The A.V. Club's Scores

For 7,421 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 2.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Out 1: Noli Me Tangere (1971)
Lowest review score: 0 A Life Less Ordinary
Score distribution:
7421 movie reviews
  1. We’re talking maximum sound and fury, and while no movie that stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard could signify nothing, this one doesn’t signify a whole lot.
  2. To be fair, Far From The Madding Crowd isn’t the kind of novel that lends itself to adaptation; it was originally published as a monthly serial, and still reads that way.
  3. It never pushes far enough into that territory to distinguish its beautiful losers from the many addiction-movie characters that precede them.
  4. Babenco's hard work is undercut by his squarely theatrical notion of realism: Specifically, how did the touring company for "West Side Story" wind up in such an awful spot?
  5. Folds like a house of cards, collapsing under its own flimsy foundation.
  6. For the most part, Neshoba is content to treat progress as a matter of reconciling with the past rather than dealing with the present.
  7. Henson saw potential in Spinney that he proceeded to realize over the course of many years. I Am Big Bird only has 90 minutes to cover the basics.
  8. An ambitious undertaking, but not a successful one: It unfolds with the studied determination of a grade-school book report.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There's really no bad performance by the great English actress Judi Dench, but this romanticized Victorian historical drama treads close.
  9. Before the opening credits have finished rolling, voice-over narration is lamenting the distance that can grow between even the tightest of friendships and hyping up the audience for a reunion of characters who have barely been introduced. It may be shameless, but it’s honest.
  10. Less fluid than "Russian Ark," Francofonia is even harder to pigeonhole, which is something of a feat.
  11. Manda Bala is exciting and stylish, and Kohn knows exactly what he wants the movie to say. But he makes most of his points in the first 10 minutes, with disgusting slow-motion frog footage and sound bites from social scientists pointing out how "corruption is what links all other crimes." The rest is just so much show.
  12. Given the duo’s withering take on capitalism, it’s ironic that their stumbling second feature feels throughout like an infomercial for a shtick whose expiration date is rapidly approaching.
  13. Rain lays so much portent on every scene that it becomes ungenerous and morally forbidding, as if each bummed cigarette or leisurely cocktail will lead the family that much closer to oblivion. In this case, the punishment is far greater than the crime.
  14. Offers a strange mix of sentimentality and social criticism, sometimes mixing the two to awkward effect.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Deserves credit for supplementing its special effects with a breezy script and genuinely charismatic performances by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.
  15. Ewing and Grady practically squander the African material, and The Boys Of Baraka doesn't really come to life until the boys return to Baltimore for what turns out to be a permanent summer vacation, due to political unrest overseas.
  16. A sprint when it should be a marathon, Yossi & Jagger crackles with promise, but much of it goes unrealized. Without the time or resources to develop its characters and overstuffed plot, the result feels like the Cliffs Notes for a longer, more satisfying film.
  17. Van Sant's direction is surprisingly static and conventional, which doesn't help this earnest, underwhelming misfire.
  18. Ushpizin's effortlessly authentic depiction of Jewish orthodoxy--and the palpable, almost ecstatic sense of joy its characters take in it--ultimately tips the film's hand.
    • 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.
  19. As an actor, Turturro brings wit and a healthy sense of absurdity to many of his roles, but his directorial efforts are notably lacking in self-awareness or restraint.
  20. It’s a film of nearly pure sensation: woozy, intoxicating, visually gorgeous… and maddeningly repetitive.
  21. Mann reduces a legendary game of cat-and-mouse to the size of a standard police procedural. His refusal to mythologize Dillinger’s exploits is audacious, but too much of Public Enemies feels disappointingly smaller than life.
  22. In trying to find the decency in a killer, the film anxiously accounts for his every misdeed. It's a little like watching "City Of God" morph into "Three Men And A Baby."
  23. Walker has something important to say with Countdown To Zero, but if this movie were standing on a doorstep with a petition, most reasonable people would sign it quickly and send it on its way, rather than inviting it in to chat.
  24. Realized through old-fashioned camera mastery and newfangled special effects, it’s a stunning technical accomplishment, but one seemingly designed only to broadcast banal sentiments, when it says anything at all.
  25. A minor effort in which the movie-within-the-movie never seems like a real project — can’t help but be riveted by the fake production it’s mounted within itself.
  26. Though thirteen too often mistakes hard realism for overheated spectacle, the heightened drama brings out the best in Wood and Hunter, who turn their climactic scene into an actors' workshop, charged with raw emotion. As the film barrels toward the outrageously histrionic, they nearly pull it back from the brink.
  27. Taken together, the stories are a watershed of feminist clichés, composed of half-hour sections that are too tidy by half, and overlaid with writerly voiceovers that suggest an author too enamored of her own narration. But one salvageable piece emerges in the middle: a sharp and acerbically funny segment that seems written specifically for Parker Posey.

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