Variety's Scores

For 13,676 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 Lantana
Lowest review score: 0 NOLA Circus
Score distribution:
13676 movie reviews
  1. An earnest, scrappy, and finally touching drama about a young man from Memphis who’s got a dream — he’s a wine buff who wants to become a sommelier — but if he follows it, it will tear him away from everything his father yearned for him to be. That, of course, is part of why it’s a tasty dream.
  2. The director, Benjamin Kasulke, is a veteran cinematographer who brings the L.A. settings a spangly glow, but he stages too many scenes with generic “punch.” I wish he’d played against the comedy instead of italicizing it, and that he’d come up with some pop-music epiphanies and ditched the film’s cloying synthesizer score.
  3. Vivarium has a canny visual design (you won’t soon forget the rows of Monopoly houses), but the movie becomes an example of the imitative fallacy. It makes the audience feel deadened too.
  4. “Bombshell” aside, Tape is one of the very first dramas of the #MeToo era to confront, head-on, what harassment looks like and how it really works. Yet even as the film feels up-to-the-minute, it’s been made with a certain threadbare, streets-of-New-York punk feminist mythologizing that may remind you, at times, of the films of Beth B.
  5. If There’s Something in the Water isn’t the most sophisticated treatment of the issues it scrutinizes, it nonetheless makes a very convincing case for protections against environmental harm being applied equally to all members of society.
  6. This is a subject that deserves a rigorous documentary exploration, like Alison Klayman’s must-see psychotropic exposé “Take Your Pills.” But Dosed isn’t that kind of movie.
  7. Like any good, inspirational athletic adventure, the film forges a strong connection with the human side of the story.
  8. The real achievement of Human Nature is that it takes a complex subject and distills it into such an engaging 95-minute package. That’s the successful experiment underlying this particular project, in which viewers happen to serve as the guinea pigs in how such technical information can be presented in a more effective way.
  9. As cinematographer and editor in addition to writer, director and producer, Vasyanovych is very much in charge of a vision whose aesthetics are rigidly controlled. The ironically titled “Atlantis” may well alienate some viewers with its austerity, but those willing to tough it out will feel rewarded.
  10. In spite of its tweaks to gender roles, the duo’s sexcapades and Snow’s spirited performance, Hooking Up doesn’t offer much by way of surprise, which doesn’t mean that as the odd, amiable couple head toward their personal reckonings, you won’t find yourself rooting for them. Separately and together.
  11. Once the major ideas are on the table, the momentum wobbles and The Platform trades thrills for the empathetic weight of imprisonment. There’s more blood and less hope, though Aranzazu Calleja’s music box-inspired score can lighten the mood to that of a storybook fable.
  12. The sort of movie a lot of us need right now. It’s an undemandingly enjoyable and reassuringly predictable dramedy in which nothing, not even the sourball attitudes of its comically unpleasant malcontents, ever is allowed to get out of hand or unduly strain credibility. But it also is too playfully spiky and unaffectedly down-to-earth to come across as bland pablum.
  13. This documentary is not an infomercial for the Smith Ridge Veterinarian Center, but rather a wildly compassionate call to arms for a profession in need of advancement.
  14. Inside the Rain is so fresh and audacious in so many ways that it’s a bit of letdown when it leans heavily on the cliché of the Gold-Hearted Hooker — or, in this case, the Gold-Hearted Porn Actress and Part-Time Escort — to provide Benjamin with inspiration, emotional support, and, most important, a female lead for his film.
  15. While it suffers from a rocky beginning with burdensome amounts of kook and quirk, the unfolding spell it subtly casts holds profundity and wisdom.
  16. This uninspired detour into impersonally commercial English-language terrain for Bosnian director Danis Tanovic (an Oscar winner for 2001’s “No Man’s Land”) should provide Patterson’s fans and undemanding miscellaneous viewers with an acceptably slick if not-particularly-suspenseful crime potboiler for home viewing.
  17. The movie is an exasperating puzzle with most of the pieces missing.
  18. The overall effect of Heise’s work is mesmeric, persuasive and cumulatively powerful, as each piece of the puzzle falls into place and he lands on overarching insights into a German century and what it portends for the future.
  19. Thanks to the immensely appealing performances by Apa and Robertson, it’s easy for the audience to take a rooting interest in the sometimes awkward, sometimes amusing development of the budding romance between Jeremy and Melissa.
  20. The Hunt turns out to be a good deal smarter — and no more extreme — than most studio horror films, while its political angle at least encourages debate, suggesting that there’s more to this hot potato than mere provocation.
  21. Bloodshot is a trash compactor of a comic-book film, but it’s smart trash, an action matrix that’s fun to plug into.
  22. An utterly bizarre, frequently grotesque, occasionally obscene singularity, Polish artist Mariusz Wilczynski’s abrasive animation Kill It and Leave This Town exists so far outside the realm of the expected, the acceptable and the neatly comprehensible that it acts as a striking reminder of just how narrow that realm can be.
  23. Resistance tells a story that’s plenty strong on its own terms, and if anything, it’s a bonus that one of the key participants should survive to become famous. Afforded depth and gravitas by Angelo Milli’s string score, the film hardly needs the framing device in which Ed Harris appears as Gen. George S. Patton, regaling his troops with Marceau’s story before inviting him onstage for his first public show.
  24. A ravishing 70-minute audiovisual essay on human mortality, extinction and legacy — all the more poignant for being its maker’s final creative statement.
  25. The film even pokes fun at itself in the process, fully aware that Spenser Confidential isn’t meant to be taken as seriously as Wahlberg’s last few movies — and just as well, since irreverence plays well on Netflix.
  26. Francis Annan’s film works effectively as a straight-up jailbreak thriller, well-oiled in greasy B-movie tradition. It’s when it shoots for more historical import that it falls somewhat short.
  27. An overcomplicated stew of apparent madness, conspiracy, supernatural powers and revenge whose narrative elements never quite mesh or even come to full fruition individually. Nonetheless, this quasi-horror mixed bag will hold viewers’ attention for its originality even as it flags in both credibility and suspense.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    An absorbing post-catastrophe drama.
  28. Run This Town offers some sharp observations about the struggle to provide anything like watchdog journalism in an age of diminished budgets and readership.
  29. The Booksellers is a documentary for anyone who can still look at a book and see a dream, a magic teleportation device, an object that contains the world.

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