The New Yorker's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,716 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 1.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Dreamgirls
Lowest review score: 0 The Da Vinci Code
Score distribution:
1716 movie reviews
  1. 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
  2. The deep drawback of Taking Sides is that it forgets to be interested in music. [8 September 2003, p. 100]
    • The New Yorker
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. Burdge infuses her rigidly and scantly defined role with tremulous vulnerability, and Silver, aided by the splashy palette of Sean Price Williams’s cinematography, evokes derangement with a sardonic wink.
  10. They are Abbott & Costello with dirty mouths--indomitable, ungovernable, and possibly immortal.
  11. 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
  12. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  13. 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.
  14. The movie is a daunting blend of head trip, cinéma vérité, music video, and auto-therapy.
  15. 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."
  16. 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.
  17. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. The movie is sheer hurtling mechanism - the entire world in motion - and it's great silly fun.
  21. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. The best reason to watch Little Men is Michael Barbieri, who musters a blend of soulfulness and aggression that would be remarkable at any age.
  27. 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
  28. 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.
  29. It’s good-natured and raucous, with many scenes that are just sketched but a few that are truly funny.
  30. The film has a resigned bitterness, hard to shake off, that feels right for the experience of tough guys, from whatever period of history, who find themselves at the tattered edge of what they take to be civilization.
  31. Nothing that happens in this movie is in the least surprising, but it's all quite pleasant and even, at times, moving.
  32. Like most porn, even art porn, Nymphomaniac falls apart at the end. Von trier even seems to be pranking the audience. But the director has at last created a genuine scandal -- a provocation worth talking about. [24 March 2014, p.84]
    • The New Yorker
  33. Nobody could leave The Life Aquatic without the impression of having nearly drowned in some secret and melancholy game.
  34. It's an accomplished, stately movie -- unimpassioned but pleasing. [28 July 2014, p.78]
    • The New Yorker
  35. Is it art? Not remotely. But, up to the final scenes, it’s a tremendous piece of engineering. After all, the narratives have to synch up visually, which can’t be easy to manage. And the hurtling force of Vantage Point is fun to watch.
  36. The intricate baseball knowledge that gets passed back and forth among the characters in Trouble with the Curve is much more interesting than the moral simplicities that the movie offers. [8 Oct. 2012, p.87]
    • The New Yorker
  37. Lone Survivor will not please people exasperated by an endless war, but it's an achievement nonetheless. [6 Jan. 2014, p. 73]
    • The New Yorker
  38. Smart, saucy, and ingenious in the extreme. The trouble is that when a subtext is dragged to the fore, however splendidly, the poor old text gets lost.
  39. Good summer fun, but it’s only about two-thirds the picture it could have been. Since Edward Norton has nothing to play against, the rivalry at the heart of the movie never heats up. [16 & 23 June 2003, p. 200]
    • The New Yorker
  40. For all its scruffiness, the lurching strike-rate of its gags, and the unmistakable smell of amateur dramatics given off by its repertory of rotating players with their stick-on Ted Nugent beards, Life of Brian jitters with good will. [3 May 2004, p. 110]
    • The New Yorker
  41. The picture is just a flimsy, thrown-together service comedy about smart misfits trying to do things their own way in the Army. But it has a lot of snappy lines (the script is by Len Blum, Dan Goldberg, and Ramis), the director, Ivan Reitman, keeps things hopping (it's untidy but it doesn't lag), and the performers are a wily bunch of professional flakes.
    • The New Yorker
  42. A wider range of interview subjects might have broadened the perspective, yet before criticizing a tradition, it’s useful to define it, and Jones (a superb critic who now heads the New York Film Festival) offers deep insight into the watershed moment and the enduring forms of Hitchcock’s canonization.
  43. There is honor, boldness, and grip in the new movie, but other directors can deliver those. Werner Herzog is the last great hallucinator in cinema, so why break the spell?
  44. The project gave me pause. Although Oppenheimer has called it “a documentary of the imagination,” whatever that means, would a measure of investigation have spoiled it? We hear that Congo personally exterminated a thousand people. Does that figure stand up, and does it not matter more than his dawning remorse? There is no disputing that we are right at the heart of darkness, but around it is a larger body of evidence, which awaits another explorer.
  45. Lincoln, written by Tony Kushner, directed by Steven Spielberg, and derived in part from Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals," is a curious beast. The title suggests a monolith, as if going to this movie were tantamount to visiting Mt. Rushmore, and the running time, of two and a half hours, prepares you for an epic. Yet the film is a cramped and ornery affair, with Spielberg going into lockdown mode even more thoroughly than he did in "The Terminal."
