The New Yorker's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,572 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 1.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Schindler's List
Lowest review score: 0 The Da Vinci Code
Score distribution:
1572 movie reviews
  1. 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."
  2. Bob Nelson wrote the script, which Payne has been mulling over for nine years, and some of it, enhanced by the deliberate pacing of his direction, is funny in a deadpan, black-comedy way. But the absurdist atmosphere feels thin: the movie is like a Beckett play without the metaphysical unease, the flickering blasphemies and revelations.
  3. What IS surprising is the unembarrassed energy that Boyle devotes to his pursuit of the obvious; there’s nothing wrong with the formulaic, it would appear, so long as you bring the formula to the boil.
  4. John Cusack and Mahoney have to carry the unconvincing melodramatic portion of the plot, but they carry it stunningly. [15 May 1989]
    • The New Yorker
  5. 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.
  6. No male director would have put so much as a toe inside this trouble zone, although Kent does borrow a helpful domestic hint from “Shaun of the Dead”: rather than vanquish our worst nightmare, why not tame it, lock it away, and hope?
  7. 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.
  8. The eye must travel not merely through the earth's crust but backward in time, as well. Indeed, you could argue that Herzog has succeeded in making the world's first movie in 4-D. [2 May 2011, p. 88]
    • The New Yorker
  9. What follows, in the final half hour of the movie, is an astounding chamber piece, worthy of Strindberg, with the husband, the wife, and her aggressor stuck in a dance of doubt and death. With every shot, our sympathies flicker and tilt.
  10. 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
  11. This movie can hardly help being beautiful, in such a rarefied domain, but what matters is that it never looks merely beautiful. [28 Feb. 2011, p. 81]
    • The New Yorker
  12. Henry James, who loved the place, accused himself of "making a mere Rome of words, talking of a Rome of my own which was no Rome of reality." Sorrentino has made a Rome of images, and taken the same risk. But it was worth it. [25 Nov. 2013, p.134]
    • The New Yorker
  13. Finally, a voice-over from Jimmy Carter, lauding the efforts of those involved. All this is, frankly, uncool - a pity, because the rest of Argo feels clever, taut, and restrained.
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. On reflection, and despite these cavils, we should bow to The Master, because it gives us so much to revere, starting with the image that opens the film and recurs right up to the end-the turbid, blue-white wake of a ship. There goes the past, receding and not always redeemable, and here comes the future, waiting to churn us up.
    • 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
  17. Hawks weaves brawny romance and humor and a man’s-man sort of heartbreak into his tribute to the ideal of vocation.
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. You come out of the movie both excited and soothed, as if your body had been worked on by felt-covered drumsticks.
  21. The movie is about preservation and restoration and the power of art. But with what gain in knowledge? It's as if Szpilman had no soul, and no will, apart from an endless desire to tickle the keys. [13 January 2003, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
  22. I prefer to think of Akin, however, not as a forger of patterns but as an ironist who understands that bad luck is a crucible, in the heat of which we are tested, burned away, or occasionally transformed. The Edge of Heaven is about something more exasperating than crossed paths; it is about paths that almost cross but don't, and the tragedy of the near-miss.
  23. Vital, honest, and engaging.
  24. Filming with long, ironically balanced takes, Porumboiu delivers an ingeniously intricate goofball comedy that evokes heroes of legend while bringing sociological abstractions to mucky life.
  25. Baker revels in the power of clichés and the generic energy of his low-fi cinematography, which is done with a cell phone. The results are picturesque and anecdotal.
  26. On the surface, Apatow's films are about sex--obsessively, exclusively, and exhaustively. (This one lasts more than two hours.) But that is a clever feint, for their true subject is age.
  27. Turtles Can Fly has little space for mawkishness, and the kids are far too cussed to be cute. It is, in every sense, the more immediate achievement: it hits and hurts the eyes (the rainy days are lousy enough, but the skies of royal blue, above such grief, feel especially insulting), and it also seems to bleed straight out of the headlines.
  28. Not one of Scorsese's greatest films; it doesn't use the camera to reveal the psychological and aesthetic dimensions of an entire world, as "Mean Streets," "Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull," and "Goodfellas" did. But it's a viciously merry, violent, high-wattage entertainment, and speech is the most brazenly flamboyant element in it.
  29. An Education is perceptive and entertaining, but it doesn’t have the jolting vitality of, say, “Notes on a Scandal,” which dramatized an even more unconventional liaison--older woman, fifteen-year-old boy.

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