The New Yorker's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,837 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 1.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Double Indemnity
Lowest review score: 0 The Da Vinci Code
Score distribution:
1837 movie reviews
  1. The film is comatose; you're brought into it only by the camera tricks or the special-effects horrors, or, perhaps, the nude scenes.
    • The New Yorker
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    I’m not sure that the story is the right receptacle for big notions about imperialism, racism, militarism, the balance of power, religiosity, the end of reason; it is a bit like loading the history of philosophy into an egg-and-spoon race.
  2. The whole thing makes Dustin Hoffman’s performance in Levinson’s “Rain Man” seem like a triumph of underplaying.
  3. The plot would seem more ingenious if the movie itself didn't copy so many other thrillers (notably "The Silence of the Lambs"), and if it weren't so easy to spot every twist half an hour in advance.
  4. An interminable, redundant, unnecessary epic devoted to suffering, suffering, suffering.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The director, Hugh Wilson, aims for harmless froth, and what he winds up with, as the hysteria level rises, is something brash and strident.
  5. Script lacks satiric insolence, and the picture grinds on humorlessly. The villain Christopher Lee's fanged smile is the only attraction.
    • The New Yorker
  6. The filmmakers, I think, got in over their heads and couldn't decide whether they were making an action thriller or a drama of conscience; they wound up flubbing both.
  7. The trouble with Blindness is that it’s so preoccupied with shouldering this symbolic weight that it gradually forgets to tell a story--to keep faith with the directives of common sense.
  8. What's strange about the movie is that the best things in it aren't developed, and what Superman and the other characters do doesn't seem to have any weight. [11 July 1983, p.90]
    • The New Yorker
  9. But all that this encounter-session movie actually does is strip a group of high-school kids down to their most banal longings to be accepted and liked. Its real emblem is that dreary, retro ribbon. [8 Apr 1985, p.123]
    • The New Yorker
  10. I felt sorry for Gyllenhaal, berated in both his personae for being weak, and for Adams, strapped and laced into a role that scarcely lets her breathe.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It's not much fun to watch.
  11. Throughout Sinister, the rooms remain darker than crypts, whether at breakfast or dinnertime, and the sound design causes everything in the house to moan and groan in consort with the hero's worrisome quest. I still can't decide what creaks the most: the floors, the doors, the walls, the dialogue, the acting, or the fatal boughs outside.
  12. Crowe is attempting a modern screwball comedy--the kind of thing that, sixty years ago, Howard Hawks, directing Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck, would have turned into romantic farce--but he has scaled the movie as an epic and turned his gabby heroine into a fount of New Age wisdom.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    When it's time to wrap up the mystery, the movie leaves too many of the plot's enigmas unresolved, and Branagh's insouciance loses its charm.
  13. A thriller stripped of thrills--or, even worse, a thriller that thinks of itself as somehow rising above the vulgar pleasures of excitement.
  14. “Them” — apart from a few affecting scenes — is a hollow, high-minded folly.
  15. No one wants a movie that tiptoes in step with political correctness, yet the willful opposite can be equally noxious, and, as In Bruges barges and blusters its way through dwarf jokes, child-abuse jokes, jokes about fat black women, and moldy old jokes about Americans, it runs the risk of pleasing itself more than its paying viewers.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Griffin Dunne's plodding adaptation of Alice Hoffman's novel can't decide whether it's a horror show, a cute comedy, or a soap opera.
  16. 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
  17. Anyone hoping that 2 Days in Paris will revisit such peppy romance (“Annie Hall”), however, will be frustrated. There is an extra rawness here, a determination to confront and annoy.
  18. The movie only stirs in the final twenty minutes.
  19. Jasper hits every note of sentimental manipulation in a tale that’s as fleetingly affecting as it is insubstantial and mechanical.
  20. There's no electricity in it, no smart talk, no flair. Written and directed by George Seaton, it's bland entertainment of the old school: every stereotyped action is followed by a stereotyped reaction -- cliches commenting on cliches.
    • The New Yorker
  21. The horror flick, at its height, was a lyrical caressing of our fears; by the end of this nonsense, you fear for the well-being of the genre. “It’s dead!” [24 May 2004, p. 96]
    • The New Yorker
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It's a shame that the movie whose coattails these wonderful actors are attached to is such an empty suit.
