The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,931 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 Dogtooth
Lowest review score: 0 200 Cigarettes
Score distribution:
5,931 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. It's also poetic and meditative in a way that never feels pretentious.
  3. A documentary that doubles as a comic thriller, and it’s as entertaining as it is thought-provoking.
  4. "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.
  5. It's a sports film unlike any other, and a political film that makes the personal profound.
  6. No one writes for ensembles better than Apatow, and his players are all skilled at giving his work a loose, improvisational feel.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. After establishing an atmosphere of nearly unbearable dread, Alfredson keeps thickening and chilling it.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Emerges as an improbably hopeful tribute to the human spirit.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. A funny, unexpectedly inspiring story of excess, poor choices, and unwavering high-mindedness, all tied to that quintessential bit of rock wisdom: Icarus did fall, but first he flew.
  23. The generous, sharp performances, especially Garai's, deepen the story's emotional impact, as does Wright's assured, frequently astounding direction.
  24. The contrast of a warm maternal figure and a remote army outpost is undeniably affecting. But when Vishnevskaya opens her mouth, she spoils the mood.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. Meticulous and immersive, Meek's Cutoff feels like history in three dimensions.

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