The New York Times' Scores

For 9,007 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 2.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Sunshine State
Lowest review score: 0 I Will Follow You Into the Dark
Score distribution:
9,007 movie reviews
  1. The dialogue reports funny things instead of showing them. The movie remains in a limbo halfway between the informed anarchy of Monty Python comedy stripped of all social and political satire, and the comparatively genteel comedy of "The Lavender Hill Mob." [15 July 1988, p.C8]
  2. The mousetrap setup and tight fight spaces, the bad blood and cruel deaths - soon makes the movie grindingly monotonous, a blur of thudding body blows.
  3. I don't know how much The Score cost, but it's pretty close to worthless.
  4. This tirelessly violent, ultimately exhausting film has the utter sincerity of all good science fiction, and a lot more flair than most, but it suffers from a certain confusion of purpose. In the end, it amounts to quite the pistol-packing plea for peace.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The movie's main theme, no surprise, is the struggle of The Times to survive in the age of the Internet. But it does little to illuminate that struggle, preferring instead a constant parade of people telling the camera how dreadful it would be if The Times did not survive. True, of course, but boring to the point of irritation after five or six repetitions.
  5. Clearly, this is an affair to forget.
  6. Weightless. It is also, unfortunately, without much point at all... A movie of random effects and little accumulative impact.
  7. With the exception of some of the battles, which have the angry desperation of Mr. Yuen's inspired martial-arts choreography, Close is a nominal effort.
  8. In the movie's cheapest, most exploitative gesture - just as it is about to run out of tricks - a snake slithers into the pine box in which Paul awakens bound and gagged, not knowing where he is. With that gimmick, the movie sacrifices its last shred of integrity.
  9. Just when it seems as though the language of insult and humiliation couldn’t get any nastier, the movie escalates the barrage.
  10. Not even bags of body parts, a bitten-off tongue or a man forced to cut off a pound of his own flesh keep it from being dull. [22 September 1995, p. C18]
  11. Because it unfolds like a garish hybrid of Simon Birch and What Dreams May Come, with some horror-movie touches thrown in to keep us from nodding off, "The Sixth Sense" appears to have been concocted at exactly the moment Hollywood was betting on supernatural schmaltz.
  12. Like too many big-studio productions, Cloverfield works as a showcase for impressively realistic-looking special effects, a realism that fails to extend to the scurrying humans whose fates are meant to invoke pity and fear but instead inspire yawns and contempt. Rarely have I rooted for a monster with such enthusiasm.
  13. Lacks the sexy elan of "La Femme Nikita" and suffers from infinitely worse culture shock. [18 Nov 1994, p.C18]
  14. The film tries to cover too much ground, even though Calder Willingham's script eliminates or telescopes events and characters from the Berger novel.
  15. Is there a point? All the filmmakers seem interested in is the ugliness of the main Israeli characters.
  16. There’s no denying the real Heyerdahl’s bravery, but if this movie is to be believed, his voyage was largely bereft of tension and interesting conversation.
  17. Something TERRIBLE is afoot. Sadly, that something turns out to be the movie itself.
  18. There is very little fun in The Ice Harvest, which wouldn't pose a problem if the film had some fleshed-out ideas to go along with the booze, the booty and the recycled plot points.
  19. It's another example of the ever-widening gap between the real world and the fantasies of a kind of artistic temperament more concerned with random self expression than with the expression of coherent feelings or ideas about love, alienation, outrage, politics or even of movie-making. It shrivels the imagination instead of enriching it. [7 Oct. 1981]
  20. A grave and disappointing failure, as much of imagination as of technology.
  21. The worst flaw of Willard is a clunky tone-deaf screenplay based on Gilbert Ralston's original and updated by the director. Barely a line flies by that doesn't land with a wooden thud.
  22. Anyone looking for the lowdown on haute cuisine will be sorely disappointed: devoid of emotion, context or narrative, the baffling avant-garde techniques and extreme politesse of the lab become oppressively dull.
