The A.V. Club's Scores

For 7,329 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 It Happened One Night
Lowest review score: 0 Mansome
Score distribution:
7329 movie reviews
  1. There’s a rigidity of purpose here that keeps A Nazi Legacy from ever becoming startling or revelatory.
  2. Greenstreet's film at least serves as a reminder of how useless public debate becomes when everyone's screaming and no one's listening.
  3. It's regrettable that Joshua veers into outlandish "Omen/Bad Seed/Good Son" territory when the real terror lies much closer to home.
  4. Young costars carry the film, creating real characters from a generally flat script and Peter Care's largely undistinguished direction, both of which conspire to keep Altar Boys' danger at a distance.
  5. Isn't a particularly well-assembled documentary, but the queasy, hypnotic power of its story and subjects makes its technical shortcomings forgivable.
  6. When Chronic premiered at Cannes in 2015 (where it unexpectedly won Best Screenplay), one tweet waggishly retitled it Caring Is Creepy, and it really does play, for better and worse, like a lengthy exploration of that Shins song’s thesis.
  7. In a pressure-cooker environment, Pennebaker and Hegedus' moderately engaging but ultimately unsatisfying documentary feels disappointingly lukewarm.
  8. The Last Winter's heart is in the right place, but it isn't pumping any blood.
  9. As the bland, star-laden drama gets swallowed by fiery special-effects setpieces, it feels like one type of big-budget mediocrity giving way to the next.
  10. Donaldson also misses the chance to score some easy laughs from his petty criminals, who are infinitely more audacious than they are competent.
  11. Unfortunately, that story isn't particularly well told, and after a while, the strength of the two leads' work and the popping soundtrack can't hide the fact that Lemmons doesn't really have much to say about the material.
  12. The trouble with artists making documentaries about other artists is that art tends to get in the way.
  13. The bold, arresting movie doesn’t really work, but is nonetheless almost impossible to stop watching.
  14. Ghost Stories works best as an exercise in nostalgia. Those seeking hardcore, modern-day scares will be disappointed.
  15. Cultural authenticity seeps into the cracks of this low-key lowlife drama, whose best attribute is the pungent sense of place it possesses.
  16. The Wild Thornberrys Movie's heart is clearly in the right place -- but the Thornberry family's grotesquely huge heads, jutting teeth, stick limbs, and mismatched bodies look even more improbable and unpleasant on the big screen than they do on their TV show.
  17. Intended to be shamelessly heart-tugging and even uplifting in an odd way, but it's recommended mainly as an acting showcase.
  18. With The Monster, writer-director Bryan Bertino plants a prickly mother-daughter drama at the center of a violent creature feature. It’s an intriguing combination in theory, but the individual elements both feel a little half-baked, and stirring them up into one doesn’t help. They’re two mediocre tastes that taste mediocre together.
  19. So why, given its moment-to-moment surplus of visual imagination, does the film feel so hollow and unsatisfying?
  20. There's plenty of black comedy in their twisted affair, but a more substantial documentary wouldn't leave you smiling.
  21. The relentless contrast of banality with horror seems to be Wheatley’s signature move, and like his "Kill List" (2011), Sightseers can claim a sizable fan base, especially in its native U.K. But the humor here, ironically, doesn’t travel well.
  22. While watching Gazzara, Huston, Kevin Corrigan, Rosanna Arquette, and others take things two steps beyond over-the-top is inherently compelling, it becomes embarrassing before long.
  23. Maybe it could have worked had the movie found a story worth telling, but it simply drifts from depressing incident to depressing incident, resembling the nightmare of an adorable but deeply emotionally scarred pig. Anyone with fond memories of Babe ought to avoid this mirthless, dispiriting sequel.
  24. Pierrepoint is handsomely crafted and well-acted, but its sense of scale is as constricted as a noose.
  25. As entertainment, it works in the most rote way: the star power of Wahlberg, Russell, and Kate Hudson, who plays Mike’s worried wife; Malkovich’s predictable sliminess; the minor pleasure of seeing the good guys get out; the slight kick of watching something big crumble and burn while knowing that it’s only a special effect, real-world basis be damned.
  26. Gyllenhaal and Peña's relationship, a sort of heterosexual love affair, is depicted with a sense of tenderness and care that does not extend to the cartoonish villains that dominate the film's lackluster final act.
  27. What primarily comes across is a film about squandered creativity that itself ignores and trivializes the creative process, pretending that child prodigies produce masterworks unconsciously, like a chicken laying eggs. That’s a poor lesson to impart.
  28. It makes a persuasive argument — which it makes easier by not allowing any counterargument — but it’s unpersuasive as a piece of filmmaking. In laying out its case, it’s manipulative and dull by turns.
  29. Unfortunately, while the documentary’s points are clear, its desire to articulate them primarily through contrasts neuters some of its persuasiveness.
  30. Comes uncomfortably close to mocking these unlikely filmmakers, raising questions about its director's intentions and his respect for the subjects' humanity.

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