The New York Times' Scores

For 12,582 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 3.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 WALL-E
Lowest review score: 0 Simon Birch
Score distribution:
12582 movie reviews
  1. [Mr. Greenbaum] is observant of tears and laughter alike, but he might have made fewer sacrifices in the name of a tidy package.
  2. What should be rousing stuff - a republic is born! the chains of feudalism thrown off! - remains a kind of lavishly illustrated history lesson. Even the irrepressible Mr. Chan (this is his 100th film) seems subdued.
  3. The problem with Youth is not that it’s empty — the accusation Kael and others lodged against Mr. Sorrentino’s precursors — but that it’s small. Its imagination feels shrunken and secondhand, in spite of the gorgeous vistas and beautiful naked women. Or actually, because of them.
  4. This is a sympathetic, even sweet, account, but it’s too soft.
  5. Mr. Pitt is himself a supernova luminary, of course, and part of the attraction of this film is how his celebrity feeds into that of his character, adding shadings to what is, finally, an overconceptualized if under-intellectualized endeavor.
  6. The 3-D is necessary to the film only in so far as it keeps your eyes engaged when your mind starts to wander. Stripped of much of the original poem’s language, its cadences, deep history and context, this film version of Beowulf doesn’t offer much beyond 3-D oohs and ahs, sword clanging and a nicely conceived dragon, which probably explains why Mr. Zemeckis and his collaborators have tried to sex it up with Ms. Jolie, among other comic-book flourishes.
  7. Almost holding things together is the marvelous Ms. Elsner: there’s more depth in her weary gaze and disappointed mouth than in any line of dialogue. Not since Bette Davis lit and flicked has smoking been so evocative, or so heartbreaking.
  8. Whatever else it may accomplish, Garden Party, which is clumsily structured but well acted, with pungently realistic dialogue, puts you in a world without a center in which you can't tell upside down from right-side up.
  9. Mainstream moviemaking, with its commercial directives and slavish attachment to narrative codes isn't particularly hospitable to ambiguity...which may help explain why Mr. Shanley's film feels caught between two mediums and why Ms. Streep appears to be in a Gothic horror thriller while everyone else looks and sounds closer to life or at least dramatic realism.
  10. Compadres tries to be a lighthearted cross-border buddy film, and sometimes it succeeds. But consistency is a problem — it doesn’t hit those humorous high notes often enough, and when it’s not in the comedic groove, it’s muddy.
  11. Aside from Ms. Harris's performance, the main reason to recommend Natural Selection - very conditionally - is that its creator clearly has talent. He simply lacked the resources to make the movie he envisioned.
  12. There are some funny routines here, though Mr. Carpenter doesn't seem to have cared much about integrating or sustaining them. Mr. Carpenter makes his amateurishness unmistakable, especially when it comes to the film's four actors. Only one of them can act even crudely (fortunately, his is the largest role). The other three, neither photogenic nor particularly extroverted, look like well-meaning fraternity brothers helping out a pal with his class project.
  13. For No Good Reason is less revealing than a standard hourlong television tribute might have been... But there is enough of the man and artist here to rekindle interest and appreciation in his often disturbing pictures and an understanding of what motivated them.
  14. In the opening images of Devil’s Knot, the camera sets a menacing, Hitchcockian mood by stealthily creeping into the woods where the murders took place. But the movie settles into being a police procedural with the tone of a superior episode of “Law & Order: SVU.”
  15. Step Up All In, directed by the dancer and choreographer Trish Sie, signals a slight retreat from the bonkers, protest-themed “Step Up Revolution."
  16. The fact that the film’s most resonant and likable portions are those in which nothing actually happens almost too nicely encapsulates why The Looking Glass falls sadly flat throughout much of its running time.
  17. My Lucky Star, a spy-caper romance from China, is sweet and harmless, but it’s also a little disorienting.
  18. The movie plods along self-consciously, and when the big twist occurs (you'll most likely see it coming), it complicates the plot, but not Butch, who remains a paragon. That's the problem with Blackthorn: it goes all mushy when contemplating its grizzled, out-of-time hero.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Orange Winter is more than a mere history lesson. Like Norman Mailer's nonfiction novel "The Armies of the Night," about the 1967 antiwar march on Washington, this movie characterizes a body politic as a living thing, and charts its internal changes as if it were the protagonist in a drama.
