The New Yorker's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,555 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 Gosford Park
Lowest review score: 0 The Da Vinci Code
Score distribution:
1555 movie reviews
  1. The 40-Year-Old-Virgin is a hit, I would warrant, because it’s truly dirty and truly romantic at the same time, a combination that's very hard to pull off.
  2. How can one not revere a movie director who causes the printers of travel brochures to cry out in distress? The Greece of sun, sand, and sea is not open for business here, Angelopoulos having decided that grandeur, grief, and grayness are more his line of work.
  3. The father's resignation to that fate is, on balance, the most compelling aspect of the film, and I will not readily forget the sight of him staring out over the town and mourning the long history of his homeland. "We built an industrial colony on top of sheep pens," he says, "and thought we were making a revolution." Maybe Attenberg is topical, after all.
  4. As a whole, Shattered Glass is carefully constructed, intently played, and shot with creepy calm. It is also, by a considerable margin, the most ridiculous movie I have seen this year. [3 November 2003, p. 104]
    • The New Yorker
  5. It’s the right role for Cruise, but the movie is so devoted to him, so star-driven, that it begins to seem a little demented.
  6. A wonderfully entertaining movie.
  7. Eastwood has become tauntingly tough-minded: “You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?” he seems to be saying. And, with the remorselessness of age, he follows Chris Kyle’s rehabilitation and redemption back home, all the way to their heartbreaking and inexplicable end.
  8. For all the beauty and power of Road to Perdition, there's not much spontaneity in it, and the movie's flawless surface puts a stranglehold on meaning. [15 July 2002. p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
  9. The latest showpiece for computer animation, with all the contoured, suspiciously gleaming perfection that this entails.
  10. The line between the dispassionate and the dull can be ominously faint, and when Rohmer kicks off his film with ten or fifteen minutes of solid anecdotal chat, you fear for the stamina of the audience. [13 May 2002, p. 96]
    • The New Yorker
  11. Ben Affleck probably respects Lehane the genre writer (there are five books with Patrick Kenzie as the hero) more than he should. He also has some way to go before he becomes a good director of action.
  12. Within the vigorous entertainment of Straight Outta Compton is a sharp-minded realism about the machines within the machines, the amplifiers of money and media that, behind the scenes and offscreen, play crucial roles in the flow of power.
  13. Where the eyes of a Disney princess grow wide as her pumpkin becomes a coach, the folk in Tale of Tales accept that miracles happen, being not an irruption into life but part of its natural flow.
  14. Ousmane Sembène, in his first feature film, from 1966—which is also widely considered the first feature made by an African—distills a vast range of historical crises and frustrated ambitions into an intimate, straightforwardly realistic drama.
  15. Watergate has never really gone away for those of us who lived through it, and, in Penny Lane's Our Nixon, a shrewdly edited collection of news footage and "home movies" taken by members of the Nixon White House staff, there they are again, our familiars. [9 Sept.2013, p.91]
    • The New Yorker
  16. Performs the unlikely trick of being both taut and plotless.
  17. Dahl’s story was never intended to be anything other than a sticky-fingered feast, whereas the movie flits through pedophobic creepiness and ends up as a slightly costive parable of family values.
  18. Headhunters is admirably swift in style, and dangerously silly in what it begs us to swallow, but at its heart is a consummate depiction of a permanent type - the proud and prickly male, thrown back on his desperate wits. Small may not be beautiful, but it lives.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The movie is disappointingly impersonal; it doesn't provide readers of the autobiography anything like a fresh vision of its remarkable subject.
  19. When he follows his nose -- say, by tracing his own connections to Eric Harris, one of the Columbine shooters -- he implicates himself in what he hates and fears, and he emerges as a wounded patriot searching for a small measure of clarity. [28 October 2002, p. 119]
    • The New Yorker
  20. The movie feels not only like a trial but like a trial in absentia. [7 Oct 2002, p. 108]
    • The New Yorker
  21. The great virtue of the movie is its length: a fat-free seventy-six minutes.
  22. Look closely at Johansson...an immaculate period performance. [15 December 2003, p. 119]
    • The New Yorker
  23. The principal suspense in this fascinating movie is generated by the polite, and then not so polite, ferocity of the arguments between the two men.
  24. It seems not just against the odds but against the laws of nature that a film as bookish, as suburban, and as self-consciously clever as In the House should also be such fun.
  25. The movie was not written for Eastwood, but it still seems to be all about him--his past characters, his myth, his old role as a dispenser of raw justice.
