The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,223 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 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Children of Men
Lowest review score: 0 Bruce Almighty
Score distribution:
5,223 movie reviews
  1. All the way up to the stunning final shot, Ozon urgently asks whether, for storytellers, it’s better to be on the outside looking in, or the inside looking out.
  2. Polley’s fledgling foray into documentary filmmaking is also an investigative mystery, a real-life soap opera, and — most compellingly, perhaps — a searching “interrogation” (the director’s word) of the hows and whys of storytelling itself.
  3. Above all, Frances Ha is a wry and moving portrait of friendship, highlighting the way that two people who know everything about each other can nevertheless grow apart as their needs change.
  4. Burshtein shoots in extreme shallow focus, framing her actors against a sometimes-blinding blanket of white fuzz. It’s a decision that, coupled with Yitzhak Azulay’s stirring, chant-driven score, lends each conversation a near religious aura.
  5. Resnais’ new film, You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet, is ostensibly an adaptation of two unrelated plays by Jean Anouilh: "Eurydice" (1941) and "Dear Antoine": Or, "The Love That Failed" (1971). However, Resnais’ methods of adaptation — placing one play within the other, and then refracting its dialogue across multiple characters and layers of reality — quickly eclipse the source material.
  6. What’s more, it’s fun, generating pleasure not from canned jokes or clichéd plot twists but simply from a sense of unhindered freedom.
  7. Drug War brings to mind Soderbergh’s recent "Side Effects", a film defined by similar changes in perspective and genre. However, while "Side Effects" is best at its midpoint, before the viewer has really figured out what kind of movie it is, Drug War becomes both weightier and more playful with each transition, building to a harrowing finale.
  8. Easily one of the year’s best comedies, the movie thrives off the chemistry between its leads, with Pegg painting a very funny portrait of emotional paralysis and Frost demonstrating a heretofore unseen talent for intimidation.
  9. There are some who have complained that C.O.G. ends too abruptly, but it has the bracing, devastating punctuation of a fine short story.
  10. The bloodshed is fast and brutal — the flash of a knife, a splash of crimson in a backseat, an opening robbery gone horrifically awry. There’s even a little Tarantino in the staging, as when a blood-splattered wallflower unleashes her Kill Bill-style vengeance straight into the camera lens.
  11. Drenched in the evening glow of its urban and suburban backdrops, Darker comes alive in the dark, when its characters are drowning their sorrows in song, the sauce, or conversation.
  12. Arguably, the performance is too single-minded to achieve real greatness, but its utter lack of showmanship is precisely what the movie requires; at its best, All Is Lost could almost be a documentary about survival at sea, though it’s more starkly elemental than even nature documentaries usually get.
  13. If there was any doubt that this is a horror movie, Hans Zimmer’s score pounds and roars with dread — the appropriate soundtrack for the madness of history.
  14. Explicit lesbian lovemaking aside, Blue is, at heart, a somewhat ordinary coming-of-age romance, pulled and stretched nearly to its breaking point.
  15. American Hustle turns out to be a freewheeling party of a movie, one that never stops adding complications and wrinkles and hungry new players to the mix.
  16. The result demonstrates that Farhadi, who is cinema’s heir to the likes of Henrik Ibsen and Anton Chekhov, is so deft at ingenious narrative construction and intricate character development that he can make first-rate dramas in any country and/or language he likes.
  17. There’s a cracked logic, a genius almost, to the film’s amped-up irreverence. Maybe laughter isn’t just the best medicine, but the only sensible response to this much brazen amorality.
  18. The Last Of The Unjust is demanding but fascinating, both as history and as an intellectual volley on the lure of power, the ambiguities of perspective, and the difficulty of claiming moral high ground in a context where matters of life and death are so precarious.
  19. Boasts one of the most expertly crafted screenplays of the ’90s.
  20. The Missing Picture might have felt academic, even coldly removed, were it not for its scathing narration, penned by Panh (with Christophe Bataille) and read by Randal Douc.
  21. Under The Skin is rich with menacing atmosphere, so much so that viewers could probably tune out the narrative and still get on the proper wavelength.
  22. In many respects, Adam and Eve are nocturnal cousins to the angels from Wim Wenders’ "Wings Of Desire": They’re secret observers of history, living records of the past with little control over the future. But Jarmusch has no interest in the kind of guilt and grief Wenders wove through his movie; Only Lovers comes in a hipper, sexier shade of melancholy.
  23. Beyond giving a human face to Uganda's crises, Kiarostami attempts to capture the actual place, a swirl of contradictions as vibrant and beautiful as it is troubled.
  24. Far from the solemn earnestness of most Holocaust documentaries, Fighter addresses the war and its oft-toxic reverberations with refreshing impudence and candor.
  25. As the film takes shape, the form and the subject develop a fascinating symbiosis, with Derrida cast as an active participant in the deconstruction of his own documentary.
  26. Stillman's arch, clever dialogue is as strong as ever, and he conveys in every frame a genuine affection for his characters, however insipid their actions may be at times. These gifts make it easy to forgive Stillman's tendency to let his story meander, especially in Disco's second half.
  27. Summer Phoenix has a screen presence that's simultaneously distancing and transfixing, an inscrutability that makes her seem either mysterious or a complete blank.
  28. Emerges as something rare, an issue movie that's so honest and keenly observed that it doesn't feel like one. It earns its thesis statement through minute details and a unique grasp of a commonplace problem.
  29. Uncompromising in her art, her teaching, and her professional relations, Boyd makes for a classic tough old bird of a character.
  30. In the end, it's that reserve that makes it work. Keeping his distance, the director lets viewers see in full the moments in which grief turns the world into a narrow, never-ending tunnel.

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