The New York Times' Scores

For 9,266 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 2.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 The Missing Picture
Lowest review score: 0 Harold
Score distribution:
9,266 movie reviews
  1. In its time, this film represented the arrival of something new, and even now it can feel like a bulletin from the future.
  2. Best Kept Secret is an exemplary documentary: It spotlights an important issue yet never seeks to squeeze the truth into an easily digestible narrative frame. Instead it expands its storytelling to the boundaries of messy, joyful and painful reality.
  3. One of the most brutal and moving chronicles of American life ever designed within the limits of popular entertainment. [16 Mar 1972]
    • 100 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    For the most part, Nino Rota's music provides a rich melodic surrounding for the pictorial magnificence, and a heretofore unknown Verdi waltz that is played at the ball at the finish appropriately supplements this remarkably vivid, panoramic, and eventually morbid show. (Review of Original Release)
  4. The movie is perfectly cast, from Trintignant and on down, including Pierre Clementi, who appears briefly as the wicked young man who makes a play for the young Marcello. The Conformist is flawed, perhaps, but those very flaws may make it Bertolucci's first commercially popular film. (Review of Original Release)
  5. Its pleasures are almost obscenely abundant.
  6. In Boyhood, Mr. Linklater’s masterpiece, he both captures moments in time and relinquishes them as he moves from year to year. He isn’t fighting time but embracing it in all its glorious and agonizingly fleeting beauty.
  7. This film, which was never released in America and will now be making its way across the country in limited release, has been immaculately restored and features new subtitles. You can get lost in the blackness of its heart and its shadows. You might never come back.
  8. One of the most purely enjoyable films ever made.
  9. A swift and accessible entertainment, blunt in its power and exquisite in its effects.
  10. Hoop Dreams affirms the role of film as a medium for exploring social issues. And like any important documentary, this one raises crucial questions beyond what is on screen.
  11. Metropolis retains its power to overwhelm, trouble and move because it is connected to the deep anxieties of modern life as if by a high-voltage cable.
  12. It’s a pitiless, violent story that in its telling becomes a haunting and haunted intellectual and aesthetic achievement.
  13. The genius of 12 Years a Slave is its insistence on banal evil, and on terror, that seeped into souls, bound bodies and reaped an enduring, terrible price.
  14. As he (Wong Kar-wai) floods the screen with beauty and fills the soundtrack with hypnotic rhythms, he forges a filmmaking style of incomparable eroticism.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The French Connection is a film of almost incredible suspense, and it includes, among a great many chilling delights, the most brilliantly executed chase sequence I have ever seen. [8 October 1971]
    • 96 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The ultimate touch of ghoulish humor is when we see the bomb actually going off, dropped on some point in Russia, and a jazzy sound track comes in with a cheerful melodic rendition of "We'll Meet Again Some Sunny Day." Somehow, to me, it isn't funny. It is malefic and sick.
  15. A nearly flawless piece of popular art, as well as one of the most persuasive portraits of an artist ever committed to film. It provides the kind of deep, transporting pleasure, at once simple and sophisticated, that movies at their best have always promised.
  16. For all of Mr. Cuarón’s formal wizardry and pictorial grandeur, he is a humanist at heart.
  17. When Mr. Eisenberg makes Mark's face go blank, the character seems scarily emptied out: it's a subtly great, at times unsettling, performance.
  18. Ms. Bigelow's direction here is unexpectedly stunning, at once bold and intimate: she has a genius for infusing even large-scale action set pieces with the human element.
  19. It is a rigorously honest movie about the difficulties of being honest, a film that tries to be truthful about the slipperiness of truth.
  20. Before Midnight is a wonderful paradox: a movie passionately committed to the ideal of imperfection that is itself very close to perfect.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The film is so artfully contrived, the plot so interestingly started, the dialogue so racy and sharp, and John Frankenheimer's direction so exciting in the style of Orson Welles when he was making Citizen Kane and other pictures that the fascination of it is strong. So many fine cinematic touches and action details pop up that one keeps wishing the subject would develop into something more than it does.
  21. The towering, lost dreaminess at the heart of the film is an unmistakable obsession of this director.
  22. Watching E.T now, in an era dominated by cold, loud special-effects-laden extravaganzas, one is struck less by its lavish grandeur than by its intimacy and precision.
  23. A triumphant, cleverly disorienting journey through a demimonde that springs entirely from Mr. Tarantino's ripe imagination, a landscape of danger, shock, hilarity, and vibrant local color. Nothing is predictable or familiar within this irresistably bizarre world. You don't merely enter a theater to see Pulp Fiction; you go down a rabbit hole. [23 Sept 1994]
  24. The result is an American masterpiece, independent to the bone.
  25. The best nondocumentary American feature made yet about the war in Iraq.
  26. And the ingenuity of “Sita” — is dazzling. Not busy, or overwhelming, or eye-popping. Just affecting, surprising and a lot of fun.
