The New Yorker's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,459 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 39% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 60% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Mad Max: Fury Road
Lowest review score: 0 Bio-Dome
Score distribution:
1459 movie reviews
  1. Beyond question a return to the dark, simmering days of their best work, in “Blood Simple” and “Miller’s Crossing.”
  2. The only player to conquer Chicago is Catherine Zeta-Jones, who is no Charisse in her motions but who gets by on a full tank of unleaded oomph. [6 January 2003, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
  3. Shadow Recruit is fun in a minor, winter-season way. If the producers stick with Chris Pine as he ages, they may end up with something worth caring about. [20 Jan.2014, p.78]
    • The New Yorker
  4. Sometimes too ominous for its own good.
  5. The pathos of About Schmidt -- of the careful, Chekhovian work that it could have been --gradually slides away. [16 December 2002, p. 106]
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  6. 9
    And here's the strangest thing of all: it works. [September 14, 2009, pg.ll4]
    • The New Yorker
  7. In the end, Ex Machina lives and dies by Alicia Vikander. The film clicks on when she first appears, and it dims every time she goes away.
  8. Given the earnest mayhem that prevails at your local multiplex, there is surely a place for a lightly mocking modernist with a growing distaste for the modern. [9 April 2012, p.84]
    • The New Yorker
  9. What really grips the new movie, for all its amused glances at Swiss Guards and ceremonial pomp, is the prospect of a single soul in crisis. [9 April 2012, p.85]
    • The New Yorker
  10. An efficient, politically inert fantasy.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    First-time feature director Gil Junger gets a lot of laughs in the long setup, but the story eventually reverts to an almost typical high-school romance. Not quite "Clueless."
  11. The work of both Babluani brothers is weirdly stilled and mature, already devoid of the need to show off--serves only to thicken the horror.
  12. The result is a lively bout between bio-pic and fairy tale.
  13. In the end, Lower City is never quite as energetic as it wants to be, touched by the strange, milky lethargy that steeps every waterfront film.
  14. Bullock shades what she normally does into something more interesting -- the angriest and sexiest work she's done. [6 May 2002, p. 138]
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  15. Changeling is beautifully wrought, but it has the abiding fault of righteously indignant filmmaking: it congratulates us for feeling what we already feel.
  16. No one who was not laughably self-involved would agree to a project like 20,000 Days on Earth, and yet Cave, to his credit, comes most alive in his hymns to other selves.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    In the middle of this confident retread, the director, Peter Hewitt, and the writers, Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon, sandwich something far more free and funny--a slapstick version of "The Seventh Seal" in which Bill and Ted play games with Death.
  17. It's enjoyably trivial – a piece of charming foolishness. [24 Mar 1986, p.112]
    • The New Yorker
  18. The whole work drips with a camp savagery (hence the presence of Sacha Baron Cohen as Pirelli, a rival barber and faux-Italianate fop), which in turn relies on the conviction that death itself, like sexual desire, exists to be sniffed at and chuckled over.
  19. Turing will survive this film with his enigma intact, but the movie itself is the opposite of enigmatic, and Cumberbatch merits more.
  20. Barnard's film, as if nervous of being felled by the straightforward, sinewy thump of Dunbar's writing, ducks and weaves in a series of sly approaches. [2 May 2011, p. 89]
    • The New Yorker
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    But, like Jerry Lewis, and, to a degree, Steve Martin, Carrey can make the idiotic seem inspired, and his manic mugging creates some big laughs.
  21. Nothing very important happens, but, moment by moment, the movie is alive with the play of gesture and glances, aggression and withdrawal. [31 March 2003, p.106]
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  22. The director is Debra Granik, who made “Winter’s Bone” (2010), in which Ron had a minor role; the melodramatic strain in that film was less convincing than its observational acuities, which return to the fore here. With no narrator, it is up to the camera to shepherd us through Ron’s days.
  23. You could argue that the film is too wrenching a departure for an actress as earthy as Farmiga, but that, I suspect, is why she took the risk - daring herself, in the person of Corinne, to slip the surly bonds of beauty and desire.
  24. This movie, however incomplete and frustrating, is also fully alive and extraordinarily intelligent.
  25. The movie, which Miranda July wrote and directed, is pretty sharp, not to say acidic, on the silliness of good intentions, but she also takes care to slant the best lines toward the subject of time, and its terrible crawl.
