The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,655 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 Ponyo
Lowest review score: 0 All About Steve
Score distribution:
5,655 movie reviews
  1. Wajda makes the murders look horrific and jangled, like something out of "Hostel," then ends Katyn with extended darkness and silence, allowing the audience to mourn for the death of a nation.
  2. Denis brings it all together for a genuinely shocking finale, unexpected, yet in keeping with the film's consuming madness.
  3. Doing some of his best work in years, Ewan McGregor plays Mills' alter ego as a prickly, not altogether noble loner in his late 30s who initially doesn't take the news of his father's coming-out well.
  4. It’s a studied movie that gives itself over to bursts of intensity, and between them sometimes threatens to become as spellbound by its subjects as they become with each other.
  5. A remarkably nuanced, ever-evolving performance (María Onetto).
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Bittersweet, achingly authentic, and so intimate it almost feels invasive.
  6. Anyone who enjoys overpowering cinematic sensation and watching people do a job will be predisposed to like Leviathan, Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel’s avant-garde documentary about life aboard a commercial fishing vessel. Leviathan is an immersive experience, plunging viewers into darkness and chaos, amid a rush of vivid color and rapid movement.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    The result is the most unexpectedly riotous comedy in years — one with more bite than usual.
  7. Everything an action-comedy should be. It achieves through parody what most films in the genre can't accomplish straight.
  8. A clever, exceedingly wonky procedural about a undercover cop (Dragos Bucur) who quietly refuses to do what he's told.
  9. In an unusually subtle performance by a child actor, Kacey Mottet Klein stars as a crafty ragamuffin.
  10. Tarantino simply isn't a good enough performer for his presence to be anything but a distraction in a rip-roaring crowd-pleaser this consistently great.
  11. Skyfall doesn't forget it has to be an exciting spy film above all, but from its first scene, it ratchets up the drama in ways that have little to do with action.
  12. Thoroughly realized characters and relationships and Solondz's masterful ability to switch the tone from comic to tragic within the same scene help make Happiness a better film than it might have been otherwise. Much better, in fact.
  13. So polished that it might pass for a scripted narrative feature, but that's not a bad thing. They found a remarkable spokesman in Bolivian teenager Basilio Vargas, and while his cogent, organized descriptions of his life, beliefs, history, and ambitions sometimes seem too calculated, at least they're calculated to communicate efficiently and appealingly.
  14. Describing the early stages of their sexual attraction, Bachardy sums up the whole outrageously fortunate arc of his life. "It was exactly what the boy wanted," Bachardy says. "And he flourished."
  15. It’s a bright, lively movie, with a vision of New York as a multicultural free-for-all, where everybody’s always looking to see what they can take from everybody else.
  16. Mostly though, the movie feeds off Rourke, who plays a genuinely decent guy who never lets his dawning self-awareness interfere with his responsibility to give the fans a show.
  17. Everything here is pitched relentlessly toward uplift, but at least that uplift is genuine, the product of one visionary's indomitable will and a musical universe he brought into existence through vision, dedication, and plenty of stubborn hard work.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Writer/director Neil LaBute has taken the gender-issues film into uncharted, almost inhuman territory with this malevolently perfect exploration of male cruelty.
  18. A caustic, witty, regretful elegy for a place so transformed that it's virtually unrecognizable.
  19. It might be fair to argue that the resonances of Upstream Color are too obscure and internal — many viewers have and will be baffled by it — but it’s the type of art that inspires curiosity and obsession, like some beautiful object whose meaning remains tantalizingly out of reach.
  20. After a start heavy on exposition, the film strings one action setpiece after another, each realized with the breathless excitement of an adventure pulp cover. It's as if Jackson set out to bring to life every fantasy of the last moment before earth gave way to space as the site of the final frontier.
  21. In its graceful superimpositions and its use of water to evoke a more idyllic time (particularly in a rainy flashback set to Neil Young), Inherent Vice is very much a companion piece to "The Master."
  22. It’s a credit to both Mackenzie’s talent as a director of actors and to the underlying humaneness of his vision that he argues that the right option is the more difficult and less predictable one — and that he does so without relying on sentimentality, unearned sympathy, or a happy ending.
  23. Provides one of the rare glimpses of the upper class to come out of recent Iranian cinema--the last one in memory was 1996's exquisite, Ibsen-esque melodrama "Leila"--and director Jafar Panahi (The Circle) captures it vividly through his hero's wounded obsession.
  24. More about well-observed moments of everyday life than it is about heightened melodrama.
  25. Easily one of the year’s best comedies, the movie thrives off the chemistry between its leads, with Pegg painting a very funny portrait of emotional paralysis and Frost demonstrating a heretofore unseen talent for intimidation.
  26. District 9 fuses science fiction mayhem and biting social commentary as well as any film since "Starship Troopers." It’s the rare alien invasion story that has the aliens running scared.
  27. A film so joyfully insane that it feels like Kon is overcompensating.

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