  46. Much of the writing is good, and the acting is superb, but the constant wrangling wore me out at times.
  47. Buoyant and observant, 50/50 is a small winner; the director, Jonathan Levine ("The Wackness"), has a great touch, mordant but light-handed.
  48. Singer honors a child's desire not only for adventure but for noble deeds, for loyalty and friendship. [18 March 2013, p.87]
    • The New Yorker
  49. The problem for Detroit is that, when contrivance is required, it tends to jut out... Where the movie scores, by contrast, is in those casual deeds that reveal the shape into which lives have been bent.
  50. A major film without being a great film. It's a strange movie, and a stunningly pessimistic one, and the strangeness and pessimism connect it to other recent American films in ways that suggest that something unhappy in the national mood has crept into the movies.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    What makes the movie memorable is the over-all excellence of the performers.
  51. The movie has a hard forties snap to it -- lust is a weapon and love is a letdown.
  52. The latest showpiece for computer animation, with all the contoured, suspiciously gleaming perfection that this entails.
  53. The story fits together too neatly and the characters remain ciphers, but scenes of news reports of the high-profile deals—in which the protagonists see themselves—evoke an eerie air of plausibility and alienation.
  54. Murray’s linking up with Jim Jarmusch is a case of Mr. Cool meeting Mr. Cool, and the result is intriguing and elegant, but not quite satisfying.
  55. Like Ken Loach, Arteta is clearly confident of preaching to the converted, and of whipping up indignation at those who mean us harm. Thanks to his leading players, however, the movie grows limber, ambiguous, and twice as interesting, and the sermon goes astray.
  56. The movie is over before you know it, and is not one to linger in the mind, or indeed pass through the mind at all; but it's a good-humored ride for the senses, never too sickly, and who can say no to that?
  57. Jeremy Renner is the main reason to see Kill the Messenger.
  58. The actual robbery that the picture is based on is shrouded in mystery, and the screenwriters, Dick Clement and Ian La Fresnais, have engaged in a fair amount of entertaining invention.
  59. Still, there is a time to stop quibbling, and to laud the fact that this movie was made at all. [24 June 2013, p.85]
    • The New Yorker
  60. The brilliance of Fin is that he reins in a lifetime of rage, and there is a determination in his eye, and in the line of his chin, that practiced moviegoers will, possibly to their surprise, identify as halfway to sexy--the world-weary smolder of the leading man. [6 October 2003, p. 138]
    • The New Yorker
  61. Certainly holds one's attention, but it's a strange and grim experience, ice-cold and borderline pointless. [28 October 2002, p. 119]
    • The New Yorker
  62. The movie’s most potent closeup is of a black policewoman, in a line confronting protesters; if you can film her, why not learn what she has to say? Folayan and Davis, however, hold no brief for even-handedness, and, for those who dominate the screen, any sign of temperance, even in a President, is treated with contempt.
  63. Craig has the courage to present a hollow man, flooding the empty rooms where his better nature should be with brutality and threat. His smile is more frightening than his straight face, and he doesn’t bother with the throwaway quips that were meant to endear us to the other Bonds.
  64. The filmmakers register their point, but I don’t think it’s entirely parochial to note that, two decades from now, the American and Japanese children will probably have many choices open to them (including living close to the land), while the Mongolian and Namibian children are more likely to be restricted in their choices to the soil that nurtured them.
  65. The main problem with War for the Planet of the Apes is that, although it rouses and overwhelms, it ain’t much fun.
  66. British director Michael Winterbottom has made his best and most driven picture to date. [22 September 2003, p. 202]
    • The New Yorker
  67. Jacques Audiard’s film, which lasts two and a half hours, maintains an unflagging urgency, stalling only when the double-dealing grows too dense.
  68. The sense of period, of ungainly English pride, is funny and acute, but the movie mislays its sense of wit as the girls grow up.
  69. The picture seems to crumble... because the writer and director don't distinguish Loew's fantasies from his actual life... But with Cage in the role we certainly see the delusions at work. This daring kid starts over the top and just keeps going. He's airily amazing. [12 June 1989]
    • The New Yorker
  70. The weirdness of Truth — and, I fear, its involuntary comic value — arises from a disparity between the sparse and finicky minutiae of the narrative and the somewhat bouffant style of the presentation.
