USA Today's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,440 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 61% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 36% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Black Swan
Lowest review score: 0 Idle Hands
Score distribution:
3,440 movie reviews
  1. Despite the film's sporadic lulls, both director and star are on full beam. The first and third hours of this 20th-century epic are as dazzling as big-scale movies get.
  2. The harrowing 12 Years a Slave is a mesmerizing period drama for the ages.
  3. Murderball brilliantly captures the intensity of the little-known athletic competition, offering more intimacy and drama than most Hollywood sports movies.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Sling Blade is about a society barely holding on by its fingernails, the home and hearth hardly a place of respite. Unlike "The Ice Storm" or "The Sweet Hereafter," Sling Blade is devoid of the creature comforts of middle-class life that at least allow people the degraded hobbies that keep them functioning. [May, 1998]
    • USA Today
  4. A riotous and wee bit PG-racy computer-animated family fable, is the most thoroughly enjoyable cartoon feature since "Toy Story" burst out of its box.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    In many ways delivers an experience that's even better than the real thing. It brings U2's dazzling rock spectacle to the multiplex with VIP comforts, all-access viewpoints and telescopic close-ups.
  5. Comprehensive and blisteringly paced.
  6. A musical detective story, this enthralling documentary focuses on a little-known American musician whose haunting voice and poetic lyrics were essentially unknown in his own country, but had a massive impact across the globe.
  7. If it isn't flawless, neither is "Fantasia"... Here's a live-action/animated marvel with no screen antecedent; “Chinatown” may actually come closest. [22 June 1988]
    • USA Today
  8. It's a precarious balance, but Payne blends wit and poignancy so artfully it feels like an exquisitely choreographed dance.
  9. Campion's script is very well received, but the film finally makes it on cinematics: bleakly beautiful photography, haunting score, and good acting. [12 Nov 1993]
    • USA Today
  10. Up
    Easily the summer's, and probably the year's, most enchanting movie, Up is a buoyant delight.
  11. An unflinching, powerfully visceral and haunting portrait of the tragic events aboard one of the terrorist-commandeered flights on the fateful morning of Sept. 11, 2001.
  12. The movie is so fun that it wouldn't need the mystery to be top-notch entertainment.
    • USA Today
  13. A movie this diminutive can be easily oversold, but we might see it on some year-end best lists. It eats at you, just like renewed love.
  14. Emerges as an African version of "Schindler's List."
  15. The mesmerizing, heart-tugging concert film Heart of Gold confirms Neil Young's stature as a national treasure.
  16. The best news the G rating has had since the ratings system was instituted in 1968.
  17. Timeliness can be tricky to pull off convincingly in movies. It's tough to capture an era while it's still happening, yet Up in the Air does so brilliantly, with wit and humanity.
  18. The only things missing from making this showdown worthy of a Western is Murrow's sheriff's badge, a dusty street and maybe a spittoon for McCarthy's infamous invectives.
  19. His (Cameron) movie may not be perfect, but visually and viscerally, it pretty well is.
  20. Great cinema - and also a whopping good time. [19 September 1990, Life, p.1D]
    • USA Today
  21. Michael Mann , directs with his standard prejudice toward the sheer physical. The result, almost musical, has only a couple recent movie precedents. [25 Sep 1992, p.1D]
    • USA Today
  22. As good as each individual movie is, the third film vaults the work into the stratosphere of classic movies. Key characters are enhanced, new civilizations visited and battles fought more intensely, while feelings and motivations are plumbed more deeply and movingly.
  23. With this, possibly his most subdued film, Almodo┬┤var reinforces his status as one of the most distinctive and talented filmmakers working today.
  24. The rawest, most sustained screen portrayal of 20th century combat.
  25. Both a nostalgic throwback to the silent-picture era and an ultra-modern animated tale, the slyly humorous Triplets of Belleville is artful, engrossing and oddly touching.
  26. A superbly crafted and darkly funny real-life political thriller, with pitch-perfect performances.
  27. Bruce Dern gives the performance of his career as the headstrong Woody in the brilliant, wisely observed and wryly funny Nebraska. What stands out is the fullness of the character, with mannerisms and expressions that make him wholly dimensional.
  28. Gosling and Williams have the most palpable chemistry of any screen couple this year, never striking a false note in this achingly tender tale of a love that implodes before our eyes.

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