The New Yorker's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,565 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 Schindler's List
Lowest review score: 0 The Da Vinci Code
Score distribution:
1565 movie reviews
  1. That is the quiet triumph of American Splendor: behind the playfulness, it cleaves to an oddly old-fashioned belief that a life, even a life as mangy as Mr. Pekar’s, gains in depth and darkness when it is crosshatched with the imaginary. The nerd needs no revenge. [18 & 25 August 2003, p. 150]
    • The New Yorker
  2. Mustang is the début feature of Deniz Gamze Ergüven, and it’s quite something: a coming-of-age fable mapped onto a prison break, at once dream-hazed and sharp-edged with suspense.
  3. Quiety sumptuous movie. [15 April 2002, p. 98]
    • The New Yorker
  4. Filmed in a hot and bleached black-and-white, it manages to swerve from culture-clashing farce to alarming suspense without losing control.
  5. Easily the best American movie so far this year.
  6. One of the gentlest, most charming American movies of the past decade. Its subject is less food as something to cook than food as the binding and unifying element of dinner parties, friendship, and marriage.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Duvall's performance is so passionate, so energized, that it's almost eerie: is Sonny acting him or is he acting Sonny?
  7. One of its major virtues is what’s not there: no creepy flashbacks of prowling priests, or — as in the prelude to Clint Eastwood’s “Mystic River” — of children in the vortex of peril. Everything happens in the here and now, not least the recitation of the there and then.
  8. The movie comes closer to pure happiness than anything else in the theatres at the moment, and it has an intriguing and moving subtext: the Cubans' buried but irrepressible love of things American.
  9. The virtues of Jackson's trilogy, thus far, have been pace and astonishment, which is almost the same thing. [6 January 2003, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
  10. The film is a casting coup, with Blanchett’s inherent languor —plus that low drawl of hers, a breath away from boredom — played off against the perter intelligence of Mara, whose manner, as always, is caught between the alien and the avian.
  11. This slow and stoic movie, hailed as a gay Western, feels neither gay nor especially Western: it is a study of love under siege.
  12. This Franco-Italian-Scottish co-production, directed by Damian Pettigrew, is an extraordinarily controlled piece of film. [14 April 2003, p.88]
    • The New Yorker
  13. So smartly has del Toro thought his fable through, and so graceful is his grasp of visual rhyme, that to pick holes in it seems mean; yet Pan's Labyrinth is perhaps more dazzling than involving--I was too busy reading its runes and clues, as it were, to be swept away. It is, I suspect, a film to return to, like a country waiting to be explored: a maze of dead ends and new life.
  14. It captures the city's bitter, wire-taut mood after September 11th, and I hope that Disney -- finds some way to bring this acrid and brilliant little picture to the large audience it deserves. [13 January 2003, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
  15. No
    The best movie ever made about Chilean plebiscites, NO thoroughly deserves its Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film.
  16. As a piece of acting, Ganz’s work is not just astounding, it’s actually rather moving. But I have doubts about the way his virtuosity has been put to use.
  17. Trashy and opportunistic as some of it is, Training Day is the most vital police drama since "The French Connection" or "Serpico."
    • The New Yorker
  18. On the scale of inventiveness, Inside Out will be hard to top this year. As so often with Pixar, you feel that you are visiting a laboratory crossed with a rainbow.
  19. Maysles endearingly reveals Apfel’s blend of blind passion and keen practicality, her unflagging enthusiasm for transmitting her knowledge to young people, and her synoptic view of fashion as living history.
  20. 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.
  21. Moreau's nocturnal wanderings are made unbearably poignant by an exquisite Miles Davis jazz score that became famous in its own right.
  22. 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.
  23. No one could mistake the movie for a documentary, but the picture has some of the rectitude of a good documentary--a tone of plainness without flatness.
  24. This is not just pliable filmmaking; it is an exercise in worldliness, in a feel for the cracks and warps of circumstance, which is all the more startling when you learn that the director is thirty-one.
  25. What could have been a narrow, cultish little picture, a mere retro-trip, fans out into a broader study of longing and belonging. [4 Oct 1993, p.214]
    • The New Yorker
  26. In truth, I’ve never seen so much lovemaking in an aboveground film, but the revelation, and great triumph, of Lou’s work is that these scenes are never pornographic--that is, never separated from emotion.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The film swings from farce to soap opera and back again—but it's got enough girl-power moments to make a Spice Girls fan happy.