  71. The result, though corny at times, treads close to madness and majesty alike, and nobody but Gibson could have made it.
  72. Stewart chose the great Iranian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo to play Bahari’s mother, but, with her tragic face and her magnificent contralto voice, she plays a tiny role as if she were in an amphitheatre.
  73. Few movies this year will be more likely to molest your sleep.
  74. The result is an unorthodox blend of courtroom drama and old-style weepie, and somehow it comes off. [23 Dec 1993]
    • The New Yorker
  75. Beauty and the Beast is delectably done; when it’s over, though, and when the spell is snapped, it melts away, like cotton candy on the tongue.
  76. She's infuriating, but the movie, for all its morose impassivity, is beautiful and haunting.
  77. Strange and off-putting, and hard-nosed types in the film business will no doubt dismiss it as a nothing. But, even if Bubble hasn't brought down the Bastille, the movie is far from nothing.
  78. The movie feels not only like a trial but like a trial in absentia. [7 Oct 2002, p. 108]
    • The New Yorker
  79. The movie makes it clear that, for all his snarls and outbursts, he is intelligent, candid, and easily wounded; that he is by turns inordinately proud and inordinately ashamed and, above all, intensely curious about himself, as if his own nature were a mystery that had not yet been solved.
  80. A trim thriller with an enviable lack of grandeur. [21 Jan. 2013, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
  81. Robert Altman, in a benevolent mood, has made a lovely ensemble comedy from Anne Rapp's original screenplay.
  82. The movie is smart and tightly drawn; it has a throat-gripping urgency and some serious insights, and Scott has a greater command of space and a more explicit way with violence than most thriller directors.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The car chases are unimpeachable.
  83. The joke buried in Tabloid is that this sexual obsessive is very likely not a sexual person at all.
  84. Lee Hirsch and Cynthia Lowen, the filmmakers who made the moving documentary Bully, don't try to answer any questions. They avoid charts and graphs, talking heads and sociology. Their approach is more direct and, perhaps, more effective.
  85. A short, meaningless blast of fun from Disney.
  86. The result is a sad suburban pastoral, a strain of film you don't see much of, or not enough; it may feel somewhat stretched, and Rush's additions to Carver barely push it past ninety minutes, but anything hectic or hasty would have spoiled the mood. [16 May 2011, p. 132]
    • The New Yorker
  87. A lyrical throwback to such movies as René Clément's "Forbidden Games" (1952) and other works of the humanist European cinema of a half century ago. [12 April 2003, p. 89]
    • The New Yorker
  88. Sappy but engaging. [7 & 14 July 2014, p.95]
    • The New Yorker
  89. The project lacks the variety of sensuous pleasures that a great movie has to provide.
  90. In serious roles, Weisz can be stiff-backed and righteous, but here, doing comedy, she appears to be a major actress eager to reveal everything she’s been holding inside.
  91. What the novels leave us with, and what emerges more fitfully from this film, as if in shafts of sunlight, is the growing realization that, although our existence is indisputably safer, softer, cleaner, and more dependable than the lives led by Captain Aubrey and his men, theirs were in some immeasurable way better. [17 November 2003, p. 172]
    • The New Yorker
  92. Even though we can see it coming, this gruff, inarticulate, half-embarrassed love between men, arrived at after many setbacks, is one of the stories that action movies never tire of telling and that many of us, even though we may laugh it off the next day, still find moving. [17 & 24 June 2002, p. 176]
    • The New Yorker
  93. Precisely thirty-six times more interesting than “The Girl on the Train.” Where the conceit of that movie feels timid, cooked up, and culturally thin, Anvari’s is nourished by a near-traumatic sense of history, and, in terms of feminist pluck, Rashidi’s presence, in the leading role, is both gutsier and more plausible than the combined efforts of all the main performers in Taylor’s film.
  94. Even as this fine documentary unveils the "mystery woman," as she once described herself, it remains intent on the molding of her myth. [31 March 2014, p.80]
    • The New Yorker
  95. This is not life imitating art. This is art going to bed with life and staying there for the rest of the afternoon. [31 March 2014, p.81]
    • The New Yorker
  96. To my eyes, the whole thing past in a blur of fabulous collage. [2 September 2002, p. 152]
    • The New Yorker
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Duvall and Jones wear their roles like broken-in work clothes, and the screenplay has a drawling Southern rhythm that's very pleasing.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It's a pretty shameless outlaw fantasy; the feminist justification that the script provides for the heroines' behavior doesn't make their actions any less preposterous.

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