The New York Times' Scores

For 11,406 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 3.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Thelma & Louise
Lowest review score: 0 Sorority Boys
Score distribution:
11406 movie reviews
  1. Does not entirely play by the established conventions of its genre. Its willingness to explore states of feeling and modes of behavior that tamer romantic comedies never go near is decidedly a virtue, though this same sense of daring and candor also exposes its limitations.
  2. Race is raised as a possible reason for Idris’s and Seun’s problems, and then other potential determinants (a learning disorder, illness) are introduced. But the filmmakers don’t engage with these life events and issues: They just line them up as if their significance were transparent.
  3. For a film full of murder, jealousy and fatalism, Snow Angels feels curiously small and anecdotal, and its impact diminishes as it nears its terrible conclusion.
  4. Despite the film’s sketchy aesthetic and barely animate lead, its tone is carefully contrived: I’ll wager no one in your circle is as dryly funny or spontaneously surreal as Harmony’s nonsupport group.
  5. The Galapagos Affair would be a much stronger film were it not padded with the dull reminiscences and speculation of the settlers’ descendants.
  6. Kevin Costner is suitably flinty in 13 Days, a competent, by-the-numbers recreation of the events surrounding the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.
  7. No more than a sentimental little comedy.
  8. Elaborate as this sounds, there really isn't much plot here, only a parade of arbitrary visual tricks to hold the film together. [30 Mar 1988, p.C18]
    • The New York Times
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Mad Max is ugly and incoherent, and aimed, probably accurately, at the most uncritical of moviegoers. [14 June 1980, p.13]
    • The New York Times
  9. Frank Langella plays so many variations on cute and crotchety and with such suppleness - he's by turns a charming codger, a silver fox and a wise graybeard - that his performance comes close to a saving grace.
  10. Mr. Gleeson, Mr. Farrell and especially the late-arriving and welcome Mr. Fiennes have great fun rummaging around inside Mr. McDonagh’s modest bag of tricks.
  11. There’s much to admire in Nocturnal Animals, including Mr. Ford’s ambition, but too often it feels like the work of an observant student.
  12. The shallowness of this idealized depiction of European cultural homogeneity is largely camouflaged by the comfortable fit of its director's sensibility with the actors' likable, lived-in performances. An apt alternative title for Russian Dolls might be "Lovers Without Borders."
  13. There are times in The Well-Digger's Daughter, a once-upon-a-time French film about love, family and the seductive beauty of the Provençal countryside, when the story's sweetness nearly makes your teeth ache.
  14. The film, at its phoned-in worst and also at its riotous best, has a terminal feeling. It suggests that a comic subgenre based on the immaturity, sexual panic and self-mocking tendencies of men who should be old enough to know better has reached its expiration date.
  15. Another thriller that packs a spooky wallop as it conjures an unseen world within reach.
  16. Smart, sincere and sloppy film.
  17. Like one of those machines that can inhale a car and spit out a tidy cube of squashed components, Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles is a near-indigestible lump of clips and quips and snipped opinions.
  18. Neither the value of music nor the deficiencies of certain nursing homes are tough to debate. But a documentary that never leaves any doubt about what comes next, while single-mindedly stumping for a cause presented as unique, is also not terribly interesting as a film.
  19. However good an idea it may have been to unleash Mr. Murray in an ''Exorcist''-like setting, this film hasn't gotten very far past the idea stage. Its jokes, characters and story line are as wispy as the ghosts themselves, and a good deal less substantial.
  20. Mr. Bateman’s direction of the actors is especially sensitive in this and other tricky scenes, showing a delicacy with emotional textures that isn’t always matched by the story, especially when Annie and Baxter speak in therapeutic clichés.
  21. There is a lot of violence, but not much action; a plot involving vengeance, jealousy and double-crossing, but not a great deal of suspense.
  22. The narrative scheme, the brooding period atmosphere, the understated score (by David Byrne) and the precision of the acting also make the story seem more interesting than it is.
