Variety's Scores

For 8,644 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 Taxi
Lowest review score: 0 Rollerball
Score distribution:
8,644 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. If John Cassavetes had directed a script by Eric Rohmer, the result might have looked and sounded like Mutual Appreciation.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Intelligent political satire this expertly acted is nothing to sneeze at.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. An endearingly schizoid Frankenstein of a movie, by turns relentlessly high-spirited and darkly poignant.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Tightly made and populated by a uniformly larger-than-life cast of characters , pic is a total delight for every second of its running time.
  14. Through immaculate use of picture, sound and time, the director adds another panel to his series of pictures about disaffected, disconnected youth.
  15. Offering further proof that the latest 3D technology is good for a lot more than just lunging knives and fantastical storylines, Wim Wenders' dance docu Pina reps multidimensional entertainment that will send culture vultures swooning.
  16. In attempting to make his first film for all ages, Martin Scorsese has fashioned one for the ages. Simultaneously classical and modern, populist but also unapologetically personal, Hugo flagrantly defies the mind-numbing quality of most contempo kidpics.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Pitch-perfect, terrifically written.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Carried by snappy dialog and a wonderful ensemble full of familiar faces.
    • Variety
  17. This slow but brilliantly sustained journey into madness is fronted by a remarkable performance from Ralph Fiennes and superb backup from Miranda Richardson in a triple role.
  18. Taxidermia sets a benchmark for body horror in the cinema.
  19. The film’s turn toward the tragic is hardly untelegraphed, but its emotional blows still land with crushing precision.
  20. For all the obvious pleasure Vogt takes in bending and splintering the surface reality of the film, all his formal strategies issue directly from Inrgid and her fragile, profoundly human psyche.
  21. The timing in the Clooney-Farmiga scenes is like splendid tennis, with each player surprising the other with shots but keeping the rally going to breathtaking duration.
  22. Originally conceived as one film, the two-parter that has finally emerged can now be seen as a truly epic work.
  23. Mike Leigh is at the peak of his powers with Vera Drake, a compassionate, morally complex drama that stands easily alongside his best work, "Secrets & Lies" and "Topsy-Turvy."
  24. An extraordinary docu achievement. Handsomely filmed on silvery 35mm and high-definition by Kaye himself, the shrewdly edited picture balances a full spectrum of views from all sides of the abortion debate without obviously taking a position itself.
  25. By getting Tyson to open up as he has, Toback has succeeded in illuminating one of the most polarizing, complex and -- the film almost forces one to admit -- misunderstood figures of our time.
  26. Scabrous, brutal and hip, Trainspotting is a "Clockwork Orange" for the '90s.
  27. A wonderfully innervating cure for the common musical biopic, Bill Pohlad’s Love & Mercy vibrantly illuminates two major breakthroughs — one artistic, one personal — in the life of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson.
  28. Brandishes the sort of intelligent wit and bracing nastiness that will make it more appealing to discerning adults than to teens who just want to have fun.

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