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 sequence is Last Blood’s pièce de résistance, and perhaps the only compelling reason the movie has to exist. But it’s also pure, relentless, grimacing punishment at the end of a joyless film, choreographed like a ritual sacrifice. Rambo has always been a monster, but in his old age, he has become something even worse: no fun.
  2. Between Two Ferns meanders; it invents often-pointless conflicts between its characters; it sometimes feels like a film casting around desperately for an emotional hook to rest itself upon.... It’s also deeply funny, surrounding a talented comedian with other talented comedians and letting them riff off of each other for a feature’s worth of length.
  3. The movie is gentle enough for younger kids, but doesn’t feel obligated to play straight to a 5-year-old’s sensibility. For the first time in a while, DreamWorks seems to be trusting its filmmakers with a semi-original idea, rather than racing breathlessly to the finish line.
  4. Director Henry Jacobson’s gory thriller is initially quite effective when it complements the lies families tell each other with arcs of jugular blood.
  5. To fully understand Cohn, to see how the larger-than-life force shaping the latter half of the 20th century came to mold the 21st as well, requires a more penetrating approach than Tyrnauer’s easily digested, skin-deep survey.
  6. If nothing else, Hassan Fazili’s documentary, Midnight Traveler, offers a necessary corrective to the widely held contention that refugees have nothing to offer to the countries where they land.
  7. Servillo—who previously embodied another former Italian prime minister, Giulio Andreotti, in Sorrentino’s Il Divo—never fails to deliver a memorably offbeat take on an outsize figure. Loro loses a bit of momentum once Berlusconi finally becomes its central figure, but it also gains some much-needed complexity.
  8. In practice, it’s also really tedious: a slow death by nostalgia.
  9. A mesmerizing sci-fi drama.
  10. Corporate Animals, a dark comedy with horrific undertones that should draw upon many of their previous experiences, never feels especially relatable.
  11. Perhaps The Laundromat just runs into the limits of trying to merge agitprop and fun. Soderbergh’s assemblage of Hollywood somebodies is the sugar to make the medicine go down; he’s hoping, like McKay, that disguising this dissertation as a stylish, star-studded good time will help its lessons stick. But the result is occasionally as tiresome as an economics professor more concerned with being liked than with teaching you anything.
  12. The strength of Jackman’s performance is that he hoodwinks us with his decency.
  13. Breaux is able to wring great pathos out of the character of Adam with very few words, which only makes Henry and Polidori’s arguments about ethics, which increase in frequency as the film goes on, seem all the more tedious.
  14. Jojo Rabbit, a very nice but thin crowd-pleaser about love conquering all, bills itself as an “anti-hate satire.” But true satire challenges and provokes. This one offers free hugs.
  15. The queasy thrill of Sandler’s live-wire performance is the way he keys us right into Howard’s electric joy, putting everything on the line, consequences be damned. It’s a pure shot of the gambler’s high, and Uncut Gems gets us hooked on it, too. By the end, you want to hurl and cheer.
  16. Marriage Story, unlike so many other breakup movies, offers venom in drips and drops instead of drowning us in it, because it knows that no matter how far apart Charlie and Nicole drift, the feelings that first brought them together are still there, informing their flawed attempts to move on without destroying each other.
  17. It’s a good story—especially the focus on music as redeemer—but it does feel a bit too warm and fuzzy.
  18. There’s no much going on here, either thematically or narratively.
  19. Plenty of crime capers end ruefully, but few feel this potently bittersweet.
  20. The big-screen version of Downton Abbey is still engaging, well-dressed comfort food. It just doesn’t quite feel like a full meal.
  21. The film shrewdly keeps us inside Chloe’s head, filtered through her very limited comprehension of her burgeoning and truly awesome abilities.
  22. Monos isn’t a social-issue tract, or just a lament for the beasts of no nation. It’s a fever dream of a war drama, caught halfway between realism and the hallucinatory intensity of an ancient fairy tale.
  23. It’s an empty approximation of art, all gleaming surfaces masking a hollow center. And unlike a fake vintage chair, there’s no basic utility to this imitation.
  24. There’s something tidy and even schematic about the story of redemption and forgiveness A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood ultimately tells.
  25. For all its novelty and craft, Joker is more of a stylish stunt than anything else.
  26. Seeing the director’s usual style applied to a whole different culture provides fascination enough. Not surprising, maybe, but welcome.
  27. While the act of gracefully condensing this big book into a coherent movie is indeed impressive, the truth is that said movie does end up feeling a bit like glorified cliff’s notes, albeit ones enlivened by Iannucci’s gift for volleying banter.
  28. It’s refreshing to discover that True History has an actual perspective on the events of Ned’s formative years.
  29. It’s an intriguing idea that results in a painfully by-the-books biopic. That being said, a gusty, heartbreaking turn from Renée Zellweger makes the exercise worth sitting through.
  30. Far from empty sleight-of-hand, Knives Out twists its borrowed, rearranged mechanics into a timely, sincere, and ultimately moving celebration of decency in the face of moral failure. To paraphrase one of Blanc’s funnier musings, that’s the donut within the donut hole.

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