The A.V. Club's Scores

For 7,756 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 2.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Paterson
Lowest review score: 0 Battle of the Year
Score distribution:
7756 movie reviews
  1. Apart from one initially funny (but ultimately over-extended) gag involving a fake credits sequence, the material is mostly glib and second-rate—and, when it comes down to it, about as dry, oversimplified, and under-dramatized as a class presentation.
  2. Thematic muddles would matter less if Bumblebee delivered more as an action movie, but despite some neat car-chase complications, this series remains stubbornly averse to shaping its action barrages into satisfying set pieces.
  3. In some ways, The Mule represents a late-period version of classic Eastwood, in that it’s even pokier and more workmanlike than his best work, and sometimes downright strange.
  4. It’s less heartwarming than heart-microwaving.
  5. Capernaum’s neorealist spirit is smothered by its sentimentality and endless string of indignities; it’s as if the film is operating as Zain’s trial defense, every moment making his case that it probably would have been better if he’d never been born.
  6. In the end, Bird Box’s most significant shortcoming is that it’s just too inert and unfocused to work as sci-fi horror.
  7. This is a headache-inducing spectacle that raises more questions than it answers, and does little to inspire viewers to go find the answers themselves. But hey, at least it’s too loud to fall asleep to.
  8. It owns up to its cheese.
  9. Ben Is Back, which buries its promise, premise, and stray traces of insight under a heap of narrative contrivance, leaves you itching for a drama with something solid to actually say about addiction.
  10. It’s a more cynical, and arguably more realistic, depiction of the unique malignancies of fame than this year’s other Oscar-baiting pop musical, "A Star Is Born." But ultimately, it’s no more insightful.
  11. The film is something like a digital tiger itself: an approximation, not exactly the same as the real thing. With the cut to credits, it ceases to exist.
  12. The Great Pretender has its share of dark punchlines, but its central concern is a sympathetic one: what we see in other people and how we would like to see ourselves.
  13. Tyrel is essentially Microaggressions: The Movie.
  14. Unfortunately, like most home movies, it’s of precious little interest to non-relatives.
  15. By focusing on Mary (the subject of its source material), the film feels lopsided, especially without any other interesting characters apart from Elizabeth.
  16. It’s exorcism’s greatest hits, if exorcism were a band playing 300 casinos and state fairs a year.
  17. Wu weaves together the stories of two live-streaming stars, a manager, and a devoted fan to form a portrait not only of the extreme acceleration that defines contemporary Chinese pop culture, but also the bizarre fantasy economy and parasitic interdependencies of late capitalism as a whole.
  18. Quintessentially, and maybe to a fault, this is a Farhadi movie: another of the writer-director’s gripping studies of a family torn asunder by a compounding mess of deception and revelation.
  19. The filmmaking itself is often witty, finding gags in whip-crack editing and shifts in perspective.
  20. Though gently outraged in its portrait of class divisions, Happy As Lazzaro mostly takes its tonal cues from the eponymous character’s comically gentle, trusting nature.
  21. Unfortunately, the film, written by Alan McDonald from a short by the late Viner Ryan McHenry, at times comes closer to a facsimile than a parody. When McPhail does hit the high notes, however, he really hits them.
  22. So it’s bit disconcerting, the unfamiliar sensation provoked by his new movie, The Favourite: Is this the first Yorgos Lanthimos film that can be called genuinely fun?
  23. Say this and little else for the new Robin Hood movie: It’s less of a self-serious slog than the last Robin Hood movie.
  24. Pine neither convinces as a conflicted peacekeeper nor a resolute resistance fighter.
  25. What these people have in common beyond a shared surname really pounds the film’s theme home with a sledgehammer, but there are numerous tender, affecting moments en route to the finale’s tearjerker overdrive, many of them productively tangential to the overarching idea of choosing one’s own family.
  26. Close inspection reveals that The Christmas Chronicles suffers from the same acute condition as one of Freddy’s or Jason’s lesser vehicles. The film doesn’t know how to get out of its own way and foreground what’s working, namely the dynamo of screen presence placed more prominently in the advertising than the feature itself.
  27. I reserve the right—as I do at every festival, where I tend to hedge my bets and temper my praise—to decide that, never mind, everyone’s right, this is a masterpiece. For now, what I see is staggering formal prowess that is maybe just a little at odds with the small, even modest character drama it’s supporting.
  28. No wonder Green Book, which is like an inverted "Driving Miss Daisy" by way of "Rain Man’s" mismatched-buddy road trip, is already earning ovations: Intentionally or not, it flatters the delusion that racism, in its ugliest form, is more of a past-tense problem.
  29. Ultimately, Creed II feels a little muffled by its workmanlike touches, especially when it gets in the ring. Just as Rocky was too low-key and charming to spawn a fully worthy successor for several decades, Creed so elevates its franchise roots that even a pretty good sequel can’t land with the same impact. Then again, a 2018 movie called Creed II expanding on Rocky IV to become one of the better Rocky movies may be another minor miracle on its own.
  30. Equally importantly, it shows how much an artist like Mu’min can bring to otherwise well-trod material, and how valuable underrepresented points of view like hers really are.

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