The New Yorker's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,302 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 1.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Crash
Lowest review score: 0 The Da Vinci Code
Score distribution:
1,302 movie reviews
  1. There's a basic flaw in Malick's method: he has perceived the movie--he's done our work instead of his. In place of people and action, with metaphor rising out of the story, he gives us a surface that is all conscious metaphor. Badlands is so preconceived that there's nothing left to respond to. [18 March 1974, p.135]
  2. A Serious Man, like “Burn After Reading,” is in their bleak, black, belittling mode, and it’s hell to sit through.
  3. What happened to the Kubrick who used to slip in sly, subtle jokes and little editing tricks? This may be his worst movie. He probably believes he's numbing us by the power of his vision, but he's actually numbing us by its emptiness. [13 July 1987, p.75]
  4. Nichols must have a cummerbund around his head: the directing is constricted – there's no visual inventiveness or spontaneity. And in his hands the script has no conviction. [9 Jan 1989]
  5. The movie is childishly naïve... like a New Age social-studies lesson. It isn't really revisionist; it's the old stuff toned down and sensitized. [17 Dec 1990]
  6. This is trash pretending to serve the cause of history: a "Dirty Dozen" knockoff with one eye on "Schindler’s List."
  7. The kind of bad movie that makes a reviewer feel terrible. It has been put together with great sincerity, and yet, impassioned and affecting as some of it is, 21 Grams is also an arrogant failure. [24 November 2003, p. 113]
    • 69 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    It feels thin. It's an empty tour de force, and what's dismaying about the picture is that the filmmakers... seem inordinately pleased with its hermetic meaninglessness.
  8. Kill Bill is what’s formally known as decadence and commonly known as crap...Coming out of this dazzling, whirling movie, I felt nothing--not anger, not dismay, not amusement. Nothing. [13 October 2003, p. 113]
  9. The film is alive with bad rock bands and dizzying bit parts, the standout being Kieran Culkin, in the role of Scott's gay roommate, but we feel them gyrating around a hollow core.
  10. Streep can do anything. She is, of course, wasted on this elephantine fable; if only Doubt had been made in 1964, shot by Roger Corman over a long weekend, and retitled "Spawn of the Devil Witch" or "Blood Wimple," all would have been forgiven
  11. The general opinion of Revenge of the Sith seems to be that it marks a distinct improvement on the last two episodes, "The Phantom Menace" and "Attack of the Clones." True, but only in the same way that dying from natural causes is preferable to crucifixion.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Yes, you get to see Harvey Keitel's penis; the only surprise is that Jesus keeps His under wraps.
  12. The result is an evasive, baffling, unexciting production - anything but a classic.
  13. Everything in this movie is fudged ever so humanistically, in a perfuctory, low-pressure way. And the picture has its effectiveness: people are crying at it. Of course they're crying at it - it's a piece of wet kitsch. [6 Feb 1989]
  14. Quite an achievement: the American director Todd Haynes revisits the world of London glam rock and manages to make it look dull.
  15. The whole thing does seem preternaturally stained with Weltschmerz.
  16. The whole picture is edited and scored as if it were a lollapalooza of laughs. And, with Murphy busting his sides guffawing in self-congratulation, and the camera jammed into his tonsils, damned if the audience doesn't whoop and carry on as if yes, this is a wow of a comedy. [24 Dec. 1984, p.78]
    • 64 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Garofalo has a certain barbed charm, but it's put to shallow use here.
  17. The tale begins and ends in a flurry of joke violence; Cameron has decided to spoof what he used to take seriously, and the result, though bright and deafening, feels oddly slack -- he loosens the screws, and our interest drops away.
  18. The quarter-century-old disgruntled fantasies of two English comic-book artists, amplified by a powerful movie company, and ambushed by history, wind up yielding a disastrous muddle.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    The moral discussions operate like a bad pair of elevator shoes: it's obvious that their function is to lift black-and-white melodrama into message-movie paradise. The whole film, with its steady, important-picture pacing and its bits of pseudo-profundity, is a piece of glorified banality. [14 Dec 1992, p.123]
    • 61 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    The movie is a peculiarly irritating failure -- a leaden piece of uplift.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The picture's attempt to satisfy the aggressive fantasies of a graying white-male audience is weirdly fascinating. It's something you don't see every day: a geriatric comic book.
