Variety's Scores

For 10,151 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 44% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 A War
Lowest review score: 0 Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?
Score distribution:
10151 movie reviews
  1. The alternately playful and elegiac Stories We Tell is wholly of a piece with her fiction work, and just as rewarding.
  2. There are some unsatisfactory elements–slow spots occur during the middle stretch, the mild anti-establishment stance is getting to be a bit cliche and one never knows whether E.T.’s mortal illness is physical or psychological in nature, or both. But, as with “Close Encounters,” the truly lovely and moving ending more than makes up for everything. Chalk up another smash for Spielberg.
  3. A film of quiet but profound outrage, laughing on the surface, but howling in anger just beneath.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Combines a forceful statement on race relations with solid entertainment values.
  4. It's these surreal touches, deployed with tactical restraint, that make the picture extraordinary and convey the febrile atmosphere of warfare, where by fear, horror -- and later guilt -- distort and distend perception and memory.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Unquestionably a finely observed, deeply felt work, though with some nagging problems in pacing and structure.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    War is hell, and Patton is one hell of a war picture, perhaps one of the most remarkable of its type ever made.
  5. A scorching blast of tense genre filmmaking shot through with rich veins of melancholy, down-home philosophy and dark, dark humor, No Country for Old Men reps a superior match of source material and filmmaking talent.
  6. While no film from the narrow perspective of Israeli intelligence could purport to offer a thorough view of the conflict, what makes The Gatekeepers ultimately so compelling is its pervasive sense of moral ambiguity.
  7. Part of the beauty of Nostalgia is that the many metaphors and surprising parallels between the universe, archaeology and Chile’s recent past rise organically from the material.
  8. Ida
    It’s one thing to set up a striking black-and-white composition and quite another to draw people into it, and dialing things back as much as this film does risks losing the vast majority of viewers along the way, offering an intellectual exercise in lieu of an emotional experience to all but the most rarefied cineastes.
  9. Plentiful screen time for three generations of femme jazzers, led by energetic and witty gals from the golden age of big band and swing who unlock a treasure trove of memories, make this a real crowdpleaser.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Ben-Hur is a majestic achievement, representing a superb blending of the motion picture arts by master craftsmen.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The cinema of paranoia and persecution reaches an apogee in After Hours, a nightmarish black comedy from Martin Scorsese. Anxiety-ridden picture would have been pretty funny if it didn't play like a confirmation of everyone's worst fears about contemporary urban life.
  10. More than just another documentary, it’s a crucial and stirring document — of racism and injustice, of politics and the big-picture design of America — that, I believe, will be watched and referenced for years to come.
  11. An astonishingly good and daring film that richly develops several intertwined thematic lines, The Crying Game takes giant risks that are stunningly rewarded.
  12. A searingly visceral combat picture, Steven Spielberg’s third World War II drama is arguably second to none as a vivid, realistic and bloody portrait of armed conflict.
  13. Raw but utterly enveloping.
  14. The beautifully modulated script, ripe with moments of liberating humor, builds to a crescendo of indignation, allowing Elkabetz several cathartic outbursts, but they’re no more riveting than the actress’ silences.
  15. An irresistible treat with enough narrative twists and memorable characters for a half-dozen films.
  16. A weightier, more nuanced and fulsome experience than the film the world has known up to now.
  17. A stunning work, revisiting controversial events with journalistic objectivity and a meticulous eye for detail.
  18. Scorsese's heartfelt love letter to Italian movies up to 1961.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A curious amalgam of the visually striking, the dramatically feeble and the offensively sadistic.
  19. Her
    What begins like an arrested adolescent dream soon blossoms into Jonze’s richest and most emotionally mature work to date, burrowing deep into the give and take of relationships, the dawning of middle-aged ennui, and that eternal dilemma shared by both man and machine: the struggle to know one’s own true self.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Badlands is a unique American fairy tale...and it's an impressive debut.
    • Variety
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Canadian writer-director Atom Egoyan's most ambitious work to date, The Sweet Hereafter is a rich, complex meditation on the impact of a terrible tragedy on a small town.
  20. Taped in stark black-and-white and clocking in 15 minutes shy of six hours, invigorating pic is big, passionate and brimming with compelling human details and broad sociopolitical idealism.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Basically an excuse for set pieces, some amusing, others overdone.
  21. Had James Thurber worked in animation, the waggish result might look and sound a bit like It’s Such a Beautiful Day, indie cartoonist Don Hertzfeldt’s alternately poignant and absurdist triptych.

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