Variety's Scores

For 8,502 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 2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Free Willy
Lowest review score: 0 Wrong Cops
Score distribution:
8,502 movie reviews
  1. Toy Story 2 is to "Toy Story" what "The Empire Strikes Back" was to its predecessor, a richer, more satisfying film in every respect.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As a precise observation of British types and a virtuoso piece of carefully observed ensemble playing, the film would be hard to beat.
  2. Chazelle proves an exceptional builder of scenes, crafting loaded, need-to-succeed moments that grab our attention and hold it tight.
  3. This handsomely produced period piece is easily the most emotionally effective bigscreen melodrama since "The Joy Luck Club," as well as the most intelligent.
  4. In the hands of a master, indignation and tragedy can be rendered with clarity yet subtlety, setting hysteria aside for deeper, more richly shaded tones. Abderrahmane Sissako is just such a master.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Exquisitely acted, tightly directed and impressively assembled.
  5. Utterly unpretentious and deeply touching.
  6. Any negative stereotypes viewers might harbor about education in rural communities are sent packing by this magnificently lensed and cumulatively touching account from documaker Nicolas Philibert.
  7. Visually stunning even in its most banal moments and emotionally perceptive almost to a fault.
  8. It’s the rare film about adolescence that doesn’t seem exclusively targeted either to teens or to adults. Rarer still, it’s one that takes an interest in the nourishing qualities of female friendship.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Perhaps the best film made during the 30-year partnership of Ismail Merchant and James Ivory.
  9. A wise and impeccably controlled drama that finds Russian helmer Andrei Zvyagintsev in outstanding form.
  10. Night not only conveys the almost unbelievable atrocities captured by the Russian, American and British camera teams and photographers, but also highlights the dedication of the team determined to document and disseminate this evidence and the changing policies of those in charge of postwar reconstruction.
  11. Exquisitely modulated and superbly mounted, the directing debut of skilled cinematographer Lajos Koltai went through an extended, unpredictable production history to emerge as a genuinely new way of looking at the Holocaust that is markedly different in tone from other such stories including "Schindler's List" and "The Pianist."
  12. Errol Morris delivers a compelling, thoughtful and entirely involving documentary in The Fog of War.
  13. Remarkably funny and entirely convincing, film pulls off the rare accomplishment of being an in-drag comedy which also emerges with three-dimensional characters.
  14. Animism, apparitions, out-of-body experiences, sex with a catfish -- there's all that and more in Apichatpong Weerasethakul's wonderfully nutty Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.
  15. James cuts — as in all of his best work — straight to the human heart of the matter, celebrating both the writer and the man, the one inseparable from the other, largely in Ebert’s own words.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An unconventional biopic about a brilliant young pianist.
  16. A brilliant portrait of adventure, activism, obsession and potential madness that ranks among helmer Werner Herzog's strongest work.
  17. While a hopelessly awkward-looking Hill provides fish-out-of-water laughs, Pitt gives a genuinely soul-searching performance.
  18. Brief Encounters reps a must-see for art lovers.
  19. This at first slow-moving and then wildly kinetic actioner possesses a cool classicism that will appeal to offshore audiences as well as those at home.
  20. Seems destined to go down in film history as a technical tour de force.
  21. Takes the refined work of Iranian helmer Abbas Kiarostami up another notch to ever more metaphoric ground.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A sexy, nuanced, beautifully controlled examination of how a quartet of people are defined by their erotic impulses and inhibitions.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Performances by the entire cast, and particularly William Holden and Gloria Swanson, are exceptionally fine.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A major artistic asset to the film - besides script, direction and the top performances - is supervising editor Walter Murch's sound collage and re-recording.
  22. A riveting account of how a soldier's death in Afghanistan was spun into a web of public lies.
  23. What the film lacks in context it gains in visceral eyewitness value.

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