Variety's Scores

For 10,612 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 44% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Macbeth
Lowest review score: 0 Showgirls
Score distribution:
10612 movie reviews
  1. Delicately handled and superbly textured, this fine adaptation of Graham Swift's Booker Prize-winning novel deals with all the really big subjects: love, friendship, death, life.
  2. Though While We’re Young is primarily a comedy — and a very funny one at that, managing to be both blisteringly of-the-moment and classically zany in the same breath — Baumbach has bitten off several serious topics, for which laughter serves as the most agreeable way to engage.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Kramer vs. Kramer is a perceptive, touching, intelligent film about one of the raw sores of contemporary America, the dissolution of the family unit.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Metropolitan succeeds on several levels, offering rich, sparkling dialog, distinct characters and an intriguing peek into a seldom seen milieu.
  3. Offering further proof that the latest 3D technology is good for a lot more than just lunging knives and fantastical storylines, Wim Wenders' dance docu Pina reps multidimensional entertainment that will send culture vultures swooning.
  4. This Central Asia-set historical epic from Russian helmer Sergei Bodrov ("Nomad") boasts breathtaking landscapes, dazzling cinematography, bloody battles and unique traditions.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Perkins gives a remarkably effective in-a-dream kind of performance as the possessed young man. Others play it straight, with equal competence.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Coma is an extremely entertaining suspense drama in the Hitchcock tradition. Robin Cook's novel is adapted by Crichton into a smartly paced tale which combines traditional Hitchcock elements with contemporary personal relationships.
    • Variety
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A standout picture.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A charming, witty, passionate romantic drama about a love transcending space and time, Somewhere In Time is an old-fashioned film in the best sense of that term. Which means it's carefully crafted, civilized in its sensibilities, and interested more in characterization than in shock effects.
  5. Jean-Francois Laguionie’s consistently enjoyable, inventive and beautifully crafted tale is a color riot suitable for all ages.
  6. Jenkins brings a rigor, intelligence and eye for the slightly absurd to the proceedings that is instantly disarming.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The casting is pin point. Charleson and Cross, neither meaningful to film fans up to now, come over as plausible types rather than stereotypes. John Gielgud and Lindsay Anderson contribute sharply as university officials dismayed by the upstart young Jew. Nigel Davenport is very good as the Olympic squad’s titular leader, and Patrick Magee is excellent in a brief turn as a blimpish peer of the realm.
  7. A tightly focused romantic drama that exudes the narrative terseness of a good short story and the lucid craftsmanship of a filmmaker in full command of the medium.
  8. Distinguished by its quiet, intelligent, admirably restrained approach and by two finely wrought performances from Harris and Marcia Gay Harden in the leading roles.
  9. Like the speck of sand that seeds a pearl, it’s the tiny fleck of kitsch at the heart of “A Single Man” that makes it luminous and treasurable, despite its imperfections.
  10. With Boyhood, Linklater has created an uncanny time capsule, inviting auds to relive their own upbringing through a series of artificial memories pressed like flowers between the pages of a family photo album.
  11. Ghobadi in this pic displays a complete command of his art as he shifts between -- and even blends -- wrenching tragedy and amusing comedy.
  12. A tantalizing mix of documentary, fiction and everything in between (including music video), Miguel Gomes’ 150-minute love song to rural Portugal, Our Beloved Month of August, scores viscerally as well as intellectually.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Ruthless People is a hilariously venal comedy about a kidnapped harridan whose rich husband won’t pay for her return.
  13. Belzberg's unsparing camera sometimes portrays a level of cruelty that tests viewers' tolerance, but her fearless aesthetic is also a measure of the film's brilliant indictment of any society that can allow its most vulnerable to slip into oblivion.
  14. The circumstances may be contrived, but the characters feel refreshingly genuine.
  15. Audiences will be excused for any feelings of déjà vu the new film might inspire. That won't prevent them from watching it in rapt, anxious silence, however, as the gruesome crimes, twisted psychology and deterministic dread that lie at the heart of Harris' work are laid out with care and skill.
  16. The timing in the Clooney-Farmiga scenes is like splendid tennis, with each player surprising the other with shots but keeping the rally going to breathtaking duration.
  17. As Hakonarson’s beautifully modulated film progresses, recurring images contrast and poignantly resonate with meaning.
  18. As originated by Grisham and adapted by Akiva Goldsman, this is a story of elemental emotional and legal issues splashed across a large canvas, and director Joel Schumacher has done a solid job of keeping the many components in focus and balance.
  19. Now and then, Winterbottom nudges the movie in the direction of narrative... But even when it’s just ambling about, The Trip to Italy casts a warm, enveloping spell.
  20. Saavedra is riveting as a servant whose unblinking focus on her routine masks a profound loneliness.
  21. Shults’s approach craftily favors observation over exposition, and he proves as attentive to Krisha’s surroundings as he is to her inner life.
  22. A masterfully composed and suitably outraged look at the neocolonialist exploitation of South Sudan.
  23. The result is a tense, documentary-style drama that methodically builds a sense of dread despite the preordained outcome.
