Variety's Scores

For 7,979 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 44% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Kill Bill: Vol. 2
Lowest review score: 0 The Hottie & the Nottie
Score distribution:
7,979 movie reviews
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Substance is here in spades, along with the twisted, brilliantly controlled style on which filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen made a name.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    An outstanding rock documentary.
  1. Isn't only an outstanding documentary -- it's also a powerful personal drama.
  2. A wonderfully acted, acutely observed psychological drama.
  3. Looks and sounds wonderful, and while more information about these giants of African-Latin music might have been welcome, the music's the thing.
  4. The gleefully assured tale of a professional knife-thrower who finds a quirky new target... hits the bull's-eye.
  5. An irresistible treat with enough narrative twists and memorable characters for a half-dozen films.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A sexy, nuanced, beautifully controlled examination of how a quartet of people are defined by their erotic impulses and inhibitions.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    One of the most entertaining, best executed, original road pictures ever.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A mesmerizing reconstruction and investigation of a senseless murder. It employs strikingly original formal devices to pull together diverse interviews.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Possesses a stylistic boldness and verisimilitude that is virtually matchless.
  6. The first-ever screenplay written in the Inuit language, Inuktitut -- and the first time's a charm.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Balkan probably gives her best performance to date to create a woman tormented by instability, sexual drive and psycho demons -- disjointedly portrayed in the script.
  7. Clint Eastwood has crafted a tense, hard-edged, superbly dramatic yarn that is also an exceedingly intelligent meditation on the West, its myths and its heroes.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A dazzlingly successful addition to his (Kurosawa's) distinguished career.
  8. Had the aura of an instant classic when it was released, and the good news is that it looks at least that good, if not better, on the eve of its 20th anniversary reissue.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    In every respect it is outstanding.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Words can't do justice to the visual masterpiece Baraka.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A mesmerizing thriller that will grip audiences from first scene to last.
  9. An astonishingly good and daring film that richly develops several intertwined thematic lines, The Crying Game takes giant risks that are stunningly rewarded.
  10. Trenchantly witty and acutely insightful.
  11. A stunning work, revisiting controversial events with journalistic objectivity and a meticulous eye for detail.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    He (Allen) makes nary a misstep from beginning to end in charting the amorous affiliations of three sisters and their men over a two-year period.
  12. A gemlike picture crafted with rare and immaculate precision.
  13. Stunningly made and incisively acted by a large and terrific cast, Michael Mann's ambitious study of the relativity of good and evil stands apart from other films of its type by virtue of its extraordinarily rich characterizations and its thoughtful, deeply melancholy take on modern life.
  14. The film pulls no punches, takes no prisoners and flies in the face of feel-good pictures.
  15. Enormously ambitious and masterfully made, Traffic represents docudrama-style storytelling at a very high level.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A spectacularly entertaining piece of pop culture, Pulp Fiction is the "American Graffiti" of violent crime pictures.
  16. This spirited and often very funny lark accomplishes something that most films in the bygone Hollywood studio era used to do but is remarkably rare in today's world of niche markets: It offers entertainment equally to viewers from 4 to 104.
  17. A searingly visceral combat picture, Steven Spielberg’s third World War II drama is arguably second to none as a vivid, realistic and bloody portrait of armed conflict.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Evinces an artistic rigor and unsentimental intelligence unlike anything the world's most successful filmmaker has demonstrated before.
  18. Devilishly inventive and so far out there it's almost off the scale.
  19. An out-and-out charmer. It's almost impossible to do justice in words either to the visual richness of the movie, which melanges traditional Japanese clothes and architecture with both Victorian and modern-day artifacts, or to the character-filled storyline, with human figures, harpies and grotesque creatures.
  20. The Usual Suspects is an ironic, bang-up thriller about the wages of crime. A terrific cast of exciting actors socks over this absorbingly complicated yarn that's been spun in a seductively slick fashion by director Bryan Singer.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    An outstanding picture.
  21. Rare proof that a gigantic production in contemporary Hollywood can possess a distinctive personality and its own approach to storytelling, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World proves as bracing as a stiff wind on the open sea.
  22. Represents that filmmaking rarity -- a third part of a trilogy that is decisively the best of the lot. With epic conflict, staggering battles, striking landscapes and effects, and resolved character arcs all leading to a dramatic conclusion to more than nine hours of masterful storytelling.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A magnificent film. George Lucas set out to make the biggest possible adventure fantasy out of his memories of serials and older action epics, and he succeeded brilliantly.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Spielberg has deftly veiled proceedings in a sense of mystical wonder that makes it all the more easy for viewers to suspend disbelief and settle back for the fun.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A blazing, cinematic comic book, full of virtuoso moviemaking, terrific momentum, solid performances and a compelling story.
