Variety's Scores

For 11,340 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 The Heiresses
Lowest review score: 0 Vulgar
Score distribution:
11340 movie reviews
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Several exhilarating milestones are achieved in Rosemary's Baby, an excellent film version of Ira Levin's diabolical chiller novel. Writer-director Roman Polanski has triumphed in his first US-made pic. The film holds attention without explicit violence or gore.
  1. The opening of Sicario unfolds at such an anxiety-inducing pitch that it seems impossible for Villeneuve to sustain it, let alone build on it, but somehow he manages to do just that. He’s a master of the kind of creeping tension that coils around the audience like a snake suffocating its prey.
  2. Girl Asleep is an exuberant example of imaginative filmmaking that takes its cues from imagination and talent — with nary a focus group in sight.
  3. 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.
    • 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)
  4. An enormously entertaining slice of biographical drama, The Aviator flies like one of Howard Hughes' record-setting speed airplanes.
  5. The pic is a superbly crafted collage whose soundtrack is as complexly textured as the curation and editing of visual elements.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Of all the youth-themed nostalgia films in the past couple of years, George Lucas’ American Graffiti is among the very best to date. Set in 1962 but reflecting the culmination of the 1950s, the film is a most vivid recall of teenage attitudes and mores, told with outstanding empathy and compassion through an exceptionally talented cast of relatively new players.
  6. DuVernay’s razor-sharp portrait of the Civil Rights movement — and Dr. King himself — at a critical crossroads is as politically astute as it is psychologically acute, giving us a human-scale King whose indomitable public face belies currents of weariness and self-doubt.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It happens to be a first-class film of potent importance to the art of motion pictures...a triumph for Orson Welles.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    West Side Story is a beautifully-mounted, impressive, emotion-ridden and violent musical which, in its stark approach to a raging social problem and realism of unfoldment, may set a pattern for future musical presentations. Screen takes on a new dimension in this powerful and sometimes fascinating translation of the Broadway musical to the greater scope of motion pictures.
    • 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)
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A distinguished work that will take its place in the repertory of Hollywood's great and enduring achievements.
  7. Result is pure-grade art cinema destined primarily for the delectation of Malick partisans and adventurous arthouse-goers.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A richly textured and thoroughly engrossing drama that ranks with indie filmmaker John SaylesJohn Sayles' finest work.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A mesmerizing thriller that will grip audiences from first scene to last.
  8. It's a thrilling, at times brilliant piece of staging that never forgets the emotional pull of either the tragic personal tale or the ramifications of history.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Conflict between police sleuthing and political expediency is the essence of Bullitt, an extremely well-made crime melodrama [from Robert L. Pike's novel Mute Witness] filmed in Frisco. Steve McQueen delivers a very strong performance as a detective seeking a man whom Robert Vaughn, ambitious politico, would exploit for selfish motives. Good scripting and excellent direction by Peter Yates maintain deliberately low-key but mounting suspense.
  9. Not merely a story of interspecies hierarchy, then, White God also puts forward a simple but elegant metaphor for racial and class oppression, as the outcast (or even outcaste) masses, sidelined in favor of the elite few, band together to assert their collective strength.
  10. 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.
  11. A brilliant portrait of adventure, activism, obsession and potential madness that ranks among helmer Werner Herzog's strongest work.
  12. Up
    A captivating odd-couple adventure that becomes funnier and more exciting as it flies along.
  13. Part dreamy millennial picaresque, part distorted tapestry of Americana and part exquisitely illustrated iTunes musical, “Honey” daringly commits only to the loosest of narratives across its luxurious 162-minute running time. Yet it’s constantly, engrossingly active, spinning and sparking and exploding in cycles like a Fourth of July Catherine wheel.
  14. Structured more like a requiem than a polemic, the doc ebbs and flows in accordance with the cycles of mourning as it speaks with parents of the murdered children, as well as the teachers, priests, doctors and neighbors afflicted with survivor’s guilt, elegantly and devastatingly capturing the tenor of a small town that will carry these scars for at least a generation.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It’s a dazzlingly successful addition to [Kurosawa's] distinguished career.
  15. 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.
  16. One of Wiseman’s best, a summation of sorts of a career’s worth of principled filmmaking from a director in his ninth decade.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Last Detail is a salty, bawdy, hilarious and very touching story about two career sailors escorting to a naval prison a dumb boot sentenced for petty thievery. Jack Nicholson is outstanding at the head of a superb cast.
  17. 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.
  18. Brief Encounters reps a must-see for art lovers.

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