  26. Wiseman’s very subject is the difference between neighborhood and community—between the happenstance of urban geography and the commitment of self-identification.
  27. Pegg co-wrote the screenplay with the director, Edgar Wright, and together they have fashioned a smart, cultish, semi-disgusting homage to the fine British art of not bothering.
  28. An extremely well-crafted exercise in physical invention and fear. Yet within those limits--the limits of a pop-digital survival drama--Poseidon is an exciting show.
  29. Heldenbergh owns the role, holding the camera's gaze with ease. The look and the sound of him hark back to Kris Kristofferson, but there is a hint of Nick Nolte, too, around the eyes--unfazed by the world, yet easily bewildered by its wiles. [11 Nov. 2013, p.91]
    • The New Yorker
  30. Cronenberg has made an eccentric and beautiful-looking movie - a languid, deadpan, conceptualist joke.
  31. It has a gentle, unforced rhythm, and what’s there is good and true. But there’s not enough of it--the movie needs more plot, more complication, more conflict.
  32. In Side Effects, the working out of the thriller plot is accomplished with too much verbal explanation. [11 & 18 Feb. 2013, p.114]
    • The New Yorker
  33. The movie is a lucid and comprehensive picture of a rotten system, but it’s a relief to know that some people in the midst of disaster were doing their jobs.
  34. What will divide viewers is the plot; either the ending makes no sense or it forces you to rethink everything that went before.
  35. Raising Arizona is no big deal, but it has a rambunctious charm. The sunsets look marvelously ultra-vivid, the pain doesn't seem to be dry – it's like opening day of a miniature golf course. [20 Apr 1987, p.81]
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  36. Fahrenheit 9/11 offers the thrill of a coherent explanation for everything, but parts of the movie are no better than a wild, lunging grab at a supposed master plan. [28 June 2004, p. 108]
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  37. Its kitschy grabs at the surreal--the scene in a lunatic asylum, where German troops are billeted, manages to be at once implausible and offensive--that blocks any close engagement with the drama. That said, you must see this film for one unstoppable reason, and that is Lee Marvin.
  38. There's a sourness, a relentlessness about the movie which borders on misanthropy. In both the social and the personal scenes, the conversational tone veers between idiotic pleasantries and fathomless bile, with nothing in between.
  39. The movie is best when it calms down and concentrates on the sinister peculiarities of the experience, and when it focuses on Franco's face. [8 Nov. 2010, p . 93]
    • The New Yorker
  40. Christopher Nolan, for all his visionary flair, wants to suck the comic out of comic books; Anne Hathaway wants to put it back in. Take your pick.
  41. We need another movie, one that shows us why some charter schools work and others don't. And there's an issue that needs to be addressed by Guggenheim and such people as Bill Gates, who appears in the movie as an advocate for charter schools, which he has generously funded.It is the question of scale.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While the movie sticks to the familiar Disney formula, the cute sidekicks are less intrusive and the songs are not as overbearing as usual; for the most part, it sustains an enjoyable hum and a simple, delicate glow.
  42. Not for them the straightforward spoof, but, instead, a slightly creepy desire to have it both ways -- to inject new life into noir, but also to laugh behind their hands at its antique solemnity, and to urge us to follow suit. [5 Nov 2001, p. 105]
    • The New Yorker
  43. Mesrine was no more a movie star than John Dillinger was, but both men could dream, and Cassel catches the folly of such dreaming, with its blasts of thuggery and its rare flashes of style, as neatly as anyone since Warren Oates took the title role of "Dillinger," in 1973.
  44. There is no denying the boldness of Persepolis, both in design and in moral complaint, but there must surely be moments, in Marjane’s life as in ours, that cry out for cross-hatching and the grown-up grayness of doubt.
  45. The movie ends in bitterness. Unable to prevent catastrophe, the most honorable man in this entire affair - an outcast among frauds and the cannily acquiescent - considers himself a failure.
  46. There is plenty to inflame in this picture and nothing to corrupt. [18 Mar 2002. p.152]
    • The New Yorker
  47. It's a seize-the-day movie, even though the day is a long time coming. [7 May 2012, p.80]
    • The New Yorker
  48. The Duchess is enragingly elusive and possibly mad; the General is very direct and also possibly mad.
  49. An accomplished, intelligent, often exciting piece of work, but I can't help wishing that Haggis had figured out how to make it more fun. [22 Nov. 2010, p. 140]
    • The New Yorker
  50. To find a comic-book hero who doesn’t agonize over his supergifts, and would defend his constitutional right to get a kick out of them, is frankly a relief.
