The New York Times' Scores

For 9,905 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 Camden 28
Lowest review score: 0 Hush
Score distribution:
9,905 movie reviews
  1. Merging the sacred and the profane, the bloody and the batty, Love Exposure tunnels into serious topics - warped parenting, sexual intolerance and the way religious cults enslave damaged souls - with a hilariously blasphemous shovel.
  2. A handmade dream, cobbled together from dirt, wood and more imagination than most of us can muster in our most fevered states. Because this Czech master refuses to work in the scrubbed, antiseptic manner of most animators, this fable comes to life as hilarious and creepy.
  3. In its jagged style and tone Black Butterflies is as close to an inside-out view of Jonker's tumultuous life as a movie could go without sinking into chaos. Its hues are continuously changing, and the seaside weather around Cape Town reflects her tempestuous emotional life.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Splendidly panoramic. The scenes of Columbus's arrival and of his imperialist and religious sloganeering, and of the carnage he wreaks, have a grandeur and a force reminiscent of Terrence Malick films. The segments about the chaotic water riots have a documentary immediacy.
  8. Every shot seems measured for maximum effect, and when the pace suddenly quickens in a late action sequence on a deserted subway train, it results in a moment of pure Hitchcockian panic that reverberates like thunder in the fretful, melancholy air.
  9. Though their quarry eventually appears to be a model of paranoia and prejudice, it's the thrill of the hunt that keeps Resurrect Dead compelling.
  10. Looks and feels like a fever dream about an alternate universe. Suffused with a sense of wonder, it hovers, dancing inside its own ethereal bubble.
  11. 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."
  12. The film is a triumph of mood and implication.
  13. The film's strength is that it sustains an intimate and realistic tone. Mr. Fishburne, who is called upon to deliver several lectures, manages to do so with enormous dignity and grace, and makes Furious a compelling role model, someone on whom the whole film easily pivots.
  14. One of those films that create a mix of erudition, pageantry and delectable acting opportunities, much as "Shakespeare in Love."
  15. Their comedy gives audiences that have never seen anything like it a hilarious window on a new world.
  16. Merging the sustainability worries of guitar enthusiasts and environmentalists with the hard-cash concerns of logging corporations and Native American land developers, Maxine Trump’s thoughtful documentary wrests clarity from complexity.
  17. The filmmaking is rough and rather clumsy, but by ceding the floor to his open, highly articulate sisters, Mr. Colvard has created a fascinatingly raw study of ferociously wielded male power.
  18. A show not simply preserved by Mr. Lee’s camera, but brought, somehow, to its fullest, strangest, most electrifying realization.
  19. Bad Hair is an uncomfortably accurate depiction of a poignant mother-son power struggle in a fatherless family in which each knows how to get under the other’s skin.
  20. It makes for continuously riveting, visceral entertainment that evokes a Gallic "Scarface" without the drugs.
  21. Hedges's intelligent and touching farce, Pieces of April, makes an important contribution to a small and insignificant subgenre: Thanksgiving Day failure. It does so by raising the bar.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Buñuel has made a marvelously complex, funny and vigorously moral movie that also is, to me, his most perfectly cast film. [21 Sept. 1970]
    • The New York Times
  22. This hilarious fake documentary -- deserves a place beside the comedies of Christopher Guest in the hall of fame of semi-deadpan spoofs.
  23. Putty Hill doesn't strive for overt social commentary. It drops you into a world that the director, who grew up in the area, knows firsthand: a suburban fringe of stasis, downward mobility and lowered expectations.
  24. 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."
  25. 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.
  26. The filmmaker, Theo Love, presents the people in the story as they are, without passing judgment and without apology, whether they are investigators or pastors or just ordinary folks caught up in the inexplicable. It’s Americana unvarnished and, because of that, as absorbing as it is respectful.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. It's a modest film, if only in scale and apparent budget, about some of the greatest questions in life, like the existence of God, our capacity to see beyond our own vanity and the legacies of fathers, both blood and state.
