The New York Times' Scores

For 12,216 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Anna Karenina
Lowest review score: 0 Hush
Score distribution:
12216 movie reviews
  1. Considering that he’s a stick figure, Bill, the main character in It’s Such a Beautiful Day, sure does have a complex internal life. And this animated film by Don Hertzfeldt does an amazing job of making you feel it, in all its sadness, terror and transcendence.
  2. Creates a cinematic mosaic of American lives unprecedented in its range, balance, subtlety and even-handedness.
  3. The first 40 minutes or so of Wall-E -- in which barely any dialogue is spoken, and almost no human figures appear on screen -- is a cinematic poem of such wit and beauty that its darker implications may take a while to sink in.
  4. A truly majestic visual tone poem.
  5. The great accomplishment of Gloria, the Chilean writer-director Sebastián Lelio’s astute, unpretentious and thrillingly humane new film, is that it acknowledges both sides of its heroine’s temperament without judgment or sentimentality.
  6. It’s a pitiless, violent story that in its telling becomes a haunting and haunted intellectual and aesthetic achievement.
  7. Reds is an extraordinary film, a big romantic adventure movie, the best since David Lean's ''Lawrence of Arabia,'' as well as a commercial movie with a rare sense of history.
  8. Mr. Wright's Anna Karenina is different. It is risky and ambitious enough to count as an act of artistic hubris, and confident enough to triumph on its own slightly - wonderfully - crazy terms.
  9. Mr. Allen's most securely serious and funny film to date.
  10. This consistently gripping, visually intoxicating film stands as a landmark of contemporary Turkish cinema.
  11. And the ingenuity of “Sita” — is dazzling. Not busy, or overwhelming, or eye-popping. Just affecting, surprising and a lot of fun.
  12. To call The Descendants perfect would be a kind of insult, a betrayal of its commitment to, and celebration of, human imperfection. Its flaws are impossible to distinguish from its pleasures.
  13. For all its high-flying zaniness the movie has the sting of life, and its humor feels dredged up from the same dark, boggy place from which Samuel Beckett extracted his yuks.
  14. Though its principal figure, the novelist, playwright and essayist James Baldwin, is a man who has been dead for nearly 30 years, you would be hard-pressed to find a movie that speaks to the present moment with greater clarity and force, insisting on uncomfortable truths and drawing stark lessons from the shadows of history.
  15. I can't remember the last time the movies yielded up a love story so painful, so tender and so true.
  16. The movie is not really about deciding whether you’re gay or straight — those terms are never spoken. It’s about the chemistry of two people at a moment in time.
  17. You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet is a sly, elegant meditation on the relationship between reality and artifice. But it is a thought-experiment driven above all by emotion.
  18. The Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami's delicious brain tickler, Certified Copy, is an endless hall of mirrors whose reflections multiply as its story of a middle-aged couple driving through Tuscany carries them into a metaphysical labyrinth.
  19. For all of Mr. Cuarón’s formal wizardry and pictorial grandeur, he is a humanist at heart.
  20. What you see is the intensity of rock 'n' roll at a time when it still felt risky and thrilling.
  21. Mr. Cage digs deep to find his character's inner demons while also capturing the riotous energy of his outward charm. [27 October 1995, p. C3]
    • The New York Times
  22. Prevenge is a brilliantly conceived meditation on prepartum anxiety and extreme grief.
  23. 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.
  24. Ms. Hui, a rare successful female director in the Hong Kong film industry, drew her story from real events, and the movie retains a tonic flavor of the everyday: its drama unfolds simply, without explosive moments but not without emotion. She and her two excellent leads keep the film buoyant.
  25. Something special.
  26. The movie expands in its frame, surpassing simple comprehension and continuing to grow in your mind — and perhaps to blow it — long after it’s over.
  27. A more concise and affecting summation of the Tibetan crisis would be hard to imagine.
  28. The film is careful to avoid explicit political statement, but its reticence makes its critique of the Iranian regime all the more devastating.
  29. 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.
  30. This dream of a movie is set in such a place; with its delicate shifts of tone, it could be a fairy tale by Faulkner
  31. Waves of melancholy wash over the story and keep the treacle at bay, as do the spasms of broad comedy, much of it nimbly executed by Mr. Baron Cohen.
  32. 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.
  33. My Cousin Vinny is easily the most inventive and enjoyable American film farce in a long time, even during those extended patches when it seems to be marking time or when it continues with a running gag that can't stay the distance. The film has a secure and sophisticated sense of what makes farce so delicious.
