The New York Times' Scores

For 9,639 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 The Deep Blue Sea
Lowest review score: 0 September Dawn
Score distribution:
9,639 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Mr. Eastwood is also an adept director of his own performances and, perhaps more important, a canny manipulator of his own iconographic presence.
  5. Like its hero, the movie has a blunt, exuberant honesty, pulling off even its false moves with conviction and flair.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Because this is also a document of an actress actually at work, much of the movie's pleasure comes from watching another brilliant performance take shape as Ms. Streep tries out different line readings, gestures and poses in her search for Mother Courage.
  9. A memoir, a history lesson, a combat picture, a piece of investigative journalism and an altogether amazing film.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Coraline lingers in an atmosphere that is creepy, wonderfully strange and full of feeling.
  14. Part of what's bracing about Gomorrah, and makes it feel different from so many American crime movies, is both its deadly serious take on violence and its global understanding of how far and wide the mob's tentacles reach, from high fashion to the very dirt.
  15. Filmmaker Kevin Rafferty makes the case for remembrance and for the art of the story in his preposterously entertaining documentary Harvard Beats Yale 29-29, preposterous at least for those of us who routinely shun that pagan sacrament.
  16. 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.
  17. Cool-headed, lighthearted and outrageously entertaining.
  18. A wrenching, richly layered feminist allegory as well as a geopolitical one.
  19. Mr. Toback's film, partly because it restricts itself to Mr. Tyson's point of view, offers a rare and vivid study in the complexity of a single suffering, raging soul. It is not an entirely trustworthy movie, but it does feel profoundly honest.
  20. 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.
  21. A profound and provocative exploration of cultural inheritance, communications technology and the roots and morality of terrorism, the Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan nimbly wades into an ideological minefield without detonating an explosion.
  22. With a script that snaps, characters that pop, a blaze of streetwise attitude and enough firepower to pulverize a significant chunk of South Philadelphia, Next Day Air nears neo-blaxploitation perfection. Good things come in strange packages.
  23. A grave and beautiful work of art.
  24. A rich, thought-provoking film.
  25. The actors in 24 City bring their own existential realities to their short, touching performances. In the end, the deep emotions they stir up -- the actress Lv Liping delivers a harrowing story about a lost child -- constitute another kind of monument to the workers of Factory 420.
  26. The images are as delightful, unexpected and playfully uninhibited as Ms. Varda, perhaps the only filmmaker who has both won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and strolled around an art exhibition while costumed as a potato (not at the same time).
  27. More than an indelible portrait of a sociopath with the soul of a zombie, Tony Manero is an extremely dark meditation on borrowed cultural identity.
  28. The movie’s unblinking observation of a friendship put to the test is amused, queasy making, kindhearted and unfailingly truthful.
  29. Soul Power, as aptly and succinctly titled a movie as I have ever seen, takes you to a place where the discipline that produces great popular art is indistinguishable from the ecstasy that art creates.
  30. It is Mr. Soderbergh’s insistence on seeing the A.D.M. scandal as a collective tragedy rather than as another white-collar crime that gives the movie force, resonance, feeling.
  31. Nimble and self-assured as Mr. Daniels’s direction may be, he could not make you believe in “Precious” unless you were able to believe in Precious herself. You will.
  32. A sharply written, fast-talking, almost dementedly articulate satire on modern statecraft.
  33. Exquisitely captured in natural light by the cinematographer Alexis Zabé, Juan’s journey is framed by sherbet-colored houses and lemon sidewalks, dipping palm fronds and a burnished, turquoise horizon. The director calls his style "artisan cinema"; I just call it dreamy.
  34. 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.
  35. Lorna's Silence is engrossing and powerful, which may be just another way of saying it's a film by the Dardenne brothers. If it falls a bit short of the standards of their best work, that is only because it is not quite a masterpiece.
  36. Beeswax, at first glance a modest, ragged slice of contemporary life, turns out to be a remarkably subtle, even elegant movie.
  37. A taut, unnerving, forcefully unromantic fictional film.
  38. A show not simply preserved by Mr. Lee’s camera, but brought, somehow, to its fullest, strangest, most electrifying realization.
