Time Out New York's Scores

  • Movies
For 2,542 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 32% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 66% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 A Man Escaped (1956)
Lowest review score: 0 Vampires Suck
Score distribution:
2,542 movie reviews
  1. Strangely enough, our knowledge of what’s to come makes Word Is Out that much more affecting, because it shows that there were—and are—pockets of peace amid the brutality of an ongoing civil-rights struggle.
  2. Voyage to Italy is the kind of movie that makes those unhappily in love feel understood. And even if that’s not you (congratulations), it’s still possible to groove on Rossellini’s stranger-in-a-strange-land psychodrama.
  3. Unshakable, witty and deeply felt, the film will be paying emotional dividends for a long, long time.
  4. Shoah's ultimate legacy, however, is being the final word on the Final Solution-one that renders every well-intentioned dramatic re-creation of such horrors into repulsive Ausch-kitsch by comparison.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Even this early in his career, Godard knew how to make audiences viscerally experience and contemplate things they might otherwise not have wanted to.
  5. Though McQueen continues to work his themes of suffering and spiritual transcendence, this unflinching, unforgiving drama is not about a slave, but about slavery itself.
  6. Cuarón, a magician who brought personality to the Harry Potter series, is after pure, near-experimental spectacle.
  7. The meanings of Close-Up shift, subtly and profoundly, with every viewing; the only certainty is that its rewards are boundless.
  8. It's a grandly entertaining reminder of everything we used to go to the movies for (and still can't get online): sparkling dialogue, thorny situations, soulful performances, and an unusually open-ended and relevant engagement with a major social issue of the day: how we (dis)connect.
  9. The details are gripping, presented with respect for an audience's intelligence.
  10. The drama it might remind you most of, oddly enough, is "Six Degrees of Separation," also about the snowballing connections between unlikely people. And as in that urban clash, the bedrock of it all is social responsibility, ever crumbling and rebuilding. A total triumph.
  11. That’s the subtle level this movie operates on, and by the time it arrives at its powerhouse climax, a ruinous argument in a hotel room where all lingering doubts are finally and furiously outed, there’s nowhere left for them to ramble. They’re pinned down and have to improvise, but this glorious movie has infinite space to roam.
  12. This colorful, cranium-bursting film isn’t about one specific tale so much as the endless ways you can present narratives; it’s nothing less than a kitchen-sink deconstruction on the art of storytelling.
  13. It's far from a definitive statement-why does ACT UP, a seminal presence in SF, get such short shrift? - but this oral history provides a righteous cri de coeur for those who perished in the precocktail era.
  14. Though it runs an epic five-and-a-half hours (it was made for French TV), Carlos books like no film since "Goodfellas." You will not be bored, ever.
  15. It's not an easy sit; we're never let off the hook with golden-hued memories or belated bits of wisdom. Maybe this is love after all.
  16. Rohmer has a genius for taking a seemingly mundane situation and slowly tightening the screws.
  17. But mainly, it’s the film’s folk music that roots in the heart like a faraway lure.
  18. To fall in love with it, viewers only have to be receptive to a movie that examines the ties that bind with grace, wit and depth.
  19. It is the richly evocative performances of Marion (aggressive yet enticing) and Merhar (wearing world-weariness like an aged suit) that cut deepest.
  20. Clearly, Pixar’s genius for adventurous storytelling continues unabated.
  21. Remains a primo example that cinema actually traffics in truthiness 24 frames per second.
  22. Love Is Strange emerges as a total triumph for Sachs and his co-leads, John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, who, despite lengthy filmographies, turn in career-topping work. a sensitive domestic tragedy about the finite nature of any union.
  23. 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.
  24. Watching the first hour of I Was Born, But… (unspooling with a bright, new piano score by Donald Sosin) might remind you of a subdued “Our Gang” skit, and not unpleasantly.
  25. Polley has gone further into the thorny subject of forgiveness than any of her peers. Her movies ache with ethical quandary; Stories We Tell aches the most.
  26. You'll be arguing with your friends about the ethics of secrecy and defense for hours; that's what makes these exit interviews so essential. They come late to the spy game, but are welcome regardless.
  27. There's influential, and then there's this 1953 microbudgeted beauty, one that's made its way into the DNA of everything from cinema vérité to the French New Wave.
  28. Why do we care? Because never before have the steps to thugdom, as depressing as that destination may be, been so rigorously detailed, neither romanticized nor negated. Don’t miss.
  29. Again, Granik has foregrounded a bold woman, expertly balanced between fearlessness and Ree's own private nervousness.
  30. Her
    It’s a tale of lonely souls and literalized online dating, and you assume filmmaker Spike Jonze will characteristically mix high-concept absurdism with heartfelt notions. Unexpectedly, the latter dominates, thanks in no small part to Phoenix’s nuanced, open-book performance.
  31. Thus comes My Perestroika's most sophisticated idea: Day-to-day family struggles have a way of trumping even the most profound political change. Don't miss this.
  32. Sure it is - and a great one at that.
  33. A dynamite crime comedy and identity meltdown that can rekindle one’s faith in movies.
  34. Fortunately, Oppenheimer keeps the film focused on the highly complicated Anwar — a charismatic devil if ever there was one — observing as this strange reckoning with the past slowly breaks down his defenses.
