The New Yorker's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,398 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 There Will Be Blood
Lowest review score: 0 Bio-Dome
Score distribution:
1,398 movie reviews
  1. The film turns into a triumph for Don Cheadle, who never steps outside the character for emotional grandstanding or easy moralism.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The correspondences he wants us to see from up there start to look contrived, illusory. [27 Sept 1993, p.98]
    • The New Yorker
  2. 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
  3. Some of the menacing atmosphere, and even a few scenes, descend from the first two “Godfather” movies. But, in fact, Chandor has done something startling: he has made an anti-“Godfather.”
  4. The glum fact is that Gone Girl lacks clout where it needs it most, at its core.
  5. Central Park is at first discomforting, then enraging, then illuminating.
  6. Playful and happy and even naughty. It's partly a scientific brief, partly a song of sex, and it's enormously enjoyable.
  7. 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.
  8. Claudel turns out to be very good at the psychology of intimacy. An observant man, he has assembled a large (and, to us, unknown) cast of actors around his star, and he dramatizes her slow reawakening with an infinite number of small, sharply etched details.
  9. Flags of Our Fathers is an accomplished, stirring, but, all in all, rather strange movie
  10. A Serious Man, like “Burn After Reading,” is in their bleak, black, belittling mode, and it’s hell to sit through.
  11. A tender, indignant, but also very worldly movie.
  12. In truth, I’ve never seen so much lovemaking in an aboveground film, but the revelation, and great triumph, of Lou’s work is that these scenes are never pornographic--that is, never separated from emotion.
  13. The Fighter, for all the dedication of its players, takes a heavy swing at us, and misses.
  14. [Downey] can make offhandedness mesmerizing, even soulful; he passes through the key moments in this cloddish story as if he were ad-libbing his inner life.
  15. At its best, the movie is an exhilarating, surf-topping ride. With Minnie Driver providing the voice of a deliciously flirtatious Jane.
  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. There is no narrator; rather, we are invited to eavesdrop on--or to get an earful from--such figures as Hassan Ibrahim, a jovial reporter with Al Jazeera, and Samir Khader, one of the network’s senior producers. [24 May 2004, p. 97]
    • The New Yorker
  18. Here is the territory that "Twilight" never dared to enter. It was so busy with crushes, covens, werewolves, and all the other moth-eaten trappings of the genre that it forgot to ask, Why do vampires not die of boredom? Is time not the sharpest stake in the heart? [14 April 2014, p.86]
    • The New Yorker
  19. What is missing from the film is wit—the deep wit that comes from playing off species and environments against each other.
  20. A seriously scandalous work, beautifully made, and it deserves a sizable audience that might argue over it, appreciate it -- even hate it. [1 April 2002, p. 98]
    • The New Yorker
  21. The picture draws out the obvious and turns itself into a classic. [26 June 1989]
    • The New Yorker
  22. Life of Pi, at its best, celebrates the idiosyncratic wonders and dangers of raw, ravaging nature, and Lee wrings more than enough meaning from the excitement of that spectacle; we need nothing higher. [26 Nov.2012, p.86]
    • The New Yorker
  23. The fact that Mother keeps its balance is a tribute to the leading actress.
  24. The two characters are ciphers, and the script, which Sachs co-wrote with Mauricio Zacharias, is by turns underwritten or banal.
  25. The movie that we do have is cogent, lavish, and formidable enough, with a Recchi-like power to frighten and seduce.
  26. Off the dance floor, however, Black Swan is trashy and incoherent. Aronofsky, for all his gifts, is a gaudy maestro, opportunistic and insecure as an artist.
  27. You feel both moved and exhausted by the distance that Wilson has to travel, musically and emotionally, before reaching the shore. That makes it, I guess, a happy ending. But then, as one of the Beach Boys remarks, on listening to “Pet Sounds,” even the happy songs are sad.
  28. There is no whodunit here — the horror is plain in the opening shots — and the how is presented with great restraint, but the why remains veiled and mysterious long after the film has ended.
  29. 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.
  30. Having delighted in the doominess of Drive, as its journey began, I ended much less joyful than repelled.
  31. It's a movie that approaches novelistic richness. [7 Oct. 2013, p. 89]
    • The New Yorker
  32. Those who worship Joy Division may bridle at Corbijn’s film for its reluctance to mythologize their hero. Speaking as someone so irretrievably square that I not only never listened to the band but didn’t even know anyone who liked it, I can’t imagine a tribute more fitting than this.
  33. Langella is superb, and Starting Out in the Evening is a classy film.
  34. This is not just pliable filmmaking; it is an exercise in worldliness, in a feel for the cracks and warps of circumstance, which is all the more startling when you learn that the director is thirty-one.
