Variety's Scores

For 11,723 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 2.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 A War
Lowest review score: 0 God's Not Dead 2
Score distribution:
11723 movie reviews
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Ben-Hur is a majestic achievement, representing a superb blending of the motion picture arts by master craftsmen.
  1. The film pulls no punches, takes no prisoners and flies in the face of feel-good pictures.
  2. There is gargantuan excess here, to be sure — and no shortage of madness — but there is also an astonishing level of discipline.
  3. An altogether smashing sequel to 2011′s better-than-expected “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” this vivid, violent extension of humanoid ape Caesar’s troubled quest for independence bests its predecessor in nearly every technical and conceptual department.
    • 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.
  4. A magnificent tapestry of sounds and images, this documentary interweaves multiple leitmotifs that flow through the film like familiar old friends, surging to the forefront only to be reabsorbed and casually encountered farther on.
  5. This is unabashedly virtuoso, show-off filmmaking, as cocky as the misguided young men at the film’s center, who, at least for a period, saw their lives as a Hollywood romp in itself.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    There has never been anything in the theatre quite like Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, seven reels of animated cartoon in Technicolor, unfolding an absorbingly interesting and, at times, thrilling entertainment. So perfect is the illusion, so tender the romance and fantasy, so emotional are certain portions when the acting of the characters strikes a depth comparable to the sincerity of human players, that the film approaches real greatness.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Black Stallion is a perfect gem.
  6. 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.
  7. King in the Wilderness is a searing film because it takes Martin Luther King Jr. down from the mountaintop. You glimpse the real glory of who he was: not a walking monument but a human being with fear, humor, guts, and (amazing) grace under pressure.
  8. At nearly two hours, the film might strike some as overlong, and yet the edit finds so many masterful connections en route to its exhilarating climax that it’s easy to fall under the pic’s hypnotic spell.
  9. Righteous, captivating and entirely successful as single-issue-focused documentaries go, Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s film draws on startling video footage and testimonies from former orca trainers, building an authoritative argument on behalf of this majestic species.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The acting is superb. Cannon proves an expert comedienne. She and Gould practically steal the film, although admittedly they have the best lines. Wood and Culp give equally fine performances....The film is almost flawless, presenting the issues in a pleasing, entertaining and thought-provoking manner.
  10. In the hands of a master, indignation and tragedy can be rendered with clarity yet subtlety, setting hysteria aside for deeper, more richly shaded tones. Abderrahmane Sissako is just such a master.
  11. An exhilarating slalom through the wormholes of Christopher Nolan’s vast imagination that is at once a science-geek fever dream and a formidable consideration of what makes us human.
    • 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)
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Paolo Sorrentino, with Youth, delivers his most tender film to date, an emotionally rich contemplation of life’s wisdom gained, lost and remembered — with cynicism harping from the sidelines, but as a wearied chord rather than a major motif.
  15. The frustrating nine-year wait for new material from Martel has done nothing to blunt her exquisite, inventive command of sound and image, nor her knack for subtly violent exposure of social and racial prejudice on the upper rungs of the class ladder.
  16. Working about as far as possible from the commercial mainstream of the movie business, Costa has again made a singular docu-fiction hybrid that defies classification as readily as it reimagines the possibilities of cinema for the post-spectacle, post-theatrical era.
  17. A gloriously cinematic documentay of epic, poetic sadness.
  18. If the original Apocalypse Now was a narrow, swiftly flowing river that gradually closed in on the patrol boat carrying Captain Willard into the heart of darkness, Apocalypse Now Redux is a wide river of greater depth, more variable currents and some fascinating new ports of call.
  19. So tastefully mounted and brilliantly acted that it wears down even the corset-phobic’s innate resistance to such things.
  20. Knowingly incendiary but remarkably cool-headed, and built around yet another of Isabelle Huppert’s staggering psychological dissections, Paul Verhoeven’s long-awaited return to notional genre filmmaking pulls off a breathtaking bait-and-switch: Audiences arriving for a lurid slab of arthouse exploitation will be taken off-guard by the complex, compassionate, often corrosively funny examination of unconventional desires that awaits them.
  21. Tweel masterfully assembles roughly four years of footage, much of it shot by Gleason himself, and the result is painfully raw at times but undeniably rewarding.
  22. A stunning work, revisiting controversial events with journalistic objectivity and a meticulous eye for detail.
  23. Make no mistake: Endless Poetry is still very much a Jodorowsky film, dotted with his trademark phantasmagorical conceits, which are like candified bursts of comic-book magic realism. Yet more than any previous Jodorowsky opus, it’s also a work of disciplined and touching emotional resonance.
  24. A prodigious achievement that conveys the fabric of modern American life, aspirations and incidentally, sports, in close-up and at length, Hoop Dreams is a documentary slam dunk.

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