The New Yorker's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,718 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 1.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Get Out
Lowest review score: 0 The Da Vinci Code
Score distribution:
1718 movie reviews
  1. Fish tank may begin as a patch of lower-class chaos, but it turns into a commanding, emotionally satisfying movie, comparable to such youth-in-trouble classics as "The 400 Blows." [18 Jan. 2010, p. 83]
    • The New Yorker
  2. The movie’s story is conventional in shape, but it has passages of crazy exhilaration and brilliant invention.
  3. When the movie was over, a young boy sitting behind me said, "That was great!" He was satisfied, and rightly so.
  4. While Woody Allen’s recent films have grown ever more hermetic in their perplexity, Baumbach is becoming as prolific, and as quick on the comic draw, as the Allen of yore. Will historians of humor look back on this movie, perhaps, and mark it as the point at which the torch was passed?
  5. You might suggest that Bridge of Spies plays everything a touch safe, and that its encomium to American decency need not be quite so persistent. But when a film is as enjoyable as this one, its timing so sweet, and its atmosphere conjured with such skill, do you really wish to register a complaint? Would it help?
  6. Revved by the stage performances, the cast courses through the material with disciplined exuberance--especially the eight young actors at the center of the drama, many of whom have never appeared in a film before.
  7. The required resolution is a long time in coming, but there's plenty to keep you diverted, including the light backchat among the semi-weirdos who make up the brothers' family, and Bullock's ridiculously watchable performance.
  8. The movie is rife with confusions of every type, and Hooper handles them with clarity, grace, and a surprising urgency, far more at ease in this intimate drama than he was with the super-sized galumphings of “Les Misérables.”
  9. If you don't mind the gore, you can enjoy Snowpiercer as a brutal and imaginative piece of science-fiction filmmaking. [7 & 14 July 2014, p.94]
    • The New Yorker
  10. You feel wiped and blinded by such ravishment, yet a voice within you asks: Come on, guys, can't you just stop for the holidays?
  11. However moody, though, Two Lovers didn't strike me as a downer, for the simple reason that it wells with sights and sounds that are guaranteed to lift, not sink, the spirits.
  12. World War Z is the most gratifying action spectacle in years, and one reason for its success if the Pitt doesn't play a superhero. [1 July 2013, p.76]
    • The New Yorker
  13. The movie is a moralized historical fantasy, mixing love and politics in Old Hollywood style. Yet I can’t bring myself to be indignant about its inventions. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who was born in Oxford and has acted since she was a child, speaks her lines with tremulous emotion and, finally, radiant authority. Austen, I think, would have been thrilled.
  14. The hallucinatory power of ayahuasca and the incantatory lure of rituals fuse with existential dread in this darkly hypnotic drama.
  15. Miraculously, he (Polanski) brightens the faded material, and conjures his most graceful work in years.
  16. Scott may always have had an eye on the box office, but from "Alien" and "Thelma & Louise" on, he has made women into heroines. In that regard, he's still ahead of the curve. Rapace's scene is a classic of its kind; it tops John Hurt's notorious misfortunes in "Alien."
  17. Strangest of all, we go along with it in a sort of dream, scarcely pausing to complain, so expert is Mungiu at drawing us into the fold of these passionate souls. [8 March 2013, p.80]
    • The New Yorker
  18. Nothing out of the ordinary happens in Blue Valentine, and that, together with the vital, untrammelled performances of the two leading actors, is the root of its power.
  19. The ghost, on the other hand, grows ever more imposing, and the movie’s most touching spectacle — it’s also the funniest — is that of C standing at the window and waving to another ghost, in the adjacent house.
  20. Stroker slips down the gullet with less fuss, but there are enough blood sprays and snapped vertebrae to pacify the director's clamorous fan club -- and, for the rest of us, plenty of chances to reconsider his style. It is, unquestionably, something to behold. [8 March 2013, p.80]
    • The New Yorker
  21. Okja is a fairy tale of sorts, though too foulmouthed for children; it nips from pastoral bliss to a terrorist pig-napping by the Animal Liberation Front; and it takes the eco-menace from Bong’s sublime “The Host” (2006) and replays the fright as farce, with a spirited turn from Tilda Swinton, as the company boss, and, I’m afraid, a barely watchable one from Jake Gyllenhaal, as a drunk TV presenter.
