NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,039 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 Social Network
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,039 movie reviews
  1. There are some funny bits and characters around the edges of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, but its core is empty of humor. In fact, this purported satire of Las Vegas magicians is a three-void circus: the script, the central character and the main performance.
  2. This slackers-go-gangsta comedy demonstrates that less than 90 minutes can be a very long time.
  3. Say this for Roland Emmerich's latest movie: It IS a disaster.
  4. Now, it's not fair to ask that a romantic comedy be entirely realistic, but some level of plausibility would make the jokes go down easier, as would a touch of delicacy in the writing.
  5. A raucously funny comic romance that's deaf and blind to the blithe spirit of romantic comedy.
  6. Even as a fantasy about where a lack of transparency might go, left unchecked, it's storytelling informed by sloppy, absolutist thinking, and it lends one more uncritical voice to the many who seem unable to distinguish between kinds and degrees of evil.
  7. Idiotic, if reasonably kinetic, Eagle Eye -- in which Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan spend the better part of two hours urgently answering phone calls and dodging hurtling machinery -- is every bit as over-edited as it is under-thunk.
  8. Playing like a mashup of tropes from far superior small- and large-screen entertainments (Scandal, House of Lies, Ides of March), this clunky feature from Bill Guttentag is satire at its most soft-bellied and toadying.
  9. Slack, morally ambiguous, decidedly sub-Dexter serial-killer-cop story that's been cooked up for them (De Niro/Pacino).
  10. The directors can make it fluid, comprehensible and gorgeous to look at, but they can't keep what struck many readers as profound on the page, from seeming profoundly obvious on screen, especially when every point gets reiterated six times.
  11. In the real world or a realer movie, the deceitful Arthur and the larcenous Mike would eventually get in big trouble. Yet this road movie is headed not toward serious consequences, but toward docile acceptance. In spirit, it turns out, Arthur Newman is a pretty much a Wallace Avery.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 45 Critic Score
    The road to hell is paved not just with good intentions, but with movies that attempt to capture the way women really talk.
  12. Awkward, incoherent and plodding.
  13. Renton's approach is, to its benefit, fair and never strident. But it's also gentle and cautious, often to a fault.
  14. Director Neil Burger, whose last divergent character was the smart-drugged protagonist of Limitless, allocates more than enough of this overlong movie to details of life and society in future-Chicagoland. But he fails to make any aspect of the premise persuasive.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 45 Critic Score
    Stolen is less shameless than "Taken" - which featured evil Albanians and other assorted politically incorrect appurtenances - which also makes it less effective.
  15. At times, to be blunt, he (Trejo) comes off like a silent film star who's accidentally lumbered onto the set of a bloody, violent, thoroughly ridiculous talkie: reluctant to speak, sometimes a little confused by his surroundings.
  16. Director Salim Akil deserves credit for keeping the film from falling apart completely. He sets a the brisk pace, and uses the picturesque oceanside setting to give the movie an inviting gloss even as the overstuffed narrative threatens to push viewers away.
  17. When faced with the choice of which gag to go for, Horrible Bosses generally selects the raunchiest laugh possible, all other considerations be damned.
  18. It's not that Part II is bad, exactly. If "The Hangover" had never existed, this movie might feel funnier than it does, if not quite as freshly hilarious.
  19. Such a catalog of missed opportunities, it probably makes sense just to list them.
  20. Based on a graphic novel, Cowboys & Aliens never quite transcends the flat dimensions of its source material.
  21. But more often, the film jumps around in dizzying disorganization, illustrating the fact that part of what a director provides to a film is not just vision and leadership, but also, as the word suggests, a narrative direction.
  22. The entertainment value of the violence trumps most of the larger meaning, and the film exploits its characters just as they do their prisoners.
  23. If the movie fails to conjure soiled 19th-century Paris, that's not primarily because it was shot in Hungary and Serbia. More problematic are the English-language dialogue and actors who speak in a variety of accents and perform in a range of styles.
  24. There's a couple of hundred million dollars' worth of technical wizardry up there on screen, and nothing is at stake. Except, maybe, for some future amusement park ride, and the sequels, and toys and hats and masks. And piles and piles of silver, if enough people lay down their hard-earned dollars to hear Hammer's hearty "Hi-yo."
    • 57 Metascore
    • 45 Critic Score
    What dooms Snow White and the Huntsman is ultimately not how over the top it is, but how dull it is.
  25. To begin with, how painful is it to watch actors as intelligent as Naomi Watts and Robin Wright mug their way through the story of two hard-bodied middle-aged Australian besties hitting the sack with one another's teenaged sons?
  26. What's most surprising, given the latitude provided by all that conjecture, is that the Durst - "David Marks" for the purposes of the film - who emerges is less a character study than a thumbnail sketch.
  27. By anyone's reckoning, Predators is a middling 1980s B movie; too bad this is 2010.

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