The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,888 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 The White Ribbon
Lowest review score: 0 Nowhere Man
Score distribution:
5,888 movie reviews
  1. It allows Lee to draw out a theme that's been present in his films from the start: the notion that repressed passion does no one any good. In Brokeback Mountain, it turns vibrant men ghostly.
  2. 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.
  3. This is clearly the work of a master in the making, an artist on the cusp of greatness. Farhadi may be fixated on fibbers, but there’s almost no one working today who makes films so emotionally honest.
  4. 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.
    • The A.V. Club
  5. 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.
  6. Caouette's shattering Tarnation represents a landmark in personal filmmaking: It finally realizes the digital dream of a raw, unsanctioned glimpse into the soul.
  7. Along the way, Murderball surpasses the typical who-will-win sports-film dynamic and becomes a fascinating and personal exploration of quadriplegia.
  8. Memorable, deeply affecting movie.
  9. Herzog is still the only person who could have made Grizzly Man. His admiration for Treadwell has its limits, but he understands, better than most directors, what it means to follow dreams into the belly of the beast.
    • 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Ends with horrific revelations that are made all the more powerful by the lightness that precedes them. Simultaneously sad and hopeful, Ghobadi suggests the resiliency of a culture in which war is part of the fabric of everyday life.
  16. Lincoln is built around a magnetic Day-Lewis turn, and the film is a memorable, sometimes stirring look at how even the most righteous bill must struggle, and even cheat, to become a law. It demands a bigger stage than the one it's given here.
  17. 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.
  18. Slumdog Millionaire features the simplest story Boyle has ever told, which may explain why its many pleasures are so pure.
  19. 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.
  20. Fast, exhilarating new comedy.
  21. Though conventional in many respects, it feels like no other boxing film ever made, due largely to Eastwood's unmistakable presence on both sides of the camera.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Really, though, the film’s focus is on neither the destination nor the journey, but on the individuals planting themselves in front of the lens.
  26. In spite of some thoughtful-and occasionally just bizarre-rumination on what the marvels of Chaumet really signify, Cave Of Forgotten Dreams often feels as stifling as the place it explores, rather than the sensual odyssey its evocative title suggests.
  27. Boasts one of the most expertly crafted screenplays of the ’90s.
  28. 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.
  29. From his wonderfully idiosyncratic bits of silent comedy at a storefront window to a brilliant one-take of Malkovich watching a calamitous scene unfold, de Oliveira seems determined to exit on his own terms.

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