  26. If Ross had merely told his story and re-created the media folk culture of the thirties, the movie might have been a classic. [4 August 2003, p. 84]
    • The New Yorker
  27. It’s among the most visually extravagant films ever made.
  28. Picture my disappointment as I realized that, for all the pizzazz of Superman Returns, its global weapon of choice would not be terrorism, or nuclear piracy, or dirty bombs. It would be real estate. What does Warner Bros. have in mind for the next installment? Superman overhauls corporate pension plans? Luthor screws Medicare?
  29. The movie is childishly naïve... like a New Age social-studies lesson. It isn't really revisionist; it's the old stuff toned down and sensitized. [17 Dec 1990]
    • The New Yorker
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Pi
    Aronofsky's delirious, Kafkaesque writing and imaginatively distorted camerawork don't quite add up, but it's fascinating, hallucinogenic film work.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Oddly, the funniest performer here is Gene Hackman, playing an aggressively straight, family-values-spouting politician. Hackman's deadpan inanity is sublimely comic.
  30. The result is sweet and moody, and richly photographed by Sven Nykvist, but you can't help feeling shortchanged; Hanks and Ryan have quick wits, and funny faces to match—they should be striking sparks off each other, not mooching around waiting for something to happen.
  31. A comedy, and a scintillating, uproarious one, filled with fast and light touches of exquisite incongruity in scenes that have the expansiveness of relaxed precision, performed and timed with the spontaneous authority of jazz.
  32. You wind up feeling doubly bullied -- first by the brutal enormity of the set pieces, and then by the emotional arm-twisting of the downtimes. [20 May 2013, p.122]
    • The New Yorker
  33. I wouldn't trust him (Downey) to look after my handkerchief, but I'll watch him in anything, and that is why Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang--smug as it is, and more like a day in the reptile house than a night at the movies--remains a slithery treat.
  34. Buoyant and observant, 50/50 is a small winner; the director, Jonathan Levine ("The Wackness"), has a great touch, mordant but light-handed.
  35. War Horse is a bland, bizarrely unimaginative piece of work. [2 Jan. 2012, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
  36. After we’ve heard three or four versions of the joke, the words no longer shock. They describe not acts but fantasies, and the movie becomes a celebration of the infinite varieties of comic style.
  37. Who are these men, so eager for asceticism, violence, and martyrdom? At first, we think that’s what we’ll learn from The Oath, a fascinating documentary directed, produced, and shot by Laura Poitras. We don’t really, but what we do find out is of equal interest, and oddly reassuring.
  38. Menzel strings his sequences together with great affection and skill, but the movie, an absurdist picaresque, doesn't have much cumulative impact, and perhaps the hero is too much a lightweight to hold an epic together.
  39. The movie is strange and muddled -- a disorganized epic -- but Day-Lewis, disporting himself with royal assurance, does what he can to hold it together. [23 & 30 December 2002, p. 166]
    • The New Yorker
  40. Crowe astounds with his technical skill. [7 Jan 2002, p. 82]
    • The New Yorker
  41. The director is John Maclean, making his début, and, if he demonstrates how hard it is to handle whimsy, he more than atones for it with two tremendous set pieces — one in a store, and the other in an isolated homestead, girded with cornfields where a shooter can nestle and hide.
  42. As “Eight Days a Week” springs from color to black-and-white, and as frenzied action is intercut with stills, we get a delicious sense of doubleness. The Beatles now belong to an honored past, stuck there like an obelisk, and yet here they are, alive—busting out all over, time and time again. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
  43. Only at the end do we sense Shelton forcing her hand, and arranging, rather too neatly, for the rebalancing and desaddening of all concerned. [25 June 2012, p.85]
    • The New Yorker
  44. Fassbender, who was, frankly, much sexier and more devilish in "X-Men: First Class," is required to spend much of his time staring with blank intensity into the middle distance.
  45. The Theory of Everything makes a pass at the complexities of love, but what’s onscreen requires a bit more investigation.
  46. The French creators of the dance numbers take their work very seriously; they speak of it in terms that would have shamed George Balanchine. That they are sincere in their ideas, however, doesn't mean that they aren't provincial in their own way and long out of date; nor does it mean, to our astonishment, that their show isn't repetitive, solemn, and slightly boring.
