The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,364 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 Hard Eight
Lowest review score: 0 Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
Score distribution:
5,364 movie reviews
  1. Drawing on a wealth of footage from inside ACT UP meetings and protests, David France's powerful documentary How To Survive A Plague pays tribute to their courage and relentlessness, but it's even better as a record of the tactics of effective activism.
  2. Ten
    Nobody handles unvarnished interactions quite the way Kiarostami does, and for much of Ten, it's a kind of austere thrill to watch him focus so intently on one aspect of his craft.
  3. Petzold handles personal, formal, and political concerns in such perfect balance, it's difficult, and not especially desirable, to separate one from the next. The movie is dense but never feels it, assembled with easy mastery and engrossing throughout.
  4. If The Beaches Of Agnès has no clear structure, that's only because neither does Varda’s life--except in retrospect.
  5. At once a devastating condemnation of war and an exciting action film...The additional running time only adds to Petersen's masterfully bleak, claustrophobic atmosphere. Das Boot is by no means a pleasant experience, but it's an intelligent and emotionally gripping one that you won't forget. [Director's Cut]
  6. Drug War brings to mind Soderbergh’s recent "Side Effects", a film defined by similar changes in perspective and genre. However, while "Side Effects" is best at its midpoint, before the viewer has really figured out what kind of movie it is, Drug War becomes both weightier and more playful with each transition, building to a harrowing finale.
  7. Only the finale threatens to undo all that hard work. Though well-done, the last act leans less on the facts of the case than on Hollywood contrivances, heightening the tension with embellishments that feel at odds with the methodical, deliberate film leading up to them.
  8. The marvelous new Talk To Her has elements that wouldn't have seemed out of place in an Almodóvar film of 20 years ago
  9. It's a feisty, contentious, deliberately misshapen film, designed to challenge and frustrate audiences looking for a clean resolution. Just because it's over doesn't mean it's settled.
  10. Dazzling cinema-essay.
  11. Taut, tense, and self-consciously stylish.
  12. With startling clarity and dreadful logic, Loach and Laverty make sense of every bad choice Compston makes until he runs out of options, locked into a destiny that he can't escape, mainly because his good intentions are clouded by tragic naivete.
  13. The Dardennes sustain that tension through a masterful closing drive that resembles the final third of "In The Bedroom," only without the same dreadful inevitability.
  14. When a director of Scorsese's caliber is working at the top of his game, it's a reminder of why we go to the movies in the first place.
  15. It’s essentially a stroll through a fantastically detailed pastel world, in which the plot is little more than an excuse for Miyazaki to dive into a world teeming with colorful (and sometimes prehistoric) life.
  16. Witnessing outreach workers intervening in these situations is inspiring enough, but their subtlety and nuance in neutralizing people of different backgrounds and temperaments is especially impressive.
  17. Once upon a time, a movie like this would have seemed a minor pleasure, enjoyable, but unremarkable. Today, it looks more like a treasure.
  18. Sometimes the story is so much like a fiction feature-complete with explosive family arguments and pointed cross-cutting between the free-spirited Qin and her beaten-down folks-that it feels exploitative, as though Lixin were turning real people into characters.
  19. It's undoubtedly something extraordinary: like a live-action Miyazaki film, with Days Of Heaven narration, set in a dirt-poor community at an unspecified time of crisis.
  20. Damon's minimalist style is key to why the Bourne movies have become an oasis from other blockbuster action fare.
  21. 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.
  22. The film never feels entirely staid: Lu wriggles out of convention where he can, especially in the first half, and engages with history as an artist, not a hagiographer.
  23. Akin divides The Edge Of Heaven into thirds, and ends the first two sections with emotionally devastating scenes of violence, before easing into a third section that deals with the repercussions and lessons learned.
  24. The frequent outbursts of comedy help alleviate a tone that's appropriately muted and sad, and Jenkins should be credited for refusing to tack smiley-faces onto a tough, possibly lose-lose situation.
  25. It's also poetic and meditative in a way that never feels pretentious.
  26. A documentary that doubles as a comic thriller, and it’s as entertaining as it is thought-provoking.
  27. It's a sports film unlike any other, and a political film that makes the personal profound.
  28. No one writes for ensembles better than Apatow, and his players are all skilled at giving his work a loose, improvisational feel.
  29. The sociological angle of Festival Express is a narrow one--perhaps too narrow--and doesn't overwhelm the film's real selling point, which is some of the best-looking and best-sounding footage of counterculture icons ever screened.
  30. An Education shares with Hornby’s best work trenchant insight into the way smart, hyper-verbal young people let the music, films, books, and art they love define themselves as they figure out who they are and what they want to be.

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