The A.V. Club's Scores

For 6,656 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 2.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Phoenix
Lowest review score: 0 Daddy Day Camp
Score distribution:
6656 movie reviews
  1. At once a devastating condemnation of war and an exciting action film...The additional running time only adds to Petersen's masterfully bleak, claustrophobic atmosphere. Das Boot is by no means a pleasant experience, but it's an intelligent and emotionally gripping one that you won't forget. [Director's Cut]
  2. 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.
  3. Michael Mann’s Thief is one of the most confident directorial debuts of its era, the product of an unprecedented amount of research and preparation.
  4. Her
    Four films into a sterling career, the director’s made his most beguiling, profoundly human work yet.
  5. Zodiac is the rare serial-killer movie in which the psychosis stems as much from the pursuers (and the filmmaker) as the pursued.
  6. Burton brings his signature visual style, and a pair of stock players for his stars, into this film adaptation, but he wisely follows Sondheim's lead, letting the music and spirit of the original piece show the way.
  7. Just as swoon-worthy, and essential, as its predecessors, Before Midnight reveals the full scope of Linklater’s ambition. This is not just another stellar follow-up, but the latest entry in what’s shaping up to be a grand experiment — the earnest attempt to depict the life of a relationship onscreen, decade by increasingly tumultuous decade. In the process of justifying its own existence, Before Midnight redeems the very notion of sequels.
  8. A rousing, reverent, often brilliant re-creation of a seminal comics character, Batman Begins proves Batman is at home in the 21st century as he was in the 20th.
  9. Poignant and powerful, complex and melancholy, the film ends with rehearsals for yet another money-grubbing comeback tour.
  10. Though it's dominated by two people walking and talking, after a point it's as difficult to parse what's real and what's constructed in Certified Copy as it is in the home stretch of "Inception" (although "Before Sunset" and Roberto Rossellini's "Journey To Italy" provide closer models).
  11. One of the best films of the year.
  12. In its own subdued, mellow way, Once is just about perfect.
  13. More "Full Metal Jacket" than "Dead Poet’s Society," the film is an epic battle of wills between two fanatical artists, one doing everything in his power to painfully make a master out of the other.
  14. Savagely funny black comedy.
  15. Meticulous and immersive, Meek's Cutoff feels like history in three dimensions.
  16. It's an exhilaratingly unpredictable experience, and not an easy one to shake.
  17. It's a wildly exciting ride, the fastest-moving, most enthusiastically kinetic kids' action film since "The Incredibles."
  18. A chilly and extraordinarily controlled treatise on film violence, Funny Games punishes the audience for its casual bloodlust by giving it all the sickening torture and mayhem it could possibly desire. Neat trick, that.
  19. It may be painful at times, but Rachel Getting Married sure is one heck of a party.
  20. A moving, gently reassuring tale that softens the boundaries between humanity and nature, life and the afterlife.
  21. The King's perception of religion is hardly friendly, but it's only one aspect of a terrific drama, one that ultimately admits that people can be as much of a terrifying mystery as their creator.
  22. The affection audiences feel for A Christmas Story is related to the holiday spirit, yes, but specifically to Clark and Shepherd's awareness of how the true meaning of Christmas manifests in the real world, where a warm meal on a cold, dark day—and a surprising moment of parental grace—can ease a troubled mind.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    As the story unfolds, carefully and elaborately, what develops is not just a remarkably intricate crime tale but a brilliant and compassionate story of people who struggle to rise above their flawed nature. This may be the best movie of the year; it's definitely one of the greatest crime films of all time.
  23. Zero Dark Thirty stands to become the dominant narrative about this important historical event, no matter its distortions, composites, or other slippery feints of storytelling. In that, it wields a dangerous power.
  24. 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."
  25. A director known for the icy classicism and genre subversion of films like "Funny Games" and "Caché," Haneke has a pitilessness that could not be more perfect for Amour, which would collapse at any whiff of sentimentality.
  26. It's Malick's particular genius to make viewers feel like they're seeing the world, with all its beauty and danger, for the first time. [28 Nov. 2007]
  27. The Decalogue finds Kieslowski and co-scenarist Krzysztof Piesiewicz turning a delicate cycle of intimate, funny, heartbreaking, and compassionate works into a symphony of human fallibility.
  28. The audience is indicted for its bloodlust. There's perversity in paying admission to get harshly scolded, and Funny Games is not for the squeamish, but this may be one time to step up and take the licking you deserve.
  29. L'Enfant is intended as a pointed critique of pop culture's celebration of arrested adolescence. The title could refer to Renier's baby, Renier himself, or even the gang of schoolboy robbers that he's gathered around himself.

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