The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,572 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 Ponyo
Lowest review score: 0 The Other Sister
Score distribution:
5,572 movie reviews
  1. Kon-Tiki, Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg’s modern dramatization, while well-acted and smartly filmed, rarely musters any actual sense of excitement.
  2. Algrant’s film — which he co-wrote with Emma Sheanshang and David Brendel — is really about Tim Buckley’s son, Jeff, an equally adventurous rocker whose fame ultimately eclipsed his father’s, though he too died young.
  3. Rip-roaring set-pieces aside, the biggest pleasure here is still the yin-yang chemistry between Kirk and Spock, even as the writers sand down the barbed edges of the characters’ interactions.
  4. Truthfully, Assange’s absence from We Steal Secrets—regardless of the reasons for it—is a major liability, and not just because it prevents Gibney from truly engaging with his headline-grabbing subject. Without a strong personality at its center, the film often feels unbalanced, lurching awkwardly between basic infotainment concerns and a sharper, more specific agenda.
  5. Mostly, however, Doin’ It In The Park thrives simply via its myriad sights of nobodies juking and dunking their way past opponents, exuding an authentic for-love-of-the-game competitiveness that’s as infectious as it is intense.
  6. Fast & Furious 6 is equal parts Ocean’s movie, Road Runner cartoon, and WWE SmackDown. In other words, it’s more or less the same movie as its predecessor.
  7. Now You See Me, which is essentially an "Ocean’s" movie recast with illusionists, demands a kind of childlike fascination with swindles, and a willingness to be hoodwinked along with the characters. Walk in with those expectations and it won’t be hard to see the appeal of this ludicrous but spirited caper, which has nearly as many rug-pulls as game movie stars.
  8. It’s best, perhaps, to just accept the movie on its dramatic terms, as a reasonably gripping thriller about the dangers of deep cover, anchored by a terrific actress on the brink of stardom.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    If there’s a political edge to this story, it’s in the understanding — implicit from early on — that this is a situation with no satisfying solution; eventually, someone is going to have to die. To that end, director James Marsh, best known for his documentaries "Man On Wire" and "Project Nim," crafts an atmosphere of tenuous dread.
  9. While incapable of comprehensively contextualizing the craze and only somewhat convincing in its portrait of the power of cocktails to reenergize the traditional local-dive scene, the documentary remains a succinct and lively tribute to the art of the drink—not to mention a handy compendium for those seeking a prime NYC joint to quench their thirst.
  10. It’s a film that wants to celebrate as much as doom-say.
  11. True to its name, Monsters University brims with cleverly designed creatures, a student body worthy of the recently deceased Ray Harryhausen. What the movie lacks is its precursor’s human ace-in-the-hole—that pint-sized, inadvertent agent of chaos, Boo.
  12. While White House Down isn’t going to score points for originality, seriousness, or subtlety (Emmerich likes his political messages blunt and loud), it is a lot of fun; if nothing else, Emmerich is a great widescreen showman who knows how to stage mayhem on a grand scale.
  13. The film springs to life in its second half, when the members’ grown kids, who are also working musicians, discover that their dads/uncles were in a forgotten, innovative band that the family had never once mentioned.
  14. Let Me Explain finds Hart at the peak of his powers, so the film’s long coronation feels justified, if gaudy. Strip away the preamble and just give him a mic, and he’d earn it all the same.
  15. The film is less about people or this specific herding ritual than about the majesty of the landscape and the interplay between these animals, their keepers, and the dictates of nature itself.
  16. Yet for all its expensive grandeur, almost too epic even for the vast canvases of IMAX, Pacific Rim is unmistakably a Del Toro creation.
  17. Pusher II works best when it's dwelling on the disconnect between Mikkelsen's lurid imagination and his disappointing reality, though it starts to fade when it becomes about the strained relationships of fathers and sons.
  18. At its best, though not often enough, 100 Bloody Acres is as mercurial as its central character, breezily offbeat one moment, spattered in gonzo gore the next. It’s as if the filmmakers ground the bits of other movies fine enough that it made a rich foundation for their own.
  19. Doggedly manipulative and yet consistently affecting, Broken piles on the miserablism to almost unbearable effect.
  20. Now here’s a comic-book movie. In a summer that’s delivered one overstuffed Phase Two sequel and a bloated reboot designed to establish a whole new universe of interconnected franchises, The Wolverine has a self-contained efficiency that’s hard to resist.
  21. If Ponsoldt can step beyond the 12 steps, he might make something truly spectacular.
  22. Though Lafosse’s handling of the actors is pitch-perfect, his sense of structure is more problematic. The decision to start the movie at the end and then jump back several years undercuts the drama.
  23. That Mazer succeeds in playing this for laughs — however sporadic — rather than as a kitchen-sink downer is an achievement in itself.
  24. This move is both redundant and counterproductive because it weakens one of the screenplay’s central conceits — the way Bettany’s guilt is shared and experienced by other characters.
  25. Erik Sharkey’s documentary is far less adventurous than Struzan’s own creations, using a straightforward chronological structure and talking-head format to pay tribute to Struzan’s legendary output.
  26. Written by Simon Barrett, another purveyor of micro-budget carnage, You’re Next boasts a sometimes-uneasy blend of comedy and horror.
  27. The entire film unfolds in a recognizable register of ominous hesitation; the results are a bit schematic but nevertheless hit on something real.
  28. There are times when the slight, small Sparrows Dance pushes too hard, both visually and narratively: a blinking red light outside Ireland’s window provides overly fussy on-off lighting during two long scenes, and the movie’s flairs of serious conflict are less deft than its offhand moments of connection. There are enough of said moments, though, to sustain its sweetly hesitant romance.
  29. Closed Circuit may be little more than a high-minded, shrewdly topical gloss on a shopworn genre, but its cynicism is bracing.

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