USA Today's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,765 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 60% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Persepolis
Lowest review score: 0 Idle Hands
Score distribution:
3765 movie reviews
  1. The thin story, which sometimes feels like a series of one-liners strung together, is wisely kept short. But the gags are funny and the characters endearing.
  2. While it's the most ambitious of the three films, it's not as mesmerizing as 2008's "The Dark Knight." The plot is occasionally murky, its archvillain lacks charismatic menace, and the last hour is belabored.
  3. Girls isn't fabulous, but you do feel its characters really have connected.
  4. Blast feels positively timely if not downright positive about the human race's ability to endure. Forget radiation. Fraser and folks actually survive three decades-plus of Perry Como music. [12 February 1999, Life, p.8E]
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  5. Between Jackson's opining and De Niro's hopeless alibis when he messes up, Jackie is good for a bundle of bloody ho-ho-hos.
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  6. The side story about Muslim extremists is a little ham-handed for a film that otherwise exercises such restraint.
  7. The milieu here is unforgiving, which makes fighting for basic rights important. You get a sense of why Bob Dylan -- who performs on this soundtrack -- wanted to bolt this frigid part of the map.
  8. While the tension is sometimes muted, this is more than a procedural round of spy games. The deliberately paced but riveting film is made all the better because of Hoffman's breathtakingly nuanced portrayal.
  9. If feuds, drunken outbursts and thoughtless bed-hopping sound like fun, then A Christmas Tale is a hoot. Some wry humor runs through the course of the overly long saga. But there's not enough dark wit to mitigate the tedium and pretentiousness.
  10. Furious 7 offers edge-of-the-seat excitement with outlandish action sequences, inventive stunts, hilarious cartoonish moments and even some touching emotion.
  11. The point of the film is not to scorn or mock the Siegels, despite their excesses. They embody the quintessentially American urge to live beyond one's means. Their saga is simply the story of a nation's materialism writ large.
  12. Like a bag of Skittles come to life, there’s more sugar and style to Trolls than substance — with the exception of a “Find your own happiness” theme — but you’d be hard-pressed to keep from smiling throughout the trippy dance sequences and clever banter in this feel-good confection.
  13. Earnest and understated, Gran Torino is an unflinching examination of themes that have fascinated Eastwood in most of his recent films: family, war, loss, faith and unexpected human connection.
  14. The Curse of the Golden Flower is the year's most operatic and visually lavish film.
  15. Mashing up satire, subtle social commentary, clever gadgetry, keen wit and high-octane style, this spy saga — based on the comic book series The Secret Service — is bolstered by a terrific cast.
  16. The Long Walk Home sounds as if it's going to be one of those primers in contemporary social history with made-for-TV written all over it. This is much, much better - even worthy of the big screen. [21 Dec 1990, p.5D]
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  17. Hyperviolent, highly watchable action comedy.
  18. July is solid throwback storytelling, a crime yarn that may not blow you away but can cut to the bone.
  19. The glacial pacing may put some people off, but it also has a hypnotic quality. And some viewers might find it fascinating to be a voyeur into someone's tortured psyche.
  20. The film's look, fashioned by production designer Michael Howells, is noteworthy for its vibrant colors and fantastical feel.
  21. O
    Artful and emotionally compelling.
  22. The movie cleverly spoofs the 24-hour TV news cycle, as well as sexism and racism in the workplace. Not every scene is equally funny, of course, but most of the comic antics generate laughs.
  23. The quirky film is simultaneously bizarre, humorous, disturbing and suspenseful.
  24. Both female roles are unexpectedly meaty, so much so that the film loses something once the far more lively Stone is dispatched. Hour one (more satirical) is better all around, though the falloff isn't fatal. [1 June 1990, Life, p.2D]
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  25. An engaging tragicomedy, exploring the consequences of single-minded fervor in a humorous and humane fashion.
  26. A long-on-video 1993 release now restored to its original Cantonese with different music and more audio pop.
  27. As opposed to modern horror flicks like the "Saw" movies, where gruesome violence can almost blunt fears, The Woman in Black is a tasteful, old-school frightener, emphasizing suspense and foreboding over blood and guts.
  28. Stylish, brisk but lacking in human dimension despite an attractive cast. [22 May 1996, p. D1]
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  29. Don't be fooled by the presence of some pretty-boy actors: Alpha Dog is a gritty, gut-wrenching and disturbing film.
  30. Though it could probably use an intermission, Grindhouse is three hours of mostly campy fun.
  31. Recalls the pumped-up energy of "Pump Up the Volume," as well as its casting prowess.
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  32. There is no question that the organization is a riveting subject for a film.
  33. Colossal is as refreshingly different a monster movie as it is a clever, timely take on bullying, domestic abuse and toxic masculinity.
