The New Yorker's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,396 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 1.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Maria Full of Grace
Lowest review score: 0 Bio-Dome
Score distribution:
1,396 movie reviews
  1. And there you have the problem with this film. It is gray with good taste — shade upon shade of muted naughtiness, daubed within the limits of the R rating. Think of it as the “Downton Abbey” of bondage, designed neither to menace nor to offend but purely to cosset the fatigued imagination. You get dirtier talk in most action movies, and more genitalia in a TED talk on Renaissance sculpture.
  2. And so, as the solemnity of the enterprise is frittered away, you feel moved to ask: what is this film for?
  3. What we have here is a fouled-up fairy tale of oppression and empowerment, and it’s hard not to be ensnared by its mixture of rank maleficence and easy reverie. The gap between being genuinely stirred and having your arm twisted, however, is narrower than we care to admit.
  4. You have to feel sorry for Moore, who is called upon to supply an unappealing mixture of neurosis and starch, and whose instinctive frailty is so endlessly exploited by Howitt's movie that the jokes, such as they are, go into retreat. [3 May 2004, p. 110]
    • The New Yorker
  5. A shapeless mess, but at least it’s not as monotonous as “Kill Bill Vol. 1.” [19 & 26 April 2004, p. 202]
    • The New Yorker
  6. Has its satirical charms, but it repeats itself remorselessly, and it has no emotional center. We are so distant from Val that when he gets his sight back we don't feel a thing. [20 May 2002, p.114]
    • The New Yorker
  7. Thoroughly derivative, and it doesn't illuminate youth crime -- it exploits it.
  8. There are moments when music and lyrics bear only the faintest relation to each other, a tricky state of affairs in a work that is almost bereft of spoken dialogue.
  9. The movie is derivative, flat, halfhearted, its squareness unrelieved by irony or fantasy. [3 March 2003, p. 94]
    • The New Yorker
  10. It winces with liberal self-chastisement: Redford is surely smart enough to realize, as the professor turns his ire on those who merely chatter while Rome burns, that his movie is itself no better, or more morally effective, than high-concept Hollywood fiddling.
  11. A perplexing compound of the silly and the glum.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Bullock is refreshingly natural, as usual, but Affleck seems uncomfortable as the romantic lead--if she's light as a feather, he's stiff as a board. Marc Lawrence's implausible script and Bronwen Hughes's tin-ear direction do nothing to improve matters.
  12. The movie is halfhearted, fragmentary, unachieved.
  13. The directors, Andrew Lau and Alan Mak, manage to convince us that we have witnessed an action movie, although in fact the quantity of violence is so minimal that, under Hong Kong law, Infernal Affairs barely qualifies as a motion picture.
  14. A comedy without one foot on the ground is no more than a flight of fancy, as directionless as a balloon; the master clowns of silent cinema knew that, and so does Mr. Fletcher, the gravid elder statesman of this film. As he says to Mike and Jerry, “I appreciate your creativity, but let’s be realistic for a second.” Be kind. Erase.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Sandler lacks any kind of discernible comic energy; he's just meandering around the film waiting for something to happen, and almost nothing funny does.
  15. "Gentlemen, I wash my hands of this weirdness," Captain Jack says. Sir, you speak for us all.
  16. The whole thing makes Dustin Hoffman’s performance in Levinson’s “Rain Man” seem like a triumph of underplaying.
  17. The plot would seem more ingenious if the movie itself didn't copy so many other thrillers (notably "The Silence of the Lambs"), and if it weren't so easy to spot every twist half an hour in advance.
  18. An interminable, redundant, unnecessary epic devoted to suffering, suffering, suffering.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The director, Hugh Wilson, aims for harmless froth, and what he winds up with, as the hysteria level rises, is something brash and strident.
  19. The filmmakers, I think, got in over their heads and couldn't decide whether they were making an action thriller or a drama of conscience; they wound up flubbing both.
  20. The trouble with Blindness is that it’s so preoccupied with shouldering this symbolic weight that it gradually forgets to tell a story--to keep faith with the directives of common sense.
  21. What's strange about the movie is that the best things in it aren't developed, and what Superman and the other characters do doesn't seem to have any weight. [11 July 1983, p.90]
    • The New Yorker
  22. But all that this encounter-session movie actually does is strip a group of high-school kids down to their most banal longings to be accepted and liked. Its real emblem is that dreary, retro ribbon. [8 Apr 1985, p.123]
    • The New Yorker
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It's not much fun to watch.
  23. Throughout Sinister, the rooms remain darker than crypts, whether at breakfast or dinnertime, and the sound design causes everything in the house to moan and groan in consort with the hero's worrisome quest. I still can't decide what creaks the most: the floors, the doors, the walls, the dialogue, the acting, or the fatal boughs outside.
  24. Crowe is attempting a modern screwball comedy--the kind of thing that, sixty years ago, Howard Hawks, directing Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck, would have turned into romantic farce--but he has scaled the movie as an epic and turned his gabby heroine into a fount of New Age wisdom.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    When it's time to wrap up the mystery, the movie leaves too many of the plot's enigmas unresolved, and Branagh's insouciance loses its charm.
  25. A thriller stripped of thrills--or, even worse, a thriller that thinks of itself as somehow rising above the vulgar pleasures of excitement.

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