The New Yorker's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,718 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 Farewell
Lowest review score: 0 The Da Vinci Code
Score distribution:
1718 movie reviews
  1. The picture might have been a pop classic if it had stayed near the level of impudence that it reaches at its best. But about midway as Eddie has a crisis of confidence, and when Eddie locks his jaw and sets forth to become a purified man of integrity, the joy goes out of Newman's performance, which (despite the efforts of a lot of good actors) is the only life in the movie, except for a brief, startling performance by the 25-year-old black actor Forest Whitaker as a pool shark called Amos.
    • The New Yorker
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Only Hailee Steinfeld’s committed performance as Nadine, a troubled high-school junior in Oregon, and Woody Harrelson’s deft turn, as a teacher who helps her, make this thin and cliché-riddled comic drama worth watching.
  5. When Logan and Laura unleash their furious scythes nothing feels settled or satisfied. The world grinds on, fruitlessly weary and wild.
  6. 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
  7. Lo and Behold is, by virtue of its scope, one of Herzog’s more scattershot endeavors.
  8. Seems a touch too long, too airless, and too content with its own contrivances to stir the heart.
  9. Abrupt and fragmentary, but powerful. [Dec 10 2001, p. 111]
    • The New Yorker
  10. Infinitely charming new romantic comedy.
  11. Few movies this year will be more likely to molest your sleep.
  12. The more it sags as a thriller, the more it jabs and jangles as a study of racial abrasion.
  13. 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.
  14. 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
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Singleton's plot is disappointingly conventional; it obeys screenwriting-class rules. The experience he's dealing with here deserves something more than the tidy dramatic structure that he has imposed on it.
  15. 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.
  16. This austere production has fire enough; it captures the elemental Bronte passions. [14 March 2011, p. 79]
    • The New Yorker
  17. 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The film, directed and co-written by James Gunn, is joyfully irreverent. Gunn lends his underachiever superheroes a geeky, comic camaraderie, and he brings a spry touch to the wacky intergalactic adventure.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Not to warm to this movie would be churlish, and foodies will drool on demand.
  24. Yet Nichols’s movie, though smudged by its dénouement, is not wrecked, and already I am desperate — with a Roy-like yearning — to return to it, and to revel anew in its group portrait of those who are haunted by the will to believe.
  25. 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.
  26. Margin Call is one of the strongest American films of the year and easily the best Wall Street movie ever made.
  27. Just creepy and unsavory at moments, but pleased to be so.
  28. The hitch with tales of endurance, onscreen, is their unfortunate habit of becoming endurance tests for the viewer, and, after a while, The Revenant turns into a slog. Make no mistake, it’s a very beautiful slog. Emmanuel Lubezki’s cinematography summons a wealth of wonders.
  29. Pegg co-wrote the screenplay with the director, Edgar Wright, and together they have fashioned a smart, cultish, semi-disgusting homage to the fine British art of not bothering.
  30. The scenery, of course, could stop the heart of a mountain goat, and Wild has an admirable heroine, but the movie itself often feels literal-minded rather than poetic, busy rather than sublime, eager to communicate rather than easily splendid.
  31. The subject - the romantic life of an American Communist - may be daring, but the moviemaking is extremely traditional, with Beatty playing a man who dies for an ideal. It's rather a sad movie, because it isn't really very good.
    • The New Yorker
  32. Although Not Quite Hollywood was clearly put together with fanatical love, the suspicion remains, as often with genre cinema, that these trash-rich movies are a lot more fun to hear about, and to watch in snatches, than to sit through.
  33. Okja is a fairy tale of sorts, though too foulmouthed for children; it nips from pastoral bliss to a terrorist pig-napping by the Animal Liberation Front; and it takes the eco-menace from Bong’s sublime “The Host” (2006) and replays the fright as farce, with a spirited turn from Tilda Swinton, as the company boss, and, I’m afraid, a barely watchable one from Jake Gyllenhaal, as a drunk TV presenter.
  34. In short, there are moments, in this very uneven film with its lamination of the ancient and the monstrously new, when the spirit of Fellini hovers overhead like a naughty angel. [25 March 2013, p.109]
    • The New Yorker
  35. 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
  36. It was with both joy and mystification, therefore, that I found myself cackling at What We Do in the Shadows like a witch with a helium balloon.
  37. Against all expectations, you approach Rabbit Hole with a heavy heart and leave with a lighter one.
  38. The pace of the movie is rapid, almost hectic, the touch glancing. Until the confrontation between Frank and Richie at the end, nothing stays on the screen for long, although Scott, working in the street, or in clubs and at parties, packs as much as he can into the corners of shots, and shapes even the most casual scenes decisively.
  39. Spend an eveing with some of Edward Gorey's writings and drawings, rub against the velvet of his lugubrious wit, and you will be ready for Royal and the clan. [17 Dec 2001, p. 97]
    • The New Yorker
  40. Nightcrawler has patches of clunkiness, to be sure, and Lou’s face-off at a police station, near the end, feels graceless and unnecessary. Yet the movie is quite something, and, despite its title, it doesn’t really crawl.
