The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,223 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 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Boogie Nights
Lowest review score: 0 Bruce Almighty
Score distribution:
5,223 movie reviews
  1. Manages to be visually arresting, packed with geeky allusions to everything from Raymond Chandler to "Blue Velvet."
  2. By the time Feuerzeig gets to his final shot--an artful portrait of Johnston's parents, with their son looming over them like a curse--he's emerged with the most harrowing and aesthetically keen portrait of madness and artistic inspiration since "Crumb."
  3. 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.
  4. Filmed in long, quiet takes across gorgeous, all-but-empty landscapes, Mountain Patrol feels more like Gus Van Sant's "Gerry" than like the cops-and-robbers thriller its plotline suggests.
  5. An intoxicating performance piece in which skilled actors pinball off each other with such energy and nuance that the audience almost forgets about the dying man on the edge of the frame. The style alone makes the movie's point.
  6. It's mysterious and bold at every turn, and refreshingly removed from the commonplace.
  7. 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.
  8. In Chéreau's hands, Gabrielle has an operatic quality that throws the repressive environment into sharp relief; the film works like a pressure cooker, seething with bottled passions that intermittently burst through with startling cruelty and violence.
  9. Gosling excels at playing contradictory characters like this one, having kick-started his career as a Jewish neo-Nazi in "The Believer," but here, his inner turmoil rarely gets vocalized. It's a remarkably subtle performance.
  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. Bujalski's brand of stylized dialogue sounds genuinely fly-on-the-wall.
  12. There's a good chance that Judge's smartly lowbrow Idiocracy will be mistaken for what it's satirizing, but good satire always runs the risk -- of being misunderestimated.
  13. Hartnett and co-star Scarlett Johansson--that most fatale of current filmic femmes--are naturals for this kind of noir-hued material, but the pairing of Ellroy and De Palma proves a marriage made in hardboiled heaven.
  14. Old Joy doesn't try for too much, but its subtle victories leave plenty to savor.
  15. An indie version of Gondry's "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," albeit with none of the star power, a quarter of the budget, half the angst, and twice the charm.
  16. Mirren begins the film having her portrait painted, looking every inch the monarch and proud to play the part. By the end, she's let the pressure of one week, and maybe a lifetime, show in her eyes.
  17. Almodóvar is still one of the few directors worth watching just for how he uses color on the screen. But the pleasures have always run much deeper, and now they run deeper still.
  18. The first third of Iraq In Fragments is so intense--a masterpiece in miniature, really--that audiences may not have much emotion left for the rest.
  19. It's a gorgeously rendered marvel that pulls out all the stops to wow its viewers, but in spite of its crowd-pleasing ploys, it holds onto its integrity with a smart and surprisingly deep story.
  20. History Boys boasts a dazzling verbal cleverness--the gleeful rat-a-tat of snappy banter expertly executed--that doesn't keep it from also being deeply, exquisitely sad.
  21. After two hours of dazzlingly fantastical images and stomach-turning gore, del Toro winds around, and finds his story's center.
  22. The Case Of The Grinning Cat is a sequel of sorts to Marker's epic three-hour 1977 documentary on the decline of the left, "A Grin Without A Cat"--though this new work is both shorter and more playful.
  23. The film begins like a Frank Capra movie--pure-hearted idealist takes on corporate fat cats against impossible odds and triumphs--but ends like a Shakespearean tragedy.
  24. It's a sports film unlike any other, and a political film that makes the personal profound.
  25. In the end, Black Book may be one of the most fun movies ever made about how people basically suck.
  26. White's gently perceptive film is a funny, poignant, emotionally honest minor-key character study.
  27. Everything an action-comedy should be. It achieves through parody what most films in the genre can't accomplish straight.
  28. Like the best crime stories, this one isn't about how the bad guys live, it's about how WE live.
  29. The power to provoke may not always have a smoke-to-fire relationship with greatness but with Scorsese's film, a testament of faith that leaves in the question marks, it undeniably does.
  30. Porumboiu starts off making a mordant slice of life, but he gradually entwines the personal and the historical, then ends on a poignant note. The story and situation are slight, but in the best possible way.

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