Variety's Scores

For 10,157 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 Finding Dory
Lowest review score: 0 Cabin Boy
Score distribution:
10157 movie reviews
  1. Freeway is roadkill. The directorial debut of screenwriter Matthew Bright ("Gun Crazy") is a sophomoric and morally repellent mix of fractured fairy tale, juvenile social satire, bloody mayhem and overstated B-movie melodrama.
  2. This cautionary melodrama about a Korean-American teen girl's slide into depravity is too inconsequential and too earnest to belong in the So Bad It's Good category; rather, it's merely bad.
  3. Goes down like sour eggnog on Christmas Eve.
  4. An underwhelming survival thriller.
  5. A repetitious, borderline-silly vanity project.
  6. With a low-budget look, cliched dialogue, a stale plot and so-so acting, this supernatural thriller is unlikely to achieve the phenomenal success of its fabled predecessor.
  7. This tonally all-over-the-place drama fails to convince.
  8. A textbook example of a movie that betrays its audience, Entrance begins as a mildly interesting slice-of-life look at a struggling Los Angeles cafe worker, then impulsively devolves into a manipulative slasher picture.
  9. At some point in the production process, co-writer/director Greg McLean must have believed he was making John Cassavetes’ “Poltergeist,” but this odd fusion of psychodrama and supernatural hokum gets away from him.
  10. Paa
    Though unrecognizable, Amitabh Bachchan is the star of -- and the only reason to go see -- Paa.
  11. Plotless, pretentiously literary and lousy at explaining geography, the movie fails to put Yang’s vision into a fictional framework that’s even remotely engaging.
  12. Ritter’s performance is the liveliest thing in a callow, shallow cautionary tale, which wears its influences on its artfully frayed sleeve and no closer than that to its heart.
  13. With plot elements cobbled together from recent animated hits, the blandly executed pic might as well be titled “Happy Minions of Madagascar’s Ice Age.”
  14. Led by a trio of lackluster performances from Alan Rickman, Rebecca Hall and “Game of Thrones” thesp Richard Madden, this awkward, passionless drama conveys neither the sensuality nor the drawn-out sense of longing required by its period tale of a young secretary who falls in love with his employer’s wife.
  15. A mediocre ensemble comedy-drama that's not particularly funny, involving or even nostalgic.
  16. Exploiting Lawrence's newfound fame is the only hope this ill-conceived, poorly executed venture has of connecting with audiences before poisonous word of mouth sends potential buyers in search of a more attractive address.
  17. When a film’s basic strategy is to cut between the past and the present, it should create ripples of anticipatory tension. But Despite the Falling Snow is one of those movies in which the cross-cutting keeps destroying all mood and momentum — it feels more like channel-surfing.
  18. Far too aggressively seamy (and ferociously foul-mouthed) to please diehard fans of traditional sagebrush sagas, this misfire offers nothing in the way of wit, innovation or even marquee allure to interest auds accustomed to edgier revisionist oaters.
  19. It's a Wonderful Afterlife is a movie to make Frank Capra roll over in his grave from indigestion.
  20. Significantly lacking in star wattage (including Perry’s own), this sluggish, relentlessly downbeat portrait of a young couple in crisis should play well to Perry’s fanbase.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The burning topic of Muslim (mis)representation in U.S. media is not well served by Michael Singh’s amateurish and ill-defined docu Valentino’s Ghost.
  21. Most of what Stevens has concocted here is hard to take, notably the characters' curious relationship with the rain that threatens to drown Missouri, and serves as a soggy metaphor. Sometimes it only rains in half the frame; sometimes people coming out of downpours are wet, sometimes they're not; sometimes they're wet and it's not raining.
  22. Almost everything that happens in this movie rings cloyingly false. It wants to make you laugh and cry, but you may be too busy cringing.
  23. Clooney has transformed a fascinating true-life tale into an exceedingly dull and dreary caper pic cum art-appreciation seminar — a museum-piece movie about museum people.
  24. Little more than an overworked exercise in jostling red herrings, and not particularly fresh herrings at that.
  25. This overwrought and egregiously self-serious thriller about the poisonous fruit borne of child abuse grows more ridiculous by the quarter-hour and is poised for a theatrical life span scarcely longer than that of its eponymous insect.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Only those in a cold sweat for their weekly horror fix will bother with this formulaic and rather lazy exercise in booga-booga scare tactics.
  26. Audience patience undergoes a far more brutal butchering than anything onscreen in Delphine Gleize's wildly over-reaching feature debut, Carnage.
  27. It's a picture that's akin to a terrarium of plastic flowers -- gaudily decorative, but airless and lifeless.
  28. In the curious absence of religious satire, toilet humor isn't enough to constitute comedy, while the leads' grating performances make 81 minutes feel eternal.
  29. Plunges into a watery grave early on and spends roughly the next 100 minutes gasping for air.
  30. Mature in terms of production polish and pro performances, writer-director Rob Margolies' feature debut, Lifelines (until recently called "Wherever You Are"), stumbles in a familiar way: It crams in so many family dysfunctions and plot crises in search of cathartic impact that credibility is stretched to the breaking point.
