The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,580 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 2.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Weekend
Lowest review score: 0 Jonah Hex
Score distribution:
5,580 movie reviews
  1. The film is little more than an exercise in style, but it's dazzling and mythic, a testament to the fundamental appeal of fast cars, dangerous men, and tension that squeezes like a hand to the throat.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Bittersweet, achingly authentic, and so intimate it almost feels invasive.
  2. To create his disarmingly earnest film, Spielberg draws from the past. Its tone is humanistic and its technique classic.
  3. Beyond the impeccable performances and direction, it's foremost an exceptional piece of screenwriting, so finely wrought that the drama seems guided by an invisible hand.
  4. The Turin Horse has a burnished beauty that's awe-inspiring, like a clear window into a faraway world as it dangles, and then falls, off the precipice.
  5. There's a suffocating air to The Deep Blue Sea that makes it harder to access than other period romances of its kind, but Davies aligns himself wholly with Hester.
  6. Moonrise Kingdom is Anderson's most completely satisfying film since the one-two of "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums," in part because it's the perfect distillation of both.
  7. It's a feisty, contentious, deliberately misshapen film, designed to challenge and frustrate audiences looking for a clean resolution. Just because it's over doesn't mean it's settled.
  8. It's a glorious dream-epitaph.
  9. The film feels as beautifully calibrated as a great piece of short fiction, only with visual accents and emphases filling in for the prose. It's a relationship movie where the most important exchanges remain unspoken.
  10. It's a wildly exciting ride, the fastest-moving, most enthusiastically kinetic kids' action film since "The Incredibles."
  11. While the scenes don't always fit together thematically or tonally, each one is its own polished gem.
  12. Zero Dark Thirty stands to become the dominant narrative about this important historical event, no matter its distortions, composites, or other slippery feints of storytelling. In that, it wields a dangerous power.
  13. A director known for the icy classicism and genre subversion of films like "Funny Games" and "Caché," Haneke has a pitilessness that could not be more perfect for Amour, which would collapse at any whiff of sentimentality.
  14. Petzold handles personal, formal, and political concerns in such perfect balance, it's difficult, and not especially desirable, to separate one from the next. The movie is dense but never feels it, assembled with easy mastery and engrossing throughout.
  15. It's Malick's particular genius to make viewers feel like they're seeing the world, with all its beauty and danger, for the first time. [28 Nov. 2007]
  16. A chilly and extraordinarily controlled treatise on film violence, Funny Games punishes the audience for its casual bloodlust by giving it all the sickening torture and mayhem it could possibly desire. Neat trick, that.
  17. The audience is indicted for its bloodlust. There's perversity in paying admission to get harshly scolded, and Funny Games is not for the squeamish, but this may be one time to step up and take the licking you deserve.
  18. It might be fair to argue that the resonances of Upstream Color are too obscure and internal — many viewers have and will be baffled by it — but it’s the type of art that inspires curiosity and obsession, like some beautiful object whose meaning remains tantalizingly out of reach.
  19. Just as swoon-worthy, and essential, as its predecessors, Before Midnight reveals the full scope of Linklater’s ambition. This is not just another stellar follow-up, but the latest entry in what’s shaping up to be a grand experiment — the earnest attempt to depict the life of a relationship onscreen, decade by increasingly tumultuous decade. In the process of justifying its own existence, Before Midnight redeems the very notion of sequels.
  20. By tackling one man’s sense of right and wrong (or lack thereof), Oppenheimer is ultimately tackling human nature.
  21. An exhilarating, four-hour immersion in life at the University Of California campus.
  22. It manages to convey a desire for power in abstract terms, divorced from material gain or a need to be admired. What’s more, it manages to do it with energy and a good deal of weird humor.
  23. If it weren’t for "The Act Of Killing," Narco Cultura would be the year’s queasiest documentary. The film — which counterposes Quintero’s day-to-day life with that of Richi Soto, a crime-scene investigator in Juarez — is both an unflinching record of Mexico’s drug war and an investigation of how violence becomes unreal and glamorized.
  24. Her
    Four films into a sterling career, the director’s made his most beguiling, profoundly human work yet.
  25. Michael Mann’s Thief is one of the most confident directorial debuts of its era, the product of an unprecedented amount of research and preparation.
  26. What’s uniquely remarkable about The Long Day Closes, Terence Davies’ 1992 return to his own childhood, is how gloriously disorganized its story feels.
  27. The visual and thematic palette immediately brings to mind Michael Cimino’s once-maligned "Heaven’s Gate" — except that The Immigrant accomplishes more in two hours than Heaven’s Gate did in nearly four.
  28. There’s a cumulative power here that transcends any rough patches. Boyhood isn’t perfect, but it’s an astonishing, one-of-a-kind accomplishment—and further proof that Linklater is one of the most daring, ambitious filmmakers working today.
  29. More "Full Metal Jacket" than "Dead Poet’s Society," the film is an epic battle of wills between two fanatical artists, one doing everything in his power to painfully make a master out of the other.

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