  22. Sex is the subtext of everything that happens, yet this may be one of the least erotic movies ever made. It's stern and noble, very much in the Rattigan spirit. [26 March 2012, p.108]
    • The New Yorker
  23. Abe is blustery and self-pitying, but, with Solondz's new tender mercies fully engaged, Gelber makes you feel close to a guy for whom nothing was ever meant to go right.
  24. The Farrelly brothers, who directed, take physical comedy to levels of intricacy not seen since silent movies.
  25. In short, The Descendants is the latest exhibit in Payne's careful dissection of the beached male, which runs from Matthew Broderick's character in "Election" to Jack Nicholson's in "About Schmidt" and Paul Giamatti's in "Sideways."
  26. It is equipped, like an F-15 Eagle, to engage multiple targets at once.
  27. Graceful and all-embracing.
  28. If Sicario does not collapse under its own grimness, that is because of the pulse: the care with which Villeneuve keeps the story beating, like a drum, as he steadies himself for the next set piece.
  29. Those who worship Joy Division may bridle at Corbijn’s film for its reluctance to mythologize their hero. Speaking as someone so irretrievably square that I not only never listened to the band but didn’t even know anyone who liked it, I can’t imagine a tribute more fitting than this.
  30. Apatow’s richest, most complicated movie yet--a summing up of his feelings about comedy and its relation to the rest of existence.
  31. Looking back at the film, I don't buy all this, but no matter; Channing is so stormy, so keen to unleash her resentments, that for an hour or so you do believe in Julie. [17 Dec 2001, p.98]
    • The New Yorker
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The picture has a lovely, understated autobiographical lilt.
  32. Friends with Benefits is fast, allusive, urban, glamorous - clearly the Zeitgeist winner of the summer.
  33. The Artist is not just about black-and-white silent pictures. It is a black-and-white silent picture. And it's French.
  34. Bean, a lovely guy with a touch of Mickey Rooney, is one of the stars of Sington’s rousing show. There was something unearthly, in every sense, about the astronauts in their prime.
  35. Vignettish and offhand, but it’s extremely pleasant, and it suggests what can be done with lightweight equipment and a loose-limbed approach to the right subject. [19 May 2003, p. 94]
    • The New Yorker
  36. Flags of Our Fathers is an accomplished, stirring, but, all in all, rather strange movie
  37. Unimaginable as anything but a movie. It’s largely wordless, sombrely spectacular, vast and intimate at the same time, with a commitment to detailed physical reality that commands amazed attention for a tight hundred minutes.
  38. Mungiu’s pacing is so sure, however, in its switching from loose to taut, and the concentration of his leading lady so unwavering, that the movie, which won the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, feels more like a thriller than a moody wallow.
  39. It’s not just a blast but, at moments, a thing of beauty, alive to the comic awesomeness of being lost in space.
  40. I prefer to think of Akin, however, not as a forger of patterns but as an ironist who understands that bad luck is a crucible, in the heat of which we are tested, burned away, or occasionally transformed. The Edge of Heaven is about something more exasperating than crossed paths; it is about paths that almost cross but don't, and the tragedy of the near-miss.
  41. With the screenwriters Alice Arlen and Victor Levin, Hunt adapted the story from a 1990 novel by Elinor Lipman, and has turned the material into a fine, tense, unpredictable comedy of mixed-up emotions and sudden illuminations.
  42. Von Trier's latest fable is nothing without its blaze of majesty - or, as his detractors would say, its bombast.
  43. We get tired of watching Whip fail, and we're caught between dismayed pity and a longing to see him punished. Only a great actor could have pulled off this balancing act. [12 Nov. 2012, p.94]
    • The New Yorker
  44. It's an expertly made, intentionally minor movie, though when Monroe, doping herself with everything available, lies in bed, confused and hapless, there are depressing intimations of the end to come.
  45. Noah may not make much sense, but only an artist could have made it. [7 April 2014, p.74]
    • The New Yorker
  46. Jude Law, saying farewell once again to his youthful good looks (Dom has scars and a little too much weight), makes this hyper-articulate ruffian the most intricately soulful character in current movies. [7 April 2014, p.75]
    • The New Yorker
  47. It runs roughly two and a half hours, and the intensity spikes with every fight; without Russell Crowe and Paul Giamatti, however, it would be flat on the canvas. They make it seem a better and more bristling film than it actually is.
