The New Yorker's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,393 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 Maria Full of Grace
Lowest review score: 0 The Da Vinci Code
Score distribution:
1,393 movie reviews
  1. It may be the most sophisticated political satire ever made in Hollywood. (As quoted by Roger Ebert)
    • The New Yorker
  2. In Ratatouille, the level of moment-by-moment craftsmanship is a wonder.
  3. 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]
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  4. For the viewer, the miracle of Bloody Sunday is that firm moral judgment can exist side by side with a wild and bitter exhilaration in the sheer physicality of violence. [7 Oct 2002, p. 108]
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  5. Spielberg wrote a poem. And all the best movies are poems. [25 Mar 2002, p. 86]
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  6. To begin your career with a masterpiece is so remarkable a feat that one can only hope Jarecki finds another subject as rich as this family, which was obsessed with itself but needed a filmmaker to begin to see itself at all. [2 June 2003, p. 102]
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  7. The picture draws out the obvious and turns itself into a classic. [26 June 1989]
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  8. If there is any justice, this year's Academy Award for best foreign-language film will go to The Lives of Others, a movie about a world in which there is no justice.
  9. Brilliantly entertaining.
  10. It's powerfully and richly imagined: a genre-busting movie that successfully combines the utmost in romanticism with the utmost in realism.
  11. Marston would probably have made an interesting movie no matter how he had shot it, but the way he dramatized the material seems instinctively right: he goes detail by detail, emotion by emotion, eliding nothing, exaggerating nothing.
  12. A brilliant documentary about an American saint and fool--a man who understands everything about nature except death.
  13. I would be surprised if this brilliant and touching film didn't become required viewing for teachers all over the United States. Everyone else should see it as well--it's a wonderful movie.
  14. Ida
    This compact masterpiece has the curt definition and the finality of a reckoning—a reckoning in which anger and mourning blend together.
  15. A small classic of tension, bravery, and fear, which will be studied twenty years from now when people want to understand something of what happened to American soldiers in Iraq. If there are moviegoers who are exhausted by the current fashion for relentless fantasy violence, this is the convincingly blunt and forceful movie for them.
  16. Greengrass’s movie is tightly wrapped, minutely drawn, and, no matter how frightening, superbly precise.
  17. 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]
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  18. Many documentaries are good at drawing attention to an outrage and stirring up our feelings. Ferguson's film certainly does this, but his exposition of complex information is also masterly. Indignation is often the most self-deluding of emotions; this movie has the rare gifts of lucid passion
  19. Altman achieves his dream of a truly organic form, in which everyone is connected to everyone else, and life circulates around a central group of ideas and emotions in bristling orbits. [14 Jan 2002, p. 92]
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  20. The story worms further into the guts of Victorian experience than most historical dramas, because it aims at the most neglected aspect of that age, and the most alarmingly modern: its surrealism. [29 Nov 1993, p.148]
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  21. Hyper-articulate and often breathtakingly intelligent and always brazenly alive. I think it's easily the strongest American film since Clint Eastwood's "Mystic River," though it is not for the fainthearted.
  22. In its lived-in, completely non-ideological way, Winter's Bone is one of the great feminist works in film.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Has the sure grip and the unstoppable momentum of a dream – which are qualities, too of great fairly tales and the most memorable pop songs. [16 Nov 1992, p.127]
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  23. If Sauper is fired up by anti-globalist conviction, his instincts as an artist and as a man rule out any kind of rhetoric or cheapness. Darwin’s Nightmare is a fully realized poetic vision.
  24. I can’t think of another film portrait of higher education that matches this one for comprehensiveness, intellectual depth, and hope.
  25. Wild and unrelenting, but also possessed of the outlandish poetry, laced with hints of humor, that rises to the surface when the world is all churned up.
  26. This movie makes one grateful that a serious European art cinema still exists. [15 April 2002, p. 88]
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  27. Judged both as reporting and as art -- many of Wiseman's films have a poetic density of structure -- it is a series without parallel in movie history. [11 Feb 2002, p. 92]
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  28. The movie is an outright miracle. [8 March 2004, p. 92]
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  29. [Willis’s] heavy trudge on a game leg suggests weariness of historical dimensions; the harmonious mysteries of the urban landscape are themselves the essence of his art. A brilliant sequence of musicians at work gets away from familiar modes of filmed performance and into the depths of inner experience.
