The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,838 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 The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness
Lowest review score: 0 Jonah Hex
Score distribution:
5,838 movie reviews
  1. That’s no huge surprise, given the last two Shrek films, but it’s still dispiriting watching a once-promising series make ever-greater commitments to apathy.
  2. James has a sweet, appealing presence, but the dreary, joke-light script and generic direction do him no favors.
  3. Undoubtedly, everything documentarian Darius Marder shows in his debut film Loot actually happened, but Marder’s approach to this “truth is stranger than fiction” story is so forced that the movie FEELS phony.
  4. As writer-director Josh Boone introduces these characters, he superimposes words on the screen to suggest how they channel their thoughts and conversations into their work. But that’s the extent of the film’s interest in writing, which serves strictly as a “classy” backdrop for a series of painfully contrived amorous meltdowns among a family who might as well run a dry-cleaning business.
  5. Pointing out G-Force’s plot holes would be redundant; it’s more hole than plot, and more videogame commercial and exhausted-old-trope clearinghouse than film.
  6. This sort of global co-production is becoming more and more common, but it’s rarely quite so calculated; you can practically see the scale being used to ensure that each location receives equal narrative weight, as characters take actions that make sense only according to that metric.
  7. Director Kevin Asch takes protagonist Jesse Eisenberg on a dour, depressingly straightforward trip from naïveté to spiritual exhaustion.
  8. Moves so sluggishly that someone must have been dosing the cast and crew with Nyquil.
  9. This humorless science-fiction cautionary tale feels like a relic from an earlier era, pulled out of a dusty old box of zip disks and 56k modems.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 42 Critic Score
    Too bad the film itself is so derivative, it could have been assembled from Robert Rodriguez's discard bin.
  10. The sketchily symbolic characters and flat plot just frame an atmosphere of sticky heat and Biblical reckoning.
  11. There's a solid framework in place here for a fun, original twist on a conventional science-fiction premise, but aside from the occasional quirky touch - Vigalondo fails to fill that frame with a picture worthy of it.
  12. When the left-field ending finally arrives, it explains a lot, including why she's so off-putting and histrionic, but it never really explains why audiences should bother sitting through such a tangled mess.
  13. As a comedy, it relies on Keaton and Latifah playing the same characters they always play, and Holmes overcompensating by switching into bug-eyed manic-comedienne mode. Her performance is part Lucille Ball, part overcaffeinated chicken, and it deserves some credit for daring, but none for execution.
  14. Cox’s character is a living, hissing embodiment of the idea that no good deed goes unpunished. As an actor stuck in a movie that wastes his talents, Cox can surely relate.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 42 Critic Score
    It’s always easy to see what Bush and Byrne are aiming for with this timely piece of speculative fiction. But their execution is, with rare exception, weakly imitative at best and exasperatingly inept at worst.
  15. Piranha 3D realizes its guilty-pleasure camp potential for about a minute and a half, proving yet again that there's no concept so foolproof filmmakers can't screw it up.
  16. More than anything, The Playroom feels like an excuse to explore this retro house from a child’s point of view—which is perfectly okay, provided no one breaks the spell by talking.
  17. Branch also adds some welcome visual pizzazz when needed, and admirably tries to keep the movie from becoming the story of a heroic creative adventurer and the people who try to drag him down. The characters in Multiple Sarcasms are more nuanced, and don’t reduce to a generic good or bad.
  18. At the start of Gerrymandering, Reichert quotes Thomas Pynchon, writing, "Nothing will produce bad history more directly nor brutally than drawing a line." The same could be said of documentaries.
  19. Take Lola Versus, a Greta Gerwig vehicle that feels like a pilot awaiting pick-up from a network that doesn't exist.
  20. Garcia might have thought he was making a Cuban "Casablanca," but his big, empty spectacle amounts to less than a hill of beans.
  21. Literalizing "Strangers On A Train’s" gay subtext might theoretically have been interesting, but Breaking The Girls’ LGBT angle, like everything else about it, seems pandering rather than heartfelt — a “contemporary rethinking” of material that was once sturdy enough not to require a pseudo-sleazy hard sell.
  22. A strange, stilted, misbegotten drama, undone by variable performances, awkwardly inserted flashback and fantasy sequences, and a gloppy overlay of voiceover narration.
  23. Director Tom DiCillo does his damnedest to make his documentary about The Doors unwatchable, but the subject matter is too compelling--and the vintage footage too electrifying--to be completely worthless.
  24. The mediocre ones, like the new Australian drama Drift, squeeze surfing scenes into conventional narratives, presuming that, because surfing looks exciting, any story related to surfing is inherently interesting.
  25. The film is crammed with treats for old-school "Dragonball" fans, from the inclusion of all these characters (who don't actually do much) to the moment when spiky-haired Goku dons his orange gi. For everyone else, this amounts to another seen-it-before, probably-willing-to-see-it-again distraction.
  26. It is, without a doubt, a striking debut. But it's also punishingly distasteful and disjointed almost beyond coherence, a repetitive heap of a film that feels disgorged rather than crafted.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 42 Critic Score
    Not all styles of humor stand the test of time, and the documentary When Comedy Went To School, about the Borscht Belt stand-ups who worked the Catskills during the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s, helplessly drives the point home.
  27. The Best Of Me is neither the best Sparks adaptation, nor the worst; it’s merely the most recent.

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