  22. Larry Crowne is worryingly light on laughs, yet it never dares to worry too much about the plight of its central figure. [11 & 18 July 2011, p.100]
    • The New Yorker
  23. Even by the standards of disaster movies, The Day After Tomorrow is irretrievably poor: a shambles of dud writing and dramatic inconsequence which left me determined to double my consumption of fossil fuels. [7 June 2004, p. 102]
    • The New Yorker
  24. Yes
    You may get off on this enthralling stuff, But after half an hour I'd had enough.
  25. The two characters are ciphers, and the script, which Sachs co-wrote with Mauricio Zacharias, is by turns underwritten or banal.
  26. Paul Newman in a bungled attempt to recapture the Bogart private-eye world of The Big Sleep. Shelley Winters gives the picture artificial respiration for a few minutes, but it soon relapses. A private-eye movie without sophistication and style is ignominious.
    • The New Yorker
  27. After the complex buildup of tensions, the last ten minutes of the movie are a comic-pathetic letdown: the subdued acting and the trash-strewn street scenes lead to nothing more striking than the kind of overexplicit clichés heard in mediocre TV dramas. Even De Niro's discipline and skill can't save lines that should never have been spoken in the first place. [9 September 2002, p.162]
    • The New Yorker
  28. In short, this popular love story isn't much of a story, and falls badly short on love.
  29. There's nothing to look at except Gino and Jerry's mummified skits, which are directed at a deliberate and unvarying pace. Mamet piles on improbabilities in a matter-of-fact style; flatness of performance seems to be part of the point. This minimalist approach--it suggests a knowingness--takes the fun out of hokum. The result is like a Frank Capra--Damon Runyon comic fairy tale of the 30s in slow motion.
    • The New Yorker
  30. This one doesn't look too bad, but it has no snap, no tension. It's an exhausted movie.
    • The New Yorker
  31. In truth, von Trier is not so much a filmmaker as a misanthropic mesmerist, who uses movies to bend the viewer to his humorless will.
  32. Enigma is, to be blunt, "No way Out" meets "Revenge of the Nerds," and the meetinhg is not a happy one. [22 & 29 April 2002, p. 208]
    • The New Yorker
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It's take-the-money-and-run filmmaking, with the actors practically winking their dialogue at each other, and it's all supposed to be tongue-in-cheek fun. It isn't.
  33. The happy couple (Farrell/Dawson) do enjoy one great scene together, and it's the high point of the movie-a naked tussle, in which she puts a knife to his throat. The whole sequence is quick, funny, and arousing, in sharp contrast to the rest of Alexander, which is sluggish, unsmiling.
  34. Even diehard fans may long for something to hold the tacky flourishes together—a plot, or maybe even a guide that's more lucid than the Necronomicon.
  35. It makes “Yellow Submarine” look like a miracle of sober narrative.
  36. Unimaginative Bond picture that is often noisy when it means to be exciting.
    • The New Yorker
  37. You do wonder how this commanding actor (Neeson)--who carries so much more conviction than the plot--felt about delivering the line "I'll tear down the Eiffel Tower if I have to."
  38. The futility of a noodling movie star is hardly a revelation of the absurdity of the human condition, or whatever this movie is supposed to be about. [20 & 27 Dec. 2010, p. 146]
    • The New Yorker
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    This tale of faith, fate, death, and redemption is non-threatening and also non-inspiring.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The film flails all over the place in an attempt to appear tense and authoritative--but the plot never takes hold.
  39. So repelled is Clooney by the response of white suburbia to African-Americans, and so keen is he to insure that we share his outrage at what they endured, that he quite forgets to be interested in them.
  40. Kevin Kline does his best movie work yet as Nick Bottom...But in most other ways this "Midsummer Night" is hard to endure.
  41. Illogical and glum. [30 Sept 2002, p. 145]
    • The New Yorker
  42. You're supposed to need a strong stomach to sit through this one, but it's so stupefyingly obvious and repetitive that you begin to laugh with relief that you're not being emotionally affected; it's just a gross-out.
    • The New Yorker
  43. For those who think of cinema as dramatic roughage, The Reader should prove sufficiently indigestible.
  44. Tim Allen's talent for dry regular-guyness fails to kindle Disney's sappy big-screen Yule log.
  45. 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.