  35. Ida
    Pawlikowski’s film may be bleak and unforgiving, but it’s also richly sympathetic and deeply moving.
  36. A paranoid police procedural, a perverse parable about the corrupting elements of power, and a candidate for the greatest predated Patriot Act movie ever, Elio Petri's stunning thriller makes no attempt to hide the culprit behind the film's grisly murder.
  37. We are in the presence of a new classic.
  38. Yun is quite simply spectacular as a woman who holds steadfastly on to her dignity and empathy, even in the face of unspeakable tragedy.
  39. A fascinating experiment is about to happen, and who doesn't want to be part of a little fun? That rarest of birds - a b&w silent film - is set to swoop into multiplexes. Trust us, it won't bite.
  40. The Arbor's pummeling second half begins with the collapse of its celebrity subject; the following spirals of self-destruction make you suspect that some childhoods are simply too hard to escape. Tough, worthy stuff.
  41. It will test your faith in humanity, but Hersonski's film is nonetheless a brilliant reminder of the importance of bearing witness.
  42. On purely formal grounds (the ones on which the genre lives or dies), Kent is a natural. She favors crisp compositions and unfussy editing, transforming the banal house itself into a subtle, shadowy threat.
  43. The rich atmosphere of the movie may be the sexiest thing about it: It’s no wonder these women breathe in the air of possibility and find themselves imbued with boldness.
  44. Our fury is never directed toward concrete solutions, and that allows the guilty parties to slip, perhaps permanently, from our grasp.
  45. Firth is exceptional in letting us into his dissolving pride.
  46. The auteur’s style — dramatic zooms, winking symmetry — is balanced against a newfound political context; this one’s his "To Be or Not to Be."
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Alternating between stunning fixed takes and quick you-are-there camera movements, Bill and Turner Ross's portrait of their tiny Ohio hmetown (the title is its zip code) weaves a hypnotic tapestry out of everyday banalities.
  47. Push any guy long enough with alcohol and aggressive masculinity, the film suggests, and you'll find an XY-chromosomed predator lurking behind the mask.
  48. Its historical import as a peripheral civil-rights document can't be understated.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The movie's true brilliance comes from its portrayal of how the world curls around you in the grip of heartache-every song on the radio, every face you see, every story you're told reflecting only what you've lost.
  49. Either via clay dolls or fragile flesh, the truth is unmissable—as is Panh’s film itself.
  50. You could spend a lifetime peeling the glass onion of Shirley Clarke’s merciless documentary, in which a born performer drops incinerating truth bombs while putting the con in confessional moviemaking.
  51. Unusually moving (not only to stray film critics in your crowd), director Steve James's keen profile of the late, great Roger Ebert works both as a compact appreciation of the reviewer's vast public impact, as well as an unflinching peak into a cancer patient's final months, fraught with pain, hope and constant treatment.
  52. Rarely do movies-never mind foreign ones, of any nationality - explore an honest-to-God ethical quandary. Elena, in its concentrated austerity, often resembles a lost chapter of Krzysztof Kieslowski's Ten Commandments–themed Decalogue.
  53. Redford, already a giant, has never been more suggestive. His character’s misadventure — might be a kind of cosmic penance. It’s the salvation of the moviegoing year.
  54. What you see and hear always seems perfectly natural, even if you can't exactly say why. Who needs words when you have cinema?
  55. Those Dardenne brothers…still making great movies with second-nature ease.
  56. The final Harry Potter movie, above all others, supplies Radcliffe with the gravitas of not just an epic story come to completion, but some real dramatic heft. Not so bad for a Hogwarts dropout.
  57. The most gratifying thing about the film is feeling Moodysson’s warmth return to him.
  58. Particle Fever is that rare, exhilarating science doc that’s neither dumbed down nor drabbed up.
  59. An epic indictment of media manipulation, this avant-doc delivers its coup de grâce once the camera finally demands accountability - leaving the disgraced despot staring into the lens, and the abyss of history staring back into him.
  60. Best of all, filmmaker Bennett Miller (Capote) uses this brainiac sports movie to remind viewers that money is neither the measure of a man nor the ultimate assessment of quality; it's a myopic metric based on past accomplishments rather than future potential. After all, success isn't always about the home runs so much as just getting on base - again, and again, and again.
  61. Creepy doesn't begin to describe these masterworks of control freakery, nor does beautiful - they look as if they're glowing from the inside out, even as Crewdson's scenes of furtive common people make viewers feel like voyeurs.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There is always an interesting tension in Cameron's work between masculine and feminine qualities. When it finally hits the fan here, we're in for the mother of all battles.
  62. A classically structured rampage that bears serious comparison to the definitive greats of Akira Kurosawa, 13 Assassins will floor connoisseurs of action, mood and the dignity of a pissed-off scowl.
  63. The best style has a purpose to it, and Russian Ark, in its hypnotic, endless swirl, gets at a deep truth of the post-Soviet psyche, haunted by its legacy of czarist rule and Stalin-era sacrifice. The film is a sad home for ghosts.
