The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,431 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 Batman Begins
Lowest review score: 0 The Real Cancun
Score distribution:
5,431 movie reviews
  1. Careening from bubbly romantic comedy to bitchy melodrama to the darker matters of murder, incest, and suicide, the film possesses the catch-all qualities for which Bollywood cinema is known, but Bose exerts about as much control over them as the conductor of a runaway train.
  2. The film is an old-fashioned morality play writ extra-large, applying a heavy, austere tone to a sequence of events that can't bear the load. The burden falls mostly on Kevin Kline, who trades in his lithe, expressive comedic gifts for a dramatic role that fits him like a straitjacket and a pair of lead shoes.
  3. Perhaps because the present-day characters are such insufferable twits -- especially the brooding Penn, who's given to tossing around stanzas by Yeats and Dylan Thomas -- the modern story feels like a device, a flimsy entrée into events that would be better accessed directly.
  4. Part of what made "Koyaanisqatsi" such a revelation was its purely cinematic dependence on unconstructed imagery. Here, he adds a parade of religious, corporate, and political icons, and what's already preachy turns heavy-handed.
  5. Feels like it was written as a fairly straight horror/sci-fi movie, then script-doctored by a comedy writer intent on satirizing the original script. As a result, the film's intentional and unintentional laughs mingle so freely that it becomes difficult to differentiate between the two.
  6. It's telling that this slice of milquetoast is the first to get picked up by a major studio boutique. Put in the most euphemistic terms possible, the film's banal premise contains "universal themes," meaning that its sentimental clichés translate readily to all continents and cultures.
  7. Perhaps the oddest thing about The In-Laws is that it's aimed at an audience old enough to remember not only the original, but also how much funnier it seemed at the time.
  8. Botches what could be the most mischievous power since Scott Baio's telekinesis in the 1982 comedy "Zapped!": a wristwatch that speeds up time for the user until the rest of the world seems to be standing still.
  9. When the twists arrive, they feel like much of the film: creepy and cliché-free, but still terribly wrong.
  10. The movie and the movie-within-a-movie share a chemistry even more awkward than that of their flat-footed leads.
  11. Ultimately it lacks even the conviction of its own nastiness.
  12. The angrier the film gets, the less funny it becomes, squelched by heavy-handed polemics, a maddeningly repetitive musical score, and a running time that drags its overriding joke into the ground.
  13. Consider that in “Point Blank,” Lee Marvin walks through the film with the look of a man who's lost his soul. You can see it in his eyes. Look in Gibson's eyes in this one and you'll see soullessness, but it doesn't seem to come from anywhere within his character.
  14. Van Sant's direction is surprisingly static and conventional, which doesn't help this earnest, underwhelming misfire.
  15. It has the courage to feature some refreshingly lousy bear costumes, but the film seems likely to send most kids tugging at sleeves for the cinematic equivalent of Space Mountain.
  16. The film does coast along smoothly to the inevitable, which is a credit to the always-game Reese Witherspoon, who's courteous enough to pretend she doesn't know what's coming, then make it look like a huge surprise.
  17. Lacks the creepiness and craft of the films that inspired it.
  18. For twists to work, viewers have to feel like they're being led along, not jerked around, and James Vanderbilt's script eventually devolves into little more than a series of jerks, stopping short only of introducing evil twins and alien interlopers.
  19. Without the mythical power or giddy adventurousness of the first two Star Wars movies, the impact is strangely numbing, like watching a two-and-a-half-hour ILM show reel in search of moneyed investors.
  20. Voices is visually impressive, and it sustains a mood of downbeat romanticism throughout, but because it lacks an essential core of humanity, it's never as haunting or resonant as it should be.
  21. Casting Affleck would have paid off had the conflicted, acerbic star of “Boiler Room,” “Changing Lanes,” or even “Bounce” shown up. Instead we're left with the cardboard hero of “Armageddon” and “The Sum Of All Fears,” a caretaker leading man wholly dependent on the quality of the movie around him. Sadly, there's not much of that.
  22. The ambition is laudable, but the execution is wanting, and the attempt itself may indicate that Watanabe and company have forgotten what made Cowboy Bebop so much fun.
  23. First-time director Casey La Scala and some talented stunt doubles squeeze in a fair amount of impressive skating footage, but the film around it will gleam the cube only of viewers with an unusually high tolerance for porta-toilet and Dutch-oven gags.
  24. As it goes with the TV show, so it goes with the movie, which benefits from being shot largely in Rome and suffers from trying to stretch its sitcom antics to feature length.
  25. At least Christensen seems to have the right idea: She gives her character a look that's part lust, part thousand-yard stare, and part Machiavelli in tight sweaters and form-fitting skirts. It's not exactly acting, but it's not predictable, either, which makes it stand out all the more.
  26. Miles away from "Farewell, My Concubine" in form and function, with thinly defined characters and unreflective attitudes about urban values vs. country values, the film would be impossible to identify as Chen's if his name weren't in the opening credits.
  27. A comedy with a terrific premise and little else.
  28. Perhaps the worst thing that could be said about Better Luck Tomorrow is that, on a slow night, it's easy to imagine these delinquents wanting to rent a film just like it.
  29. A moralizing thriller so listless that it plays out like a game of mouse and mouse.
  30. Beyond fulfilling the dreams of a seemingly nice fellow, the whole venture is a victory of hype over substance, loudly accomplishing nothing.

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