  47. All in all, this twerpy little movie is one of the most entertaining pictures to be released so far this year.
  48. The glaring absence of political chatter doesn’t mar Treitz’s achievement: he has made an instant-classic Western.
  49. The movie is expert piffle for grownups, directed with great energy by John McTiernan and written with verve by Leslie Dixon and Kurt Wimmer.
  50. I couldn't imagine anyone better suited to play the role. But this movie is a lot less interesting than it might be. Though it's not bad--in fact, it's rather sweet--it's too simple a portrait of a very complicated and calculating entertainer.
  51. Antal has concocted a phantasmagoria-outlandish and jumpy-but, at the same time, the movie is three-dimensional and weighted, with a melancholy soulfulness that becomes surprisingly touching.
  52. Allen's new movie, Match Point, devoted to lust, adultery, and murder, is the most vigorous thing he's done in years.
  53. Time and again, as it comes to the next stage of deterioration or distress, it flinches. Try laying it beside Michael Haneke’s “Amour,” which shows the effect of a stroke on an elderly woman, no less refined than Alice, and on her loved ones. Haneke knows the worst, and considers it his duty to show it; Glatzer and Westmoreland want us to know just enough, and no more.
  54. How far the story of Christine Chubbuck ripples outward, registering the cultural stresses of its time (and ours), I’m not sure. As an eyewitness report of a lonely soul on the rack, however, the movie is hard to beat.
  55. The movie is over before you know it, and is not one to linger in the mind, or indeed pass through the mind at all; but it's a good-humored ride for the senses, never too sickly, and who can say no to that?
  56. Sometimes too ominous for its own good.
  57. This final film -- after so many dazzling studies of adultery, such as "La Femme Infidele (1969) -- is a touching and unfashionable hymn to married love. [1 Nov. 2010, p.121]
    • The New Yorker
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Duvall and Jones wear their roles like broken-in work clothes, and the screenplay has a drawling Southern rhythm that's very pleasing.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's Leary who's the real surprise here; his sincere, tough-guy performance is mesmerizing. He lifts the film above its familiar, claustrophobic environment into the gritty realism of very good urban drama.
  58. For all its missteps, the movie powerfully suggests that Wal-Mart is capable of demoralizing a community so thoroughly that it doesn't have the spirit to carry on its life outside the big box.
  59. Sadly, the men here come across as whiny and infantile, and Green is dangerously keen to stress their retardation. [17 & 24 2003, p.204]
    • The New Yorker
  60. The great Bebe Neuwirth should apply for a patent on her slow and dirty smile. The scene in which she introduces her new conquest to her girlfriends over tea, and pretty well pimps him to any takers, is worth the price of a ticket. [29 July 2002, p. 92]
    • The New Yorker
  61. If there's one movie this spring that you shouldn't see with a date, it's Everyone Else, unless you are looking for a quick, low-budget way to break up. Not that Maren Ade's film is especially gloomy or cynical; merely that it functions as a fearsome seismograph, charting not just the major quakes in a relationship but also the barest tremors.
  62. So compact and controlled is this fine film.
  63. Thank You for Smoking is a nifty but slight movie. Some of the writing is obvious, and the dramatic structure is flimsy, if not downright arbitrary. But Eckhart, in a sure-handed performance, holds the picture together.
  64. The beautiful joke of Factotum is that Dillon is nobility itself.
  65. The over-all effect is bizarre, daring you to be amused by something both brilliant and bristling with offense; if you sidle out at the end, feeling half guilty at what you just conspired in, then Stiller has trapped you precisely where he wants you.
  66. Red Eye, which is exactly eighty-five minutes long, has been made with classical technique and bravura skill, and it's leaving moviegoers in a rare state of satisfaction.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While the movie sticks to the familiar Disney formula, the cute sidekicks are less intrusive and the songs are not as overbearing as usual; for the most part, it sustains an enjoyable hum and a simple, delicate glow.
  67. 22 Jump Street is hardly fresh, but the picture has enough energy to get by.
  68. This is a bleak but mesmerizing piece of filmmaking; it offers a glancing, chilled view of a world in which brief moments of loyalty flicker between repeated acts of betrayal.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Unlike the heavy-handed "Good Will Hunting," this gifted-Boston-misfit romance floats, adroitly mixing thoughtfulness, farce, and surprise.
  69. The result, though corny at times, treads close to madness and majesty alike, and nobody but Gibson could have made it.
  70. The problem is not that Kurzel cuts the words, which is his absolute right, but that he destroys the conditions from which they might conceivably have sprung.