  23. One
    The film's spareness and lack of words seem affected and ultimately unrealistic. At such moments, its refusal to put things into words and its crushing sense of gloom turn self-defeating.
  24. Filled with voyeuristic shots as the camera peers through picket fences and windows and around corners; the film looks as if it were shot with a surveillance camera from a 7-Eleven
  25. It has the melancholy mildew of both "Marty" and the 1940's weepie "The Enchanted Cottage."
  26. The delicate magic of, for instance, Hayao Miyazaki's "Spirited Away," which Disney released earlier this fall, is absent from this brainless, mechanical picture.
  27. Silver Bullets neither pleases the eye nor stimulates the mind.
  28. Cocaine Cowboys is a tabloid headline, a movie as oppressive and inarticulate as the lives it represents.
  29. The picture is a bland procession of loosely framed close-ups, which serve only to underline the amateurish performances.
  30. This kind of thing might tickle a drunk, way off Broadway audience, but on screen it merely shows the futility of following in the faux-silent footsteps of the director Guy Maddin.
  31. During the ensuing narrative unpleasantness and visual incoherence (meaningless choker close-ups, pointless slow motion), Hayley subjects Jeff to a range of torture, all in the name of, well, what? Despite the two fine performances, it's hard to say.
  32. The eventual video game is bound to be a lot more fun -- and less slowed down by bad dialogue -- than this "Dead."
  33. Wrong lets most of its random gags and view-askew premises twist in the wind like hamhandedly wacky improv comedy, punctuated with synthesizer effects. The film’s misguided flatness is perhaps its fatal flaw, not so much deadpan or existential as just monotonous.
  34. The product - sloppy even by guerrilla filmmaking standards - has no revelations to offer that are worth the slog of watching it.
  35. For a movie premised on unrelenting action, Crank proves fatally turgid.
  36. The movie lurches from the improbably silly to the drearily so, while the characters remain so emotionally and psychologically divorced from life that they might as well be zombies or sitcom stick figures.
  37. Filmed in Rwanda, Shake Hands With the Devil is certainly panoramic. But the best that can be said of the film is that it is an honorable dud.
  38. Despite its sociological tidbits and flashes of musical vitality, Saudade do Futuro never goes anywhere.
  39. You may not believe it's possible to bore people to death with a film about risking your life, but The Wildest Dream comes shockingly close.
  40. It’s dragged down by non-scene after non-scene, and filmmaking choices that don’t earn their keep.
  41. An astonishingly lazy and perfunctory effort that does little to realize his (Carrey) comic potential.
  42. Try as it might to be refined and provocative, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer never rises above the pedestrian creepiness of its conceit.
  43. Unlike such forerunners as “Clueless” and “Mean Girls,” however, this movie, doesn’t have a believable moment in it.
  44. What is harder to comprehend is how Mr. Clooney turned out such a sloppy, haphazard and tonally incoherent piece of work. Leatherheads lurches hectically between Coen brothers-style pastiche and John Saylesian didacticism, while Mr. Clooney works his brow and his jaw and waits in vain for his charm to kick in and save the day.
  45. By interweaving several stories, the movie suffers from a peculiar multiplier effect: it deepens its shallowness.
  46. The only thing missing is a coherent story -- or even, for that matter, an interesting idea for one.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    In films like Quick Change, he is bogged down by scripts that don't begin to match his comic imagination. Even though he chose and developed Quick Change himself, Bill Murray deserves better than this clunky, stereotypical comedy.
  47. Bogus on every level, right down to its half-hearted trick ending.
  48. Soon after that the movie simply stops dead in its tracks, as though the money had run out and the project had been called off in the middle of a scene that makes no psychological or dramatic sense. It leaves you frustrated and annoyed.
  49. Yes
    Yes is not just a movie, in other words, it's a poem. A bad poem. There is no denying Ms. Potter's skill at versifying - or for that matter, at composing clear, striking visual images - but her intricate, measured lines amount to doggerel, not art.
