Variety's Scores

For 10,099 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 The Silence of the Lambs
Lowest review score: 0 Wrong Cops
Score distribution:
10099 movie reviews
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A faithful-unto-slavish remake of the 1960 Hitchcock classic, pic contains nothing to outrage or offend partisans of the original, yet neither does it stand to add much to their appreciation.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Those in search of positive role models and films detailing little-known aspects of black and military history, or stressing the value of tenacity and hard work, pic has something to offer.
  1. Strikingly crafted but rather empty drama.
  2. For Vinterberg, this uneven but nonetheless absorbing pic at least marks a return to characteristically bristly territory.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Offers a rarely seen view of the barrio in Havana and demonstrates the importance of dance and music in dealing with pervasive racism and crippling poverty.
  3. Arguably one of the best adaptations of Bukowski's work, even compared with Bukowski's own script for 1997's "Barfly," deadpan timing and ace perfs bring out the morose humor and surprising warmth in the often miserabilist scribe's voice.
  4. Koons Garcia has obviously opted for an upbeat approach: Choruses of scientists and farmers sing the praises of organic farming while John Chater’s camera visually devours the fruits, vegetables and livestock produced by healthy dirt.
  5. This vapid street-dance soap opera boasts the series' flashiest moves and klutziest script yet, like a brilliant acrobat with a speech impediment; it's also one of the few 3D releases since "Avatar" to make compelling use of the format.
  6. There’s no doubting Brook and the performers’ commitment to their craft, even if the end result is somewhat repetitive.
  7. While Second Best is mildly engaging thanks largely to an appealingly self-effacing turn from Joe Pantoliano, writer-director Eric Weber's script could have used an extra polish or two.
  8. There’s really only one ingredient for which The Salvation is likely to be remembered: Eva Green.
  9. Film's pared-down look has a stylish simplicity.
  10. 10 Things doesn't take much time before ditching its pitch idea in favor of a mishmash of newer formulas, never quite settling on a cogent game plan or directorial tone.
  11. Premise is formulaic and execution is predictable, but Brock maintains a lively pace while eliciting first-rate work from thesps.
  12. Boasting the same refreshing avoidance of CGI and wire work as "Warrior," slickly made production (largely by the same team) is more consciously aimed at the international market, with its Australian setting and multilingual dialogue.
  13. Less an historical flashback than a present-tense valentine.
  14. While the premise has possibilities for some creepy, pulpy fun, writer-director Robert Parigi brings too little style or humor, instead going a more obvious, overwrought route.
  15. Skirting horror and black-comedy terrain without quite surrendering to either, the pic proves rather bracing even if it doesn’t hold up to much plot-logic scrutiny.
  16. Frenetic actioner about refugees from a genetic cloning plant starts off intriguingly, burns up its ideas in the first hour and pads out the rest with joltingly repetitive action sequences.
  17. In what is arguably her best performance since "Van Gogh," Zylberstein brings Mathilde to life with grace and fervor.
  18. Choreographer-turned-filmmaker Franc. Reyes covers familiar ground without stumbling or dazzling.
  19. Mercifully free of tongue-in-cheek meta-humor, Escape Plan is a likably lunkheaded meat-and-potatoes brawler that never pretends to be more sophisticated than it is.
  20. Engrossing but psychologically shallow tale.
  21. A nutty Norwegian mashup of drollery, myth and jolts to the nervous system, Thale does a deft dance between grossout comedy and horror fantasy. Still, it’s too wordy by half, saying what it should be showing
  22. Absorbing in a low-key way but more dramatic where its secondary characters are concerned than its leads, and capped by climactic incidents that are less than entirely convincing.
  23. Handsomely shot in widescreen, mostly on actual West Bank locations, and well-played by the cast, pic lays out the issues in an accessible but rather too over-correct way, seemingly eager to please all parties at the expense of real passion.
