Variety's Scores

For 10,423 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 The Manchurian Candidate
Lowest review score: 0 Persecuted
Score distribution:
10423 movie reviews
  1. The pic nicely straddles a line between Sosa’s private and public personas, never quite delving deep although Vila covers all the bases.
  2. While 21st-century effects and a cutting-edge dance score make this a stunning virtual ride, the underlying concept feels as far-fetched as ever.
  3. Cranston humanizes his sociopathic character, which is essential, considering that Wakefield is essentially a one-man show whose star grows increasingly creepy as his beard fills in and his fingernails lengthen and turn back.
  4. Sheds valuable light on a complex period of post-World War II Czechoslovakia.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Formulaic in adhering to the sitcom-style tone of the first two films, picture finds the chronically underappreciated Greg facing a summer break replete with parental expectations and anxiety over his first crush.
  5. Assembled in a straightforward, television-style presentation that gets the better of it.
  6. Its inspiring portraits of hardworking subjects make a fine case for raising the bar by rewarding excellence rather than punishing failure.
  7. Largely thanks to the snappy editing, short scenes and a strong cast led by a matronly Deveuve and Amalric's enjoyable perf as the black sheep of the family, A Christmas Tale never devolves into a tedious two-and-a-half hours of self-examination. But it also never goes very far, either.
  8. Less cohesive and accessible than "The Maid" (which the Chilean duo co-scripted and Silva helmed solo), picture nonetheless contains unforgettable scenes.
  9. What the movie lacks in originality it makes up for in personality, as Kosturos brings the kind of rare alchemy to the role of Ali that makes all present feel as if they’re watching the birth of a movie star.
  10. This rambunctious paean to pot retains the trademark Apatow sweetness even as it careens from messy vulgarisms to even messier violence.
  11. Perry's latest emotional roller coaster starts with considerable promise and a high-wattage cast, including Taraji P. Henson and singers Gladys Knight and Mary J. Blige, before giving way to melodramatic predictability.
  12. Will have to overcome an unfortunate title and competition from this year's other nutrition-oriented titles, though it's a natural for the crunchy crowd.
  13. Outlaws & Angels trades in the lurid character psychology and crude ironies of the spaghetti Western — an idiom whose cynical worst-case-scenario view of humanity seems more acceptable to modern audiences than the good-shall-triumph faith of the traditional Hollywood western.
  14. The material is at heart an intimate allegorical fairy tale about rarefied philosophical concerns.
  15. But the film also has its turgid, dialogue-heavy stretches, and the leading performances, if acceptable, are not everything they needed to be to fully flesh out these elegant immortals.
  16. Viewed in a vacuum, it’s hard to fault the movie’s earnestness; Hallström’s canine cinema pedigree (which includes the superior “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale”) shows through; and Rachel Portman’s score is understandably sentimental without going completely saccharine.
  17. Other than skewering Trump, both personally and politically, this is obviously a rather slim construct. And while Depp throws his all into perhaps his hammiest role since Jack Sparrow, it probably would have benefited from a bit less length and a tighter focus.
  18. Ron Frank and Melvut Akkaya’s docu isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but as a brief history of the Catskill resorts, liberally laced with well-edited archival promos, songs, homemovies and extended excerpts from routines by Jewish comics who performed there, it consistently entertains.
  19. "Chinatown" it ain't, not in any department. On its own level, however, new pic generates a reasonable degree of intrigue.
  20. Holiff Sr.’s extensive audio diaries and taped phone conversations with Cash give authentic voice to the film’s otherwise stodgy re-creations of this true odd couple’s stormy relationship.
  21. Zhang Yimou's strangest and most troubled film, abounds in hysterical, mannered Tang Dynasty-era palace intrigue and dehumanized CGI battle sequences.
  22. Though it mostly resists contrived “opening-out” devices, and preserves the decidedly low-tech visualization of the play’s sci-fi premise, Michael Almereyda’s well-cast film never finds a suitably complex cinematic language for its tangle of intellectual and emotional ideas.
