The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,431 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 2.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Batman Begins
Lowest review score: 0 The Real Cancun
Score distribution:
5,431 movie reviews
  1. Trier doesn't allow the bleakness of the material to swamp the film in a miserablist tone, but he doesn't hold back, either, in revealing every hairline crack in Lie's fragile psyche.
  2. Looper is a remarkable feat of imagination and execution, entertaining from start to finish, even as it asks the audience to contemplate how and why humanity keeps making the same rotten mistakes.
  3. An intoxicating performance piece in which skilled actors pinball off each other with such energy and nuance that the audience almost forgets about the dying man on the edge of the frame. The style alone makes the movie's point.
  4. Old Joy doesn't try for too much, but its subtle victories leave plenty to savor.
  5. A comedy of sorts, though to Jacobs' credit, he doesn't aim for cheap laughs.
  6. Almodóvar is still one of the few directors worth watching just for how he uses color on the screen. But the pleasures have always run much deeper, and now they run deeper still.
  7. Ultimately, the film is just a smart caper picture with some good performances, but at times it's VERY smart, and Hoffman's performance in particular is one of the most natural and unexpectedly affecting that he's given in years.
  8. Typically, Leigh withholds his own judgment as to whether Hawkins is a delight or a terror. But he does create a noticeable tension between the audience's expectations and the way the story plays out.
  9. Though shocking violence and black humor run through the length of the movie, what comes through most strongly is its pessimistic political conscience; were the movie less earnest, it might seem Verhoeven-esque.
  10. Block Party is largely a giant love-fest, which is fitting given the staggering amount of simpatico musical and comic talent on display, though some conflict surfaces nevertheless.
  11. The first third of Iraq In Fragments is so intense--a masterpiece in miniature, really--that audiences may not have much emotion left for the rest.
  12. Bujalski's brand of stylized dialogue sounds genuinely fly-on-the-wall.
  13. The plight of this struggling family unit weighs more heavily on the heart with each passing minute, making Stray Dogs the rare marathon-length art film that seems to grow less oppressive the longer it goes on.
  14. An inspired, original, and gracefully integrated collaboration of theater and cinema that complements not only both forms, but also the seductive, dreamlike qualities of the source material.
  15. Viewers' interest in Boxing Gym will likely wax and wane, depending on their interest in martial arts.
  16. Crazy Heart could use more rough edges, but while it’s a little too sentimental and tidy, Bridges’ humane, deeply empathetic lead performance makes it easy to root for one man’s redemption.
  17. Far from the solemn earnestness of most Holocaust documentaries, Fighter addresses the war and its oft-toxic reverberations with refreshing impudence and candor.
  18. Kaufman strikes just the right balance between playfulness and sincerity, leaping freely from one absurd situation to another before pulling back on the reins.
  19. The Secret Of The Grain stretches out at the relaxed pace of a seven-course meal, but at the end of it, Kechiche has squeezed the most he can out of percolating dramas within the family and he lets the audience get to know its members without needing to throw them all a subplot.
  20. Edited with an impeccable sense of timing and rhythm, with each new revelation and insight planted at just the right moment, Bus 174 examines an already gripping story from a moving and untold perspective.
  21. In The Loop floats above its chaotic world on wave after wave of beautifully profane dialogue.
  22. Gripping action and vulnerable heroes writ large. It boldly goes somewhere different and makes it hard to leave the film not hoping for a return voyage soon.
  23. Setting several scenes to the famously poignant plinks of pianist Frédéric Chopin, Love Is Strange never achieves the sheer emotional resonance of "Make Way For Tomorrow"; it’s gently affecting, not deeply heartbreaking — in part because Sachs builds to a less devastating punctuation than McCarey did.
  24. Essentially an essay film, Museum Hours is less interested in plot than in using its characters as a way to give ideas shape and voice; however, because their performances are natural and improvisatory, the movie never seems didactic.
  25. Though Chop Shop is an American film, it feels more like an Iranian movie or the Dardenne Brothers’ "Rosetta"; Bahrani introduces something like a plot point in the late-going, but he mostly focuses, to riveting effect, on how his young hero hustles and claws through everyday life.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    More than a class full of convincing child actors and a genuinely affecting performance by Fellag, Falardeau offers a film as believably wrenching, and finally cathartic, as the grieving process itself.
  26. Like all Burton's best work, it takes place in a distorted, vividly colored, meticulously crafted world where whimsy and gleeful ghoulishness mix freely.
  27. To an equal extent, Project Nim shows the human capacity for cruelty and narcissism as well as compassion and selflessness.
  28. The filmmakers smartly counter heavy drama with goofy comedy, mining a rich vein of humor in the juxtaposition of the mundane and the superheroic. Maguire and Molina excel at opposite ends of the moral spectrum, but the film is stolen once again by J.K. Simmons.
  29. Twenty Feet From Stardom touches on fascinating issues, but too often it does no more than that.

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