  39. In some ways his (Anderson) most fully realized and satisfying film. Once you adjust to its stop-and-start rhythms and its scruffy looks, you can appreciate its wit, its beauty and the sly gravity of its emotional undercurrents.
  40. The story is at once hilarious and horrific, its significance both self-evident and opaque. The same could be said of most of the Coen brothers’ movies, in which human existence and the attempt to find meaning in it are equally futile, if also sometimes a lot of fun. (For us, at least.)
  41. This strikingly humane film may function as a prequel to Animal Planet’s “Whale Wars” but is light years ahead in visual clarity and narrative ambition.
  42. An agonizingly familiar refrain, but one that the young Argentine director Alexis Dos Santos relates with such tenderness and with so much ethereal beauty that it feels like something fresh.
  43. Ahead of us lie many more documentaries similar in tone and spirit to this one. We can hope that at least a few of them are as intelligently and artfully made.
  44. Ms. Campion, with her restless camera movements and off-center close-ups, films history in the present tense, and her wild vitality makes this movie romantic in every possible sense of the word.
  45. Mr. Natali, whose earlier films include “Cube,” hasn’t reinvented the horror genre. But with Splice he has done the next best thing with an intelligent movie that, in between its small boos and an occasional hair-raising jolt, explores chewy issues like bioethics, abortion, corporate-sponsored science, commitment problems between lovers and even Freudian-worthy family dynamics.
  46. Mr. Malkovich is one of the few actors capable of conveying genuine intellectual depth.
  47. The hard-pounding heart of Mother, Ms. Kim is a wonderment. Perched on the knife edge between tragedy and comedy, her delivery gives the narrative -- which tends to drift, sometimes beguilingly, sometimes less so -- much of its momentum.
  48. A sun-kissed German film about a young couple in love and in doubt, might not be perfect, but so much is right and true in this lovely, delicate work that it comes breathtakingly close.
  49. Bronson invites you to admire its protagonist as a pure, muscular embodiment of anarchy. And perhaps you will, but you may also be glad that he’s still behind bars.
  50. No movie can convey the truth of war to those of us who have not lived through it, but The Messenger, precisely by acknowledging just how hard it is to live with that truth, manages to bring it at least partway home.
  51. 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.
  52. Broken Embraces leaves the viewer in a contradictory state, a mixture of devastation and euphoria, amusement and dismay that deserves its own clinical designation. Call it Almodóvaria, a syndrome from which some of us are more than happy to suffer.
  53. The movie is best understood not in banal docudrama terms but as an impressionistic portrait of a man who, stripped of power, is revealed as grotesquely human.
  54. Art is a fairy tale we choose to believe in, and this movie, a fiction confected about real people, is too good not to be true.
  55. ATown Called Panic is an adventure story as fast-paced and exciting as any currently in theaters.
  56. The contradictions of adolescence have rarely been conveyed with such authenticity and force.
  57. One of the pleasures of Ajami, a tough and in many ways unsparing movie, is its deep immersion in the beats and melodies of everyday life in Jaffa and beyond.
  58. Not a horror movie but a witty, expertly constructed psychological thriller.
  59. Its scrupulous, humane sympathy gives this small, sorrowful film a glow of insight and a pulse of genuine, openhearted curiosity.
  60. Ms. Abt provides an unusually honest, compassionate and challenging view of contemporary youth, neither sugarcoated nor prurient.
  61. It is only fitting that a movie concerned with the power and beauty of drawing -- the almost sacred magic of color and line -- should be so gorgeously and intricately drawn.
  62. A slender Chekhovian vignette about the joys and regrets of old age and the pleasures of sociability.
  63. It is the funniest and saddest movie Mr. Baumbach has made so far, and also the riskiest.
  64. As concert documentaries go, both “Neil Young: Heart of Gold” (2006) and the new Neil Young Trunk Show are luxury goods.
  65. A sustained, alternatingly exhausting and aesthetically exhilarating howl of a film.
  66. Ms. Breillat narrates the fairy tale three ways: in the period story, through the little girls and, finally, through the overall film. None are fully satisfying, but together they offer a sharp, knowing gloss on how our stories define who we were and who we become.
