NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,016 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 Artist
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,016 movie reviews
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    More often Planet of Snail evokes, in radiant detail, the mutual reliance that makes good partnerships work.
  1. Unfolding in somber tones and among hard surfaces, Arbitrage has the slickness of new bank notes and the confidence of expensive tailoring.
  2. End of Watch is one thriller where the adrenaline rush, considerable as it is, is almost always put in the service of character. Happily, the character on display turns out to be considerable, too.
    • 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.
  3. What makes you sit up straight is that The Oranges takes seriously everyone's unhappiness, including the home-wrecker's, without letting anyone off the hook of responsibility for their own becalmed misery.
  4. For once in an American movie, the uplift feels earned.
  5. Sleep Tight is a nifty little thriller that dances on the boundary between plausible and preposterous.
  6. 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.
  7. This Lincoln isn't an abstracted, infallible ideal, but rather a deeply conflicted, often lonely leader simply trying to do the right thing - even if that means few wrong things along on the way.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Hong's fast-and-loose narrative silliness does require a certain amount of patience from the viewer. Plot details conflict, and assumptions about a character's role and relationships will probably be upended - but all to fascinating or greatly comic effect.
  8. Starlet shows enough of her unbalanced, unsustainable situation to make sense of her connection to Sadie, however frail a ballast her new friend might be. Their need for each other is disarmingly sweet, but far from sticky.
  9. 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.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Somehow, without soft-pedaling the nastier angles of Wagner's life and legacy, Wagner & Me lands on the side of joy and defiance - broadly speaking, Fry decides not to let the terrorists win.
  10. Written and directed by David Riker, who built his 1998 drama "La Ciudad" around immigrants in New York City, The Girl is stingy with backstory but rich with visual clues.
  11. Though the film eventually caves to sentiment and stereotype, its alert performances and muted rhythms offer much to enjoy in the interim.
  12. 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.
  13. The Taviani brothers, Paolo and Vittorio, have been blurring the line between reality and fiction in their films for six decades.
  14. A hilarious meta-comedy in which Karpovsky, playing a version of himself, goes on a roadshow tour for a movie he's directed.
  15. 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.
  16. For as long as Park and Wasikowska keep it burbling, it's an intoxicating brew.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There's nothing particularly dynamic about Livia Manera and William Karel's documentary Philip Roth: Unmasked. For some 90 minutes, it's pretty much just one guy talking. But what a guy!
  17. After all, the documentary itself stands as a thrilling testament to the fact that art is — and should be — open to interpretation.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There are certain plot points in Starbuck, it's true, that either don't make much sense or are simply underexplained. But the picture is so breezily warm, without being too insistently ingratiating, that those flaws don't matter much.
  18. 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.
    • 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.
  19. 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.
  20. (Marsh) downplays political questions of ideological rights and wrongs. Rather than making a film about terrorism, or about war, Marsh looks at how they affect the people caught up in their machinery.
  21. That film is far more interesting in concept, and infinitely more elegant in execution, than what Rogen and his buddies have cooked up in This Is the End — but I've gotta admit, it's not nearly as funny.
  22. A Hijacking is mostly about the excruciating process of getting to "yes" when language is the least of the barriers between two very different mindsets.

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