The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,339 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 2.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Holy Motors
Lowest review score: 0 Monster-in-Law
Score distribution:
5,339 movie reviews
  1. Explicit lesbian lovemaking aside, Blue is, at heart, a somewhat ordinary coming-of-age romance, pulled and stretched nearly to its breaking point.
  2. Cantet's masterful study of a white-collar businessman in decline.
  3. Has its heartbreaking moments and its surprise giggles, particularly thanks to Ron Hewat's minor role as a former hockey play-by-play announcer now narrating his nursing-home life.
  4. From an emotional standpoint, it's enormously satisfying, even cathartic to watch Ferguson "nail" some of the rogues behind the economic crisis with the unseemly zeal of Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report.
  5. 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.
  6. The King's Speech is admirably free of easy answers and simple, happy endings; it's a skewed, awards-ready version of history, but one polished to a fine, satisfying shine.
  7. Up
    Up is challenging, emotionally and narratively, but it trusts viewers to keep up; Pixar has never been interested in talking down to children or their parents.
  8. Anderson’s latest invention, The Grand Budapest Hotel, may be his most meticulously realized, beginning with the towering, fictional building for which it’s named.
  9. 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.
  10. The Missing Picture might have felt academic, even coldly removed, were it not for its scathing narration, penned by Panh (with Christophe Bataille) and read by Randal Douc.
  11. Gomorrah takes place in a world where decency can't take root and we can only watch in horror as crime overwhelms society's most vulnerable-- women, children, law-abiding citizens, and the conscientious few who want to get out of the game.
  12. It's an austere Russian drama with shades of Hitchcock.
  13. Arguably, the performance is too single-minded to achieve real greatness, but its utter lack of showmanship is precisely what the movie requires; at its best, All Is Lost could almost be a documentary about survival at sea, though it’s more starkly elemental than even nature documentaries usually get.
  14. Fateless is a strangely beautiful film, enhanced by a typically lyrical Ennio Morricone score and by Koltai's hazy, grayed-out images.
  15. Revisits the past with an eye on the present and future, hoping as McNamara does that his "lessons" are instructive and might keep history from repeating itself.
  16. A moving, gently reassuring tale that softens the boundaries between humanity and nature, life and the afterlife.
  17. The second half of The Kid With A Bike diverges so much from the first that they seem like two different movies - the first a drama about an orphan's search for home, the second a moral thriller about the terrible things all people, no matter their social station, are willing to do in the interest of self-preservation. Both sections are riveting in their own way, and punctuated by startling shocks and bursts of emotion.
  18. This is the most epic of the Harry Potter movies, the one that finally dispenses with side-quests and open-ended plotlines and offers up all the final payoffs.
  19. The film’s surface is as spiky as its protagonists’ hair and wardrobe, but the overall effect can only be described as downright endearing.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Particle Fever, to its great credit, is very rarely dry. There’s a palpable excitement throughout, even as the work moves slowly, and the physicists themselves are charming and straightforward enough (“We won’t know how, but it’s gonna change everything”) to make it a compelling, if sometimes difficult to follow, story.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Heartbreakingly beautiful film, a brilliant adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's equally beautiful novel, is a sort of Casablanca for our time.
  20. Most likely, The Autobiography Of Nicolae Ceausescu will mean the most to actual Romanians, who will recognize the locations and fashions, and may even know what the government's documentarians left out of the picture. But the movie offers plenty to captivate even outsiders.
  21. Miller directs with intelligence, though not flair, but the script makes up for any flagging energy with crackling Sorkin dialogue and performances that sing with revolutionary fervor.
  22. The great Kôji Yakusho stars as a revered samurai who decides that enough is enough, and sets about assembling the assassins of the title like a men-on-a-mission movie.
  23. In the propaganda-filled realms of politics, sports, and the military, that kind of no-bullsh-- -allowed truth feels cathartic. No wonder the Tillman family has spent much of the last 10 years fighting for it.
  24. Slumdog Millionaire features the simplest story Boyle has ever told, which may explain why its many pleasures are so pure.
  25. Effectively portrays New York City as a cacophonous collision of disparate voices, sidestepping the nightmarish outcome of that child’s story in favor of a different, more enduringly visible disaster.
  26. Fast, exhilarating new comedy.
  27. Cholodenko's casually observant style perfectly matches the cast's thoughtful work, though the film ultimately proves more successful at creating messy situations than trying to resolve them.
  28. Boasts one of the most expertly crafted screenplays of the ’90s.

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