  48. Midler gives a paroxysm of a performance - it's scabrous yet delicate, and altogether amazing. The movie is hyper and lurid, yet it's also a very strong emotional experience, with an exciting visual and musical flow, and there are sharply written, beautifully played dialogue scenes.
    • 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.
  49. The invective energy of Four Lions and its Swiftian vision of a confederacy of dunces are never in doubt. The problem is one of form. [15 Nov. 2010, p.99]
    • The New Yorker
  50. Anybody hoping that The End of the Tour would mirror the formal dazzle of Wallace’s fiction, doubling back on itself like the frantically probing encounters in his 1999 collection, “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men,” will be disappointed. Yet the film, despite its flatness, is worth exploring.
  51. Allen's new movie, Match Point, devoted to lust, adultery, and murder, is the most vigorous thing he's done in years.
  52. The result, like many of Winterbottom's films, lies an inch short of disarray; we CAN keep pace with the investigation, but only just, and that sense of splintering honors the unpredictability of the setting.
  53. Black holes, relativity, singularity, the fifth dimension! The talk is grand. There’s a problem, however. Delivered in rushed colloquial style, much of this fabulous arcana, central to the plot, is hard to understand, and some of it is hard to hear. The composer Hans Zimmer produces monstrous swells of organ music that occasionally smother the words like lava. The actors seem overmatched by the production.
  54. Most of Lindon’s fellow-actors are nonprofessionals who do their real-life jobs onscreen, and the intrinsic fascination of their performances—and of the world of work itself—opens exotic speculative vistas.
  55. The first twenty minutes of Wedding Crashers are rabid with simple pleasure.
  56. Stranger by the Lake, it must be said, flirts with monotony. There is something both fascinating and numbing in the rituals on display, and in the matching rhythm of the film's approach. [27 Jan.2014, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
  57. 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.
  58. This slapstick adventure comedy is in the commercial genre of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it's a simpler, more likable entertainment than Raiders; it doesn't leave you feeling exhausted.
    • The New Yorker
  59. Lo and Behold is, by virtue of its scope, one of Herzog’s more scattershot endeavors.
  60. So skilled are both Carell and Tatum that the movie itself falls prey to the characters’ repression. Though never less than careful and clever, it’s also a stunted and fiercely unhappy piece of work, straining hard to deliver home truths about a commonweal that has beaten itself out of shape.
  61. Performs the unlikely trick of being both taut and plotless.
  62. 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
  63. This movie has almost no bite but plenty of moseying charm, and what it does get right is the idea of poets as perpetual magpies.
  64. Amanda Rose Wilder’s nuanced and passionate documentary, about the first year of a “free” elementary school in New Jersey, reveals the glories and the limitations of unstructured classrooms and observational filmmaking alike.
  65. You don't feel bamboozled, fooled, or patronized by District 9, as you did by most of the summer blockbusters. You feel winded, and shaken, and shamed. [September 14, 2009, pg.115]
    • The New Yorker
  66. One may be horrified by these two, or laugh at them, but both horror and laughter give way to amazement at the human talent for survival.
  67. Betzer’s view of the family’s pathologies goes far beyond troubled nature and lack of nurture to probe haunted American landscapes. Violence and tenderness, piety and crime unite in a terrifying tangle of stunted emotions.
  68. Midnight has one big problem: Allen hardly gives Gil a perceptive moment. He's awestruck and fumbling - he doesn't possess, to our eyes, the conviction of a writer. But who knows? He's young.
  69. You feel both moved and exhausted by the distance that Wilson has to travel, musically and emotionally, before reaching the shore. That makes it, I guess, a happy ending. But then, as one of the Beach Boys remarks, on listening to “Pet Sounds,” even the happy songs are sad.
  70. These small-scale, intelligent movies can fall into a trap: it’s hard to achieve a satisfactory dramatic climax when observation is your principal dramatic mode.