  46. Not meant to be realistic; it was shot by the director Steven Shainberg in a slow, dreamy neo-De Palma style and in candy colors, and Gyllenhaal has a Kewpie-doll silliness that almost makes the naughty parts of the movie fun. [23 Sept 2002, p. 98]
    • The New Yorker
  47. Amelia is handsome yet predictable and high-minded--not a dud, exactly, but too proper, too reserved for its swaggering subject.
  48. The way the story line has been directed it's a clumsier versions of the plots of 50s musicals.
    • The New Yorker
  49. The clichéd macho silliness of the picture gets to be infuriating after a while.
  50. What happens, though, and what lures the film into disaster, is that Hartley lets slip his sense of humor (always his strongest asset) and begins to believe his own plot.
  51. Under its compelling influence, we are lured into feeling that these various lives, marked by vacuity and frustration, are in some way destined to end at the point of a gun — that the murderer and his victims coexist on a continuum of despair. Try telling that to the people of Aurora.
  52. The pleasures of the design fade along with those of the pat and callow drama.
  53. What a comedown, after the weirdly beautiful things Singer and his technicians did in the first two movies.
  54. The urge to make viewers squirm is fair enough, but when it runs ahead of the urge to entertain -- when the jokes trail in the wake of the embarrassments -- you can't help leaving the theatre sad and soured. [4 Feb 2002, p. 82]
    • The New Yorker
  55. The best reason to stay with it is Vaughn, whose lanky wryness wards off the threat of pomposity. The worst reason is Jada Pinkett Smith, who gets stuck with a thankless role as the unwittingly lethal villain -- a newspaper journalist, of course.
  56. When Beatty and Hoffman doe their (deliberately hopeless) singing numbers, jerking like mechanical men, phrasing unmusically, going off-key, they don't have the slapstick skills for it. That's when you long for Martin and Murray, or some other comics. [1 June 1987, p.102]
    • The New Yorker
  57. The last third of the movie is as bad as anything I’ve seen this year, with the laughs trailing off, and half of the supporting characters, the zestier ones, being airbrushed from the frame. (What director in his right mind would drop Tina Fey from the proceedings?)
  58. War Horse is a bland, bizarrely unimaginative piece of work. [2 Jan. 2012, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
  59. Screenwriter Oliver Stone and the director, Alan Parker, have subjected their Billy (Brad Davis) to the most photogenic sadomasochistic brutalization that they could dream up. The film is like a porno fantasy about the sacrifice of a virgin. It rushes from torment to torment, treating Billy's ordeals hyponotically in soft colors -- muted squalor -- with a disco beat in the background.
    • The New Yorker
  60. It seems that the director, who also made "The Incredible Hulk" and "Clash of the Titans," will do anything to distract us from the emptiness to which he has devoted himself. [10 & 17 June 2013, p.110]
    • The New Yorker
  61. However mystifying, or downright boring, you find the result, rest assured that the Refn faithful will swoon. Peace be with them.
  62. Unfortunately, it's also maddeningly repetitive, and dependent on the kind of strained English whimsy that leaves your throat sore from laughter that dies in the glottal region.
  63. That's the problem with this third installment of the franchise: not that it's running out of ideas, or lifting them too slavishly from the original comic, but that it lunges at them with an infantile lack of grace, throwing money at one special effect after another and praying--or calculating--that some of them will fly.
  64. Much of what Oskar says in the book is amusingly beside the point. Onscreen, however, the sound of a hyper-articulate boy talking semi-nonsense becomes very hard to take.
  65. As you watch, you don't think of the decline of American civilization; you think that these are good actors giving themselves a hell of a workout in a misbegotten movie. [6 Jan. 2014, p.72]
    • The New Yorker
  66. May have been written by a young woman, but it feels like a middle-aged man's fantasies about young people. The dialogue is actually - to retrieve an old word - vulgar. [7 Feb. 2011, p. 82]
    • The New Yorker
  67. The movie is messily ineffective. Daniels likes charged, discordant scenes, with sudden explosions of violence. He shoves the camera in people's faces, and he can't convincingly stage a scene with more than two people in it. [8 Oct. 2012, p.86]
    • The New Yorker
  68. The Canyons is not porn, but it has the demoralized second-rateness and the lowlife inanity of the porn world.
  69. There isn't a whisper of surprise in Redford's performance, and he's photographed looking like a wary, modest god, with enough backlighting and soft focus to make him incandescent even when he isn't doing a thing.
    • The New Yorker
  70. The material has been turned into a trivially narcissistic product for teen-age girls who want to feel indignant about wrongs they are unlikely to suffer.
