The A.V. Club's Scores

For 6,376 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 2.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Leopard (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Monster-in-Law
Score distribution:
6376 movie reviews
  1. Pleasing mainly just as a message-in-a-bottle from a restless, persecuted artist-that is, until the amazing closing shot, which brings the volatility of post-Green Revolution Iran home with unforgettable force.
  2. In the spirit of the original, Linklater closes with one of the best endings of its kind since George Romero's "Martin."
  3. The action sequences are choreographed with the crackerjack timing expected from Pixar, but the film's funniest and most affecting moments exploit the tension between a special family and a world that insists on dulling them down.
  4. A Prophet has been compared to American TV series like "Oz" for its episodic plot and large cast, but it’s more like a Gallic "Goodfellas": thoroughly absorbing, exciting, even poetic. It’s a full evening’s entertainment.
  5. It is grotesque and deranged and Hieronymus Bosch-like, and damn if it isn’t a bona fide vision — but of what, exactly?
  6. With a lovably cantankerous sense of humor and an honest strain of hard realism and pathos, the film thrives on the tension that comes from an artist who devotes himself to the truth, but watches his image get away from him.
  7. We all lived through this not so long ago; it's an odd thing to make a film whose most striking effect is its ability to bring the feelings of Sept. 11 flooding back, then close on a profoundly disturbing note. A crasser film would have been easier to digest and dismiss. It's hard to do either with United 93, and that's either its genius or its folly.
  8. For all the chaos erupting at all times, we never lose track of what’s going on, because it’s been staged not just with diabolical mischief, but also total clarity. What a movie.
  9. The film is unfortunately about little more than its potentially mind-boggling plot and structure.
  10. First-time director Jarecki, better known as the co-founder of MovieFone, skillfully integrates the home-movie footage with his own thorough inquiry, weaving past and present into a patient, deeply engrossing piece of storytelling that's rich in ambiguities.
  11. American Hustle turns out to be a freewheeling party of a movie, one that never stops adding complications and wrinkles and hungry new players to the mix.
  12. The two main points Persepolis makes are that strife is relative, and all politics are personal.
  13. By tackling one man’s sense of right and wrong (or lack thereof), Oppenheimer is ultimately tackling human nature.
  14. Gorgeously shot by Lance Acord, who makes Toyko a gaudy dreamscape that's both seductive and frightening, Lost In Translation washes away memories of "Godfather III," establishing Coppola as a major filmmaker in her own right, and reconfirming Johansson and Murray as actors of startling depth and power.
  15. A big, family-style Italian dinner, catered to the broadest tastes, yet satisfying all the same.
  16. In examining the man’s selfless service, Moss uncovers something greater than a vision of a divided community; he’s made a drama as prickly and surprising as any fictional character study.
  17. von Donnersmarck gives his debut feature, The Lives Of Others, no particular style, and the absence of visual risk-taking renders an exciting premise ponderous and stolid.
  18. An important act of historical preservation, a focused and effective film that brings back a dark, important moment in history with startling clarity.
  19. Choreographed to the last beat, the action scenes have a depth that the film's thinly sketched characters never quite develop.
  20. It's a story worth telling, yes--but after 90 minutes, it's hard not to wonder if the storyteller can talk about anything else.
  21. The movie seems like a perfect found object, as if it had always existed and was just waiting to be uncovered.
  22. In choosing cheap gags over incisive cultural commentary, Borat scores more as scatology than satire, but it's easy to overlook its ramshackle nature in light of the explosive laughter.
  23. A devastating and deceptively simple tale adapted from 10th-century folklore, Isao Takahata’s The Tale Of Princess Kaguya distills a millennium of Japanese storytelling into a timeless film that feels both ancient and alive in equal measure.
  24. No film set over a single day at Auschwitz is going to be an easy sit, and there are moments here, like a mass midnight purging, that threaten an audience’s capacity to keep watching. But Son Of Saul, for all the enormity of its subject matter, is an oddly gripping experience — a vision of intense purpose found in what may be the final hours of a life.
  25. Two Days, One Night is a small miracle of a movie, a drama so purely humane that it makes most attempts at audience uplift look crass and calculated by comparison.
  26. Unlike Wiseman’s greatest films, National Gallery never quite finds an overarching theme. There’s a fair amount of material regarding the art/commerce divide, but many scenes have no bearing whatsoever on that subject, and the film generally lacks urgency.
  27. It's a cogent, often infuriating explication of how the execution of the war went awry.
  28. For what it sets out to accomplish, across a brisk 98 minutes, Petzold’s film feels perfectly judged. And it builds to an ending that’s just plain perfect.
  29. What distinguishes Goodbye Solo, beyond Savané’s larger-than-life personality bumping up against West’s intractable curmudgeon, is the continued particularity of Bahrani’s work.
  30. As cinema, Selma is commendable; as cultural barometer, it’s beyond reproach.

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