The New Yorker's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,361 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 39% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 60% 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: 63
Highest review score: 100 Schindler's List
Lowest review score: 0 Bio-Dome
Score distribution:
1,361 movie reviews
  1. 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The film is paced like a breezy sixties romp and there are some good gags, but the plot's a bit creaky and lacks the clever zing of a good scam.
  2. At its best, the picture is violently exciting; at its worst, banal and monotonous. Yet the relative absence of mighty significances did not prevent the Matricians sitting all around me--mostly men aged about thirty--from remaining utterly still, as if at a High Mass, throughout the movie. [10 November 2003, p. 128]
    • The New Yorker
  3. It winces with liberal self-chastisement: Redford is surely smart enough to realize, as the professor turns his ire on those who merely chatter while Rome burns, that his movie is itself no better, or more morally effective, than high-concept Hollywood fiddling.
  4. In the movie's best moments, the misery has a comic lilt to it. [28 Jan 2002, p. 90]
    • The New Yorker
  5. 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
  6. A classic case of Hollywood hypocrisy and ineptitude.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    If the original did not exist, would this picture be worth seeing?
  7. The clichéd macho silliness of the picture gets to be infuriating after a while.
  8. The plot of Silver City is movieish in the extreme, with filthy abandoned mines subbing for the bars and alleys of urban noir, but it’s no more than mild cheese--“The Big Sleep” or “Chinatown” without the malice, rigorous design, and narrative epiphanies.
  9. Why, as a patron of Rock of Ages, do I wish I had taken the precaution of entering the theater drunk? [25 June 2012, p.84]
    • The New Yorker
  10. It's a shame, then, that the later stages of Lakeview Terrace should overheat and spill into silliness. The plot is compromised, not resolved, by the pulling of a gun.
  11. A very strange, often terrible affair that is nevertheless mesmerizing, in a limited way.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    But the cut-to-the-enlightenment dramaturgy of Ronald Bass's screenplay feels desperate and false.
  12. Ryder is devious and witchy, her eyes flashing, her crinkly voice developing knife edges. She gives an acidly brilliant performance as a desperate, lying woman. [24 Jan. 2011, p. 83]
    • The New Yorker
  13. The saddest thing about If I Stay is that it affords Moretz so little opportunity to be non-sad.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The supporting cast of yokels commit plenty of redneck faux pas, but the witty script is weighed down by the director David Dobkin's heavy hand.
  14. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  15. 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.
    • 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.
  16. All movie adaptations of Nabokov fall short, by definition, but this one is the most graceful failure so far.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
    • 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.
  19. Bad movie!
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Bullock is refreshingly natural, as usual, but Affleck seems uncomfortable as the romantic lead--if she's light as a feather, he's stiff as a board. Marc Lawrence's implausible script and Bronwen Hughes's tin-ear direction do nothing to improve matters.
  20. 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.
  21. Has its satirical charms, but it repeats itself remorselessly, and it has no emotional center. We are so distant from Val that when he gets his sight back we don't feel a thing. [20 May 2002, p.114]
    • The New Yorker
  22. 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    But ultimately all that melancholy stifles the characters.
  23. The Last of Robin Hood, written and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, is often pallid and thin.
  24. The fight against traditionalism has long been won, so the movie’s indignation feels superfluous, but Mike Newell’s direction is solid, the period décor and costumes are a sombre riot of chintz and pleated skirts, and the movie has an air of measured craft and intelligence. [22 & 29 December 2003, p. 166]
    • The New Yorker
  25. This is one of the rare movies that are too sensitive for their own good.
  26. It's a peculiar movie, frantic and useless, with a hyperactive camera that gives us no more than fleeting impressions of Edie ecstatic at parties, Edie strung out on drugs, Edie lying mostly naked on a bed, with her skin splotchy from injections.
  27. The comedy is brutal and paper thin, but that is less bothersome than the ending of the movie, which abruptly changes its tone.
  28. As an evocation of danger, the movie seems threatening yet is nowhere near serious or intelligent enough to satisfy our current sense of alarm. [3 June 2002, p. 100]
    • The New Yorker
  29. There was always a dreaminess in his vision of the city, but now it feels as distant as the polished floors and the Deco furnishings of the Fred Astaire movies that Boris finds--of course--whenever he turns on the TV.
  30. So well made, and so compelling as a portrait of a man at war with himself, that, right up until the end, many people will probably be entertained by its intricately preposterous story.
  31. Just when this sunshiny and affectionate comedy is beginning to bloom, the inevitable, tear-jerking conclusion closes off the fun like a Venetian blind blocking the light. (29 Oct 2001, p.93)
    • The New Yorker
  32. This picture ain't funny. I winced three times, and gave a couple of short laughs, but that was it.
  33. 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
    • 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.
  34. 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.
  35. Makes a suitable staging post in Witherspoon's headlong career. She may want to forget it by Christmas, yet its cushioned slackness allows her to sharpen her grasp of a steely American type: the girl next door who will kill to get out of town. [30 Sept 2002, p. 145]
    • The New Yorker
  36. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  37. 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.
  38. This awkward and half-digested movie gives off a melancholy reek.
  39. There are moments when music and lyrics bear only the faintest relation to each other, a tricky state of affairs in a work that is almost bereft of spoken dialogue.
  40. 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]
    • The New Yorker
    • 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.
