The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,503 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 The Leopard (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Meet the Spartans
Score distribution:
5,503 movie reviews
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    As the story unfolds, carefully and elaborately, what develops is not just a remarkably intricate crime tale but a brilliant and compassionate story of people who struggle to rise above their flawed nature. This may be the best movie of the year; it's definitely one of the greatest crime films of all time.
  1. It's all presented in a detached style that's ultimately much more moving and truthful than any heartstring-slashing weeper. This may be Egoyan's best work yet, and it's surely one of the best films of the year.
  2. Cantet's masterful study of a white-collar businessman in decline.
  3. What makes Towers so staggering is the way it brings the full scope of Jackson's adaptation into focus. Without missing a beat in three hours, the film shifts from epic to lyrical and back.
  4. Conceptually bold and rapturously beautiful Gerry, a minimalist landscape film that's unlike anything on the American independent scene.
  5. Unchecked goodness has its price, after all, and childhood wonder wouldn't be nearly as sweet if it didn't fade. That may explain the film's appeal. It trapped that feeling, and its sense of possibility, in amber -- then, now, and for any time.
  6. While it's very funny, Boogie Nights taps into something much deeper with its on-target depiction of the shifting political and social tides of the '70s and '80s and thoughtful relationships between characters. It's a deeply satisfying movie.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Writer/director Neil LaBute has taken the gender-issues film into uncharted, almost inhuman territory with this malevolently perfect exploration of male cruelty.
  7. Part of Spielberg's skill as a filmmaker comes in choosing the right collaborators. Janusz Kaminski's gorgeous cinematography, Michael Kahn's graceful editing, Jeff Nathanson's clever script, and John Williams' score all work well in unison, but the film's masterstroke is the casting of Walken as DiCaprio's utterly decent father.
  8. Above all a masterpiece of sustained tone, a tightrope act that pays off in rich and unexpected ways.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Heartbreakingly beautiful film, a brilliant adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's equally beautiful novel, is a sort of Casablanca for our time.
  9. The film finds a surprising amount of tenderness and humor beneath the brutality. The laughs may catch in the throat, but that's only a byproduct of City Of God's power to leave viewers breathless.
  10. An excellent movie, as effective in battle scenes as it is in that of soldiers ruminating on an Edith Piaf song.
  11. Kaufman strikes just the right balance between playfulness and sincerity, leaping freely from one absurd situation to another before pulling back on the reins.
  12. At once a devastating condemnation of war and an exciting action film...The additional running time only adds to Petersen's masterfully bleak, claustrophobic atmosphere. Das Boot is by no means a pleasant experience, but it's an intelligent and emotionally gripping one that you won't forget. [Director's Cut]
  13. Savagely funny black comedy.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The numerous, extended revival scenes are amazing, with Duvall a dynamo of divine energy and devout dedication.
  14. The film succeeds by expertly melding the two stages of Tarantino's career. The rambling Tarantino of "Jackie Brown" and "Pulp Fiction" is evident in every lovingly crafted and delivered monologue, each leisurely paced scene and long take. The more action-oriented, fight-intensive Tarantino reappears in the viscerally exciting bursts of ultra-violence that punctuate the stretches of dialogue.
  15. The filmmakers smartly counter heavy drama with goofy comedy, mining a rich vein of humor in the juxtaposition of the mundane and the superheroic. Maguire and Molina excel at opposite ends of the moral spectrum, but the film is stolen once again by J.K. Simmons.
  16. One of the best films of the year.
  17. Virtually every Super Technirama frame of Luchino Visconti's 1963 masterpiece The Leopard could be described as "painterly" in its ornate details and exquisitely balanced color compositions. (Review of DVD Release)
  18. A rousing, reverent, often brilliant re-creation of a seminal comics character, Batman Begins proves Batman is at home in the 21st century as he was in the 20th.
  19. For Kaige, The Promise can't exactly be called a return to form--it's more a return to "Hero" and "House Of Flying Daggers" director Zhang Yimou's form. Either way, it's still glorious.
  20. It's hard to film icons like Young as anything BUT icons, but Demme's film gets past the legend, zooming in on Young's aged, heroic face and finding an artist as human as the rest of us.
  21. L'Enfant is intended as a pointed critique of pop culture's celebration of arrested adolescence. The title could refer to Renier's baby, Renier himself, or even the gang of schoolboy robbers that he's gathered around himself.
  22. The King's perception of religion is hardly friendly, but it's only one aspect of a terrific drama, one that ultimately admits that people can be as much of a terrifying mystery as their creator.
  23. When a director of Scorsese's caliber is working at the top of his game, it's a reminder of why we go to the movies in the first place.
  24. It's a heartbreaking, bullet-strewn valentine to what keeps us human.
  25. Zodiac is the rare serial-killer movie in which the psychosis stems as much from the pursuers (and the filmmaker) as the pursued.
  26. In its own subdued, mellow way, Once is just about perfect.

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