USA Today's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,300 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: 63
Highest review score: 100 The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Lowest review score: 0 Idle Hands
Score distribution:
3,300 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]
  4. Depressing and gut-wrenching, but always powerful and gripping.
  5. The harrowing 12 Years a Slave is a mesmerizing period drama for the ages.
  6. Like the best French cuisine, Ratatouille is ambitious and delightful.
  7. 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.
  8. The film owes much of its success to the inspired pairing of Fincher and Sorkin.
  9. 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.
  10. Sophisticated and universal yet deeply intimate, A Separation is an exquisitely conceived family drama that has the coiled power of a top-notch thriller.
  11. Bittersweet, intelligently written, deftly acted and painfully honest.
  12. 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.
  13. For a brutal black comedy about L.A. hitmen, Pulp Fiction bursts out of its binding with loopy delights. [14 Oct 1994]
  14. Both a psychological portrait and an exciting action film.
  15. At once futuristic, funny and fantastical.
  16. This is a building-block movie: Its stand-out excellence becomes apparent only gradually.
  17. 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.
  18. 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]
  19. This is a great movie, but it needs a sales job because it's in Mandarin.
  20. 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]
  21. If artist R. (Robert) Crumb can dispense immediately with his resume in Terry Zwigoff's superb Crumb, we can, too. [21 Apr 1995]
  22. 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.
  23. Whereas the book was lyrical and moving, the movie is surrealistic and inventive.
  24. The Class is a deeply moving film about the challenges of educating children in a complex and often turbulent world.
  25. A searingly intense and artful tale that grabs hold of the viewer from its jarring and wordless opening scenes and doesn't let go.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. This installment, the best of the three, is everything a movie should be: hilarious, touching, exciting and clever.
  29. 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.
  30. The Queen is the kind of thought-provoking, well-written and savvy film that discerning filmgoers long for but rarely get.

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