  50. For every necessary touch that Valmont has reduced or dispensed with (the climactic duel scene, for instance), there is another, less vital moment that has been expanded.
  51. See the Holocaust trivialized, glossed over, kitsched up, commercially exploited and hijacked for a tragedy about a Nazi family. Better yet and in all sincerity: don't.
  52. What's disheartening is that an actress as fine as Ms. Linney has to endure the indignity of such excremental nonsense.
  53. The end titles and the ones that introduce Veronica Guerin...are the most informative parts of the film, and also the most powerful. What comes between them is a flat-footed, overwrought crusader-against-evil melodrama, in which Ms. Blanchett's formidable gifts as an actress are reduced to a haircut and an accent.
  54. A flimsy bit of mildly romantic, putatively comic Anglophile bait.
  55. The final image - a freeze frame of a pas de deux staged to resemble a triumphal Communist poster - perfectly captures the film's overall effect: it's strenuously brainless.
  56. Its indictment of capitalism is so shrill and one-note that it may just as easily set off fits of giggling, because its characters are so ridiculously evil.
  57. A patchwork of contrived naughtiness and forced pathos...The loose ends are neatly tied up, as they are when you seal a bag of garbage -- or if you prefer, rubbish.
  58. Muddled, pretentious assemblage of film clips of the band shot between 1966 and 1971.
  59. As high concept and rife with cliché as anything ever churned out by Hollywood, but with worse production values and a load of sanctimonious political correctness.
  60. Once Ice-T sticks his mug in the window of the couple's BMW and begins haranguing the wife in bad stage dialogue, all credibility flies out the window.
  61. Mush, delivered with a trembling, quasi-biblical solemnity, is what emanates from Anthony Hopkins most of the time in Hearts in Atlantis, a nostalgic fiasco so shameless it makes movies like "Simon Birch" and "Frequency" seem as austere as the work of Robert Bresson.
  62. The movie is bulky and inarticulate, leaving behind a trail of wreckage and incoherence.
  63. By literalizing the idea of American military aggression and all that it implies Ms. Nair doesn’t just invest Mr. Hamid’s story with Hollywood-style beats, she also completely drains it of ambiguity.
  64. The battle scenes are as lacking in heat and coherence as the central love story.
  65. Because all of this looks blatantly unreal, and because the timing of the shock effects is so haphazard, Dead Alive isn't especially scary or repulsive. Nor is it very funny. Long before it's over, the half-hour-plus bloodbath that is the climax of the film has become an interminable bore. [12 Feb 1993, p.C16]
  66. Perhaps the directors are under the delusion that the dodging and leaping can make up for an ending that leaves the cast members of "Killer" adrift and nearly scratching their heads in puzzlement.
  67. They drink at the pub, they drink at home. They drink until they pass out and then, after they have had a good vomit, they drink again. If that sounds too disgusting to watch, it almost is.
  68. Oblivion never transcends its inspirations to become anything other than a thin copy.
  69. If you thought Abu Ghraib was a laugh riot then you might love Observe and Report, a potentially brilliant conceptual comedy that fizzles because its writer and director, Jody Hill, doesn't have the guts to go with his spleen.
  70. This banal horror retread involves a couple of critters flailing inside a sticky trap for what is, in effect, the big-screen equivalent of a roach motel.
  71. The Book Thief is a shameless piece of Oscar-seeking Holocaust kitsch.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The performers have little to do besides spill and drink blood in this tedious, inconsequential B picture. The sun doesn’t rise nearly fast enough.
  72. I wish Ms. Parker had let that bee in her bonnet go silent, because the movie that she and Mr. King have come up with is the pits, a vulgar, shrill, deeply shallow -- and, at 2 hours and 22 turgid minutes, overlong -- addendum to a show that had, over the years, evolved and expanded in surprising ways.
  73. The director, Mike Mendez, shows no signs of knowing how to make campy horror work the way that the creators of similar movies on Syfy do. It has to be either subtle or over the top. This is neither.
