USA Today's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,504 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 Neil Young: Heart of Gold
Lowest review score: 0 Idle Hands
Score distribution:
3504 movie reviews
  1. No, it isn't the slick and unfocused "Anywhere but Here," where mom and daughter choose Beverly Hills. Instead, it's the more modest and in most cases preferable Tumbleweeds.
  2. This being Irving, the story straddles the sweet and the creepy.
  3. Paradis is a most striking subject, but the movie is a winner as well, starting with a story full of black-comic possibilities exploited fully by the great French director Patrice Leconte.
    • USA Today
  4. A quagmire that reportedly has undergone multiple edits to reach its current incomprehensible state.
    • USA Today
  5. Viewers who like clean storytelling may not be happy. Those who savor ironic wrap-ups will be.
  6. Those looking to get a raucous laugh should say "I do" to Bridesmaids.
  7. A meticulously rendered, tasteful and moving period drama.
  8. More fresh than retro, The Muppets bursts with charm and cheeky humor.
  9. Haunting and inspiring film.
  10. A cool and clinical reportorial remembrance whose very title reminds us who Solanas was. [3 May 1996, p. 10D]
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  11. A notably undynamic treatment of Protestant Elizabeth I's ascension to the British throne.
  12. The film grows on you, but more substance and less calculated quirks would have been a royal treat.
  13. Just as funny, sweet and engaging as the first film starring the big galoot.
  14. This incarnation is funny, quirky and clever, with some mesmerizing action sequences.
  15. The very definition of charming.
  16. Spy
    Feig blends a keen sense of physical comedy and exquisite timing with all the requisite spy-flick tropes, from the trippy and stylish opening credits to surprisingly violent, bone-breaking action scenes that he refrains from playing for laughs.
  17. Night Moves is a thoughtful, clear-eyed and provocative film that raises thorny questions but doesn't offer easy answers.
  18. Bruno Coulais' musical score provides an evocative counterpoint to the often dazzling photography. A scene featuring diving sea birds and whales moving in concert with the rhythm of the waves is stunning.
  19. More coming-of-age story than biopic, this Guevara odyssey is a transformative adventure well worth watching.
  20. Little Children maintains much of the power, humor and nuance of Tom Perrotta's wonderful novel, but seems unsure if it's a satire or a serious drama.
  21. Arnie is Arnie. He has all the cute lines ("No problemo," "Hasta la vista, baby''). And he does more with a squint than anyone since Popeye. [3 July 1991, Life, p.1D]
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  22. It's rambunctious and unruly, but mesmerizing.
  23. Nothing is easily resolved in this complex drama, which makes it all the more honestly moving. More than anything, this is a film about a woman on a journey of self-discovery, finding her way gingerly.
  24. Director Dominik Moll knows how to make a gruesome-free thriller and even manages some dark laughs as he turns the screws.
  25. A cautionary tale very well-told.
  26. Just a good time at the movies, but it's still a smarter two hours than most "good times" are.
  27. Such pure, naked joy is utterly contagious.
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  28. The final third is slower until a somewhat contrived finale that's still the funniest thing in the movie.
  29. A fresh-slant Vietnam picture in which lead Tom Cruise achieves indisputable greatness, July is otherwise a "more often than not'' achievement. But though it's as full of itself as Stone's watchably windy Talk Radio, the film's roundhouse punches propel you into remote Mike Tyson-land when they connect. [20 Dec 1989, p.1D]
    • USA Today
  30. Like a lot of meds, it loses its effectiveness over time, and you'll build a resistance to Effects eventually, particularly when it dissolves into a standard crime flick.
  31. At its best, it's a gentle meditation on mortality. But at weaker moments it feels meandering and strangely empty.
  32. Moviegoers of rarefied sensibilities will easily identify this anti-captain-of-industry as a "typical Eric Stoltz role," just as moviegoers of extremely rarefied sensibilities will pick up on Kicking's "typical Chris Eigeman role." [23 Oct 1995, Pg.06.D]
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  33. This movie is more wistful and winking, though it's obvious Mario is still working out emotional baggage with his tyrannically driven old man.