  24. Looks to please the book's legions of fans with its imaginatively scrupulous rendering of the tome's characters and worlds on the screen, as well as the uninitiated with its uninterrupted flow of incident and spectacle.
  25. Enormously absorbing.
  26. Night not only conveys the almost unbelievable atrocities captured by the Russian, American and British camera teams and photographers, but also highlights the dedication of the team determined to document and disseminate this evidence and the changing policies of those in charge of postwar reconstruction.
  27. This is upscale French entertainment at its best.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Perhaps the motivations of each juror are introduced too quickly and are repeated too often before each changes his vote. However, the film leaves a tremendous impact.
  28. Clearly rejuvenated by his collaboration with producer Peter Jackson, and blessed with a smart script and the best craftsmanship money can buy, Spielberg has fashioned a whiz-bang thrill ride that's largely faithful to the wholesome spirit of his source but still appealing to younger, Tintin-challenged audiencs.
  29. What emerges, finally, is an urgent distress call from one of America’s many, predominately black inner cities cast adrift by decades of municipal neglect and institutional racism.
  30. George A. Romero shows 'em how it's done in Land of the Dead, resurrecting his legendary franchise with top-flight visuals, terrific genre smarts and tantalizing layers of implication.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Frank Capra and James Stewart, in returning to films after long years in uniform, endow the pic with its most telling contributions. Herewith, Stewart touches the thespic peak of his career. He hasn’t lost a whit of his erstwhile boyish personality (when called to turn it on) and further shows a maturity and depth he seems recently to have acquired.
  31. Princess plays out an unsettling scenario of underage sexuality in enigmatic, almost dreamlike terms.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Robocop is as tightly worked as a film can be, not a moment or line wasted.
  32. Its mind-bending storytelling and themes of play and paranoia make it perhaps the quintessential Gallic movie of its era.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Beautifully textured, cleverly scripted and eerily shot (often with a wideangle lens making characters look even weirder), Delicatessan is a zany little film that's a startling and clever debut for co-helmers Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro.
  33. Structurally and thematically similar to John Frankenheimer's original but entirely different in style, feel and nuance, this political thriller about a brainwashed soldier being positioned for the White House provides a delectable network of dramatic tripwires that teases the mind and quickens the pulse. This is brainy popcorn fare.
  34. Rib-ticklingly funny at times and genial as all get-out.
  35. A spirited and captivating bio-doc that richly deserves the exclamation point in its title.
  36. The kinetically shot concert footage captures the volatile dynamic between performers and audience, as Mick Jagger's provocative posturing is followed by fans storming the stage.
  37. Some viewers will work themselves into a state of severe agitation trying to keep pace with Haghighi’s panoply of diversionary tactics within diversions. Others may simply give in to the sensual allure of the whole contraption, as Haghighi gives lively indigenous treatment to motifs and atmospherics drawn from the Hollywood genre playbook.
  38. In the post-Columbine era, Koury's film has its finger on something particularly potent.
  39. It's hard to walk away unaffected from this heartfelt, well-researched, feature-length documentary.
  40. Babe: Pig in the City is tour de force filmmaking that masks its achievement in a good ripping yarn.
  41. Once again, the DreamWorks team demonstrates that humor is the primary weapon in its arsenal.
  42. This simultaneously beautiful and abjectly unhappy film is forced to close by silently admitting its limitations.
  43. Fernandez (“Used Parts”) has a masterful handle on narrative, structure and character, skillfully blending them all in a tale with atmosphere to spare.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Performances by the entire cast, and particularly William Holden and Gloria Swanson, are exceptionally fine.
  44. War Dogs marks a key turning point for Phillips. After all these years of yocks, it’s his first true grown-up movie, and it’s a nimble, gripping, and terrific one, with plenty of laughs, only now they’re rooted in the reality of fear, and in behavior that’s authentically scurrilous.
  45. Taking advantage of a splendid cast, a sharply focused script and the fresh English setting, "Gosford Park" emerges as one of the most satisfying of Robert Altman's numerous ensemble pictures.
  46. Fleischer-Camp and editor Jonathan Rippon’s subtle recontextualizations illuminate the family’s attempt to live their lives as outlined in omnipresent commercials as both illogical and understandable — this is not a film intent on hanging its subjects out to dry.
  47. Boasting complex, sharply drawn characters and top-notch performances, this mature drama plays with ideas of seeing, both the outside world as well as within oneself, as Fluk (“Never Too Late”) masterfully depicts intimacies gone awry.
  48. Reynolds’ film conveys a legitimate, stirring sense of awe about mankind’s innate desire for adventure, discovery and communion with all that surrounds it.
  49. All but stealing the film is Cooper, who seizes a rare opportunity as an extroverted, rather than buttoned-up, character to bust loose like an uncaged alligator.
  50. Enormously entertaining chiller.
  51. Beginning as a colorful documentary about the Puerto Rican transgender community, candidly showcasing nine very different subjects, Mala Mala slowly morphs into a celebration of solidarity and collective activism without ever losing sight of its likable protagonists.
