The A.V. Club's Scores

For 6,144 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 2.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Zero Dark Thirty
Lowest review score: 0 Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Score distribution:
6144 movie reviews
  1. Polanski isn’t a miracle worker. Venus In Fur works where the facile "Carnage" largely didn’t because the play itself is something of a delight — a straightforward but sharply comic twofer about roleplaying and control-based relationships (be they artistic, romantic, or otherwise). The casting, too, is impeccable.
  2. Most likely, The Autobiography Of Nicolae Ceausescu will mean the most to actual Romanians, who will recognize the locations and fashions, and may even know what the government's documentarians left out of the picture. But the movie offers plenty to captivate even outsiders.
  3. Though Climates lacks "Distant's" haunted, poetic melancholy, it has a vivid, sensual texture that's unmistakably Ceylan's. He's one of those rare directors who doesn't need a credit for identification.
  4. Dumb fun is rarely this smartly delivered.
  5. The result, while less poetic and artful than Eugenides’ book or Coppola’s film, is much more emotionally direct, and pulls off a very tricky balancing act between bemoaning its characters’ fate and celebrating their resilience.
  6. In spite of its attention-grabbing opening and provocative title, Free Angela And All Political Prisoners is less a work of agitprop than straightforward history, intriguing but never unsettling.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    One thing that ties all his projects together is a grainy, cinematic quality, which is partly the reason why 20,000 Days On Earth works so beautifully.
  7. Setting several scenes to the famously poignant plinks of pianist Frédéric Chopin, Love Is Strange never achieves the sheer emotional resonance of "Make Way For Tomorrow"; it’s gently affecting, not deeply heartbreaking — in part because Sachs builds to a less devastating punctuation than McCarey did.
  8. Bale's live-wire performance typifies the many major and minor elements that elevate The Fighter from the deeply conventional sports movie it might have been into the endearingly offbeat sports movie it turns out to be.
  9. It’s a studied movie that gives itself over to bursts of intensity, and between them sometimes threatens to become as spellbound by its subjects as they become with each other.
  10. While Raimi’s Stooges aesthetic — which was really more prominently displayed in the sequels than in 1981’s The Evil Dead — isn’t played up here, there’s enough outrageous unreality to make the brutality go down a little easier. It isn’t quite a cartoon, but it’s close enough.
  11. Arriving on the heels of "13 Assassins," Miike's gloriously irreverent take on the samurai action genre, Hara-Kiri seems conventional by his standards, especially in a long middle section that occasionally dips into sentimentality.
  12. At a minimum, his new film, Adoration, marks a welcome return to the Egoyan of old, the one who could spin seductive mysteries out of disassembled parts and show how images can be manipulated into comforting lies.
  13. Antichrist is a boldly personal film, tossing all von Trier’s ideas about faith, fear, and human nature into an unfettered phantasmagoria, full of repulsive visions and fierce scorn. It’s also the most lush-looking movie von Trier has made in about 20 years.
  14. These moments, enjoyable and arcane, may not add up to a masterpiece. But they're uniquely Weerasethakul's.
  15. In a heartbreaking, scene-stealing performance, Wilkinson plays his bipolar character's manic delirium as a heightened form of awareness, a life-affirming source of moral clarity in a cloudy and corrupt world.
  16. In his three previous films (The Return, The Banishment, Elena), Zvyagintsev frequently pushed past sober into dour, leaning too heavily on a characteristically Soviet sense of gloom and doom... Leviathan is another downer, but it’s considerably looser and livelier than its predecessors, verging at times on black comedy.
  17. Still, there’s no doubt that To The Wonder is a fans-only proposition, continuing Malick’s evolution (or devolution, for some) from the narrative grounding of "Badlands" to much more abstract, poeticized notions of the human condition.
  18. While Jonestown lacks the power of revelation, it's a first-rate piece of journalism, as fascinating and thorough as any magazine article.
  19. Writer-director Jeff Nichols re-teams with his "Shotgun Stories" star Michael Shannon for his second feature, Take Shelter, which has a similar setting, but a different mood. Nichols is still concerned with family legacies, and the ways people in smaller communities relate to each other, but Take Shelter is slower and smoother, deliberately developing a mood of creeping dread.
  20. Only the finale threatens to undo all that hard work. Though well-done, the last act leans less on the facts of the case than on Hollywood contrivances, heightening the tension with embellishments that feel at odds with the methodical, deliberate film leading up to them.
  21. Only Washington stands out; he's charming, intense, and charismatic as ever.
  22. Amy
    Winehouse was a complicated artist who deserved a nuanced, honest look at her life. In lesser hands, Amy could be a feature-length E! True Hollywood Story, but Kapadia treats his subject with respect and heart.
  23. Attack The Block turns its modest budget into a virtue by focusing on character, especially the surprisingly charged, complicated dynamic between enemies-turned-allies Whittaker and Boyega.
  24. It's all done in questionable taste, mucking around in the nasty terrain of snuff films and children in constant peril, but Sinister is smart and well-crafted, and it scarcely gives the audience a moment to breathe.
  25. Great casting takes The Other Guys most of the way: Ferrell draws a wealth of good material from his character's oddball ineffectuality, and he partners perfectly with Wahlberg, who's always best at his most incredulous.
  26. Developed by Mitchell and the actors, the characters don't always seem consistent from moment to moment, but a sharp sense of humor and comfortable performances by a committed and--it must be said--remarkably limber cast help smooth over the rough edges.
  27. Everything here is pitched relentlessly toward uplift, but at least that uplift is genuine, the product of one visionary's indomitable will and a musical universe he brought into existence through vision, dedication, and plenty of stubborn hard work.
  28. In spite of the out-of-place pregnancy subplot, Smashed is a film of pummeling intensity and bruised emotions.
  29. Côté and Henriquez err in pressing their case too hard on occasion, especially when they cut to reaction shots of Khadr supporters watching footage of his agony; there's a line between providing context and manipulating the audience that they don't care to acknowledge. Then again, subtlety isn't likely the goal: You Don't Like The Truth beats the drum, and beats it loudly.

Top Trailers