The New Yorker's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,736 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 38% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 61% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 At Berkeley
Lowest review score: 0 Bio-Dome
Score distribution:
1736 movie reviews
  1. It may be the most sophisticated political satire ever made in Hollywood. (As quoted by Roger Ebert)
    • The New Yorker
  2. In Ratatouille, the level of moment-by-moment craftsmanship is a wonder.
  3. It's hard not to see Beasts as an expression of post-affluent America. And here's the surprise: the grinding Great Recession may never offer up a movie as happy, or as inspired by poetry and dream, as this one. [23 July 2012, p.80]
    • The New Yorker
  4. The film is filled to dazzling with the vitreous and the translucent; the flaw running down the window of a Polish train seems, in some mystifying way, as momentous as a rift in space-time. We see through a glass darkly, and often confusingly, but at least we see.
  5. For the viewer, the miracle of Bloody Sunday is that firm moral judgment can exist side by side with a wild and bitter exhilaration in the sheer physicality of violence. [7 Oct 2002, p. 108]
    • The New Yorker
  6. Spielberg wrote a poem. And all the best movies are poems. [2002 re-release]
  7. To begin your career with a masterpiece is so remarkable a feat that one can only hope Jarecki finds another subject as rich as this family, which was obsessed with itself but needed a filmmaker to begin to see itself at all. [2 June 2003, p. 102]
    • The New Yorker
  8. Peele’s perfectly tuned cast and deft camera work unleash his uproarious humor along with his political fury; with his first film, he’s already an American Buñuel
  9. The picture draws out the obvious and turns itself into a classic. [26 June 1989]
    • The New Yorker
  10. It's genuinely funny, yet it's also scary, especially for young women: it plays on their paranoid vulnerabilities... Mia Farrow is enchanting in her fragility: she's just about perfect for her role.
    • The New Yorker
  11. If there is any justice, this year's Academy Award for best foreign-language film will go to The Lives of Others, a movie about a world in which there is no justice.
  12. Brilliantly entertaining.
  13. It's powerfully and richly imagined: a genre-busting movie that successfully combines the utmost in romanticism with the utmost in realism.
  14. Marston would probably have made an interesting movie no matter how he had shot it, but the way he dramatized the material seems instinctively right: he goes detail by detail, emotion by emotion, eliding nothing, exaggerating nothing.
  15. The Orson Welles film is generally considered the greatest American film of the sound period, and it may be more fun than any other great movie.
    • The New Yorker
  16. There’s nothing derivative about Dash’s work; every image, every moment is a full creation.
  17. A brilliant documentary about an American saint and fool--a man who understands everything about nature except death.
  18. I would be surprised if this brilliant and touching film didn't become required viewing for teachers all over the United States. Everyone else should see it as well--it's a wonderful movie.
  19. Ida
    This compact masterpiece has the curt definition and the finality of a reckoning—a reckoning in which anger and mourning blend together.
  20. A small classic of tension, bravery, and fear, which will be studied twenty years from now when people want to understand something of what happened to American soldiers in Iraq. If there are moviegoers who are exhausted by the current fashion for relentless fantasy violence, this is the convincingly blunt and forceful movie for them.
  21. Psycho, in its dark and sordid extravagance, remains utterly contemporary, in its subject as well as in its production.
  22. There’s neither pity nor sentimentality in Gomes’s populism; the highest strain of modern humanism faces up to the first person.
  23. Greengrass’s movie is tightly wrapped, minutely drawn, and, no matter how frightening, superbly precise.
  24. The best scary-funny movie since "Jaws" - a teasing, terrifying, lyrical shocker, directed by Brian De Palma, who has the wickedest baroque sensibility at large in American movies. Pale, gravel-voiced Sissy Spacek gives a classic chameleon performance as a repressed high-school senior.
    • The New Yorker
  25. Voyage of Time inhabits a rarefied plane of thought, detached from the practicalities of daily life, that leave it open to a facile and utterly unjustified dismissal, given the breathtaking intensity of its stylistic unity and the immediate, firsthand force of its philosophical reflections.
  26. Field achieves so convincing a picture of everday normality that when violence breaks out one feels the same disbelief that one feels when it breaks out in life. [26 Nov 2001, p. 121]
    • The New Yorker
  27. The film locates extraordinary political and cultural tributaries, marked by archival footage, that arise from the history of Dawson City and the gold rush.
