Variety's Scores

For 11,039 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 2.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Her
Lowest review score: 0 Wash Dry and Spin Out
Score distribution:
11039 movie reviews
  1. Sharp performances and writing lend it a fresh appeal well above this genre's average.
  2. Lack of depth, complexity or strangeness make this a relatively routine entry for the director.
  3. Helmers Garrett Scott and Ian Olds offer a sympathetic look at the average Joe doing duty in hell -- as well as a sharp indictment of the Pentagon's cavalier support for the troops.
  4. A respectable literary adaptation but lacks dramatic urgency and intriguing undercurrents.
  5. A bizarre combo of upscale French erotica studded with good-humored kinky sex scenes.
  6. But despite less-than-ideal casting of the male roles, and a tendency to soften the Pulitzer Prize-winning work's thorny humor with a more sober tone, director John Madden has woven together an elegant, intelligent drama of a breed increasingly rare in mainstream American movies.
  7. A straight-ahead slasher pic with the big difference of an all-gay male character cast, Hellbent is fun -- if minor horror fun -- ably handled by first-time feature helmer Paul Etheredge-Ouzts.
  8. Almost totally reliant on red herrings and the viewer's nervous reflexes.
  9. As uneven as the topography of its San Francisco locales, but the amiable peaks mostly offset the flat stretches and valleys. A variation on a very old meet-cute theme with a touch of otherworldly romance.
  10. Brimming with cinematic confidence, cynicism, chutzpah plus dramatic bungles, Andrew Niccol's ambitious Lord of War views today's international arms trade through its anti-hero.
  11. Wood's powerlessness to break out of the emotive straightjacket hands the picture to his Russian costars on a platter, and they run with it.
  12. An endearingly schizoid Frankenstein of a movie, by turns relentlessly high-spirited and darkly poignant.
  13. An involving family drama about a young boy's dreams and personal loss, Hard Goodbyes: My Father brings a light touch -- and a full measure of unaffected charm -- to potentially downbeat material.
  14. Thumbsucker (like "Donnie Darko") is more likely to prosper in the long haul as a home-format cult fave than in its initial arthouse tour. Both offer eccentric humor within a fairly somber overall tone, support-cast surprises, and (to a lesser degree in Thumbsucker) fable-like, hyperreal elements.
  15. Good-natured but only memorable as a platform for the amusingly feisty Peter Falk, The Thing About My Folks plies a light approach to the problems grown children face when their parents appear on the verge of divorce.
  16. "Too decent to be president" was the label stuck to former senator and 1972 presidential candidate George McGovern, the self-effacing subject of Stephen Vittoria's One Bright Shining Moment. If "decent" means "polite," then the movie makes no effort to emulate its subject.
  17. Benefits from blend of live actors with computer-generated effects and backgrounds. Feature doesn't add up to much more than an enjoyable novelty.
  18. Will be of keen interest to fans but plays to the unwashed as cringingly pompous.
  19. G
    A handsome, compelling drama, about the African-American elite settling in the Hamptons, that more than stands on its own.
  20. Acquits itself well enough. Gratuitously gory and derivative to the core, Venom manages to deliver some effective frights in between large swaths of voodoo gibberish.
  21. With Separate Lies, Fellowes has made a truly adult film -- not because of its content or themes, but because it knows that real drama often lies in the accepted and unspoken realms of life.
  22. Pic's rediscovery in the capitalist U.S., and its reappraisal as a masterpiece of visual pyrotechnics, gives Brazilian documaker Vicente Ferraz's tale an upbeat final twist -- after some mid-film doldrums.
  23. Pic's quirky-for-quirky's-sake antics are neither particularly coherent nor enjoyably incoherent.
  24. Genetically-modified (or GM) fruits and vegetables are a topic of raging debate in scientific and ecological circles, so it's a shame writer-director Deborah Koons Garcia opts to show only one side of the argument.
  25. Links narrative fiction filmmaking to avant-garde with vision and authority.
  26. The movie plays like a career summation in which the 68-year-old writer-director has simply run out new ideas.
  27. The whole family can feel comfortable watching C.R.A.Z.Y., Jean-Marc Vallee's bouncy coming-of-age tale that coasts along on a terrific soundtrack and a spot-on feel for period detail. Story of a tight-knit Catholic family and their sexually confused son never goes near anything that might make mainstream auds uncomfortable, sticking with an old-fashioned tone balanced by inventive lensing that gives only the illusion of dipping its toe in risky waters.
  28. Functional if thoroughly uninspired movie. Because it clings to the comedy-action template of "48 Hrs.," pic feels like it could have been made 15 years ago.
  29. A film is in trouble when, despite the presence of an A-list cast and a well-regarded director, the best thing in it is a partly digitized bear.
  30. Some genuine shocks punctuate The Exorcism of Emily Rose, an unusually intelligent genre item that manages to mix full-bore horror with courtroom drama.

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