NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,037 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 Tree of Life
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,037 movie reviews
  1. Scrub away the gore and the nastier bits of provocation, and Ben Wheatley's Sightseers belongs squarely in the tradition of British classics like "Kind Hearts and Coronets" and "The Ruling Class" — satires that transformed simmering class resentment into brittle, nasty dark comedy.
  2. A 90-minute biography can't include everything, of course. But Lovelace comes on like an inquiry into the '70s zeitgeist, only to retreat into melodrama. Ultimately, the movie relies as heavily as any porn feature on its intrepid female lead. Rather than exploiting Seyfried, however, Lovelace just sort of wastes her.
  3. Gary Oldman pulls off his own hat trick, playing both noble Bob Cratchit and sickly Tiny Tim, as well as Scrooge's late partner, Marley, who haunts the miser in fluorescent green.
  4. Hypermacho but tongue-in-cheek, the first 20 minutes of 2 Guns are enormous fun.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Artist and the Model suffers from the opposite affliction: It has all the trappings of a serious work of art, and it hasn't been hurried but it remains, in the end, disappointingly hollow.
  5. Pretty but inert, To the Wonder is a vaporous mystery wrapped in a gauzy enigma — a cinematic riddle that'll appeal principally to those eager for another piece, however tiny, of the puzzle that is Terrence Malick.
  6. Bay blankets the film in a tone of smug self-awareness that obscures everything but its bald hypocrisy.
  7. This plot is not being taken terribly seriously. It's mostly a pretext for songs that are mostly a pretext for acting silly.
  8. The movie presents grim assessments from such experts as the Pacific Institute's Peter Gleick and professor and author Robert Glennon, yet it ends with a flurry of hopeful notes.
  9. The story, by brothers Erich and Jon Hoeber, who also penned the clever, quippy, aging-assassin movie "Red," is cleverer and quippier than it has any reason to be, even if it makes not the remotest sense.
  10. There are no laughs in Solomon Kane; the sole attempt at a joke doesn't score, but it's a bracing reminder that humor exists. Instead, Bassett and Purefoy, his charisma-impaired star, get down to the grim, colorless business of vanquishing evil in a world where it settles like a black fog.
  11. It's hard to make a movie about a pederast without being exploitative, and Michael eventually comes to feel like an art house stunt.
  12. If nothing else, while watching Ruppert, you'll believe he believes this stuff.
  13. If what audiences are looking for is a thrill ride, or even a pervasive eeriness, The Happening's just not happening.
  14. Taking Woodstock has a winning generosity of spirit, but even that serves chiefly to underline the film's curious inconsequentiality, as if it were a two-hour pilot for a show about a charmingly eccentric family and a rotating cast of colorful guest stars.
  15. Despite dramatic Hawaiian locations, up-to-date visual effects and a bit of nontraditional casting, the movie feels not especially brave and far from new.
  16. Shapeless and overlong, How Do You Know unfolds in a heap of unprocessed ideas and emotions, as if Brooks started production two or three drafts too early.
  17. Miral stumbles, both thematically and stylistically. The two things that undermine the director's balance? Peace and love.
  18. True, Escape From Tomorrow, a handsomely mounted gallery of Mouse House cuteness inverted into grotesquerie, looks a sight more artful than do most home movies. But as an expose of Disney's manufactured happiness, and by extension the sins of corporate capitalism, it's pretty stale news.
  19. The film is too frenetically paced and clean to quite recreate the magic of their source material, but it does often face these issues in the same admirably head-on fashion.
  20. But c'mon! Erotic obsession, catfights, naked chicks making out -- at heart Chloe is a midnight movie, and all the Vivaldi in the world can't change that.
  21. Reich has a good sense of humor, as is virtually required of an adult who's less than 5 feet tall — he has Fairbanks disease, the same condition that accounts for Danny DeVito's stature — so he's pretty much guaranteed a laugh when he hops to his feet and asks if he looks like an advocate of "big government."
  22. A little slow for the very youngest kids -- though the messages it imparts are certainly ones you'll want them to hear.
  23. Music drives the movie, and the producers popped for the real stuff: Robert Johnson, Moby Grape and - curiously - the Sex Pistols are all here. The soundtrack is so overstuffed that it relegates Beatles and Dylan tunes to the end credits.
  24. It's not a political satire, or even satire of tabloid journalism. It's just another "bromance," with jokes so bad (they are) "freshmanic."
  25. The students all say and do more than they should in the filmmaker's presence, which certainly makes them watchable -- sort of a slow-motion train wreck.
  26. It's Rush who makes these characters push one another toward healing, and that feels forced. There are moments of poignancy, but mostly the film feels inert and unremarkable, an off-the-shelf indie-spiration fable that employs a manipulatively cruel twist to move the story away from its inherent darkness and toward an uplifting climactic montage.
  27. There's plenty of material for a lively, profound documentary about Norman Foster. But How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster? is, by design, lightweight.
  28. Laughs? Schmaltz? Life lessons? They're all there in Sean McGinly's pleasantly lackadaisical script, but not in such abundance that they seem reason enough to see the film.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The film aims for Hitchcock and gets a bit turned around; we're The Audience That Knew Too Much.

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