The A.V. Club's Scores

For 7,008 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 47% 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: 61
Highest review score: 100 The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Lowest review score: 0 All About Steve
Score distribution:
7008 movie reviews
  1. Badham and company elide a lot of technical details of hacking, but the basics of the nascent computer culture still feel spot-on, right down to the body type and personalities of Eddie Deezen and Maury Chaykin, who play two of Broderick's techno-literate confederates (and work in Seattle, no less). More important is how WarGames plays up the contrast between teenagers—rebellious on the surface but conformist by nature—with a cynical adult world that has become convinced that nuclear annihilation might not be so bad.
  2. Even when making movies for small children, Studio Ghibli produces stories that are more emotionally sophisticated, and less philosophically polarized, than most adult fare.
  3. Old Joy doesn't try for too much, but its subtle victories leave plenty to savor.
  4. There's a bittersweet quality to McCandless' story that Penn captures intuitively.
  5. Having the dog around raises the emotional stakes tenfold, and develops a kinship with Vittorio De Sica's Italian neo-realist classic "Umberto D.," which also revealed societal ills through a poignant dog-owner relationship
    • 54 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Almereyda tackles one of the Bard’s lesser-regarded later works, the plot-heavy tragicomedy Cymbeline, and again unearths untold depths.
  6. A florid, often lurid, completely enthralling film held in place by a disarming Portman, who rarely leaves the frame.
  7. The footage, edited by Actress director Robert Greene, coheres into what feels like one long, chaotic school day. You can practically feel the pulse of grown-up veins, the fraying of last nerves.
  8. What sets I Am Not A Serial Killer apart from other takes on this “killers hunting killers” concept (Dexter, anyone?) is its naturalistic, character-based approach.
  9. A Prophet has been compared to American TV series like "Oz" for its episodic plot and large cast, but it’s more like a Gallic "Goodfellas": thoroughly absorbing, exciting, even poetic. It’s a full evening’s entertainment.
  10. The gut-churningly nasty Pusher III practically justifies the whole series, as it digs deep into the angst of a drug kingpin—a junkie himself—nagged by a thousand little business details and taunted by all the young, carefree libertines he sees enjoying themselves at his drug dens.
  11. As pop sociology, London Road doesn’t delve terribly deep, repeating the same simple observations (principally: people are self-interested) over and over. As a nearly avant-garde musical, however, it’s a constant grin-conjuring marvel.
  12. For the most part, Willmott succeeds thrillingly.
  13. The bloodshed is fast and brutal — the flash of a knife, a splash of crimson in a backseat, an opening robbery gone horrifically awry. There’s even a little Tarantino in the staging, as when a blood-splattered wallflower unleashes her Kill Bill-style vengeance straight into the camera lens.
  14. The effect of Room 237 is intense. It’s a deep dive into the rabbit hole of semiotics, designed to train viewers to become alert to what they’re really seeing.
  15. Holofcener possesses a genius for creating exquisitely realized characters who seem to have led full, rich, complicated lives before the film's first scene takes place, and will go on living complex, idiosyncratic existences long after they disappear from the screen. Of course, it doesn't hurt that she has four of the best actresses in Hollywood as the leads, especially Keener.
  16. The result is immersive and intelligent, but not what one would call difficult. Graf’s knack for no-nonsense storytelling means that Beloved Sisters seems to fly past.
  17. Drenched in the evening glow of its urban and suburban backdrops, Darker comes alive in the dark, when its characters are drowning their sorrows in song, the sauce, or conversation.
  18. A Piece of Work is the antithesis of Jerry Seinfeld's engaging but superficial 2002 documentary "Comedian": where the innately private Seinfeld holds nearly everything back, Rivers loudly broadcasts the kind of fears, anxieties, and ambitions most people would do anything to hide.
  19. Raw
    The film gained an unfortunate reputation as a gross-out cannibal shocker on the festival circuit, and while that categorization is not entirely, technically incorrect — this is a piece of body horror, and an intensely visceral one — it detracts from the striking imagery and layered symbolism of Ducournau’s uncommonly assured debut feature.
  20. Like Baby, Wright just wants to feel the music. He makes us feel it, too, one spectacular pleasure high after another.
  21. Trumbo sexes up Trumbo's already dramatic story with a massive infusion of star power.
  22. The body means different things for each of them, and Ceylan's mesmerizing existential drama takes its time establishing the players and bringing their inner lives into focus. It's cinema as autopsy.
  23. Maitland sticks close to the ground, providing a harrowing moment-to-moment account that foregrounds multiple acts of genuine heroism. The result comes as close to being a feel-good movie about senseless violence as anyone is likely to get.
  24. The Last Of The Unjust is demanding but fascinating, both as history and as an intellectual volley on the lure of power, the ambiguities of perspective, and the difficulty of claiming moral high ground in a context where matters of life and death are so precarious.
  25. Raimi’s new film feels distinctly unburdened and fun, happily frolicking in its own pulp silliness.
  26. Bird and his co-writers leave room for quiet moments and gentle morals, but for the most part, they send visual gags and verbal punchlines tearing past at an enjoyably demanding speed, whipping up the film's energy at every turn.
  27. The Coens direct True Grit with a light touch, but like Portis' stark, funny novel, their adventure tale shaves off none of the rough edges.
  28. Over The Hedge stands out as genuinely witty and even a little barbed. Its chipper, sneering outsider's look at suburban sprawl and conformity isn't going to change the world, but it's still self-aware enough to be reasonably smart.
  29. Cholodenko's casually observant style perfectly matches the cast's thoughtful work, though the film ultimately proves more successful at creating messy situations than trying to resolve them.

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