Time Out New York's Scores

  • Movies
For 2,900 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 34% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 64% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Manchester by the Sea
Lowest review score: 0 Vampires Suck
Score distribution:
2900 movie reviews
  1. The film has the look of unflinching truth, yet it too often feels like a calculated ploy to stoke viewers' liberal-guilty consciences.
  2. Missing is Cameron’s signature action modification, best exploited in Aliens: the strapping female heroine. McG’s testosterone-juiced world feels a little doomed without her.
  3. That we never actually meet his Mr. Hyde is an inventive twist, but all the labored explanations (and tedious psychology) that follow the bad behavior and bloodshed make for a serious buzzkill.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Trusting an action drone like Worthington to anchor the human drama is a fatal mistake. With him perched on that narrow slab of concrete, it's only a matter of time before the film plummets.
  4. This routine animated feature is a perfectly fine thing to waste.
  5. A too-pleased-with-itself action comedy.
  6. The satire becomes more scattershot and strangely cuddlesome (didja know sequestered holy men enjoy socializing and playing sports, just like us?), while the usually great Piccoli-saddled with a ridiculously contrived failed-actor backstory-comes off like an unholy mix of Gérard Depardieu and Robin Williams at their sad-puppiest. That's some cinematic blasphemy, Moretti.
  7. The truly mystifying thing about the movie is how desperately it caters to Gen-X junk nostalgia without bothering to think that maybe those Reagan-era kids have grown up a bit.
    • 8 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Provides more groans than laughs.
  8. The 20-year-old Hubble Space Telescope--whose repair mission is the subject of this chronicle--turns out to be a bit of a stage hog, and audiences expecting a blissout of swirling galaxies will wonder why so much time is spent on astronauts sweating over screws and bolts.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Lotz's grudging fortitude provides enough engagement to let you overlook the cracks in the film's facade, but when she cedes the screen to Casper Van Dien's thick-witted police detective, all you can see are the gaps.
  9. A grimy kitchen-sink melodrama with an Ajax cleanser script: The muck is all surface, the turmoil cleanly shallow and contrived, though never less than gripping.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Though the credits include an impressive roster of names, this low-stakes poker hand feels like an undiscovered relic from the early ’90s, and that’s not a good thing.
  10. This is a man-versus-nature parable heavy on the sappy existentialism that's very much of our time. Call it Nicholas Sparks's The Grey.
  11. The more substantial material, including Spitzer's feuds with vindictive New York politician Joe Bruno and financier Ken Langone, gets short shrift.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The spot-on cast almost holds the movie together, but whatever potential this timely premise has is wasted on reworking the same gag about overconsumption.
  12. Fine performers can’t salvage a toxically precious script, though Stone (Zombieland), with her disarming poise, makes a go of it.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Hilariously horrible when it isn't just plain awful.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The writer-director-star still hasn't learned to smoothly blend broad comedy and family-values sermonizing.
  13. You never lose the nagging sense that you're simply watching a high-school drama club's production of '40s fatalism chic.
  14. A slipshod documentary about a fascinating subject: the loaded history and current complications of African-American hairstyling.
  15. Though it holds your attention all the way through to an enigmatic, spiritually tinged climax, the movie leaves you wanting more than the Vega Vidals' secondhand artistry is able to provide.
  16. As it is, this attempt at an Altmanesque ensemble piece feels a little dramatically flat even as it's dazzling your retinas.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Patient Adult Smurfs will be checking their watches as Excitable Child Smurfs lose themselves in the high jinks.
  17. Working with uneven material, the illustrious cast is too often stranded in a realm of tony, high-art camp.
  18. Once this cultural exploration devolves into just a forum for grating geek griping and Jar-Jar Binks hatred, however, you'll wish you could escape to a galaxy far, far away.
  19. After the novelty of these backgrounds and comin'-at-ya bits wears off, Mars Needs Moms has to rely on Fogler's obnoxious Jack Black Jr. shtick, a weak subplot involving a '60s-obsessed Martian graffiti artist (Harnois) and rote video-game-y action sequences to carry it along-and that simply won't cut it.
  20. Despite toggling among the three characters' story lines, the film is barely concerned with the who, what or where of the incidents, much less a deeper why. It simply wants to milk this real-life example of courage (and chaos) under fire for multiplex thrills, reducing everything to a cheap adrenaline rush set to a pulsing soundtrack.
  21. 2 Guns quickly degenerates into boilerplate Hollywood sound and fury, complete with a climactic Mexican standoff that revolves around a massive, burning pile of money. Irony, thou art lost.
  22. The frustratingly artless He Named Me Malala is but the latest of Guggenheim’s paeans to the global need for education
  23. Just because you tart up a typical romantic comedy with trash talk doesn't make it edgy or real.
  24. There’s something admirable about the anything-goes energy that Van Peebles brings to this tall tale, but the amateurishness and Video Toaster–era technical tricks start to grate after a bit. It’s a funky, free-form fairy tale, but one that only a mutha could truly love.