  34. Galiana's quietly monumental performance is one for the ages.
  35. Nuances of faith, politics and sexual identity enrich what initially presents as a classic good son-bad son tale.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. Smoothly directed and acted with glee... showing quick-witted comic spirit.
  39. 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.
  40. This is no splatter movie: spare, suspenseful and brilliantly invested in silence, Bryan Bertino's debut feature unfolds in a slow crescendo of intimidation.
  41. There’s much to love in this film, but what lingers are those lapidary details that often go missing in stories about great men, as if they had built the world alone and no child had ever raced down a road waving goodbye as a father disappeared into history.
  42. 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.)
  43. That Borgman restrains itself from turning into a full-scale horror movie makes it all the more unsettling, although it has its bumpy moments.
  44. Commendably, the film, narrated by John Leguizamo, sugarcoats nothing, and the people involved - the players, their trainers, their parents, the scouts - are remarkably forthright.
  45. Will fluffy, poodlelike chickens replace cats on the internet? Maybe not, but these chicken people, with deep connections to their birds, make for a fun and at times astonishing film.
  46. 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.
  47. Mr. Stevens’s watchful restraint gives the early scenes a slow burn and a sinister glaze.
  48. Cool-headed, lighthearted and outrageously entertaining.
  49. The back-and-forths of the character’s decisions feel real, and Mr. Dickinson’s laconic blankness (you would never guess the actor was British) helps to give the character’s existential crisis a charge. Ms. Hittman is also assured enough to know it can’t be easily resolved.
  50. Ms. Hansen-Love surveys the territory with clear eyes, but also with an unmistakable shading of pity and with ideas, in particular about Nathalie’s sexuality and the political compromises of her generation, that seem more like assumptions than insights.
  51. 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.
  52. Since her character wears no historical costumes and suffers from no debilitating ailment, it is likely that Ms. Curtis will be overlooked when Oscar season rolls around. This is a shame, since it is unlikely that any other actress this year will match the loose, energetic wit she brings to this delightful movie.
  53. Urgent, informative and artfully assembled documentary.
  54. Much like the Dardennes, Mr. Joachim holds to the truth that the personal is political, which is why this isn’t simply a movie about a woman and an unspeakable crime, but also an exploration of the power and cruelty that brought her to that very dark place.
  55. The picture is more fun than it has a right to be.
  56. 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.
  57. Mr. Wiseman's particular genius has always been to convey, through judicious editing and dogged filming, the tedium, busyness and quiet intensity of group labor.
  58. Like the best westerns, Red Hill is a stripped-down morality tale; like the best horror movies, its true monsters remain cloaked until the final reel.
  59. Mr. Boorman, working in top form with a keenly acerbic overview, has written the film so sharply that the facts speak well for themselves.
  60. Chronic ends with a sudden, terrible slap in the face that is a final blow to your equilibrium. It is left up to the viewer to decide whether it is a cheap stunt or an ultimate moment of truth. I vote for the latter.
  61. Praise will stick with you. It's more than worthy of its title.
  62. Ms. Smith does not fit easily into any box, and neither does this thought-provoking film.
  63. Like the great space epics of the past, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar distills terrestrial anxieties and aspirations into a potent pop parable, a mirror of the mood down here on Earth.
  64. Bolstered by animated re-enactments and Bob Richman's frosty cinematography, Unraveled is a mesmerizing one-man dive into narcissism, entitlement and unchecked greed.
  65. The Unknown Girl is as tense as a police procedural, and as mysterious as a religious parable.
  66. Connor Jessup wonderfully inhabits the teenage Oscar, who observes others while trying to find himself.
  67. It's undeniably a trifle, but rarely is something like this done with such skill and, well, savoir-faire.
  68. If Mr. Haney sometimes struggles to find focus, he has no trouble locating heroes, including the doggedly energetic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and a slew of stalwart locals and fearless outsiders. And the black heart of coal country - and, as the film shows, our national energy debate - has never seemed so in need of white knights.
  69. Jerry Maguire is loaded with them: bright, funny, tender encounters between characters who seem so winningly warm and real. [13 December 1996, p.C-1]
    • The New York Times
  70. A sardonic, smart screwball comedy.
  71. Banishing showy effects and cheap scares, the Ecuadorean director Sebastián Cordero has meticulously shaped a number of sci-fi clichés — from the botched spacewalk to the communications breakdown — into a wondering contemplation of our place in the universe.
  72. George MacDonald Fraser, Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson are responsible for the story and screenplay, which was directed by John Glen, who does much better than he did with "For Your Eyes Only." However, the material is markedly better, and the budget seems noticeably larger. Peter Lamont's production design is both extravagant and funny.