  34. The action is brisk, the acting is solid, and barring an unlikely failure at the box office, a franchise is born. Let the games begin.
  35. Though he looks every inch a brawny Norse god, Hemsworth is not just a hunk. His charisma and charming grin go a long way toward making Thor engaging.
  36. The result is raunchy, energetic, sharp-eyed and a bit rambling.
  37. Charming and inspiring.
  38. What is missing in plot and character development is made up for in silly fun.
  39. This is Austen lite, but pleasantly so. You can hardly fault a movie that fashions itself around a consummate writer whose keen sense of humor and gift for fully realized characters have resulted in countless screen adaptations.
  40. Despite far-fetched plot points - such as a flash mob of bike messengers ready to rumble and thwart evil - it's easy to get caught up in this life-or-death two-wheeled slalom.
  41. One of the strangest sequels of all time, director George Miller's wildly imaginative vision of animals loose in a dangerous urban dreamscape at times seems much closer to his work on the Mad Max series than to the bucolic charms of the original, which he produced but did not direct. [25 Nov 1998, p.1D]
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  42. Thing's opening hour is fast-paced, though not fast enough to obscure the reality that "American Graffiti" and "Diner" had sharper writing and certainly more psychological depth. [04 Oct 1996, Pg.01.D]
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  43. This twisted romance possesses the soul and edgy atmosphere of an independent film but not quite the conviction.
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  44. A Southern-style "Ocean's 11" without the pretty boys and Vegas attitude but with plenty of laughs.
  45. Those looking to get a raucous laugh should say "I do" to Bridesmaids.
  46. To redo such a sentimental gem without Hepburn's incandescence to light the way seems foolhardy at best, but director Sydney Pollack (Tootsie) miraculously almost pulls off his updated homage simply by choosing well and popping enough champagne corks to make us believe the wealthy are still glamorous despite Donald Trump. [15 Dec 1995, p.1D]
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  47. Misfits and misanthropes are the heroes of Role Models, a surprisingly clever comedy.
  48. The actress may get an Oscar nomination for the wrong movie -- "Moulin Rouge" over "The Others" -- but it would be a double misfortune for audiences to overlook a performance that boosts its movie from moderate to memorable.
  49. Despite implied fidelity, we might as well be watching William Shakespeare's The Cable Guy. Yet the film's skewed stylistic flourishes capture enough of the original's spirit to provoke more respect than rejection. [01Nov1996, Pg. 01.D]
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  50. Rings has moments of edge-of-the-seat excitement, too, such as when the dark riders come looking for Frodo. But it's occasionally tedious when it should be captivating.
  51. A good farce is hard to find. Particularly one that holds up for the entirety of the story and keeps us engrossed, while smiling. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is a particularly effective and cheeky example.
  52. This also is the rare combat movie that deals substantially with mourning widows on the home front.
  53. Rodriguez is such a visual stylist, and the violence is so cartoonish, that the flurry of whizzing bullets and growing pile of bodies is not as offensive as it might be.
  54. Inventive action sequences, deft stunt work and breathtaking cinematography make for revved-up fun.
  55. Impressive in its ambition, mother! doesn’t quite reach the heights of Aronofsky’s Black Swan in terms of bizarre masterpieces, yet endless conversations about what the heck you just saw will surely be born and raised.
  56. The film is not without flaws. It glosses over the story of the dissolution of Whitaker's marriage and does not delve deeply enough into the source of his problems with his son. A romance with recovering junkie Nicole (Kelly Reilly) rarely rings true.
  57. Scott Pilgrim, a lovelorn musician, is an appealing fusion of nerdy, cheeky and vulnerable. So, who better to play him than Michael Cera?
  58. While More Than a Game is a terrific exhibition of talent, exuberance and skill, it is above all a moving tribute to enduring friendship.
  59. Though the deliberate pace can feel slow to glacial at times, the visuals are gorgeous, and the melancholy mood is exquisitely evoked.
  60. In a season filled with dark-themed films, it stands out as an elegantly mounted, surprisingly humane but terrifying horror thriller well worth seeing.
  61. Sentiment is at its heart. The legions who grew up on Disney's Mary Poppins will find it delightfully satisfying to hear snippets of its enormously catchy songs and watch its captivating creative journey.
  62. Bolstered by the natural performances of a trio of little-known actors, the very watchable Chronicle keeps us captive throughout.
  63. Not an expansive biopic but a fascinating snapshot of a pivotal chapter for Chanel, her formative fashionista years.
  64. It's a rare romantic comedy/road picture that's not only flat-out funny, but also presents complex and well-developed characters.
