The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,660 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 The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness
Lowest review score: 0 Jonah Hex
Score distribution:
5,660 movie reviews
  1. It is grotesque and deranged and Hieronymus Bosch-like, and damn if it isn’t a bona fide vision — but of what, exactly?
  2. If there’s any fault to find in this expertly directed, frequently hilarious study of imploding male ego, it’s that Östlund basically arrives upon a perfect ending — one that brings the movie full circle, both dramatically and visually — and then bypasses it in favor of a more muddled one. But as climactic missteps go, it’s not exactly disastrous.
  3. 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.
  4. At its core, this is one of the most incisive, penetrating, and empathetic films ever made about what it truly means to love another person, audaciously disguised as salacious midnight-movie fare. No better picture is likely to surface all year.
    • 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Believe it or not, though, the real horror of this superb Aussie monster movie has almost nothing to do with the title fiend and everything to do with the unspoken, unspeakable impulses he represents. Remove the Babadook from The Babadook, in other words, and something plenty terrifying remains.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Slumdog Millionaire features the simplest story Boyle has ever told, which may explain why its many pleasures are so pure.
  11. 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.
  12. Fast, exhilarating new comedy.
  13. It’s not a documentary that reinvents the form or will alter anyone’s perception of the war, but sometimes a rich, exhaustive chronicle is more than enough.
  14. 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.
  15. Boasts one of the most expertly crafted screenplays of the ’90s.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. "Boyhood" has the natural endpoint of its lead growing into a young adult, while Girlhood stretches out in front of Marieme, an uncertain path into a haze.
  20. If The Beaches Of Agnès has no clear structure, that's only because neither does Varda’s life--except in retrospect.
  21. 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]
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. The marvelous new Talk To Her has elements that wouldn't have seemed out of place in an Almodóvar film of 20 years ago
  25. 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.
  26. Dazzling cinema-essay.
  27. Taut, tense, and self-consciously stylish.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.

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