  23. If a dominatrix is one who takes total control of her passive partner, then R100 is the cinematic equivalent of a kinky femme fatale in black leather and stiletto heels, cracking a whip and a smile.
  24. Picture's ambition, cogency and decent performances make up for its uneven aspects. Woody Harrelson has some especially good moments as a cop.
  25. Barreling into the intersection of horror, comedy and religious sanctimony, Satan Hates You is a clever collision of flamboyant gore and social commentary that never goes too far with anything save mordant wit.
  26. Links narrative fiction filmmaking to avant-garde with vision and authority.
  27. A feel-good film about death, a sitcom about mortality, "Ikiru" for meatheads. It's also a picture about two cancer patients confronting reality, and deciding how they want to spend their presumed last days, that has not an ounce of reality about it.
  28. The dialogue is dirtier than ever, and the gags outrageous, and yet, like the two central characters and the seven-year relationship they labor to keep alive, “Love Off the Cuff” shows signs of fatigue.
  29. Director-producer Aviva Kempner's well-researched but unchallenging docu, like "The Goldbergs" itself, has cross-cultural appeal for Jews and goyim alike.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Vibrant, snappy and surprisingly fresh.
  30. Full of warmth and refreshingly matter-of-fact sexuality, the film has its heart in the right place, yet it’s ultimately a bit blander than its subject matter ought to demand, and its chamber-piece intimacy and pileup of coincidences scan particularly awkwardly given its convincingly wide-open depiction of New York.
  31. What really makes The Truth About Cats & Dogs special in places however, is Garofalo's dry, self-effacing wit and Thurman's ditzy, old-style Hollywood glamour.
  32. Writer-director Nick Cassavetes' sprawling dramatization recklessly blurs the line between reconstruction and reality in ways that are admittedly interesting, if more than a little artistically suspect.
  33. It’s an occupational hazard of rambling psychogeography that the unwary traveller will find themselves irritated as often as they are enthralled: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Gee negotiates this hurdle with variable success.
  34. Neatly balancing brightly sentimental comedy with slightly edgier funny business, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone pulls off the impressive trick of generating laughs on a consistent basis while spinning a clever scenario about rival magicians waging a Las Vegas turf war with a wide multi-demographic appeal.
  35. Too slim to make much impression outside fests, this nevertheless reps another solid outing by former art director Huo Jianqi.
  36. The crisply made feature delivers an involving if not always persuasive portrait of religious leaders in conflict.
  37. Slick transitions and punchy pace leave just enough time for Hopkins and Freeman to make dopey dialogue sound far smarter than it is. And as both pit bull and puppy dog, Jet Li convinces.
  38. Siren is lively if occasionally rough around the edges, packing a satisfying amount of action and a couple of amusingly nasty surprises into its short running time.
  39. This update of 1950s drive-in sci-fiers finds the right balance between icky, funny and scary, with sheer energy compensating for a script that could have used more parodic panache.
  40. An enthusiastic but low-fizz romantic farce that gets by principally on the charms of a cast speckled with gifted funnymen (and, more particularly, funnywomen).
  41. Turning one of the darkest moments in modern French history into syrupy historical drama, writer-director Rose Bosch's The Round Up is a polished, pathos-driven re-creation of the Vichy regime's mass imprisonment and disposal of 13,000 Parisian Jews in summer 1942.
  42. The conflict at the core of the WikiLeaks saga is dramatically lacking.
  43. Edwards seems to have miscalculated our investment in his cast...simultaneously underestimating how satisfying some good old-fashioned monster-on-MUTO action can be.
  44. The Legend of Ron Jeremy is, at a brisk 75 minutes, long enough to get the job done.
  45. Francis Ford Coppola's take on the Dracula legend is a bloody visual feast. Both the most extravagant screen telling of the oft-filmed story and the one most faithful to its literary source, this rendition sets grand romantic goals for itself that aren't fulfilled emotionally, and it is gory without being at all scary.
