Variety's Scores

For 1,723 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 35% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 61% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 8.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 The Shield: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Dane Cook's Tourgasm: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 675
  2. Negative: 0 out of 675
675 tv reviews
  1. Hunted doesn’t offer any rays of hope or notes of comfort. The film merely places its lens on a situation that, for those enduring it, must feel like a dystopian nightmare, and for those watching it, provides yet another disheartening glimpse of cruelty masquerading as righteousness.
  2. In a relatively short amount of time, A Good Job (a reference to a really serious fire) manages to be by turns touching and funny, capturing the camaraderie of firefighters--including the colorful hazing that’s part of hanging around in a firehouse all day--as well as the way danger and death become ever-present handmaidens of the work.
  3. Kitchen Nightmares is shockingly good storytelling and hilarious. This may be the most compelling show of the new season
  4. Breathless is a pretty near flawless condensation of soap-opera conventions into a delicious little package.
  5. Like plots on "Hustle," "24" and "The Shield," there's a bit of incredulousness that comes with each caper. But with persuasive writing, sharp visuals and editing, as well as a steady directorial hand, "Thief" is always convincing.
  6. The Walking Dead clearly appears bigger than any of its expendable parts, and unlike those zombies, has a whole lot of life left in it.
  7. TNT's take on the classic primetime serial is exactly as it should be: Texas-sized, frothy and unwilling to settle for a double-cross when a triple can be executed.
  8. At least within Ullman's cutting overview of America, in fact, it can be reported without reservation that the "State of the Union" is strong.
  9. While light on laugh-out-loud moments, this clever half-hour earns the gold in the category of "wry and bemused."
  10. Buoyed by a riveting supporting performance from Jon Voight, it’s a dense, highly organic world--at its best, playing like a present-day “Chinatown.” More often, it’s eminently entertaining, if not initially quite worthy of a spot alongside TV’s velvet-roped A-list.
  11. While the docu would have benefited from being fleshed out beyond its 40-minute running time, as is, it’s still an effective calling card for the animal-rights agenda.
  12. For anyone familiar with the history--or who even just saw the movie--a lot of this will feel familiar.... Yet even those interludes are played well enough to work in this context, and will certainly come as revelations. And there are several lump-in-the-throat moments in seeing loved ones have to endure watching a husband or father blast into the unknown.
  13. Based on two episodes, it’s premature to give the show an unqualified endorsement. But it does represent the kind of drama that should appeal to a sophisticated palate if the ongoing quality justifies first impressions.
  14. The League comes close to the goal of creating a TV show with "The Hangover"-type appeal.
  15. Girlfriends’ Guide is for the most part a pleasure, and unlike a lot of the network’s series, there’s nothing guilty about that.
  16. With the larger narrative diminished, what remains are the smaller moments. There Hall's terrific performance--full of sly wit and contradictions--elevates the show
  17. What makes it work beyond the sitcom-ish sound of that, to the extent it does, is primarily the genial camaraderie between Cam and Reggie, and the genuine warmth among the characters, even when they’re sniping at each other. Give part of the credit to director Ken Whittingham, who brings a natural, unforced quality to those scenes.
  18. Toy Story That Time Forgot--which will be paired with the perennial “A Charlie Brown Christmas”--actually fulfills that time-honored tradition of delivering genuine family fare around the holidays.
  19. The series has settled into a nice groove thanks to the clever writing and strong interplay among the cast.
  20. The show's blessings, however, are more earthy - beginning with Hunter, who oozes anger, sexuality and irreverence, sometimes all at once. San Giacomo is perfectly cast as her friend and sounding board, and Johnson, Rippy and Woodbine all deliver solid support, with the jailhouse sequences among the show's best.
  21. This technically superior project intriguingly mirrors territory the producers explored in tackling Baltimore's mean streets, and while Baghdad's avenues are even meaner, the producers' impeccable craftsmanship is roughly the same.
  22. The pulpy style and brutality (torture is one of Daredevil’s tools) clearly seek a higher sense of realism, which must be balanced against the notion of a blind superhero who can shimmy up walls and whose spectacularly hearing lets him to function, among other things, as a human lie detector. Helpfully, Cox brings the necessary mix of grit and Marvel-esque self-doubts to the dual role.
  23. Simple, low-key (read: cheap) and a great deal of fun, Penn & Teller: Fool Us manages to wed some of the pizzazz associated with old-fashioned variety shows with the peeking-behind-the-curtain quality of “Breaking the Magician’s Code.”
  24. No one will mistake this well-produced but inevitably dialogue-driven piece for pure cinema, but Leon and adapter Paris Qualles open up the play just enough to avoid the usual stage-to-screen claustrophobia.
  25. As written by Sam Esmail, this has the jittery feel of a British thriller, and an absurdist sense of entrenched interests vs. a weird insurgency: a conceit that vaguely recalls Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil.” While commercial prospects appear hazy, it’s hard to remember the last time USA put on anything more intriguing.
  26. Rich as the subject is, the mix of first-person reminiscence with archival material doesn't overstay its welcome by a moment. As such, it's a wholly satisfying portrait, even if the view is every bit as rose-colored as Steinem's glasses.
  27. It's an intriguing, mind-bending concept that's mostly well executed, with a built-in payoff cleverly timed to coincide with the May rating sweeps.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sleek and satisfying, Jerry Bruckheimer's latest is a compelling drama... The resolutions may sometimes be forced and the characterizations thin, but each episode still has a rhythm and a finality which brings to mind the exec producer's "CSI" in terms of ensemble performances and crimefighting handiwork. [23 Sep 2002]
    • Variety
  28. [A] slickly made, shrewdly conceived series.
  29. Mostly succeeds with cynically outlandish gusto, blurring the reality lines while rendering a fresh new antihero for the '90s in superagent Arliss Michaels. [5 Aug 1996, p.34]
    • Variety

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