  25. Filmmaker Gérald Hustache-Mathieu has fun recasting Monroevian moments and setting up parallels between the fromage-hawking hottie and the late silver-screen sex symbol - bring on the Miller, DiMaggio and JFK avatars.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Morgan and preteen dybbuk host Calis draw some pathos out of their father-daughter discord, but you can't have a possession without a soul.
  26. Eddie the Eagle may suffice for a brainless Friday night, but an honest account would have been a lot more memorable.
  27. The doc’s most intriguing moment has Summers dropping into a Japanese karaoke bar and singing along to an in-progress Police hit, an affable man wandering through his own legacy.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It's about as deep as an afternoon of people-watching.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The movie spends almost as much time allowing the filmmaker, playing a progressive-minded teacher, to push his students to be better citizens by interviewing homeless people on skid row (!) as it does watching the younger generation trying to get some. It's an uneasy mixture of crude yukking and mixed-message uplift that satisfies on neither level.
  28. Plays like a tiresomely extended evening of channel surfing.
  29. The D Train ultimately generates so few laughs from its thin “be yourself” message that a commendable refusal to gawk at the gay stuff is all that keeps it on track.
  30. Thor accomplishes its essential goal and little else, which is to introduce the mighty warrior to the Marvel screen universe.
  31. It’s too busy pleasing itself with lame references to (among others) Eddie Vedder and Hillary Clinton that suggest the film believes old stuff is funny because, you know, it’s old.
  32. The girls are worth rooting for, but their pursuit is secondary to one sorry-ass dude's redemption. That's a win?
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    In allowing Dreier to shape his own narrative, too many lame excuses are allowed to pass, as the financial schemer spins his own story dangerously close to self-pity.
  33. This 3-D cave-diving adventure plays on a lot of fears, so avoid it if you have an aversion to claustrophobia, drowning or really bad acting.
  34. It's another episodic, shaggy-dog parade of L.A. denizens caught in moderately compromised positions.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    What’s missing is the onstage archival footage that would show us why this humor mattered in the first place—there are only a handful of five-second snippets.
  35. Why introduce two female characters — played by Kate Bosworth and Winona Ryder, both excelling at trashy desperation — if the script’s ultimately going to forget them? The worst sin is visited upon Statham: Sure, those fists fly, but his poetry has become a chopped-up hash.
  36. The story — aside from a climax that plays like a too-knowing rebuke to Disney formula — goes tediously through the motions. It isn’t only Papa Walt’s head that’s been put on ice.
  37. The big absence here is the man himself; Gibney couldn’t get the jailed Abramoff on camera, either due to unwillingness or a Justice Department intervention. Whatever the reason, it’s crippling.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The Fast and the Furious movies haven't exactly gotten better as they've gone along.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    There's one crucial lesson that Baker hasn't absorbed, however: Don't get too caught up in plotting, especially when it involves a man warming to an unwanted child.
  38. Not since a Nam-scarred Sly Stallone asked, "Do we get to win this time?" in "Rambo: First Blood Part II" has an American action star been deployed to rewrite history so thoroughly.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    This rom-com certainly has something old, something borrowed and something blue-the something new, however, is MIA.
  39. Despite the subtitles, it's basically a slice of formulaic Hollywood-style mythmaking, writ large and woefully empty.
  40. No stranger to controversy, Fifth Generation Chinese filmmaker Chen Kaige (Farewell, My Concubine) has always taken his country to task over bureaucratic and social issues; here, the director goes after both old-media exploitation and new-media omnipresence, and the result is less than cutting.
  41. You’re going to find it all either enormously empowering or deeply calculated: an Arcade Fire–scored TV commercial for instant spirituality.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Galella's real crime goes conspicuously unmentioned: feeding the cult of celebrity while stoking a public appetite for empty gossip as news.
  42. Even by low standards, Grudge Match is astonishingly undercooked.
  43. This is the kind of autumnal sentimentality that the Academy goes wild for-a (rightly) venerated performer acknowledging his own mortality by pandering to cheap-seat emotions.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The film fails to latch on to a consistent tone, shifting between scenes of prison life and the struggles of the family matriarch left alone--both of which are a bit too polished--turning a moving story into something emotionally lifeless
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The Americanized version reconfigures the plot as both a hazing ritual for corporate-ladder-climbers and a lazy hook to hang cheap jokes on.
  44. The script—which Jones, Kieran Fitzgerald and Wesley Oliver adapted from Glendon Swarthout's 1988 novel—shifts uneasily between tragedy and comedy.
  45. The 33 makes shameless lunges at religious imagery via ghostly auras and this-is-my-flesh apportioning of daily rations. It feels tacky, and only late in the game does Riggen find the script’s most interesting idea, about unwanted celebrity. Miner story, major fail.
  46. Only Leo, always a dependable supporting actor, turns her character into something resembling a three-dimensional person. Watching her tentatively reconnect with her maternal instincts is a welcome surprise. Everything else here just feels like another descent into mediocre Amerindie miserablism.
  47. "Southland Tales" was a soporific mess, and while The Box (based on material by novelist Richard Matheson) is superior by a certain margin, Kelly derails his newfound discipline with the usual shimmering portals and hazy notions of apocalyptic sacrifice.