  19. Road to Nowhere is a dead end. Most of the performances are carved from balsa wood. [13 & 20 June 2011, p. 129]
  20. If the rest of the movie had been on Travolta's level of sly knowingness, it might have been a hip classic, rather than what it is -- a summertime debauch. [23 July 2012, p. 81]
  21. What Lars von Trier has achieved is avant-gardism for idiots. From beginning to end, Dogville is obtuse and dislikable, a whimsical joke wearing cement shoes. [29 March 2004, p. 103]
  22. A long, lumbering brute of a movie, no easier to maneuver than the vessel itself. [29 July 2002, p. 92]
  23. The plot becomes disastrously condescending: the black man, who's crude, sexy, and a great dancer, liberates the frozen white man. The handsome Omar Sy jumps all over the place, and he's blunt and grating. Francois Cluzet acts with his eyebrows, his nose, his forehead. It's an admirable performance, but the movie is an embarrassment. [28 May 2012, p.78]
  24. The movie is slight and vapid, with the consistency of watery jello...It isn't about teenagers – it's actually closer to being a pre-teen's idea of what it will be like to be a teenager. [7 Apr 1996, p.91]
  25. The style of the movie veers unsuccessfully between humorless piety and opéra-bouffe clownishness.
  26. Miss Potter is a grave disappointment, because it never listens out for that note. It is a soft, woolly film about a smart, unsentimental woman who did constant battle with her frustrations.
  27. The problem is that Snyder, following Moore, is so insanely aroused by the look of vengeance, and by the stylized application of physical power, that the film ends up twice as fascistic as the forces it wishes to lampoon.
  28. Can a director be arrested for the attempted hijack of our emotions?
  29. What Rachel McAdams is doing in this nonsense is anyone's guess, but she must realize that the long journey from "Mean Girls" to Mary, with her mousy bangs and her timid pleas counts as a serious descent. [11 Nov. 2013, p.90]
  30. The disgraceful script is by Duncan Kennedy, Donna Powers, and Wayne Powers. Directed with occasional flashes of nasty wit by Renny Harlin.
  31. Forget satire; this guy doesn't want to scorch the earth anymore. He just wants to swing his dick.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    In the movie, Myers still boasts his inexplicably confident and cheery expressions -- he's a mischievous smile button. But Carvey overworks his twisted mouth.
  32. Made me laugh precisely once, as a magazine editor let fly with a Diane Arbus gag. It is no coincidence that she is played by Candice Bergen, who gets just the one scene, but who is nonetheless the only bona-fide movie star on show.
  33. All is dour and dun. We are a long way from Errol Flynn marching in with a deer slung over his shoulder, or from the Fairbanks who didn’t merely scamper and swing from one errand of justice to the next. He SKIPPED.
  34. The Book of Eli combines the maximum in hollow piety with remorseless violence. [18 Jan. 2010, p.82]
  35. It's a shame that Fox entrusted Luhrmann with this project, because audiences were probably ready for a big-boned realistic movie spectacle.
  36. The sensibility of the movie is naggingly adolescent -- less erotic than squeamish and giggly. [11 Mar 2002, p. 92]
  37. I found Tourist hell to sit through. [23 Jan 1989]
  38. 300
    Pop has always drawn energy from the lower floors of respectability; this movie, in which fan-boy cultism reaches new levels of goofy chaos and sexual confusion, draws energy from the subbasement.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Schumacher's direction is coarse and slovenly: the picture has the self-conscious jokiness of the "Batman" TV series and the smudged, runny imagery of a cheaply printed comic book.
  39. The truth is that almost nobody, and certainly no nation, emerges well from this sour endeavor. [18 & 25 August 2003, p. 150]
  40. Ferocious onslaught of obligatory good cheer.
  41. Overwrought and unpleasant nonsense.
  42. Maybe some of the audience should wonder if they aren't performing the Devil's work by sitting so quietly through movies that turn wonders into garbage.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    A desperately misbegotten screwball comedy.