  27. 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.
  28. Like the film itself, the performance (Giamatti's) is deeply controlled, played with restraint and with microscopic attention to detail.
  29. Throughout We Were Here there is not a hint of mawkishness, self-pity or self-congratulation. The humility, wisdom and cumulative sorrow expressed lend the film a glow of spirituality and infuse it with grace.
  30. It's been a long time since a commercially oriented film with the scale of "King" ended with such an enduring and heartbreaking coda.
  31. Like the convictions of some born into religious families, his (Carlos) Marxism seems more a matter of habit than faith. What seems to turn him on is power, which, the movie suggests, he nurtured alongside his luxe tastes.
  32. Mr. Berliner’s film bravely brings us to the edge of language and experience.
  33. A masterpiece about life, death and everything in between.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    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.
  34. What makes it so instructively entertaining is the pivotal character of Claus von Bulow, played by Jeremy Irons within an inch of his professional life. It's a fine, devastating performance, affected, mannerly, edgy, though seemingly ever in complete control. [17 Oct 1990]
  35. The picture is more fun than it has a right to be.
  36. But the film Schindler's List, directed with fury and immediacy by a profoundly surprising Steven Spielberg, presents the subject as if discovering it anew. [15 Dec 1993]
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A brilliantly graphic estimation of a whole swath of society in sad decay and, eventually, a withering commentary upon the tragedy of the overcivilized. (Review of Original Release)
  37. Acting of this sort is rare in films. It is a display of talent, which one gets in the theater, as well as a demonstration of behavior, which is what movies usually offer. Were Mr. De Niro less an actor, the character would be a sideshow freak. (Review of Original Release)
  38. Gideon’s Army is a bare film with no narrator and a minimal soundtrack. That’s all it needs to grab you by the throat.
  39. A Summer’s Tale has room to focus on Rohmer’s brilliance at revealing human nature through articulate, multidimensional characters, perfectly cast, who in some ways seem to exist outside of time.
    • 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]
    • 93 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It is full of elegant and striking photography; and it is an intolerably artsy, artificial film.
  40. It succeeds at showing how one man's psychic wounds contributed to an art that transmutes personal pain into garish visual satire.
  41. This is not a biopic, it’s a Coen brothers movie, which is to say a brilliant magpie’s nest of surrealism, period detail and pop-culture scholarship. To put it another way, it’s a folk tale.
  42. In exchange for three hours of your time, Yi Yi will give you more life.
  43. In his memoir Mr. Bauby performed a heroic feat of alchemy, turning horror into wisdom, and Mr. Schnabel, following his example and paying tribute to his accomplishment, has turned pity into joy.
  44. 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.
  45. The entire film is played at such high pitch it may well exhaust audiences that don't come prepared. And, at the heart of the film, there is the mystery of Jake himself, but that is what separates Raging Bull from all other fight movies, in fact, from most movies about anything. Raging Bull is an achievement.
  46. In its modest scope and mellow tone, 35 Shots of Rum resembles Olivier Assayas’s "Summer Hours," another recent film by a French director who has sometimes trafficked in provocation and extremity. Both movies embed extraordinary thematic richness within a simple, almost anecdotal narrative framework, and both achieve a rare eloquence about the state of the world by means of tact and reticence.
  47. 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.
  48. Almayer's Folly is not friendly terrain to traverse; like some sinister version of Proust, it is a prolonged fever dream that ultimately yields madness.
  49. The film is above all a consummate work of art, one that transcends the historically fraught context of its making, and its pleasures are unapologetically aesthetic. It reveals, excites, disturbs, provokes, but the window it opens is to human consciousness itself.
  50. A parent-tickling delight, is a work of incredible cleverness in the best two-tiered Disney tradition. [22 November 1995, p. C9]
  51. A fascinating study of a man, and a firm, deeply changed by catastrophe.
  52. The playful spookiness of Mr. Jackson's direction provides a lively, light touch, a gesture that doesn't normally come to mind when Tolkien's name is mentioned.
  53. 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.
  54. As sweet, as touching, as humane a movie as you are likely to see this summer.
  55. Seemingly banal in its conceit, wildly startling in its execution, it tracks a film crew that, like a detective squad, investigates what became of an ordinary man.
  56. To skip Moolaade would be to miss an opportunity to experience the embracing, affirming, world-changing potential of humanist cinema at its finest.
