The A.V. Club's Scores

For 7,456 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 2.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Score distribution:
7456 movie reviews
  1. The film is far less than the sum of its possibilities.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    It’s supposed to be evocative, but in many scenes the characters just look dim and overly backlit, to the point of obscuring the actors’ expressiveness. There might be another metaphor in there somewhere.
  2. It’s a small, offbeat movie, punctuated by bursts of terrible violence but also infused with a winning strain of deadpan humor that’s not too far removed from Jim Jarmusch.
  3. Scorsese goes to the trouble of making his antiheroes charismatic and exciting. Gotti, by contrast, inadvertently argues that John Gotti and his namesake son are too dull to be evil. It’s DrabFellas.
  4. Directed by Alexandre Moors, who made the D.C. sniper movie Blue Caprice, The Yellow Birds might have used its nonlinear structure to confront us with how war reshapes these young men, putting who they were and who they become into conversation. But the performances don’t capture that psychological change.
  5. Tag
    There’s something mildly depressing about viewing petty gamesmanship as the engine that fuels and sustains male friendship. But funny is funny, and Tag gets by, appropriately enough, on the personalities of its stars.
  6. When the new SuperFly does show flashes of street-smart wit...its energy is infectious. Mostly, though, it needs to take its hero’s advice and take things up a notch.
  7. Early and often, Incredibles 2 makes the compelling case that animation is the ideal medium for stories based on, or at least inspired by, comic book fantasias, where reality tends to bend and twist as elastically as Elastigirl.
  8. In the end, Nancy is a bit too dogmatic in its refusal to provide easy answers, its emotional impact dissipating like dust in a sunbeam with every understated non-revelation.
  9. he performances are strong, and the situation itself presumably carries a harrowing veracity, but an ordeal is about all the movie offers. Shaking your head over and over again is the only suitable reaction.
  10. We’ve seen it all before in movies and video games, but the packaging is slick and hard to resist; any sci-fi crime movie with moody camerawork by Chung Chung-hoon, a Cliff Martinez score, a cast this strange, and an original end-credits ballad by Father John Misty (also a cast member) is begging to be watched, regardless of actual content or the messiness of the action scenes.
  11. Ocean’s 8 could learn a thing or two about brevity and craft: It belabors the basic plot points Ocean’s 11 dispatched with a single cut or smirk, the result a hacky imitation of the series’ glitzy pizzazz.
  12. There is visual wit in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and some invention, too.
  13. The power of this material—and of Dern’s devastating performance—stays with you.
  14. Hearts Beat Loud is smart, sincere, expertly performed (though Ted Danson, in a small role as Frank’s favorite bartender, gets little to do apart from echo Sam Malone), quietly progressive (Sam’s ethnicity and sexuality elicit no onscreen comment whatsoever), and just thoroughly… nice.
  15. The film’s real strength is its plainness. Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, like Rogers, tells us what we already know in our bones about how we’re supposed to behave. Hearing it said aloud, so calmly, is unexpectedly shattering.
  16. Although its resolution is admirably non-fantastical, Action Point is ultimately more interested in telling a story about a pretty nice dad who becomes a somewhat nicer dad.
  17. Pin Cushion is as quirky and as prickly as its title, an unclassifiable dramedy about bullying and mother-daughter relationships that proposes that mean-girl behavior doesn’t go away after high school.
  18. But it’s still quite the mismatch of content to form — a movie as ordinary as Rodin himself was extraordinary.
  19. Given the sweetly dull-witted relationship at its center, Adrift threatens to bog itself down with the endless intercutting back and forth in time. But the movie has a little more up its sleeves, narratively speaking, than first appears, and Kormákur converges the two timelines effectively.
  20. If Howard and Pearle’s idea was to show how an extended argument devolves into the worst values of a previous generation — lashing out with implicit homophobia, resentment, and misogyny in the film’s shouty, snotty, excessively busy final third — then it comes too late here, before being patly resolved. A sharper drama would have made it the focus.
  21. Ultimately, you’re looking at four men struggling to explain an act of post-adolescent stupidity, accompanied by elaborate moving illustrations. It’s moderately entertaining, but the calories feel empty.
  22. Whannell strikes out on his own with his first truly original concept as a writer-director...in a film whose production is as ambitious as its story is formulaic. Thankfully, the former mostly compensates for the latter, making Upgrade a genre-bending summer treat for those who don’t mind a little (okay, a lot) of blood with their popcorn.
  23. Its blasé attitude to the basics of movie action turn the video-game-esque quest plot into an exercise in tedium.
  24. Art is actually as complicated as the lives that inspire it, which is probably why Mary Shelley builds its specious and underwhelming climax around the question of ownership. Perhaps that’s the most contemporary thing about it: intellectual property passed off as modern myth.
  25. Newton’s screenplays still suffer from third-act problems — both "From Nowhere" and Who We Are Now conclude with an ironic twist that feels slightly cheap — but his dedication to fine-grained real-world complexity sets him apart from most indie filmmakers these days.
  26. With Summer 1993, her accomplished debut feature, Carla Simón succeeds in creating a rich, vivid world from her own turbulent pre-adolescence, though the film does meander in a way that makes its deeply personal nature unmistakable.
  27. It’s everything and nothing at once.
  28. Knife + Heart sometimes feels as rough around the edges and inelegantly plotted as its pornos-within-the-movie, but maybe that’s just conceptual consistency.
  29. The film has some lovely beats, and good chemistry between its leads.

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