The A.V. Club's Scores

For 6,386 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: 60
Highest review score: 100 War Horse
Lowest review score: 0 Fireproof
Score distribution:
6386 movie reviews
  1. Sleepwalking through a role is just about the worst insult you could level at an actor, professional or otherwise, but that’s more or less what Ventura — again playing a poetic representation of himself — does here.
  2. Goes from sleepily hypnotic to riveting over the course of 90 minutes.
  3. Don’t Think Twice is the rare movie that’s immersed in improv as a subject, not a behind-the-scenes technique for goosing laughs.
  4. Séraphine is far more powerful when it lingers on Louis at work.
  5. 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.
  6. It's a little disappointing to see Van Sant dial back into mainstream respectability. Had he evoked Harvey Milk's life with the poetry that he did Kurt Cobain's, Milk might have been something special.
  7. By the time Lagaan climaxes with 90 minutes of remarkably riveting cricket, the stakes and the effects on the players have taken on a vivid clarity, and what might have started out as corny clichés have become the stuff of classic movie entertainment.
  8. 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.
  9. Given the number of films nowadays that would be just as enjoyable with both sound and picture turned off, a superlative soundtrack is nothing to sneeze at.
  10. Fireworks Wednesday carefully, organically introduces its characters, then lets the audience try to discern what they’re withholding.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Darwin's Nightmare would be just another "ain't it a shame" piece were it not for the way Sauper gradually reveals how all this human misery might play out.
  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. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Though frequently dazzling, Kings And Queen proves that a bunch of punchy singles don't necessarily make an album.
  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. The fact that movies are a technology of motion makes them uniquely suited to capturing stillness; Geyrhalter takes full advantage, using vivid sound design and his own eye for striking static compositions to create haunting tableaux.
  24. Hammer has a nice eye, and his premise develops engagingly in the final half hour, as he raises provocative questions about whether one man can truly step in for another.
  25. 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.
  26. There’s a sense in which The Square feels incomplete, like the first part of a much longer effort. It’s hard to blame Noujaim for presenting it to the public now, but the decision to do so is primarily political, not artistic.
  27. 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.
  28. The movie suffers from backstory-heavy voiceover narration in its first half, followed by an excess of quirky laugh lines down the stretch, just when it seems to be finding a stronger rhythm. There's a shameless crowd-pleasing element to The Descendants that keeps its harder truths about family relationships at bay.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.

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