  23. Originally conceived as one film, the two-parter that has finally emerged can now be seen as a truly epic work.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Annie Get Your Gun is socko musical entertainment on film, just as it was on the Broadway stage. (Review of original release)
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Emerges as a sumptuously produced period piece that is also a rich tapestry of childhood memoirs and moods, fear and fancy, employing all the manners and means of the best of cinematic theatrical from high and low comedy to darkest tragedy with detours into the gothic, the ghostly and the gruesome. (Review of Original Release)
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    One of the wildest fabrications any author has ever tried to palm off on a gullible public. But the fascinating thing is that, from uncertain premise to shattering conclusion, one does not question plausibility of the events being rooted in their own cinematic reality.
  24. Haneke demonstrates profound insight into the essence of human behavior when all humility is pared away, raw panic and despair are the order of the day, and man becomes more like wolf than man.
  25. The pleasure is doubled in Spider-Man 2. Crackerjack entertainment from start to finish, this rousing yarn about a reluctant superhero and his equally conflicted friends and enemies improves in every way on its predecessor and is arguably about as good a live-action picture as anyone's ever made using comicbook characters.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A richly textured and thoroughly engrossing drama that ranks with indie filmmaker John SaylesJohn Sayles' finest work.
  26. An instant ancillary classic for music fan.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Italy's top bestseller of recent literary history, Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa's The Leopard comes to the screen in a magnificent film, munificently outfitted and splendidly acted by a large cast dominated by Burt Lancaster. (Review of Original Release)
  27. Mike Leigh is at the peak of his powers with Vera Drake, a compassionate, morally complex drama that stands easily alongside his best work, "Secrets & Lies" and "Topsy-Turvy."
  28. di Florio emerges with a serenely powerful, handcrafted film that navigates into a place Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once called "the tangled discords of our nation."
  29. An enormously entertaining slice of biographical drama, The Aviator flies like one of Howard Hughes' record-setting speed airplanes.
  30. As deliriously smart escapist fare, The Incredibles is practically nonpareil.
  31. Staying at the top of his game when most of his contemporaries have long since hung up their gloves, Clint Eastwood delivers another knockout punch with Million Dollar Baby.
  32. A dramatic triumph.
  33. Watching *Corpus Callosum and marveling at its sprightliness, its joyous, imaginative air, its effortless attenuation to all that is wonderful and horrible and comical about modern technology, makes you want to jump up and shout for joy, too.
  34. Reveals Soderbergh in peak form, as he endows Leonard’s postmodern yarn with a meticulously detailed mise en scene that helps each member of his terrific ensemble soar.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Magnify James Bond's extraordinary physical powers while curbing his sex drive and you have the essence of Superman, a wonderful, chuckling, preposterously exciting fantasy.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Brilliant cinema theatre.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    War is hell, and Patton is one hell of a war picture, perhaps one of the most remarkable of its type ever made.
  35. Eye-poppingly intimate footage of various critters evolving from the fetal stage or eating, strolling, fighting and courting that can only be obtained via infinite patience with special equipment in exotic locations.
  36. An exquisite ode to a working-class hero, Cinderella Man takes the almost impossibly perfect elements of the saga of underdog boxer James J. Braddock and fills it with emotional gravitas, wrenching danger and a panoramic sense of American life during the Great Depression.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Wim Wenders returns to Germany with a sublimely beautiful, deeply romantic film for our times. (Review of Original Release)
  37. A brilliant portrait of adventure, activism, obsession and potential madness that ranks among helmer Werner Herzog's strongest work.
  38. The mesmerizing performance of Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the celebrated writer dominates every scene, while director Bennett Miller and screenwriter Dan Futterman's penetrating study enthralls in every aspect.
  39. But the filmmakers have invigorated and enriched the story through the use of a thousand details, a strong sense of time and place, outstanding characterizations and a display of energy and cinematic flair that marks an advance on "My Left Foot."
  40. Tilling some of the same conspiracy turf he explored in "All the President's Men," Pakula has improved on Grisham's book by excising much of the detritus, crafting a taut, intelligent thriller that succeeds on almost every level.
  41. An astute, intelligent family picture, the film is a potent reminder that you can have your heart in the right place and still produce a gripping, satisfying entertainment.
  42. The concert film has never looked or sounded classier than Jonathan Demme's superbly crafted Neil Young: Heart of Gold.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A dramatically moving and technically breathtaking American art film, one of the great cinematic achievements of the 1970s.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Repulsion is a classy, truly horrific psychological drama in which Polish director Roman Polanski draws out a remarkable performance from young French thesp, Catherine Deneuve. (Review of Original Release)
  43. Intelligently written, brilliantly cast and thesped story of a German mail order bride in a Norwegian-American community in Minnesota just after WWI never hits a wrong note.
  44. The fun that Schlesinger and his first-rate ensemble must have had while working on this production is infectious, for there isn't one dull -- or quiet -- moment in the film.
