The New Yorker's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,594 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 E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Lowest review score: 0 Bio-Dome
Score distribution:
1594 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]
    • The New Yorker
  4. The film is filled to dazzling with the vitreous and the translucent; the flaw running down the window of a Polish train seems, in some mystifying way, as momentous as a rift in space-time. We see through a glass darkly, and often confusingly, but at least we see.
  5. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  6. Spielberg wrote a poem. And all the best movies are poems. [2002 re-release]
  7. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  8. Peele’s perfectly tuned cast and deft camera work unleash his uproarious humor along with his political fury; with his first film, he’s already an American Buñuel
  9. The picture draws out the obvious and turns itself into a classic. [26 June 1989]
    • The New Yorker
  10. 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.
  11. Brilliantly entertaining.
  12. It's powerfully and richly imagined: a genre-busting movie that successfully combines the utmost in romanticism with the utmost in realism.
  13. 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.
  14. There’s nothing derivative about Dash’s work; every image, every moment is a full creation.
  15. A brilliant documentary about an American saint and fool--a man who understands everything about nature except death.
  16. 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.
  17. Ida
    This compact masterpiece has the curt definition and the finality of a reckoning—a reckoning in which anger and mourning blend together.
  18. 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.
  19. Greengrass’s movie is tightly wrapped, minutely drawn, and, no matter how frightening, superbly precise.
  20. Voyage of Time inhabits a rarefied plane of thought, detached from the practicalities of daily life, that leave it open to a facile and utterly unjustified dismissal, given the breathtaking intensity of its stylistic unity and the immediate, firsthand force of its philosophical reflections.
  21. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  22. 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
  23. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  24. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  25. 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.
  26. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  27. 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.
  28. I can’t think of another film portrait of higher education that matches this one for comprehensiveness, intellectual depth, and hope.
  29. 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.
  30. This movie makes one grateful that a serious European art cinema still exists. [15 April 2002, p. 88]
    • The New Yorker
  31. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  32. The movie is an outright miracle. [8 March 2004, p. 92]
    • The New Yorker
  33. [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.
  34. That stance of hers will outrage many viewers, as Verhoeven intends it to, but the question of whether Elle is pernicious nonsense or an excruciating black comedy is brushed aside in Huppert’s demonstration of sangfroid. This, she shows us, is how to stand up for yourself in style. She’s the best.
  35. I have seen The Host twice and have every intention of watching it again.
  36. 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.
  37. Fruitvale Station is a confident, touching, and, finally, shattering directorial début.
  38. 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
  39. Hawks weaves brawny romance and humor and a man’s-man sort of heartbreak into his tribute to the ideal of vocation.
  40. Essentially a romantic adventure story with politics in the background--an old-fashioned movie, I suppose, but exciting and stunningly well made.
  41. Look closely at Johansson...an immaculate period performance. [15 December 2003, p. 119]
    • The New Yorker
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. The result is clean, delirious, and, yes, speedy—the best big-vehicle-in-peril movie since Clouzot's "The Wages of Fear."
  45. The movie is stunningly intelligent; the concluding passages, in which the game abruptly ends for both men, are frightening and, finally, very moving.
  46. Jenkins burrows deep into his characters’ pain-seared memories, creating ferociously restrained performances and confrontational yet tender images that seem wrenched from his very core.
  47. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  48. For the first, and maybe the only, time this year, you are in the hands of a master.
  49. 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
  50. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  51. Happy Hour, a work of distinctly modern cinema, reaches deep into the classic traditions of melodrama—along with its coincidences and its violent contrasts—to revive a latent power for grand-scale observation through painfully close contact with the agonizing intimacies of contemporary life.
  52. The late director Aleksei Guerman’s last film is a grandly arbitrary carnival of neo-medieval depravity. It’s also a mudpunk allegory of Russian barbarism and backwardness.
    • 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]
    • The New Yorker
  53. 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.
  54. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  55. The backbone of Collin’s film is the sole audio interview with Helen Morgan, made in 1996, shortly before her death. The story that she tells combines with the story that Collin builds around it to provide a revelatory and moving portrait of a great musician.
  56. A perfect family movie, a perfect date movie, and one of the most eye-ravishing documentaries ever made.
  57. An enthralling and powerfully eccentric American epic.
  58. Margin Call is one of the strongest American films of the year and easily the best Wall Street movie ever made.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
    • The New Yorker
  61. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  62. 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.
  63. 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.
  64. 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
  65. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  66. 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.
  67. The animation, by Craig Staggs, has a notable imaginative specificity, and the meticulously complex interweaving of styles turns the film into a horrifying true-crime thriller that’s enriched by a rare depth of inner experience.
  68. 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.
  69. Brilliantly entertaining and emotionally wrenching.
  70. 12 Years a Slave is easily the greatest feature film ever made about American slavery.
  71. The new movie by Robert Greene is a tour de force in the blending and bending of genres.
  72. One of the most impressive movies ever made about espionage.
  73. Hugo is superbly playful.
  74. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  75. 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
  76. Serra creates rigid, highly pressurized images on the verge of shattering with the force of mystery and desire.
  77. An intimate movie with a metaphysical grandeur, a detailed local inquiry that displays the crushing power of societal forces as well as the passion and vitality of those who endure.
  78. At its best, the movie is an exhilarating, surf-topping ride. With Minnie Driver providing the voice of a deliciously flirtatious Jane.
  79. The movie, Polley's feature début, is a small-scale triumph that could herald a great career.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There is something dazzling about a sci-fi film that manages to call upon the energies of both futurism and long-held faith. The movie is not to be compared in ferocity of imagination with Kubrick’s “2001”—significant that the music here is merely illustrative, never caustic or memorable, and that there is nothing of Kubrick’s vision of a blanched form of existence—but it is exuberantly entertaining.
  80. 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
  81. 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
  82. 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.
  83. Birbiglia films what he knows, offering ample and intricate scenes of improvisations performed onstage, along with an insider’s view of the industry.
  84. 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.
  85. Either hour alone would be a wry, incisive, quietly painful drama, set at the intersection of art and life, about foregrounded action and the weight of personal history. Together, the two parts make a radical fiction about the crucial role of imagination in lived experience. Hong’s narrative gamesmanship reveals agonized regret.
  86. 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.
  87. 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.
  88. 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
  89. 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.
  90. 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.
  91. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  92. 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.
  93. 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
  94. A sharply intelligent and affecting view of suburban blues.
  95. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  96. The glaring absence of political chatter doesn’t mar Treitz’s achievement: he has made an instant-classic Western.

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