  27. Cold Souls has its flaws, and it threatens to sag into a Paul-like morbidity, but Giamatti’s anxious mien and unspectacular shamblings have never been better deployed.
  28. This mania is what Marvel followers have hungered for, and it would be fruitless to deny their delight. As Loki says to a crowd of earthlings, "It is the unspoken truth of humanity that you crave subjugation." We do, Master, we do.
  29. 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
  30. A crucial episode of the nineteen-sixties, centered on both the space race and the civil-rights struggle, comes to light in this energetic and impassioned drama.
  31. Get Low is deftly played, and it rarely mislays its ambling charm, but what a forbidding fable it could have been if the truth about Felix Bush, rather than emerging into sunlight, had slunk back into the woods.
  32. 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
  33. 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.
  34. Solondz will never be meek and mild, and there are spasms of shame and awkwardness here that will make even devoted viewers wince as sharply as ever. But the movie, his best to date, and a sequel of sorts to "Happiness," feels drenched in an unfamiliar sadness.
  35. Langella is superb, and Starting Out in the Evening is a classy film.
  36. There are passages of gravity and grace here that few other directors could unfurl. [27 Jan. 2014, p. 78]
    • The New Yorker
  37. Coraline is a beautifully designed, rather scary answered-prayer story.
    • 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.
  38. What matters most about The Homesman, which Jones co-wrote and directed, is how willingly, and movingly, he cedes the stage to Hilary Swank, as Clint Eastwood did in “Million Dollar Baby.”
  39. 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
  40. Where “Paterson” is tranquil to the point of inertia, Neruda, with its jumpy shifts of scene, its doses of casual surrealism, and its mashing of high politics against low farce, struck me as more of a poem. It reminds us that movies, by their very nature, owe far more to poetry than they ever will to the novel. The story is only the start.
  41. 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.
  42. Crowe astounds with his technical skill. [7 Jan 2002, p. 82]
    • The New Yorker
  43. One of the year’s more luscious releases, offering not just the sleekest car chase but the most romantic of rainstorms.
  44. Furious and entertaining little morality play.
  45. He [Bahrani] encloses his two characters in a motel room, but he doesn't make them buddies, as a Hollywood movie would. They are characterized in great detail as separate beings.
  46. Here is the territory that "Twilight" never dared to enter. It was so busy with crushes, covens, werewolves, and all the other moth-eaten trappings of the genre that it forgot to ask, Why do vampires not die of boredom? Is time not the sharpest stake in the heart? [14 April 2014, p.86]
    • The New Yorker
  47. Joe
    Yet Joe, directed by David Gordon Green, succeeds. Although Green's resume has been as up and down as that of his leading man, his eye for decay has rarely blurred; and now, you sense, he has come to the right place. [14 April 2014, p.87]
    • The New Yorker
  48. 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.”
  49. What could be a plain tale -- and is in danger of becoming a sappy one -- grows surprisingly inward and dense. [25 Nov. 2013, p.135]
    • The New Yorker
  50. Fury is literally visceral— a kind of war horror film, which is, of course, what good combat films should be.
  51. With its somersaulting trucks, drafts of quaffable blood, and skies full of digitized ravens, Bekmambetov's movie has every intention of whacking "The Matrix" at its own game.
  52. 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.
  53. Love Is Strange, however, is not about gay marriage. It is about a marriage that happens to be gay. If the film grows slightly boring, even that can be construed as an advance.
  54. Zootopia, like its heroine, is zesty, bright, and breakneck, with chase scenes and well-tuned gags where you half expect songs to be.
  55. Reichardt is trying, as she was in her previous film, "Wendy and Lucy," for a mood of existential objectivty. She takes us from the florid grandiosity of Western myth to the bone-wearying stress of mere life. [11 April, 2011 p.89]
    • The New Yorker
  56. This documentary film, about the deconstruction of a great American city, is surprisingly lyrical and often very moving.
  57. Source Code is a formally disciplined work -- a triumph of movie syntax -- made with rhythm and pace. Jones, unlike most commercial directors, accelerates the tempo without producing visual gibberish. [11 April, 2011 p. 88]
    • The New Yorker
  58. John Crowley’s film is high on its own briskness, and its glances at Irish backstreet life land it securely in the terrain that was mapped out by Stephen Frears’s “The Snapper” and “The Van.” [5 April 2004, p. 89]
    • The New Yorker
  59. That is what I admire in While We’re Young; it shows a director not so much mooning over the past, with regret for faded powers, as probing his own obsessions and the limits of his style.
