The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,781 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 2.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Your Friends & Neighbors
Lowest review score: 0 Kung Pow: Enter the Fist
Score distribution:
5,781 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. It's a cogent, often infuriating explication of how the execution of the war went awry.
  3. Whenever all the pieces are in place, though, Lee reverts to the kind of storytelling he does best.
  4. It's a beautifully shot, beautifully acted piece of fluff.
  5. A surprisingly bittersweet love story at heart, Eternal Sunshine values the sum of experience, which in this case means a thorns-and-all openness to romantic possibilities.
  6. It's hard to explain exactly why Clint Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima is so much better than its companion World War II film "Flags Of Our Fathers," except to say that Flags tries too hard to emphasize the ironies of selling a war, while Letters deals with the ins and outs of the war itself.
  7. In its own subdued, mellow way, Once is just about perfect.
  8. It helps that the actors' faces are so mesmerizing, particularly Manjinder Virk as Lorraine.
  9. A beautifully choreographed and photographed story about tradition and modernity in rural Asia.
  10. More "Full Metal Jacket" than "Dead Poet’s Society," the film is an epic battle of wills between two fanatical artists, one doing everything in his power to painfully make a master out of the other.
  11. 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.
  12. Explicit lesbian lovemaking aside, Blue is, at heart, a somewhat ordinary coming-of-age romance, pulled and stretched nearly to its breaking point.
  13. Citizenfour offers a remarkably intimate look at history as it happened. In fact, the immediacy of Poitras’ film is so remarkable that, at least for the immediate future, her craft is likely to be overshadowed by her access, her storytelling overshadowed by her opportunity.
  14. Cantet's masterful study of a white-collar businessman in decline.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. For Michael Keaton, Birdman is some kind of gift from the movie gods, a license to have his cake and messily devour it too.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. It is grotesque and deranged and Hieronymus Bosch-like, and damn if it isn’t a bona fide vision — but of what, exactly?
  25. The film’s surface is as spiky as its protagonists’ hair and wardrobe, but the overall effect can only be described as downright endearing.
  26. It's an austere Russian drama with shades of Hitchcock.
  27. 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.
  28. Fateless is a strangely beautiful film, enhanced by a typically lyrical Ennio Morricone score and by Koltai's hazy, grayed-out images.
  29. 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.
  30. A moving, gently reassuring tale that softens the boundaries between humanity and nature, life and the afterlife.

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