The A.V. Club's Scores

For 8,391 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 51% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 46% 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 Walkabout
Lowest review score: 0 America: Imagine a World Without Her
Score distribution:
8391 movie reviews
  1. Greed fails because it’s overstuffed with subplots and organized via a maddening time-hopping structure.
  2. Overly simplistic piece of Southern poverty porn, which asks questions it’s not really prepared to answer and proceeds from a set of dubious assumptions that undermine whatever nuance it does possess.
  3. Playing with genre cryptograms of gangster villas, opera-loving killers, and glamorously lit cigarette smoke, the film never takes itself too seriously, even if its characters never seem to smile.
  4. The film’s true power is elemental, rooted in weather conditions that all but erase the distinction between land and sky, and in the inky darkness of a tunnel traversed by one haggard, trudging figure whose weary body intermittently blocks a sliver of light barely visible at its far end.
  5. Moss also strengthens the notion that this is a monster movie unusually interested in looking past the toxic-male machinations of its famous character and toward the lasting horrors left in his wake. In other words, the stuff that previous movies, and real life, have sometimes tried to turn invisible.
  6. Watching Onward, it’s hard to shake the feeling that maybe Pixar has overplayed the mundane half of its winning equation. They’ve made a movie about looking for misplaced magic in the modern world that, well, kind of misplaces the magic.
  7. None of the mounting dread is surprising, and only some of it is more effective than the average haunted-whatever picture. But Brahms himself remains an oddball delight.
  8. The Night Clerk will be remembered, if at all, as a movie de Armas was way too good for — an unfortunate mile marker on her road to movie stardom.
  9. This all contributes to the impression that the director’s interest in the project came down to just about everything except the plot. Which is understandable given the source material, but doesn’t excuse the fact that The Last Thing He Wanted sputters on most of the basic terms it sets for itself. Still, there is at least some nobility to its failure.
  10. His muse Ventura is there, too, cast as a meta character; he plays a clerygman who has lost his flock and now ministers to an abandoned church that looks suspiciously like a small movie theater. Which is about as close as Vitalina Varela comes to bluntly stating its themes: presence, absence, rekindled faith.
  11. It deviates enough from formula — especially in its arresting ending, which takes full advantage of Bielenia’s haunted visage — to be worth seeing.
  12. Anchoring it all is horror darling Anya Taylor-Joy, who makes for a particularly icy Emma.
  13. It is neither disaster nor dream, landing firmly somewhere in the disappointing middle.
  14. Thriller framework aside, Fantasy Island probably works best as a comedy. At least when it’s not trying to be one.
  15. Across just a handful of scenes, [Rob] Morgan emerges as the soul of the film. It’s a testament to how much the right actor can do with even the briefest screentime—and a call to give Morgan a starring role worthy of him.
  16. The filmmakers that Schanelec draws on for inspiration are all masters of one kind of economy or another. The problem is that Schanelec herself is not. Despite its austere, theory-heavy minimalism, I Was At Home, But… is lopsided and lumpy, filled with longueurs in which the brain begins to check out.
  17. A nattering chore of a “family” comedy that feels written by committee and directed by indifferent machine.
  18. Despite their best efforts, Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville can’t rescue Ordinary Love, a bland drama about a late-middle-aged couple grappling with a cancer diagnosis.
  19. This is a more professional-looking production, with a much stronger cast, but it has the same half-assed feel.
  20. This documentary might’ve been better with another few years’ worth of reporting and perspective.
  21. A pleasant distraction without a lot of payoff. It doesn’t tarnish the original, but it never quite rises to its heights either.
  22. The film flounders a bit in its second half, as it struggles to maintain the tension of its inciting incident. But Harduin’s performance as Gloria goes off her meds and descends into her own private world would be impressive for an actress of any age, let alone a 13-year-old.
  23. First Love ranks among Miike’s most purely entertaining movies (out of more than 100 now!), gradually building steam until it reaches a sustained pitch of cheerful insanity.
  24. The film is propelled by a confident lead performance from Alexandra Daddario.
  25. Its clever comedic writing couldn’t quite overcome its sometimes subpar camerawork.
  26. On a moment-by-moment level, the action in Birds Of Prey is compelling, drawing more from the Hong Kong style of unbroken takes designed to show off the choreography than the chaotic quick cuts of most American blockbusters.
  27. Horse Girl’s big weakness is that it can’t decide how much ambiguity to provide its central character, or how seriously it wants to present Sarah’s breakdown (or, if you read the film another way, her awakening).
  28. The dancing is mostly depicted in practice and rehearsal in a featureless room, captured in raggedly cut handheld sequences that betray the movie’s modest means. If Akin knows how to direct better than this, he rarely shows it. But if he never displays a knack for visualizing the physicality of dance (more impressive rehearsal footage can be found in about five seconds on YouTube), he does a decent job of conveying the frustration and passion it inspires in Merab (Levan Gelbakhiani, a professional dancer).
  29. If one of the boundaries being tested in this film is viewers’ patience, the reward for—to use a refrain repeated throughout the film—“trusting the darkness” is well worth the commitment.
  30. Even thought it’s a bleak and uncompromising film, it’d be unfair to call Beanpole “misery porn.” The questions it’s asking are much more complicated, and more cutting, than that.

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