  19. In its stunted theatrical version, the second half is a sketchy digest of events that leaves you feeling cheated.
  20. Neither here nor there, the film is “Elf” without the goofy jokes, Will Ferrell or heart, “Bad Santa” without the smut, Billy Bob Thornton or spleen.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Except for Ms. Lange’s silent, expressive close-ups, which render flashbacks unnecessary, the women’s journey is aesthetically and dramatically unremarkable.
  21. These characters are mostly too sketchy and their connections too contrived for Shrink to jell as an incisive ensemble piece.
  22. Ms. Olsen and the more persuasive Mr. Isaac may generate heat, but their performances and the filmmaking lack the frenzy that might explain how these two crazy kids turned into murderous fiends.
  23. Nasty, brutish and as cuddly as a crusty old sock fished out of a sewer, the beaver or the beav, as I like to think of him, owns the film.
  24. Whatever it intends, Jesus Henry Christ is not especially funny. There are witticisms galore in both the thematically recurrent imagery and the dialogue, but very few qualify as jokes, and any laughter is hard to come by. Willfully zany would be a more apt description.
  25. As his movie-in-progress goes along, his pursuit of a childhood dream looks increasingly like an excuse by a canny aspiring filmmaker to create a work sample.
  26. [A] competent but slight thriller.
  27. I did admire this movie’s near-lunatic genre-hopping.
  28. The Institute stumbles between documentary and exploratory simulation, at once confusing and pedantic.
  29. West, for all its intensity, becomes too bogged down in detail to be as strong as it might have been.
  30. My Sister’s Keeper takes on a very tough subject -- and has, in Anna and Kate, two pretty tough characters played by strong young actresses -- but ultimately it is too soft, too easy, and it dissolves like a tear-soaked tissue.
  31. The wooden dialogue gives Liam Neeson little to do beyond bite on his corncob pipe and berate subordinates who dare question him. Still, in perhaps the only instance when this is a compliment, he’s no Olivier.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    For now, though, Mr. Kendrick will have to settle for being a good enough filmmaker, content to preach to the choir.
  32. Ms. Demeestere’s direction winds up frustratingly splitting the difference between thoughtfully detached and just plain vague.
  33. If Mr. Cruise doesn't work in Valkyrie, it's partly because he's too modern, too American and way too Tom Cruise to make sense in the role, but also because what passes for movie realism keeps changing, sometimes faster than even a star can change his brand.
  34. A movie so lifeless and drained of genuine joie de vivre it makes you long for the largely fictional earlier film.
  35. As more and more perfect shots drift by, the reality of the characters and their relationships dissipates, and we’re left with just picturesque moods.
  36. Is this Karate Kid as good as the original? No, although it is better than the sequels. But why bother with nostalgia? It’s probably good enough.
  37. A tropical tornado of cadmium and cobalt, magenta and marigold, Carlos Saldanha’s frantic follow-up to his well-received 2011 animated feature, “Rio,” ups the ante on sound and movement but pays scant attention to story.
  38. A movie whose techniques present problems not containable by the noble intentions of its makers.
  39. It all goes decisively wrong when Jerry Schatzberg, the director, and Garry Michael White, who wrote the screenplay, decide to saddle the pair with a poetic vision that suddenly makes everything needlessly phony.
  40. The more Chapman reveals, the less seems to be going on, and the more its quirkier developments... play like independent-film clichés.
  41. This sentimental, nearly genteel movie demonstrates there’s a world of difference between invoking magic and conjuring it.
  42. Much of this is funny and even perceptive about the nooks and crannies of adult sexual relationships. It’s also very well acted.... But something feels off.
  43. It's a lightweight romance that occasionally shows a sense of humor but seems afraid to turn it loose.
  44. That the movie remains consistently watchable is largely a tribute to Brian Hasenfus, a Needham, Mass., contractor making his acting debut as Phillip.
  45. Rapture-Palooza has a promising setup and a cast with a good track record of bringing the funny, yet it never does live up to its potential.
