The New Yorker's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,530 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: 63
Highest review score: 100 United 93
Lowest review score: 0 Bio-Dome
Score distribution:
1530 movie reviews
  1. Never has a blockbuster, I would guess, required so many soliloquies. What with the mournful Molina, the hazed-over Dunst, and the puffy uncertainties of Maguire, we in the audience are the only ones who still believe, without qualification, in thrill and spill.
  2. Though the end of the film seems rushed—its seventy-nine minutes could have gone on for hours—it is nonetheless a cause for rejoicing.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    What is unambiguous is the campaign that Pina mounts, with joy and without fuss, against age discrimination; by law, the film should be screened, on a monthly basis, for Hollywood casting agents.
  3. Hugo is superbly playful.
  4. Why, then, do we not feel bullied by the result? Partly because the camera, as I say, tells a subtler tale than the dialogue does, and lures us into a grudging respect for the bravado of Muse and his men; but mainly because of Tom Hanks. This most likable of actors deliberately presents us with a character who makes no effort to be liked.
  5. As a rule, movies about toys need to be approached with extreme caution; some of them have been bad enough to count as health hazards. This one is the exception.
  6. At the end of the movie, when Gloria looks at herself appraisingly in a mirror, we seem to be seeing her for the first time. [20 Jan. 2014, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
  7. Moonstruck isn't heartfelt; it's an honest contrivance – the mockery is a giddy homage to our desire for grand passion. With its special lushness, it's a rose-tinted black comedy. [25 Jan 1988, p.99]
    • The New Yorker
  8. From the beginning, you can feel this restive, pulsing movie burn from discontent toward disaster. The whole thing should sap the spirit, and make you despair of a lost and wasted country, yet you are constantly shocked awake by the energy of Arbor, whether it is spent on insolence, initiative, or grief. The boy’s a bright wire.
  9. In all, these men and women don't seem to have the seething ambitions and the restlessness of so many Americans. They don't expect to get rich, somehow, next year. They may be happier than we are but they're also less colorful. [28 Jan. 2012, p.80]
    • The New Yorker
  10. The film is a hybrid. Its backdrop is despair, but the foreground action has the silvery zest of a comedy.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A lovely, stubbornly idiosyncratic fable of aspiration and survival.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Duvall's performance is so passionate, so energized, that it's almost eerie: is Sonny acting him or is he acting Sonny?
  11. 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
  12. Marvellous, though it is smaller in emotional range than such earlier Mike Leigh films as the goofy bourgeois satire "High Hopes" (1988), the candid and piercing "Secrets & Lies" (1996), and the splendid theatrical spectacle "Topsy-Turvy" (1999).
  13. To some degree, “Hidden” is a cat-and-mouse thriller, the only problem being that mouse and cat insist on swapping roles.
  14. Nobody does shrewishness better than McEwan. [8 August 2003, p. 84]
    • The New Yorker
  15. 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.
  16. Werner Herzog may lack heroes, nowadays, who seem adequate to his fierce capacity for wonder. When occasion demands, however, he can still turn the world upside down.
  17. One of the most eloquent records we have of a tragedy that brought out some of the most impressively alive men and women in New Orleans.
  18. Mustang is the début feature of Deniz Gamze Ergüven, and it’s quite something: a coming-of-age fable mapped onto a prison break, at once dream-hazed and sharp-edged with suspense.
  19. I happen to prefer the extreme unslackness of “Halloween,” and the resourceful pluck of Curtis, to the dreamier dread of Maika Monroe. Nonetheless, like her pursuers, It Follows won’t leave you alone.
  20. Birbiglia films what he knows, offering ample and intricate scenes of improvisations performed onstage, along with an insider’s view of the industry.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. The movie is so discreet and respectful that, outside the classroom, within whose walls the glory of French literature and language triumph, it never quite comes to life. [16 April 2012, p. 86]
    • The New Yorker
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. It’s Cluzet’s intense performance that makes this genre piece a heart-wrenching experience.
  28. Sex is the subtext of everything that happens, yet this may be one of the least erotic movies ever made. It's stern and noble, very much in the Rattigan spirit. [26 March 2012, p.108]
    • The New Yorker
  29. Anybody hoping that The End of the Tour would mirror the formal dazzle of Wallace’s fiction, doubling back on itself like the frantically probing encounters in his 1999 collection, “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men,” will be disappointed. Yet the film, despite its flatness, is worth exploring.
  30. Think about it a day later, though, and its hectic swoop from romance to thriller to campaign manifesto leaves oddly little afterglow. The gardener is the only constant here; so much else burns up and blows away.
  31. A sombrely beautiful dream of the violent Irish past. Refusing the standard flourishes of Irish wildness or lyricism, Loach has made a film for our moment, a time of bewildering internecine warfare.
  32. The Lobster is more than a satire on the dating game. It digs deeper, needling at the status of our most tender emotions.
