A graded distribution of antidots in superconducting a-Mo 79Ge21 thin films has been investigated by magnetization and magneto-optical imaging measurements. The pinning landscape has maximum density at the sample border, decreasing linearly towards the center. Its overall performance is noticeably superior than that for a sample with uniformly distributed antidots: For high temperatures and low fields, the critical current is enhanced, whereas the region of thermomagnetic instabilities in the field-temperature diagram is significantly suppressed. These findings confirm the relevance of graded landscapes on the enhancement of pinning efficiency, as recently predicted by Misko and Nori [Phys. Rev. B 85, 184506 (2012)]. 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.