The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,701 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 2.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness
Lowest review score: 0 Jonah Hex
Score distribution:
5,701 movie reviews
  1. An excellent movie, as effective in battle scenes as it is in that of soldiers ruminating on an Edith Piaf song.
  2. There are many layers to the man and the movie, and it’s hard not to leave the theater shaken.
  3. There’s a cumulative power here that transcends any rough patches. Boyhood isn’t perfect, but it’s an astonishing, one-of-a-kind accomplishment—and further proof that Linklater is one of the most daring, ambitious filmmakers working today.
  4. No one writes for ensembles better than Apatow, and his players are all skilled at giving his work a loose, improvisational feel.
  5. Part of Spielberg's skill as a filmmaker comes in choosing the right collaborators. Janusz Kaminski's gorgeous cinematography, Michael Kahn's graceful editing, Jeff Nathanson's clever script, and John Williams' score all work well in unison, but the film's masterstroke is the casting of Walken as DiCaprio's utterly decent father.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Writer/director Neil LaBute has taken the gender-issues film into uncharted, almost inhuman territory with this malevolently perfect exploration of male cruelty.
  6. The result is not to make the emperor sympathetic so much as it is to tug at the mask of despotic glory. In the end, he is only a man.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Heartbreakingly beautiful film, a brilliant adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's equally beautiful novel, is a sort of Casablanca for our time.
  7. Cantet's masterful study of a white-collar businessman in decline.
  8. Beyond the impeccable performances and direction, it's foremost an exceptional piece of screenwriting, so finely wrought that the drama seems guided by an invisible hand.
  9. The film feels as beautifully calibrated as a great piece of short fiction, only with visual accents and emphases filling in for the prose. It's a relationship movie where the most important exchanges remain unspoken.
  10. Two Days, One Night is a small miracle of a movie, a drama so purely humane that it makes most attempts at audience uplift look crass and calculated by comparison.
  11. The ultimate vision here is of a hard world in which civilization is the aberration, and the things we fear are always waiting for an excuse to make life normal again.
  12. It's a heartbreaking, bullet-strewn valentine to what keeps us human.
  13. For Kaige, The Promise can't exactly be called a return to form--it's more a return to "Hero" and "House Of Flying Daggers" director Zhang Yimou's form. Either way, it's still glorious.
  14. The film is little more than an exercise in style, but it's dazzling and mythic, a testament to the fundamental appeal of fast cars, dangerous men, and tension that squeezes like a hand to the throat.
  15. 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]
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Her
    Four films into a sterling career, the director’s made his most beguiling, profoundly human work yet.
  19. Zodiac is the rare serial-killer movie in which the psychosis stems as much from the pursuers (and the filmmaker) as the pursued.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Poignant and powerful, complex and melancholy, the film ends with rehearsals for yet another money-grubbing comeback tour.
  24. 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).
  25. One of the best films of the year.
  26. In its own subdued, mellow way, Once is just about perfect.
  27. 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.
  28. Savagely funny black comedy.

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