  71. It's only at the end of Blue Ruin that my pleasure drained away. [28 April 2014, p.86]
    • The New Yorker
  72. A dramatic failure, but, at its best, it offers a frightening suggestion of the way terror can alter reality so thoroughly that, step by step, the fantastic becomes accepted as the mere commonplace. [5 May 2003, p. 104]
    • The New Yorker
  73. The movie is memorable and draining, but “Full Metal Jacket” it is not.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Meanders pleasantly, like a road movie, with a seventies-style, anything-goes offhandedness that whisks the audience through the rough spots.
  74. No one could claim that the film is a distinguished contribution to cinema, but it would be churlish to resist its geniality and speed.
  75. 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.
  76. No more than a shallow, style-mad entertainment, but it never flags or loses its balance, and, despite the theatricality of the staging and the acting, it’s precisely the materiality of the cinema--that makes us devour it with pleasure. [29 March 2004, p. 103]
    • The New Yorker
  77. If Cars is something of a letdown, that is not because of the moral messages that it delivers but because of the heavy hand with which it cranks them out.
  78. The story of Fernandez and Beck may be grotesque comedy, but Todd Robinson tells it straight, without flinching from its piteousness, horror, or banality.
  79. Indeed, there is barely a frame of Branagh’s film that would cause Uncle Walt to finger his mustache with disquiet.
  80. There is certainly a trill of suspense to be had from these ideological heists, but Weingartner’s movie is never quite as keen-edged as it hopes or needs to be.
  81. At its best when the characters sit around, dither, and ruminate. Moviemaking seems to have become almost magically easy for this independent writer-director. He builds a detailed atmosphere, brings his good people and his bad together, and lets them jabber at one another; the virtuosity is rhetorical rather than visual.
  82. I happen to prefer the extreme unslackness of “Halloween,” and the resourceful pluck of Curtis, to the dreamier dread of Maika Monroe. Nonetheless, like her pursuers, It Follows won’t leave you alone.
  83. In all, Appaloosa is good as far as it goes--everything in it feels true--but I wish that Harris had pushed his ideas further.
  84. Think about it a day later, though, and its hectic swoop from romance to thriller to campaign manifesto leaves oddly little afterglow. The gardener is the only constant here; so much else burns up and blows away.
  85. Challenged by Downey’s energy, Jude Law, who often seems aimless in his movies, comes fully up to speed. He’s virile and quick-witted, and his Watson, if not Holmes’s equal in brainpower, comes close to him in daring. Their repartee evokes the banter of lovers in a screwball comedy; they flirt outrageously but chastely.
  86. A Bigger Splash is fiercely unrelaxing, and impossible to ignore. You emerge from it restive and itchy, as though a movie screen could give you sunburn, and the story defies resolution.
  87. Russian Dolls offers touristic views of London, Paris, and St. Petersburg, where Wendy and Xavier both go for the wedding of another former roommate, and many pretty faces and bodies; it's froth with a sprinkling of earnest reflection.
  88. What IS surprising is the unembarrassed energy that Boyle devotes to his pursuit of the obvious; there’s nothing wrong with the formulaic, it would appear, so long as you bring the formula to the boil.
  89. Yet the great thing about White God is that the more you command it to sit and stay — to settle down as a plausible plot, or to cohere as a political fable — the more it slips its leash and runs amok.
  90. The problem is not that the film debases the book but that movies themselves are too capacious a home for such comedy, with its tea-steeped English musings and its love of bitty, tangential gags.
  91. It’s party time, and the movie is wild and crude without being mean--it’s a comedy of infantile regression, “Animal House” for grownups. [17 March 2003, p. 154]
    • The New Yorker
  92. The movie is not an argument for chaos; it's an argument for making one's way through life with a relaxed will and an open heart.
  93. The fact that Mother keeps its balance is a tribute to the leading actress.
  94. So compact and controlled is this fine film.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The movie's horror-comics second half is cheesy, derivative, and ultimately a little wearying. But it's also unpretentious and insanely cheerful.
  95. The first half of this 1997 movie suffers from abstraction. Still, it's a compelling erotic nightmare.
  96. The movie is amiable enough: the young Australian actress Teresa Palmer is lovely and crisp, and the Canadian writer-director Michael Dowse manages the party traffic well. [14 March 2011, p.79]
    • The New Yorker

Top Trailers