The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,610 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 Children of Men
Lowest review score: 0 An American Carol
Score distribution:
5,610 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Until now, the sequels have gotten away with the cynical franchising of John McClane, but A Good Day To Die Hard, the worst entry in the series by far, exposes the hollowness and stupidity of McClane 2.0.
  3. From its lone-wolf mythology to the high, pealing guitar wails in its score, The Sweeney plays like a forgotten ’80s action movie recently discovered in a dusty vault. A treat, perhaps, for those who prefer their cop thrillers pre-meta, but tiresomely plodding for everyone else.
  4. The extra shading is nice, but it doesn’t change the degree to which Jack The Giant Slayer feels like a paint-by-numbers story.
  5. 21 & Over seems particularly redundant, since a film already exists that’s exactly like "The Hangover," only not as good: It was called "The Hangover Part II." 21 & Over is so slavish in imitating its screenwriters’ big claim to fame that it even ends by teasing a sequel, to which the only sane response is a polite but firm, “Thank you, no.”
  6. Friedrich’s snide tone gets in the way, turning a study of capitalism run amok into one artist who just can’t stand all these rich squares and their “fancy dogs.”
  7. Many of the shorts are visibly impressive, given their scant budgets, and there’s no end of visual and thematic creativity stretched throughout the anthology; there are, after all, a million horrible, memorable ways to die.
  8. Like a Rand Paul rally rendered in the style of Grand Theft Auto, Silver Circle engineers the perfect marriage of sub-par animation and sloppy thinking.
  9. It’s too broad in both its humor and its melodrama, and there are so many narrative threads that none of them aside from Driver’s really get their due.
  10. This time out, Bahrani’s push to make a point wins out over the strong sense of character he’s cultivated in his earlier films.
  11. The relentless contrast of banality with horror seems to be Wheatley’s signature move, and like his "Kill List" (2011), Sightseers can claim a sizable fan base, especially in its native U.K. But the humor here, ironically, doesn’t travel well.
  12. 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 42 Critic Score
    The Kings Of Summer doesn’t take itself seriously; short of having the actors break character, it’ll do anything for a laugh. It leans heavily on interminable improv scenes and interminable montages edited from improv scenes. In other words, much of it plays like the outtakes reel that would be shown at the wrap party of a better, more tightly structured film.
  13. Geoffrey Fletcher’s directorial debut, Violet & Daisy, has a lot of arch dialogue and very little depth. Talky and artificial, it moves like a sort of lobotomized Hal Hartley movie; it has plenty of Hartley-esque rhetorical devices — theatrical speech patterns, naïve characters, jokey plotting — but lacks Hartley’s sense of curiosity or engagement with the real world.
  14. Unabashedly pulpy, Rushlights brings to mind the noir cheapies churned out by the studios of Hollywood’s Poverty Row in the early 1950s. It has a few of the better qualities of sub-B noir—above-average camerawork, a rogues gallery of bit players — and all of the flaws.
  15. The movie is a character study in search of a character.
  16. 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.
  17. Early in The Hot Flashes, Brooke Shields is seen reading Menopause For Dummies, and it doesn’t take long to realize that’s precisely what you’re watching.
  18. With casting this unconvincing, no one is watching to get a lesson in the horrors of war.
  19. The blame belongs most plainly with Michelle Morgan’s script, which requires this gifted comedian to play straight woman to a supporting carnival of Indiewood types.
  20. 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.
  21. Frankenstein’s Army is a ludicrous World War II horror flick bogged down by its found-footage gimmick, which is compromised and contradicted so often that it becomes a distraction.
  22. 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.
    • 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.
  23. Hypocrisy aside, Off Label’s biggest problem is that, for a movie that features a lot of people talking about a lot of things, it doesn’t have a lot to say; its scatterbrained, switching-between-browser-tabs structure guarantees that no idea gets developed very far.
  24. There’s only so much anyone can do with a conceit that amounts to a movie-length speech delivered to a coma patient.
  25. The film works only, if at all, as an unofficial Air Force One reunion, with Ford stopping just short of bellowing “Get off my jock!” during a pair of gritted-teeth encounters with Oldman. Some pleasures never go out of fashion.
  26. For the most part, Getaway lacks tension and violence. Strobe cuts rob the stunts of any sense of motion; twisting metal, seen in half-second snippets, becomes abstracted texture. While it’s possible to appreciate this stuff on an individual level, it doesn’t quite add up to an action-movie whole.
  27. Like its lead character, The Lifeguard is stuck in a rut. After establishing Bell’s frustration within the first five minutes, the movie continually reiterates it.
  28. Aside from the Tour De France segments (the only scenes in the movie to be shot entirely handheld), La Maison lacks the warmth that’s characterized Philibert’s best work. Eventually, the film begins to resemble a cross between a radio station’s webcast and a security-camera feed.

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