  30. I have seen The Host twice and have every intention of watching it again.
  31. Schnabel’s movie, based on the calm and exquisite little book that Bauby wrote in the hospital, is a gloriously unlocked experience, with some of the freest and most creative uses of the camera and some of the most daring, cruel, and heartbreaking emotional explorations that have appeared in recent movies.
  32. Fruitvale Station is a confident, touching, and, finally, shattering directorial début.
  33. 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
  34. Essentially a romantic adventure story with politics in the background--an old-fashioned movie, I suppose, but exciting and stunningly well made.
  35. Look closely at Johansson...an immaculate period performance. [15 December 2003, p. 119]
    • The New Yorker
  36. What Park has done is resurrect not just the spirit but, as it were, the bodily science of early comedy. Like Chuck Jones, and, further back, like Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, Park is unafraid of the formulaic--—of bops on the head, of the unattainable beloved, of gadgetry gone awry--because he sees what beauty there can be in minor, elaborate variations on a basic theme.
  37. 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.
  38. The result is clean, delirious, and, yes, speedy—the best big-vehicle-in-peril movie since Clouzot's "The Wages of Fear."
  39. The movie is stunningly intelligent; the concluding passages, in which the game abruptly ends for both men, are frightening and, finally, very moving.
  40. I've rarely seen so selfless a collection of performances and, in a war movie, so general an absence of rhetoric or guff. [25 & 31 Dec 2001, p. 127]
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  41. For the first, and maybe the only, time this year, you are in the hands of a master.
  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]
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  43. What follows is astounding: a thirty-minute fight, which, in its bitterness, complication, and psychological revelation, recalls episodes from Ingmar Bergman's "Scenes from a Marriage." [27 May 2013, p.86]
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    • 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]
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  44. Small-scaled and limited, Capote is nevertheless the most intelligent, detailed, and absorbing film ever made about a writer's working method and character--in this case, a mixed quiver of strength, guile, malice, and mendacity.
  45. A first-rate piece of work by a director who's daring and agile... It's heaven – alive in a way that movies rarely are. [9 Jan 1989]
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  46. A perfect family movie, a perfect date movie, and one of the most eye-ravishing documentaries ever made.
  47. An enthralling and powerfully eccentric American epic.
  48. Margin Call is one of the strongest American films of the year and easily the best Wall Street movie ever made.
  49. 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.
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  50. An Altman-influenced movie made without the master's acrid bitterness. The Last Kiss may come out of Italian opera and comedy, but in spirit it's Shakespearean -- objective, impassive, and at peace with a world in which men and women manage to be both ordinary and extraordinary. [5 August 2002, p.80]
    • The New Yorker
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Few American movies since the silent era have had anything approaching this picture's narrative boldness, visual audacity, and emotional directness. [20 Dec 1993, p.129]
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  51. In brief, Marshall Curry, the young director of Street Fight, has hit the documentary jackpot: the movie will become the inescapable referent for media coverage of the new campaign. And rightly so.
  52. 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]
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  53. The real reason to see The Kid with a Bike is that it offers something changelessly rare and difficult: a credible portrait of goodness. [19 March 2012, p.90]
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  54. 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.
  55. 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.
  56. Brilliantly entertaining and emotionally wrenching.
  57. 12 Years a Slave is easily the greatest feature film ever made about American slavery.
  58. One of the most impressive movies ever made about espionage.
  59. Hugo is superbly playful.
  60. As close as we are likely to come on the screen to the spirit of Greek tragedy (and closer, I think, than Arthur Miller has come on the stage). The crime of child abuse becomes a curse that determines the pattern of events in the next generation. [13 October 2003, p. 112]
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    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    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]
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  61. Serra creates rigid, highly pressurized images on the verge of shattering with the force of mystery and desire.
  62. At its best, the movie is an exhilarating, surf-topping ride. With Minnie Driver providing the voice of a deliciously flirtatious Jane.
