NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,021 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 4.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The Social Network
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,021 movie reviews
  1. The performances are explosively funny, from Hollander's increasingly bewildered and way-out-of-his-depth Simon to Chris Addison's hapless PR fledgling. But the star is Peter Capaldi.
  2. Quite aside from Shinto transformation parables or Buddhist reincarnation teachings, the final scene shows how family wisdom is conserved and recycled. It's a moment that might elicit a smile or a tear, or perhaps both.
  3. An exquisite, almost sensual grief suffuses every frame of A Single Man.
  4. Andrea Arnold has crafted a scene that approaches a literal embodiment of the term "kitchen-sink drama" here is most likely coincidence; nevertheless, her film is a bold new entry in that long-standing British tradition of disquieting social realism.
  5. Greenberg is on every level the work of a more mature filmmaker, and quite possibly a happier man.
  6. Wild Grass is an elegant vessel for outlandish thoughts and troubling impulses. In his rejection of cinematic naturalism, Resnais has made a movie that's both utterly contrived and compellingly lifelike.
  7. It's hard to imagine anyone caring much why we're plunging ahead at warp speed, when the ride is so insanely satisfying.
  8. It's a classic Hollywood domestic comedy with a mischievous twist.
  9. First-time writer/director David Michod reportedly worked for eight years on his screenplay, deepening its tale of a violently dysfunctional family until its gangster conventions feel as if they're in the service of a modern-day Greek tragedy.
  10. The Tillman Story is ferocious filmmaking, but it wouldn't have half the force it does if the director didn't also get at the complicated man Pat Tillman was.
  11. Any film about a flashy criminal threatens to glamorize its protagonist, but both Mesrine episodes are careful to detail the many goofs made by the crook and his accomplices.
  12. Cianfrance and his actors, Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling, have not made a cold or schematic film. They aim instead for raw emotional experience, one that's full of insight into the ways a relationship can go astray, but mostly feels like a slow-motion punch to the gut.
  13. Although the monks don't seek death, Of Gods And Men can be seen as an ode to religiously motivated self-sacrifice. But Beauvois deliberately leaves the story open-ended. The value of these men's lives, he's noting, is not defined by how they ended.
  14. You don't have to believe in the transmigration of souls to fall languorously in love with the Thai film that won the Palme d'Or at last year's Cannes Film Festival.
  15. An animated western that's effortlessly the most exhilarating flight of computer-drawn fancy since "Ratatouille."
  16. And at its loony best, Wiig and Mumolo's script hurls a torrent of bridesmaid-zilla set pieces at us, playing out like a "Sex and the City 3" read-through gone deliciously awry.
  17. The latest bloom from the flourishing garden that is Romanian cinema, Radu Muntean's Tuesday, After Christmas chronicles the emotional fallout from a classic love triangle, but it unfolds with the agonizing tension of a suspense film.
  18. Boyega is absolutely riveting, leading with a stern glower, and constantly trying to prove himself. Yet Moses has a deep well of tenderness and honor beneath the fa├žade, and Boyega almost single-handedly makes you care not just about his character, but about everyone in any gang that would align itself with him. He's that magnetic.
  19. What follows is something rarely seen in American movies: a sincerely humane examination of what it means to experience a crisis of faith. Tender, bittersweet and often gently comedic, Corinne's 20-year journey toward (and around, and away from) her God has a loose, searching rhythm that's engrossingly unpredictable.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There is much to observe, for Hugo (the film) is a marvel of spectacle, a sensory feast steeped in cinematic lore that proves pure joy is attainable in three dimensions.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's hard not to be both heartened and a little wistful about the fact that The Muppets is probably as good a Muppet project as it's possible to make without Jim Henson.
  20. Tuschi has made a docu-thriller of enormous narrative flair and visual smarts. It's a perfect fit for the blend of Greek tragedy, spaghetti Western and judicial farce that defines business and politics in the New Russia.
  21. The movie is anything but combative. Pariah is a tender, sporadically goofy, yet candid examination of emergent identity, a film whose lack of attitude sets it apart from much of the hard-bitten, thug-life storytelling that's dominated African-American cinema for decades.
  22. A horror-movie attic sale is, in essence, exactly what Cabin in the Woods is, an attempt to exorcise the genre of its formulaic possession by stuffing the movie full of its most overused and predictable elements - and then dumping them through clever skewering.
  23. Fellag, a comedian and himself an exile from Algeria, makes Lazhar both a sensitive and an amusing figure. And the kids are just terrific, especially Emilien Neron as a boy who carries the guilt of the whole school on his shoulders.
  24. Judged by the ideological terms on which it was founded, you could say the kibbutz experiment has failed. I, for one, could never have made a permanent home there. Yet the sense of community was real, and those cavernous dining halls supply some of the happiest memories of my youth.
  25. Intentionally or not, Searching for Sugar Man catches all that - the fleeting moments of triumph and the years of endurance, the accumulation of family and the unquenched dreams - and doesn't presume to sew it all up for us.
  26. By its final fade, Argo feels like more than just a thriller - even a thriller with real thrills and serious Oscar buzz. It feels like a window on events that led to the world we live in now.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Holy Motors - exhilarating, mournful and always stunning to look at - makes no sense at all if you have your heart set on narrative comprehensibility or even plain old thematic cohesion. It could almost be a film made in a time before language, a rendering of modern life - or modern lives - as a kind of cinematic cave painting. With songs. And a white stretch limo. And Kylie Minogue.
  27. This astonishingly effective environmental nightmare is based on reasoning that, if you've been following the science, seems all too possible.

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