  41. In 2002, Carnahan made an intense and violent little cop film, "Narc," with Jason Patric and Ray Liotta. He seemed to have absorbed the influences of John Cassavetes and Martin Scorsese and come up with a style of his own. I was a fan of that movie, but Smokin’ Aces feels like Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" pushed much further along into lethal absurdity.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    But, like Jerry Lewis, and, to a degree, Steve Martin, Carrey can make the idiotic seem inspired, and his manic mugging creates some big laughs.
  42. The Expendables is savage yet inert, and breathtakingly sleazy in its lack of imagination.
  43. Pfeiffer digs into the role and won't let go. The rest of the movie is conventionally earnest.
  44. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  45. 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.
  46. The Hangover Part II isn't a dud, exactly - some of it is very funny, and there are a few memorable jolts and outlandish dirty moments. But it feels, at times, like a routine adventure film set overseas.
  47. A perplexing compound of the silly and the glum.
    • 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.
  48. Shyamalan remains as coolly unstirred by sex as he was in his previous movies--an astounding indifference, given the historical entwining of eros and fright. Even more bizarre is the gradual draining of humor from his work; the anatomy of horror demands a tongue in the cheek to go with the baring of teeth, but much of The Village is a proud and sullen affair.
  49. Deep and Morton are really flying here (the scene in which the hero instructs the heroine in the passionate possibilities of her art), and they leave the rest of the film looking heavy on its feet. The second half, especially, grows dour and maundering, and by the end the movie seems to flail in desperation, more like a work in progress than like a finished piece.
  50. 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.
  51. Taymor has played with Shakespeare's text -- switching genders, and inventing, dropping, and transposing passages -- but there's an emotional gain. [20 & 27 Dec. 2010, p. 146]
    • The New Yorker
  52. 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.
  53. Feels like a pointlessly nagging play.
    • The New Yorker
  54. (Lurie's) a shameless, if skilled, manipulator of easy emotions. (29 Oct 2001, p. 93)
    • The New Yorker
  55. It’s a well-crafted, handsome period piece, and pleasant to watch, but the intensity of an obsessional style--something that matches Florentino’s crazy single-mindedness--is beyond Newell’s range. The director of “Donnie Brasco” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral” doesn’t paint with the camera; he doesn’t seize on certain visual motifs, as he should, and turn them into the equivalent of a lover’s devotion to fetishes.
  56. The latest minimalist provocation from the infuriating but talented French director Bruno Dumont. [12 April 2004, p. 89]
    • The New Yorker
  57. We are led through a murky and, it must be said, wholly uninvolving saga of substance abuse and related multiple murders. [6 October 2003, p. 138]
    • The New Yorker
  58. There are many unanswered questions here (why, for instance, does Pitt's Grim Reaper seem semi-retarded?), not to mention unintended spasms of comedy; in the end, however, they all get swallowed up in the mush.
  59. The Lovely Bones has been fashioned as a holiday family movie about murder and grief; it’s a thoroughly queasy experience.
  60. The movie is derivative, flat, halfhearted, its squareness unrelieved by irony or fantasy. [3 March 2003, p. 94]
    • The New Yorker
  61. Transcendence is a muddle; it takes more creative energy than this to catch up to the present. [28 April 2014, p.86]
    • The New Yorker
  62. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  63. The Bucket List will quickly be kicked into oblivion, but, at a lifetime-achievement-award ceremony, Nicholson’s tempest will fit nicely into a montage of Crazy Jack moments.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The surprisingly witty script was worked on by a squadron of writers, including Robert Towne.
  64. 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]
    • The New Yorker
  65. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is what my mother would have called a kakabarly--a large, foaming broth into which she emptied the forlorn and highly miscellaneous contents of her icebox.
  66. 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
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    In the more anonymous American setting, and without the mad conviction of a director like John Woo, all the choreographed murder feels dull, poorly paced, and, come to think of it, pretty demented.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Forest Whitaker directed with a slow, sugary touch -- and, one suspects, an eye toward the home-video market.
  67. 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
  68. The hero's restlessness infects the rest of the movie; the story feels febrile and unhappy, and Allen seems to take his dissatisfaction out on his helpless characters--especially the women.
  69. 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
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Sandler lacks any kind of discernible comic energy; he's just meandering around the film waiting for something to happen, and almost nothing funny does.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The car chases are unimpeachable.
  70. Nothing in the movie makes sense, but I prefer to think that Ride Along is just a badly told joke, rather than an insult to its audience.
  71. The movie isn’t a desecration, but it’s action filmmaking, not America, that needs to be reborn.
    • 41 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.
  72. As it is, the movie's lethal climax, with its vague protest against corporate control--and hence in favor of art, music, drugs, or whatever--feels like a poor theft from a more conventional film.
    • 41 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.
  73. The over-all result is a misstep for Fleischer. [21 Jan. 2013, p. 78]
    • The New Yorker
  74. Is it art? Not remotely. But, up to the final scenes, it’s a tremendous piece of engineering. After all, the narratives have to synch up visually, which can’t be easy to manage. And the hurtling force of Vantage Point is fun to watch.
  75. 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.
  76. You have to applaud for sheer folly. This doesn't just reprise another film. It reprises a French film.
  77. The movie is like a monstrous balloon that keeps re-inflating. If Salinger were around, he would reach for a pin.
  78. You may feel safe in your bed, but be warned: even as you sleep, Earth is under threat from a vast, overheated surplus of character actors.
  79. 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
    • 40 Critic Score
    This tale of faith, fate, death, and redemption is non-threatening and also non-inspiring.
  80. The movie takes time to warm up, it weakens into soppiness at the end, and the game itself, if you think it through, makes very little sense.

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