The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,545 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 The Immigrant
Lowest review score: 0 A Life Less Ordinary
Score distribution:
5,545 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. It's also poetic and meditative in a way that never feels pretentious.
  5. A documentary that doubles as a comic thriller, and it’s as entertaining as it is thought-provoking.
  6. It's a sports film unlike any other, and a political film that makes the personal profound.
  7. No one writes for ensembles better than Apatow, and his players are all skilled at giving his work a loose, improvisational feel.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. After establishing an atmosphere of nearly unbearable dread, Alfredson keeps thickening and chilling it.
  11. Gosling excels at playing contradictory characters like this one, having kick-started his career as a Jewish neo-Nazi in "The Believer," but here, his inner turmoil rarely gets vocalized. It's a remarkably subtle performance.
  12. Vincere starts to run dry of stunning visual gambits and become redundant in its second hour, as the madhouse sequences dominate, but Bellocchio’s central premise retains its power and poignancy throughout.
  13. Payne, the great satirist behind "Citizen Ruth" and "Election," loves to populate his films with throwaway details, which in About Schmidt accumulate into a portrait of Midwestern life that's almost chilling in its exactitude.
  14. It's hard to film icons like Young as anything BUT icons, but Demme's film gets past the legend, zooming in on Young's aged, heroic face and finding an artist as human as the rest of us.
  15. Writer-director Jeff Nichols re-teams with his "Shotgun Stories" star Michael Shannon for his second feature, Take Shelter, which has a similar setting, but a different mood. Nichols is still concerned with family legacies, and the ways people in smaller communities relate to each other, but Take Shelter is slower and smoother, deliberately developing a mood of creeping dread.
  16. The result is not to make the emperor sympathetic so much as it is to tug at the mask of despotic glory. In the end, he is only a man.
  17. The result demonstrates that Farhadi, who is cinema’s heir to the likes of Henrik Ibsen and Anton Chekhov, is so deft at ingenious narrative construction and intricate character development that he can make first-rate dramas in any country and/or language he likes.
  18. The generous, sharp performances, especially Garai's, deepen the story's emotional impact, as does Wright's assured, frequently astounding direction.
  19. Most of all, The Host functions as a popcorn movie par excellence, loaded with the most familiar conventions, but shot through with such conviction and visual panache that even its clichés seem invigorating.
  20. Works both as a great romance and a great, unconventional crime thriller. But step back from such distinctions, and it just looks like a great movie.
  21. Restrepo can be tedious at times and nerve-racking at others, but why shouldn't it be? That's exactly what Junger and Hetherington saw on the front lines, so that's what they show, with very little filter.
  22. In terms of scale, The Tree Of Life recalls the mammoth ambition of Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey," but it's also more intimate and personal than Malick's previous films, rooted in vivid memories of growing up in '50s Texas.
  23. Lee doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel when it comes to filming live theater, but he moves the camera artfully and edits with an energy that matches the music.
  24. Meticulous and immersive, Meek's Cutoff feels like history in three dimensions.
  25. What’s uniquely remarkable about The Long Day Closes, Terence Davies’ 1992 return to his own childhood, is how gloriously disorganized its story feels.
  26. Director Peter Nicks puts faces, names, and heartbreakingly relatable stories to a social problem that can all too often feel abstract and academic.
  27. It's a glorious dream-epitaph.
  28. Maddin talks at length about Winnipeg's hidden layers, but what makes My Winnipeg perhaps his best film to date is that so much of it is right out in the open.
  29. Secret Sunshine is a frequently beautiful film with a cold, dark heart.
  30. It's a heartbreaking, bullet-strewn valentine to what keeps us human.

Top Trailers