  41. Yet, despite the good acting, the middle section of the film, set at the Capitol, is attenuated and rhythmless — the filmmakers seem to be touching all the bases so that the trilogy’s readers won’t miss anything.
  42. In all, this is a movie that is partial to youth as a state of being. The grownups seem finished, as frozen in their lifetime roles as creatures out of myth or the Bible. But Oliver and Jordana have the freedom to go anywhere, do anything, become anything. Submarine is an exhilarating surprise.
  43. An uproarious and touching picture.
  44. Sophie Scholl: The Final Days may sound like a history lesson, but don't be fooled. It's a horror film.
  45. Spielberg must have sensed that he owed us some fun, and the movie has a sleek and carefree look -- the lightness of a sixties comedy, made with the extraordinary speed and panache of our most fluent director. This is a true holiday film, a gift from some genuine pros who know how to entertain without sweat. [23 & 30 December 2002, p. 166]
    • The New Yorker
  46. The movie is overwrought and unfocussed.
  47. Happy Valley is a devastating portrait of a community — and, by extension, a nation — put under a spell, even reduced to grateful infantilism, by the game of football.
  48. This is tricky, ambiguous material, seemingly better fitted to a short literary novel than to a movie, and it could have gone wrong in a hundred ways, yet Baumbach handles it with great assurance.
  49. 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.
  50. The problem with any allegorical plan, Christian or otherwise, is not its ideological content but the blockish threat that it poses to the flow of a story.
  51. Cedar plays Norman’s story for tragedy but never develops his inner identity, his history, or his ideals; the protagonist and his drama remain anecdotal and superficial.
  52. The attraction of the movie is its friendly, light tone, its affectlessness, and its total lack of humanity. [6 Aug 1984, p.72]
    • The New Yorker
  53. Best of all, we get to witness Fassbender at full tilt — to revel in that gaunt, El Greco mug of his, which, for all its handsomeness, betrays no sunny side, whether here or amid the shenanigans of “X-Men.”
  54. Undiluted pleasure and excitement. The scriptwriter, W.D. Richter, supplies some funny lines, and the director, Phil Kaufman, provides such confident professionalism that you sit back in the assurance that every spooky nuance you're catching is just what was intended.
    • The New Yorker
  55. Leconte lacks the austerity to complete a film in which nothing much occurs. And so, with some reluctance, we are bustled toward a climax. [12 May 2003, p. 82]
    • The New Yorker
  56. Still, it is a writer's privilege to trim and tailor at will, and everybody loves a duel. It would take the dullest of curmudgeons not to enjoy the surge of this saga, accurate or not, and the excesses of what already feels like a distant age. [30 Sept. 2013, p.84]
    • The New Yorker
  57. The movie's problem begins as you lift up your eyes to the hills. In Chekhov these are craggy and hostile, a fitting backdrop to the dried-out souls who dwell below, but Dover Koshashvili's film lingers on green slopes. They suggest fruition and escape, whereas for Laevsky, the eternally stifled dreamer, there should be no way out.
  58. They also try to one-up each other as men, vying for professional success and for the attention of the invariably lovely women they meet. Sharks have duller teeth than Coogan and Brydon. Both movies, in fact, are about the impossibility — and the necessity — of male friendship.
  59. The director, John Dahl, has no intention to baffle or obscure; his objective is to scare the living daylights out of you, or, more pertinently, the dying headlights.
    • The New Yorker
  60. This arch, bold, and tender transposition of elements of the Nativity to the cramped secular life of a high-school student in current-day Paris is as much of an emotional wonder as a conceptual one.
  61. 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.
  62. It's an odd movie - mild in tone and circumspect, yet darkly funny, and done in a hybrid form that I don't think has been used so thoroughly before.
  63. It's essentially a skit idea, not a dramatic idea, and the best the movie does with it is to repeat it. What saves Bridesmaids is Feig's love of performers - in particular, his love of actresses.
  64. Fiennes and his team have mounted a handsome re-creation of Victorian England, but the Dickens-Ternan affair isn't much of a story -- at least, not as realized here. [6 Jan. 2014, p.73]
    • The New Yorker
  65. The faults of the movie, semi-excusable as self-vindicating ploys, are nothing compared with its strengths.
  66. Audiard's work is tense, vivid, and alert, and he's got the right actor as Tom, an irresistibly attractive guy who's pushing thirty yet has no more control over his impulses than a chaotic boy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The movie is fairly entertaining; it's too bad the guest of honor is such a drag.
  67. 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
  68. The practiced calmness of Kore-eda’s approach is such that you barely notice the speed at which he tugs the plot along and flips from one setting to the next.
  69. While Woody Allen’s recent films have grown ever more hermetic in their perplexity, Baumbach is becoming as prolific, and as quick on the comic draw, as the Allen of yore. Will historians of humor look back on this movie, perhaps, and mark it as the point at which the torch was passed?