  43. Emmerich’s main achievement is to take a bunch of excellent actors, including Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Woody Harrelson, and to prevent all of them--with the exception of Oliver Platt and a pair of giraffes--from giving a decent performance.
  44. Apart from this going-postal moment, and a nice song from Frank the Pug (a resident alien from the original, played by the same dog), MIIB is pretty much a disaster -- repetitive beyond belief, and so busily inconsequential that it neuralizes your brain and leaves you with nothing to respond to. [8 July 2002, p.84]
  45. But by the end, the charm and delicacy of the 1961 cartoon have long been replaced by laborious gross-outs. Is this now official Disney policy?
  46. Painful to sit through, because you want to see someone like Paul Thomas Anderson take hold of the character and the actress and start again from the beginning. Bob Dolman understands Suzette, but the rest of the movie is composed of ham-handedly obvious scenes. [23 Sept 2002, p. 98]
  47. Spanglish chokes on an excess of sincerity and guilt, and, in retrospect, its failure may turn out to be momentous for a sincere and guilty community--Hollywood liberals in a state of post-election dismay.
  48. A clear failure, yet Lee is getting at things that mystify him, and I was touched by parts of the movie. [13 & 20 Aug. 2012, p.97]
  49. The movie--directed by Atom Egoyan, who should know better--is closely adapted from “Nathalie,” a French film of 2004, with Gérard Depardieu and Emmanuelle Béart, but what seemed like standard practice for Parisians comes across here as unsmiling porno-farce.
  50. Brown and now Ron Howard have added an incendiary element to trash--open hostility toward the Catholic Church.
  51. xXx
    In itself, XXX is not worth getting bothered about -- a half-dozen big pictures as bad as this one come out every year. At the very worst, it will kick off a pointless new movie franchise. [19 & 26 August 2002, p.174]
  52. It’s time for this talented man (Assayas) to pull himself together. He may have something serious to say about the brutal impersonality of global capitalism, yet he’s caught somewhere between insight and exploitation.
  53. By embracing the Roman pageant so openly, using all the emotional resources of cinema, Gibson has cancelled out the redemptive and transfiguring power of art. [1 March 2004, p. 84]
  54. A classic case of Hollywood hypocrisy and ineptitude.
  55. In the Cut is completely controlled and all of a piece, and yet, apart from one performance (Mark Ruffalo), it's terrible--a thriller devoid of incidental pleasures or humor, or even commonplace reality. [27 October 2003, p. 112]
    • 46 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    It's a dull, poky picture, which provides an unwelcome showcase for MacLaine's increasingly insufferable cute-gorgon shtick and no showcase at all for Cage's tremendous comic talents.
  56. Bad movie!
  57. The Catholic Church has nothing to fear from this film. It is not just tripe. It is self-evident, spirit-lowering tripe that could not conceivably cause a single member of the flock to turn aside from the faith.
  58. We don’t ask for much from this kind of movie, but Knight and Day tramples on our desire for just enough plausibility to release the fun. It makes us feel like fools for wanting to be entertained by froth.
  59. This picture ain't funny. I winced three times, and gave a couple of short laughs, but that was it.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Adapted from the Marvel Comics series, this movie lacks the mournfulness that sustains a good horror strip; it's trashy, but too deafening and invasive to have the appeal of good pulp.
  60. The movie collapses into banality. The marriages hang together, but fear and guilt provide the glue. Perhaps the biggest insult to women here is the idea that they can't get better men than these two vacuous guys. [14 March 2011, p. 78]
  61. Full Frontal is the sort of arbitrary mess that gives experimentation a bad name. The news that the movie was shot on digital video and film in eighteen days, and that the actors drove themselves to the set and applied their own makeup, would have made a nice Sunday Times story if the movie were any good. But it isn't. [5 August 2002, p. 80]
  62. The Expendables is savage yet inert, and breathtakingly sleazy in its lack of imagination.
  63. At the center of the movie, in place of the ardent, emotionally pulverizing Judy Garland, there is James Franco...as he smirks and winks, his reflexive self-deprecation comes off as a gutless kind of cool, and it sinks this odd, fretful, uncertain movie like a boulder. [18 March 2013, p.86]
  64. The new movie wears an air of old hat. I would absolutely defend Haneke’s right to relaunch his broadside on our voyeuristic vices, but he’s not keeping up with the times; he’s behind them.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Though director Vincent Ward used his special-effects budget well -- there are some stunning impressionistic moments -- the film is as gooey and sticky as an overcooked marshmallow.
