The A.V. Club's Scores

For 6,884 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 2.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Rachel Getting Married
Lowest review score: 0 Best Night Ever
Score distribution:
6884 movie reviews
  1. Listen To Me Marlon suffers from an atrocious score that frequently sounds like it belongs in a useless Oscar montage, and it doesn’t reveal much about Brando that cinephiles don’t already know. But the man himself is endlessly fascinating, so it’s hard to fault a movie that ditches anything extraneous (especially talking-head testimonials) in order to let him tell his own story in his own words.
  2. Director Sidney Lumet (working from a screenplay by Waldo Salt and Norman Wexler) chooses not to press the superheroic aspect of his protagonist. Serpico is more street-level, tracing a decade of NYPD change--and refusal to change--through an episodic, often elliptical structure.
  3. Grim but never gratuitous.
  4. Fateless is a strangely beautiful film, enhanced by a typically lyrical Ennio Morricone score and by Koltai's hazy, grayed-out images.
  5. Revisits the past with an eye on the present and future, hoping as McNamara does that his "lessons" are instructive and might keep history from repeating itself.
  6. A moving, gently reassuring tale that softens the boundaries between humanity and nature, life and the afterlife.
  7. It allows Lee to draw out a theme that's been present in his films from the start: the notion that repressed passion does no one any good. In Brokeback Mountain, it turns vibrant men ghostly.
  8. The second half of The Kid With A Bike diverges so much from the first that they seem like two different movies - the first a drama about an orphan's search for home, the second a moral thriller about the terrible things all people, no matter their social station, are willing to do in the interest of self-preservation. Both sections are riveting in their own way, and punctuated by startling shocks and bursts of emotion.
  9. This is the most epic of the Harry Potter movies, the one that finally dispenses with side-quests and open-ended plotlines and offers up all the final payoffs.
    • The A.V. Club
  10. Particle Fever, to its great credit, is very rarely dry. There’s a palpable excitement throughout, even as the work moves slowly, and the physicists themselves are charming and straightforward enough (“We won’t know how, but it’s gonna change everything”) to make it a compelling, if sometimes difficult to follow, story.
  11. Caouette's shattering Tarnation represents a landmark in personal filmmaking: It finally realizes the digital dream of a raw, unsanctioned glimpse into the soul.
  12. There was more than the usual dating-scene obstacles threatening their future together. Collaborating on the screenplay for The Big Sick, Nanjiani and Gordon have made a perceptive, winning romantic comedy from those obstacles, including the unforeseen emergency that provides the film its title.
  13. Along the way, Murderball surpasses the typical who-will-win sports-film dynamic and becomes a fascinating and personal exploration of quadriplegia.
  14. Memorable, deeply affecting movie.
  15. Herzog is still the only person who could have made Grizzly Man. His admiration for Treadwell has its limits, but he understands, better than most directors, what it means to follow dreams into the belly of the beast.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Heartbreakingly beautiful film, a brilliant adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's equally beautiful novel, is a sort of Casablanca for our time.
  16. Most likely, The Autobiography Of Nicolae Ceausescu will mean the most to actual Romanians, who will recognize the locations and fashions, and may even know what the government's documentarians left out of the picture. But the movie offers plenty to captivate even outsiders.
  17. Miller directs with intelligence, though not flair, but the script makes up for any flagging energy with crackling Sorkin dialogue and performances that sing with revolutionary fervor.
  18. At its core, this is one of the most incisive, penetrating, and empathetic films ever made about what it truly means to love another person, audaciously disguised as salacious midnight-movie fare. No better picture is likely to surface all year.
  19. Desplechin tackles drama with wildly confident eclecticism, sometimes even besting Martin Scorsese in pure movie-mad feverishness: iris shots, radically different camera styles, unexpected musical and literary quotations, theatrical flourishes, scenes broken up in collage.
  20. It does offer a very amusing portrait of guile and idiocy. Think of it as a divertissement. Both Austen and Stillman would surely approve.
  21. If there’s any fault to find in this expertly directed, frequently hilarious study of imploding male ego, it’s that Östlund basically arrives upon a perfect ending — one that brings the movie full circle, both dramatically and visually — and then bypasses it in favor of a more muddled one. But as climactic missteps go, it’s not exactly disastrous.
  22. Ends with horrific revelations that are made all the more powerful by the lightness that precedes them. Simultaneously sad and hopeful, Ghobadi suggests the resiliency of a culture in which war is part of the fabric of everyday life.
  23. Lincoln is built around a magnetic Day-Lewis turn, and the film is a memorable, sometimes stirring look at how even the most righteous bill must struggle, and even cheat, to become a law. It demands a bigger stage than the one it's given here.
  24. In the propaganda-filled realms of politics, sports, and the military, that kind of no-bullsh-- -allowed truth feels cathartic. No wonder the Tillman family has spent much of the last 10 years fighting for it.
  25. On their own, each segment of Room is tense and emotional. But they’re even better placed back-to-back.
  26. Spielberg balances terror on the water with a rich portrait of an island police chief (Roy Scheider) torn between public-safety concerns and a community that thrives on the tourist dollar.
  27. The last half of The Murder Of Fred Hampton shreds the official statements of Chicago law enforcement.... But the first half is all about the life and times of Hampton, as he rouses the rabble and defends the new socialism, while cautiously inspired by the ever-present cameras and microphones.
  28. Payne, who never met pathos he didn’t feel inclined to puncture with slapstick humor, has somehow made his best drama and his worst comedy rolled into one.
  29. Slumdog Millionaire features the simplest story Boyle has ever told, which may explain why its many pleasures are so pure.

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