  74. Slack storytelling (including snippets from a post-film Q. and A. session) and patchy filmmaking seal the unappealing deal.
  75. It is all a contrivance; the cast and filmmakers were under the delusion that putting unhappy women in a room would lead to drama.
  76. This one-note documentary from Ramona S. Diaz is as hostile to conflict as the group’s songs themselves.
  77. The human landscape of Palindromes is a vista of grotesqueness, dishonesty and creepiness. These are qualities Mr. Solondz has explored before, but this time he fails to make them interesting, partly because he lets himself and the audience off the hook.
  78. A movie like We Are Marshall stands or falls on its ability to make you feel the pain and loss of individuals in a place where community pride and football are one and the same. As the film, directed by McG (the "Charlie's Angels" movies) from a wooden screenplay by Jamie Linden, follows a handful of Huntington residents during the months after the accident, not one of them comes fully to life.
  79. In Twins, which is supposed to be funny, the former Mr. Universe and pint-sized Danny DeVito play twins, the result of a genetic experiment that went awry. To the extent that Twins is carried by anybody, it is carried by Mr. DeVito. Mr. Schwarzenegger is dead weight. [9 Dec 1988, p.C18]
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The quirky characters they meet aren't quirky enough, and the political points Ms. Bettauer sprinkles into her script thud awkwardly.
  80. It is a film with nothing but delight — no major revelations, no gravity and no meaning. This superficiality is a problem only because of the pretense of being about great art.
  81. A limp urban comedy not nearly as whimsical as its title.
  82. The essentially two-character play has been opened up to the point that it includes a variety of settings and subordinate figures, but it never approaches anything lifelike.
  83. Forlorn melodrama, which is low on drama and high on mellow.
  84. Just a parade of scattershot gags, more often weird than funny an dmost often just flat. [13 Dec 1996, p.C5]
  85. Its tepid satire of art world pretensions culminates with a visual dirty joke that is mildly amusing but still not worth the wait.
  86. Only adds to the sense that Mr. Konchalovsky has lost his artistic moorings. He has certainly lost his common sense.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    It's showtime!" says Jimmy, the one-man band of American Animal. And for Matt D'Elia, who plays him in this hour and a half of pretentious mind games, it certainly is. There are other players, but it's all about Jimmy, portrayed with a free-associative, Jim Carrey-like mania.
  87. Wildly overproduced and filled with fussy flourishes that make even a derelict hallway look like a million bucks, Dark Water fails to rustle up either meaning or meaningful scares.
  88. As witless as it is formulaic.
  89. Mr. Carpenter has directed the film with B-movie bluntness, but with none of the requisite snap. And his screenplay (written under the pseudonym Frank Armitage) makes the principals sound even more tongue-tied than they have to. [4 Nov 1988, p.C8]
  90. Return of the Jedi oesn't really end the trilogy as much as it brings it to a dead stop. The film...is by far the dimmest adventure of the lot.
  91. For much of the movie, the kinetic furor of the game sequences helps camouflage the weaknesses of a screenplay that is a mechanically contrived series of power struggles.
  92. Short-circuits the novel's quirky charms and period atmosphere by its squeamish attitude toward gritty circus life and smothers the drama under James Newton Howard's insufferable wall-to-wall musical soup.
  93. It lumbers from one scene to the next with the stop-and-start mistiming generally seen in the outtakes shown at the end of the "Cannonball Run" movies, which this picture resembles in spirit.
  94. The movie’s principal saving grace is Ms. Winslet’s convincing portrayal of Adele, a despairing woman of low self-esteem just a twitch away from a nervous breakdown. In almost every other respect, this overbaked romantic hokum is preposterous.
  95. Can a feature-length movie be built on minutiae like jammed copying machines, unsent business letters and orientation programs for new employees? This innocuous wisp of a film, as weighty as a scrap of fax paper caught in an updraft, suggests that the answer is no.

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