  35. Cate Blanchett, who played Blanche on Broadway only a few years ago, gives the most complicated and demanding performance of her movie career. The actress, like her character, is out on a limb much of the time, but there’s humor in Blanchett’s work, and a touch of self-mockery as well as an eloquent sadness.
  36. Like a finely wrought short story, and it's all but perfect.
  37. What happened to the Kubrick who used to slip in sly, subtle jokes and little editing tricks? This may be his worst movie. He probably believes he's numbing us by the power of his vision, but he's actually numbing us by its emptiness. [13 July 1987, p.75]
    • The New Yorker
  38. The result is clean, delirious, and, yes, speedy—the best big-vehicle-in-peril movie since Clouzot's "The Wages of Fear."
  39. In one respect, though not a major one, it is a masterpiece: seldom will you find a better class of fadeout.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Less than the sum of its outrageous gags and inventive bits of business. The story is impressively bloody, but the blood is thin, and it keeps leaking out; Tarantino has all he can do to maintain the movie's pulse. Mostly, he tries to get by on film-school cleverness – a homemade pharmaceutical cocktail of allusions, pop music, and visual jolts. [19 Oct 1992]
    • The New Yorker
  40. 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
  41. Glazer is nothing if not ambitious; the rough edge of naturalism, on the streets, slices into the more controlled and stylized look of science fiction, and the result seems both to drift and to gather to a point of almost painful intensity.
  42. The Counterfeiters is a testament to guile. Ruzowitzky scored the picture with tangos, and the tangos are meant to be Sally’s music--seductive, insolent, triumphant.
  43. 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A modest, skillful, unfussy genre piece that tells an exciting story and lets its more serious concerns remain just below the surface, gently complicating the smooth-flowing rhythms of the narrative.
  44. 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.
  45. We get one lovely, cheering sequence of a trashed room putting itself in order, like the untidy nursery in "Mary Poppins," but the rest of the magic here feels randomly grabbed at.
  46. 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
  47. In Insomnia, the crunch comes as the hero and his opposite number hook up on a ferry, to discuss what each of them knows about the other. This should be Nolan's big moment, his answer to that quiet, magnificent interlude in Michael Mann's "Heat," when Pacino met De Niro in a coffee shop. -- But Williams and Pacino just don't mesh. [27 May 2002, p.124]
    • The New Yorker
  48. I am casting no aspersions on the director when I say that The Saddest Music in the World is a work of manic depression. The mania is there in the frenzied editing, the inability to concentrate on a detail for more than a few seconds; and the depression is there in the forcible lowering of spirits. [10 May 2004, p. 107]
    • The New Yorker
  49. The memoir is strongly written, and I wish that the movie, directed by John Curran (Marion Nelson did the adaptation), had more excitement to it.
  50. The battle scenes are extraordinarily mucky and violent, but here, as in Tavernier's "Let Joy Reign Supreme," the intricate protocols of aristocratic sexual passion are the most startling elements. The movie, however, is opaque at its center. [25 April, 2011 p. 89]
    • The New Yorker
  51. Zodiac is superbly made, but it's also a strange piece of work.
  52. Never quite shrugs off its literary manners. [18 & 25 Feb 2002, p. 200]
    • The New Yorker
  53. What could have been a narrow, cultish little picture, a mere retro-trip, fans out into a broader study of longing and belonging. [4 Oct 1993, p.214]
    • The New Yorker
  54. As for the title, well, it made me think of Thomas Carlyle's wife, who read Browning's long poem "Sordello," enjoyed it, but still couldn't work out whether Sordello was a man, a city, or a book. So it is with 2046. A place? A date? A hotel room? A bar tab? You tell me.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's a beautiful disaster, like a bomb test out in the middle of nowhere. [7 Oct 1991, p.100]
    • The New Yorker
  55. The movie is ungainly – you can almost see the chalk marks it's not hitting. But it has a loose, likable shabbiness. [19 Oct 1987, p.110]
    • The New Yorker
  56. Brilliantly entertaining.
  57. 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?
  58. The charm -- the midsummer enchantment -- never feels forced; it steals up and wins you. A true romance.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The film, despite its raggedness, is stirring. In the end, this failed mission seems like the most impressive achievement of the entire space program: a triumph not of planning but of inspired improvisation.
  59. The writer and director, Paul King, scatters the tale with handfuls of eccentric charm, first in the forest and then in the home of the Browns. At one point, borrowing freely from Wes Anderson, he frames it as a living doll’s house, with each member of the family hard at work or play in a different room.
  60. An exhausting, morbidly fascinating, and finally thrilling experience.
  61. Eminem does not come off as a megalomaniac in 8 Mile, but he expects people to be very, very impressed. I doubt he could lend himself to a fiction that said anything else: his eyes couldn't tell any story but his own. [11 November 2002, p. 195]
    • The New Yorker
  62. An extraordinarily precise and well-made political thriller--the best thing Polanski has done since the seventies, when he brought out the incomparable “Chinatown” and the very fine “Tess.”