  23. 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.
  24. The stilted and awkward physical and vocal performances in combination with the visually flat cinematography bring to mind the look, sound and visual texture of American daytime soaps, an association that perversely makes the movie more and more watchable.
  25. “Re-emerging” can be pedestrian as filmmaking, though it remains interesting as long as it remains in Nigeria.
  26. Once the talking stops and the action begins, her professionalism is very much in evidence and exciting to watch. And yet, somehow, it cannot quite relieve the tedium of a movie that is too cool even to pretend that there is anything worth fighting about.
  27. Depending on your age, sex and mechanical inclinations, Tales of the Rat Fink will convince you that Mr. Roth should either have been canonized or smothered at birth.
  28. The unabashedly sentimental film is a juicy morsel for the great British actress Dame Joan Plowright, who endows Mrs. Palfrey with stoic charm and decency.
  29. A sky-high level of misanthropy overwhelms his film in ways that prove more sour than droll, despite the presence of skillful actors and a bizarrely enveloping plot.
  30. Mr. Costner's relentless, root-canal humorlessness turns what might have been an enjoyable B-picture throwback into a ponderous drag.
  31. Wanders rather than moves chillingly toward its climax.
  32. This record of Washington State’s battle over Initiative 502, which legalized possession of small amounts of recreational marijuana in 2012, is predictably loaded with rancor. The battle isn’t over whether pot should be legalized, but to what extent.
  33. Mr. Wirthensohn, who has known Mr. Reay since both were models, sees Mr. Reay’s life as a metaphor for the vanishing middle class. But Mr. Reay merely comes across as an aging casualty of Manhattan fashion, vainly chasing his fortune in a fickle industry that prizes youth.
  34. Somehow, the film is missing both adrenaline and gravity, notwithstanding some frantic early moments and a late swerve toward tragedy. It makes its points carefully and unimpeachably but does not bring much in the way of insight or risk.
  35. The results are likable, unsurprising and principally a showcase for the pretty young cast, notably Mr. Miller, who brings texture to his witty if sensitive gay quipster.
  36. The sense of an invisible world being revealed is more potent than the film’s fairly standard portrayal of closeted life.
  37. Rachid Bouchareb's tidy little two-character film, London River, demonstrates how great acting can infuse a banal, politically correct drama with dollops of emotional truth.
  38. "Southwest of Salem” proceeds with what have become sobering tropes for true-crime documentaries: a defendant saying she didn’t realize she needed a lawyer; outsiders explaining how they grew convinced of a miscarriage of justice.
  39. Although the novelty of this repetition and Mr. Benson’s adjustments pull you in like a new puzzle, his actual ideas — about people, their stories and how to tell those stories — turn out to be fairly straight.
  40. As both an actor and a playwright, Wallace Shawn, at his most audacious, goes for the jugular, but in sneaky roundabout ways.
  41. If Veer-Zaara were an American television movie, it would be embraced as fabulously trashy.
  42. An incomplete portrait of a complicated man.
  43. Mr. Wechsler’s film might be loose to a fault, but Mr. Weber’s work yields its share of gratifying, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it New York moments.
  44. It's a good thing the movie has so little dialogue, because when it talks, the words dilute its almost surreal visual spell, and the fructose turns to saccharine.
  45. If the intent was to keep the characters here just as anonymous as most migrant workers are to prosperous people in the United States, it succeeds: Pedro and his family remain mere sketches. If, however, the aim was a more meaningful portrait of hardship and aspiration, the film is merely underdone. It's no secret that life in many places is hard.
  46. There's a lot to make [Heckerling's] film likeable, but not much to hold it together. [3 Sept 1982, p.C6]
    • The New York Times
  47. Fetishizing the tired tokens of the American gangster movie, The Connection is a slickly styled, overlong pastiche. Yet its denizens have a retro glamour and the soundtrack a shameless literalness that’s rather endearing.
  48. It's a pleasant-enough creation story to revisit, one weighted down by melodrama and lifted up by some rocking tunes.
