Vanity Fair's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 72 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 58% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 38% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Phantom Thread
Lowest review score: 10 Justice League
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 72
  2. Negative: 4 out of 72
72 movie reviews
  1. But the real star of this thing is Clemons, so natural and expressive, whether speaking or singing.
  2. From a certain angle, Incredibles 2 looks a little too slavish to creaky conventions.
  3. For roughly its first half, Hotel Artemis glides nicely on all of Pearce’s world-building and the cast’s confident performances. But as the power flickers at the Artemis and dangerous foes close in, the movie starts to wobble. Pearce has maybe put too many variables in play and has trouble connecting them into a unified narrative.
  4. Ocean’s 8 is fun. The sequel (of sorts) to Steven Soderbergh’s three Ocean’s films, this time with a mostly female cast of smooth criminals, is a lark and a laugh, an airy caper featuring a bunch of actors you love and a lot of great clothes. Who can argue with that, in June or any other time of year? In that way, Ocean’s 8 is a worthy continuation of a hallowed brand. So, breathe a sigh of relief. There’s no disaster here, no regrettable misfire to be chagrined about. Phew. That said, I do wish Ocean’s 8 were a little more than fun.
  5. Layton’s portentous style does the story no favors. It’s all mood, mood, mood: sharp angles, dark interiors, long pauses, and quietly thrumming background music.
  6. A more thoughtful and interesting film than its immediate predecessor.
  7. Schrader’s film is a wise, shocking, intellectually prodigious masterpiece. It’s a classic Schrader slow burn that seems to reach, in its final moments, for the impossible.
  8. A chewy, handsomely staged novel of a movie, Sorry Angel (whose much better French title translates to Pleasure, Love, and Run Fast) contains moments of piercing intelligence and heartbreaking beauty. It’s an epic diptych look at two lives converging, one in many ways just beginning, the other faltering to a close. I was absolutely in love with it—until the very end.
  9. If the film is uneven—with such an exuberant beginning and disappointingly rote climax—that may simply be because Kahiu wanted to communicate as many truths of her home country as she could.
  10. Sauvage is often difficult viewing, and Leo tries our patience and compassion as anyone habitually treating themselves so poorly can. Nevertheless, the film achieves a sort of grace, in moments of sweetness and stillness, when the fullness of Leo’s being—be it ravaged and weary—is palpable and, finally, undeniable.
  11. Mitchell has made a stylish, occasionally intriguing film, by turns idiosyncratically funny and downright scary. But he says and shows a lot of bothersome things throughout, which I’m not quite sure how to approach.
  12. Bergen is consistently the best part of Book Club: natural, dryly funny, and, in a non-pitying way, quietly heartbreaking.
  13. The House That Jack Built is a tediously navel-gazing exercise in von Trier trying to explain, and make half-hearted atonement for, his “totally twisted, man,” worldview, an explication of his personal psychology that is almost heartbreaking in its conflicted self-regard.
  14. Clarke, too, shines as a woman who’s made sacrifices Han cannot imagine. To the extent that the movie is a western at heart, its smartest, subtlest influence is the Joan Crawford classic Johnny Guitar, about a woman who makes her way in the Wild West against all odds, and in the face of all morality.
  15. Lee uses Blaxploitation motifs playfully but with purpose, honoring an era of discourse and activism while urging for the necessity of a similar film language now. If we are not keen to the past, we’re likely to find ourselves mired in its ills again. We already are, of course.
  16. There’s no other way to put this: Deadpool 2 is a regular, shmegular superhero movie, distinguished only by an obnoxiously unearned dose of “see what I did there?!” It’s a drag.
  17. I love the way Jia grapples with large social shifts in such metaphorical and yet still intimate ways, peering in on individual people caught in the churn of time and growth and framing them in the defining context of their surroundings.
  18. The movie is compelling in the moment, but seems irresponsible with any afterthought.
  19. Fargeat gets her thrills from all the bad things that make her genre great: Cinematography that’s rancid with heat and color, sound design that delights in every exaggerated crunch and squish.
  20. Union, a conquering badass, owns it. The movie walks an intriguing line between strained believability and outright superherodom—a line every action movie walks, of course. But then, most action movies don’t star black women.
  21. RBG
    The documentary sees Ginsburg as an icon and hero first—and within that (I hesitate to say “second”) it sees her as the prodigious, idiosyncratic legal mind that she is. Somewhere in the process, rich contradictions and complexities get the slightest bit overlooked.
  22. I’ve seen the film twice now, and while I enjoyed it the first time, on second viewing I found it nearly profound.
  23. Huppert, whose sharpness lends itself beautifully to ironic humor, is more than game. Mrs. Hyde is, among other things, a comedy of enlightenment—literal enlightenment, if the gold sparks coursing through Géquil’s body are any indication. Perhaps its greatest lesson isn’t within the movie, but rather the fact of it: rather than revise a stale genre, burn it anew.
  24. Despite its pure beauty, in other words, there’s no mistaking The Rider for a simple, crowd-pleasing pick-me-up. The movie is soulful, elegant, filmed as often as not at the magic hour, when the sky is as broad as it is orange-yellow, and every nook of the world seems alight with possibility. It is hardly, on its surface, an outright downer. But it’s unmistakably a movie about loss.
  25. Martel’s sensibility is as oblique as it is sensitive, confounding as it is grimly humorous. It’s a movie that seems constantly to be spilling the secrets of this world, but without fanfare—there’s an unsettling banality to it all.
  26. Hazanavicius is one of our weirder directors. His schtick is to parrot other styles, either with his parody Bond films (the two OSS 117 movies) or The Artist. But Le Redoutable is his best work, I think, and not just because I’m fond of the French New Wave.
  27. The bulk of Rampage is, alas, a slog, as passionless as I’d imagine the fandom is for the I.P. the film is based on.
  28. Despite a wildly uneven “Americarrr” accent (through which the voice of Queen Elizabeth sometimes shines), Foy is excellent in the film, rigid poise giving way to feral anger in always convincing shades.
  29. Chappaquiddick isn’t a harangue against Kennedy, but it does take a hard look at a man who was a revered stalwart of the Democratic party for decades. The film works best as a character study, a profile of moral crisis, rather than any sort of true-crime exposé.
  30. Sure, the movie’s moral arc distracts from what’s best about it, but its highs are indeed high. I don’t believe that the cure for our hashtag-flawless-obsessed culture is easy encouragement. But you don’t have to save the world to make a good movie.

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