  65. Forest Whitaker is astoundingly multifaceted and convincing as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. In the performance of his career, he fully inhabits the part of the barbaric and charismatic ruler.
  66. Director George Tillman Jr. compellingly probes how parentless kids cope without financial resources or adults who give a damn.
  67. Unafraid of stillness and scenes of quiet contemplation, the film also celebrates companionship and community, which are all good reasons to embrace the experience along The Way.
  68. Downey is absurdly funny.
  69. Princess Diana's antecedent, both genetically and figuratively, was a beautiful and glamorous duchess named Georgiana Spencer. Like her descendant, her charm and vivacity captivated England.
  70. The Doors lit rock 'n' roll fires for only 54 months, having formed after Morrison met Manzarek in 1965, when both were UCLA film students. We get a sense of them as bandmates as they hang around backstage or rehearse, garage-band-style.
  71. But purely as an exercise in style, this movie has its moments.
  72. This is not a simple, uplifting tale. It's never clear whether Charlie will fully recover, and that sense of realism is the film's strength.
  73. Will not be for everyone, but it works if you surrender to its lilting and unabashedly sentimental tale of evocative music and visual poetry.
  74. The final installment of the Hobbit trilogy is the best, featuring more spectacular action scenes as well as the series' most emotionally resonant moments.
  75. The low-key approach probably gets closer to the soul of Leonard, but it lacks zip. As a result, Out of Sight sometimes runs out of gas.
  76. Though Robocop is too well-crafted to be entirely loathsome, it's at best an amoral goof. Yet like the comparably silly Lethal Weapon, it cynically pushes all the right action-audience buttons. Better duck - here comes a monster hit. [17 Jul 1987]
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  77. The most endearing character in Disney's animated superhero animated movie is a one-man Affordable Care Act. (Make that a one-robot ACA.)
  78. Think "Boogie Nights" meets "Casino," though it's not likely to make the lasting impression of either seminal film.
  79. Compelling tale of a free-spirited record producer, played with perfect pitch by Frances McDormand.
  80. Gives new meaning to the phrase "not for the squeamish."
  81. It's hard to beat the last movie, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," and this film is not better, but it has much to recommend it.
  82. It does deliver a combustible combination of ingredients for a summer blockbuster: a cornucopia of action and dazzling effects, some raucous humor and a large dose of Depp's winning charm.
  83. Amusing, charming and pleasantly nostalgic.
  84. When we first see Meryl Streep's happy homemaker in One True Thing, she's a domestic dinosaur circa late '80s, a regular mommy monster. [18 September 1998, p.3E]
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  85. It's fairly solid fun, though, without breaking any new ground, just as January's remake of "Assault on Precinct 13" was.
  86. An engaging and exciting family film that at times feels a bit like "The Lord of the Rings Jr."
  87. Preposterous to the extreme.
  88. Though it features no battle scenes, The Notebook shines a powerful, unflinching light on the horrors of World War II.
  89. Though admittedly a minor delight, this is the only movie whose end credits identify the film's grip, then credit Martha Raye for Poli-grip, then define ''grip'' for millions who want to know just what a grip does. For such small favors, Gun 21/2 has the smell of box office. [28 June 1991, p.5D]
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  90. It loses some of its bite by film's end, but 30 Days of Night manages to do for the vampire genre what "28 Days Later" did for the zombie flick: give age-old monsters a modern-day makeover.
  91. The film is uneven and about 15 minutes too long. But when it's funny, it's hilarious.
  92. George is cute, and the simple story has its entertaining moments.
  93. An artsy display put on by Kaufman and fellow co-director Duke Johnson that raises the level of the genre, though it sometimes tries to enjoy its individual oddity too much chronicling one night in a bored businessman’s life.
  94. Geena Davis and Renny Harlin couldn't cut it with Cutthroat Island. Steven Spielberg nearly got the hook for Hook. But leave it to Miss Piggy and Kermit to discover uncharted gold in the shipwrecked-pirate genre. With felt-covered cohorts like Fozzie Bear and human co-stars like Jennifer Saunders of Absolutely Fabulous, the cross-species duo pulls off the rollicking Muppet Treasure Island with only a bump or two. [16 Feb 1996, p.4D]
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  95. Godzilla 2014 is a more somber and frightening reboot than the cartoonish 1998 movie.
  96. While not as revelatory as Al Gore's 2006 Oscar-winning documentary, Inequality makes a resounding case that the middle class is facing its own planetary crisis: becoming an endangered species.
  97. Woody Allen is good for his funniest screen romp in a while, thanks to a few evenly spaced standout scenes of laugh-out-loud intensity.
  98. As subtle and shattering as its title.
  99. Compellingly watchable horror-spectacle.
  100. It's a provocative game that plays out with intelligence and wit.

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