The A.V. Club's Scores

For 6,663 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 The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness
Lowest review score: 0 Son of the Mask
Score distribution:
6663 movie reviews
  1. The movie seems like a perfect found object, as if it had always existed and was just waiting to be uncovered.
  2. In choosing cheap gags over incisive cultural commentary, Borat scores more as scatology than satire, but it's easy to overlook its ramshackle nature in light of the explosive laughter.
  3. A devastating and deceptively simple tale adapted from 10th-century folklore, Isao Takahata’s The Tale Of Princess Kaguya distills a millennium of Japanese storytelling into a timeless film that feels both ancient and alive in equal measure.
  4. No film set over a single day at Auschwitz is going to be an easy sit, and there are moments here, like a mass midnight purging, that threaten an audience’s capacity to keep watching. But Son Of Saul, for all the enormity of its subject matter, is an oddly gripping experience — a vision of intense purpose found in what may be the final hours of a life.
  5. 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.
  6. Unlike Wiseman’s greatest films, National Gallery never quite finds an overarching theme. There’s a fair amount of material regarding the art/commerce divide, but many scenes have no bearing whatsoever on that subject, and the film generally lacks urgency.
  7. It's a cogent, often infuriating explication of how the execution of the war went awry.
  8. For what it sets out to accomplish, across a brisk 98 minutes, Petzold’s film feels perfectly judged. And it builds to an ending that’s just plain perfect.
  9. What distinguishes Goodbye Solo, beyond Savané’s larger-than-life personality bumping up against West’s intractable curmudgeon, is the continued particularity of Bahrani’s work.
  10. As cinema, Selma is commendable; as cultural barometer, it’s beyond reproach.
  11. One conundrum is that Elle is singularly a Verhoeven film, but doesn’t quite look like one.
  12. It's a beautifully shot, beautifully acted piece of fluff.
  13. A surprisingly bittersweet love story at heart, Eternal Sunshine values the sum of experience, which in this case means a thorns-and-all openness to romantic possibilities.
  14. It's hard to explain exactly why Clint Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima is so much better than its companion World War II film "Flags Of Our Fathers," except to say that Flags tries too hard to emphasize the ironies of selling a war, while Letters deals with the ins and outs of the war itself.
  15. In its own subdued, mellow way, Once is just about perfect.
  16. It helps that the actors' faces are so mesmerizing, particularly Manjinder Virk as Lorraine.
  17. In the wild and consistently surprising Y Tu Mamá También, anything isn't the half of it.
  18. Capote begins as a sprawling, vivacious comedy-drama in which Hoffman's Capote is only one of a number of fascinating characters, including Chris Cooper's upstanding, ramrod-straight lawman and Keener's tough, blunt assistant/sidekick/foil/author.
  19. A beautifully choreographed and photographed story about tradition and modernity in rural Asia.
  20. 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.
  21. A Film Unfinished is affecting as a rare document of a terrible place and time, and those who lived there.
  22. If Things To Come doesn’t completely fulfill Hansen-Løve’s career mission of elevating minor incidents to major themes, it still rings with her clarity and personality. She conveys in single sentences what less confident filmmakers might expound on in a monologue, and makes small gestures more poignant by tossing them off casually or making an unexpected cut.
  23. Anderson’s latest invention, The Grand Budapest Hotel, may be his most meticulously realized, beginning with the towering, fictional building for which it’s named.
  24. Epics tend to get extra respect — bonus points for ambition, one might say — and while Ceylan’s film is a decidedly intimate example of the genre, it was clearly perceived, in advance, as an important work just by virtue of its sheer heft.
  25. Explicit lesbian lovemaking aside, Blue is, at heart, a somewhat ordinary coming-of-age romance, pulled and stretched nearly to its breaking point.
  26. Citizenfour offers a remarkably intimate look at history as it happened. In fact, the immediacy of Poitras’ film is so remarkable that, at least for the immediate future, her craft is likely to be overshadowed by her access, her storytelling overshadowed by her opportunity.
  27. Cantet's masterful study of a white-collar businessman in decline.
  28. Has its heartbreaking moments and its surprise giggles, particularly thanks to Ron Hewat's minor role as a former hockey play-by-play announcer now narrating his nursing-home life.
  29. From an emotional standpoint, it's enormously satisfying, even cathartic to watch Ferguson "nail" some of the rogues behind the economic crisis with the unseemly zeal of Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report.
  30. What makes Towers so staggering is the way it brings the full scope of Jackson's adaptation into focus. Without missing a beat in three hours, the film shifts from epic to lyrical and back.

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