Variety's Scores

For 8,400 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 Citizenfour
Lowest review score: 0 The Hottie & the Nottie
Score distribution:
8,400 movie reviews
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A blazing, cinematic comic book, full of virtuoso moviemaking, terrific momentum, solid performances and a compelling story.
  1. This full-bodied adaptation of Dennis Lehane's involved and involving 2001 bestselling crime novel about old friends in Boston's working-class Irish neighborhood finds Clint Eastwood near the top of his directorial game with a cast of first-rate actors.
  2. Picture's dour take on the dehumanizing process of medical treatment is leavened by black humor and dialogue that always rings true.
  3. This spirited and often very funny lark accomplishes something that most films in the bygone Hollywood studio era used to do but is remarkably rare in today's world of niche markets: It offers entertainment equally to viewers from 4 to 104.
  4. But the filmmakers have invigorated and enriched the story through the use of a thousand details, a strong sense of time and place, outstanding characterizations and a display of energy and cinematic flair that marks an advance on "My Left Foot."
  5. A rock-ribbed sense of committed, personal cinema and a core belief in people being able to pull themselves out of misery supports Ballast, an extraordinary debut by editor-writer-director Lance Hammer.
  6. Peopled with superbly drawn, attractive characters smoothly integrated into a well-turned, low-tricks plotline, Volver may rep Almodovar's most conventional piece to date, but it is also his most reflective, a subdued, sometimes intense and often comic homecoming that celebrates the pueblo and people that shaped his imagination.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A mesmerizing thriller that will grip audiences from first scene to last.
  7. Wang has made a dramatically confident move into the mainstream on his own terms with highly congenial material.
  8. Nearly every detail sources directly back to Kaui Hart Hemmings' sensitively crafted novel, and yet, Payne's triumph is in striking the right tone -- and knowing what to leave unsaid.
  9. The wrenching tale has something for anyone who likes their melodrama spiked with palpable tension and genuine suspense.
  10. Snowpiercer has been brought to the screen with the kind of solid narrative craftsmanship, carefully drawn characters and — above all — respect for the audience’s intelligence rarely encountered in high-concept genre cinema.
  11. It's hard to walk away unaffected from this heartfelt, well-researched, feature-length documentary.
  12. Crucially for such an elaborately dressed production, the characters all come thoroughly alive with their ready wits and pulsing emotions, overcoming the two-century gap with seeming effortlessness.
  13. Though While We’re Young is primarily a comedy — and a very funny one at that, managing to be both blisteringly of-the-moment and classically zany in the same breath — Baumbach has bitten off several serious topics, for which laughter serves as the most agreeable way to engage.
  14. The film manages to educate without ever feeling didactic, and to entertain in the face of what would, to any other character, seem like a grim life sentence.
  15. Eco-activist documentaries don't get much more compelling than The Cove, an impassioned piece of advocacy filmmaking that follows "Flipper" trainer-turned-marine crusader Richard O'Barry in his efforts to end dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan.
  16. If John Cassavetes had directed a script by Eric Rohmer, the result might have looked and sounded like Mutual Appreciation.
  17. Nuri Bilge Ceylan is at the peak of his powers with Winter Sleep, a richly engrossing and ravishingly beautiful magnum opus that surely qualifies as the least boring 196-minute movie ever made.
  18. An astonishing work of studio artifice, A Little Princess is that rarest of creations, a children's film that plays equally well to kids and adults.
  19. All but stealing the film is Cooper, who seizes a rare opportunity as an extroverted, rather than buttoned-up, character to bust loose like an uncaged alligator.
  20. Avatar is all-enveloping and transporting, with Cameron & Co.'s years of R&D paying off with a film that, as his work has done before, raises the technical bar and throws down a challenge for the many other filmmakers toiling in the sci-fi/fantasy realm.
  21. Though lacking the sensationalistic elements of a movie like "Kids", Dollhouse offers unflinching realism, meticulous attention to detail and deliciously wicked humor as it explores the growing pains of a misfit.
  22. Intelligent political satire this expertly acted is nothing to sneeze at.
  23. Blasting onto the screen at warp speed and remaining there for two hours, the new and improved Star Trek will transport fans to sci-fi nirvana.
  24. Visually stunning even in its most banal moments and emotionally perceptive almost to a fault.
  25. Righteous, captivating and entirely successful as single-issue-focused documentaries go, Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s film draws on startling video footage and testimonies from former orca trainers, building an authoritative argument on behalf of this majestic species.
  26. An endearingly schizoid Frankenstein of a movie, by turns relentlessly high-spirited and darkly poignant.
  27. Miyazaki is at the peak of his visual craftsmanship here, alternating lush, boldly colored rural vistas with epic, crowded urban canvases, soaring aerial perspectives and test flights both majestic and ill-fated.
  28. The pleasure is doubled in Spider-Man 2. Crackerjack entertainment from start to finish, this rousing yarn about a reluctant superhero and his equally conflicted friends and enemies improves in every way on its predecessor and is arguably about as good a live-action picture as anyone's ever made using comicbook characters.

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