  63. It's only at the end of Blue Ruin that my pleasure drained away. [28 April 2014, p.86]
    • The New Yorker
  64. O.K. for children.
  65. 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.
  66. The film is slowed by its own beauty, but it is salvaged by two majestic scenes.
  67. This is a fully felt, morally alert, marvellously acted piece of work. Despite the grim subject, it's a sweet-tempered movie, with moments of explosive humor-an entertainment.
  68. The tension of Calvary is fitful at best, and much of the movie trips into silliness, but in Brendan Gleeson -- in his proud bearing and his lamenting gaze -- we see the plight of the lonely believer in a world beyond belief. [4 Aug.2014, p.74]
    • The New Yorker
  69. The movie won't do much for anyone who doesn't have an academic or fanboy absorption in junk.
  70. The result feels, like Shakespeare's play, at once ancient and dangerously new.
  71. Get Low is deftly played, and it rarely mislays its ambling charm, but what a forbidding fable it could have been if the truth about Felix Bush, rather than emerging into sunlight, had slunk back into the woods.
  72. In this movie, Phoenix turns himself inside out, but Cotillard’s reserved performance doesn’t move us. Bruno advances in his confused way, Ewa resists, and, despite Jeremy Renner’s flickering presence, the movie becomes dour and repetitive. Looking at them, you finally think, Enough! Life must be elsewhere.
  73. The film's plea for old-fashioned pride and racial tolerance is muffled by a plain, unanticipated fact: Pete Perkins is out of his mind.
  74. A scruffy, thick-grained piece of work, shot in thirty days and scrawled not with luscious coloring but with the tense and inky markings of a society that is fighting to keep its reputation for togetherness, and wondering what that reputation is still worth. [18 & 25 Feb 2002. p. 199]
    • The New Yorker
  75. Seems a touch too long, too airless, and too content with its own contrivances to stir the heart.
  76. Abrupt and fragmentary, but powerful. [Dec 10 2001, p. 111]
    • The New Yorker
  77. Infinitely charming new romantic comedy.
  78. The more it sags as a thriller, the more it jabs and jangles as a study of racial abrasion.
  79. What could be a plain tale -- and is in danger of becoming a sappy one -- grows surprisingly inward and dense. [25 Nov. 2013, p.135]
    • The New Yorker
  80. The whole film, in fact, which Pitts wrote and directed, lurks on the borders of the unspecified. That is the source of its cool, but also of its sullen capacity to annoy.
  81. In short, the Sheridan of In America wants us to pity his characters for the rough ride that they endure, yet at the same time he traps them inside a bubble of the picturesque and the outlandish. Even if you like this movie, you have to ask: What has it done to deserve its title? [1 December 2003, p. 118]
    • The New Yorker
  82. In this movie, Fonda really is iconic. 3:10 to Yuma may be familiar, but, at its best, it has a rapt quality, even an aura of wonder.
  83. This austere production has fire enough; it captures the elemental Bronte passions. [14 March 2011, p. 79]
    • The New Yorker
  84. 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.
  85. I have seen The Baader Meinhof Complex three or four times now, and, despite exasperation with its fissile form, I find it impossible not to be plunged afresh into this engulfing age of European anxiety.
  86. The sigh you will hear across the country in the next few weeks is the sound of a gratified audience: a great movie musical has been made at last.
  87. We get tired of watching Whip fail, and we're caught between dismayed pity and a longing to see him punished. Only a great actor could have pulled off this balancing act. [12 Nov. 2012, p.94]
    • The New Yorker
  88. It takes a female director, I think, to catch children, young and old, at these fragile hours, and also to trace a residue of something childlike in their elders.
  89. At times, the cutting shifts from the hasty to the impatient to the borderline epileptic, and, while never doubting Scorsese’s ardor for the Stones, I got the distinct impression of a style in search of a subject.
  90. Not to warm to this movie would be churlish, and foodies will drool on demand.
  91. What the writer and director, Sean Durkin, delivers here is not a cult film at all but something more troubled and insidious - a film about a cult.
  92. This production, directed by Michael Hoffman, is like a great night at the theatre--the two performing demons go at each other full tilt and produce scenes of Shakespearean affection, chagrin, and rage.
  93. Margin Call is one of the strongest American films of the year and easily the best Wall Street movie ever made.
  94. That is what I admire in While We’re Young; it shows a director not so much mooning over the past, with regret for faded powers, as probing his own obsessions and the limits of his style.
  95. Just creepy and unsavory at moments, but pleased to be so.

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