The A.V. Club's Scores

For 8,431 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 2.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 A Separation
Lowest review score: 0 America: Imagine a World Without Her
Score distribution:
8431 movie reviews
  1. The thing that haunted me the most about the film afterwards—aside from Riley Keough’s choking screams in one particularly intense, symbolically loaded sequence—was the ludicrousness of its plot.
  2. Sure, the cast is full of exciting names, but all of Jarmusch’s absurdist thematic flourishes—the Romero tributes, the meta commentary, the political humor—are half-baked and inconsistently applied.
  3. Much of this is relentlessly bleak and hopeless—true to reality, perhaps, but also repetitious and dramatically inert.
  4. There’s no mystery here, no narrator wrestling with the limits of his own generosity and tolerance. Just a lot of stunning scenery and exemplary rectitude.
  5. Alfre Woodard captures with exquisite nuance the emotional and physical toll it might take on someone, spending years overseeing executions; she grounds the film, which otherwise strikes a balance between broad empathy and a pointed call for criminal justice reform.
  6. Of course, Cats has always been ridiculous, just as it has always been ridiculed. (“Cats is a dog,” declared a notorious review of the musical’s Broadway debut.) But Hooper can’t even get camp right.
  7. What he discovers is powerfully moving, but every step of his journey — and of the copious flashbacks that fill in various blanks — tests the viewer’s patience. It’s like eating an entire box of stale cereal to get to the prize.
  8. So it feels quite ironic that Ip Man 4: The Finale wraps up the parent series with a movie that’s comparatively weak in the kung fu department but atypically solid at killing time between set pieces. The highs are lower than usual, the lows higher. It all goes down smooth.
  9. This is a space opera animated not by joy but insecurity—the anxiety, evident in almost every moment, that if it’s not very careful, someone might feel letdown.
  10. The filmmakers and actors imbue the characters with remarkable depth of feeling.
  11. Spies In Disguise isn’t clever enough to reconcile the disingenuousness of setting off a litany of pointless explosions and battles before clarifying that this stuff is bad, actually.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    The latest Black Christmas reboot understands the frustrations and lived horrors of modern sexual politics, but stumbles over its scares and the finer points of its feminist messaging.
  12. Between the movie’s subtext and its new-digital-world distributor, Bay seems to be communicating the frustration of constraint, but why? What has he been barred from doing?
  13. Horror remakes don’t have to be inferior rehashes, as films like Jim Mickle’s "We Are What We Are" (2013) and Luca Guadagnino’s "Suspiria" (2018) have demonstrated. But this Rabid nibbles where it should clamp down hard.
  14. Too often, The Next Level passes off callbacks to gags from its predecessor as jokes, all while presuming that viewers have an unhealthy familiarity with the Jumanji canon.
  15. In any case, what remains of John F. Donovan is a barely coherent mess, and so eager for your approval that it’s hard to feel anything but sorry for it.
  16. The film is a snappy, glib tour of recent history in the Adam McKay mold, hydroplaning through the stormy real-life events that led to Ailes’ departure from Fox News with windshield wipers on high and blinders strapped to each side of its head.
  17. Playmobil: The Movie isn’t as funny as some of the direct-to-video Lego-related movies, either, and that’s very much the field it competes in, theatrical release or not. As children’s entertainment goes, this is a harmless distractor, but it’s also poorly conceived at every story turn, unable to even stick to a particular generic message to make up for its extremely basic humor.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A gloomy psychological thriller interested in the distinct paranoia of a woman living in self-exile in the South Bronx.
  18. Like so many of the works of Eastwood’s long late period, Jewell offers a story without much of an endpoint, with an uplifting coda that feels almost as jarring as the ending of "American Sniper." But somewhere within its surprisingly pacey two-plus hours is a compelling group portrait of ordinary oddballs in cruel circumstances; it relays Eastwood’s appreciation for individuals over masses better than any speech ever could.
  19. The results are disappointingly conventional for a Ghibli film—the film is good-hearted, energetic, and full of Ghibli's characteristically beautiful hand-rendered animation, but it's also lightweight and hyper, with none of Miyazaki's more resonant themes.
  20. To his credit, Lorentzen never guides the audience’s moral response, allowing us to make up our minds about the Ochoas on a scene-by-scene basis. He also provides ample rationale for their actions by depicting their hand-to-mouth lifestyle alongside the on-the-job drudgery.
  21. The movie version plays exactly like every other rehab-facility melodrama ever made. Even the stuff that Frey invented seems overly familiar, borrowed from sources ranging from "28 Days" to (somewhat improbably — people in recovery aren’t necessarily allowed dental anesthetic, it turns out) "Marathon Man."
  22. By the end, 1917 has positioned itself as a salute to the sacrifices of those who died for their country. Mostly, though, it comes across as a monument to itself.
  23. On the whole, The Aeronauts is a pretty good small-scale adventure movie. It’s also a pretty dull everything-else, the unceasing flashbacks providing multiple instances where telling might have been preferable to showing.
  24. Apart from its impressive (though partially digital) recreation of the Sistine Chapel, The Two Popes offers little in the way of purely cinematic pleasures, relying almost exclusively on the expert parrying of Hopkins and Pryce.
  25. Maybe it’s inevitable that the film ends up feeling like an extremely diluted combination of Matsoukas’ two most famous music videos, crossing the political imagery of Beyoncé’s “Formation” with the outlaw imagery of Rihanna’s “We Found Love”—though it’s nowhere as stylish as the former or as sexy as the latter.
  26. Little Women is the best kind of Hollywood film: thoughtful yet escapist, sophisticated yet accessible, expertly crafted and deeply felt. The performances are all top notch—Ronan and Pugh, especially, breathe new life into their characters. Gerwig’s direction is also first rate.
  27. As a result, it isn’t as cohesive or inspired as her penultimate film, the Oscar-nominated Faces Places. But as a parting gift from one of the most singular creative minds of the 20th century, it’s as life-affirming as they come.
  28. This is a well-crafted, exciting movie, sometimes more impressive for maintaining those qualities in the face of an utterly unsurprising story.

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