  70. What happens at the dam, filmed at night, with only shimmering light, is the most nerve-racking sequence in recent movies. Reichardt, despite the film’s absences, has achieved an impressive control over the medium.
  71. Téchiné is unusually adroit at manipulating a complex set of relations within a very mixed group of people. This movie is easy to take--chatty and sociable, with a brightly lit, even sunshiny gloss and an open sensuality.
  72. Much of the film glides past with a slightly purposeless elegance. Astounding landscapes rise and fall away; enticing women glance and dance and disappear.
  73. A sharply intelligent and affecting view of suburban blues.
  74. I gradually grew more interested in Curtis, who has his own solitude to cope with. This represents the first non-comic leading role for Robinson (moviegoers will know him from “Pineapple Express” and “Hot Tub Time Machine,” among other films), and he commands it with a gruff and amiable ease.
  75. The Wolf of Wall Street is a fake. It’s meant to be an exposé of disgusting, immoral, corrupt, obscene behavior, but it’s made in such an exultant style that it becomes an example of disgusting, obscene filmmaking. It’s actually a little monotonous; spectacular, and energetic beyond belief, but monotonous in the way that all burlesques become monotonous after a while.
  76. As the feigning wears off, and Captain America: Civil War crawls to a close, you sense that the possibilities of nature have been not just exceeded but exhausted. Even the dialogue seems like a special effect: “You’re being uncharacteristically non-hyperverbal,” Black Widow remarks to Iron Man. Translation: “Say something.”
  77. Rob Reiner's film, taken from Stephen King's autobiographical novella "The Body," overdoses on sincerity and nostalgia. Seeing it is like watching an extended Christmas special of "The Waltons" and "Little House on the Prairie" - it makes you feel virtuous. All that stays with you is the tale that Gordie, the central character, tells his friends around the campfire.
    • The New Yorker
  78. 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
  79. There are times when the movie's entertainment value verges on the scandalous. [4 November 2002, p. 110]
    • The New Yorker
  80. Again and again, its stark and suspenseful compositions strike the eye — figures in dark clothing, prone on a pale beach, with lines of wire, black warning flags, and the chill gray waves beyond.
  81. In Side Effects, the working out of the thriller plot is accomplished with too much verbal explanation. [11 & 18 Feb. 2013, p.114]
    • The New Yorker
  82. The new movie by Robert Greene is a tour de force in the blending and bending of genres.
  83. A Prairie Home Companion has many lovely and funny moments, but there's not a lot going on. Dramatically, it's mellow to the point of inertia. There may not be any sweat, but there isn't any heat, either.
  84. 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The picture has a lovely, understated autobiographical lilt.
  85. Mario Van Peebles creates what can only be called a lucid fantasia; the movie quickly reaches a pitch of manic activity and stays there. It’s an exhausting, and exhaustingly pleasurable, entertainment. [31 May 2004, p. 88]
    • The New Yorker
  86. Is it robust and plain-speaking, proud of its comic swagger, or is there something tight-mouthed in its imperative, with a hint of “or else” hanging off the end? Either way, the life of Amy is dished up for our inspection.
  87. The other Grant, the irresistible but slippery Cary, was called to account by such strenuous and willful mates as Irene Dunne, Katharine Hepburn, and Ingrid Bergman. But Hugh Grant has never been matched with a woman who directly challenged his oddly recessive charm. [3 June 2002, p. 100]
    • The New Yorker
  88. British director Michael Winterbottom has made his best and most driven picture to date. [22 September 2003, p. 202]
    • The New Yorker
  89. As the movie shows, the whole furtive business of ratings is indeed ridiculous and should be overhauled.
  90. Of the many heists and grabs that litter the movie, none is as blatant as the deft, irrepressible manner in which Ferguson, displaying a light smile and a brisk way with a knife, steals the show. Poor Tom Cruise. He can’t even steal a kiss.
  91. What we glean from Belvaux's trilogy is the reassurance (rare on film, with its terror of inattention) that people are both important and unimportant, and that heroes and leading ladies, in life as in art, can fade into extras before our eyes. [Note: From a review of the entire trilogy.] [2 February 2004, p.94]
    • The New Yorker
  92. Owen has made immense progress, to which Life, Animated is a stirring tribute, yet it leaves a trail of questions unanswered or unasked.
  93. Michael Moore has teased and bullied his way to some brilliant highs in his career as a political entertainer, but he scrapes bottom in his new documentary, Sicko.
  94. If the notoriously squeamish and slumberous members of the Academy can pull themselves together and face Monster, they should know whom to vote for as the best actress of the year. [26 January 2004, p. 84]
    • The New Yorker
  95. A Bigger Splash is fiercely unrelaxing, and impossible to ignore. You emerge from it restive and itchy, as though a movie screen could give you sunburn, and the story defies resolution.
  96. The joke buried in Tabloid is that this sexual obsessive is very likely not a sexual person at all.

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