  60. Inspiring though Marley is, however, it tends to deploy his music purely as an illustration of his life. Not once, as far as I could tell, do we watch a song being played straight through from beginning to end. [23 April 2012, p.82]
    • The New Yorker
  61. What fleshes out the movie, and lends it such an extraordinary pulse of life, is the want of words.
  62. 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.
  63. A deeply satisfying aesthetic and pedagogic experience--though Americans may find themselves wondering how such terrific children can grow into such irritating adults.
    • The New Yorker
  64. Part thriller, part character study, Arbitrage is Nicholas Jarecki's first feature, and it moves swiftly and confidently, with many details that feel exactly right. [24 Sept. 2012, p.98]
    • The New Yorker
  65. The whole enterprise goes far beyond pastiche, wreathing its characters in a film-intoxicated world.
  66. The movie belongs wholeheartedly to Bening, and to the age, come and gone, that she enshrines.
    • 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.
  67. Ayer should have dropped the movie-within-a-movie, which is confusing in an unproductive way -- we share the men's point of view without it. [24 Sept. 2012, p. 98]
    • The New Yorker
  68. This austere production has fire enough; it captures the elemental Bronte passions. [14 March 2011, p. 79]
    • The New Yorker
  69. 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
  70. She (Cotillard) is the center of attention throughout, yet what matters is her willingness to conspire in the Dardennes’ plea for justice.
  71. 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
  72. This is typical Suleiman, as anyone who saw his no less wondrous work "Divine Intervention" (2002), can testify.
  73. In one respect, though not a major one, it is a masterpiece: seldom will you find a better class of fadeout.
  74. 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.
  75. 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.
  76. The movie is simultaneously a police procedural, an analysis of language and imagery, a philosophical debate about law and justice, and a very, very dry Romanian Martini--so dry that, at first, one doesn't quite taste much of anything.
  77. 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.
  78. Leviathan is a tale for vertiginous times, with the ruble in free fall. There must be thousands of stories like Kolya’s right now, lives folding and collapsing, upon which Zvyagintsev could cast his unfoolable eye. Despite that, he is not primarily a satirist, or even a social commentator; he is the calm surveyor of a fallen world, and Leviathan, for all its venom, never writhes out of control.
  79. Ray
    Vibrantly intelligent and tough-minded bio-pic.
  80. 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.
  81. [Farhadi's] gift for pulling us deep into the story, and for conveying the major burdens of these supposedly minor lives, is unimpaired.
  82. Damon has never seemed more at home than he does here, millions of miles adrift.
  83. Bellocchio gets the opera-buffa and the carnival side of Italian Fascism, and parts of the movie are excruciatingly funny.
  84. His (Francois Ozon) theme could hardly be less original (think of "Bonjour Tristesse"), but the tautness is that of a horror film. [5 May 2014, p.85]
    • The New Yorker
  85. Observant and true. The pleasure of it lies not in its emotions, which are distinctly on the tepid side, but in the intimacy of its reporting. [28 July 2003, p.94]
    • The New Yorker
  86. This is a scary movie and a serious one, because it lures us into the minds, and the earthly domains, of those who are themselves scared, night and day, that they have forfeited the mercies of God. It takes an original movie to remind us of original sin.
  87. Combines pulse-of-the-city drama and comedy with an elaborate revenge plot, but mostly the movie is about New Yorkers talking.
    • The New Yorker
  88. 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
  89. A tender, indignant, but also very worldly movie.
  90. Sophie Scholl: The Final Days may sound like a history lesson, but don't be fooled. It's a horror film.
  91. Vital, honest, and engaging.
  92. 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The film, despite its raggedness, is stirring. In the end, this failed mission seems like the most impressive achievement of the entire space program: a triumph not of planning but of inspired improvisation.
  93. It may be weaker in the resolution than in the setup, but that is an inbuilt hazard of science fiction, and what lingers, days after you leave the cinema, is neither the wizardry nor the climax but the zephyr of emotional intensity that blows through the film.
  94. 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
  95. The movie is exhilarating in a way that only hard-won knowledge of the world can be.

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