  51. Judi Dench is especially good; playing a vulnerable character, for a change, she allows her habitual toughness to give way to uncertainty, fear, and moments of gathering resolve, and she delivers one of her most wide-ranging and moving performances. [7 May 2012, p. 81]
    • The New Yorker
  52. Among other things, Our Brand Is Crisis is about the failure of good intentions--a potent American theme at the moment. As the movie suggests, this failure, born of American arrogance, embraces liberals as well as neocons.
  53. The Valet does not show Veber at his best. His palate for misunderstandings of every vintage is as refined as ever; what he has lost is his taste for human failing.
  54. Taymor has played with Shakespeare's text -- switching genders, and inventing, dropping, and transposing passages -- but there's an emotional gain. [20 & 27 Dec. 2010, p. 146]
    • The New Yorker
  55. No one is denying the energy and the dread that stalked the best B movies of the past, but, when the best director of the present revives such monsters, how can he hope to do better than a B-plus?
  56. Kechiche digs a good story out of the flux, and, in the movie's final forty minutes, the suspense is terrific.
  57. I don't know if Beethoven and a sympathetic newspaper reporter can redeem a messy American city, but this movie makes a plausible case for so fervent a dream.
  58. This Must Be the Place is dazzling to behold, not least when our hero leaves Ireland. [29 Oct. & 5 Nov. 2012, p.128]
    • The New Yorker
  59. In short, The Last of the Unjust is every bit as quarrelsome as it should be. Murmelstein, recounting the circumstances in which he took mortally serious decisions, dares to ask us if we could have done any better.
  60. Heartbreaker, which begins as a Hollywood-style caper and turns into a romantic comedy, is no more than a luxurious trifle. But it is also enjoyable for the vast difference in temperament between its two stars.
  61. Shyamalan often tries too hard, but nobody else can conjure such a sudden flood of worry, or summon so unmistakable a stink of evil, and you come out of Signs, as you did from "The Sixth Sense," in severe need of loud music, bad jokes, and drinks with cherries and umbrellas in them -- anything to waft away the fug of unease. [12 August 2002, p. 82]
    • The New Yorker
  62. Putting it mildly, this style of shallow, panting composition isn't the way I’d like movies to go, but, of its kind, The Bourne Supremacy is incredibly skilled--much more exciting than its predecessor.
  63. We are entertained, but we see this squalid world clearly. The great cinematographer Chris Menges keeps the images cool and crisp. [15 September 2003, p.100]
    • The New Yorker
  64. The movie is immensely pleased with itself, in the manner of adorable kids who know they can get away with anything--the commercial opportunism is so self-confident in its silliness that you can’t really fight it. [7 July 2003, p. 84]
    • The New Yorker
  65. It is the most oppressive of the great tragedies, and "Macbeth" aside, the leanest, and the task that Fiennes has set himself is to liberate it from the theatrical while preserving the dramatic bite. In that, he succeeds with brio. [23 Jan. 2012, p.86]
    • The New Yorker
  66. Yet the film, directed by Laurent Tirard, has something. To be exact, it has Fabrice Luchini and Laura Morante, as M. and Mme. Jourdain.
  67. Although Not Quite Hollywood was clearly put together with fanatical love, the suspicion remains, as often with genre cinema, that these trash-rich movies are a lot more fun to hear about, and to watch in snatches, than to sit through.
  68. The hitch with tales of endurance, onscreen, is their unfortunate habit of becoming endurance tests for the viewer, and, after a while, The Revenant turns into a slog. Make no mistake, it’s a very beautiful slog. Emmanuel Lubezki’s cinematography summons a wealth of wonders.
  69. For Apatow, one guesses, the only things that can forestall death are comedy (the movie is full of superb comics, including Albert Brooks and Melissa McCarthy) and the flourishing of his children, Maude and Iris, who appear in the movie as Debbie and Pete's daughters.
  70. One problem with Lawless, though, is that it feels chock-full of entrances that never quite lead anywhere. [3 Sept. 2012, p.78]
    • The New Yorker
  71. The deep drawback of Taking Sides is that it forgets to be interested in music. [8 September 2003, p. 100]
    • The New Yorker
  72. By the end, Soderbergh’s movie subverts common belief far more effectively than some of the fantasy movies knocking around this summer. It’s a vertiginous experience that grows increasingly hilarious, and the joke is on us.