  46. Largely a conventional, wan affair, despite its art-cinema flourishes.
  47. As much as film buffs might enjoy recognizing references to "Motel Hell" and other drive-in classics, Mr. Zombie's encyclopedic approach to the genre results in a crowded, frenzied film in which no single idea is developed to a satisfying payoff.
  48. Because Mr. Carell doesn’t go in for the kind of all-out caricature that Mr. Ferrell embraces with a manic glee, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone has an underlying soulfulness that cuts against its farcical aspirations. This is not to say that Mr. Carell isn’t just fine, only that his performance, as impressive as it is, lacks a shark’s bite.
  49. What’s really missing here is a story of artistic regeneration: by the time we encounter a dazzling excerpt from the studio’s post-trip film, “Aquarela do Brasil,” we are only reminded of what might have been.
  50. Despite Mr. Shannon and Mr. Spacey, who appear to be having a fine time working off each other, the meeting is anticlimactic.
  51. Holds together in spite of its flaws.
  52. Nothing is particularly believable here, but there are still a few moments of silly, sinister fun.
  53. This sequel has no real purpose beyond the obvious one of following up a hit, although the original film was just as casual at times. Both of them rely on Billy Crystal's breezy, dependably funny screen presence to hold the interest, even when not much around him is up to par. Both also count on the irascible Jack Palance, even though Mr. Palance's Curly was dead and buried when the first film was over.
  54. A cold and moody psychodrama poised frustratingly on the border between novel and banal.
  55. The shaky comedy My Super Ex-Girlfriend must have been a dream to pitch: "Fatal Attraction" meets "Wonder Woman," but funny.
  56. Mr. Svankmajer’s provocations skew toward the intellectual and the shivery rather than the pop and the visceral, and at his best, he doesn’t just get under your skin, but also deep in your head, too. Here, unfortunately, he does neither, despite some marvelous stop-motion animated sequences involving a literal moveable feast of severed animal tongues, loose eyeballs and errant brains.
  57. Working a low body count and a slow burn, Desolation is a decent short film that’s been unwisely expanded to feature length.
  58. The film ultimately lands uneasily on the line between inside and insular, recalling an old saw about universities: The fights are so fierce because the stakes are so small.
  59. It may not be classic sci-fi like the original “Alien,” which it has in its DNA, but it’s a perfectly respectable next step in the series.
  60. Mr. Johnson and Ms. Lively are both pretty good, and with a more nuanced approach could have made this a powerful film.
  61. The star does his patented shtick, supported by a handful of blue-chip supporting performers, as the story lurches through contrived, seminaughty comic set pieces toward a sentimental ending.
  62. A handsome-looking film about the writer and his unripe inspirations, the actor Johnny Depp neither soars nor crashes, but moseys forward with vague purpose and actorly restraint.
  63. Surprisingly enough, it often soars to heights of not bad.
  64. Nestor Almendros's cinematography is soothingly gorgeous, and so are Miss Shields and Mr. Atkins. Both are quite adequate to the movie's requirements, and neither has much acting to do--Miss Shields's hardest job, for instance, is to pretend she is giving birth to a baby without ever having wondered why she's put on so much weight. Her second hardest job is to keep the wind from ruffling her hair.
  65. The movie, originally titled “Song for Marion,” has more emotional clout than you might reasonably expect from a piece of inspirational hokum.
  66. For all its demureness, Restless captures some of the excitement of youthful romance in which the partners aren't just separate individuals but the products of divergent cultures.
  67. It finds a few moments of sweep and suspense in between grand speeches and reprises of a swollen score.
  68. Charts a sentimental struggle toward manhood with period-appropriate charm.
  69. Might be described as a low-rent answer to Douglas Keeve's documentary about Isaac Mizrahi, "Unzipped," a movie that also revealed the fundamental silliness of fashion, though it had some glamour attached.
  70. Before the film hits its halfway mark, the presentation feels like a frustrating day at an immigration legal clinic where you can never look at the dossier or get to the bottom of the case.
  71. To describe And Now a Word From Our Sponsor as a one-joke skit stretched well beyond the breaking point isn’t entirely fair, because when used ingeniously, which is very seldom, the joke lands.
  72. Because the film doesn’t begin to explore the wider implications of that loss of trust, its findings don’t add up to more than a sardonic gloss on a provocative subject.
