The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,748 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 Kingdom of Dreams and Madness
Lowest review score: 0 Jonah Hex
Score distribution:
5,748 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Meticulous and immersive, Meek's Cutoff feels like history in three dimensions.
  4. What’s uniquely remarkable about The Long Day Closes, Terence Davies’ 1992 return to his own childhood, is how gloriously disorganized its story feels.
  5. "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.
  6. It's a glorious dream-epitaph.
  7. Secret Sunshine is a frequently beautiful film with a cold, dark heart.
  8. It's a heartbreaking, bullet-strewn valentine to what keeps us human.
  9. Revanche is, first and foremost, a good story, craftily told.
  10. Moonrise Kingdom is Anderson's most completely satisfying film since the one-two of "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums," in part because it's the perfect distillation of both.
  11. While all the "Up" films hold a fascination akin to a Christmas letter from an almost-forgotten friend, 42 Up didn't show much progress from "35 Up." Even fans of the series had to wonder whether the faces of England were going to remain permanently frozen.
  12. Haynes makes it possible to forget all the layers at work and simply be swept up in the story's emotions. As in Sirk's films, these characters live and breathe within the film's exaggerated reality, thanks to rich performances by Haysbert, Quaid, and especially Moore.
  13. War Witch is a remarkably mature portrait that trusts its audience to have their own reactions to its material; it doesn’t yank at the heartstrings so much as expertly strum them.
  14. 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.
  15. In his best film since "Unforgiven," Eastwood ultimately lets observations on character, community, and the tidal patterns of tragedy shoulder a burden an ordinary murder mystery never could.
  16. 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.
  17. Its final scene is almost overpoweringly tender and beautiful, offering a hopeful rejoinder to all the prior scenes of family members shedding their shared legacy.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Old Joy doesn't try for too much, but its subtle victories leave plenty to savor.
  22. A comedy of sorts, though to Jacobs' credit, he doesn't aim for cheap laughs.
  23. 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.
  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. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. Bujalski's brand of stylized dialogue sounds genuinely fly-on-the-wall.
  30. Director Peter Nicks puts faces, names, and heartbreakingly relatable stories to a social problem that can all too often feel abstract and academic.

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