  48. Cue those weepy violins. Indeed, you get everything you'd expect from this mostly saccharine melodrama.
  49. A superior and recent take on this material, Robert Greene’s experimental "Kate Plays Christine," is worth seeking out, both for its sympathy and deeper grasp of Chubbuck’s unknowable pain. Ironically, Christine’s director Antonio Campos (Afterschool) is capable of exactly that kind of riskiness, but the instinct abandons him here.
  50. The film's final moments, in which we discover the source of the film’s intrusive, patronizing voiceover, are simply vile. The result is like stuffing yourself with Christmas pudding: sweet, glutinous, a bit too much.
  51. This can't be a faithful facsimile of the literary phenomenon currently turning soccer moms into Scandinoir crackheads. Nor can ethical journalist Mikael (Nyqvist), an uncoverer of conspiracies, actually be the dull, Windbreakered nonaction hero onscreen.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Dime-store philosophy, coupled with the running commentary from the Games’ heinously Spicoli-esque announcers (“Dude, that was the hardest slam we’ve ever seen!”), ruins an otherwise gripping, in-your-face experience.
  52. Sontag’s true talent was for the printed word; behind the camera, her limitations come more harshly to light. Upon Promised Land’s release, she recounted her experiences in Vogue--an all-too-appropriate forum since her film is mostly chic posturing.
  53. The movie you were hoping to avoid.
  54. Apart from a hi-def night-vision gimmick, returning directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman don't take advantage of either upgrade.
  55. It's entertainment designed to resemble a good time without aspiring to provide one.
  56. So it's the story of a down-and-out bigwig vindicating himself by revising his crowning cultural moment. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.
  57. Cake chokes you on its self-seriousness, even as it trots out potentially interesting supporting players.
  58. Only jackanapes and jackasses would deny that the experience of war can cause psychic damage, but does that mean we have to sit through such a schematic, dogmatic melodrama about the subject?
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    While Jumping the Broom showcases rarely depicted class issues within the black community, the film still relies on wince-inducing stereotypes to delineate them.
  59. Porterfield has proved he can do grit and atmosphere. Should the young director ever decide to channel this talent into storytelling with purpose and a point, he might be someone to watch out for.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    If Stevenson's performance were equal to his mammoth physique, the movie might have a shot, but even his broad shoulders aren't up to carrying this much dead weight.
  60. In using the urban poor and the queer community as punch lines, Casi Divas ultimately succumbs to its own criticism.
  61. The film slowly loses the sobering toughness of its initial inquiry, and finally comes off as bloodline-biased hagiography.
  62. Given how prominent the postcard sultriness of her backdrop is compared with the story's emotional ping-pong, all she ends up with is a kinder, chicer Adrian Lyne movie.
  63. A proper profile of Hefner would start and end with sex, and not merely glance on casualties like Dorothy Stratten (and even the loveless Hef himself). The movie can't seem to get it up.
  64. Fading out long before it’s able to cohere into anything memorable, Song One has its heart in the right place (on its sleeve)—it’s just in desperate need of a few strong hooks.
  65. Strange Powers works best when inadvertently capturing the toll of living in the shadow of a genius. When it comes to examining the genius himself, it's woefully out of tune.
  66. No viewer goes into this movie expecting John Cassavetes's "Husbands," least of all from soft-serve director Denis Dugan (You Don't Mess with the Zohan).
  67. Please. If you're going to ask audiences to submit to a dim theater themselves, at least greet them with the proper monster they paid for.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The film and its young cast exude a charismatic irreverence, yet a hazy, perfunctory mood dulls the playful proceedings.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Its only remarkable quality is how much less appealing our wimpy hero seems when lifted off the page.
  68. Jolie must eventually become a comic-book supergirl impervious to explosions and bullets, all the better to set up a "Bourne"-like franchise by the final fade-out.
  69. Once Miller lays all his cards on the table, however, you realize you haven’t been watching people struggling with the very real temptations of unchecked privilege, so much as fumbling blindly in a glib, gloomy satire of American exceptionalism.
  70. The director races far too quickly to get to his ashes-to-ashes, dust-to-dust punch line. This is the film of a pretender, not a believer.
  71. One wrongheaded jaw-dropper follows another.
  72. Never is the material excited into the kind of playful uncertainty that Rivette all but trademarked; the inertness of the performances robs the movie of spirit.
  73. Controversially, Escrivá started the Opus Dei, and There Be Dragons is best appreciated by those seeking more realism than the albino self-whipper of "The Da Vinci Code."
  74. It gets bogged down in slo-mo indie quirk when it should be faster, more in our face.
    • 20 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    There's an interesting idea about the way people assume wildly disparate personalities to please different sexual partners, but the flaccid execution of this promiscuous–New Yorkers circle jerk is more worthy of the clap than a round of applause.
  75. Hop
    The various plot threads-E.B. is pursued by a trio of ass-kickingly cute long-eared operatives; a disgruntled worker chick (voiced in emphatic Telemundo tones by Hank Azaria) orchestrates a coup d'état-mostly get lost amid all the allusions. Even Hugh Hefner pops up because, you know, Playboy Bunnies.

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