USA Today's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,485 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 0.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Sideways
Lowest review score: 0 Idle Hands
Score distribution:
3,485 movie reviews
  1. A Little Princess is the first of its progeny to blend brains with entertainment. This stylish sleeper easily outpaces the studio's starchy updates of "Black Beauty" and "The Secret Garden", and even betters Shirley Temple's 1939 take on Frances Hodgson Burnett's Princess perennial. [18 May 1995, 12D.]
    • USA Today
  2. Even at its best, Adaptation is one of the movie year's most esoteric outings -- more so than even Paul Thomas Anderson's far superior "Punch-drunk Love." Too smart to ignore but a little too smugly superior to like, this could be a movie that ends up slapping its target audience in the face by shooting itself in the foot.
  3. The scenes in Pandora -- a planet with an Earth-like environment -- are so breathtaking that the narrative seems almost beside the point.
  4. Welcome to the Dollhouse does, with accessible dark comedy and chilling honesty, reminding us right off that school-cafeteria agonies only begin with the cuisine. [24 May 1996 Pg.04.D]
    • USA Today
  5. It's an intriguing match of material and filmmaker. Dahl's distinctive, edgy storytelling seems to fit well with Anderson's idiosyncratic worldview and visuals.
  6. Drawing upon "Wag the Dog," "Dr. Strangelove" and "This Is Spinal Tap," this sardonic tale is adapted from the critically acclaimed BBC series "The Thick of It."
  7. The gritty, Oscar-nominated "Traffic" is a limo ride compared with the bloodletting in this year's foreign-film nominee from Mexico.
  8. A smooth mix of humanism and keen filmmaking instincts.
  9. When it comes to sheer spectacle, Star Trek, as re-imagined by J.J. Abrams, delivers.
  10. Landed exactly the right actors for a script that already gets points for respecting its teenage characters.
  11. 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
  12. Features the season's most tragic heroine along with some of the liveliest dead people ever seen on film.
  13. Jiro is a thoughtful engineer and a romantic, not a soldier. And The Wind Rises conveys the visual poetry of its titular reference.
  14. After watching Pfeiffer and Day-Lewis submerge molten 19th-century sparks here, it is now conceivable that Scorsese could make compelling cinema out of “Three Blind Mice.” [17 Sept 1993, Life, p.1D]
    • USA Today
  15. With special effects so convincing you don't even think about them, a head-case hero and a three-dimensional villain who is his equal, socko Spider-Man 2 has something for everyone.
  16. Audiences meet the most memorable voices in the world of backup singers. They perform with world-famous musical acts, but theirs are not household names. Their stories, however, are inspiring, heartbreaking and enthralling.
  17. Overall, however, the manner in which the film blends the tale of an imperiled boy and the history of cinema makes for an ambitious and fanciful ride.
  18. The climactic rescue by Navy SEALs is riveting. But it's Phillips' devastating after-the-fact shock that leaves the most haunting impression in this ambitious, taut and captivating thriller.
  19. The all-Lego adventure is warm and witty, showing flashes of satire.
  20. I enjoyed everything about Moonstruck except for its meandering mid-section. On cassette, with vino accompaniment, it may seem perfect. In theaters, with a diet drink, it still rates as the holiday sleeper. [18 Dec 1987]
    • USA Today
  21. This is the kind of well-made movie you wish well but you don't particularly wish to see again.
  22. Drag Me to Hell is unlike any scary thriller in a while: frightening, frenzied and fun.
  23. 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.
    • 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.
  24. Babe, a live-action fable about a valiant pig who conquers prejudice like a barnyard Jackie Robinson, is in a league of its own when it comes to enchantment.
  25. A good little movie dominated by a great central performance that's likely to endure. [30 Jan 1998, p.D2]
    • USA Today
  26. Bout No. 2 is among the best closed-quarters screen fights ever, as good as (and longer than) Frank Sinatra vs. Henry Silva in The Manchurian Candidate. And Hannah does more for an eyepatch than anyone since the late Israeli defense minister Moshe Dayan.
  27. This is the kind of people-driven story that the movies used to give us - before special effects took over.
  28. Caché is unsettling and tense, even shocking. And its story of enduring tensions between an Algerian immigrant and a well-off French family is particularly timely.
  29. It is an unsettling tale told simply and chillingly by director Peter Mullan, with stand-out performances, an evocative soundtrack and spare, haunting visuals.

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