NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,012 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 4.1 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:
1,012 movie reviews
  1. Replace the toy box with the arcade machine, and Wreck-It Ralph is basically a repurposed "Toy Story" movie, suffused with the same mix of adventure and nostalgia and themes of friendship and the existential crises that come with age. A cynic might dismiss the film as reheated leftovers. But that cynic would be wrong, because those leftovers are delicious.
  2. The stars and the explosions are backed up by plenty of class - Ralph Fiennes as M's new boss, Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe as a couple of the requisite Bond beauties, and Judi Dench finally given the space to turn M into a full-bodied character.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone is an unapologetic melodrama rendered in what you might call semi-stylized neo-expressionistic realism, and it works like gangbusters.
  3. Its greatest advantage over the book is that this is a story well-documented in moving pictures. In addition to recent interviews with the five, the filmmakers deftly marshal news footage, clips from the supposed confessions, and trenchant analysis.
  4. In a story built on ugly secrets and lifetimes of terrible events, small moments of beauty and redemption sneak through - proving that sometimes utilizing those bitter remnants of charred memories can prove more fruitful than Earl Gray thought.
  5. At his provocative best, though - in his brilliant, gorgeous 2009 film "The White Ribbon," a study of the roots of fascism in domestic tyranny, and now in Amour - Haneke implicates us in the full range of human capacity.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a movie that works its magic slowly, and on multiple levels; it's a historical drama, a mystery and a love story. And Hoss' performance is simply one of the finest of the year.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Django Unchained is by turns exhilarating, hilarious, horrifying and poetic.
  6. Funny, exuberant and shamelessly seductive, Yossi is an unabashedly populist entertainment with a spirit conciliatory enough to melt the heart of any naysayer.
  7. Resolution is really a less self-conscious cousin to last year's "Cabin in the Woods"; both are hugely satisfying exercises in examining the way in which stories are told. Cabin succeeded by deconstructing horror without ever intending to be scary itself. Resolution takes the opposite path: When Benson and Moorhead voyeuristically suggest that someone or something is watching Mike and Chris, the chilling effect is marrow-deep.
  8. Delpy and Hawke have never been more persuasive. Nor has the series.
  9. Strickland's Berberian Sound Studio is one horror film that opts to skip the usual frolic among those metaphorical monsters in favor of a deeply unsettling dive into the subconscious.
  10. Horrific and uplifting.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Laurence Anyways flows naturally, both thematically and stylistically, from Dolan's previous movies; here, though, he succeeds more than ever at incorporating his visual idiosyncrasies into the narrative. In "I Killed My Mother" and even more so in "Heartbeats," the director's long slow-motion sequences and overbearing, eclectic soundtracks could feel like crutches, overused particularly during characters' moments of vulnerability.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If The Heat is about more than being a well-oiled delivery system for impressive and effective comedy, it's in part about what it means to be a good cop — including the question of how gender does or doesn't factor into that.
  11. Fruitvale Station isn't really a surprising film, except insofar as it's rare to see such a warmly emotional big-screen portrait of black family life.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What results is a film that takes on the vicissitudes of life and love with honest concern, but also with a shrug of the shoulders — a movie that leaves us with a smile on our faces but also more than a few thoughts in our heads.
  12. Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer is obviously treading on dicey moral ground here, empowering killers to tell their story when they've never been called to account for the barbarism that brought them to power.
  13. Evil cannot triumph in a movie made in China, but Drug War's ultimate scene nonetheless manages to astonish, revealing both Choi's character and the nature of mainland justice. Rather than dodging the harshness of Chinese authority, To depicts it implacably. He does exactly what the censors want, and yet subverts their worldview.
  14. What might seem on paper a cloyingly sentimental heartwarmer becomes, in Cretton's hands, a briskly believable, often funny, always invigorating and ultimately wrenching story of emotional fortitude.
  15. Cuaron and his son Jonas have felt the need not just to come up with ways to keep the characters talking — there's even a mildly sneery reference to NPR at one point — but to brush in backstory and motivation, quite as if the peril of being isolated in space with a limited supply of oxygen weren't sufficient rationale for the characters' actions.
  16. A Touch of Sin is the most dramatic and even lurid of writer-director Jia Zhangke's movies. The film-festival star hasn't quite become a Chinese Tarantino, however.
  17. Hanks and Abdi are so compellingly matched that unlike with most thrillers, it won't be the action climax in Captain Phillips that'll stick with you. It'll be that aftermath, which gets at the emotional toll of terrorism in a way few movies have.
  18. The ghost of Federico Fellini hovers wickedly over The Great Beauty, a fantastic journey around contemporary Rome and a riot of lush imagery juggling past and present, sacred and profane, gorgeous and grotesque.
  19. Tautly written by Rona Segal and expertly observed by Jonathan Gurfinkel, a documentarian and TV producer who worked on the hilarious Israeli satire Eretz Nehederet, S#x Acts operates almost exclusively at the behavioral level. Suspended between titillation and despair, the movie firmly implicates us in its voyeurism.
  20. As Arbor, nonprofessional actor Chapman gives one of the fiercest performances of this kind since Martin Compston's turn as a different sort of teenage entrepreneur in Loach's 2002 film "Sweet Sixteen." He's riveting, even in his final moment of calm.
  21. Murmelstein died in Rome in 1989, and having witnessed the terrible dilemmas he suffered and the mass rescues he pulled off, we can only be glad that he escaped the snap judgments of the social-media age.
  22. Anderson has the ability to control our emotions just as expertly as his camera.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The movie surges ahead, moving nimbly through a series of action set-pieces that owe more to films like "Where Eagles Dare" and "The Guns of Navarone" than they do to, say, "The Green Hornet."
  23. Though these two really grow on you, what's almost more remarkable than Nick, Norah or their playlist (which may not be infinite, but really does include some great music) is the quirky, melting-pot world director Peter Sollett creates around them.

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