NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,032 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:
1,032 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. At its best, The Fighter takes on the chasm between televised boxing and its mostly working-class, aspirational origins with grit and intelligence.
  3. Resolutely descriptive, It Felt Like Love doesn't exactly have a plot, which feels absolutely right for a film whose elliptical yet intensely focused visual style seem to flow directly from Lila's consciousness.
  4. A case is being made here that it wasn't really Frost who did Nixon in: It was Nixon's old nemesis, the TV camera.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Such an of-a-piece series of visual monuments in one year means that Ain't Them Bodies Saints has a pretty strong chance of striking some viewers as cliched or affected. Its golden-hour cinematography and persistent awe-and-wonder score sit precariously between stirring and obtrusive, inspiring and derivative.
  5. The Taviani brothers, Paolo and Vittorio, have been blurring the line between reality and fiction in their films for six decades.
  6. Jack, as played by Andrew Garfield, comes across as agonized, desperately anxious to get things right -- something you might also say about the filmmakers, who have turned Boy A's very particular story into a scary, universal and wrenching social statement.
  7. Promoting understanding and appreciation of the beauty of the bees and our intertwined relationship with them is also presented as a vital part of the equation.
  8. Even were it not so delightful, Damsels in Distress, set at a fictional upper-crust college, would deserve a watch for its dialogue alone.
  9. The film's timing, in short, could hardly be more resonant. And DuVernay's most remarkable accomplishment may be that with such passion inspiring material, she has made such a measured, resolute and levelheaded film.
  10. 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.
  11. Director Spencer Susser doesn't try to make Hesher anything other than a sociopath - a walking, profanity-spewing id - and to his credit, neither does Gordon-Levitt.
  12. The documentary is powerful, as far as it goes, but would be stronger if the filmmakers had been able to follow the story further.
  13. 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.
  14. Soderbergh imposes a shape until the film begins to feel less like puzzle pieces in search of their place and more like one seamless picture: It's almost as if, with this collage of the artist's past work, he's created an entirely new final monologue for Gray.
  15. This is a film built around its star, just as surely as any of its cheesier '80s forebears.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    More often Planet of Snail evokes, in radiant detail, the mutual reliance that makes good partnerships work.
  16. Generation War holds the line admirably in showing how totalitarianism corrupts almost everything in its path, individual responsibility included, and creates an appalling space where sadists and conformists alike can flourish and break every rule of war at will.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Feels poignant and real in a way few raunch comedies are.
  17. The Lunchbox is a first feature for director Ritesh Batra, but it nicely captures the almost overwhelming crush and noise of contemporary India, and it plays cleverly and delicately with the tension of whether its two correspondents might eventually meet. Theirs is one "virtual" romance that has nothing to do with social media.
  18. Propriety and recklessness make for uneasy bedfellows in The Deep Blue Sea, a shimmering exploration of romantic obsession and the tension between fitting in and flying free.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Ernest & Celestine is a tale of found family, sweetly realized and supported by clever writing and talented voice work, but it's the animation that really makes this Academy Award-nominated movie
  19. He's neither victim nor hero, but a man who, in every conceivable sense, belongs behind bars.
  20. If your sole image of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner is that of a lanky, silk-jammied sybarite strolling the grounds of his mansion with a jiggling blond on either arm, Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel will knock your socks off.
  21. Handsomely and vividly mounted, in a palette of period chocolates and golds, Get Low opens with an image of a burning man running from a house on fire -- an enticing promise of Southern Gothic that the movie never quite fulfills.
  22. Arguably the most dynamic Asian action film since the 1990s peaks of John Woo and Tsui Hark, The Raid: Redemption works as sheer gladiatorial ballet.
  23. I'm pretty sure that the terrific British actress Janet McTeer never meant to act Close out of every frame they share, but she surely does as Hubert, a cheerful bruiser who brings his own secrets to the party, as well as a monumentally fake broken nose, a kind heart and a practical gift for converting adversity to advantage.
  24. And then there's the simple fact of De Niro, playing a delusional taxi driver. It's easy to imagine Being Flynn's story turning precious in the wrong hands, but Weitz and his cast spin it just right - as a narrative that is both emotionally real, and just writerly enough to suit its leading men.
    • 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.

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