Variety's Scores

For 11,861 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 Anomalisa
Lowest review score: 0 Showgirls
Score distribution:
11861 movie reviews
  1. Slender Man is the kind of movie in which images come before logic, because there really isn’t much logic. There’s just a movie out to goose you.
  2. The disorienting impact of this early shock, coupled with the zig-zaggy progression of the time-tripping narrative, goes a long way toward distracting from a fairly conventional premise that ultimately asserts itself above all the flash and filigree. Indeed, you could describe the entire movie as an elaborate con job — and intend that appraisal as a compliment.
  3. This well-crafted work deserves to be seen for its thorough account of intricate workings of secret service and political skullduggery.
  4. Director Jon M. Chu (“Step Up 2: The Streets”) has crafted a broadly appealing charmer in which practically anyone can identify with Wu’s character as she’s whisked into this elite milieu.
  5. If there’s a disappointment to The Meg, it’s not just that the movie isn’t good enough. It’s that it’s not bad enough.
  6. Summer of ’84 is only cute and competent enough to be diverting; it’s neither funny nor scary enough to leave a lasting impression.
  7. Unfortunately, the behaviors on display have virtually nothing to do with real life, serving as empty escapism for the dog lover in all of us.
  8. So, if you like piña coladas, or movies in which severe childhood trauma can be hugged out on an ocean cruise, then you’ll like Like Father. For everyone else, skip the imitation and seek out “Toni Erdmann” instead.
  9. An honest, urgent two-hander, tracking a struggling single father and his wayward son on the run from more than one undefined enemy, Córdova’s film brings little that’s new to its stylistic school of observational realism — but hits the Caracas sidewalks hard and purposefully enough to compensate.
  10. The Forest of Lost Souls is a nasty and impressive little thriller that goes about its business with ruthless cinematic efficiency.
  11. The movie basically ingratiates itself with kids by scolding adults for losing track of what’s important, and yet, both in the 1930s and today, a responsible father doesn’t really have the option of quitting his job.
  12. Snapshots wallows a little too readily in cliché to be quite as stirring as its story — one drawn from Corran’s own family history — sounds on paper.
  13. It’s a dramatic portrait of institutionalized injustice, though the film is too narrowly focused to plead its case with maximum effectiveness.
  14. In Death of a Nation, Dinesh D’Souza is no longer preaching to the choir; he’s preaching to the mentally unsound. That’s how detached from reality his “philosophy,” his armchair rage, and his passionate and consuming desire to be a radical-right shill have become.
  15. Without watering down the action, Nelson soft-pedals the most disturbing ideas in such a way that young audiences won’t be overwhelmed with gloom, instead inviting them to identify with the film’s empowered female heroine as she struggles to overcome her crippling lack of self-confidence and embrace what makes her special.
  16. All four main actors are in top form, but it’s Mohammadzadeh who steals the show in his scene at the poultry plant, when his desperate monologue takes on an epic, Shakespearean quality as he throws all his physical force into a verbal storm of pained outrage.
  17. The Bleeding Edge needs to be seen, so that it can change hearts and minds.
  18. Few and far between are the movies...that actually implicate modern viewers in the evil, which is precisely what makes The Captain such a remarkable film. Not a great one, mind you — the movie starts out with a bang but swiftly falls into a kind of prolonged and distressingly outlandish tedium, and lodges there for the better part of its rather taxing running time — but a brave and uncompromising indictment of human nature, Teutonic or otherwise.
  19. Chomko mitigates a fairly heavy narrative agenda with a great deal of humor, sometimes threatening to make things a little too seriocomic, but never quite crossing the line into pat dramedy.
  20. In short, the movie doesn’t seem nearly skeptical enough of its subject, using his sometimes dodgy memory as a vehicle to remind audiences that their classic Hollywood heroes — so perfect on the silver screen — were human after all, with sex lives and carnal desires like the rest of us. Well, maybe not exactly like the rest of us.
  21. Class, desire, motherhood, responsibility to society — all these themes are worked in, to varying degrees. Yet balancing the film’s two halves is less successful, and certain shifts between humor and dead-seriousness don’t quite work.
  22. The Spy Who Dumped Me is no debacle, but it’s an over-the-top and weirdly combustible entertainment, a movie that can’t seem to decide whether it wants to be a light comedy caper or a top-heavy exercise in B-movie mega-violence.
  23. On the level of pure popcorn entertainment, there’s not a thing one can fault the 3D megabuster for.
  24. It’s a testament to Kitano’s effortlessly sleek, inherently watchable filmmaking (he reteams with regular DP Katsumi Yanagijima and uses the atonal descending motif of composer Keiichi Suzuki’s score to good effect) that you’re just about kept in your seat throughout all the speechifying.
  25. In Path of Blood, the masks come off, and we literally see the faces of Al Qaeda in action, with the propaganda machine turned off. What’s shocking is how ordinary and high-spirited they appear.
  26. What this still modest yet considerably slicker upgrade gains in surface gloss and FX, it loses in psychological intensity and suspension of disbelief — qualities heightened by the prior film’s handmade origins.
  27. Unfortunately, Berk’s movie is too plodding and predictable to generate anything more than a modest level of suspense; worse, it lacks enough excitement to qualify even as instantly forgettable popcorn entertainment.
  28. Good intentions aside, Far From the Tree puts all its energy into disproving a thesis that many of us don’t actually believe — that the tree is inherently perfect, and that anything other than a direct copy of one’s parents is a crisis in need of resolving.
  29. An affectionate and supremely entertaining celebration of the all-American nerd, Science Fair may look like a straightforward super-kid contest doc, à la “Spellbound” and “Mad Hot Ballroom,” but there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes of Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster’s thoroughly researched crowd-pleaser.
  30. Large as its historical canvas is, the film is most artful as an interior evocation of a preemptively grieving state of mind.

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