Variety's Scores

For 8,770 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 1.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Court
Lowest review score: 0 Vulgar
Score distribution:
8,770 movie reviews
  1. Not just one of the great racing movies of all time, but a virtuoso feat of filmmaking in its own right, elevated by two of the year’s most compelling performances.
  2. Far from abandoning his trademark humor, however, the writer-director skillfully enlists it in the service of an emotional story, charting the heroine's journey from loss and torment to rediscovered strength and hope. Propelled by stellar performances and a script that resonates with intelligence, subtlety and surprises, this is by far Almodovar's best film in years.
  3. The fun that Schlesinger and his first-rate ensemble must have had while working on this production is infectious, for there isn't one dull -- or quiet -- moment in the film.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Balkan probably gives her best performance to date to create a woman tormented by instability, sexual drive and psycho demons -- disjointedly portrayed in the script.
  4. Remarkably funny and entirely convincing, film pulls off the rare accomplishment of being an in-drag comedy which also emerges with three-dimensional characters.
  5. Exhilarating, heartbreaking and righteous, Waiting for Superman is also a kind of high-minded thriller: Can the American education system be cured?
  6. Trenchantly witty and acutely insightful.
  7. This educational eye-popper should prove an excellent draw for science lovers of all ages.
  8. Ratatouille is delicious. In this satisfying, souffle-light tale of a plucky French rodent with a passion for cooking, the master chefs at Pixar have blended all the right ingredients -- abundant verbal and visual wit, genius slapstick timing, a soupcon of Gallic sophistication -- to produce a warm and irresistible concoction that's sure to appeal to everyone's inner Julia Child.
  9. Rare proof that a gigantic production in contemporary Hollywood can possess a distinctive personality and its own approach to storytelling, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World proves as bracing as a stiff wind on the open sea.
  10. Continues Fincher's fascinating transition from genre filmmaker extraordinaire to indelible chronicler of our times.
  11. The film is a master class in comic timing, employing pacing and repetition with the skill of a practiced concert pianist.
  12. As always, Techine is excellent at exploring “tiny” personal flashes that assume larger meaning when placed against the broader historical context.
  13. Looks and sounds wonderful, and while more information about these giants of African-Latin music might have been welcome, the music's the thing.
  14. Wrenchingly acted, deftly manipulated and terrifyingly well made.
  15. 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.
  16. The pleasure is doubled in Spider-Man 2. Crackerjack entertainment from start to finish, this rousing yarn about a reluctant superhero and his equally conflicted friends and enemies improves in every way on its predecessor and is arguably about as good a live-action picture as anyone's ever made using comicbook characters.
  17. Rarely has a book sprung so vividly to life, but also worked so enthrallingly in pure movie terms, as with Atonement, Brit helmer Joe Wright’s smart, dazzlingly upholstered adaptation of Ian McEwan’s celebrated 2001 novel.
  18. Enthralling...An ambitious, full-bodied crime epic of gratifying scope and moral complexity, this is seriously brainy pop entertainment that satisfies every expectation raised by its hit predecessor and then some.
  19. Tilling some of the same conspiracy turf he explored in "All the President's Men," Pakula has improved on Grisham's book by excising much of the detritus, crafting a taut, intelligent thriller that succeeds on almost every level.
  20. Clint Eastwood has crafted a tense, hard-edged, superbly dramatic yarn that is also an exceedingly intelligent meditation on the West, its myths and its heroes.
  21. A film of quiet but profound outrage, laughing on the surface, but howling in anger just beneath.
  22. Eye-poppingly intimate footage of various critters evolving from the fetal stage or eating, strolling, fighting and courting that can only be obtained via infinite patience with special equipment in exotic locations.
  23. The Usual Suspects is an ironic, bang-up thriller about the wages of crime. A terrific cast of exciting actors socks over this absorbingly complicated yarn that's been spun in a seductively slick fashion by director Bryan Singer.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    In every respect it is outstanding.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A magnificent film. George Lucas set out to make the biggest possible adventure fantasy out of his memories of serials and older action epics, and he succeeded brilliantly.
  24. Boasting a narrative of extraordinary complexity and density, stuffed with irony, humor and tales-within-tales, the imaginative animated memoir Rocks in My Pockets merges a mini-history of 20th-century Latvia with that of helmer Signe Baumane and her forebears.
  25. Pitch perfect and brilliantly acted, 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days is a stunning achievement, helmed with a purity and honesty that captures not just the illegal abortion story at its core but the constant, unremarked negotiations necessary for survival in the final days of the Soviet bloc.
  26. Devilishly inventive and so far out there it's almost off the scale.
  27. Enormously ambitious and masterfully made, Traffic represents docudrama-style storytelling at a very high level.

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