Variety's Scores

For 8,772 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 Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Lowest review score: 0 Reasonable Doubt
Score distribution:
8,772 movie reviews
  1. Wayne Kramer's sexy and often humorous feature directorial debut surrounds its sweet center with the energy, flash and risk of the gambling capital. Sterling performances by William H. Macy and Maria Bello as the long-shot lovers and Alec Baldwin as a temperamental casino operator.
  2. Smart, droll and dazzling to look at and listen to, writer-director Tony Gilroy's effervescent, intricately plotted puzzler proves in every way superior to his 2007 success "Michael Clayton."
  3. This complex, compassionate film finds both wicked humor and, less expectedly, transcendent hope in America’s gaudy fixation with Christmas spirit.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Scene after scene is filled with a ferocious strength and humor. Michael Lerner's performance as a Mayer-like studio overlord is sensational.
  4. Few actresses can convey the kind of honesty and humanity that Zellweger does here -- it's hard to imagine the film without her dominant, thoroughly credible performance.
  5. Excellent documentary American Hardcore chronicles the short-lived but influential musical moment when a defiantly anti-commercial underground put a distinctive U.S. stamp on the hitherto Brit-driven punk movement.
  6. Like hard-edged "Masterpiece Theater."
  7. Most of all, the satisfyingly cinematic screen adaptation puts motion and energy into a story that was mostly internalized from Victor's perspective in Rendell's book.
  8. Helmer-writer Eric Mendelsohn returns with his first feature in a decade and the proposition that art film still has a place in the world -- which is an exhilarating idea, especially as represented by 3 Backyards, an exquisite example of calculated execution in pursuit of elusive ideas.
  9. Captures the excitement of lightning in a bottle.
  10. Mel Gibson is always good for a surprise, and his latest is that Apocalypto is a remarkable film. Set in the waning days of the Mayan civilization, the picture provides a trip to a place one's never been before, offering hitherto unseen sights of exceptional vividness and power.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a wonderfully crafted, absolutely charming remake of the 1964 film "Bedtime Story." In this classy version, Steve Martin and Michael Caine play the competing French Riviera conmen trying to outscheme each other in consistently amusing and surprising setups. Martin takes the crass American role played by Marlon Brando, and Caine plays homage to David Niven by sporting a thin mustache, slicked-back hair and double-breasted blue blazer in a sort of 1930s British yachtsman look.
  11. Clearly rejuvenated by his collaboration with producer Peter Jackson, and blessed with a smart script and the best craftsmanship money can buy, Spielberg has fashioned a whiz-bang thrill ride that's largely faithful to the wholesome spirit of his source but still appealing to younger, Tintin-challenged audiencs.
  12. A sensationally entertaining old-school freakout and one of the smartest, most viscerally effective thrillers in recent memory.
  13. 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."
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. A skillful blend of fire and ice that subtly conveys the emotional extremes fraught in the relationship.
  17. A first-rate thriller with grit and intrigue to spare.
  18. A rousing, well-crafted romp packed with ingenuity, duplicity, close calls and heroic gestures, Bon Voyage is true to its title.
  19. 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.
  20. Picture sets the gold standard for political documentaries.
  21. Unflaggingly genial and universally funny.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. At every turn, we can sense what’s going on behind Kumiko’s doleful, downcast eyes; Kikuchi pulls us deeply into her world.
  25. 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.
  26. Emerges as the best in the overall series since "The Empire Strikes Back."
  27. 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.
  28. 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.

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