  49. Onstage the Johnsons perform Mr. Hegarty's agreeably lush, intimate and often melancholy piano-based songs, accompanied by a string section.
  50. There is no poetry here and little thought.
  51. It is a depressing story, certainly, as well as moving, confusing and, at a fast 72 minutes, at once undercooked and overpadded.
  52. A good piece of work more often than not, and this is one of the few times an actor turned director has chosen to subvert the feel-good genre for his maiden voyage.
  53. It is left for Mr. Heidbreder to offer the fanciest rationalization for their addiction. Asked whether the movies are a substitute for life, he rejects the suggestion that their behavior is pathological and declares that film itself "is a form of living."
  54. Wicked, but it works.
  55. Once Price Check darkens, it loses its comic footing, along with its nerve, and becomes a wishy-washy potpourri of elements that fail to mesh: backing away from its satirical potential, it sputters toward an evasive and unsatisfying ending. Ms. Posey, however, blithely sails above the fray.
  56. The on-screen results are weird and watchable, by turns frustrating and entertaining, and predictably a little morbid.
  57. Ma
    Alternately sexy and silly, galvanic and gentle, MA is best enjoyed as a slide show of visual blessings and, sometimes, bafflements.
  58. Enormously likable, partly because it is aware of its own grasp of the absurd.
  59. A granola ode to natural childbirth that makes you want to hop into a tub of warm water and start pushing.
  60. This often beautiful and too-often moribund, if exhaustingly frenetic, feature tends to be less energetic than the dead people waltzing through it.
  61. Mostly, it’s hagiography, with stars like Cher and Brian Wilson used as character witnesses to the players’ greatness.
  62. A would-be psychological thriller with next to no psychology and shivers instead of thrills, The Page Turner is a nervous-making, lightly amusing vengeance story that owes an obvious debt to Claude Chabrol.
  63. Mr. Branagh’s ascension into big-budget studio directing largely remains a mystery, and there’s little in Cinderella beyond its faces and gowns that captures the eye or the imagination.
  64. The film lacks either the immersive intensity that would galvanize emotions or a context that would provide enlightenment. Its brief tour of an unpleasant corner of reality feels less revelatory than voyeuristic.
  65. A moody little number, The Eclipse makes good on its name by sometimes obscuring its themes and even point, which can have its charms though also severe drawbacks.
  66. Ms. Lazin succeeds in conjuring his presence and in showing how smart and likable he could be, but the film's perspective is frustratingly limited.
  67. Gradually becomes an echo chamber of personal dramas and exploits, not to mention propulsive soundtrack cues - all within a sport already nursing a penchant for self-documentation.
  68. The Uruguayan director Federico Veiroj’s leisurely comedy-drama The Apostate has its charms, though the story (and its hero) could benefit from a tarter approach.
  69. [Ms. Kroot's] banalizing documentary is self-defeating as it tags along with Mr. Takei and his wonky husband, Brad, on their busy daily schedule.
  70. This infectious little movie enriches understanding of the immigrant experience insofar as it translates one of its main forms of expression. Where the movie goes wrong, albeit down a forgivable path, is in the attempt to personalize its subject by means of biographical focus on an aspiring corrido composer.
  71. The director and writer, Noah Buschel, has no fresh insights to add to the well-worn dynamic and doesn’t give the actors or the audience much to work with.
  72. This deflating documentary gives up its quest for answers too easily.
  73. The beauty of the landscape and the monk’s sweetness, humility and good humor evoke a plane of existence, at once elevated and austere, that is humbling to contemplate. That said, Unmistaken Child offers no scholarly perspective on Tibetan Buddhism and leaves fundamental questions unanswered.
  74. For all the hype and the inevitable box office bonanza, Terminator 3 is essentially a B movie, content to be loud, dumb and obvious.
  75. While she (Lopes-Curval) portrays the brittleness of their lives with lovely splashes of generosity, the lack of condescension doesn't change the fact that there's not much drama to be found in those very limitations; her characters don't do much beyond getting on one another's nerves.
