NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,043 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 60% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The King's Speech
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,043 movie reviews
  1. Teresa's doggedness parallels the movie's own. Paradise: Love would be more compelling if it had a second act in which either its protagonist or one of her boy toys came to some sort of realization. Instead, Seidl's strategy is to reiterate and escalate, which is finally more exhausting than illuminating.
  2. The Purge is mostly a genre picture trying to layer on some prestige by way of social commentary. The latter falls flat; the film is actually stronger when it just goes for our baser instincts.
  3. Like most of LaBute's work, Some Velvet Morning ends as it begins, more clever than wise.
  4. The deliberate pace may suggest that the film is being thoughtful, but Let Me In is really just an exploitation movie with the confidence to take it slow.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's a simple and lovely movie, and particularly for people who haven't seen "Spellbound," it's a great introduction to the intriguing mix of parents - neurotic, loving, pressuring, calming - who raise great kids who do great things.
  5. Hysteria, a disappointingly limp ode to the invention of the vibrator, plays like a Merchant Ivory Production of "Portnoy's Complaint."
  6. Freakonomics' commercial success reflected the once-fashionable notion that economics could explain, well, everything.
  7. Genre aficionados are likely to revel in every crunched bone, gratuitous decapitation and slow-motion iron-maiden impaling.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The film presents a stark choice: seek escape in vengeance and blame, or gamble on the freedom gained by embracing a new world, however scarred it may be.
  8. Based on its thrillingly fractured first half - not to mention "Moon" in its entirety - Jones seems much smarter than he allows the film to be in the end. It wriggles out of its own intriguing puzzle.
  9. Moore is always watchable, Ruffalo and Bernal get a nice rivalry going without ever establishing eye contact (as it were), and Danny Glover has some nice moments in an underdeveloped part as an older man who finds, to his benefit, that love is blind.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The result is a self-conscious tone poem concocted from oblique camera angles, shots held longer than it takes a tadpole to reach maturity and nighttime images enhanced with a psychedelic glow. An alternate title for it might be "David Lynch, Gone Fishin'."
  10. Like the decent B-movie director that he is, Hyams tosses in two gripping car chases and blows up a few more vehicles for good measure. But otherwise, there's little in this pointless rehash to distract audiences from the pleasure of watching Tamblyn.
  11. The film's main problem — apart from its predictability and the sometimes unconvincing and cartoonish CGI for the army of giants — is that it never entirely commits to what kind of fantasy movie it wants to be.
  12. At times Francine feels like a documentary as well, an intimate observational work in the mode of Frederick Wiseman or the Maysles brothers, where the omnipresence of the camera puts the characters so at ease that they reveal subtle moments of character that they might otherwise hide out of self-consciousness.
  13. Following up his acclaimed debut feature "Down Terrace," a gangster drama that also mixed genre shocks with dark comedy and explosive family spats, Wheatley gives Kill List a discordant tone that makes it feel like a horror film even when it isn't.
  14. One Day ends up fatally compromised by its glib recourse to death and cancer as moral wake-up calls.
  15. The only character who stands out is a relentlessly clowning man-child named Taloche (James Thierree), but only as a symbol for the irrepressible spirit of an entire people.
  16. It's glorious while it lasts, but then the film goes back to figuring out how to keep its oversized vessel from taking on water.
  17. Rickman is too theatrical, and too British, to vanish entirely into the person of Hilly Kristal. But he's entertaining to watch, and ultimately one of the more persuasive actors in a movie that suffers from as many odd casting decisions as Lee Daniels' The Butler.
  18. After nearly 90 minutes of human folly, though, Surviving Progress can't very well conclude with a tribute to mankind. So, to end on a hopeful note, the movie turns to a chimp.
  19. The movie is, as these things go, enjoyably trashy.
  20. For a hymn to panic and hostility, the movie is curiously artful. But only the most sympathetic viewers will find that its poetry outweighs its belligerence.
  21. Loki is a skilled creation, but lacking that sense of why, it's hard not to think of him as an artistic construct rather than a character. The same goes for Prisoners, a work of impressive craftsmanship that winds up making us think too much about how it was fashioned rather than what it has to say.
  22. Oddly, Countdown to Zero ends by suggesting that viewers get those nukes abolished by texting their disapproval to a phone number listed in the credits -- as if the governments of China or North Korea (or the United States, for that matter) are just waiting for a gentle rebuke from civic-minded documentary viewers.
  23. A skilled cast is Blakeson's greatest asset in his attempt to elevate his material above its pulpy limitations. All three are better actors than this sort of movie might call for.
  24. The dude with the blond mane and bulging biceps clearly owns that hammer. And when the screenplay gives him something besides arrogance to work with, he owns the movie too.
  25. By movie's end, director Marcos Carnevale has made it possible for you to see Elsa through Fred's eyes. Love has bloomed late -- but with sweet exuberance -- in this romantic charmer.
  26. A preachy parable of suburban discontent, Shorts probably has enough kid-oriented slapstick to please the under-12 set. But it's not likely to rival writer-director Robert Rodriguez's "Spy Kids" series in long-term appeal.
  27. It's a cold-blooded business — and all sentiment aside, it's clear that Pineda is as replaceable as anyone.

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