  24. Impressively, the rookie scribe-helmers' sense of equilibrium is unerring and also surprisingly subtle.
  25. The film conveys key information and makes important distinctions not generally known, and its effectiveness probably depends on the viewer’s tolerance for poorly executed kitsch and manic physical intrusions by the filmmaker.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Warmly felt but haltingly told meller Romulus, My Father holds the attention with fine perfs and exquisite lensing, but never really grips the imagination.
  26. Setting up a number of promising kinks in the now-standard found-footage formula, as the seemingly spooked forest begins to close in its hapless victims, Blair Witch disappointingly casts most of them aside for a finale that does little to advance the series’ existing mythos.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    When the underdog always wins he's not much of an underdog anymore, and the narrative cartwheels Sylvester Stallone has turned over the years to put Rocky in that position have peeled away the novelty.
  27. Director Spike Jonze's sharp instincts and vibrant visual style can't quite compensate for the lack of narrative eventfulness that increasingly bogs down this bright-minded picture.
  28. A routine memory piece about long-buried family secrets that bubble back to the surface to wreak havoc.
  29. Takes the viewer on a mysterious and sporadically fascinating trip into the darkness of the human heart and Thai legend.
  30. Jig
    Although there is some insightful observational work, and the dancing itself is aces, pic feels overcrowded with characters.
  31. [A] thin but engaging portrait.
  32. Yet while Schumacher has largely accomplished the goal of delivering a cinematic comic book, he's also left the movie hollow at its core -- a distinction that may not trouble Saturday-night audiences but that nonetheless dulls the film's impact beyond its sheer and unrelenting visual grandeur.
  33. Che
    If the director has gone out of his way to avoid the usual Hollywood biopic conventions, he has also withheld any suggestion of why the charismatic doctor, fighter, diplomat, diarist and intellectual theorist became and remains such a legendary figure; if anything, Che seems diminished by the way he's portrayed here.
  34. If they never fully sell the situation, the actors nonetheless deliver strong, emotionally accessible work.
  35. Writer-director Brian Savelson drags four characters all the way out to the woods to orchestrate the sort of politely confrontational chamber piece best suited to an Off Off Broadway stage in In Our Nature, an eloquent but overly rehearsed drama.
  36. Bruni Tedeschi holds all of pic’s myriad tangents in a delicate balance, no single one ever rising to the fore, no pressure felt to wrap everything — or anything — up in a tidy package at the end.
  37. There are engaging, articulate personalities here that maintain interest through a mountain of strategizing sessions and court reversals, though helmers Ben Cotner and Ryan White strike a rote note of tele-friendly inspirational uplift while risking tedium with too much repetitious content.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A frothy, innocuous smorgasbord of girlhood wish fulfillment that scores a direct hit with its target demo.
  38. Suitable for teens — lies somewhere between indignant expose and unusually tasteful exploitation picture, with shower scenes and sweaty young delinquents aplenty.
  39. Although not entirely successful, this intriguing, above-average genre effort still reps an ambitious and resourceful debut for helmer/co-writer Scott Schirmer.
  40. Deliberately unvarnished shock piece designed to give pause to anyone with a daughter approaching teenhood.
  41. Immaculately shot and composed as always, and moving at Ceylan's usual measured pace, this one is slightly enlivened by more likable perfs and a trim 98-minute running time.
  42. Despite the considerable impediment of a premise arguably even sillier than that of the original "Red Dawn," helmer Dan Bradley's long-delayed remake of John Milius' 1984 kids-vs.-Commies adventure delivers enough thrilling action sequences and rock-'em, sock-'em fantasy-fulfillment to amp its B.O. potential.
  43. Neither the best nor the worst of movies derived from videogames, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li at least gives action fans plenty to ogle besides the titular heroine (Kristin Kreuk), whose original incarnation, legend has it, was among the first distaff figures controllable by joystick.
  44. Cavill and Hammer have each toplined major tentpoles before, so it’s something of a mystery why neither makes much of an impression here, but there’s a curious vacuum at the center of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. that almost certainly owes to its casting.
  45. In his intriguing take on the Frankenstein myth, first-time scripter/helmer James Bai establishes an entire alternate universe with consummate mastery only to fail to coax a convincing performance out of his lead actor.