  30. Moves with fluidity and ease through brisk opening conventions to a perfectly poised and balanced endgame.
  31. The towering, lost dreaminess at the heart of the film is an unmistakable obsession of this director.
  32. Nothing Miss Close has done on the screen before approaches the richness and comic delicacy of her work as the Marquise. [21 Dec 1988, p.C22]
    • The New York Times
  33. 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.
  34. This confident first feature from the actor Amy Seimetz is much more invested in atmosphere than in plot.
  35. Beautiful and heartfelt, an oasis of humanity in a season of furious hyperbole.
  36. So entertaining, so flip and so genially irreverent that it seems to announce the return of the great gregarious film maker whose "Nashville" remains one of the classics of the 1970's.
  37. 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.
  38. Dense, contradictory and distressingly honest, Valley of Tears is that rarity among political documentaries: a genuinely thought-provoking film.
  39. 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.
  40. The movie is realistic enough to make all corporate climbers, but especially men over 50, quake in their boots. If you are what you do, what are you if you're no longer doing it?
  41. 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.
  42. An ingenious black comedy written and directed by James Westby, comes at you like a horror movie before settling down into something quieter but equally skin crawling.
  43. In its thrilling disregard for the conventions of commercial cinematic storytelling, Wild reveals what some of us have long suspected: that plot is the enemy of truth, and that images and emotions can carry meaning more effectively than neatly packaged scenes or carefully scripted character arcs.
  44. Mr. Solondz brilliantly - triumphantly - turns this impression on its head, transforming what might have been an exercise in easy satirical cruelty into a tremendously moving argument for the necessity of compassion.
  45. Mr. Young's passionate cracked whine assumes an oracular power.
  46. Less a parable of literary ethics than a showcase of literary personality, and it is in the end more touching than troubling.
  47. It may get a few things wrong, but it aims at, and finally achieves, an authenticity at once more exalted and more primal than mere verisimilitude.
  48. A wry, mournful study of midlife crisis.
  49. Like the great films of the 1930's and early 40's, it is at once artful and unpretentious, sophisticated and completely accessible, sure of its own authority and generous toward characters and audience alike -- a movie whose intended public is the human race.
  50. 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.
  51. Let the Fire Burn relentlessly sustains its tragic momentum.
  52. Ingenious fantasy.
  53. The sweet, solemn music of George Harrison, who died two years ago, has rarely sounded more majestic than in the sweeping performances of the enlarged star-studded band that gathered in London at Royal Albert Hall on Nov. 29 to commemorate his legacy.
  54. It has taken only two films, "Welcome to the Dollhouse" and now Happiness, for Todd Solondz to establish his as one of the most lacerating, funny and distinctive voices in American film.
  55. It’s a sober, revelatory and absolutely vital film.
  56. 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.
  57. The script, by Sally Phillips and Neil Jaworski, mocks celebrity culture but never turns too caustic. The movie, like an island vacation, passes pleasantly and all too quickly.
  58. 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.
  59. Moonrise Kingdom breezes along with a beautifully coordinated admixture of droll humor, deadpan and slapstick. Like all of Mr. Anderson's films, though, there's a deep, pervasive melancholia here too.
  60. A strange and funny film, smart, complex and difficult to shake.
  61. Comprising small, near-perfect scenes played out largely at dinner tables and on couches, The Lie wonders if it's possible to rewrite lives and remake choices.
  62. The subtext of the relationship is not sexuality, as it is in "Twilight" or "True Blood," but rather the loneliness of children and their often unrecognized reservoirs of rage.
  63. Along the way comes a bracing, honest confession about these interactive creations, voiced by one designer but no doubt applying to many more makers of all kinds: "I made it for myself."
  64. American fans of "The Hunger Games" may not embrace - or even be permitted to see - Battle Royale, which is too bad. It is in many ways a better movie and in any case a fascinating companion, drawn from a parallel cultural universe. It is a lot uglier and also, perversely, a lot more fun.
