Variety's Scores

For 12,189 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 A Star Is Born
Lowest review score: 0 Vulgar
Score distribution:
12189 movie reviews
  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. This graceful, ruminative fragment of scrap-metal Americana marks a distinguished foray into feature filmmaking for renowned narrative photographer Dweck.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. If this wrap-up proves less than fully satisfying, Possum still casts an impressive spell.
  8. 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.
  9. All this adds up to a big “whatever.” Don’t Go isn’t sure whether it wants to be a frightening fantasy or a poignantly warm-and-fuzzy one.
  10. For all its recycled elements and predictable narrative stratagems, this diverting Diwali-timed extravaganza stands on its own merits as a lightly satisfying popcorn epic — provided, of course, you have a taste for such over-the-top amusement.
  11. Having created a striking and potent allegory in “Blue My Mind,” and explored it with grace, seriousness, and exceptional craft, Brühlmann doesn’t seem to know quite what to do with it by the end, except to suggest that the cost of self-acceptance is vast, eternal, oceanic loneliness.
  12. With its saccharine score, saturated cinematography, and trite platitudes, the film is formulaic and forgettable except for Russell’s performance as the lovable legend.
  13. While Krstić is especially good at providing noir atmosphere (jazzy, smoke-filled dives, ominous shadows, and references to Mike Hammer films), he positively excels at high-octane action.
  14. It’s a poignant buddy movie that’s sincere in all the right places, but knows better than to take itself too seriously.
  15. It redefines family craziness as normal in a way that those who seek it out will gratefully relate to.
  16. The effect is ecstatic; she sounds like the holiest of trumpets, with every note piercingly bright yet as soft as velvet. Listening to Franklin, you feel like you could ride that voice into the heavens. She’s not just a singer, she’s a human chariot.
  17. Heisserer’s script endeavors to give Bullock a rich psychological backstory to play — something to do with her reluctance to accept motherhood and the redemption she experiences in accepting that role — and the wonderfully self-reliant actress plays that arc earnestly enough. But there’s no getting around that this is a monster movie without a monster.
  18. Cam
    Reflective of its subject, the movie is content to exist on the stimulating surface, teasing us with the promise of something deeper while skirting around its delivery.
  19. The result is artful (and well-acted) enough to intrigue, yet underdeveloped enough in the writing to frustrate. Not the least frustrating thing here is that Nivola gives a serious, hardworking performance in a role that nonetheless remains more opaque than many past ones in which he’s had a fraction of the screen time.
  20. The drama of “Narcissister Organ Player” is that Narcissister isn’t layering her demons onto the culture; she’s layering the culture onto herself. That’s why that mask of hers looks more and more like one we’re all capable of hiding behind.
  21. An RBG biopic shouldn’t be about sizzle and showpersonship, but hard work and determination in the face of rampant, seemingly unremitting sexism, and in that respect, Leder’s film gets its priorities right.
  22. Most of the surface pleasures of filmic Potterdom (the chiaroscuro tones, the overqualified character actors, the superb costuming, James Newton Howard’s warmly enveloping score) have survived intact, but real magic is in short supply.
  23. The film’s confidence falters only when it transposes the hapless slapstick of the duo’s screen act to their everyday reality. If a couple of labored gags around hauling luggage don’t fully land, that rather proves how much more art went into Laurel and Hardy’s craft than they ever chose to let on.
  24. For anyone who grew up with “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” The Grinch won’t replace it, yet it’s nimble and affectionate in a way that can hook today’s children, and more than a few adults, by conjuring a feeling that comes close enough.
  25. Pretty but hollow, Postcards From London isn’t quite clever enough to get away with being this deeply frivolous. It exudes a sense of high amusement at itself but doesn’t make that satisfaction so easy to share.
  26. it’s as an ambiguous study of parenting a prodigy that the film lingers on the palate, as McGarry’s mother Meg documents and manages his evolution to an obsessive, gradually oppressive degree.
  27. In Nobody’s Fool, Tiffany Haddish is just furious and funny enough to make you wish that the rest of the movie wasn’t a droopy romantic comedy without the comedy.
  28. In the close, doting way the camera caresses its stars, Been So Long certainly shows where it chief strengths lie: Coel and Kene may both capably handle their songs, but the film’s real music is in their faces, singing, silent or otherwise.
  29. First-time director Tom Volf plainly adores Callas — sometimes to a fault — but his film stands as a necessary corrective to decades of bad press. It’s an unalloyed tribute to her as a musical genius who gave all of herself to the public.
  30. So much care has gone into each of the departments, from Guy Hendrix Dyas’ exquisite production design to Jenny Beavan’s micro-detailed costumes to composer James Newton Howard’s loving update of the Tchaikovsky score, and while any one of these elements might be tasteful in and of itself, it’s all too much to take in at once — the kind of overkill for which Liberace was known.

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