  57. Not merely an interesting document from a far-off place; it is a masterpiece.
  58. Everyone treats his material with the proper combination of solemnity and good humor that avoids condescension. One of Mr. Lucas's particular achievements is the manner in which he is able to recall the tackiness of the old comic strips and serials he loves without making a movie that is, itself, tacky.
  59. 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.
  60. Offers the kind of experience that makes you glad movies exist.
  61. A sublimely nimble evisceration of that cult of celebrity known as the British royal family.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    An absolute knockout of a movie in the psychological horror line has been accomplished by Roman Polanski in his first English-language film. (Review of Original Release)
  62. That it is more -- a small masterpiece, perfect in design and execution -- almost goes without saying, but the film’s profundity and its charm go hand in hand.
  63. Steven Spielberg's giant, spectacular Close Encounters of the Third Kind...is the best—the most elaborate—1950's science fiction movie ever made, a work that borrows its narrative shape and its concerns from those earlier films, but enhances them with what looks like the latest developments in movie and space technology.
  64. Stories We Tell has a number of transparent virtues, including its humor and formal design, although its most admirable quality is the deep sense of personal ethics that frames Ms. Polley’s filmmaking choices.
  65. A remarkable piece of work. [30 June 1989]
  66. A film that has the sweep and esthetic power of a full-length ballet.
  67. A memoir, a history lesson, a combat picture, a piece of investigative journalism and an altogether amazing film.
  68. Unfolds beautifully, with a rueful, knowing intelligence that rises above easy assumptions. [27 September 1996, p.C1]
  69. 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.
  70. No Country for Old Men is purgatory for the squeamish and the easily spooked. For formalists -- those moviegoers sent into raptures by tight editing, nimble camera work and faultless sound design -- it’s pure heaven.
  71. If you need reassurance or grounds for optimism about the Middle East, you will not find it here. What you will find is rare, welcome and almost unbearable clarity.
  72. One of the most deliriously funny, ingenious and stylish American adventure movies ever made.
  73. The Girls in the Band is everything a worthwhile documentary should be, and then some: engaging, informative, thorough and brimming with delightful characters.
  74. After Hours is not, ultimately, a satisfying film, but it's often vigorously unsettling.
  75. Mr. Jordan's screenplay... is both efficient and ingenious. The physical production is as lush as the film's romantic longings. [26 Sept 1992]
  76. Steven Spielberg's soberly magnificent new war film, the second such pinnacle in a career of magical versatility, has been made in the same spirit of urgent communication. It is the ultimate devastating letter home.
  77. One of those rare films in which the moral stakes are as insistent and thought through as the aesthetic choices.
  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. A tough, gorgeous, vastly entertaining throwback to the Hollywood that did things right. As such, it enthusiastically breaks most rules of studio filmmaking today.
  80. In spite of its limited perspective on Vietnam, its churning, term-paperish exploration of Conrad and the near incoherence of its ending, (it) is a great movie. It grows richer and stranger with each viewing, and the restoration of scenes left in the cutting room two decades ago has only added to its sublimity.
  81. The level of accomplishment in the filmmaking is overwhelming.
  82. Extraordinary labor of love.
  83. Her
    At once a brilliant conceptual gag and a deeply sincere romance, Her is the unlikely yet completely plausible love story about a man, who sometimes resembles a machine, and an operating system, who very much suggests a living woman.
  84. One may legitimately debate the validity of Malick's vision, but not, I think, his immense talent. Badlands is a most important and exciting film.
  85. The filmmaker creates schematic, intuitive images that hauntingly crystallize the characters' situations.
  86. In these risk-averse times, it is a pleasure to see a film that fails by attempting too much. Frustrating and demanding as it may be, La Commune (Paris, 1871) is essential viewing for anyone interested in taking an exploratory step outside the Hollywood norms.
  87. My Perestroika gives you a privileged sense of learning the history of a place not from a book but from the people who lived it. Watching it is a little like attending a party in an unfamiliar city and discovering the place's secrets from the guests.
  88. The humor bubbling through Finding Nemo is so fresh, sure of itself and devoid of the cutesy, saccharine condescension that drips through so many family comedies that you have to wonder what it is about the Pixar technology that inspires the creators to be so endlessly inventive.
  89. How did Mr. Panahi do this? I'm at a bit of a loss to explain, to tell you the truth, since my job is to review movies, and this, obviously, is something different: a masterpiece in a form that does not yet exist.
  90. One of those films that create a mix of erudition, pageantry and delectable acting opportunities, much as "Shakespeare in Love."
  91. Irresistable, nimble and very funny.

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