  76. Mr. Solondz’s eye for the petty hypocrisies and delusions of American life has lost some of its sharpness, and he flails at flabby targets — avant-garde art, campus “political correctness” — in ways that sometimes carry an ugly whiff of racial and sexual bigotry.
  77. The film is too busy, and in some ways too gross, to sustain an effective atmosphere of dread. It tumbles into pastiche just when it should be swooning and sighing with earnest emotion.
  78. For a Marvel agnostic like me, the single most interesting thing about Age of Ultron is that you can sense that Mr. Whedon, having helped build a universal earnings machine with the first “Avengers,” has now struggled mightily, touchingly, to invest this behemoth with some life.
  79. This promisingly tragic tale is sunk by cartloads of context and an overbearing, slanted narration.
  80. The body has its needs, and one of the problems with Diary of the Dead is that it doesn’t get into your body; it doesn’t shake you up, jolt you, make you shiver and squeak. It’s clever, or at least clever enough to keep you going and interested from start to finish. It just isn’t scary.
  81. What began as a reasonably hardheaded look at profound and rapid cultural change turns into a feel-good fantasy of salvation.
  82. As an outcry against the forcible conscription of children into armies around the world, Innocent Voices, is an honorable film. But as a balanced portrait of a tragic civil war, it is simplistic and opaque.
  83. In truth there isn’t much story here, or much insight either; the kind of alienated teenagers wandering through this film exist in movies far out of proportion to their number in real life.
  84. The impact of these stories is not in the words but in the way the mood, texture and the acting build each situation into a visually intense parable about the similarity of spiritual, erotic and aesthetic aspiration.
  85. Though leaving us with many more questions than answers, this well-intentioned blur of accusations, advertising clips and pink-washed events nevertheless deserves to be seen.
  86. Crimson Tide is better watched for its toy appeal and high-priced talent than for any real suspense over where Hunter's mutinous instincts will lead the story.
  87. Veering wildly between farce and suds, the movie never makes up its mind whether it's a spoof, a soap opera or a feminist pep talk.
  88. The subject matter makes The Tainted Veil much more visually interesting than many issue-oriented documentaries, though the thriller-like score goes too far in trying to counter dryness.
  89. Rabin, the Last Day is not interesting in spite of its flaws as a film. It’s interesting because of them, because of Mr. Gitai’s refusal or inability to clarify or even coherently narrate the history he addresses.
  90. For the non-Argentine audience, though, more context would have helped these wonderful songs and dances tell the nation’s story.
  91. Watching it is like receiving a hard slap in the face from someone who expects you to laugh it off, even though the sting lingers.
  92. While it’s no surprise that Mr. Lumet can spin a tale, these murky-looking, less-than-flattering sit-downs are irritatingly suboptimal, particularly given that he was so great at telling intimate stories about men in shadows.
  93. Instead of maintaining an effervescent fizzle, Phantom Boy too frequently sputters piffle.
  94. But Mr. Olmos's direction, from a screenplay by Floyd Mutrux and Desmond Nakano, is dark, slow and solemn, so much so that it diverts energy from the film's fundamental frankness. Violent as it is, American Me is seldom dramatic enough to bring its material to life.
  95. The Cold Lands feels as if it were just taking hold when it reaches the end of the road.
  96. The Great Museum, in comparison, feels like a cursory guided tour.
  97. It’s impossible not to be moved by Lili’s self-recognition and by her demand to be recognized by those who care most about her. But it’s also hard not to wish that The Danish Girl were a better movie, a more daring and emotionally open exploration of Lili’s emergence.
  98. Its cheery inoffensiveness, though, is in some ways disappointing.
  99. Flashy, random shifts of film speed and a true rogues' gallery of striking if one-note characters, do hold interest even if they have no real right to. The commercial aspects also deflect attention from the fact that this story has almost no center at all.

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