The A.V. Club's Scores

For 6,379 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 47% 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: 60
Highest review score: 100 Barbara
Lowest review score: 0 Atlas Shrugged III: Who Is John Galt?
Score distribution:
6379 movie reviews
  1. After establishing an atmosphere of nearly unbearable dread, Alfredson keeps thickening and chilling it.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Emerges as an improbably hopeful tribute to the human spirit.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. The generous, sharp performances, especially Garai's, deepen the story's emotional impact, as does Wright's assured, frequently astounding direction.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Meticulous and immersive, Meek's Cutoff feels like history in three dimensions.
  21. What’s uniquely remarkable about The Long Day Closes, Terence Davies’ 1992 return to his own childhood, is how gloriously disorganized its story feels.
  22. Putting a human face on a public tragedy that already had a human face, Fruitvale Station plays like an uncomplicated eulogy, with little more to say on its subject than “what a shame this bad thing happened.”
  23. Julie Bertucelli spends part of the film letting her characters worry whether they've made the right choice, but mostly contents herself with capturing a place where hard choices have become unavoidable. Though her decision to pace the film to Gorintin's old-lady rhythms sometimes kills the dramatic momentum, in the end it's time well spent.
  24. It's a glorious dream-epitaph.
  25. It's the definition of a film meant to be admired more than loved, but Desplechin's fierce intelligence and uncompromising sense of character come through, as does some of the sharp wit and stylistic flourishes left over from his last film, 2004's "Kings And Queen."
  26. Secret Sunshine is a frequently beautiful film with a cold, dark heart.
  27. It's a heartbreaking, bullet-strewn valentine to what keeps us human.
  28. Revanche is, first and foremost, a good story, craftily told.
  29. Quietly asserts its eccentric romanticism with an assured, matter-of-fact blend of humor and pathos.
  30. 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.

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