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 Rat Film
Lowest review score: 0 The Da Vinci Code
Score distribution:
1718 movie reviews
  1. Barnard's film, as if nervous of being felled by the straightforward, sinewy thump of Dunbar's writing, ducks and weaves in a series of sly approaches. [2 May 2011, p. 89]
    • The New Yorker
  2. There is plenty to inflame in this picture and nothing to corrupt. [18 Mar 2002. p.152]
    • The New Yorker
  3. 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.
  4. Thanks to Whiplash, Simmons will lend comfort to those actors who believe that, if they wait long enough, the right role — their role — will come along. Fletcher is such a part.
  5. The Grand Budapest Hotel is no more than mildly funny. It produces murmuring titters rather than laughter -- the sound of viewers affirming their own acumen in so reliably getting the joke. [10 March 2014, p.78]
    • The New Yorker
  6. The most consuming and most exhausting of its kind since “The Dreamlife of Angels,” fifteen years ago. From the moment when Adèle first catches sight of Emma, on a busy crosswalk, the movie restores your faith in the power of the coup de foudre and yet redoubles your fear of its effect; love, like lightning, can both illuminate and scorch. The problems of two little people, it turns out, do indeed amount to a hill of beans. Some hill. Some beans.
  7. This movie makes one grateful that a serious European art cinema still exists. [15 April 2002, p. 88]
    • The New Yorker
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It's a pretty shameless outlaw fantasy; the feminist justification that the script provides for the heroines' behavior doesn't make their actions any less preposterous.
  8. The movie, Polley's feature début, is a small-scale triumph that could herald a great career.
  9. Filmed in a hot and bleached black-and-white, it manages to swerve from culture-clashing farce to alarming suspense without losing control.
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. The barbs of wit, delivered throughout, are like the retractable daggers used in stage productions of "Macbeth" or "Julius Caesar": they gleam enticingly, they plunge home to the hilt, but they leave no trace of a wound.
  13. Up
    The movie is packed with lovely jokes, some of them funny in inexplicable ways.
  14. It's a pleasure to find a thriller fulfilling its duties with such gusto: the emotions ring solid, the script finds time to relax into backchat, and for once the stunts look like acts of desperation rather than shows of prowess.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The picture's real strength is its witty, vigorous evocation of the fifties media world.
  15. Seldom, it is fair to say, does Kaufman just want to have fun, but as he lifts the spell of his gloom a surprising beauty breaks through.
  16. Birdman, right now, is on the money. In Riggan and the rest of the cast, writhing with the dread of being a nobody but appalled by what it takes to be a somebody, we see not just the acting bug but also the New York bug, the love bug, and, if we’re honest, the life bug, diagnosed as what they are: a seventy-year itch.
  17. I certainly came out of Nobody Knows feeling numb; only later, reflecting on the fact that the movie was inspired by a true story, did it occur to me that the numbness could have been deliberate, and that what suffused this picture was a mist of anger.
  18. There is something willed and implausible at the heart of L’Enfant, beginning with the child himself--the first non-crying, non-hungry infant in human history, let alone in cinema.
  19. It would be fun to be able to dismiss this as undoubtedly the best movie ever made in Pittsburgh, but it also happens to be one of the most gruesomely terrifying movies ever made.
    • The New Yorker
  20. 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.
  21. The result demands a patient viewing, and maybe more than one; only after a second dose did I get the measure of Garrone's mastery, and realize how far he has surpassed, not merely honored, the author's courageous toil.
  22. 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
  23. The simplifications and sanitizations of Brooklyn would be only dreary if they merely served the purpose of a streamlined and simplified story-telling mechanism. What renders them odious is the ethos that they embody, the worldview that they package.
  24. About Elly both clutches us tight and shuts us out, adding wave upon wave of secrets and lies.
  25. It would be a shame if the film were to be seen only by those already interested in French cinema. Anyone with an eye for grace, industry, resilience, rich shadows, and strong cigarettes should go along. Like the kid on that terrace in Lyon, you see the light.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. This may be the best-paced and most slyly entertaining of all the decadent-ancient-Rome spectacular films. It's a great big cartoon drama, directed by Stanley Kubrick, with Kirk Douglas at his most muscular.
    • The New Yorker
  29. 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.
  30. I'm more than ready to welcome a new style and a new metaphysic, but I still respond with skepticism and exasperation to Weerasethakul's work, which is sensuous and ruminative but also flat, almost affectless. [28 March 2011, p. 116]
    • The New Yorker
  31. This slow and stoic movie, hailed as a gay Western, feels neither gay nor especially Western: it is a study of love under siege.