  46. Like a collapsing star, Sunshine initially burns brightly but finally implodes into a dramatic black hole.
  47. As a showcase for rising young star Michael Angarano and Christopher Plummer, pic offers the pleasures of connecting Hollywood traditions and generations in the spirit of Peter Bogdanovich's films about and inspired by the movies.
  48. All This Panic is more remarkable for the way it looks than the actual, somewhat banal, girl-talk content.
  49. An enjoyable seriocomic tale of a poor couple whose holiday-time miracle becomes a test of faith.
  50. LaBute has had middling success at best, having come up with a passably engaging time-jumping romantic melodrama that at least grapples seriously with one of the novel's most potent themes.
  51. While this John Singleton-directed sequel provides a breezy enough joyride, it lacks the unassuming freshness and appealing neighborhood feel of the economy-priced original.
  52. This entertaining-enough quartet of loosely interwoven terror tales falls right into the middle ground of horror omnibuses, with no outright duds but no truly memorable (or scary) segments either.
  53. Certainly less of a dud than the director’s inane original, this follow-up is even more tyke-oriented, but at least it’s a livelier yarn and boasts a slick upgrade in visual effects.
  54. Provides some interesting perspectives but also veers dangerously close to vanity project.
  55. Boal's script stirs a little of everything into the pot, which boils down into seven setpieces divided by brief intervals of camaraderie/conflict among the three protags.
  56. Detailing the eight-month build-up to the show’s debut, First Monday in May is most compelling when simply taking up residence alongside Bolton, Wintour and Wong as they oversee the myriad aspects of their production.
  57. An often compelling drama, marbled with dry humor and flecked with the supernatural, that provides food for thought but doesn't quite reach the brass ring.
  58. The shattering of one’s noble ideals is a delicate thing to capture on film, and White plays the moment of rupture with a banality that threatens to undermine our faith in her as storyteller more than in the system itself.
  59. While this appropriately brief film unravels its enigma at a tidy clip, it gathers neither enough heat, nor quite enough of a chill, to linger in the bones.
  60. Odd blend of the truly cheesy with a few genuine f/x makes for a cutesy if not exactly thrilling spectacle.
  61. As beautiful as it is unrevealing, James Longley's Iraq in Fragments rests on a debatable but firm premise -- that the embattled country is irrevocably separated by its three dominant groups, Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds -- but brings back nothing journalistically substantial from the war front .
  62. Revealing without being especially compelling, In Between Days offers a bleak, rigorously naturalistic portrait of an Asian-American teenager's physical and emotional dislocation.
  63. Middleton's polished writing and amusing observations about the anxieties most people encounter when definitively farewelling their youth help compensate for her standard-issue direction.
  64. While the director's penchant for extended silences and stagy character positioning make it all seem rather studied, the drama nonetheless is compellingly unsettling.
  65. Characterization and emotional investment, however, are in disappointingly short supply, while crucial tension is permitted to dissipate in an anti-climactic final third.
  66. Uneven but enjoyably titillating black comedy should elate Rickman fans while pleasing aficionados of extra-flakey caper flicks.
  67. The attention given to constructing each shot makes for a hypnotic visual experience, while lack of a progressive narrative telescopes film's running time into infinity.
  68. Glossy, well cast, and a consistent hoot until it becomes a serious drag, this neo-“9½ Weeks” is above all a slick exercise in carefully brand-managed titillation — edgier than most grown-up studio fare, but otherwise a fairly mild provocation in this porn-saturated day and age.
  69. Whatever literary talent Leroy was praised for shouldn’t have been so quickly forgotten and dismissed by those who’d once championed it. However, that praise was won under false pretenses — and while you can criticize Leroy fans for claiming to love the writing when they really fell in love with the myth it came packaged in, you can’t blame them for feeling ripped off.
