Variety's Scores

For 8,456 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 Aviator
Lowest review score: 0 Reasonable Doubt
Score distribution:
8,456 movie reviews
  1. A rock-ribbed sense of committed, personal cinema and a core belief in people being able to pull themselves out of misery supports Ballast, an extraordinary debut by editor-writer-director Lance Hammer.
  2. Emotionally powerful and stylistically sure-handed, this true story-inspired drama begins small with the disappearance of a young boy, only to gradually fan out to become a comprehensive critique of the entire power structure of Los Angeles, circa 1928.
  3. Rourke creates a galvanizing, humorous, deeply moving portrait that instantly takes its place among the great, iconic screen performances. An elemental story simply and brilliantly told, Darren Aronofsky's fourth feature is a winner from every possible angle.
  4. Talky in the best sense, the film exhilarates with its lively, authentic classroom banter while its emotional undercurrents build steadily but almost imperceptibly over a swift 129 minutes. One of the most substantive and purely entertaining movies in competition at Cannes this year.
  5. Up
    A captivating odd-couple adventure that becomes funnier and more exciting as it flies along.
  6. An intensely political film so wildly inventive and witty that it will become a touchstone for years to come, Il Divo is a masterpiece for maverick helmer-scribe Paolo Sorrentino.
  7. Musically and visually sumptuous.
  8. Eco-activist documentaries don't get much more compelling than The Cove, an impassioned piece of advocacy filmmaking that follows "Flipper" trainer-turned-marine crusader Richard O'Barry in his efforts to end dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan.
  9. A kind of classic of American sports history.
  10. A profound, elemental and hauntingly beautiful period drama that makes an intimate story of endurance into a metaphor for an entire culture.
  11. Porumboiu is one of the few helmers working today who so completely understands both the power of language and the power of visuals.
  12. This educational eye-popper should prove an excellent draw for science lovers of all ages.
  13. It's a thrilling, at times brilliant piece of staging that never forgets the emotional pull of either the tragic personal tale or the ramifications of history.
  14. In every sense, I Am Love is a stunning achievement.
  15. Blasting onto the screen at warp speed and remaining there for two hours, the new and improved Star Trek will transport fans to sci-fi nirvana.
  16. If Inception is a metaphysical puzzle, it's also a metaphorical one: It's hard not to draw connections between Cobb's dream-weaving and Nolan's filmmaking -- an activity devoted to constructing a simulacrum of reality, intended to seduce us, mess with our heads and leave a lasting impression. Mission accomplished.
  17. Exhilarating, heartbreaking and righteous, Waiting for Superman is also a kind of high-minded thriller: Can the American education system be cured?
  18. Continues Fincher's fascinating transition from genre filmmaker extraordinaire to indelible chronicler of our times.
  19. "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.
  20. 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.
  21. Bravura narrative filmmaking on a hugely ambitious scale, Carlos is a spectacular achievement.
  22. This is one vintage film that fully lives up to its classic status and should play with outstanding success to contemporary audiences of all ages.
  23. Utterly unpretentious and deeply touching.
  24. Dramatically spellbinding and intellectually stimulating, picture abstractly manipulates multiple layers of representation to shattering effect.
  25. Result is pure-grade art cinema destined primarily for the delectation of Malick partisans and adventurous arthouse-goers.
  26. Rarely do you find such self-plunging material beyond the realm of documentary or far-fringe museum fare, and despite his background in that arena, Mills sheds all preciosity in service of genuinely revealing introspection.
  27. A handsomely mounted adaptation of the like-titled Portuguese novel, Ruiz's 4 1/2-hour epic establishes the essential ambiguity of its chameleonic characters from the get-go and proceeds thereby, with riveting results and revelations that continue right to the end.
  28. While a hopelessly awkward-looking Hill provides fish-out-of-water laughs, Pitt gives a genuinely soul-searching performance.
  29. For all the tyrannical disdain he's shown other filmmakers over the years, von Trier once again demonstrates a mastery of classical technique, extracting incredibly strong performances from his cast while serving up a sturdy blend of fly-on-the-wall naturalism and jaw-dropping visual effects.
  30. A mesmerizing companion piece to his 2008 debut, "Hunger," this more approachable but equally uncompromising drama likewise fixes its gaze on the uses and abuses of the human body, as Michael Fassbender again strips himself down, in every way an actor can, for McQueen's rigorous but humane interrogation.

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