  71. Hardy gave his heroine a symphonic range, and all an actress can do is pick out certain tones and strains — the fluted whimsy by which Bathsheba is occasionally stirred, or the brassiness of her anger. Julie Christie was the more accomplished flirt, and her beauty was composed of fire and air, whereas Mulligan relies more darkly on earth and water.
  72. I have a vision of eight-year-olds leaving the movie in bewilderment. Why are the creatures so unhappy? That question doesn’t return a child to safety or anywhere else. Of one thing I am sure: children will be relieved when Max gets away from this anxious crew.
  73. The air of mystery here is appealing, because the secrets behind it seem to matter both a great deal and not at all--rather like love, which has been Lelouch’s subject ever since he made "A Man and a Woman."
  74. More than forty years have passed since A Woman Is a Woman won the Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival for "originality, youth, audacity, impertinence." (When did you last see a movie that might warrant such an award?) [26 May 2003, p. 102]
    • The New Yorker
  75. Shot by shot, scene by scene, Mann, whose recent work includes “Heat” and "The Insider," may be the best director in Hollywood. Methodical and precise, he analyzes a scene into minute components.
  76. The ineluctable downward pull of absolutely everything in this movie is more exasperating than moving. [12 January 2004, p. 86]
    • The New Yorker
  77. Though Lee still can't resist a fancy visual trick from time to time, Clockers is, at its best—in its compound of the jaunty and the depressing—his ripest work to date.
  78. This is trash pretending to serve the cause of history: a "Dirty Dozen" knockoff with one eye on "Schindler’s List."
  79. The result is at once a work of efficient charm and, to those of us who treasured Frears in his more acerbic phase, a mild disappointment.
  80. When I first saw the movie, at a festival, it wavered on the brink of the precious. That changed on a second viewing. Most of Francofonia now seems tender, stirring, and imperilled.
  81. Citing Chekhov at this early time in Swanberg's career may be unfair, but an amiable movie like Drinking Buddies cried out for the revelations that a great dramatist--or even a talented screenwriter and director working together--can give us. [9 Sept. 2013, p.90]
    • The New Yorker
  82. Mesrine was no more a movie star than John Dillinger was, but both men could dream, and Cassel catches the folly of such dreaming, with its blasts of thuggery and its rare flashes of style, as neatly as anyone since Warren Oates took the title role of "Dillinger," in 1973.
  83. This movie will never need reviving. Brown’s innovative rhythms will always make his music sound contemporary.
  84. Heldenbergh owns the role, holding the camera's gaze with ease. The look and the sound of him hark back to Kris Kristofferson, but there is a hint of Nick Nolte, too, around the eyes--unfazed by the world, yet easily bewildered by its wiles. [11 Nov. 2013, p.91]
    • The New Yorker
  85. Among other things, Our Brand Is Crisis is about the failure of good intentions--a potent American theme at the moment. As the movie suggests, this failure, born of American arrogance, embraces liberals as well as neocons.
  86. The movie's meaning seems to be: we're all crippled in some way, so just live with it--celebrate it, even. That isn't satire; it's moss-brained sentiment that turns "sensitivity" into a dimly dejected view of life.
  87. The actor Tony Goldwyn, directing his first movie, and working from a fine screenplay by Pamela Gray, beautifully captures a moment in which the straitened moral world of the lower-middle-class Jewish characters is beginning to open up -- with necessarily painful results.
  88. The young Welsh-born actor Christian Bale is a serious fellow, but the most interesting thing about him--a glinting sense of superiority--gets erased by the dull earnestness of the screenplay, and the filmmakers haven't developed an adequate villain for him to go up against.
  89. The Barbarian Invasions might be called an idyll of death. Without excessive sentiment (but without slighting sentiment, either). [24 November 2003, p. 113]
    • The New Yorker
  90. Robert Altman, in a benevolent mood, has made a lovely ensemble comedy from Anne Rapp's original screenplay.
  91. A blood-soaked, hellish experience -- a midnight special for lovers of a violent genre -- yet it has been made with a mixture of ferocity and sweetness which leaves one exhausted but at peace. [27 January 2003, p. 94]
  92. Allen can be literal-minded about his thematic polarities, but, in this movie, he has put actors with first-class temperament on the screen, and his writing is both crisp and ambivalent: he works everything out with a stringent thoroughness that still allows room for surprise.
  93. Yet, for all its skill, Public Enemies is not quite a great movie. There’s something missing--a sense of urgency and discovery, a more complicated narrative path, a shrewder, tougher sense of who John Dillinger is.

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