Variety's Scores

For 8,829 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 Foxcatcher
Lowest review score: 0 Divorce: The Musical
Score distribution:
8,829 movie reviews
  1. This is upscale French entertainment at its best.
  2. Jean-Francois Laguionie’s consistently enjoyable, inventive and beautifully crafted tale is a color riot suitable for all ages.
  3. Does a superb job of condensing an overwhelming mass of documentation, archival imagery and artistic representation into a concise yet passionate history lesson whose relevance could not be timelier.
  4. The picture is a devilishly clever series of reversals that keeps you guessing to the very end.
  5. A sparkly little gem.
  6. Ominously atmospheric study of police corruption dangles danger and sinister motives at every turn.
  7. A Thanksgiving family reunion comedy that sparkles with acerbic wit, original characters and genuine heart.
  8. Musically and visually sumptuous.
  9. Lively, intelligent collage, both richly complex and immediately accessible.
  10. A taut, suspenseful, linear approach, and a trio of excellent performances.
  11. Never Let Me Go is that rare find, a fragile little four-leaf clover of a movie that's emotionally devastating, yet all too easily trampled by cynics.
  12. Effectively building dread and emotional tension as tragic incidents triggered by human stupidity and carelessness steadily multiply, this film, like "21 Grams" in particular, employs a deterministically grim mindset in the cause of its philosophical aspirations, but is gripping nearly all the way.
  13. An exquisite ode to a working-class hero, Cinderella Man takes the almost impossibly perfect elements of the saga of underdog boxer James J. Braddock and fills it with emotional gravitas, wrenching danger and a panoramic sense of American life during the Great Depression.
  14. Maverick director Wong Kar-wai manages to pour old wine into new jars with Happy Together, a fizzy chamber yarn about two gay Hong Kongers in Argentina that's as slim as a bamboo flute but is his most linear and mature work for some time.
  15. 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.
  16. 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."
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Like hard-edged "Masterpiece Theater."
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Captures the excitement of lightning in a bottle.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. A sensationally entertaining old-school freakout and one of the smartest, most viscerally effective thrillers in recent memory.
  27. 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."
  28. 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.

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