  33. A satirical comedy--ruthless and heartbreaking, but a comedy nonetheless. The movie is also about disintegration and the possibility of rebirth. In other words, it’s a small miracle.
  34. This new Star Trek is nonsense, no question ("Prepare the red matter!"), but at least it's not boggy nonsense, the way most of the other movies were, and it powers along, unheeding of its own absurdity, with a drive and a confidence that the producers of the original TV series might have smiled upon.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Schlesinger, working from a script by Malcolm Bradbury, maintains a steady rhythm and a light, cheerful mood that seem to reflect the brisk sanity of the heroine.
  35. In all, Steve McQueen is a master of fascination rather than of drama--he creates stunning shots rather than an intricate story.
  36. The most stirring release of the year thus far is a documentary.
  37. Best of all -- and the only thing that has really made me laugh at the movies this year -- is a lengthy scene in which Coogan, inspired by the landscape, confesses his desire to star in a traditional costume drama. [13 & 20 June 2011, p. 128]
    • The New Yorker
  38. It’s all fascinating. Gilroy is an entertainer.
  39. As a piece of acting, Ganz’s work is not just astounding, it’s actually rather moving. But I have doubts about the way his virtuosity has been put to use.
  40. The Spectacular Now goes a little soft at the end, but most of it has the melancholy sense of life just passing by — until, that is, someone has the courage to grab it and make it take some meaning and form.
  41. Along with “No End in Sight,” this movie is one of the essential documentaries of the ongoing war.
  42. 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
  43. The dichotomy turns out to be a false one: whether you revile him or genuflect before him, you are still implying that the guy demands and deserves our fascination. What Sorkin and Boyle have to offer is not a warts-and-all portrait but the suggestion that there is something heroic about a wart.
  44. Inspiring though Marley is, however, it tends to deploy his music purely as an illustration of his life. Not once, as far as I could tell, do we watch a song being played straight through from beginning to end. [23 April 2012, p.82]
    • The New Yorker
  45. Kevin Macdonald has a terrific tale on his hands, and his telling of it, very British in its matter-of-factness, can barely be faulted; yet the facts drop away, and it becomes impossible not to read the movie symbolically--as a journey to the center of the earth, or farther still.
    • The New Yorker
  46. A minor work, but so menaced by distress that the characters take every opportunity to dance the dark away.
  47. The movie turns into a serious and rather audacious study in the sexiness of a nonsexual relationship, though by the end the audience may be rooting for the two to quit risking life and limb and just go to bed together. [15 July 2002. p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
  48. As with "Together," Moodysson has pulled off a staggering dramatic coup, and again we are forced to ask: How does he do it? [21 & 28 April 2003, p.194]
    • The New Yorker
  49. It is the first film to be directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev, and what it shares with other coruscating débuts, from “The Four Hundred Blows” to “Badlands,” is a sense that it HAD to be made. There is a controlled wildness at the heart of such movies, whose narratives ask to be handled as delicately as explosives. [15 March 2004, p. 154]
    • The New Yorker
  50. The Dark Knight is hardly routine--it has a kicky sadism in scene after scene, which keeps you on edge and sends you out onto the street with post-movie stress disorder.
  51. Amanda Rose Wilder’s nuanced and passionate documentary, about the first year of a “free” elementary school in New Jersey, reveals the glories and the limitations of unstructured classrooms and observational filmmaking alike.
  52. Love Is Strange, however, is not about gay marriage. It is about a marriage that happens to be gay. If the film grows slightly boring, even that can be construed as an advance.
  53. The most fruitful twist in Late Marriage is that at its core lies not a snippy domestic farce but a prolonged, dirty, and wholly credible sex scene, which starts and stops and starts again, and in which argument and arousal are entwined like limbs. [27 May 2002, p.124]
    • The New Yorker
  54. For the battered American independent cinema, Linklater's movie is the highest form of life seen in the last couple of years. [12 Nov 2001, p. 138]
    • The New Yorker
  55. Blancanieves is a feast for the film-crazy. [8 April 2013, p.89]
    • The New Yorker
  56. 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
  57. Stranger by the Lake, it must be said, flirts with monotony. There is something both fascinating and numbing in the rituals on display, and in the matching rhythm of the film's approach. [27 Jan.2014, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
  58. 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.
  59. I can’t think of another film portrait of higher education that matches this one for comprehensiveness, intellectual depth, and hope.
  60. 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
  61. A new kind of affectionate satire which is all but indistinguishable from an embrace. [5 May 2003, p. 104]
    • The New Yorker
  62. Juno is a coming-of-age movie made with idiosyncratic charm and not a single false note.
  63. Al Mansour is too smart to overdo the symbolic spin, but the thrust of her film, toward the end, could hardly be more urgent. [16 Sept. 2013, p. 72]
    • The New Yorker
  64. Nothing out of the ordinary happens in Blue Valentine, and that, together with the vital, untrammelled performances of the two leading actors, is the root of its power.
  65. 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
  66. This tenacious artist has now given his father a proper memorial and has reasserted, with power and grace, the history and identity of his nearly effaced country.
