The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,580 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 2.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 The Master
Lowest review score: 0 The Ten Commandments
Score distribution:
5,580 movie reviews
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    No
    The result is the most unexpectedly riotous comedy in years — one with more bite than usual.
  1. Everything an action-comedy should be. It achieves through parody what most films in the genre can't accomplish straight.
  2. A clever, exceedingly wonky procedural about a undercover cop (Dragos Bucur) who quietly refuses to do what he's told.
  3. In an unusually subtle performance by a child actor, Kacey Mottet Klein stars as a crafty ragamuffin.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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."
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. A caustic, witty, regretful elegy for a place so transformed that it's virtually unrecognizable.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. More about well-observed moments of everyday life than it is about heightened melodrama.
  18. 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.
  19. 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."
  20. 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.
  21. A film so joyfully insane that it feels like Kon is overcompensating.
  22. Klayman captures the earlier parts of that story so compellingly that the finale's "to be continued" quality ends up playing into the film's unspoken goal: raising awareness of one man's ongoing attempts to better the world through art.
  23. It's the perfect material for Russell, who not only deals perceptively with the dizzying swings of manic depression, but makes it the fabric of a big, generous, happy-making ensemble comedy.
  24. It feels as though wherever the camera might be—and however it might be moving—is exactly where it belongs.
  25. Superman argues convincingly that everyone should have the right to a good education, not just folks lucky enough to score winning numbers: It should be a birthright, not a matter of chance.
  26. The power to provoke may not always have a smoke-to-fire relationship with greatness but with Scorsese's film, a testament of faith that leaves in the question marks, it undeniably does.
  27. Having the dog around raises the emotional stakes tenfold, and develops a kinship with Vittorio De Sica's Italian neo-realist classic "Umberto D.," which also revealed societal ills through a poignant dog-owner relationship
  28. Even when making movies for small children, Studio Ghibli produces stories that are more emotionally sophisticated, and less philosophically polarized, than most adult fare.

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