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 Stories We Tell
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,037 movie reviews
  1. "Driving Miss Daisy" this ain't. Except that it sort of is.
  2. Set in a high-tech yet shabby future, the remake of Total Recall is a fully realized piece of production design. But its script, credited to six authors, is more like a preliminary sketch.
  3. The upside of a Coward-powered letdown is that I had plenty of time to contemplate one particularly improbable fact about Easy Virtue: that it had a previous incarnation on film. As, of all things, a silent picture.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The ride as a whole is at the very least exciting to take part in.
  4. A little focus might have helped. Or not: The Dry Land seems intent to tick off a checklist of PTSD symptoms without animating them with fresh details or creative life. It's cloaked in an earnestness that suffocates.
  5. Unfortunately, brutality is about all this update of 1941's The Wolf Man can do well. Mutilations, decapitations and disembowelments are handled with aplomb in the first R-rated film from director Joe Johnston (Jumanji, Jurassic Park III). But everything that doesn't involve gore feels like an afterthought.
  6. Mirren cuts the figure of a bodice-ripping paperback heroine, a withering desert flower who blooms in the arms of a swarthy prizefighter roughly half her age. Mirren embodies the fantasy beautifully -- but Hackford's feature-length valentine to her all but sabotages the rest of the movie.
  7. Set to Jeremy Turner's spare and mournful score, Narco Cultura is ultimately more pensive than lurid.
  8. Too much of this seething drama is devoted not to characterization but to posturing.
  9. Mostly, though, 44 Inch Chest is complacently in love with the rhythmically profane talk that came so easily to writers Louis Mellis and David Scinto in "Sexy Beast."
  10. A streamlined script might have helped. Curran and Winterbottom lose themselves in the soupy business of union shenanigans, an internal investigation and Lou's intervention in a troubled boy's life, but the added complications -- and the talk, talk, talk they require -- take away from the disquieting core of Thompson's story.
  11. I'd like to credit Mangold, along with writers Christopher McQuarrie, Mark Bomback and Scott Frank for their good intentions; the smaller scope and lighter tone of their film is a tonic after bloated doom and gloom of "Man of Steel."
  12. The lesson at the core of Goethe's poem -- that powerful spirits are not to be taken lightly, and should only be conjured by those who can control them -- goes out the window, and the mentor-student relationship gets swallowed up in the action. Bruckheimer may be the dark lord of Tinseltown, but he's the Mickey Mouse of this scenario, and the mops and brooms get the best of him.
  13. The title is drawn from a verse Hannah wrote just before she was captured -- and that impulse is enough to sustain audience interest.
  14. Like the recent "Mud," The Kings of Summer is a tale of feral adolescent pals in search of freedom and adventure. The movies even share essentially the same awkwardly contrived climax. But of the two films, The Kings of Summer is more of a comedy, with a depiction of the eternal war between teen and parent that's downright farcical.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Far from carving its way into new nightmares, Intruders is bland enough to put old ones to rest.
  15. A theological trifle that ultimately twists itself into a romantic comedy.
  16. The film is more appealing for its scenery, which is as breathtakingly blue as you'd expect, than for its drama.
  17. Save the Date has the vapid, beige feel of an off-the-peg product made to exploit a niche market rather than a film with something on its mind about what it means to make the jump from youth to adulthood today.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Henry can finish a college application test in two minutes, yet Jesus Henry Christ doesn't know what to do with 90.
  18. "Humanize" might not seem the obvious verb for what happens in Chimpanzee, Disneynature's latest kiddie documentary. But it's dead on; this escape to the planet of the apes is anthropomorphic to a fault.
  19. Austrian documentarian Michael Glawogger's Whore's Glory is no "Pretty Woman." But neither does it qualify as an expose.
  20. Tomorrowland is designed, just like its theme park namesake, to celebrate optimism.
  21. Perhaps the clearest evidence that Yelling to the Sky is based on Mahoney's own life is that the movie lets its most troubled characters off pretty easy.
  22. However much Uxbal tries to help Barcelona's dispossessed, Biutiful doesn't really have anything to say about the modern world's economic migrants. Indeed, it could even be said that the movie exploits them.
  23. The movie is less than incisive, but it's utterly well-meaning.
  24. The most terrifying thing about the movie, really, is that plural: Originsssss. So many mutants, so much time. Thank God we can leave that for another summer.
  25. The movie's two bright spots are Cox and Dano, who perform excellently despite the dull inevitabilities the script forces on them.
  26. All of this is at once predictable and implausible -- a two-hander of a story so overplotted and overpopulated that by the time it's winding up, the question isn't so much Is Anybody There? as it is, "Why on earth are so many bodies here?"
  27. The shoddy attention to character, plausibility and detail is particularly surprising coming from Anderson, a director of smart indie thrillers like "The Machinist," "Session 9" and "Transsiberian." He's been a gifted filmmaker with a talent for creating chilling tension through meticulous control of just these elements.

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