  31. A schlock supernatural shocker.
  32. A shake 'n' bake Brit teen-spy actioner, without a smidgeon of originality, humor or involving characterization, Stormbreaker is a high-profile bust.
  33. Grim in theme yet seldom effective or convincing in execution.
  34. Rarely has a picture been so self-consciously designed to be a culturally meaningful touchstone, and fallen so woefully short, as Southland Tales.
  35. Lacks the delicate tonal control and subtle smarts required for such an intended half-surreal exercise.
  36. For a supernatural thriller that spends so much time on material that is neither supernatural nor thrilling, there’s not nearly enough effort put into credible, complex character writing, leaving the cast only so much ability to fill in the gaps.
  37. Clumsily drawn, poorly acted love triangle.
  38. Bearing a distinctly musty odor confirmed by its 2011 copyright date, this day-and-date Lionsgate pickup never achieves dramatic liftoff.
  39. Strained, sexist schlock, which raises zero jolts and only fitful chuckles with its gamely performed tale.
  40. So little happens in The Boy, and so little suspense is effectively built around its central figure, that by the time things finally do heat up the movie has flatlined too completely for us to care.
  41. A comedy that's vulgar, disturbing, distasteful and violent, but so is injustice and civil unrest.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Tries to combine romantic comedy, soap-opera parody and murder mystery, but the disparate elements never gel, and the film, about homicide at a daytime television serial, bounces around with no clue of how to reconcile or intertwine its genre conventions.
  42. A blue chip cast is wasted in the painfully unfunny ensemble comedy Niagara Motel.
  43. In this case, Montiel's awkward appropriation of gritty crime-drama conventions results in a film that's contrived and implausible, at times absurdly so.
  44. It’s hard for the audience to invest in a protagonist this solipsistic.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Beverly Hills Cop II is a noisy, numbing, unimaginative, heartless remake of the original film...Murphy keeps things entertainingly afloat with his sassiness, raunchy one-liners, take-charge brazenness and innate irreverence.
    • Variety
  45. The director doesn't display the spirit of a natural entertainer; while intellectual notions abound, he never grabs the audience by the hand to pull them into the tale emotionally.
    • 15 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Arthur Hiller's pacing is crude, but that seems to be the point.
  46. The leads are given the thankless task of maintaining grim poker faces through scene after scene of high contrivance and cliche-ridden dialogue.
  47. Overplotted and underwhelming, Breaking Point is the type of movie that finds it necessary to invent a far-reaching legal/political conspiracy just so one guy can redeem himself by overthrowing it.
  48. Kevin Costner starrer boasts an impressive English-language debut from Spanish teenager Ivana Baquero ("Pan's Labyrinth") and a well-constructed first half, but its many cliches begin to undo its spell long before a ridiculous third act squanders all remaining goodwill.
    • 16 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    A couple of hash brownies short of a satisfying cinematic picnic, with far too few comic highs during the bigscreen reefer party.
  49. Daddy’s Home isn’t so much a lump of coal as an empty box.
  50. An ungainly, at times cringe-worthy succession of tame, telegraphed romantic mishaps, well-intentioned if unconvincing sentimentality, and some of the least authentic teenage dialogue this side of the "Friday the 13th" franchise.
  51. Picture looks and sounds like an Off Off Broadway play.
  52. Cheerfully exhorting imagination, creativity and bravery in children while demonstrating none of those virtues itself, The Hero of Color City proves to be a dispiritingly colorless feature-length babysitter.
  53. The film replaces choreography with metronomic editing, while one-note overstatement drowns out character development.
  54. A mean-spirited farce whose strenuous bad taste seldom translates into actual laughs.
  55. Defiantly uncommunicative picture.
  56. A weekend romp for four middle-aged buddies devolves into a drug-fueled, suicidal hell in Mark Pellington's ill-conceived and executed I Melt With You, a work of extreme self-indulgence.
  57. Planetarium is an inert and slipshod movie — messy and aimless, a period tale told with zero period atmosphere (you have to keep reminding yourself that it’s not taking place in 2016), built around a situation with enough possibilities to make you wish that the director, Rebecca Zlotowski, had taken advantage of at least one of them.
  58. The result is a movie with an exceedingly narrow target audience that should test Will Ferrell's appeal among boys maybe ages 12-14 -- about the only demo likely able to endure this laborious mess.
  59. As hard as metal and just as dumb, Paul W.S. Anderson's Death Race couldn't be further from producer Roger Corman and director Paul Bartel's goofy, bloody 1975 original, "Death Race 2000."
  60. On a moment to moment basis, however, picture continuously skirts very close to the ludicrous in its advanced-stage grimness and outre forms of torture foreplay.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The irony is that this film about the superficiality of celebrity-crazed Western society is itself somewhat superficial.
  61. Struggling to generate much tension, the film opts for sensory battery in the action scenes, rendering gunshots as loud as cannon fire and splashing blood every which way.