  46. Collectivist in spirit, this mostly entertaining film lacks an official host or voiceover narration, which first works swimmingly but eventually becomes too diffuse.
  47. The battle of the sexes is restaged to clever but inconsequential effect in Conversations With Other Women. Very much a case of old wine in a new bottle.
  48. Unquestionably the most sexually graphic American narrative feature ever made outside the realm of the porn industry, John Cameron Mitchell's ambitious attempt to merge his characters' active sexual lives with more conventional emotional content is playfully and provocatively entertaining for roughly the first half, but loses staying power thereafter when investment in the uncompelling characters' problems is requested.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Picture successfully elaborates on the sorts of color pieces that traditionally precede the race on television.
  49. Less outre than "Gummo" and "Julien Donkey-Boy," Korine's most lavishly produced pic to date begins as a sweet-tempered tale of social misfits-turned-celebrity impersonators, but falls short of its ambition to say something meaningful about the obsessive nature of celebrity culture.
  50. Overall tone lies somewhere between Mike Leigh and Ken Loach in performances and look, with a modest tech package.
  51. While devotees expecting Moretti's wry worldview may feel shortchanged, others will find this a profoundly moving experience, giving it fuel to cross borders into the arthouse niche.
  52. A strong cast, formal visual style and cynical voiceover that propels the action help elevate this Seattle-set gay romp from the ranks of the stereotypical.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A fitting final installment in Terry Gilliam's trilogy begun with Time Bandits and continued with Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen shares many of those films strengths and weaknesses, but doesn't possess the visionary qualities of the latter.
  53. Written raggedly enough for the actors to bring their own chemistry to what aspirationally feels like one of Robert Altman’s backstage dramas (a la “Nashville” or “Ready to Wear”), Magic Mike XXL is most fun when it isn’t trying to justify itself, but just kicking back with the guys — or better yet, giving them a fresh excuse to show off their creativity.
  54. The film overstays its welcome by punctuating his story with ill-advised dramatic fantasy sequences that are meant to illustrate the anguish of a gay man in mid-century America, but come across as heavy-handed and mean-spirited.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    More an absurdist comedy than a horror film, Evil Dead II is a flashy good-natured display of special effects and scare tactics so extreme they can only be taken for laughs.
  55. Offers a relatively fresh take on standard-issue exorcism-melodrama tropes, along with a performance by Aaron Eckhart that is more than persuasive enough to encourage the investment of a rooting interest.
  56. The first feature from new gay-focused production company Mythgarden, is a welcome exception in that it effectively dramatizes the issues without caricaturing or pillorizing either party.
  57. Headland demonstrated little interest in playing it safe with her previous film... But here she reins in that impulse almost too much, and Sleeping With Other People winds up both looking (with its adequate but unremarkable tech package) and often feeling like a run-of-the-mill studio comedy.
  58. Performances are unremarkable but acceptable pretty much across the board, and the vocal talents -- particularly Thomas Haden Church as the belligerent Tazer and Josh Peck as the lovable Sparks -- are well cast.
  59. Those familiar with the ethnographic works of Ben Rivers (who gets a thanks in the closing credits) and the films of Argentine director Lisandro Alonso (“Jauja”) will find much to admire in the movie’s combination of spiritual musings and stunning landscapes.
  60. This low-budget shocker eventually pays off, displaying just enough narrative ingenuity to compensate for a cinematically crude and logistically sketchy deployment of the requisite blood-and-guts mayhem.
  61. Dani Menkin's documentary tracks his odyssey, which by nature is hard to be cynical about. Still, the feature feels padded even at 70 minutes.
  62. A surfeit of harrowing on-the-ground footage during protest crackdowns, plus the protagonists’ testimonies, make for a frequently inspiring and exciting documentary. But helmer Greg Barker (“Ghosts of Rwanda”) also risks pretentiousness in various forms of stylistic and thematic overreach, while providing viewers scant explanatory info on the regional conflicts.
