixteen shows that he's (Loach) as capable of anger as his protagonist and just as eager to draw attention to an unchanging problem: the blight of generational poverty.
  81. If you don't share the film's piercing vision of what really matters, someday you will.
  82. Encountered in an appropriately exploratory frame of mind, it can produce something close to bliss.
  83. It is the kind of hearty, blunt-force drama with softened edges that leaves audiences applauding and teary-eyed.
  84. It looks to be clean and pure and without artifice, even though it is possibly as sophisticated as any commercial American movie ever made.
  85. This coldly compelling film doesn't try to explain Michael's behavior or analyze his disease. As if doing penance for Michael's sins, it eventually metes out unequivocal punishment, but it is small consolation.
  86. A potent, persuasive and quietly furious documentary.
  87. 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.
  88. The film is a cat-and-mouse game in which each player thinks he’s the cat, making it both thrilling and disconcerting to watch. It is also a nature documentary about behavior at the very top of the imperial food chain and a detective story about the search for a mystery that is hidden in plain sight.
  89. At once admirable and deeply unsettling.
  90. It is baffling and beautiful, a flurry of musical and literary snippets arrayed in counterpoint to a series of brilliantly colored and hauntingly evocative pictures.
  91. Pugilists and philosophers of all kinds converge in Frederick Wiseman's mesmerizing documentary Boxing Gym.
  92. Directing with an old-fashioned tenderness toward his unassuming star, Ken Ochiai conjures a swan song to a waning art form and those who practice it.
  93. In classic narrative fashion, Mr. Mundruczo works the setup like a burlesque fan dancer, teasing out the reveal bit by bit.
  94. 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.
  95. Recoing's performance is a sensitive portrayal of a man in the throes of an excruciating spiritual crisis.
  96. 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.
  97. There are several genres nimbly folded into The Skin I Live In, which might also be described as an existential mystery, a melodramatic thriller, a medical horror film or just a polymorphous extravaganza. In other words, it's an Almodóvar movie with all the attendant gifts that implies: lapidary technique, calculated perversity, intelligent wit.
  98. He's (Kingsley) pure violence, a sociopath who radiates menace even while sitting perfectly still mouthing pleasantries.
  99. If Mr. Ghobadi's dominant theme is the devastation of the Kurds, his subdominant tone is one of strength, resistance and fertility.

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