  65. Some people make films in homage to Ingmar Bergman, others nod to the French New Wave, but only the Wilsons would think to follow in the footsteps of Burt Reynolds.
  66. There is a fine film to be made about the retreat from worldly obligation into erotic rite, and Brando and Bertolucci made it in 1972. But what “Last Tango in Paris” proved was that our skin-grazing view of a body makes us more, not less, enthusiastic to grasp the shape of the soul that it enshrines.
  67. Feels like a pointlessly nagging play.
  68. So lazy is the characterization, so hamstrung the plot, and so chronically broad the overacting that the main interest lies in deciding which to block first, your eyes or your ears. [2 Sept. 2013, p.81]
  69. The first ten or fifteen minutes of Michael Bay's movie tremble, unaccountably, on the verge of being fun. [11 & 18 July 2011, p.101]
  70. The over-all result is a misstep for Fleischer. [21 Jan. 2013, p. 78]
  71. We should not be surprised, then, if this bellowing beast of a movie looks and sounds like the extended special-edition remix of a Duran Duran video.
  72. The movie is like a monstrous balloon that keeps re-inflating. If Salinger were around, he would reach for a pin.
  73. The story, devised by David Benioff and Skip Woods, is largely meaningless, and the emotions are no more than functional—they set up the next fight.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    But the screenplay for this deliberately over-the-top (under-the-bottom?) farce—about Carrey's unwitting retrieval of some ransom money and his effort to return it to his dream gal (Lauren Holly) in Aspen—doesn't pass muster as a string of moronic skits (studded with urine and fart jokes) or as a lampoon of buddy movies.
  74. The movie is exhausting, utterly without feeling, and pointless -- though Smith looks great in his Western outfit.
  75. The cast looks sound enough—John Goodman as Fred Flintstone, Elizabeth Perkins as Wilma, Rick Moranis and Rosie O'Donnell as the Rubbles—but the script, cobbled together by a crowd of writers, gives them nothing but a handful of limp gags.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Gregory Widen's script is like a Mad parody played straight, full of "Scenes We Wouldn't Like to See."
    • 37 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    In this smutty kiddie farce he's a clownish action toy, and he grows wearying, fast.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Although it's refreshing to see an action movie that doesn't pretend to be something it isn't, this frankness has a downside, because what the picture so unapologetically is isn't, in fact, much.
  76. Though the film is not as criminally poor as "V for Vendetta," which the Wachowskis wrote in 2005, it struck me as more insidious.
  77. Has so many things wrong with it that one can only stare at the screen in disbelief. [25 April, 2011 p. 89]
  78. The movie is hectic, exhausting, and baffling. It's an embarrassment.
  79. The movie is hardly in a position to chastise Gage for his empty soul when its own style is one of numbing, desolate slickness.
  80. The result is more or less a remake of the great scene in “Sherlock Jr.,” where a dozing Buster Keaton dreams himself through a shuffled sequence of backgrounds. Jumper is ten times as brutal, maybe a thousand times more costly, and eighty-four years late, but it’s a start.
  81. The movie rages on for a hundred and fifty minutes and then just stops, pausing for the next sequel.
  82. In the end, Dreamcatcher is an abominable-worm picture. The movie is also an unholy mess, a miserably organized and redundant collection of arbitrary scares and thrills without a unifying visual or poetic idea. [31 March 2003, p. 106]
  83. To be honest, I would be perfectly happy to walk with a zombie after ninety minutes of this; it would feel like light relief.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    A vicious, grindingly manipulative urban mystery that uses a thick atmosphere of S & M kinkiness to distract the audience from the story's thinness and inanity.

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