  63. Accomplished visually and busy sonically, it nonetheless falls short with a story of rock ‘n’ roll demonic possession that scarcely begins to exploit the ideas embedded in its serviceable premise.
  64. This filmed-in-Texas road movie finds a smooth groove between self-conscious quirkiness and broadly played farce.
  65. the pic gathers steam and displays considerable drive, even if it can’t quite shake the feel of a good TV movie.
  66. Tackles a nifty futuristic premise with bargain-basement efficiency and a deadpan, devil-may-care attitude. It's an initially invigorating tactic that proves slapdash and unsatisfying over the long haul, reducing a potentially rich sci-fier to the level of a halfway decent time-killer
  67. For Semans’ conceit of an obsessively narrow world to really work, he needed to have established an initially more expansive milieu.
  68. A mixed bag of near-risible storylines, second-rate CG effects, some fabulous set pieces, somewhat cartoonish martial arts fighting and difficult international casting.
  69. Brit sitcom The Inbetweeners, which tracked the travails of four male misfits in their last years at high school, makes a satisfying leap to the bigscreen in summer holiday adventure The Inbetweeners Movie.
  70. By the end, nothing much has happened, but all the same, picture casts a witchy kind of spell with its deep-breath pacing and undertow of unspecified malaise.
  71. It's a predictable date-night diversion.
  72. A determined and often affecting romance that doesn't speak down to audiences.
  73. Won't linger in the memory long, but gives pretty good action eye-candy while it's going.
  74. Benefits from blend of live actors with computer-generated effects and backgrounds. Feature doesn't add up to much more than an enjoyable novelty.
  75. As world-creation YA pictures go, The Maze Runner feels refreshingly low-tech and properly story-driven.
  76. The film is the portrait of a kind and giving man open to all positive ideas that come his way.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Within the top-heavy cast, it’s Murray’s picture, as the popular comedian deadpans, ad libs and does an endearing array of physical schtick.
  77. Luft grounds the film with an insistently believable performance, while other thesps float in and out of cliche.
  78. Even though Frakes is back, Star Trek: Insurrection plays less like a stand-alone sci-fi adventure than like an expanded episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation."
  79. Mildly amusing.
  80. There's no denying the pic's overall impact as a compelling study of art as a source of transcendence. And it will come as no surprise if this well-crafted doc eventually serves as source material for a dramatic feature.
  81. The Transporter Refueled comes up strong where it counts, with frequent bursts of ludicrously implausible yet coherently directed mayhem.
  82. Without sacrificing the piece‘s warm comic undertones, this minimally adapted theatrical piece remains richer and far more thought-provoking than a typical night at the movies — if only the entire cast were as strong as Stewart.
  83. The problem is not that this film is upsetting (it should be), but that it ultimately seems more interested, and skilled, at dispensing regular shocks than fresh insights.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Misses its mark, failing to capitalize on the staccato rhythms and sardonic wit of Bridget's inner life.
  84. In an act of "selfless service," a group of American women, backed by industry giants like Clairol and Vogue, open a beauty school in war-ravaged Afghanistan. The anomalies are manifold: Gun-toting soldiers patrolling the streets are visible through the windows as rookie beauticians busily snip, perm and tweeze.
  85. Comes too late, far surpassed by similar and more visually stunning devices in "The Matrix," and even by the mind-bending realities of "eXistenZ."
  86. While it plays more like stage or TV sketch-comedy shtick than film material, this modest, visually unimposing production remains entertaining thanks to its ironic observations and winning sense of folly.
  87. Mellow, digestibly sweet and embellished with lovely folk tunes, this modest bit of Americana reveals pleasing new sides of both leads.
  88. This overly long yet consistently involving period drama... could be described, accurately, as equal parts “Remember the Titans” and revivalist tent meeting. But until the balance tips rather too blatantly toward the latter during the final minutes, the overall narrative mix of history lesson, gridiron action and spiritual uplift is effectively and satisfyingly sustained.
  89. Picture's leaps into the fantastic and rampantly farcical tend to be overextended, but finally don't detract from what is a well-judged, light entertainment.

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