  73. Wag the Dog, the poison-tipped political satire that's as scarily plausible as it is swift, hilarious and impossible to resist.
  74. It takes Sean Ellis’s World War II thriller Anthropoid a while to build steam, but once it does, hang on.
  75. Interviewing a wide range of concerned parties, Mr. Thurman's presentation is admirably evenhanded; though he clearly supports the scientists.
  76. It’s both the best children’s animated film this year since “Inside Out” — you might call it “Outside In” — and, unexpectedly, a more stirring depiction of the deadening modern megalopolis than most heal-the-world documentaries.
  77. Good sports movies are always about more than sports... Red Army touches on themes of friendship and perseverance, and also offers a compact and vivid summary of recent Russian history.
  78. To call The Son a masterpiece would be to insult its modesty. Like the homely, useful boxes Olivier teaches his prodigals to build, it is sturdy, durable and, in its downcast, unobtrusive way, miraculous.
  79. Frozen, for all its innovations, is not fundamentally revolutionary. Its animated characters are the same familiar, blank-faced, big-eyed storybook figures. But they are a little more psychologically complex than their Disney forerunners.
  80. A metaphysical road movie about life, death and the limits of knowledge, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia has arrived just in time to cure the adult filmgoer blues.
  81. It seems almost unthinkable that such a charismatic, generous and lively man could be gone. It also makes you understand what it means for a country like Haiti to lose a citizen like Jean Dominique.
  82. Mr. Nichols’s most distinct aesthetic choice is the movie’s quietness and the hush that envelops its first scene and that eventually defines the Lovings as much as their accents, gestures, manners and battles.
  83. Mr. Howard doesn’t just want you to crawl inside a Formula One racecar, he also wants you to crawl inside its driver’s head.
  84. A Jim Carrey movie all the way: a good one, I might add. With his manic glare, ferociously eager smile, hyperkinetic body language and talent for instant self-transformation, Mr. Carrey has rarely been more charismatic on the screen.
  85. Here, excessive piety and rampant paganism are equally malevolent forces, the film's baleful view of human nature mirrored in Sebastian Edschmid's swampy photography. As is emphasized in a nicely consistent coda, the Lord's side and the right side are not necessarily one and the same.
  86. Melancholy little gem of a movie.
  87. Stuffed with zingers and zippy stunts, it comes with pretty young things of all hues and hair types - few prettier than its lead, Joseph Gordon-Levitt - and start-to-finish clever special effects, none more clever or special than Michael Shannon.
  88. Mr. Jia’s approach means that you have to do a certain amount of interpretive work, though mostly you just have to pay attention and be a little patient. If you do, you will notice that Mountains May Depart is a movie of threes: its main characters, moments in time, narrative sections, historical symbols and even aspect ratio come in triplicate.
  89. Does it matter that stretches of Miles Ahead — a gun-rattling, squealing-tire car chase included — came out of the filmmakers’ imagination rather than Davis’s life? (Mr. Cheadle shares script credit with Steven Baigelman.) Purists may howl, but they’ll also miss the pleasure and point of this playfully impressionistic movie.
  90. On a deeper level, Shoot Me is an unflinchingly honest examination of a woman who is aware that the end is approaching.
  91. An effectively creepy thriller about a 911 operator and a young miss in peril, The Call is a model of low-budget filmmaking.
  92. Like the film itself, the performance (Giamatti's) is deeply controlled, played with restraint and with microscopic attention to detail.
  93. A mindblower of a mockumentary, Colossus will leave you reeling in the best of ways, dizzy from a rock ’n’ roll Tilt-A-Whirl that swirls with duplicity and hilarity.
  94. Infused with an infectious love for its subject, Symphony of the Soil presents a wondrous world of critters and bacteria, mulch and manure.
  95. Obviously, this is not a film for viewers unfamiliar with Mr. Tsai’s work. But its insistently austere format does suggest a purpose beyond its immediate context.
  96. This is a potent, vital film.
  97. By allowing the stories to play off one another and allowing layers of meaning to accumulate before we even notice them, the filmmakers capture some of the essential strangeness of life -- the way our relations are governed by laws that remain invisible to us until art reveals their workings.
  98. The most remarkable achievement of the film is its presentation of Lilya's story as both an archetypal case study and a personal drama whose spunky central character you come to care about so deeply that you want to cry out a warning at each step toward her ruination.
  99. A brilliant feat of rug-pulling, sure to delight fans of movies like "The Usual Suspects" and "Pi."
  100. A richly satisfying poison-pen letter to the music industry.

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