Vanity Fair's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 115 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 55% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 41% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Roma
Lowest review score: 10 The Happytime Murders
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 91 out of 115
  2. Negative: 5 out of 115
115 movie reviews
  1. The shivery crazy moments land, and a surprisingly emotional beat at the close of the film does, too. As nutty and off-the-wall as Suspiria is, it has a firm sense of control and proportion. It’s a loose and rambly thing that’s also tightly made, somehow.
  2. What works best about Mid90s is what’s casual about it—but what makes it verge on being genuinely original is all the weirdo stuff at the margins, which is too pronounced to be subtext and too minimally handled to really mean something to the movie.
  3. Dano shows technical promise as a director, but I hope his taste in material has a bit more range. Now that he’s gotten a rather passionless passion project out of his system, hopefully he’ll lift his gaze up in search of other, more vibrant lives—out there in the vastness, hungry for perfect lighting.
  4. Directed by documentarian Matthew Heineman, no stranger to war-torn lands himself, A Private War casts a bracingly intimate gaze, and yet sometimes has the tinny, expositional clank of based-on-a-true-story cinema.
  5. It doesn’t wring its hands with grief and beatify its rumpled subjects. Instead, it arrives at a place of humble, true understanding. Which means more than mere forgiveness ever could.
  6. Trite as it may sound, we gradually accept that the beautiful boy of the title is not some innocent child, lost to the past, but rather the real and imperfect young man hunched before us. It’s Chalamet’s great accomplishment, and the film’s, that we feel that so keenly.
  7. I remain as curious as ever to see what Goddard does next. But this film, for all its canny presentation, is a mishmash of compelling narrative premises clumsily fused together. It manages to be both overwrought and under-developed, disappointing less for what it is than for what it could have been.
  8. Jenkins can find the humor and bleached-out irony in something as sterile as a hospital’s oppressively white walls—it’s a true talent. Let’s not wait another decade to get more of it.
  9. For several weird stretches, though, Venom is a bouncy good time. The movie doesn’t seem to care if you’re laughing with it, at it, or whatever. Just as long as you’re engaged, rollicking along as it doles out fan-service while still making a gleeful hash of so many serious franchise movies about very silly things.
  10. This is a fast and lean film, an absolute workout for its outstanding cast and a devilish roller coaster ride for audiences. It’s funny, disturbing, cringeworthy, nerve-wracking and, for some, will feel a little too realistic.
  11. Fahrenheit 11/9 does what Moore has done best, or at least most, throughout his career. It’s a sprawling, big-mouthed, big-hearted mess of a polemic, equal parts righteously impassioned and unforgivably dubious. It’s a rip-roaring airing of grievances from a man who has only ever used his substantial platform to get shit off of his chest.
  12. The movie seems to be a study of the artificial limits we put on our desires—and the ways those desires naturally betray us. This being Denis, she of course goes above and beyond merely exposing those limits; she must also, of course, expose the audience’s limits in the process.
  13. The film is rich with male feelings and even manages to have a sense of humor about its own sadness. Phoenix is fine here—his usual loose cannon—as is Gyllenhaal, whose educated snob routine doesn’t overplay its hand an inch. Though I’m tempted to launch a federal investigation into his mutt of an accent. But it’s Reilly who really carries the movie.
  14. It’s interested in the continuum between then and now—and in the ways our own knowledge of community, and of ourselves in the world, can determine how we embody the lives of others. It’s the consummate act of empathy: restoring the past by bringing it to bear, in a real way, on our own lives.
  15. McQueen has made a film that’s sleek and muscular, a polished product that has a barb-wire ribbon of tenacious political fury running through it. It’s somehow both heavy and light, a giddy entertainment that still urges at deep social ills.
  16. What Jenkins gets most right—what astonishes me the most about this film—is Baldwin’s vast affection for the broad varieties of black life. It’s one of the signature lessons of Baldwin’s work that blackness contains multitudes.
  17. Support the Girls is not a comedy merely because it’s funny (which it is), or because its tumultuous rhythm throws these women’s lives out of whack. It’s a comedy because, without laughter, there’d be no getting by.
  18. It doesn’t take a dystopian future or a sci-fi bent to present a teenage girl who faces enormous stakes and near-constant potential for violence, and The Hate U Give represents Hollywood’s first real ability to recognize that.
  19. When it hits its highest, most resonant notes, Bradley Cooper’s remake of A Star Is Born—starring the director alongside pop icon Lady Gaga—achieves a triumphant, romantic ache that is often just what we want to experience at the movies.
  20. The Favourite is a pleasure to watch. It’s weird without being alienating, dirty without being cheap. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a better acting trio this fall. What fun The Favourite is, while still striking a few resonantly melancholy chords here and there.
  21. Beyond that interesting character profile, Free Solo also operates as a sort of meta criticism of this kind of documentary filmmaking. We see Chin and his crew, most of them friends or at least affectionate admirers of Honnold’s, grapple with the difficult realities—and the potential trauma—of what they’re doing.
  22. There are indeed stretches of the film—particularly its gripping and just a little miserable opening sequence—when it soars (argh, sorry) to cinema heaven (ack, sorry again). But a lot of the movie has a curious drag, scenes repeating and repeating in slightly tweaked shapes until you just want to yell at the screen, “Get to the moon already!”
  23. Joel Edgerton’s earnest, solidly made film will be most effective on, and maybe necessary for, those immediately suffering under the crush of anti-gay bigotry, and those perpetrating it.
  24. This period epic...is so full of dazzlingly intricate visual poetry, so teeming with sensory spirit, that trying to review it is a bit like trying to review all of life. Which may sound a bit grandiose, but Cuarón’s magnum opus provokes such turgid sentiment.
  25. Mostly, the cat-and-mouse of Lowery’s film is just reason enough to contemplate the shuffling everydayness of life, of how we are ever aware of its finality while also tending to, seeking out, and appreciating the little joys, mercies, and adventures of it.
  26. In a world full of images—full of people recording themselves and their friends doing dumb shit, or documenting attractive versions of themselves—Bing’s movie stands out for the complexity of its integrity, and its ability to reveal his own experiences empathically.
  27. Not a single bit lands in The Happytime Murders.
  28. Hawke and Byrne have a nice chemistry, handling an offbeat and initially epistolary romance with wary sweetness. Juliet, Naked is surprising in its emotional contours, hitting familiar beats from different angles or, occasionally, taking the story in wholly unexpected directions.
  29. I wouldn’t call The Wife middling, exactly—but for all its soapy seriousness, it can’t match the genuine heft of Close’s craftwork.
  30. Jon M. Chu’s film certainly delivers on the lavish trappings of the former interpretation, but if the latter is meant to be the mood of the film, it falls a little short. I wanted things to be a little crazier, I guess, wild high-society intrigue staged with the satisfying bite of mean, wicked satire.

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