NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,030 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 4.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Mr. Turner
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,030 movie reviews
  1. A hilarious meta-comedy in which Karpovsky, playing a version of himself, goes on a roadshow tour for a movie he's directed.
  2. Marc Guggenheim's script is capable and funny, but the film's finest wit is vehicular.
  3. By the end of the film's scant 72 minutes, the conceit is on the verge of wearing out its welcome, but by then, it's created so much stomach-churning, quease-inducing, uproariously embarrassing humiliation for Trevor that it's become all but irresistible.
  4. In the House is often mordantly funny. Luchini is France's master of deadpan comedy: When he does farce, it carries an undertow of sorrow, and vice versa.
  5. Inspector Bellamy is dedicated to the memory of two famous Georges: the drily ironic singer Brassens, and Georges Simenon, whose crime novels go for the jugular of bourgeois France - and dig deep into the black hearts of those who, just when they imagine they have hit bottom, can always sink lower.
  6. His latest, the earthy yet subtly evocative 11 Flowers, is in the same mode as the one that's best known in the U.S., 2001's "Beijing Bicycle." Both are simple, resonant tales of youths who have something taken from them.
  7. The ascribing of emotions to these critters can get a little Lion King-ripe at times. But the filmmakers have filled in around their "family" narratives with footage that is breathtaking enough on a towering screen -- and you should find the biggest one possible -- that it is hard to object too strenuously.
  8. Despite some dark undercurrents, the movie emphasizes humor, and its best moments are more than kind of funny.
  9. Breillat plumbs the power of fairy tales to enchant, disturb, warn and teach.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite his flashes of bitterness, the Helm captured here seems like a man at peace with where he ended up — however taxing the road that brought him, however many friends lost or discarded along the way.
  10. Though the film eventually caves to sentiment and stereotype, its alert performances and muted rhythms offer much to enjoy in the interim.
  11. At bottom, though, Happy People celebrates the hard-won freedoms that living in the Taiga offers those who are willing to confront its challenges. There are few places on the planet where the strictures of society don't apply, and the trade-off for fending off bears and minus-50-degree weather is the opportunity to lead a pure, solitary life.
  12. The trick to enjoying The Town, Ben Affleck's follow-up to his impressive 2007 directing debut, "Gone, Baby, Gone," is to expect nothing but pulpy entertainment.
  13. What the women are there for in Listen Up Philip is to be truth-tellers to these childish novelists — especially Philip's eventually assertive girlfriend, who ends up using his books as coasters in a long (and welcome) mid-movie detour from the story of his self-involvement.
  14. It's not the artistry of X-Men: First Class that's particularly striking; though it's finely crafted, the film feels less the product of a visionary director than of the Marvel movies machine working at maximum efficiency.
  15. The script I did question; it takes awhile to get going, and it feels strangely flat at the very end. But in between, Lee is very skillfully employing cinema's most advanced digital techniques in the service of an adventure yarn that is gloriously old-fashioned - and often just glorious.
  16. Sleep Tight is a nifty little thriller that dances on the boundary between plausible and preposterous.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Killing Them Softly has more unruly energy, and less art-house pretension, than "The Assassination of Jesse James." Its disreputability does come with a faintly arty sheen sprayed on - the picture could be a little grubbier, but let's not split hairs, especially such nice, greasy ones.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Hide Your Smiling Faces is a striking companion piece to "It Felt Like Love," another recent coming-of-age story, this time about two young girls, from a first-time director. Hide Your Smiling Faces is not as dark as "It Felt Like Love," but like last year's "Sun Don't Shine," the films share a strong sense for the sinister, for how flirtations with new experiences, with excitement, carry a nerve-racking risk of disaster.
  17. Like television's "Breaking Bad," At Any Price is about the slow, insidious corruption of a regular guy, about the rot that grows around him and within him, allowing him to become complicit in a crime of biblical proportions.
  18. Douchebag has the intensity and taut circularity of a short story told with economy and style.
  19. For once in an American movie, the uplift feels earned.
  20. Writer-director Michael K. Roskam takes his time in revealing why Jacky needs to shoot up, but that LaMotta restlessness is unmistakable - this bull here can rage.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    One of the finest sequences is a "riff-off" between the boys and the girls, a West Side Story-style showdown that plays out with shards of songs instead of switchblades.
  21. As humane as it is disturbing.
  22. One of the big reasons Flight is so satisfying is that it moves with the no-frills, meat-and-potatoes conventions of a first-rate procedural while being awash in ambiguity.
  23. For as long as Park and Wasikowska keep it burbling, it's an intoxicating brew.
  24. Unfolding in somber tones and among hard surfaces, Arbitrage has the slickness of new bank notes and the confidence of expensive tailoring.
  25. The Safdies filmed with handheld cameras, an obvious affection for New York and its denizens, and a script that includes so much structured improvisation that it's hard to imagine any of the dialogue was actually written down. Not surprisingly, the result is a character study with an almost documentary feel to it.
  26. If Ken Loach and Roberto Benigni went into a bar, drank themselves into a stupor and emerged the next morning with a screenplay, it might look a lot like The Misfortunates.

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