  73. Noomi Rapace throws herself into the title role, but something about the conception of her character, and about the far-reaching urgency of the sociopathic shocks behind the killing, smacks of a filmmaker pushing too hard. That is why the movie finds it impossible to wind things up.
  74. Kasdan is shrewd and funny about such things as the ease with which powerful people can mimic, when they need to, the forms of sincerity and concern. The satire is unrelenting but not too broad; it stays close to common observation.
  75. So well made, and so compelling as a portrait of a man at war with himself, that, right up until the end, many people will probably be entertained by its intricately preposterous story.
  76. The movie, at two and a half hours, retains much of the unhurried suspense -- the careful cultivating of our patience, of our narrative loyalty -- that is bred by the best TV.
    • The New Yorker
  77. Maps to the Stars is at its most potent and beautiful by far when it becomes a ghost story — when the departed, not just Havana’s mother, return to quiz the living.
  78. They are Abbott & Costello with dirty mouths--indomitable, ungovernable, and possibly immortal.
  79. Goodbye, Lenin! is often drab--the color is washed out, the lighting flat. Yet the movie is sweetly enjoyable as a sardonic elegy for a dream that went bust. [8 March 2004, p. 92]
    • The New Yorker
  80. An effective political melodrama that induces a peculiar emotion--the bitterness generated by an old anger that has faded into dull exasperation and now flares up again. [8 Nov. 2010, p.92]
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  81. The director is John Lee Hancock, who does what he did with “The Blind Side,” where he commandeered a true and jagged tale, tidied up the trauma, and made sure that everyone lived sappily ever after. Sandra Bullock carried the day then, and now Emma Thompson repeats the process.
  82. The movie is a daunting blend of head trip, cinéma vérité, music video, and auto-therapy.
  83. The air of mystery here is appealing, because the secrets behind it seem to matter both a great deal and not at all--rather like love, which has been Lelouch’s subject ever since he made "A Man and a Woman."
  84. David Mamet has adapted and directed Terence Rattigan's 1946 play, which was based on a true story, with a fidelity so profound that one doesn't know whether to be amazed or depressed by it.
  85. Watching the movie, you feel the constriction and the disgust of the life below, but Holland, pacing the film well, knows when to come up for air. Each time she does, the daylight seems like a benediction. [13 & 20 Feb. 2012, p 120]
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  86. How could Frears and his cast rise above the sins of the miniseries? One answer is the force of that cast...The other thing that rescues and refines The Queen is one of the basic bonuses of moviegoing, more familiar of late from documentaries like "Touching the Void" and "Capturing the Friedmans": you come out arguing.
  87. Nothing here is so well defined, and the tone of the film begins to suffer. I cannot imagine returning to it as one does to "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz," hungry for fresh minutiae. [2 Sept. 2013, p.80]
    • The New Yorker
  88. The movie is sheer hurtling mechanism - the entire world in motion - and it's great silly fun.
  89. The great Bebe Neuwirth should apply for a patent on her slow and dirty smile. The scene in which she introduces her new conquest to her girlfriends over tea, and pretty well pimps him to any takers, is worth the price of a ticket. [29 July 2002, p. 92]
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  90. Thank You for Smoking is a nifty but slight movie. Some of the writing is obvious, and the dramatic structure is flimsy, if not downright arbitrary. But Eckhart, in a sure-handed performance, holds the picture together.
  91. Improbable and, at times, sadistic, but, considered as a piece of direction, this Western, set in New Mexico in 1885, is as confident as anything that Ron Howard has done. [8 December 2003, p. 139]
    • The New Yorker
  92. Stop-Loss is not a great movie, but it’s forceful, effective, and alive, with the raw, mixed-up emotions produced by an endless war.
  93. Cronenberg made a movie called “The Dead Zone,” and I sometimes wonder whether, for all his formal brilliance, he has ever torn himself away from that locked-in, airless state of mind. You walk out of Eastern Promises feeling spooked and sullied, as if waking from a noisome dream.
  94. Cedar Rapids is certainly a guys' movie, yet it leaves us with the unmistakable impression that men are simple engines. [28 Feb. 2011, p. 80]
    • The New Yorker
  95. Quantum of Solace is too savage for family entertainment, but, as a study in headlong desperation, it's easier to believe in than many more ponderous films.
  96. It’s good-natured and raucous, with many scenes that are just sketched but a few that are truly funny.

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