Variety's Scores

For 10,768 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: 61
Highest review score: 100 Carol
Lowest review score: 0 Officer Downe
Score distribution:
10768 movie reviews
  1. Reacher is a brawny action figure whose exploits would have been a good fit for the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone back in the day, but feel less fun when delegated to a leading man like Tom Cruise. The star is too charismatic to play someone so cold-blooded, and his fans likely won't appreciate the stretch.
  2. Swell never really gathers momentum, remaining a collection of moments, some more privileged than others.
  3. There’s little to differentiate this high-pitched screamer from a particularly feverish “Law and Order” rerun.
  4. Writer-director Brant Sersen's amiable indie comedy -- even less edgy than Greg Mottola's theme-park-set "Adventureland" -- attempts to compensate for its too-familiar romantic setup by defining its characters through idiosyncratic hobbies and traits.
  5. Director Chris Weitz's problematic new picture, which, despite Demian Bichir's affecting lead performance and a strong feel for Los Angeles' Mexican-American communities, emerges an earnest and overly programmatic heart-tugger.
  6. A film that ultimately feels stagebound and excessively talky, but which showcases an exceptional performance.
  7. Psychopathia Sexualis exists in the gray area between ponderous stylization and campy affectation.
  8. The love and dedication that the filmmakers (including Dominguez’s wife and exec producer, Shelley Morrison) have poured into this project are more than evident onscreen; what it needs now is the sort of strong, supple cinematic vision that could tie its disparate strands together.
  9. Forgettable fun for the undiscriminating.
  10. Choreographed by long-term Li collaborator Corey Yuen, the martial arts confrontations supply plenty of spark, though they lack the more exhilarating stylistic flourishes of those in "Romeo."
  11. CJ7
    "E.T."-inspired comic fantasy about a poor boy adopting a cute alien catches the eye but not fully the heart with its undernourished father-son dynamics, critter hijinks and smattering of social commentary.
  12. The Darkest Hour turns out to be a modestly inventive and involving variation on a standard-issue sci-fi doomsday scenario.
  13. Moderately inspiring in the way such true-life stories of "the indomitable human spirit" are always constructed to be.
  14. The comedy's broad perfs, predictable story beats and pro but characterless packaging have a smallscreen feel.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    This yahoos-on-the-bayou farce is neither inventive nor outrageous enough.
  15. Israeli helmer Dror Sahavi's well-meaning but simplistic terrorist melodrama, gingerly counterbalancing religious fanatics on either side of the Israeli-Palestinian divide, utilizes a lyrical "Romeo and Juliet"-type encounter between a reluctant suicide bomber and a Jewish escapee from Orthodox closed-mindedness to plead mutual tolerance.
  16. A lopsided whine about the state of American public schools, The Cartel is a lesson in dichotomous documaking: Effervescent and tedious, crusading and craven, it's a prime example of that ubiquitous oxymoron: the agenda-driven "expose."
  17. In the end, everything fits together rather ingeniously, though it’s clear that in orchestrating her needlessly complicated nonlinear narrative, Llosa has mistaken confusion for suspense.
  18. A venerable cast of Broadway vets interminably wanders through the clan's Connecticut mansion with no apparent goal, carrying the remains of never fully explained resentments.
  19. It’s more of a bawdy buddy movie about the horse’s trainer, Chip Woolley, and owner, Mark Allen (who exec produced), with a bit of slapstick thrown in.
  20. Director Sturla Gunnarsson seems aware of the savagery intrinsic to the story, but is unable to mine it deeply, proving too genteel in the end to make a genuinely creepy or disturbing film.
  21. By the Sea always offers something to tickle the eye and ear, even as it leaves the heart and mind coolly unstirred.
  22. Cameron is genuinely compelling as Caleb.
  23. What the picture most needed was a complete cinematic rethink and, yes, even some action to move it along.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    These guileless airheads with the outrageous vocabulary are obviously a beloved creation, and filmmakers might have gotten more mileage if they'd rooted their adventure a bit more in reality.
  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. Like last year's "All Good Things," this fictionalized take on a still unresolved true-crime case of deception and disappearance can't help but intrigue, though the execution falls short of its full potential.
  26. The feel of a direct-to-video title that's been upgraded to theatrical status in the hopes of wringing a few extra bucks out of it and improving its not-too-distant homevid marketability.
  27. The unwillingness to let nuance communicate lends a flat quality to the drama here; after the initial crimes, suspense situations are simply lopped off prematurely, the action jumping clumsily to their aftermath.
  28. A strong cast, beautiful production values and generally pleasant execution can't disguise the fact both laughs and surprises are on the thin side here, despite the abundant care and affection lavished on the central characters by first-time writer-director David Munro.

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