Variety's Scores

For 8,816 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 1.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Lobster
Lowest review score: 0 Bio-Dome
Score distribution:
8,816 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Devilishly inventive and so far out there it's almost off the scale.
  3. Enormously ambitious and masterfully made, Traffic represents docudrama-style storytelling at a very high level.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. "Cloverfield" director Matt Reeves hasn't ruined the elegant Swedish vampire story by remaking it. If anything, he's made some improvements, including the addition of a tense action-horror sequence in the middle of the film.
  7. If the screenplay, by Dan Futterman (“Capote”) and E. Max Frye, is relatively spare in terms of dialogue, it’s satisfyingly rich and thorny in its conception of the tightly wound triangle at its center, while Miller’s direction evinces the same sustained intensity and consummate control of his material that defined his first two features.
  8. With plenty to appeal to boys and girls, old and young, Walt Disney Animation Studios has a high-scoring hit on its hands in this brilliantly conceived, gorgeously executed toon, earning bonus points for backing nostalgia with genuine emotion.
  9. A faithful adaptation that captures the haunting spirit and religious nature of the 1951 novel.
  10. This edition of the seminal example of genre sensationalism refined by the cream of Hollywood craftsmanship is more complicated than a standard director's cut.
  11. A film of tenderness and humor married to the unlikeliest of subjects.
  12. Its modest surface belies the depths of a lovely seriocomedy that concisely lays bare all kinds of uncomfortable dynamics in seemingly casual, low-key fashion.
  13. An endearingly schizoid Frankenstein of a movie, by turns relentlessly high-spirited and darkly poignant.
  14. Superior historical soap opera that shrewdly sidesteps all the cliches of British costume drama with its bold, often modern approach.
  15. Though targeted at tots, Ponyo may appeal most to jaded adults thirsty for wondrous beauty and unpackaged innocence
  16. There is gargantuan excess here, to be sure — and no shortage of madness — but there is also an astonishing level of discipline.
  17. A gritty, intense and supremely accomplished sci-fier.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Disney artists have created a vivid palette for the picture.
  18. If John Cassavetes had directed a script by Eric Rohmer, the result might have looked and sounded like Mutual Appreciation.
  19. There's a kind of rawness on the screen that most movies never approach.
  20. The result is just about the most fun you can have while learning, partly because it strips away any tangents beyond the task at hand, offering a lean, 80-minute account of how this crazy guy erected his own Everest and then proceeded to climb it.
  21. Avatar is all-enveloping and transporting, with Cameron & Co.'s years of R&D paying off with a film that, as his work has done before, raises the technical bar and throws down a challenge for the many other filmmakers toiling in the sci-fi/fantasy realm.
  22. Well contextualized and sensitively shot with extraordinary access, the pic reflects the personal, moral and ethical struggles of the doctors as well as their patients.
  23. This plays almost like an academic master class, meticulously exploring the event's ramifications but only catching full fire at the end.
  24. Exploding Raymond Carver's spare stories and minimally drawn characters onto the screen with startling imagination, Robert Altman has made his most complex and full-bodied human comedy since "Nashville."
  25. Sam Mendes' much-anticipated second effort after his Oscar-winning "American Beauty" finds him working in a very different key while displaying an even more pronounced attentiveness to tone, genre variations and artistic niceties.
  26. A seductively structured and superbly acted suspenser that breathtakingly piles swindle upon scam without giving away the game until the very end.
  27. Driven by fantastic energy and a torrent of vivid images of India old and new, Slumdog Millionaire is a blast.
  28. Utterly engrossing dual-character study, unfolding with a serene disregard for indie quirkiness, Goodbye Solo radiates authenticity.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A film of challenging ideas, and not salacious provocations, The Last Temptation of Christ is a powerful and very modern reinterpretation of Jesus as a man wracked with anguish and doubt concerning his appointed role in life.

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