The A.V. Club's Scores

For 6,785 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: 60
Highest review score: 100 Toni Erdmann
Lowest review score: 0 The Ten Commandments
Score distribution:
6785 movie reviews
  1. Really, though, the film’s focus is on neither the destination nor the journey, but on the individuals planting themselves in front of the lens.
  2. In spite of some thoughtful-and occasionally just bizarre-rumination on what the marvels of Chaumet really signify, Cave Of Forgotten Dreams often feels as stifling as the place it explores, rather than the sensual odyssey its evocative title suggests.
  3. Boasts one of the most expertly crafted screenplays of the ’90s.
  4. The Red Turtle nevertheless remains throughout a simple, gripping story of survival, deriving its sense of adventure from the most basic plot imaginable: Here’s a human being, stranded in a strange place, using his strength, intelligence, and courage to forge some kind of a life for himself.
  5. Drawing on a wealth of footage from inside ACT UP meetings and protests, David France's powerful documentary How To Survive A Plague pays tribute to their courage and relentlessness, but it's even better as a record of the tactics of effective activism.
  6. From his wonderfully idiosyncratic bits of silent comedy at a storefront window to a brilliant one-take of Malkovich watching a calamitous scene unfold, de Oliveira seems determined to exit on his own terms.
  7. Ten
    Nobody handles unvarnished interactions quite the way Kiarostami does, and for much of Ten, it's a kind of austere thrill to watch him focus so intently on one aspect of his craft.
  8. Petzold handles personal, formal, and political concerns in such perfect balance, it's difficult, and not especially desirable, to separate one from the next. The movie is dense but never feels it, assembled with easy mastery and engrossing throughout.
  9. If The Beaches Of Agnès has no clear structure, that's only because neither does Varda’s life--except in retrospect.
  10. At once a devastating condemnation of war and an exciting action film...The additional running time only adds to Petersen's masterfully bleak, claustrophobic atmosphere. Das Boot is by no means a pleasant experience, but it's an intelligent and emotionally gripping one that you won't forget. [Director's Cut]
  11. When victims and their families talk about having their lives wrecked by a sexually abusive priest in the forceful documentary Deliver Us From Evil, that destruction is as much spiritual as psychological.
  12. Drug War brings to mind Soderbergh’s recent "Side Effects", a film defined by similar changes in perspective and genre. However, while "Side Effects" is best at its midpoint, before the viewer has really figured out what kind of movie it is, Drug War becomes both weightier and more playful with each transition, building to a harrowing finale.
  13. A lovely but rambling excursion through moneyed Rome, the film can’t have remotely the same impact as its predecessor, but it does offer a cornucopia of dazzling images—so many, frankly, that it becomes a bit exhausting, especially at nearly two and a half hours.
  14. Only the finale threatens to undo all that hard work. Though well-done, the last act leans less on the facts of the case than on Hollywood contrivances, heightening the tension with embellishments that feel at odds with the methodical, deliberate film leading up to them.
  15. The marvelous new Talk To Her has elements that wouldn't have seemed out of place in an Almodóvar film of 20 years ago
  16. The non-sensationalized "this is what really happens" approach makes Our Daily Bread extra-creepy at times.
  17. It's a feisty, contentious, deliberately misshapen film, designed to challenge and frustrate audiences looking for a clean resolution. Just because it's over doesn't mean it's settled.
  18. Dazzling cinema-essay.
  19. Taut, tense, and self-consciously stylish.
  20. Has the suffocating intensity of great chamber drama.
  21. With startling clarity and dreadful logic, Loach and Laverty make sense of every bad choice Compston makes until he runs out of options, locked into a destiny that he can't escape, mainly because his good intentions are clouded by tragic naivete.
  22. The Dardennes sustain that tension through a masterful closing drive that resembles the final third of "In The Bedroom," only without the same dreadful inevitability.
  23. It’s essentially a stroll through a fantastically detailed pastel world, in which the plot is little more than an excuse for Miyazaki to dive into a world teeming with colorful (and sometimes prehistoric) life.
  24. Witnessing outreach workers intervening in these situations is inspiring enough, but their subtlety and nuance in neutralizing people of different backgrounds and temperaments is especially impressive.
  25. Once upon a time, a movie like this would have seemed a minor pleasure, enjoyable, but unremarkable. Today, it looks more like a treasure.
  26. The film offers genuine intrigue and excitement.... But its ultimate power derives largely from its unusual ethos, which celebrates pragmatism at the expense of emotional behavior while simultaneously acknowledging just how profound a pragmatist’s emotions can be.
  27. Sometimes the story is so much like a fiction feature-complete with explosive family arguments and pointed cross-cutting between the free-spirited Qin and her beaten-down folks-that it feels exploitative, as though Lixin were turning real people into characters.
  28. It's undoubtedly something extraordinary: like a live-action Miyazaki film, with Days Of Heaven narration, set in a dirt-poor community at an unspecified time of crisis.
  29. The film wilts under the harsh light of rationality; after all, how could anyone make sense of a heroine whose doppelgänger is both distinctly separate and inextricably connected to her? And yet these parallel lives rhyme so tunefully through the reflective cinematography and sweeping score that any confusion or disbelief tends to melt away.
  30. Flight was commissioned by producers overseas, and it feels similarly, impeccably slight.

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