  62. A picture so thoroughly generic as to suggest a contraption assembled from spare parts with the aid of a how-to manual.
  63. So episodic and flat it should be a letdown even to those amused by the original.
  64. This crude, shrill day in the life of three ill-matched Manhattan women will prove as irksome to most viewers as it is to the protags.
  65. This is the kind of movie that was doomed on the page, both by an inherently problematic premise and ill-conceived character motivations.
  66. Broadway musical purists will shudder in horror, but parents will be whistling a happy tune that there's at least one acceptable pic out there for their kids.
  67. Strictly for fans of free-form, DIY hit-or-miss humor (and those who prefer a miss to a hit), pic complacently parades its alienated amateurism in the mistaken belief that half a gag is better than none.
  68. Both overblown and undercooked, Season of the Witch is a fine example of a film that would've been great fun if only its creators had a sense of humor about the wild brew of absurdity they had percolating.
  69. By-the-numbers slasher picture Smiley starts by borrowing the key concept of "Candyman," ends with a denouement heavily indebted to "Scream," and stuffs its middle with a dismayingly high quotient of lazy false scares.
  70. The Toy Soldiers sports a basic competence in assembly that slightly elevates its material. The same can’t be said of the performers, though they try, some achieving a semblance of naturalism, others more inept or hammy.
  71. The strongest dimensions of this self-conscious but centerless film are four sexy actresses parading in colorful costumes and Amy Vincent's radiant lensing, which makes the picture seem hipper than it is.
  72. This pious drama is a work of minimal imagination and even less subtlety.
  73. For every engrossing rank-and-file story, there are endless self-congratulatory explanations and podium highlights.
  74. Advocacy to the point of propaganda.
  75. Lambert brings a forlorn dimension to his seductive young role, but Bell never really convinces as the older woman. Despite flirting with controversy, the actress seems reluctant to plunge fully into potential unlikability, nor does the film quite give her the chance.
  76. A lifeless, workmanlike comedy conceived to provide holiday shoppers an inoffensive respite from the mall.
  77. Bad dialogue and bad acting might convince some of the authenticity behind Bad Posture, but there's no getting around the tedious navel-gazing of Malcolm Murray's fiction debut.
  78. A mildly entertaining but dramatically messy kidpic.
  79. This wrong-headed dramedy peddles forced warm-fuzziness and insincere sentiment on the backs of an all-star cast.
  80. Chaos may not quite be "the most brutal, horrifying film ever made," as its garish ads promote. But it does contain moments as thoroughly sickening as any in Herschell Gordon Lewis' or Lucio Fulvi's bloody exploiters.
  81. Arid, self-consciously arty and emotionally uninvolving.
  82. A low-budget musical so steeped in nostalgia that accusing it of being too old-fashioned is like accusing "Gone With the Wind" of being too Southern, (Standard Time-as this film was once titled) wears its heart, intentions and limitations on its sleeve.
  83. Relying on a synthesized score, over-saturated cinematography and frustratingly cliched dialogue, this is an extremely generic, truly empty tale of a drug smuggler involved with cops and criminals alike.
  84. Partially biographical story of a rich kid's unplanned encounter with the Marines and his even more random romance with a schizophrenic movie starlet is contrived and emotionally incomplete, and strained further by self-consciously cockeyed dialogue.
  85. Picture has some redeeming features, like its glossy, fashion-shoot-inspired black-and-white look, and a clutch of respectable performances among some very poor ones from the toothsome young cast, but the script is a mess, the characters barely sympathetic.
  86. Passably interesting psychological study of emotionally wounded characters until it commits dramatic suicide by showing its true colors as a tricked-up "Fatal Attraction" wannabe.
  87. Though Parker’s assured performance, along with the enchanting backdrop, eases the action toward harmless gentility, they’re hijacked by a plot that mimics the plate-spinning business of classic screwball, but moves at agonizing half-speed.
  88. For all of its 93 minutes, you never feel anything significant is at stake for anyone — save for a paycheck.
  89. Conservatives score a few political points but aren't very funny in An American Carol, a cheesy spitball directed at the very large target of a Michael Moore-like filmmaker.
  90. An almost bizarrely limp, emotionless, blank greeting card of a movie, this purported romantic comedy-drama contains little of the three, at best serving as a sort of extended L.L. Bean advertisement, full of fabulously shot footage of Eastern Canadian vistas and the well-dressed rustic yuppies who live there.
  91. The main thing early reels have going for them isn’t any actual cleverness or wit, but Neff’s pleasant riffing within a stock slacker-bro role. When his character stops having fun, so does the audience. Though needless to say, the unimaginative references to prior/better horror flicks just keep on a-comin’.
  92. Nothing feels fresh here — not even Christopher Plummer hamming it up as a crusty-coot grandpa — and Philip Martin’s routinely polished direction only underscores the cliche-composting of Richard D’Ovidio’s script.
  93. Anonymous plods through a low-stakes tale that’s almost frictionlessly insulated against real-world consequences.

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