  52. A low-key but sharply observed work that benefits from real local flavor and a gift for lyric image making.
  53. Effectively building dread and emotional tension as tragic incidents triggered by human stupidity and carelessness steadily multiply, this film, like "21 Grams" in particular, employs a deterministically grim mindset in the cause of its philosophical aspirations, but is gripping nearly all the way.
  54. Stunningly shot and marvelously edited to capture the rhythms of the game, the pic transcends its subject much in the way Roger Angell’s essays on baseball offer rare pleasures even to those uninterested in the game.
  55. Writer-director Robert Eggers’ impressive debut feature walks a tricky line between disquieting ambiguity and full-bore supernatural horror, but leaves no doubt about the dangerously oppressive hold that Christianity exerted on some dark corners of the Puritan psyche.
  56. Guediguian's seemingly sprawling but in fact quite precise picture takes a while to establish itself, but is eventually rewarding viewing.
  57. If nothing else, Mistress America confirms Gerwig as one of the great, fearless screen comediennes of her generation — a tall, loose-limbed whirligig who careers through scenes with the beatific ditziness of a Carole Lombard or Judy Holliday.
  58. A superbly written loony-tunes satire, played by a tony cast at the top of its game.
  59. Deftly balancing epic sociopolitical scope with intimate human emotions, all polished to a high technical gloss, Deepa Mehta's Water is a profoundly moving drama.
  60. Grandly conceived and sensitively drawn.
  61. The Piano confirms Campion as a major talent, an uncompromising filmmaker with a very personal and specific vision.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    House Party captures contemporary black teen culture in a way that’s fresh, commercial and very catchy.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Meticulously detailed thriller.
  62. A spectacular demonstration of what modern technology can contribute to dramatic storytelling.
  63. Superbly orchestrated, visually impressive.
  64. The power of performing arts to restore hope to damaged young lives is marvelously captured in Still I Strive.
  65. That rare Princess whose wishes do come true, Montgomery’s what is known as a “genuine discovery.”
  66. Peopled with superbly drawn, attractive characters smoothly integrated into a well-turned, low-tricks plotline, Volver may rep Almodovar's most conventional piece to date, but it is also his most reflective, a subdued, sometimes intense and often comic homecoming that celebrates the pueblo and people that shaped his imagination.
  67. Through immaculate use of picture, sound and time, the director adds another panel to his series of pictures about disaffected, disconnected youth.
  68. Everything Harry Dean Stanton has done in his career, and his life, has brought him to his moment of triumph in “Lucky,” an unassumingly wonderful little film about nothing in particular and everything that’s important
  69. Shallow Grave, a tar-black comedy that zings along on a wave of visual and scripting inventiveness.
  70. The script is executed with enough naturalism to ward off complaints of contrivance — all the way up to a tidy, but quite satisfying, denouement.
  71. If the characters’ quandaries at times feel overly circumscribed, they’re also advanced with a bracing emotional directness, devoid of either cynicism or sentimentalism, that touches genuine chords of feeling over the course of the film’s fleet 130-minute running time.
  72. Strikes a delicate balance of comedy and pathos with an uplifting final act that delivers a resoundingly satisfying emotional payoff.
  73. What emerges, finally, is a film that gives an urgent, original voice to a people too frequently marginalized in both movies and society at large.
  74. Riveting, often haunting.
  75. Good old-fashioned virtues of three-dimensional characters, fine dialogue, recognizable life situations and meat-and-potatoes content.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Industrial Light & Magic special visual effects unit does yeoman work in staging the action with cliffhanger intensity.
  76. Never Let Me Go is that rare find, a fragile little four-leaf clover of a movie that's emotionally devastating, yet all too easily trampled by cynics.
  77. A wise and impeccably controlled drama that finds Russian helmer Andrei Zvyagintsev in outstanding form.
  78. It can take a TV series an entire season to establish a political intrigue as elaborate as the one Cedar devises here — and even longer to flesh out such a fascinating protagonist, when all Cedar had to do was give this archetype a name.
  79. Though the film comprehensively details the political and economic subtleties of what it declares “the crime of the century,” its narrative remains primarily a human-focused one, highlighting the stories of selected steadfast victims, as well as the heroic movers and shakers in the struggle.
  80. As princess movies go, this one broadens the studio’s horizons, and as Moana herself sings in the film, “no one knows, how far it goes.”
  81. Few actresses can convey the kind of honesty and humanity that Zellweger does here -- it's hard to imagine the film without her dominant, thoroughly credible performance.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Aided greatly by an expert film adaptation by its playwright, Willy Russell, Gilbert has come up with an irresistible story about a lively, lower-class British woman hungering for an education and the rather, staid, degenerating English professor who reluctantly provides her with one.
  82. A riveting account of how a soldier's death in Afghanistan was spun into a web of public lies.
  83. Pablo Larrain's breathtaking visual command makes for enthralling viewing in Post Mortem, a rigorous, formally controlled yet emotionally gripping drama set during Chile's bloody 1973 military coup.

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