  28. Many documentaries are good at drawing attention to an outrage and stirring up our feelings. Ferguson's film certainly does this, but his exposition of complex information is also masterly. Indignation is often the most self-deluding of emotions; this movie has the rare gifts of lucid passion
  29. Altman achieves his dream of a truly organic form, in which everyone is connected to everyone else, and life circulates around a central group of ideas and emotions in bristling orbits. [14 Jan 2002, p. 92]
    • The New Yorker
  30. The story worms further into the guts of Victorian experience than most historical dramas, because it aims at the most neglected aspect of that age, and the most alarmingly modern: its surrealism. [29 Nov 1993, p.148]
    • The New Yorker
  31. Hyper-articulate and often breathtakingly intelligent and always brazenly alive. I think it's easily the strongest American film since Clint Eastwood's "Mystic River," though it is not for the fainthearted.
  32. In its lived-in, completely non-ideological way, Winter's Bone is one of the great feminist works in film.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Has the sure grip and the unstoppable momentum of a dream – which are qualities, too of great fairly tales and the most memorable pop songs. [16 Nov 1992, p.127]
    • The New Yorker
  33. Although Dunkirk is not as labyrinthine as Nolan’s “Memento” (2000) or “Inception” (2010), its strike rate upon our senses is rarely in doubt, and there is a beautiful justice in watching it end, as it has to, in flames. Land, sea, air, and, finally, fire: the elements are complete, honor is salvaged, and the men who were lost scrape home.
  34. If Sauper is fired up by anti-globalist conviction, his instincts as an artist and as a man rule out any kind of rhetoric or cheapness. Darwin’s Nightmare is a fully realized poetic vision.
  35. I can’t think of another film portrait of higher education that matches this one for comprehensiveness, intellectual depth, and hope.
  36. Wild and unrelenting, but also possessed of the outlandish poetry, laced with hints of humor, that rises to the surface when the world is all churned up.
  37. Baker has taken an unregarded thread of American life, from the fraying edge of the land, and spun something rousing, raucous, and sad. Innocence is not utterly lost, but its bright-purple shine has gone. Who knows what Moonee knew?
  38. This movie makes one grateful that a serious European art cinema still exists. [15 April 2002, p. 88]
    • The New Yorker
  39. Judged both as reporting and as art -- many of Wiseman's films have a poetic density of structure -- it is a series without parallel in movie history. [11 Feb 2002, p. 92]
    • The New Yorker
  40. The movie is an outright miracle. [8 March 2004, p. 92]
    • The New Yorker
  41. This is one of the most entertaining science-fiction fantasies ever to come out of Hollywood.
    • The New Yorker
  42. [Willis’s] heavy trudge on a game leg suggests weariness of historical dimensions; the harmonious mysteries of the urban landscape are themselves the essence of his art. A brilliant sequence of musicians at work gets away from familiar modes of filmed performance and into the depths of inner experience.
  43. That stance of hers will outrage many viewers, as Verhoeven intends it to, but the question of whether Elle is pernicious nonsense or an excruciating black comedy is brushed aside in Huppert’s demonstration of sangfroid. This, she shows us, is how to stand up for yourself in style. She’s the best.
  44. I have seen The Host twice and have every intention of watching it again.
  45. Schnabel’s movie, based on the calm and exquisite little book that Bauby wrote in the hospital, is a gloriously unlocked experience, with some of the freest and most creative uses of the camera and some of the most daring, cruel, and heartbreaking emotional explorations that have appeared in recent movies.
  46. It would be a shame if the film were to be seen only by those already interested in French cinema. Anyone with an eye for grace, industry, resilience, rich shadows, and strong cigarettes should go along. Like the kid on that terrace in Lyon, you see the light.
  47. Fruitvale Station is a confident, touching, and, finally, shattering directorial début.
  48. Almodóvar has brought an extraordinary calm to the surface of his work. The imagery is smooth and beautiful, the colors are soft-hued and blended. Past and present flow together; everything seems touched with a subdued and melancholy magic. [25 November 2002, p. 108]
    • The New Yorker
  49. Hawks weaves brawny romance and humor and a man’s-man sort of heartbreak into his tribute to the ideal of vocation.
  50. Essentially a romantic adventure story with politics in the background--an old-fashioned movie, I suppose, but exciting and stunningly well made.
