Vanity Fair's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 224 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 49% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 If Beale Street Could Talk
Lowest review score: 10 Bright
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 224
224 movie reviews
  1. Technically speaking, Dolittle is a film made for children. So we should probably mostly view it through that lens. In that regard, the movie is perfectly okay.
  2. If In Fabric is initially hindered by the literalism of Strickland's vision, it still manages to prove irritatingly suspenseful, at times even pleasurably shocking.
  3. The mysteries of Atlantics, and there are plenty, are rooted in the question of what the lives of those men were worth—and of what, just as urgently, the life of a young woman like Ada might be worth, accordingly. But Diop’s approach to that question is elliptical, borne of a plot that mixes genres, religious superstitions, and the modernity of the cell phone age, into something wily and unpredictable.
  4. Jewell, to its credit, is anchored by one of the more complex heroes in Eastwood’s canon. But I’m still not certain it finds the most cutting or convincing path through this story.
  5. The film never obscures what it’s about. This is, after all, the story of a martyr. But because it’s recounted by a director whose cosmic visions are deliberately meted out through the most minute details, things most other films overlook—the ephemera of everyday experience, the gestures, glances, and sudden flights of feeling that define us without our even recognizing them in the moment—it all feels that much more particular.
  6. We’re served both the galvanization and the despair, the victories eked out bit by painful bit and the looming defeat, as an implacable monolith dismisses puny mortal concerns like so many gnats. It’s tough stuff, but it’s worthy stuff too.
  7. It’s an ugly stray who smells bad and should not be invited into your home, certainly. And yet it is its own kind of living creature, worthy of at least some basic compassion.
  8. It’s a turgid rush toward a conclusion I don’t think anyone wanted, not the people upset about whatever they’re upset about with The Last Jedi (I feel like it has something to do with Luke being depressed, and with women having any real agency in this story) nor any of the more chill franchise devotees who just want to see something engaging.
  9. 1917 is a rattling wonder of form, an audacious undertaking that nonetheless bobbles or cheats on a few occasions.
  10. It’s a paean to the loving of a thing, rather than a movie that gives that thing an entirely new existence, free-standing and self-possessed in its own right, despite Gerwig’s narrative tinkering.
  11. While I admire the movie’s attempt to more deeply mine the identities of sister-princesses Anna (sweet, non-magical) and Elsa (restless, can control snow and ice), its discoveries are rushed and are served up half-baked.
  12. A part-clever, part-misshapen global caper, Charlie’s Angels—like Stewart—connects a few solid kicks in all its flailing.
  13. Last Christmas is not good. It’s not terrible, exactly, but it has the dismaying, tinny rattle of a thing not living up to its potential.
  14. There are personal fragments of interest here; it’s useful to see how a man like Bannon narrates the story of himself, mythologizes himself, if only for the glimpses of worldview that sneak through in his presentation of the details. But the failure of Morris’s film is that it snuffs so much of that out.
  15. What I found uniquely depressing about Dark Fate, though, is how resigned it is to the reality of its title. How it organizes itself as a paean to tireless scramble and triage, to the fight not for something better but for less of something worse. It’s a bitterly pessimistic film. It may be a realistic one, too.
  16. Aaron Paul scintillates, once more, as his Breaking Bad character.
  17. Lucy in the Sky is an odd curio, a drama that’s forlornly funny, a comedy of social manners with a howling desperation fueling its engine. I admire the balance that Hawley tries to strike, between the mundane and the sublime.
  18. I found myself reluctantly taken by the movie, and the way Scorsese uses it to maybe, just a little bit, atone for some of his own past blitheness about violence. In The Irishman, a merry darkness slowly becomes an elegy, ringed with guilt. And what could be more Irish than that?
  19. The purpose of the fine-grained emotional details keeps getting scrubbed out of Waves as its runtime wears on and reconciliation feels increasingly imminent. The observations are sharp, but the attitudes and arcs that they paint feel overly simple.
  20. It succeeds by sticking closely to the important specifics ... It’s a small-scale human story, precious few of which make it to film these days. It’s also, if you’re in the market for that kind of thing, an extremely effective tearjerker.
  21. It doesn’t have the polish or prestige of your typical Oscar movie ... But there’s a tension at work in Harriet that’s missing from other, “better” movies. ... It’s also a vaster and in many ways wilder film than it will get credit for, a movie that leans into the excitement of Tubman’s mission so energetically it almost morphs into a heist picture, dredging up odd romantic and religious energies along the way.
  22. Yes, it is the cool stripper-robber movie with the awesome cast. But it’s also a true movie for our era, teeming with the confusion and yearning and risk of life right now. It’s a deeply humane film, one that finds celebration, and illumination, in the dark spaces where so many grind.
  23. Winning and funny, while also a bit surface-level and predictable, it is an excellent case for the twin powers of Feldstein and Caitlin Moran, the author who adapted her own autobiographical novel to the screen. But it also fails to make the best use of either woman; Feldstein is significantly hampered by a working class British accent, while Moran’s unforgettable comic voice doesn’t come through nearly enough.
  24. It’s the sort of movie that gives nearly every character a thoughtful closeup before, somewhat fantastically, bringing most of them back together at the end for a tender sendoff.
  25. Jojo Rabbit has little to say about any of the things it dredges up, beyond the obvious.
  26. There is something undeniably exciting about seeing a polished piece of studio-ish entertainment like this be cognizant of the world it exists in.
  27. Bad Education (which honestly isn’t a great title for this movie) is an arresting, nuanced depiction of insatiable want, of the bitter fact that reaching for things is often more instinctual, more human, than holding on to what we’ve already got.
  28. It feels at times like a Tracy Jordan spoof of a movie, and not always for the better. But that doesn’t stop Dolemite from being funny, or from giving Murphy room to do the things he likes to do.
  29. I wish all of Tartt’s tender and moving allegory—the way she pours the density of growth and regret into a solid thing that can pass hands—had space to bloom in the film. It doesn’t, and I left the film appreciative of its style and strong performances, but not emotionally altered in any lingering way.
  30. It’s a rousing and moving enough film that one is compelled to excuse the limits of its artistry.

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