The A.V. Club's Scores

For 7,097 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 Seventh Continent (1989)
Lowest review score: 0 You've Got Mail
Score distribution:
7097 movie reviews
  1. A moving, gently reassuring tale that softens the boundaries between humanity and nature, life and the afterlife.
  2. The King's perception of religion is hardly friendly, but it's only one aspect of a terrific drama, one that ultimately admits that people can be as much of a terrifying mystery as their creator.
  3. The affection audiences feel for A Christmas Story is related to the holiday spirit, yes, but specifically to Clark and Shepherd's awareness of how the true meaning of Christmas manifests in the real world, where a warm meal on a cold, dark day—and a surprising moment of parental grace—can ease a troubled mind.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    As the story unfolds, carefully and elaborately, what develops is not just a remarkably intricate crime tale but a brilliant and compassionate story of people who struggle to rise above their flawed nature. This may be the best movie of the year; it's definitely one of the greatest crime films of all time.
  4. Zero Dark Thirty stands to become the dominant narrative about this important historical event, no matter its distortions, composites, or other slippery feints of storytelling. In that, it wields a dangerous power.
  5. In its graceful superimpositions and its use of water to evoke a more idyllic time (particularly in a rainy flashback set to Neil Young), Inherent Vice is very much a companion piece to "The Master."
  6. A director known for the icy classicism and genre subversion of films like "Funny Games" and "Caché," Haneke has a pitilessness that could not be more perfect for Amour, which would collapse at any whiff of sentimentality.
  7. It's Malick's particular genius to make viewers feel like they're seeing the world, with all its beauty and danger, for the first time. [28 Nov. 2007]
  8. The Decalogue finds Kieslowski and co-scenarist Krzysztof Piesiewicz turning a delicate cycle of intimate, funny, heartbreaking, and compassionate works into a symphony of human fallibility.
  9. The audience is indicted for its bloodlust. There's perversity in paying admission to get harshly scolded, and Funny Games is not for the squeamish, but this may be one time to step up and take the licking you deserve.
  10. L'Enfant is intended as a pointed critique of pop culture's celebration of arrested adolescence. The title could refer to Renier's baby, Renier himself, or even the gang of schoolboy robbers that he's gathered around himself.
  11. Moonrise Kingdom is Anderson's most completely satisfying film since the one-two of "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums," in part because it's the perfect distillation of both.
  12. Fans of early John Carpenter will immediately identify the master’s influence — on the voyeuristic slink of the camera, the synth pulse of Rich Vreeland’s throwback score, and the transformation of “safe,” warmly lit residential environments into landscapes of dread.
  13. While it's very funny, Boogie Nights taps into something much deeper with its on-target depiction of the shifting political and social tides of the '70s and '80s and thoughtful relationships between characters. It's a deeply satisfying movie.
  14. With Standard Operating Procedure, the Iraq War finally has its Hearts And Minds.
  15. Anderson's uncompromising masterpiece will continue to resonate as a harrowing cautionary warning to a country with oil pumping through its veins, clouding its judgment and coarsening its soul.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The numerous, extended revival scenes are amazing, with Duvall a dynamo of divine energy and devout dedication.
  16. By tackling one man’s sense of right and wrong (or lack thereof), Oppenheimer is ultimately tackling human nature.
  17. The Seventh Continent deals with the deterioration of an average middle-class family by focusing obsessively on mundane life details. As images and actions start repeating themselves, it becomes clear to the family (and to us) that their lives are little more than a collection of routines, without joy or meaning. The conclusion they reach is better left as a surprise, but suffice to say, the third act shifts gears completely.
  18. What makes Towers so staggering is the way it brings the full scope of Jackson's adaptation into focus. Without missing a beat in three hours, the film shifts from epic to lyrical and back.
  19. The results are nothing short of magical.
  20. There's a suffocating air to The Deep Blue Sea that makes it harder to access than other period romances of its kind, but Davies aligns himself wholly with Hester.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Manchester By The Sea sweats the big stuff and the small stuff, and that’s key to its anomalous power: This is a staggering American drama, almost operatic in the heartbreak it chronicles.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. The thing is, Listen Up Philip is a comedy — a howlingly funny black comedy with really sharp teeth.
  27. Haneke’s latest is essentially an inquiry into the roots of a certain kind of evil.
  28. Above all a masterpiece of sustained tone, a tightrope act that pays off in rich and unexpected ways.

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