  32. 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
  33. When the movie was over, a young boy sitting behind me said, "That was great!" He was satisfied, and rightly so.
  34. The movie is a daunting blend of head trip, cinéma vérité, music video, and auto-therapy.
  35. A brilliant documentary about an American saint and fool--a man who understands everything about nature except death.
  36. Statistics and their alleged true meaning are at the heart of Moneyball, but it's also one of the most soulful of baseball movies - it confronts the anguish of a tough game.
  37. Oddly, the effect of that imbalance is not just to heighten the charm of the film but to render it more credible: the course of true memory never did run smooth.
  38. For the most part, though, Love & Friendship is a frolic: crisp and closeted rather than expansive, with curt exchanges in drawing rooms, carriages, and gardens.
  39. By the time of the closing shot -- twists of fog rising like spectres from a leaden sea -- even the most stubborn viewer will be lying back in a state of happy hypnosis. [16 December 2002, p. 106]
    • The New Yorker
  40. [Anthony] turns a concluding sequence of civic pride and good cheer into a brilliantly light-hearted fantasy of grave import, a radical political utopia conjured with a deft artistic flourish. It’s one of the most extraordinary, visionary inspirations in the recent cinema.
  41. Lincoln, written by Tony Kushner, directed by Steven Spielberg, and derived in part from Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals," is a curious beast. The title suggests a monolith, as if going to this movie were tantamount to visiting Mt. Rushmore, and the running time, of two and a half hours, prepares you for an epic. Yet the film is a cramped and ornery affair, with Spielberg going into lockdown mode even more thoroughly than he did in "The Terminal."
  42. Bob Nelson wrote the script, which Payne has been mulling over for nine years, and some of it, enhanced by the deliberate pacing of his direction, is funny in a deadpan, black-comedy way. But the absurdist atmosphere feels thin: the movie is like a Beckett play without the metaphysical unease, the flickering blasphemies and revelations.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. No male director would have put so much as a toe inside this trouble zone, although Kent does borrow a helpful domestic hint from “Shaun of the Dead”: rather than vanquish our worst nightmare, why not tame it, lock it away, and hope?
  46. The best reason to watch Little Men is Michael Barbieri, who musters a blend of soulfulness and aggression that would be remarkable at any age.
  47. There are not only glancing moments but whole sequences in this movie when the agony of social embarrassment makes you want to haul the characters to their feet and slap them in the chops.
  48. The eye must travel not merely through the earth's crust but backward in time, as well. Indeed, you could argue that Herzog has succeeded in making the world's first movie in 4-D. [2 May 2011, p. 88]
    • The New Yorker
  49. 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
  50. This movie can hardly help being beautiful, in such a rarefied domain, but what matters is that it never looks merely beautiful. [28 Feb. 2011, p. 81]
    • The New Yorker
  51. 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
  52. Although The Big Sick breaks new ground as it delves into cultural conflicts, there are patches of the drama that give you pause.
  53. Finally, a voice-over from Jimmy Carter, lauding the efforts of those involved. All this is, frankly, uncool - a pity, because the rest of Argo feels clever, taut, and restrained.
  54. 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
  55. 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
  56. On reflection, and despite these cavils, we should bow to The Master, because it gives us so much to revere, starting with the image that opens the film and recurs right up to the end-the turbid, blue-white wake of a ship. There goes the past, receding and not always redeemable, and here comes the future, waiting to churn us up.
  57. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, for all its terrible matter-of-factness, produces tumultuous feelings of amazement and revolt.
    • 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
  58. The good news is that, although Baby Driver is not much of a movie, it is an excellent music video — a club sandwich for the senses, lavishly layered with more than thirty songs.
  59. Ford is more than a witness—he is a crucial participant in the events of the film, and its elements of pain and guilt are reflected in his grief-stricken, self-interrogating aesthetic.
  60. Hawks weaves brawny romance and humor and a man’s-man sort of heartbreak into his tribute to the ideal of vocation.
  61. 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
  62. 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.
  63. John Cusack and Mahoney have to carry the unconvincing melodramatic portion of the plot, but they carry it stunningly. [15 May 1989]
    • The New Yorker
  64. You come out of the movie both excited and soothed, as if your body had been worked on by felt-covered drumsticks.
  65. Seeing “Raiders” is like being put through a Cuisinart—something has been done to us, but not to our benefit.
  66. What follows, in the final half hour of the movie, is an astounding chamber piece, worthy of Strindberg, with the husband, the wife, and her aggressor stuck in a dance of doubt and death. With every shot, our sympathies flicker and tilt.
