Variety's Scores

For 12,237 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 2.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 The Red Turtle
Lowest review score: 0 Some Kind Of Beautiful
Score distribution:
12237 movie reviews
  1. Bumblebee shows that there’s room for a bit more nuance within the formula, but if you break it down, this relatively enjoyable film is made entirely from recycled parts.
  2. Anyone who loves musical theater owes it to themselves to see Bathtubs Over Broadway, a delightful deep-dive documentary into one man’s obsession with the obscure world of industrial musicals — corporate-sponsored song-and-dance revues from the golden age of American capitalism.
  3. It now takes more than it once did to shock us, and Back Roads wants to do just that, but the effect, in this case, is more audacious than it is convincing.
  4. That blend of action genre content and character study is a comfortable mix for Perlman, even if Asher doesn’t quite have the stuff to be truly memorable on either count.
  5. Resourceful and energetic, All the Devil’s Men is better than it might have been. But it’s still not very good.
  6. The complex tonal, textural and thematic mix here doesn’t always work, but it’s always interesting and often invigorating.
  7. In the piercing and perceptive documentary Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes, it’s fascinating, in an outrageous and distressing way, to witness the moment when Ailes transformed the nation’s political landscape virtually overnight.
  8. The film never captures the bonkers, go-for-broke energy that made the ill-fated likes of “Cloud Atlas” or “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” such enjoyable noble failures, too caught up in hitting the same old blockbuster beats to stop and wonder where the story’s weirder threads might have lead.
  9. The American Meme is a film I very much recommend, since it’s both highly entertaining and an essential snapshot of the voyeuristic parasitic American fishbowl.
  10. Alami and Ingeborg Topsøe’s finely whittled screenplay plays its revelations patiently, putting a lot of early trust in their leading man’s powers of silent implication and the serene foreboding of Sophia Olsson’s charcoal-streaked cinematography.
  11. This original if sometimes befuddling vision blurs the line between fiction and documentary elements, conventional storytelling and improvisational collage, all to oft-bracing effect.
  12. The filmmaking doesn’t simply tell a story but makes us feel its impact.
  13. Because Lieberstein is an inherently likable actor, we identify with his plight, even if it takes a while to realize that he’s essentially brought this situation upon himself.
  14. One of the subtler strengths of Never Look Away is the canny evocation of a war-weary, defeated population who did not experience communism as a revolution but a substitution. The insignia and the catechisms changed, but the underlying attitudes remained grotesquely similar in their callous prioritization of dogma over decency.
  15. Viewers hooked on the spectacle of demonic possession tend to like their satanic tropes served neat. The Possession of Hannah Grace serves them sloppy, if not without a certain random soupçon of grisly style.
  16. A would-be new “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” it’s energetic and polished enough to avoid feeling like a rip-off — “Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny,” this is not — but there the compliments pretty much end.
  17. “Anna” picks itself up, dusts itself off, and comes home with a finale that’s so satisfying and sincere, it’ll make some viewers misty-eyed.
  18. In the end, while the movie’s wit is its most satisfying selling point, “Spider-Verse” proves too clever for its own good. But in this universe, where audiences are suffering from the very real phenomenon of superhero overload, ambition and originality are to be encouraged, especially it broadens the mythology to include women, people of color, and yes, even that hammiest of scene-stealers, Peter Porker.
  19. This ballad of sad losers mixed with satire on parochial politics is convulsively funny yet uncompromisingly bleak, bridging art with entertainment.
  20. The Cleaners has the effect of scanning three dozen grim tweets. There’s not much to latch onto besides an overwhelming sense of helplessness; like the internet itself, it’s crowded with opinions but lacking in intimacy.
  21. Robin Hood is no classic, but if it sometimes seems like it’s trying to be “Baz Luhrmann’s Robin Hood,” more power to it. The movie is a diverting live-wire lark — one that, for my money, gets closer to the spirit of what Robin Hood is about than the logy 1991 Kevin Costner version or the dismal 2010 Russell Crowe version.
  22. Creed II has been made with heart and skill, and Jordan invests each moment with such fierce conviction that he makes it all seem like it matters.
  23. This is a dour and deeply unpleasant film that wears its gritty realism as a badge of honor, while failing to recognize the motivations that explain such behavior in reality, which makes him neither an attentive journalist nor a particularly good storyteller (at least not yet).
  24. The result is as despairing as any portrait of close-knit family and dedicated parenthood can be, adeptly blending sensationalism with domestic intimacy, and sincerely eye-opening in its portrayal of inherited Islamist fervor.
  25. This graceful, ruminative fragment of scrap-metal Americana marks a distinguished foray into feature filmmaking for renowned narrative photographer Dweck.
  26. Like an entire season of peak television crammed into the space of two hours, Mary Queen of Scots spares us not only the butchery but also a great deal of the drama that might explain how the misfortunate monarch came to find her neck on the line.
  27. This atypical serial-killer thriller distinguishes itself in resisting thrills — let alone any actual violence — till well past its halfway point, instead maximizing the quiet discomfort in a son’s rising suspicion that his outwardly Dagwood-type dad could be a notorious murderer.
  28. August, whose English-language films have seldom compared well to his distinguished Scandinavian ones, can’t elevate this material much above the flat, pat TV-movie earnestness it seems content to aim for.
  29. If this wrap-up proves less than fully satisfying, Possum still casts an impressive spell.
  30. In the end, In Harm’s Way struggles to please so many theoretical audiences that it winds up feeling like a film for no one at all.

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