Variety's Scores

For 12,054 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 2.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 The Last Detail
Lowest review score: 0 Bio-Dome
Score distribution:
12054 movie reviews
  1. The pull of Garry Winogrand’s photographs is that they dissolve the line between art and life.
  2. A wholly delightful talkathon.
  3. The Song of Sway Lake never finds a thematic center around which to pivot its action.
  4. [A] touching, albeit occasionally heavy-handed, drama.
  5. With access to only one side of its central conflict, and a scattershot approach that skims over key details and points of interest, this well-intentioned documentary leaves audiences feeling like they’re only getting part of a much larger story.
  6. It’s messy and distressingly unmemorable, which is a shame since there are no shortage of great Looney Tunes-level cartoon gags wasted along the way, including an ingenious rope bridge sequence worthy of golden-age Warner Bros. animation.
  7. While not terribly original, it would be fair to call the movie inventive, like one of those eccentrics who’s constantly pestering the patent office with what he thinks are fresh ideas, only to discover that someone else got there first.
  8. Teen Spirit is too tidy, concocted, and safe. It longs to channel the high of great pop, but as a movie it lacks the ecstatic imagination to do what great pop does. It never soars.
  9. While always attractive, the look conveys a level of non-spontaneous construction that often takes away from the potency of hard, brutal reality.
  10. It would be unfair, and not entirely accurate, to dismiss “Path to Redemption” as irredeemably dull and without merit.
  11. It’s a riveting and spectacular documentary.
  12. If Basir and Samantha Tanner’s screenplay ultimately feels like less than a full meal, its intelligence and restraint — particularly in resisting the lure of a heavier-handed message — are nonetheless admirable.
  13. Vinterberg’s Kursk occasionally lands an emotive blow but only in its more fictionalized stretches, while it pulls its punches with the thorniest and most provocative elements of the real story, an instinct that unduly submerges much of the real horror and lasting consequence of this tragically, enragingly, heartbreakingly bungled incident.
  14. What could have been a powerful ode to the impact that movies have in shaping our identities — and by extension, the reason broken people are drawn to the profession, through which they hope to reach others like themselves — becomes an over-the-top celebration of Dolan himself.
  15. The result is a diverting-to-a-point curio whose nice atmospherics and good performances ultimately don’t add up to quite enough to satisfy the constructs of horror, allegory, satire — or anything else.
  16. [A] delightful, droll, and intelligent comedy, which captures the absurdity and tragedy of a complicated political situation with a consistently light touch.
  17. Boasting the sort of shocking brutality and unnerving menace that has become Saulnier’s signature, Hold the Dark is also a strangely seductive film, and one that understands the difference between simple plot resolution and catharsis, leading us on a journey into Alaska’s frigid heart of darkness that poses more questions than it answers.
  18. There’s a big twist at the end, but like everything else here, it aims for a shock effect that the film is simply too clumsy and psychologically far-fetched to pull off.
  19. Between its minimal setup and frantic denouement, the middle stretch of this pleasingly multilingual movie sags shapelessly, as the hostages and even their captors gradually bond across cultural and linguistic barriers, with music — of course — as the language that binds them.
  20. No matter how much you want to like the film, something is missing: a spark, a shimmer, a thrust of discovery.
  21. Every supremely controlled stylistic element of Zhang Yimou’s breathtakingly beautiful Shadow is an echo of another, a motif repeated, a pattern recurring in a fractionally different way each time.
  22. Stretching to more than two hours, Quincy stumbles into some pacing problems as it goes, and considering the sheer number of turns the man’s life took, one wonders if a miniseries might have served him better.
  23. Boasting a trio of actresses at the top of their game and cinematography that constantly impresses with its confident yet unshowy fluidity, the movie deftly enters into the bosom of a family harboring multiple secrets, encompassing the personal and political.
  24. Die-hard acolytes will argue that the camerawork transcends or even complements the storyline; most everyone else will wonder what happened to an auteur whose work was awaited with such eager anticipation.
  25. Kent’s elemental revenge tale attains a near-mythic grandeur over the course of its arduous, ravishing trek. Some stricter editing wouldn’t go amiss, particularly in a needlessly baggy, to-and-fro finale, but it’s a pretty magnificent mass of movie.
  26. Having dipped a toe into bigger-name casting with his previous feature “Entertainment,” Alverson experiments intriguingly with performance style here, submitting his otherwise rigorously controlled filmmaking to the whims of unpredictably idiosyncratic thesps like Lavant, Goldblum and Udo Kier. It’s a calculated clash that perhaps reflects the film’s own theme of agitated minds at odds with the stoic status quo.
  27. Sitting through the harrowing events again nearly a decade later could hardly be described as entertainment, and the film plays to many of the same unseemly impulses that make disaster movies so compelling, exploiting the tragedy of the situation for spectacle’s sake.
  28. Featuring a pair of terrific performances by Viggo Mortensen as a goombah with a heart of gold and Mahershala Ali as multilingual composer-musician Don Shirley, the story may be unique, yet it goes pretty much exactly the way you might expect.
  29. The only problem is that it’s easier to be impressed by the ingenuity of the staging and the architecture of the screenplay than it is to stay invested in the characters.
  30. For Sutton — whose previous film, “Dark Night,” inspired by 2012’s Aurora megaplex shooting, made an austere statement about gun violence — Donnybrook marks a major step forward in both ambition and style.

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