Variety's Scores

For 8,556 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 1.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 It Might Get Loud
Lowest review score: 0 The Trouble with Romance
Score distribution:
8,556 movie reviews
  1. An exquisitely realized adaptation of Lionel Shriver's bestselling novel. In a rigorously subtle performance as a woman coping with the horrific damage wrought by her psychopathic son, Tilda Swinton anchors the dialogue-light film with an expressiveness that matches her star turn in "I Am Love."
  2. Despite the staggering range of material Watermark manages to present — Burtynsky’s five-year undertaking is certainly the most encompassing survey any one artist has ever dedicated to the subject — it’s still just the tip of the metaphorical iceberg.
  3. Though the film comprehensively details the political and economic subtleties of what it declares “the crime of the century,” its narrative remains primarily a human-focused one, highlighting the stories of selected steadfast victims, as well as the heroic movers and shakers in the struggle.
  4. A skillful blend of fire and ice that subtly conveys the emotional extremes fraught in the relationship.
  5. A first-rate thriller with grit and intrigue to spare.
  6. A rousing, well-crafted romp packed with ingenuity, duplicity, close calls and heroic gestures, Bon Voyage is true to its title.
  7. A fresh, disarmingly bright and at times explosively funny comedy well worth a trip to the mall, even if it eventually runs out of gas.
  8. Picture sets the gold standard for political documentaries.
  9. Unflaggingly genial and universally funny.
  10. Followers of Alan Rudolph's career will rejoice at his latest effort, Afterglow, an incredibly and incurably romantic comedy-drama that most perceptively dissects the delicate imbalances of two very modern but very different marriages.
  11. The result is one of Sayles' best films. The music, a mix of blues, seminal rock and newcomer Gary Clark Jr.'s performance, will be an obvious draw, as will the performances by some leading African-American actors.
  12. A riveting, thematically probing, richly atmospheric and just occasionally troublesome work, a deeply inquisitive consideration of the extent of trust and mutual knowledge possible between a man and a woman.
  13. Emerges as the best in the overall series since "The Empire Strikes Back."
  14. One of the best Westerns of the 1970s, which represents the highest possible praise. It's a magnificent throwback to a time when filmmakers found all sorts of ways to refashion Hollywood's oldest and most durable genre.
  15. The elusive, quicksilver nature of young love is often reduced to crude simplicities by the movies, but director Sebastien Lifshitz and writing partner Stephane Bouquet have observed it with a superb balance of aesthetics and insight in Come Undone.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A skilled, careful adaptation of a much-admired story, A River Runs Through It is a convincing trip back in time to a virtually vanished American West, as well as a nicely observed family study.
  16. Imagine a live-action version of the "Dilbert" comic strip with a touch of Hal Hartley's deadpan absurdism, and you're ready for the frequently uproarious "Office Space."
  17. Wonderfully acted and slickly mad. Acutely written with an eye to the motivations and ambiguities involved on both sides in such a relationship.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Stretching himself with each new work, David Cronenberg has come up with a fascinating, demanding, mordantly funny picture.
  18. A thoughtful, melancholy story of love, loss, pain, betrayal and the lingering after-effects of tragedy, The Door in the Floor is an intelligent, impeccably acted, unsentimental drama.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The screws are tightened expertly in this suspenseful meller about a flipped-out femme who makes life hell for the married man who scorns her.
  19. Shines like a freshly minted coin in Oliver Parker's adaptation.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Robocop is as tightly worked as a film can be, not a moment or line wasted.
  20. Director Alex Gibney delivers not just a detailed, full-access account of his subject, in all his defiance, hubris and tentative self-reckoning, but also a layered inquiry into the culture of competitiveness, celebrity, moral relativism and hypocrisy that helped enable and sustain his deception.
  21. Matthew Barney delivers his masterpiece in Cremaster 3, unquestionably the 35-year-old sculptor-performance artist-filmmaker's most linear, most narratively inclined work to date.
  22. Shallow Grave, a tar-black comedy that zings along on a wave of visual and scripting inventiveness.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Abel Ferrara's uncompromising Bad Lieutenant is a harrowing journey observing a corrupt NY cop sink into the depths, with an extraordinary and uninhibited performance by Harvey Keitel in the title role.
  23. Once again, the DreamWorks team demonstrates that humor is the primary weapon in its arsenal.
  24. An enthralling, gorgeously mounted depiction of the complicated relationship between the post-Enlightenment writer and philosopher Friedrich Schiller and the sisters Charlotte von Lengefeld (who would become his wife) and Caroline von Beulwitz (his eventual biographer).
  25. A powerful and creative film.

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