Variety's Scores

For 10,100 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: 60
Highest review score: 100 It Might Get Loud
Lowest review score: 0 Being Human
Score distribution:
10100 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Continues Fincher's fascinating transition from genre filmmaker extraordinaire to indelible chronicler of our times.
  3. The film is a master class in comic timing, employing pacing and repetition with the skill of a practiced concert pianist.
  4. As always, Techine is excellent at exploring “tiny” personal flashes that assume larger meaning when placed against the broader historical context.
  5. Looks and sounds wonderful, and while more information about these giants of African-Latin music might have been welcome, the music's the thing.
  6. Wrenchingly acted, deftly manipulated and terrifyingly well made.
  7. Charles Ferguson's sophomore film Inside Job is the definitive screen investigation of the global economic crisis, providing hard evidence of flagrant amorality -- and of a new nonfiction master at work.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. The persistence of grief and the hope of redemption are themes as timeless as dramaturgy itself, but rarely do they summon forth the kind of extraordinary swirl of love, anger, tenderness and brittle humor that is Manchester by the Sea.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. A film of quiet but profound outrage, laughing on the surface, but howling in anger just beneath.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. A War doesn’t seek to break new ground in the ongoing cinematic investigation of the Afghanistan conflict; rather, it scrutinizes the ground on which it stands with consummate sensitivity and detail.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    In every respect it is outstanding.
    • 92 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.
  18. Boasting a narrative of extraordinary complexity and density, stuffed with irony, humor and tales-within-tales, the imaginative animated memoir Rocks in My Pockets merges a mini-history of 20th-century Latvia with that of helmer Signe Baumane and her forebears.
  19. 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.
  20. Red, the beautifully spun and splendidly acted tale of a young model’s decisive encounter with a retired judge, is another deft, deeply affecting variation on Krzysztof Kieslowski’s recurring theme that people are interconnected in ways they can barely fathom. If it’s true — as the helmer has announced — that this opus will be his last foray into film directing, Kieslowski retires at a formal and philosophical peak.
  21. Devilishly inventive and so far out there it's almost off the scale.
  22. Linklater indulges his characters’ antics with such wild, free-flowing affection that you might miss the thoughtful undertow of this delightful movie: Few filmmakers have so fully embraced the bittersweet joy of living in the moment — one that’s all the more glorious because it fades so soon.
  23. Enormously ambitious and masterfully made, Traffic represents docudrama-style storytelling at a very high level.
  24. Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro is the rare movie that might be called a spiritual documentary.
  25. 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.
  26. "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.
  27. Here, within a thrilling tale that respects the intelligence of its audience, attentive parents will find the antidote to their fear that watching cartoons might rot your brain. If anything, April and the Extraordinary World seems bound to do the opposite, encouraging children to pursue their own passions and creativity.
  28. 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.

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