The A.V. Club's Scores

For 7,053 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: 61
Highest review score: 100 Moonrise Kingdom
Lowest review score: 0 I Hate Valentine's Day
Score distribution:
7053 movie reviews
  1. Never finds any forward momentum, but Vysotskaya's sweet performance and the unsubtle but effective use of the war-torn asylum as a stand-in for the former USSR keep it compelling.
  2. The visual scheme of Leone’s movie leaves no doubt as to his familiarity with Kurosawa’s movie. Plopping Eastwood’s roving gunman down in the middle of a dusty street with opposing gangs lodged at either end, Fistful replicates Yojimbo’s visual plan to an almost distracting extent. The bigger problem with Fistful is that Leone is still attempting to work with a conventional plot, which never plays to his strengths.
  3. It sputters whenever it has to move the story along, and it too often forgets to pay attention to Cuthbert; it makes a point about the mistake of treating women as sex objects, but it's perfectly content to use her as a plot device for the second and third acts.
  4. The drama loses shape before it really develops, but the sense of place--all wood paneling and animal knick-knacks--and the memorable performances keep it worth watching.
  5. La Vie Promise's style is too slick for the subject matter.
  6. Naim directs The Final Cut as if it were the pilot to a TV series: He teases the audience with all sorts of story threads, focuses on a minor self-contained mystery, and leaves the rest for future episodes that will never come.
  7. Isn't as sharp or consistent as Murphy's "The Nutty Professor," but it's an amusing, lightweight diversion.
  8. As a sketch of the twilight of a great artist, The Farewell has merit, but the sketch would be better used as the background to a mural.
  9. It's a bit more than the film can handle without leaving loose ends dangling, and though it's never preachy, Sayles' political message-sending sometimes comes across too clearly for its own good. He makes valid points, though, particularly when he lets his storytelling do the work for him.
  10. Dark Water devolves into something resembling genre schlock, albeit the kind featuring zesty supporting performances from the classy, Oscar-nominated likes of John C. Reilly, Tim Roth, and Pete Postlethwaite.
  11. A pleasantly inconsequential small-town quirkfest that's presumably more meaningful to native audiences.
  12. It's important to go in knowing the central secret of the movie: Nothing exciting is going to happen. Ever. Armed with that knowledge, viewers should be able to settle down and enjoy the extremely low-key, melancholy character study that plays out between a handful of excellent actors.
  13. Not everything Perry's voices say seems relevant to his central thesis, but they speak fervently and colorfully, and their intensity is compelling even when their message is lacking.
  14. The film too closely resembles what it's attempting to spoof--minus the obvious payoffs, of course.
  15. The exaggerated white-trash environment and the naturalistic style mix poorly over time, giving off a stale odor that's funny in more ways than one.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There may be much to like about his movie, but it's all been done before to more challenging degrees of moral ambiguity. That's a pretty fatal flaw.
  16. For all of Audrey Tautou's considerable charm in the title role, Jeunet's need for a well-ordered universe proved as suffocating and exhausting as being trapped on an amusement-park ride.
  17. Runs more smoothly and stylishly than the average teen comedy.
  18. Holm carries Napoleon's regal bluster without edging into cartoonish folly, taking him seriously enough to make an absurd situation solemn, and keeping the film from winking too coyly at its audience.
  19. It wants to humanize the plight of the disabled, but it undermines its worthy aims by presenting its leads as martyrs and saints.
  20. The great character actor Gary Cole, in particular, stands out as Bosworth's father, who tries to impress Duhamel by reading the trades, thumbing through Julia Phillips' autobiography, and donning a Project Greenlight T-shirt.
  21. Once it reaches the meat of the story, it seems to lose its confidence.
  22. It looks good. It seems to work. It occasionally coheres into a priceless moment. But in the end, the pieces don't all fit together as they should.
  23. Gets off to a bumpy start and runs into trouble along the way, but once it gets going, it's surprisingly warm and engaging.
  24. Doesn't function nearly as well as a standalone piece, mainly because it's stuck with the thankless task of mopping up after the other two.
  25. Given the talent on display in Sinbad, and the winning brio it dredges out of questionable material, it's easy to wonder what Dreamworks' animation department could accomplish if it stopped following Disney's lead and started forging new paths of its own.
  26. For the most part, Fire Dancer presents an energetic mosaic of a displaced culture.
  27. For people who are Minutemen fans and movie buffs, We Jam Econo is kind of a mixed blessing. Watt and Hurley tell the Minutemen story well, but Irwin relies too much on corroborating interviews from punk vets like Flea and Ian MacKaye, who talk about how great the band was without offering much fresh insight.
  28. Uncovered could easily come off as dull or strident, but the administration's arrogance and disregard for the safeguards and transparency necessary for democracy give the documentary an outraged charge that overshadows its staid execution.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Cookie's Fortune, for all its faults, is a welcome respite. In the uneven hands of Altman, you're better off with a flawed bit of fluff than an outright atrocity.

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