The A.V. Club's Scores

For 6,133 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 Moonrise Kingdom
Lowest review score: 0 The Last Airbender
Score distribution:
6133 movie reviews
  1. Once upon a time, a movie like this would have seemed a minor pleasure, enjoyable, but unremarkable. Today, it looks more like a treasure.
  2. To the extent that the film has an emotional journey, it’s the story of this man’s very, very slight moral awakening, which achieves nothing whatsoever and doesn’t necessarily look as if it’s going to stick.
  3. Sometimes the story is so much like a fiction feature-complete with explosive family arguments and pointed cross-cutting between the free-spirited Qin and her beaten-down folks-that it feels exploitative, as though Lixin were turning real people into characters.
  4. It's undoubtedly something extraordinary: like a live-action Miyazaki film, with Days Of Heaven narration, set in a dirt-poor community at an unspecified time of crisis.
  5. Flight was commissioned by producers overseas, and it feels similarly, impeccably slight.
  6. Damon's minimalist style is key to why the Bourne movies have become an oasis from other blockbuster action fare.
  7. Through Brody's remarkably controlled, self-effacing performance, Polanski succeeds in making his hero an invisible man, but the sights he conjures are surprisingly artless and ordinary, familiar from a dozen other Holocaust dramas. Among the casualties in The Pianist is a great director's imagination.
  8. While it's very funny, Boogie Nights taps into something much deeper with its on-target depiction of the shifting political and social tides of the '70s and '80s and thoughtful relationships between characters. It's a deeply satisfying movie.
  9. 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.
  10. Amy
    Winehouse was a complicated artist who deserved a nuanced, honest look at her life. In lesser hands, Amy could be a feature-length E! True Hollywood Story, but Kapadia treats his subject with respect and heart.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Over the years, Porumboiu (Police, Adjective) has come to be considered an acquired taste, but this droll comedy is his most accessible movie since the breakthrough "12:08 East Of Bucharest"; its left turns and sense of humor shouldn’t seem alien to anyone who appreciates, say, early "Louie," even if the style is a heck of a lot more minimalist.
  14. It’s the movie’s quietest, softest moments that register most strongly, be it Alexandra’s low-key performance of Victor Herbert’s “Toyland” to an almost empty bar, or the final scene, which finds her and Sin-Dee alone in a Laundromat at the end of a long, bad night.
  15. A documentary that doubles as a comic thriller, and it’s as entertaining as it is thought-provoking.
  16. "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.
  17. It's a sports film unlike any other, and a political film that makes the personal profound.
  18. No one writes for ensembles better than Apatow, and his players are all skilled at giving his work a loose, improvisational feel.
  19. Turtles Can Fly creates a haunting reminder that collateral damage can't always be measured in casualty rates, and that it goes on long after the news cameras have left the scene.
  20. It IS a little obvious, but that's the way it goes with spiritual enlightenment. The film's lessons are plain--spoken aloud, even--and deal with the close relationship between what can be shed in this life and what binds people to the world in spite of their best efforts to purify.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. After establishing an atmosphere of nearly unbearable dread, Alfredson keeps thickening and chilling it.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. A bit too long. Conceptually, it's sensible to keep the camera running while these women bare their souls, but in practical terms, the gist of some of their stories would have sufficed. Nevertheless, Wiseman has scored another considerable achievement in the documentary form.
  27. Emerges as an improbably hopeful tribute to the human spirit.
  28. 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.
  29. Brilliant in flashes, thinned out as a whole, the film seems ideal for the DVD revolution, where the greatest hits can be compiled at the touch of a remote.
  30. 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.

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