  51. Look closely at Johansson...an immaculate period performance. [15 December 2003, p. 119]
    • The New Yorker
  52. What Park has done is resurrect not just the spirit but, as it were, the bodily science of early comedy. Like Chuck Jones, and, further back, like Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, Park is unafraid of the formulaic--—of bops on the head, of the unattainable beloved, of gadgetry gone awry--because he sees what beauty there can be in minor, elaborate variations on a basic theme.
  53. Undiluted pleasure and excitement. The scriptwriter, W.D. Richter, supplies some funny lines, and the director, Phil Kaufman, provides such confident professionalism that you sit back in the assurance that every spooky nuance you're catching is just what was intended.
    • The New Yorker
  54. Has a beautifully modulated sadness that's almost musical. Eastwood once made a movie about Charlie Parker ("Bird"), but this picture has the smoothly melancholic tones of Coleman Hawkins at his greatest.
  55. The result is clean, delirious, and, yes, speedy—the best big-vehicle-in-peril movie since Clouzot's "The Wages of Fear."
  56. The movie is stunningly intelligent; the concluding passages, in which the game abruptly ends for both men, are frightening and, finally, very moving.
  57. Richardson in particular vaults to the forefront of her generation’s actors with this performance, which virtually sings with emotional and intellectual acuity.... Few performances—and few films—glow as brightly with the gemlike fire of precocious genius.
  58. Jenkins burrows deep into his characters’ pain-seared memories, creating ferociously restrained performances and confrontational yet tender images that seem wrenched from his very core.
  59. I've rarely seen so selfless a collection of performances and, in a war movie, so general an absence of rhetoric or guff. [25 & 31 Dec 2001, p. 127]
    • The New Yorker
  60. On paper this movie, written and directed by Brian De Palma, might seem to be just a political thriller, but it has a rap intensity that makes it unlike any other political thriller...It’s a great movie.
  61. For the first, and maybe the only, time this year, you are in the hands of a master.
  62. Nothing has exploded on the screen in recent years as violently as that mad quarrel in a tiny room - a room that is Israel itself. [16 April 2012, p.86]
    • The New Yorker
  63. What follows is astounding: a thirty-minute fight, which, in its bitterness, complication, and psychological revelation, recalls episodes from Ingmar Bergman's "Scenes from a Marriage." [27 May 2013, p.86]
    • The New Yorker
  64. With its blend of terrifyingly intense family bonds and the howling furies of the world outside, this is a great American political film.
  65. Happy Hour, a work of distinctly modern cinema, reaches deep into the classic traditions of melodrama—along with its coincidences and its violent contrasts—to revive a latent power for grand-scale observation through painfully close contact with the agonizing intimacies of contemporary life.
  66. The most familiar movie in the world is still fresh; it has so many little busy corners to nestle in... Casablanca is the most sociable, the most companionable film ever made. Life as an endless party.
  67. The late director Aleksei Guerman’s last film is a grandly arbitrary carnival of neo-medieval depravity. It’s also a mudpunk allegory of Russian barbarism and backwardness.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    With breathtaking assurance, the movie veers from psychological-thriller suspense to goofball comedy to icy satire: it's Patricia Highsmith meets Monty Python meets Nathaniel West. [20 Apr 1992, p.81]
    • The New Yorker
  68. Small-scaled and limited, Capote is nevertheless the most intelligent, detailed, and absorbing film ever made about a writer's working method and character--in this case, a mixed quiver of strength, guile, malice, and mendacity.
  69. A first-rate piece of work by a director who's daring and agile... It's heaven – alive in a way that movies rarely are. [9 Jan 1989]
    • The New Yorker
  70. The backbone of Collin’s film is the sole audio interview with Helen Morgan, made in 1996, shortly before her death. The story that she tells combines with the story that Collin builds around it to provide a revelatory and moving portrait of a great musician.
