Vanity Fair's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 104 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 57% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 40% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 If Beale Street Could Talk
Lowest review score: 10 Bright
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 83 out of 104
  2. Negative: 5 out of 104
104 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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!”
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Not a single bit lands in The Happytime Murders.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. The Meg is bad, but only rarely in the fun way.
  21. Pooh and his animal pals are wonderfully subtle feats of animation, textured so carefully that you can almost smell the cozy, woodsy mustiness of their matted fur.
  22. McKinnon is all excess, all the time, and The Spy Who Dumped Me—a solid comedy, overall—gives us another chance to bask in that.
  23. The pleasure and terror of Dark Web is, as it turns out, its unpredictability.
  24. Washington...absolutely has a keen sense of his character. It’s there in every skeptical cock of his head, every sly, knowing grimace. But The Equalizer 2 is too much of a dull slog for any of that to pop with Washington’s usual ace charisma. The movie is a bog; Washington’s merely wading through it.
  25. The pleasures of Ol Parker’s film are simple and sensual, its riot of color and sweet, nostalgic songs proving wholly agreeable even without much of a plot to hold it all together.
  26. In ragged times, the sophisticated derring-do of Fallout is a welcome gift, a slick and studio-polished adventure that nonetheless has the undermining wink of transgression. The movie’s nerve and moxie successfully make us forget its corporate overlords, and all those other oligarchs grinding millions of American lives into nothing.
  27. Sorry to Bother You is a surreal ride.
  28. It’s chiefly a diversion put on for the sake of air-conditioning, an inelegant but efficient excuse to leave the swelter of our lives behind for a little under two hours. Johnson knows why we’re there, and he performs his heaving acrobatics with dutiful grace. How wondrously uncomplicated and giving he can be. Daddy really does love us, doesn’t he.
  29. The First Purge is very clearly nonsense, and it’s not ashamed of that—nor should it be. Every so often, that nonsense stumbles into a surprising idea, a striking image, or something else worth clinging to when you leave the theater.
  30. The results are, understandably, thrilling at times, because violence is thrilling—vengeance even more so. But what it adds up to is a chaotic, misbegotten mess.

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