  63. The movie, Polley's feature début, is a small-scale triumph that could herald a great career.
  64. 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]
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  65. 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]
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  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. The movie's story may be a little trite, and the big battle at the end between ugly mechanical force and the gorgeous natural world goes on forever, but what a show Cameron puts on! The continuity of dynamized space that he has achieved with 3-D gloriously supports his trippy belief that all living things are one.
  68. 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.
  69. Apparently, the movie has caused annoyance in some quarters because it criticizes the American way of life. This it does, and with suavity and supreme good humor. WALL-E is a classic, but it will never appeal to people who are happy with art only when it has as little bite as possible.
  70. A much better movie about the South during the Civil War than “Gone with the Wind”--visionary, erotic, and tragic where the older movie is flossy, merely ambitious and self-important. [22 & 29 December 2003, p. 166]
    • The New Yorker
  71. In this role Giamatti gives his bravest, most generously humane performance yet. Women may be repelled, but men will know this man, because, at one time or another, many of us have been this man.
  72. The film may have dated as a cautionary left-wing tale, yet it has stayed fresh as a study in the minutiae of power. [1 Oct. 2012, p.85]
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  73. Pride is brilliantly entertaining just as it is, so I trust that no one connected with the film will be insulted if I say that, despite the existence of shows with similarly stirring themes, like “Billy Elliot” and “Kinky Boots,” the story would make a terrific musical.
  74. 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
  75. A sharply intelligent and affecting view of suburban blues.
  76. For all its mayhem, runs like a mad and slightly sad machine, whirring with hints of folly and regret, and the ending, remarkably, makes elegant sense to a degree that eludes most science fictions. How to describe it, without giving anything away? Scrambled, but rare. [1 Oct. 2012, p.84]
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  77. A new kind of affectionate satire which is all but indistinguishable from an embrace. [5 May 2003, p. 104]
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  78. In this handsomely traditional movie, Kevin Costner has tried to fix the Western myth for all time in the stern contours of Duvall’s face and the guttural beauty of his voice. [1 September 2003, p. 130]
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  79. 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.
  80. The movie is an O. Henry-like conceit--the slenderness of the initial premise is part of the charm--but the anecdote becomes almost momentous as it goes on.
  81. Mr. Turner is a harsh, strange, but stirring movie, no more a conventional artist’s bio-pic than Robert Altman’s wonderful, little-seen film about van Gogh and his brother, “Vincent and Theo.”
  82. The most stirring release of the year thus far is a documentary.
  83. 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.
  84. The film turns into a triumph for Don Cheadle, who never steps outside the character for emotional grandstanding or easy moralism.
  85. Consistently beautiful and often exciting -- despite some dead passages here and there, it's surely the best big-budget fantasy movie in years. [24 & 31 Dec 2001, p. 126]
    • The New Yorker
  86. This is an elegant and stirring entertainment about the hard-drinking, hard-smoking reporters of "See It Now," the show that Murrow and the producer Fred Friendly put together every week.
  87. The movie that we do have is cogent, lavish, and formidable enough, with a Recchi-like power to frighten and seduce.
  88. Complex and devious beyond easy recounting, Bad Education is about the fallout from the ending of a "pure" love between boys, consecrated in an Almodóvaran temple--a movie theatre.
  89. As the real-life Ronald Woodroof, he (Mcconaughey) does work that is pretty much astounding. [4 Nov. 2013, p.116]
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  90. I cannot remember a major movie, not even "The Godfather," that forced me to peer so intently into the gloom. [2 December 2002, p. 87]
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  91. The profuse pleasures of Boyhood spring not from amazement but from recognition — from saying, Yes, that’s true, and that feels right, or that’s how it was for me, too.
  92. Hancock suggests new visual directions and emotional tonalities for pop. It's by far the most enjoyable big movie of the summer.
  93. 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.”
  94. This is a leap into grandeur.
  95. 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.
  96. All in all, Pirates of the Caribbean is the best spectacle of the summer: the absence of pomp is a relief, the warmth of the comedy a pleasure. [28 July 2003, p.94]
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