The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,354 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 Silent Light
Lowest review score: 0 Monster-in-Law
Score distribution:
5,354 movie reviews
  1. It's a film of shuddering earnestness and fevered good intentions gone awry, a dreary slog of a message movie with little but noble if unfulfilled aspirations to commend it.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    Watching TV With The Red Chinese is based on a Luke Whisnant young-adult novel that co-writer/director Shimon Dotan (Diamond Dogs) seems to have fed into a blender.
  2. As the plot unfolds, brick by brick, the structure starts to wobble until it finally collapses into unintentional comedy.
  3. This adventure strands Johnson's famously animated features in eyebrow jail, and squanders his outsized charisma and gift for winking self-deprecation in a thankless worried-stepfather role. It doesn't call for much, beyond a lot of muscles and an ever-present look of concern for his whiny stepson.
  4. The charismatic Idris Elba debuts in a key role as an alcoholic priest who recruits Cage's unique services. Yet instead of elevating the franchise, Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance ends up squandering even more potential.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    Tennant and Macdonald are appealing performers, but they aren't given scenes that convey they even like each other, much less that they're irresistibly drawn to each other, circumstances be damned.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    As onscreen professions go, it'd be a nice change of pace, were Miranda Kent not the least credible scientist since Denise Richards donned short shorts to play Dr. Christmas Jones.
  5. The indie rom-com/sitcom L!fe Happens is a case study in how bad movies can turn an ordinary, relatable situation into a grotesque distortion with only a passing resemblance to the way actual human beings live and interact with each other.
  6. Writer-director Mary Harron, a supremely intelligent adaptor who did wonders with the screen version of Bret Easton Ellis' "American Psycho," simply doesn't have the chops to give this story the florid kick it needs.
  7. Lagos draws strong performances from her young cast, as well as David Oyelowo, who plays Ross' uncle and guardian, but they don't have much to work with.
  8. Seen as some kind of absurdist, meta-textual horror story, American Animal almost works. In every other way? It's fuckin' poopy-loopy.
  9. With its shameless melodrama, ghoulish violence, and scenes of Christians being slaughtered en masse in holy places for the crime of publicly being Christians, the religious drama For Greater Glory feels an awful lot like evangelical Tribulation dramas such as "Left Behind: The Movie" and "The Omega Code."
  10. This glossy musical, from "Hairspray" director Adam Shankman, is a shameless crowd-pleaser where cardboard characters use the most overplayed and ubiquitous hits of the 1980s to express the aching banality of their souls.
  11. Sherman's feature turns out to be enamored of the kind of reality that gets left out of movies not because it's provocative or controversial, but because it isn't particularly interesting.
  12. Director Rob Whitehair doesn't do much to complicate what's essentially a promotional featurette for Wiede and Tucker's Wild Sentry organization, presenting the anti-wolf faction as rabid, irrational, and extreme. But he can't be blamed for wanting to stoke the drama a little: Without it, True Wolf would be a lesson in the care and feeding of an exotic pet.
  13. These are all legitimate concerns, which Navarro supports with testimony from economists, politicians, union leaders, and businesspeople, but they're undermined at every point by a sky-is-falling hysteria that registers as white noise. It's the documentary equivalent of a raving street-corner derelict.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    The film owes a lot to "Napoleon Dynamite," though it could have borrowed more of the underlying sweetness of Jared Hess' film, and less of other things, like its eyebrow-raising treatment of race.
  14. Dredd, a second attempt at making Judge Dredd a movie star, overcorrects, veering in the opposite direction with a dark - literally and otherwise - nearly humorless bit of ultraviolence distinguished largely by a fondness for spurting CGI blood.
    • 20 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    Not only doesn't achieve empathy for the minor plights of its human noodle of a hero Toby Regbo, it might actually make audiences understand the urge to bully.
  15. A toothless, insufferably smug satire using competitive butter-carving as a weak-tea stand-in for Midwestern politics, Butter is so contemptuous of its corn-fed rubes, it might as well be a Trojan horse crafted to prove the movie industry's liberal bias.
  16. Here Comes The Boom seems to have made it from the pitch stage - Kevin James does MMA to save his school or something! - to the big screen without an iota of inspiration, ambition, or personality seeping in at any juncture.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    Perry shifts into full-on badass mode... well, the best that can be said is that he's sincere. For all that, he's still less embarrassing than Lost's Matthew Fox, likewise cast against type as the film's sadistic villain.
  17. It doesn't help that the characters have so little to them. Weston plays Moriarty as such an unfailingly good, temptation-free kid that he only needs a halo floating above his pre-Raphaelite curls to complete the picture.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    A laborious comedy about a Halloween night in Cleveland that feels too grown up in half of its storylines to suit younger audiences, and too juvenile or nonsensical in the rest of its gags to please anyone else.
  18. Red Dawn without the jingoism is like a pie without the filling - it collapses into splintered mush.
  19. Gangster Squad aims for the pop-operatic intensity of "The Untouchables," but ends up feeling like a savage, simple-minded comic strip.
  20. If the sluggishly paced, virtually laugh-free Haunted House is Wayans' conception of a passion-fueled labor of love, it's horrifying to ponder what he'd consider a mercenary cash-grab.
  21. LaLiberte is the best thing about Girls Against Boys. She has an unforced coolness, even when Chick sticks her with sub-Quentin Tarantino business, like having a conversation about the nutritional value of Captain Crunch, or singing along to not one, but two Donovan songs.
  22. The cutaways to this cop-on-the-edge plot are jarring and lacking in conviction, and when the whole tortured mess comes together in a twist-filled third act, Safe Haven becomes a full-blown calamity.
  23. Beautiful Creatures is an oddball creation: a morality play with no basic understanding of morality.

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