  34. There's a lot thrown in here for two hours, and Apatow could easily have lost about 30 minutes of high jinks and gotten the point across that everybody has their somebody. Yet with Schumer driving the action, Trainwreck may be his most impactful ride yet.
  35. About a Boy is a rarity in many ways. It's a well-written, witty film whose memorable characters grapple with the nature of family, love, friendship and despair. Even its soundtrack, by Badly Drawn Boy, is perfectly pitched.
  36. There is no question that the organization is a riveting subject for a film.
  37. Huston's movie seems to disappoint some who've read the novel, but the forlorn humanity that triumphs over the depravity and poverty is unforgettably affecting. [13 Dec 1996, p.1D]
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  38. Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation doubles as a two-hour celebrity episode of American Ninja Warrior for Tom Cruise.
  39. Serves up an irresistible helping of delicious fun with writing that is tart and sharp and a story infused with sweetness.
  40. Flashily nihilistic Killers is easier to admire than love, but credit Stone for putting it on the line with a yarn tailor-made for his hopped-up vision of media-engendered white-trash immortality. [26 Aug 1994, p.1D]
    • USA Today
  41. Deftly juggling humor and heartache while always exuding a lovable quirkiness, the excellent art-house comedy/drama showcases three teenagers who pop off the screen with originality and, unlike a lot of the current coming-of-age ilk, just the right amount of unpredictability.
  42. Highly entertaining and informative.
  43. Who would have thought that one of the most provocative and affecting films made about the fallout from 21st century divorce would have emanated from a 19th century novel?
  44. Frankenweenie is a love story between a boy and his dog. It is also a beautifully crafted homage to classic horror films, a study of grief and a commentary on the mysteries of science and those who narrow-mindedly fear its advances.
  45. Black Hawk turns nightmare into great cinema.
  46. A touching story of hope, vitality and art rising from the bleakest conditions.
  47. Think of it as a thrill ride with gravitas.
  48. A monumentally moving experience, from the powerful acting by Javier Bardem to the evocative music, composed by the director, Alejandro Amenábar.
  49. Kidman gets kudos for giving the enterprise a touch of class, while the film gives the studio's library a rare pedigreed addition.
  50. A Hitchcockian chase...A crowd-pleasing airport-pursuit pic. [27 Dec 1995, p.D1]
    • USA Today
  51. This year's wittiest animated adventure saga.
  52. De Niro's widely praised performance is like the rest of the film: competent, a product of hard work and borderline mechanical. I like much of Awakenings, including several supporting performances - but like Big, it left me just a little cold. [20 Dec 1990, p.5D]
    • USA Today
  53. The film is easier to admire than to fully grasp or be moved by it. Still, it's worth surrendering to the dream.
  54. The dialogue, delivered mostly in Southern accents, is intended to be funny and fresh, but much of this Western-influenced sci-fi adventure story feels reheated.
  55. Tucker is the best Capra movie since Capra quit making them himself. [12 Aug 1988]
    • USA Today
  56. 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.
  57. In a season filled with dark-themed films, it stands out as an elegantly mounted, surprisingly humane but terrifying horror thriller well worth seeing.
  58. Despite dashes of droll dialogue from screenwriter Ted Griffin, the remake aims for cool but instead gets chilly.
  59. A promising debut by young writer/director Jacob Estes, this story of a botched revenge plot still isn't likely to break out even in multiplex August dog days.
  60. Bully forces audiences to face actions that are unthinkable, inexcusable and excruciatingly sad. It offers no solutions, only the testimony of brave youths.
  61. Mongol is quality escapism: an exotic saga that compels, moves and envelops us with its grand and captivating story.
  62. Stately but static. [23 December 1997, p.3D]
    • USA Today
  63. Pooh succeeds by embracing much of what modern films (including Potter's) have largely forgotten: old-fashioned movie pleasures.
  64. This is a smart and often tense work whose ultimate merit isn't completely calculable now.
  65. Mostly avoids being cloying but flirts with being precious. Yet Boyle is enough of a stylist to make it all passable. It's one of those films for which fans and detractors can see the others' viewpoint.
