The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,572 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 2.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Ponyo
Lowest review score: 0 The Other Sister
Score distribution:
5,572 movie reviews
  1. Lorna's Silence feels like a refinement, even a repetition, of earlier themes. But the brothers are repeating themselves at such a high level that the redundancies are more than welcome.
  2. The result is a movie that's poignant, bittersweet, and true.
  3. The film accomplishes a remarkable feat of creative alchemy by breathing life and depth into characters that, in lesser hands, could easily have come across as grating caricatures.
  4. The film is less about people or this specific herding ritual than about the majesty of the landscape and the interplay between these animals, their keepers, and the dictates of nature itself.
  5. The performances are winning, the story is surprising without relying on unlikely twists, and the relationships are the richest and most nuanced since Leigh's "Secrets & Lies."
  6. It's a remote location, but Frammartino's canny eye, wry humor, and careful sense of rhythm make it feel like the best possible spot to observe the workings of the world, from ashes to ashes.
  7. On its own merits, though, West Of Memphis is a well-assembled, well-argued documentary that shows how America's advocacy model of trial law can lead to government representatives spinning stories they know are probably untrue, then using their authority to stand strong against any alternate theory, no matter how many millions of people believe it.
  8. Few directors are capable of marrying ideas and entertainment—one is often sacrificed for the other—but Spielberg peppers one gripping action setpiece after another with trenchant details about a near-future robbed of the most basic freedoms and privacy.
  9. In a masterful performance, Langella highlights Nixon's oily charm and guile.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Senna is considered one of motorsporting's greats, but Asif Kapadia's film also makes it clear he was a sort of artist, his talent accompanied by an unquenchable thirst for excellence and a belief that racing offered him a connection to God.
  10. Beyond The Hills has a rich understanding of the appeals and perils of religious values that provide structure and meaning to some while seeming cruel and irrational to outsiders. It’s a world within a world, and Mungiu peers from a clear window.
  11. It might just be the most poignant, moving film ever made about one man's surprisingly noble efforts to get laid.
  12. The glacially beautiful new documentary March Of The Penguins confirms that no computer-animated or hand-drawn penguin could ever match the curious majesty of the genuine article.
  13. While Jonestown lacks the power of revelation, it's a first-rate piece of journalism, as fascinating and thorough as any magazine article.
  14. The film finds a surprising amount of tenderness and humor beneath the brutality. The laughs may catch in the throat, but that's only a byproduct of City Of God's power to leave viewers breathless.
  15. Though there's a formula at the film's core, Whale Rider still has the good taste to make that formula go down easy.
  16. In a sense, Oasis is an unabashed tearjerker, but Lee keeps knocking the melodrama off-balance, making all the big emotional payoffs a little discomforting, because they're not that far removed from something really disturbing.
  17. There are times when even its subtleties seem predictable, when it questions dramatic conventions that indie films have already questioned, like the temperament of movie-parents whose children fear coming out of the closet. Yet the film has an abiding sweetness that's ultimately irresistible.
  18. Manipulative but big-hearted, Pride is an ode to activism as a social equalizer, and a gushy illustration of the belief that hearts and minds can be changed, and that it’s impossible to truly battle oppression without opposing all forms of oppression. Why resist?
  19. Not even Douglas Sirk or Lars von Trier would heap so much abuse on a heroine. And yet, on its own melodramatic, tear-jerking terms, Precious works.
  20. The Rwandan genocide was one of the most shameful marks on Bill Clinton's presidency, but for all the film's powerful images, George stops short of the forceful political statement that Rusesabagina's story demands.
  21. Photographic Memory is less wry and more melancholy than McElwee's earlier documentaries; it's a lot like his superb 2003 film "Bright Leaves," which was also concerned with family history and the shifting meaning of images.
  22. A Piece of Work is the antithesis of Jerry Seinfeld's engaging but superficial 2002 documentary "Comedian": where the innately private Seinfeld holds nearly everything back, Rivers loudly broadcasts the kind of fears, anxieties, and ambitions most people would do anything to hide.
  23. As played by Ralph Fiennes in his own cinematic adaptation of the play, Coriolanus' military genius makes him a figure of awe, but it's his near-absence of empathy that makes him terrifying.
  24. The movie’s most tantalizing mystery is the question of what’s really going on in their heads. It remains unanswered.
  25. This is a movie about a rush to judgment in a city on edge, and it never expands its scope or meaning over the course of its two-hour running time. But the specifics make the story powerful regardless.
  26. For a film about man who spent half his life defying staid convention, Kinsey remains as timid as a choirboy.
  27. In Chéreau's hands, Gabrielle has an operatic quality that throws the repressive environment into sharp relief; the film works like a pressure cooker, seething with bottled passions that intermittently burst through with startling cruelty and violence.
  28. The scenes of death, starvation, and destruction are affecting, but they don't say much about the actual subject of the film.
  29. Like its narrative, this gripping film rarely veers in the expected directions — and is never easy to pin down.

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