  70. It is unfortunate when such a difficult, ambitious film doesn't quite pay off after building up so much solid credit, but that is the case here. It is possible that the nature of the history under consideration is as responsible for this as any other single factor.
  71. If “Soul’s” script errs on the side of simplicity, it does effectively downplay the cliches inherent in its unambitious story arc. And the foregrounded local culture is always engaging, with meticulous but unshowy attention to period detail on all levels.
  72. Ben Gourley packs this excursion with enough contrived quirkiness and latent angst to win over the college crowd, but adds nothing particularly insightful about his generation.
  73. Apart from startling, out-there comic turns by Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Cruise, however, the antics here are pretty thin, redundant and one-note.
  74. Gets the job done, but it’s hard to escape the feeling that you’re watching a routinely conceived, rather generic boxing flick. It’s utterly competent, yet it makes Duran’s story seem a little so-what?
  75. A solid central performance by Winona Ryder and a captivating wild turn by Angelina Jolie in the yarn's flashiest role.
  76. It has a somewhat routine midlevel-cable-production feel. But the content is engaging, and the use of old movie clips to illustrate biographical details... is amusing.
  77. Takes a notorious true story about a loyal soldier-turned-bank robber, and pumps it up into charged if uneven entertainment.
  78. Solid, straightforward docu should prove a durable broadcast and educational item for years to come.
  79. It’s not that “My Love” feels inherently dubious; it’s that its execution is just a little too smiling-through-tears slick to be swallowed whole.
  80. Offers a largely satisfying mix of broad slapstick, seriocomic sentimentality and mostly amusing satirical thrusts at easy targets.
  81. Sophisticated cutting brings out the story’s complex emotional undercurrents, though “Breakdown’s” less convincingly scripted second half sputters more often than it shines.
  82. While there's something undeniably fascinating about the way Fairhaven repeatedly avoids predictable payoffs for portentous dramatic setups, narrative momentum is conspicuous by its absence.
  83. Serves up enough goofy pranks and fractured wordplay to keep the series purring along.
  84. Second time round, Bridget is still fat, funny and endearing -- but "all a bit, um, familiar, actually."
  85. Deftly juggles gore and suspense, and punchline holds an intellectual frisson or two for fans of gender-role speculation, but basically this is one more horror pic on the distinguished road already trodden by "Texas Chain Saw Massacre," "Maniac" and the like.
  86. This slick exercise about a housewife whose spouse might or might not be dead is effective until a downright maudlin close.
  87. Unusually slick, mini-budgeted and broad piece of slapstick that liberally borrows from Neil Simon and "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight'' with the twist that gay hit men are the romantic heroes.
  88. Overlapping with other recent documentaries, picture nonetheless presents a stimulating argument.
  89. [A] sensitive, deliberate debut feature.
  90. The pleasures of well-observed characters and small epiphanies are undeniable, and Alex of Venice, actor Chris Messina’s directing debut, is amply supplied with both, thanks to Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s extraordinary performance: Registering profound shocks with slight ripples rather than big emotions, she quietly commands attention.
  91. A valuable albeit overproduced history lesson.
  92. Snakes on a Plane is exactly the sort of tasteless, utterly depraved, no-nonsense sluts-and-guts extravaganza it was meant to be.
  93. Despite lively commentaries by a pantheon of master musicians and magnificently performed classical pieces, "Exiles" only distantly echoes Huberman's visionary adventure.
  94. A well-crafted if incompletely satisfying drama whose character study intrigues but ultimately feels somewhat frustratingly underdeveloped.
  95. Those willing to engage may be pleasantly surprised by some of its understated virtues.
  96. Payback is a rarefied conceptual documentary that will appeal to a limited but highly appreciative audience.
  97. Craft connoisseurs won't be disappointed with the splendidly executed result. However, everyone else is likely to wonder what the fuss about given the plot's dated cyborgs-and-supercomputers hijinks.
  98. An oddly schizophrenic fantasy thriller that ultimately succumbs to a fatal case of sentimentality.

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