  45. Mel Gibson is always good for a surprise, and his latest is that Apocalypto is a remarkable film. Set in the waning days of the Mayan civilization, the picture provides a trip to a place one's never been before, offering hitherto unseen sights of exceptional vividness and power.
  46. Far from abandoning his trademark humor, however, the writer-director skillfully enlists it in the service of an emotional story, charting the heroine's journey from loss and torment to rediscovered strength and hope. Propelled by stellar performances and a script that resonates with intelligence, subtlety and surprises, this is by far Almodovar's best film in years.
  47. Remarkably funny and entirely convincing, film pulls off the rare accomplishment of being an in-drag comedy which also emerges with three-dimensional characters.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Oliver Stone again shows America to itself in a way it won't forget. His collaboration with Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic to depict Kovic's odyssey from teenage true believer to wheel-chair-bound soldier in a very different war results in a gripping, devastating and telling film about the Vietnam era.
  48. Uproarious. Line for line, minute to minute, writer-director Judd Apatow's latest effort is more explosively funny, more frequently, than nearly any other major studio release in recent memory.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Anthropology and entertainment are marvelously married in Rolf de Heer's Ten Canoes. The first feature in an Australian Aboriginal language feels authentic to the core as it tells a cautionary tale set 1,000 years ago.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Black Stallion is a perfect gem.
  49. Ratatouille is delicious. In this satisfying, souffle-light tale of a plucky French rodent with a passion for cooking, the master chefs at Pixar have blended all the right ingredients -- abundant verbal and visual wit, genius slapstick timing, a soupcon of Gallic sophistication -- to produce a warm and irresistible concoction that's sure to appeal to everyone's inner Julia Child.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    As certain to get auds singing as the man himself, Pete Seeger: The Power of Song is a terrific, multilayered portrait of a singer whose legacy extends beyond music and into every major social action movement since the 1940s. Always enjoyable, this docu proves that a few rare people actually deserve the hagiography treatment.
  50. A scorching blast of tense genre filmmaking shot through with rich veins of melancholy, down-home philosophy and dark, dark humor, No Country for Old Men reps a superior match of source material and filmmaking talent.
  51. Rarely has a book sprung so vividly to life, but also worked so enthrallingly in pure movie terms, as with Atonement, Brit helmer Joe Wright’s smart, dazzlingly upholstered adaptation of Ian McEwan’s celebrated 2001 novel.
  52. Boldly and magnificently strange, There Will Be Blood marks a significant departure in the work of Paul Thomas Anderson.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Pitch perfect and brilliantly acted, 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days is a stunning achievement, helmed with a purity and honesty that captures not just the illegal abortion story at its core but the constant, unremarked negotiations necessary for survival in the final days of the Soviet bloc.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A gloriously cinematic documentay of epic, poetic sadness.
  53. Ever-eclectic director Jon Favreau, who briefly pops up onscreen as a Stark minion, maintains a brisk but not frantic pace, and, in concert with lenser Matthew Libatique, production designer J. Michael Riva and the first-rate visual effects team, has made an unusually elegant looking film for the genre.
  54. Enthralling...An ambitious, full-bodied crime epic of gratifying scope and moral complexity, this is seriously brainy pop entertainment that satisfies every expectation raised by its hit predecessor and then some.
  55. One of the most wildly entertaining docs of recent years.
  56. A rock-ribbed sense of committed, personal cinema and a core belief in people being able to pull themselves out of misery supports Ballast, an extraordinary debut by editor-writer-director Lance Hammer.
  57. Emotionally powerful and stylistically sure-handed, this true story-inspired drama begins small with the disappearance of a young boy, only to gradually fan out to become a comprehensive critique of the entire power structure of Los Angeles, circa 1928.
  58. Rourke creates a galvanizing, humorous, deeply moving portrait that instantly takes its place among the great, iconic screen performances. An elemental story simply and brilliantly told, Darren Aronofsky's fourth feature is a winner from every possible angle.
  59. Talky in the best sense, the film exhilarates with its lively, authentic classroom banter while its emotional undercurrents build steadily but almost imperceptibly over a swift 129 minutes. One of the most substantive and purely entertaining movies in competition at Cannes this year.
  60. Up
    A captivating odd-couple adventure that becomes funnier and more exciting as it flies along.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    An intensely political film so wildly inventive and witty that it will become a touchstone for years to come, Il Divo is a masterpiece for maverick helmer-scribe Paolo Sorrentino.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Musically and visually sumptuous.
  61. Eco-activist documentaries don't get much more compelling than The Cove, an impassioned piece of advocacy filmmaking that follows "Flipper" trainer-turned-marine crusader Richard O'Barry in his efforts to end dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A kind of classic of American sports history.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A profound, elemental and hauntingly beautiful period drama that makes an intimate story of endurance into a metaphor for an entire culture.

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