  66. After so much frenetic kicking and grunting, you may feel like you're in a stupor, too.
  67. If the script were half as witty as its production design and Danny Elfman's score, the film might be a classic; instead, it recalls the “Beetlejuice” half that doesn't have Keaton. [7 Dec 1990, Life, p.4D]
    • USA Today
  68. His (Cameron) movie may not be perfect, but visually and viscerally, it pretty well is.
  69. The distanced result, screen-adapted by playwright Christopher Hampton, never quite overwhelms you. [21 Dec 1988, Life, p.1D]
    • USA Today
  70. Tightly constructed and controlled.
    • USA Today
  71. A robust family comedy that saves its wildest moments for a climactic "get-together."
    • USA Today
  72. In the tautly terrific thriller In the Line of Fire , Clint Eastwood toys with his own grizzled-vet screen image like a frisky kitten with a yarn ball. [09 Jul 1993 Pg. 01.D]
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  73. True-blue Ford keeps 'Clear' out of danger. [3 August 1994, p.D1]
    • USA Today
  74. Farmiga never seems to strike a false note in any role, but this is perhaps her most reflective and multi-layered performance.
  75. Wonderfully enchanting wintry fare.
  76. Though the narrative is a conventional one, the well-acted, suspenseful story deals in fascinatingly murky morality and mines intriguing material from a historic and complex city.
  77. Middle-aged romance can be a dicey prospect. And it gets more complicated when children are in the picture. But it gets more complex still if the "child" is actually 21, and creepily meddlesome.
  78. Chances are, the more you love classic cinema, the more you will find Gods is your cup of tea.
  79. Ultimately grim, Liam is ripe in humanity --and even comedy.
    • USA Today
  80. While it reaches for the stars, director Christopher Nolan's Interstellar is a flawed masterpiece...The story is ever-ambitious, sometimes riveting and thought-provoking, but also plodding and hokey and not as visionary as its cutting-edge special effects.
  81. For a movie about the power of imagination, Bridge to Terabithia is not as clever as you would hope.
  82. It captures an authentic feel-good spirit and inspirational message that most Hollywood movies barely approximate.
  83. Dramatically moving and good-naturedly humorous, it transmits a sharp picture of humanity that inspires both awe and laughter.
  84. Epic in nearly every way, The Hurricane has the power to blow you away.
  85. You'd be hard-pressed to find a purer expression of rapture in a film this year than the one that opens Billy Elliot.
  86. The History Boys is an erudite, sharply written film with consummate performances, but its origins on the stage are all too obvious.
  87. Emotionally and viscerally compelling and retains a suspenseful, edge-of-the-seat quality.
  88. Who would have thought a fire-breathing monster could be one of the most adorable on-screen critters since Babe?
  89. Invictus, which is Latin for "unconquered," gives the poem several meanings in the context of the film. It also applies to Eastwood, who, as one of America's greatest storytellers, finds enthralling tales and fashions them with finesse and an indomitable spirit.
  90. The most endearing character in Disney's animated superhero animated movie is a one-man Affordable Care Act. (Make that a one-robot ACA.)
  91. Joaquin Phoenix gives a superbly raw and excruciatingly vulnerable performance.
  92. Prisoners is infused with a poetic intensity that's rare in American thrillers. The closest cinematic comparisons would be "Zodiac," "In the Bedroom" and "Mystic River."
  93. Occasionally very funny, the picture tends to coast on its cosmetics. A first-rate script might have made it a twisted masterpiece.
  94. It certainly stays alive in this spare and intriguing film directed by Jonathan Demme, who has helmed two previous Young concert films.
  95. A revelation: funny, fascinating and insightful.
  96. A high-octane mind game best enjoyed by following a key character's advice: "The Source Code is a gift. Don't squander it by thinking."
  97. Naji is an expressive actor, and so are the wonderful young non-pros who play his children.
  98. Teacher's Pet is no "Finding Nemo," nor even "Lilo and Stitch," but it is an enjoyable family film -- particularly for younger kids -- during a time of year when such fare is lacking.
  99. Less ambitious and more narrowly focused than the CIA saga "The Good Shepherd," Breach is a compelling, intelligent drama.
  100. Just be glad that Hanks and Zemeckis toiled mightily to pull off at least two-thirds of a remarkable achievement.

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