  67. Epic in scope but intimate in theme, The Warlordsheaves with spectacular battles and the relentless sway of self-interest over conscience.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Has all the hallmarks of a career summation -- and early on it seems fated to collapse beneath the weight of its ambitions. Instead, it soars, thanks to Mr. Gerima’s bracingly direct storytelling.
  68. By the time the final measure of rough cosmic justice is meted out, The Square has completed a tour of moral squalor that is suspenseful, invigorating and sometimes harshly funny.
  69. Educates without lecturing and engages without effort.
  70. Exit could be a new subgenre: the prankumentary. Audiences, however, would be advised simply to enjoy the film on its face -- even if that face is a carefully contrived mask.
  71. The film is careful to avoid explicit political statement, but its reticence makes its critique of the Iranian regime all the more devastating.
  72. 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.
  73. A sharp, small-scale comedy of male misbehavior that turns out to be one of this dreary spring’s pleasant cinematic surprises.
  74. Two in the Wave honors that collaboration by carefully recounting its details and arguing for its significance. The films of Truffaut and Mr. Godard stand or fall by themselves, but together they made history.
  75. 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.
  76. This small, nearly perfect film is a reminder that personal upheavals are as consequential in people's lives as shattering world events.
  77. This convulsively funny movie takes an up-close and sometimes queasy-personal approach to its motormouth subject, who, when she's not making you howl with laughter (or freeze up in horror), brandishes her deeply held hurts, fears, prejudices, poor judgment and bad taste as if they were stigmata.
  78. The film's realism is a point of entry rather than the whole point of the exercise. Its setting is finally subordinate to the main character, as memorable and vivid a heroine as you are likely to see on screen this season.
  79. Often soaringly beautiful melodrama.
  80. 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.
  81. Methodically ticks off the forms of oppression visited on gays and lesbians in the days before the gay rights movement.
  82. Remarkable patchwork of unremarkable lives.
  83. As the war in Afghanistan returns to the front pages and the national debate, we owe the men in Restrepo, at the very least, 90 minutes or so of our attention. If nothing else, this film, in showing how much they care about one another, demands the same of us.
  84. Like its would-be lovers, Wild Grass chases itself in circles as it scrambles genres, examining seeing, thinking, remembering and imagining with a zany awareness. In Georges's words: "After the cinema nothing surprises you. Everything is possible."
  85. Isn't just a pleasurable rethink of your geek uncle's favorite science-fiction series. It's also a testament to television's power as mythmaker, as a source for some of the fundamental stories we tell about ourselves, who we are and where we came from.
  86. One of the rare documentaries you leave wishing it was a little bit longer.
  87. At under 90 minutes, Around a Small Mountain is, by Mr. Rivette’s standards, a small vignette. It could have been —--and perhaps was -- part of something longer and more complex, but it stands as perfectly on its own as Pic St.-Loup, marvelous to contemplate and changing slightly every time you see it.
  88. 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.
  89. Strongly acted and beautifully photographed (by Virgil Mirano), Spoken Word is a quietly resonant family drama about the tug of old habits and the difficulties of escaping the past.
  90. 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.
  91. Sweet, generous and tonally sure, Patrik, Age 1.5 has a nostalgic feel, and not just because of a soundtrack skewed toward last-millennium tunes and a hyperreal suburban setting lifted straight from "Pleasantville."
  92. The film's depiction of the raw fear lurking below the brothers' braggadocio is the most pronounced emotion in a movie whose focus on the personalities of its criminals suggests an Australian answer to "Goodfellas," minus the wise-guy humor.
  93. Remarkable as much for its speculative restraint as for its philosophical reach.
  94. 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.
  95. 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.
  96. It makes for continuously riveting, visceral entertainment that evokes a Gallic "Scarface" without the drugs.
  97. The story is deepened with a distinctively European political subtext as the increasingly grandiose Mesrine engages in a running dialogue with various characters about the differences between gangsters and revolutionaries.
  98. These are vivid, flawed, even introspective characters. And they're classic American strivers. With rodeo, but not just that, they hope to go beyond where they have been.
  99. When Mr. Eisenberg makes Mark's face go blank, the character seems scarily emptied out: it's a subtly great, at times unsettling, performance.

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