  65. "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.
  66. 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.
  67. Your religion or lack of one doesn't matter. At some point while watching the film, you may feel that music IS God, or if not, a close approximation of divinity.
  68. The Snowtown Murders reminds us that sometimes evil is immediately recognizable, but at other times it comes bearing bacon and beer.
  69. It is the funniest and saddest movie Mr. Baumbach has made so far, and also the riskiest.
  70. With its soft, bleached images and occasional detours into black-and-white stills, Turn Me On, set in an unspecified recent past, has a gentle oddness as unforced as its performances and as inoffensive as its dialogue.
  71. [A] pessimistic, grimly outraged and utterly riveting documentary.
  72. His Breakdown is a tough, vigorous exercise in pure action, shot with throwback expertise and, most refreshingly, without special effects.
  73. It is appropriately blunt, powerful and relentless, a study of male bodies in sweaty motion and masculine emotions in teary turmoil.
  74. Not since "Y Tu Mamá También" has a movie so palpably captured the down-to-earth, flesh-and-blood reality of high-spirited people living their lives without self-consciousness.
  75. Full of ideas about sexuality - some quite provocative, even a century after their first articulation - but it also recognizes and communicates the erotic power of ideas.
  76. Juno respects the idiosyncrasies of its characters rather than exaggerating them or holding them up for ridicule.
  77. 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.
  78. The tone is breezy, bright and brash, vividly illuminated by Ms. Juri’s extraordinarily unprotected and utterly fearless performance.
  79. Stunning...a film much tougher and more transfixing than its wan title.
  80. Mysterious, poetic and allusive, The Werckmeister Harmonies beckons filmgoers who complain of the vapidity of Hollywood movie making and yearn for a film to ponder and debate.
  81. Essential viewing for anyone who desires a sense of the finer human grain of a war that now commands the attention of the world as never before.
  82. The film they have put together is dense with sound and information, but it moves with a swift, lilting rhythm that is of a piece with the musical heritage it explores.
  83. By focusing on musicians who are talented but finally not good or persistent enough to succeed in the big time, Not Fade Away offers a poignant, alternative, antiheroic history of the big beat.
  84. Beautifully written and acted, Tell No One is a labyrinth in which to get deliriously lost.
  85. Beautiful in its minimalism, Nénette is no antizoo rant but a melancholy meditation on captivity.
  86. A rueful, warmly affecting film featuring a wonderful performance by Mr. Troisi, The Postman would be attention-getting even without the sadness that overshadows it. [14 June 1995, p. C15]
    • The New York Times
  87. Doesn't try to cram messages of uplift down its audience's gullet. It's a great eggscape from banality.
  88. 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.
  89. Boy
    This unpretentious comic tale of a youngster's growing relationship with a long-absent father has a surprising rhythmic genius: joy juxtaposed with humiliation, silliness with sadness, fantasy with reality, and none of it formulaic. The editing feels fresh, as does the film.
  90. 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.
  91. The sibling directors Lisa and Rob Fruchtman have made a nuanced and deftly edited film about a complex issue.
  92. 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.
  93. 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.
  94. Easily one of the finest pictures of 2003 or any other year.
  95. 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.
  96. The director manages to evade both the stuffy antiquarianism and the pandering anachronism that subvert so many cinematic attempts at historical inquiry.
  97. Woven throughout is a deeply rewarding recognition of the sustaining power of female companionship.
  98. Enveloped in a sweetness that buffers the depths of its emotions, Hiroyuki Okiura’s A Letter to Momo explores the stains of loss and regret on a personality too young to articulate them.
  99. It seems to me that by describing horror with such elegance and beauty, Kubrick has created a very disorienting but human comedy, not warm and lovable, but a terrible sum- up of where the world is at... Because it refuses to use the emotions conventionally, demanding instead that we keep a constant, intellectual grip on things, it's a most unusual--and disorienting--movie experience.

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