  64. Defiantly intellectual, complex and true to the shifting winds of real-world governance, Lincoln is not the movie that this election season has earned-but one that a more perfect union can aspire to.
  65. The Tillman Story balances cynical and inspirational aspects in equal measure. Pat's demise-and the media debacle around it-seems that much more tragic and enraging.
  66. You could hardly ask for a more beautiful vision of souls in transit.
  67. If the overall effect of Nebraska’s father-son bonding and attention-must-be-paid pathos doesn’t quite have the zing of the filmmaker’s best work, he’s certainly got an ace in the hole.
  68. Never quite shakes its sitcom-ish setup. The director alternates incident-laden storytelling with penetrating character moments that her terrific cast acts to the fullest.
  69. Cave of Forgotten Dreams feels stuck in a middling zone of too much conjecture and not enough scholarship.
  70. The true value of the film is universal: These kids study the knotty viral science, pressure doctors into taking daring, inventive steps and make their cause a global emblem.
  71. Despite being the subject of nearly every shot in the film, Hoss maintains an air of mystery, simultaneously projecting severity, sensitivity and sensuousness throughout.
  72. Godly as the monks are, they are still human-which makes their ultimate sacrifice all the more devastating.
  73. If Marcello Mastroianni’s character from "La Dolce Vita" hadn’t stepped off the sweet-life treadmill, this is exactly who he would have become.
  74. Shindô concocts a stylistic mix of odd experimental flourishes, female nudity, Soviet-style close-ups and baldly sentimental melodrama to emphasize the toll this disaster took; its cup may runneth over, yet the stark vibe is impossible to shake.
  75. Not a bad setup for a cops-and-robbers thriller, and in the hands of action-movie maestro Johnnie To, the result comes very close to greatness.
  76. No performances stand out, which is a shame given Affleck's track record with actors. Ultimately, it comes down to a chase to the airport, with a scary Revolutionary Guardsman at the gate.
  77. I'd trade much of The Master for one extraordinary moment played by the ever-improving Amy Adams, in front of the bathroom mirror with Hoffman.
  78. Andersen makes humorous hay out of the stark home designs of Richard Neutra — only suitable, it seems, for drug dealers.
  79. A first-rate piece of forensic filmmaking.
  80. The attention to visuals is above and beyond what most vérité is capable of; doing double duty as the film's cinematographer, Fan demonstrates a pitch-perfect photojournalistic eye.
  81. How can a movie so steeped in post-Katrina imagery eschew even the smallest comment about social responsibility? Maybe that was deemed too earnest, a decision that makes zero sense when a twinkling score is ladled on like instant pathos. Real people aren't beasts, nor do they require starry-eyed glorification. Bring your liberal pity.
  82. The movie skips along episodically; it's not quite as sharp as a war narrative needs to be, even if its nightmarish psychology feels spot-on.
  83. None of this is pushed into comic relief—the filmmaker lets his drama play out with gentleness — and you smile at the many evolutions.
  84. Very little gets in the way of Lebanon's apocalyptic mood; if it turns its audience even slightly away from barbarism, it might have done its job.
  85. A moving meditation on history, knowledge and mortality.
  86. That rarest of art documentaries, one that actually leaves viewers with a better sense of the gifted versus the phony.
  87. Lone Scherfig directs it all as if it were a breezy lark, so a third-act tonal shift makes for an incongruous, excessively moralistic fit with everything that’s preceded. Most insulting, though, is the way in which the climactic passages miraculously tidy up every frayed edge of Jenny’s life.
  88. The Cold War is over, but director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In) and his collaborators have brought those suspicion-fueled days to vivid life in this masterful adaptation of John le Carré's beloved 1974 spy novel.
  89. Almost as an afterthought to the ringingly true performances--and Marco Bellocchio’s unusually approachable direction--comes a deft analysis of fascism, likened to lovesickness, insanity and a gust of orchestral strings. It’s all of that and more, not to mention a lousy matchmaker.
  90. Nichols has said that the idea for the film emerged from a free-floating anxiety that he sensed in the world at large, the feeling that everything we treasure in life could be lost in an instant. That sensation permeates this strikingly original movie - especially its enigmatic mind-fuck of a finale, which will haunt you for several lifetimes.
  91. Sokurov, who also acted as director of photography, films the character and his surroundings with the eye of a newly arrived visitor to another world.
  92. It’s almost impossible to describe the narrative specifics of The Past without making the movie seem ridiculously hammy. Indeed, several twists involving Samir, a dry cleaner with plenty of his own troubles, tip a bit into hoary melodramatics.
  93. Stripped to a minimum of editorializing (but, like "The Hurt Locker," flush with sympathy), this Afghanistan-shot war documentary takes its cues from the unblinking style of cinema verité.
  94. The Tree of Life enthralls right from the start.
  95. Rousing, devastating, invigorating, painful, joyful, soulful--all those adjectives don’t even begin to describe Passing Strange, but it’s a start.
  96. Meek's Cutoff has found its passionate defenders, those who admire it almost because of its meandering, heavily politicized nature. Yet you might try it-and try it again-and still only grab a handful of dust.

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