The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,781 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 2.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Score distribution:
5,781 movie reviews
  1. While the film's gags don't always jibe with its sincere interviews of Middle Eastern citizens, or its worrisome encounters with the soldiers serving in dangerous territory--the constantly shifting tone provides as many hit bits as misses.
  2. There's a difference between "funny" and "comedy," and the movie adaptation of Killing Bono tries way too hard to be nutty, at the expense of just getting across what McCormick knows.
  3. It lacks that extra layer or two to make it interesting. The script and direction is all bones, no flesh.
  4. It raises the question of who the movie is for in the first place: Kids have seen much better animation in other films, and it's hard to imagine too many grown-ups ready to smile and nod at yet more smirking takes on famous moments from "Scarface" and "The Silence Of The Lambs."
  5. Yes, perhaps the audience will like its favored couple more, but all the engineering that goes into making them sympathetic results in a film that feels agonizingly synthetic and alien.
  6. Like its lead character, The Lifeguard is stuck in a rut. After establishing Bell’s frustration within the first five minutes, the movie continually reiterates it.
  7. A few individual performances survive - Liotta finds a little of his old edge, and Pacino briefly revisits Serpico territory - but they're smothered in the slow-burning absurdity.
  8. Opting for car chases instead of the thought-provoking ideas of its predecessors, the film looks like the work of, if not pod people, folks who gave up any kind of passion for the material long before the cameras started to roll.
  9. The problem with Desert Wind is that Kohler takes everything at face value. Wouldn't it have been more useful to make this trip the centerpiece of a longer documentary that follows the men before Tunisia and, more importantly, after?
  10. The film works only, if at all, as an unofficial Air Force One reunion, with Ford stopping just short of bellowing “Get off my jock!” during a pair of gritted-teeth encounters with Oldman. Some pleasures never go out of fashion.
  11. Hypocrisy aside, Off Label’s biggest problem is that, for a movie that features a lot of people talking about a lot of things, it doesn’t have a lot to say; its scatterbrained, switching-between-browser-tabs structure guarantees that no idea gets developed very far.
  12. Musical Chairs wants to speak eloquently and powerfully for the disabled. Instead it speaks down to them in the vernacular of bad television comedies, cheeseball underdog dance movies, and abysmal soap operas.
  13. As a McCarthy adaptation, it’s an abject failure; as a piece of art - damaged trash, it occasionally delivers the requisite squirms. Visually and thematically, it has less in common with "No Country For Old Men" or "The Counselor" than with ’90s shot-on-VHS gonzo efforts like "Red Spirit Lake."
  14. Cars 2 looks fantastic, but the studio has never given audiences - especially audiences over the age of 10 - less reason to be emotionally invested in the beautiful shiny things flying across the screen.
  15. The photography hook gives Shutter the potential to be a genuinely creepy ghosts-in-the-machine story like the original "Pulse," or better still, a horror twist on "Blowup." But one effective scene lit solely by a camera flash isn't enough to rescue this from the J-horror slushpile.
  16. Every scrap of footage here has been done better somewhere else.
  17. Apart from Considine, the actors all deliver superficial performances beneath several layers of slathered-on Summer Of Love drag, and Woolley's use of multiple film stocks and flash-cut editing jumbles together a bunch of '60s filmmaking clichés without putting them to any particular use.
  18. The main pitfall of modern noirs is that filmmakers get so caught up in the chiaroscuro lighting schemes and florid twists of dialogue and voiceover that they forget noir was about expressing more than just attitude and style.
  19. It’s arguable that the jocks and cheerleaders are this movie’s true heroes, without whom those pathetic dorks would never be able to find one another.
  20. Wexler breaks the cardinal rule of first-person documentaries: Don't make yourself the subject unless you're worth paying attention to.
  21. The leads are immensely appealing, but the sum of their experiences equals nothing more profound than two earnest people wrestling with a tough decision.
  22. It's the sort of film Robert Altman might have made if he cut his teeth working for The Disney Channel.
  23. The bluntness wouldn't be so oppressive if the film weren't so austere and glacially paced: Welcome To The Rileys is way too humorless.
  24. Like most self-conscious attempts at a “midnight movie,” Tusk lacks the conviction that would make it anything more than an outré curiosity; it’s essentially a filmed dare, combined with fan service.
  25. By the time it reaches an action-packed finale that's choreographed like an ancient Keystone Kops short, Kit Kittredge has cornered the market on bland.
  26. With casting this unconvincing, no one is watching to get a lesson in the horrors of war.
  27. At a time when movies, even from Hollywood, are finally turning their eyes to conflicts abroad, Annapolis seems conspicuously myopic and reactionary in its denial of the world outside campus, though a movie this formulaic wouldn't pass muster during peacetime, either.
  28. If only this imaginative environment were populated with a single compelling character or stimulating idea, rather than serving as busy distraction from the narrative tedium.
  29. For a film that has nothing to offer but lazy '80s nostalgia, Kickin' It Old Skool doesn't even bother to get the details right.
  30. By experiencing Block's films, we aren't merely witnessing his neurosis, we're abetting and validating it.

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