  67. You might suggest that Bridge of Spies plays everything a touch safe, and that its encomium to American decency need not be quite so persistent. But when a film is as enjoyable as this one, its timing so sweet, and its atmosphere conjured with such skill, do you really wish to register a complaint? Would it help?
  68. 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
  69. So skilled are both Carell and Tatum that the movie itself falls prey to the characters’ repression. Though never less than careful and clever, it’s also a stunted and fiercely unhappy piece of work, straining hard to deliver home truths about a commonweal that has beaten itself out of shape.
  70. What makes the movie extraordinary, however, is not so much the portrait of a poet as the accuracy and the detail of the period re-creation.
  71. The vision of such severe regimentation is shocking; Zin-mi’s tears of shame and her sharply limited range of knowledge and inhibited behavior embody an outrage.
  72. Consume with great caution, and with joy.
  73. Fish tank may begin as a patch of lower-class chaos, but it turns into a commanding, emotionally satisfying movie, comparable to such youth-in-trouble classics as "The 400 Blows." [18 Jan. 2010, p. 83]
    • The New Yorker
  74. If Sicario does not collapse under its own grimness, that is because of the pulse: the care with which Villeneuve keeps the story beating, like a drum, as he steadies himself for the next set piece.
  75. No
    The best movie ever made about Chilean plebiscites, NO thoroughly deserves its Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film.
  76. The whole enterprise goes far beyond pastiche, wreathing its characters in a film-intoxicated world.
  77. The movie is simultaneously a police procedural, an analysis of language and imagery, a philosophical debate about law and justice, and a very, very dry Romanian Martini--so dry that, at first, one doesn't quite taste much of anything.
  78. By the time Tarantino shows up as a redneck with an unexplained Australian accent, Django Unchained has mislaid its melancholy, and its bitter wit, and become a raucous romp. It is a tribute to the spaghetti Western, cooked al dente, then cooked a while more, and finally sauced to death.
  79. 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
  80. So expert are the performers that you wind up rooting for Burry, Baum, and the others despite yourself, knowing full well that they are fuelled by cynicism -- by an ardent faith that the system will and must fail.
  81. Despite all this desolation and depression, however, Still Life is an extremely beautiful movie.
  82. What Rourke offers us, in short, is not just a comeback performance but something much rarer: a rounded, raddled portrait of a good man. Suddenly, there it is again--the charm, the anxious modesty, the never-distant hint of wrath, the teen-age smiles, and all the other virtues of a winner.
  83. It would be lovely to announce that the new Bond movie is scintillating, or at least rambunctiously exciting, but Skyfall, in the recent mode of Christopher Nolan's "Batman" films, is a gloomy, dark action thriller, and almost completely without the cynical playfulness that drew us to the series in the first place. [12 Nov. 2012, p.94]
    • The New Yorker
  84. By a pleasing irony, the parts of the film that stay with you are concerned not with the dark arts but with something far more unstoppable: teen-agers.
  85. Wiseman’s very subject is the difference between neighborhood and community—between the happenstance of urban geography and the commitment of self-identification.
  86. The movie version of the hit Broadway musical Hairspray is perfectly pleasant--I smiled to myself all the way through it--but it’s not as exhilarating as the show.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Despite some expert performances --the picture remains as confused as its hero; unlike him, it never does find its identity.
  87. This Kong is high-powered entertainment, but Jackson pushes too hard and loses momentum over the more than three hours of the movie. The story was always a goofy fable--that was its charm--and a well-told fable knows when to stop.
  88. Inherent Vice is not only the first Pynchon movie; it could also, I suspect, turn out to be the last. Either way, it is the best and the most exasperating that we’ll ever have. It reaches out to his ineffable sadness, and almost gets there.
  89. At first, you may think, Oh, it’s that damn prison movie again, but Starred Up has a much more intimate texture of affection and disdain than most genre films. You’re held by every exchange, every fight.
  90. Midnight has one big problem: Allen hardly gives Gil a perceptive moment. He's awestruck and fumbling - he doesn't possess, to our eyes, the conviction of a writer. But who knows? He's young.
  91. The movie is memorable and draining, but “Full Metal Jacket” it is not.
  92. Its characters are no different from the rest of us, in the cluster of their annoyances and kicks, yet utterly removed from us by a system that frowns upon ordinary desire. Jafar Panahi's movie, unsurprisingly, has been outlawed in Iran. Nobody likes a prophet. [19 January 2004, p. 93]
    • The New Yorker
  93. 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
  94. You don't feel bamboozled, fooled, or patronized by District 9, as you did by most of the summer blockbusters. You feel winded, and shaken, and shamed. [September 14, 2009, pg.115]
    • The New Yorker
  95. The brilliant Paprika, directed by Satoshi Kon--a masterly example of Japanese anime, intended for adults--is partly hand drawn, and features multiple areas of visual activity layered at different distances from the picture plane.

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