  71. There’s a big hole in the middle of the movie: the director, Tom Tykwer, and the screenwriter, Eric Warren Singer, forgot to make their two crusaders human beings.
  72. 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.
  73. Prince of Persia is meant purely as light entertainment, but the way it draws on layers of junk is depressing.
  74. The Dictator, like its predecessors, is short (eighty-three minutes), but it runs down fast, and the lewd jokes pile up. [28 May 2012, p. 76]
    • The New Yorker
  75. 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.
  76. The movie that Josée Dayan has made about the Duras-Andréa affair is not a scandal. Unfortunately, it’s not much of anything but a solemn joke. [14 April 2003, p.88]
    • The New Yorker
  77. Never Let Me Go is in such good taste that we never feel any horror over the idea at the center of it.
  78. Sparks like that are scattered through, and yet the sad fact is that Jersey Boys is a mess. Parts of it feel half-finished.
  79. One of the more high-minded and painful follies of recent years.
  80. A confused, humorless grind.
  81. Does it matter that the plot is so full of holes that you could use it to drain spaghetti?
  82. More like the Pelican Long-and-Drawn-Out: well over two hours of plots, subplots and super-subdialogue.
  83. The winner, on points, is Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), who crashes the party and leaves them both dumbfounded, not least because she has the wit, and the wherewithal, to confront evil while wearing a conical bustier.
  84. This awkward and half-digested movie gives off a melancholy reek.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The film is essentially a primitive rah-rah story about an underdog's triumph over a bully, and in the times that Americans are living through now the things in it that are merely simple seem simplified to the point of odiousness...In the Heat of the Night seems to be made up of a great deal of attitudinizing and very little instinct. [5 Aug 1967, p.64]
    • The New Yorker
  85. What lends the film its grip and its haste is also what makes it unsatisfactory.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The pointlessness would be vastly more appealing if Wang and Auster didn't make such a point of it.
  86. A clunky and obvious comedy.
  87. The whole thing, shot in the manner of "Masterpiece Theatre," with a flaccid musical score to match, is itself hopelessly antiquated, greeting with very British giggles, and without a trace of honest curiosity, the needs of the women it seeks to honor. [21 May 2012, p.81]
    • The New Yorker
  88. As a director, he seems incapable of trusting his actors to carry the mood, preferring always to lend them a backup -- jokes, fripperies, kooky camera angles -- that they don't require. [5 Nov 2001, p. 105]
    • The New Yorker
  89. I hesitate to ask, but did anyone actually tell McClane, before he arrived, that the Cold War is over?
  90. The movie is a technological and publicity triumph, and a calamity in every other way.
  91. Burroughs invented a primal fiction: a man winds up on another planet, and has to find his way among strange creatures. Sticking to that fable, which was central to "Avatar," might have saved John Carter, but Stanton loses its appealing simplicity in too many battles, too many creatures, too many redundant episodes. [26 March 2012, p.108]
    • The New Yorker
  92. Toss everything you can find, starting with roughly diced plots, into the blender, press "Pulse," and pray: such appears to be the method behind Tower Heist.
  93. The movie is pervaded by a cataclysmic sense of loss, but we don’t need to be chastised with the ideal of Christian love to understand that sex isn’t enough. And someone might tell Malick that beauty isn’t enough, either. Only a major filmmaker could have made To the Wonder, but nothing in it adds up.
  94. (Lurie's) a shameless, if skilled, manipulator of easy emotions. (29 Oct 2001, p. 93)
    • The New Yorker
  95. As director, Foster, working with Kyle Killen's screenplay, treats the goofy premise with a literal earnestness-as a family drama about separation and reunion-that seems all wrong. A little wit would have helped.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Disney may have seen lightning strike for the fifth consecutive time with this animated smash, but it's the weakest of the bunch: a bland, predictably p.c. story so taken up with teaching lessons about tolerance and the environment that it leaves hardly any room for laughter.
  96. With its restless parade of grainy closeups, the movie is a haze of retro rapture and wishful thinking, and, above all, a lost opportunity. We don't want to hear any more about ancient constitutional crises. We want to watch a three-way with a former King of England, in a bungalow. Madonna, of all people, missed a trick.
  97. It's not the most high-concept movie of the year, or indeed of any other. Due Date is most interesting, and most fearful, when it loiters on the threshold of the homoerotic.

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