USA Today's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,762 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 0.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Ed Wood
Lowest review score: 0 Idle Hands
Score distribution:
3762 movie reviews
  1. One of the most extraordinary films in decades, this family drama is also one of the most ambitious in scope, having taken more than a decade to shoot. Yet it comes across as effortless and unassuming. Boyhood is an epic masterpiece that seems wholly unconcerned with trying to be one.
  2. Pan's Labyrinth artfully fuses a war film with a family melodrama and a fairy tale. The result is visually stunning and emotionally shattering.
  3. One of the rare sports films that devotes extensive screen time to heartbreaking losses is full of other surprises as well. [13 Oct 1994, p.1D]
    • USA Today
  4. Like too many others, I resisted seeing (or at least, rushing out to) this film, fully expecting a stolid, respectable bummer; what I found, without the filmmakers ever having cheapened the material, is one of 1989's most entertaining movies. There is even, I swear, a barroom brawl that's out (and worthy) of John Ford. [3 Jan 1990, p.4D]
    • USA Today
  5. Depressing and gut-wrenching, but always powerful and gripping.
  6. The harrowing 12 Years a Slave is a mesmerizing period drama for the ages.
  7. Manchester finds a way to weave together truly wrenching sequences with a clever sense of humor, and Lonergan pulls extraordinary performances from his entire cast, especially Casey Affleck.
  8. Like the best French cuisine, Ratatouille is ambitious and delightful.
  9. The telling of this simple tale of survival required cutting-edge technology, but we don't notice the bells and whistles: They're on hand to immerse us in an unforgettable personal story.
  10. Director Hayao Miyazaki treats his audience as imaginative and intelligent human beings, rather than catering to kids with rote displays of silliness, stunts and scares.
  11. It's at once funny, exciting, tearful and tuneful. [13 Nov 1991, p.1D]
    • USA Today
  12. The first all computer-animated feature, which brings a bedroom of playthings to bouncy life, is yummy eye candy spiked with 3-D-style tactile treats.
  13. The film owes much of its success to the inspired pairing of Fincher and Sorkin.
  14. While this decade-long look at the inner workings of the CIA is intriguing, the movie would have benefited by more character development and additional editing.
  15. Sophisticated and universal yet deeply intimate, A Separation is an exquisitely conceived family drama that has the coiled power of a top-notch thriller.
  16. At once futuristic, funny and fantastical.
  17. Bittersweet, intelligently written, deftly acted and painfully honest.
  18. Dunkirk is also one of the best-scored films in recent memory, and Hans Zimmer’s music plays as important a role as any character. With shades of Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations, the melodies are glorious, yet Zimmer also creates an instrumental ticking-clock soundtrack that’s a propulsive force in the action scenes.
  19. For a brutal black comedy about L.A. hitmen, Pulp Fiction bursts out of its binding with loopy delights. [14 Oct 1994]
    • USA Today
  20. Both a psychological portrait and an exciting action film.
  21. Writer Greta Gerwig's witty and endearing solo directorial debut...navigates the absurdities and struggles of the transition into adulthood while striking an excellent balance between enjoyable quirk and touching emotion.
  22. The main voice actors all fit their animated personas, especially Poehler and Black. Poehler brings a unshakably quirky optimism to Joy while Black takes his acerbic stand-up routine, makes it a smidge more family-friendly, and turns up the juice for Anger.
  23. This is a building-block movie: Its stand-out excellence becomes apparent only gradually.
  24. 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.
  25. If Silver is superb, Irons is transcendent. As some forgotten comic once said of George Sanders: A grapefruit wouldn't dare squirt in his eye. [17 Oct 1990]
    • USA Today
  26. This is a great movie, but it needs a sales job because it's in Mandarin.
  27. No need to bury the lede: Spotlight is a masterpiece.
  28. With flawless precision, the movie flows seamlessly between a virtual newsreel approach (to chronicle senseless, arbitrary atrocities on the people) and a slightly more direct narrative technique that characterized the film's three dominant characters - each one cast to perfection. [15 Dec 1993]
    • USA Today
  29. La La Land is both delightful confection and life-affirming food for the soul.
  30. As played by Oscar Isaac, he's snidely funny, world-weary and deeply sad. Though his story is enigmatic, the film itself is brilliantly acted, gorgeously shot and altogether captivating.

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