  73. All in all, the beloved kingdom of Oz is not well served, though there’s just enough detectable affection to keep it from feeling like a pure cashing-in.
  74. Sadly, if this movie was a fight, they'd have stopped it.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    One of those dimly realized personal statements that ultimately says a lot less than the written program notes that accompany it.
  75. It’s a film that wants to play as if it were ripped from today’s headlines, but has been shredded into near incoherence.
  76. It’s hard not to root for this couple — and, more to the point, these actors — to get together again.
  77. The aggregate effect is like aesthetic insulin shock, albeit from an artificial sweetener.
  78. Mr. Weitz lines up a target placed at the explosive intersection of class, race, region and every other source of societal anguish, and then does not so much miss as aim in another direction — or several — letting fly a volley of darts that land as lightly as badminton birdies.
  79. A deeply conventional story about truculent or orphaned boys and the gentle soul who finds himself by shaping the tots into a chorus.
  80. Ms. Montenegro's rough-hewn integrity is the one quality that ennobles The Other Side of the Street, an otherwise confused mixture of cat-and-mouse thriller and sentimental old folks' love story that is well below the level of "Central Station."
  81. The biggest hole in a movie that falls sadly short of being another "Diner" or "Trees Lounge" is Mr. Burns's failure to make his alter-ego character anything other than the best-looking and most affluent member of the pack, standing there and discreetly gloating.
  82. Sporadically funny, casually sexist, blithely racist and about as visually sophisticated as a parking-garage surveillance video.
  83. What at first came across as a tale of dawning conscience increasingly starts to feel rigged.
  84. In its mixture of the quirky and the downbeat, Ceremony aspires to be a hybrid of Noah Baumbach's "Margot at the Wedding" and Wes Anderson's "Rushmore" but falls far short.
  85. If you found "Benji the Hunted" unbearably intense or "Marley & Me" a bit too hard-edged, then Darling Companion may be the dog movie for you. On the other hand, if you like to watch cute pooches doing cute stuff on screen, you may be a little disappointed.
  86. There are delights on display, but not many surprises...The BFG is a different kind of movie, and Mr. Rylance’s face and body have been enhanced and distorted by digital sorcery, but his unique blend of gravity and mischief imbues his fanciful character with a dimension of soul that the rest of the movie lacks.
    • The New York Times
  87. The film is shot by Bill Pope with such enterprising flair that it never looks claustrophobic, but the action inevitably stalls in such close quarters.
  88. It's as if the director, Andrew Fleming, and the screenwriters, Nat Mauldin and Ed Solomon, set out to make a movie that would be mediocre in every respect. If so, they have completely succeeded.
  89. Unfolding in a decrepit, present-day Moscow, Day Watch dazzles and confuses with equal determination.
  90. As drifting and dreamy as its searching heroine, My Friend Victoria takes a graceful but unsatisfying stroll through the life and longings of a young black woman in contemporary Paris.
  91. It's disconcerting to watch Sweetness, tiny and light-skinned, assaulting Latonya, large and dark-skinned, partly because it bluntly if inconclusively underscores a crucial color divide that runs through this film like a throbbing vein.
  92. The sweetheart leads, Josh Zuckerman and Amanda Crew, are easy to spend time with, and Seth Green as an Amish hipster and Clark Duke as an unlikely lady-killer hit every sweet-and-sardonic note with panache.
  93. Much of the laughter Mr. Brooks inspires is hopeful, before-the-gag laughter, which can be terribly tiring...Blazing Saddles has no dominant personality, and it looks as if it includes every gag thought up in every story conference. Whether good, bad, or mild, nothing was thrown out.
  94. For myself, I was but seldom inspired to peals of true laughter, though I did relish that part when Mr. Black, confronting a fire raging in the Palace of Lilliput, douses the blaze through heroic use of such means as Nature has provided him.
  95. Its mood is so muffled and point so submerged, it's difficult to see why Mr. Reeves and the rest of the cast pooled their talents to make a movie about a nowhere man going no place in particular in Buffalo.
  96. The progressive wrinkles...are both the fascination and the frustration of Strangerland, which strains credulity with its secrets and revelations to facilitate its surprises.

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