  71. [Anthony] turns a concluding sequence of civic pride and good cheer into a brilliantly light-hearted fantasy of grave import, a radical political utopia conjured with a deft artistic flourish. It’s one of the most extraordinary, visionary inspirations in the recent cinema.
  72. A perfect family movie, a perfect date movie, and one of the most eye-ravishing documentaries ever made.
  73. Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?...is an overwhelming experience. It fills the current American landscape with the hatred, oppression, and violence that also scars its history.
  74. An enthralling and powerfully eccentric American epic.
  75. One of the most sheerly enjoyable films of recent years, this sophisticated horror comedy, written and directed by Brian De Palma, is permeated with the distilled essence of impure thoughts.
    • The New Yorker
  76. Margin Call is one of the strongest American films of the year and easily the best Wall Street movie ever made.
  77. A comedy, and a scintillating, uproarious one, filled with fast and light touches of exquisite incongruity in scenes that have the expansiveness of relaxed precision, performed and timed with the spontaneous authority of jazz.
  78. Huston's power as Lilly is astounding... She bites right through the film-noir pulp; the [climactic] scene is paralyzing, and it won't go away.
    • The New Yorker
  79. An Altman-influenced movie made without the master's acrid bitterness. The Last Kiss may come out of Italian opera and comedy, but in spirit it's Shakespearean -- objective, impassive, and at peace with a world in which men and women manage to be both ordinary and extraordinary. [5 August 2002, p.80]
    • The New Yorker
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Few American movies since the silent era have had anything approaching this picture's narrative boldness, visual audacity, and emotional directness. [20 Dec 1993, p.129]
    • The New Yorker
  80. In brief, Marshall Curry, the young director of Street Fight, has hit the documentary jackpot: the movie will become the inescapable referent for media coverage of the new campaign. And rightly so.
  81. Ingeniously, Coogler has transformed “Rocky”—the modern cinematic myth that, perhaps more than any other, endures as a modern capitalist Horatio Alger story of personal determination and sheer will—into a vision of community and opportunity, connections and social capital, family and money.
  82. The twin themes of The Hours are the variety of human bonds, especially the bond of love, and the gift that the dying make to the living. The miracle is that such sombre notions fit together as surely and lightly as the dancers in a Balanchine ballet. [23 & 30 December 2002, p. 166]
    • The New Yorker
  83. The real reason to see The Kid with a Bike is that it offers something changelessly rare and difficult: a credible portrait of goodness. [19 March 2012, p.90]
    • The New Yorker
  84. The sigh you will hear across the country in the next few weeks is the sound of a gratified audience: a great movie musical has been made at last.
  85. The animation, by Craig Staggs, has a notable imaginative specificity, and the meticulously complex interweaving of styles turns the film into a horrifying true-crime thriller that’s enriched by a rare depth of inner experience.
  86. This production, directed by Michael Hoffman, is like a great night at the theatre--the two performing demons go at each other full tilt and produce scenes of Shakespearean affection, chagrin, and rage.
  87. Brilliantly entertaining and emotionally wrenching.
  88. 12 Years a Slave is easily the greatest feature film ever made about American slavery.
  89. The new movie by Robert Greene is a tour de force in the blending and bending of genres.
  90. One of the most impressive movies ever made about espionage.
  91. Hugo is superbly playful.
  92. As close as we are likely to come on the screen to the spirit of Greek tragedy (and closer, I think, than Arthur Miller has come on the stage). The crime of child abuse becomes a curse that determines the pattern of events in the next generation. [13 October 2003, p. 112]
    • The New Yorker
  93. Under its leathery hide is a genuine compulsion to de-romanticize Western gunfighting. Every bullet in this movie matters, and by the end Munny's alcohol-fuelled, satanic purposefulness is shocking: in the climax, even his choice of victims has a crazy excess. [10 Aug 1992, p.70]
    • The New Yorker
  94. Serra creates rigid, highly pressurized images on the verge of shattering with the force of mystery and desire.
  95. An intimate movie with a metaphysical grandeur, a detailed local inquiry that displays the crushing power of societal forces as well as the passion and vitality of those who endure.
  96. At its best, the movie is an exhilarating, surf-topping ride. With Minnie Driver providing the voice of a deliciously flirtatious Jane.
  97. The movie, Polley's feature début, is a small-scale triumph that could herald a great career.

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