The A.V. Club's Scores

For 6,737 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 Right Now, Wrong Then
Lowest review score: 0 Witless Protection
Score distribution:
6737 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Virtually every Super Technirama frame of Luchino Visconti's 1963 masterpiece The Leopard could be described as "painterly" in its ornate details and exquisitely balanced color compositions. (Review of DVD Release)
  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. Moonlight lets us see Chiron, to see his silent heartache written across three different faces, and that seems a hell of a lot better than good.
  5. After two hours of dazzlingly fantastical images and stomach-turning gore, del Toro winds around, and finds his story's center.
  6. 4 Months unfolds like one of those street-level Dardenne brothers movies (Rosetta, L'Enfant).
  7. Ran
    Ran represents the color/widescreen zenith (qualification necessary due to Seven Samurai) of Kurosawa’s genius for spectacle.
  8. 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.
  9. Manchester By The Sea sweats the big stuff and the small stuff, and that’s key to its anomalous power: This is a staggering American drama, almost operatic in the heartbreak it chronicles.
  10. Bird and his co-writers leave room for quiet moments and gentle morals, but for the most part, they send visual gags and verbal punchlines tearing past at an enjoyably demanding speed, whipping up the film's energy at every turn.
  11. If nothing else, Gravity makes the case for throwing immense resources at true visionaries; the blockbuster craftsman as adventurer, Cuarón expertly blends the epic with the intimate. For every stunning 3-D setpiece involving a dangerous hailstorm of metallic debris, there’s a moment of small tenderness.
  12. Haynes has pulled off something remarkable here, without a trace of winking or archness. It’s been a long time since the movies have seen a fuse of pure ardor burn this slowly and steadily, leading to such an unexpectedly moving explosion of resolve.
  13. Zuckerberg's story ends up feeling bigger than his own life.
  14. While the subject matter is difficult, the documentary itself is easy to watch and exciting to grapple with. Its biggest strengths are Jackson’s voice and Baldwin’s commentary, which combine to create a distinctively world-weary tone.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. A small film of big insights, heavy on dialogue but light on speeches, 45 Years often seems closer in spirit to a ghost story: Nothing goes “boo” or rearranges the furniture, but there’s a unmissable sense that we’re watching two people haunted by a specter from another lifetime.
  19. A wonderful encore, marked by the painstaking attention to detail and artful balance between terror and joy that make Miyazak's work unique.
  20. Given the material, it’s fitting that Mr. Turner is the director’s most visually ravishing movie. With cinematographer Dick Pope behind the lens, every shot is gorgeous enough to hang in a museum.
  21. For the first hour or more, The Hurt Locker boldly forsakes any conventional narrative hook beyond the ongoing tensions between these men and the terrifying grind of defusing bombs day after day.
  22. It's Pixar's most daring experiment to date, but it still fits neatly into the studio's pantheon: Made with as much focus on heart as on visual quality, it's a sheer joy.
  23. Good comedies are rare, but rarer still are those that conflate laughter with intimacy.
  24. All in all, it's a fitting conclusion to the series, and yet there are disappointments built in. For one, Jackson has opted not to film Tolkien's downbeat "Scouring Of The Shire" epilogue.
  25. Bucking the current company mandate of churning out lesser sequels and prequels, it’s not just a brilliant idea, but maybe the most conceptually daring movie the Bay Area animation house has ever produced. And that’s really saying something, what with "WALL-E" on the books.
  26. Carlos is mostly tense and thrilling, revealing the poisonous side of global citizenship.
  27. The 33-year-old Koreeda, who began his career in documentary, has a gift for observing life as it's lived, accumulating simple, seemingly banal scenes into an unforgettable reflection on the frustration and helplessness of trying to explain the ineffable.
  28. 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.
  29. This is a high-concept comedy that’s firmly, almost defiantly rooted in the real world, among fully three-dimensional human beings whose behavior doesn’t conform to a rigid template. There’s nothing else like it in theaters right now. Brace yourself for the emotional whirlwind, and go.
  30. Like "All The President’s Men," it’s a muckraker movie that celebrates the power of the press by actually showing journalists doing their job, pen and notebook in hand.

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