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 Sicario
Lowest review score: 0 Son of the Mask
Score distribution:
6144 movie reviews
  1. Building to an emotional wallop that’s almost on par with anything found in one of Miyazaki’s or Takahata’s films, The Kingdom Of Dreams And Madness is pornographically interesting for Studio Ghibli fans; as a delicate depiction of the artistic spirit, it’s equally essential viewing for everyone else.
  2. 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.
  3. It's Pixar's most daring experiment to date, but it still fits neatly into the studio's pantheon: Made with as much focus on heart as on visual quality, it's a sheer joy.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. The thing is, Listen Up Philip is a comedy — a howlingly funny black comedy with really sharp teeth.
  7. Haneke’s latest is essentially an inquiry into the roots of a certain kind of evil.
  8. Above all a masterpiece of sustained tone, a tightrope act that pays off in rich and unexpected ways.
  9. A devastating and deceptively simple tale adapted from 10th-century folklore, Isao Takahata’s The Tale Of Princess Kaguya distills a millennium of Japanese storytelling into a timeless film that feels both ancient and alive in equal measure.
  10. 4 Months unfolds like one of those street-level Dardenne brothers movies (Rosetta, L'Enfant).
  11. In terms of scale, The Tree Of Life recalls the mammoth ambition of Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey," but it's also more intimate and personal than Malick's previous films, rooted in vivid memories of growing up in '50s Texas.
  12. Granik has no taste for noir archness, opting for a chilly, shot-on-decaying-locations naturalism that feels as lived-in as Lawrence's performance.
  13. It isn't particularly original--for one, it owes an unacknowledged debt to the French film "Them"--but as an exercise in controlled mayhem, horror movies don't get much scarier.
  14. Blue Ruin rarely resembles anything but itself. Much of the singularity can be attributed to the film’s atypical hero, surely one of the year’s great characters.
  15. More about well-observed moments of everyday life than it is about heightened melodrama.
  16. WQholly a Coen brothers movie, in that it’s full of exaggerated characters and comic cruelty, anchored to a way of looking at the world that seems to posit a fundamental absence of meaning. And yet there’s something sweet and even a little heartening about the movie, too.
  17. Bujalski's brand of stylized dialogue sounds genuinely fly-on-the-wall.
  18. It's a complex fusion of film history and personal history, filled with dazzling embellishments and unabashed sentiment about the glories of cinema.
  19. The Case Of The Grinning Cat is a sequel of sorts to Marker's epic three-hour 1977 documentary on the decline of the left, "A Grin Without A Cat"--though this new work is both shorter and more playful.
  20. What the film lacks in specificity and interest in taking sides, it makes up for in style, authentic emotion, and terrific performances.
  21. Resnais’ new film, You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet, is ostensibly an adaptation of two unrelated plays by Jean Anouilh: "Eurydice" (1941) and "Dear Antoine": Or, "The Love That Failed" (1971). However, Resnais’ methods of adaptation — placing one play within the other, and then refracting its dialogue across multiple characters and layers of reality — quickly eclipse the source material.
  22. Anyone who enjoys overpowering cinematic sensation and watching people do a job will be predisposed to like Leviathan, Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel’s avant-garde documentary about life aboard a commercial fishing vessel. Leviathan is an immersive experience, plunging viewers into darkness and chaos, amid a rush of vivid color and rapid movement.
  23. If there’s any fault to find in this expertly directed, frequently hilarious study of imploding male ego, it’s that Östlund basically arrives upon a perfect ending — one that brings the movie full circle, both dramatically and visually — and then bypasses it in favor of a more muddled one. But as climactic missteps go, it’s not exactly disastrous.
  24. Everything an action-comedy should be. It achieves through parody what most films in the genre can't accomplish straight.
  25. The power to provoke may not always have a smoke-to-fire relationship with greatness but with Scorsese's film, a testament of faith that leaves in the question marks, it undeniably does.
  26. For all the chaos erupting at all times, we never lose track of what’s going on, because it’s been staged not just with diabolical mischief, but also total clarity. What a movie.
  27. Polley’s fledgling foray into documentary filmmaking is also an investigative mystery, a real-life soap opera, and — most compellingly, perhaps — a searching “interrogation” (the director’s word) of the hows and whys of storytelling itself.
  28. What’s more, it’s fun, generating pleasure not from canned jokes or clichéd plot twists but simply from a sense of unhindered freedom.
  29. In the end, Black Book may be one of the most fun movies ever made about how people basically suck.
  30. Slumdog Millionaire features the simplest story Boyle has ever told, which may explain why its many pleasures are so pure.

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