  67. The movie is about preservation and restoration and the power of art. But with what gain in knowledge? It's as if Szpilman had no soul, and no will, apart from an endless desire to tickle the keys. [13 January 2003, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
  68. On paper this movie, written and directed by Brian De Palma, might seem to be just a political thriller, but it has a rap intensity that makes it unlike any other political thriller...It’s a great movie.
  69. 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.
  70. Vital, honest, and engaging.
  71. Filming with long, ironically balanced takes, Porumboiu delivers an ingeniously intricate goofball comedy that evokes heroes of legend while bringing sociological abstractions to mucky life.
  72. Baker revels in the power of clichés and the generic energy of his low-fi cinematography, which is done with a cell phone. The results are picturesque and anecdotal.
  73. As a study in prankhood, this Banksy film can’t touch “F for Fake,” Orson Welles’s 1974 movie about an art forger. Welles both conspired with his untrustworthy subject and held him at arm’s length, like a conjurer with his rabbit, and you came out dazzled by the sleight, whereas Exit Through the Gift Shop feels dangerously close to the promotion of a cult--almost, dare one say it, of a brand.
  74. On the surface, Apatow's films are about sex--obsessively, exclusively, and exhaustively. (This one lasts more than two hours.) But that is a clever feint, for their true subject is age.
  75. Turtles Can Fly has little space for mawkishness, and the kids are far too cussed to be cute. It is, in every sense, the more immediate achievement: it hits and hurts the eyes (the rainy days are lousy enough, but the skies of royal blue, above such grief, feel especially insulting), and it also seems to bleed straight out of the headlines.
  76. Not one of Scorsese's greatest films; it doesn't use the camera to reveal the psychological and aesthetic dimensions of an entire world, as "Mean Streets," "Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull," and "Goodfellas" did. But it's a viciously merry, violent, high-wattage entertainment, and speech is the most brazenly flamboyant element in it.
  77. An Education is perceptive and entertaining, but it doesn’t have the jolting vitality of, say, “Notes on a Scandal,” which dramatized an even more unconventional liaison--older woman, fifteen-year-old boy.
  78. The new film will recruit new friends to the cause; but if we seek George Smiley and his people, with their full complement of terrors, illusions, and shames, we should follow the example of the ever-retiring Smiley, and go back to our books. That's the truth.
  79. Bellocchio gets the opera-buffa and the carnival side of Italian Fascism, and parts of the movie are excruciatingly funny.
  80. 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.
  81. 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
  82. 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
  83. The pathos of About Schmidt -- of the careful, Chekhovian work that it could have been --gradually slides away. [16 December 2002, p. 106]
    • The New Yorker
  84. This is a leap into grandeur.
  85. One might call Neil Young: Heart of Gold soothing, even becalmed, but mellowness and ripeness, when they exist at this high level of craft, should have their season, too.
  86. The movie has a hard forties snap to it -- lust is a weapon and love is a letdown.
  87. [Farhadi's] gift for pulling us deep into the story, and for conveying the major burdens of these supposedly minor lives, is unimpaired.
  88. You have to admire it, when so much of the competition seems inane and slack, but you can’t help wondering, with some impatience, what happened to its heart.
  89. Tucked away inside the grandeur, though, and enlivened by jump cuts, is a sharp, not unharrowing story of a father and son, and, amid one's exasperation, there is no mistaking Malick's unfailing ability to grab at glories on the fly.
  90. I have seen The Host twice and have every intention of watching it again.
  91. In the end, Assayas, shooting the film with relaxed, flowing camera movements, gives his love not to beautiful objects but to the disorderly life out of which art is made.
  92. 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
  93. Fruitvale Station is a confident, touching, and, finally, shattering directorial début.
  94. The best scary-funny movie since "Jaws" - a teasing, terrifying, lyrical shocker, directed by Brian De Palma, who has the wickedest baroque sensibility at large in American movies. Pale, gravel-voiced Sissy Spacek gives a classic chameleon performance as a repressed high-school senior.
    • The New Yorker
  95. Exciting, handsomely staged, and campy.
    • The New Yorker
  96. The film locates extraordinary political and cultural tributaries, marked by archival footage, that arise from the history of Dawson City and the gold rush.
  97. Holy Motors is full of larks and jolts, but the movie is so self-referential that it's mainly aroused by itself. The audience, though eager to be pleased, is left unsatisfied. [22 Oct. 2012, p.88]
    • The New Yorker

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