The A.V. Club's Scores

For 6,698 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 2.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Leopard (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Flipped
Score distribution:
6698 movie reviews
  1. Strangely, this Thatcher biopic might have been far more worthwhile if it wasn't about Thatcher: The aged, dotty stranger hanging out with her dead husband is a more compelling subject.
  2. Not a shred of human decency is on display in The Notebook, a handsomely made, hard-to-endure World War II parable set in an unnamed Hungarian backwater during the Nazi occupation of 1944.
  3. There’s no reason for a film with a plot this simple to drag on to the two-hour mark. In a movie filled with public executions, that running time qualifies as truly cruel and unusual punishment.
  4. Guzmán has been a delightful presence in countless movies over the years, and it’s neat to see him take on an unambiguously leading role, especially one focusing on two Puerto Rican characters. But the movie’s Luis is a surprisingly dull Ugly American.
  5. On the plus side, the film is high energy and moves quickly. And some of the zombie gore effects are fun, reaching nearly Raimi-esque heights of splatter during the climactic battle. None of it is really scary, though, especially since it’s so predictable.
  6. Would the movie be as (barely) entertaining as it is without De Niro? He only has about 15 minutes’ worth of scenes in Heist, but whenever he’s on-screen the film almost feels legitimate.
  7. The best parts of Deadfall are absorbed into a scenario that frequently ditches the cat-and-mouse routine and tries instead to be about three dysfunctional families working toward reconciliation.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 42 Critic Score
    In spite of its wealth of conflict, New Moon suffers from a dearth of accompanying tension and excitement, thanks to the increasingly tedious relationship at its center.
  8. It’s vaguely endearing to watch Bacon and Mitchell actually try to act their way through the film’s family drama, as though it weren’t a perfunctory pretext to jump scares. The Darkness needs their chops. It needs anything to distract horror fans from the fact that there’s nothing new here.
  9. Nobody involved ever came up with an idea or character remotely worth exploring, yet they all forged ahead anyway, placing their faith in the filmmaking process itself, and this damp squib of an ostensible movie is the decidedly lackluster result.
  10. In the words of his own character, this young filmmaker hasn't found his "inner fat girl."
  11. Unable to create emotional tension, it instead opts for obliqueness — which can be tantalizing, but only if there’s something worthwhile hidden underneath. In this case, there isn’t. Instead, the movie comes across as evasive, repetitive, and, eventually, more than a little dull.
  12. Judging by the far more interesting adults in the film--Braga, a terrific Laura Linney as Webber's mother, and Hawke as his father--the solution for Webber and Moreno is to grow up and not be so full of themselves. In their current state, they make for unpleasant company, and so does the film.
  13. Pretty much everyone in the cast is wildly overqualified, including Pete Postlethwaite and David Thewlis in key supporting roles.
  14. Child actors can have a tough time transitioning into adult careers, their charm often evaporating with the onset of puberty. But for Chloë Grace Moretz, the trouble isn’t growing pains; she’s just overqualified for the roles Hollywood tends to offer young women her age.
  15. Manda Bala is exciting and stylish, and Kohn knows exactly what he wants the movie to say. But he makes most of his points in the first 10 minutes, with disgusting slow-motion frog footage and sound bites from social scientists pointing out how "corruption is what links all other crimes." The rest is just so much show.
  16. Unchecked impulse can be a boon, but Landis writes his way through every scene as though it were overdue homework, and directs with nary a hint of style.
  17. von Donnersmarck's meat-and-potatoes direction makes The Tourist astonishingly lifeless and awkward, reducing two of the world's biggest movie stars to something akin to shy, pimply teenagers on their first date.
  18. Like those mild old Disney comedies of the ’60s and ’70s, it seems perfectly content with being a harmless distraction.
  19. They essentially replace the book's blank spaces with gaping plot holes and laughable clichés.
  20. Surveillance suggests "Jennifer Lynchian" should be used for films that aspire to David’s moody, idiosyncratic genius and fall woefully short.
  21. The uncomfortable yet not unwelcome spectacle of De Niro attempting zingers makes this movie an essential subject for future study of the actor’s comic side. Unfortunately, it is essential in no other way.
  22. Sheen is often the saving grace of Music Within, thanks to an aggressively profane wit that gives an otherwise tapioca-bland story a little edge.
  23. Has its moments of wonder and beauty, but the film is obscure by design, and meant to appeal to those who favor the alternative canon of directing greats: the one that includes the likes of Alejandro Jodorowsky, David Lynch, Crispin Glover, John Cassavetes, Claire Denis, Abel Ferrara, and Vincent Gallo.
  24. Like too many horror films, this one seems targeted at a hypothetical audience using only 10 percent of its brainpower.
  25. Aside from the Tour De France segments (the only scenes in the movie to be shot entirely handheld), La Maison lacks the warmth that’s characterized Philibert’s best work. Eventually, the film begins to resemble a cross between a radio station’s webcast and a security-camera feed.
  26. That's How Do You Know in a nutshell: preposterous characters lurching through painfully contrived scenarios.
  27. Turns the franchise into a terrible '80s comedy.
  28. While it's a pleasure to watch the likeable Johnson open up and come out of her shell, Phat Girlz belongs to Mo'Nique, a grating, belligerent woman who alternates self-deprecating fat jokes with drama-queen meltdowns and simpering pleas for acceptance. Save it for the talk-show circuit, please.
  29. Oskar Roehler's serio-comedy Agnes And His Brothers tries to make some incisive points about the damage wrought by society's sexual hang-ups, but though Roehler throws three different characters at the subject, only one halfway sticks.

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