Variety's Scores

For 8,332 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 1.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Dark Knight
Lowest review score: 0 Cabin Boy
Score distribution:
8,332 movie reviews
  1. This autobiographical tour de force is completely accessible and art of a very high order.
  2. Never before has anyone made a documentary like The Act of Killing, and the filmmakers seem at a loss in terms of how to organize the many threads of what they capture...Still, essential and enraging, The Act of Killing is a film that begs to be seen, then never watched again.
  3. The film's unhurried pace will target it for discerning audiences only, but its wry humor and coolly amused observation of contemporary Japan should score with smart urbanites.
  4. At nearly six hours, pic's extreme length lets Giordana and screenwriters Sandro Petraglia and Stefano Rulli build up a novelistic rhythm, pulling the audience so deeply and forcefully into their story that it becomes like a enveloping dream; when it's over, parting with the characters is truly sweet and sorrowful.
  5. Superbly cast drama… that looks to be a solid upscale attraction wherever the special chemistry of good writing and performances is appreciated.
  6. Lee takes a conventional, talking-heads-and-archival-clips approach to the material, but rewardingly establishes an intimate connection with his subjects by devoting considerable time to the personalities and families of the four victims.
  7. The tangled tale of love and disguise is awesome in its action sequences but doesn't touch the heart to the same degree.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Balkan probably gives her best performance to date to create a woman tormented by instability, sexual drive and psycho demons -- disjointedly portrayed in the script.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Barbra Streisand in her Hollywood debut makes a marked impact.
  8. One of the most wildly entertaining docs of recent years.
  9. Ida
    It’s one thing to set up a striking black-and-white composition and quite another to draw people into it, and dialing things back as much as this film does risks losing the vast majority of viewers along the way, offering an intellectual exercise in lieu of an emotional experience to all but the most rarefied cineastes.
  10. 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.
  11. With an accountant's eye for precision and a political scientist's grasp of the machinations that move national policy, Charles Ferguson's No End in Sight itemizes the errors, misjudgments and follies that have defined the Bush Administration's invasion of Iraq.
  12. Utterly engrossing dual-character study, unfolding with a serene disregard for indie quirkiness, Goodbye Solo radiates authenticity.
  13. Calmer and less shattering than his masterly psychodrama "Secret Sunshine" (2007), Poetry is a deceptively gentle tale with a tender ache at its center, as well as a performance from Yun Jung-hee that lingers long in the memory.
  14. A love letter to silent cinema sealed with a smirk, The Artist reteams director Michel Hazanavicius with dapper "OSS 117" star Jean Dujardin for another high-concept homage, delivering a heartfelt, old-school romance without the aid of spoken dialogue or sound.
  15. The Piano confirms Campion as a major talent, an uncompromising filmmaker with a very personal and specific vision.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Simultaneously fascinating and repellent, Goodfellas is Martin Scorsese's colorful but dramatically unsatisfying inside look at Mafia life in 1955-1980 New York City.
  16. If films about coping with memory loss and/or reverse-order storytelling now constitute a mini-genre, then Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is arguably the best of the lot.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    In every respect it is outstanding.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Cooper does an unusually able job of portraying the marshal. (Review of Original Release)
  17. Taken together, "Flags" and "Letters" represent a genuinely imposing achievement, one that looks at war unflinchingly -- that does not deny its necessity but above all laments the human loss it entails.
  18. Winningly unpretentious tale uses a wispy romantic narrative as a vehicle for attractive original tunes.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    An outstanding rock documentary.
  19. Dramatically spellbinding and intellectually stimulating, picture abstractly manipulates multiple layers of representation to shattering effect.
  20. By sharp turns poignant, disturbing and hysterically funny.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Chillingly hilarious.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The film's biggest limitation is its oversexed, underdeveloped male duo. Playing like a south-of-the-border version of Beavis and Butt-head, the teenagers have but one thought in their heads.
  21. The mesmerizing performance of Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the celebrated writer dominates every scene, while director Bennett Miller and screenwriter Dan Futterman's penetrating study enthralls in every aspect.

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