NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,055 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 Incendies
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1055 movie reviews
  1. Jagged and gentle, shocking and sweet, Life During Wartime finds the King of Cringe more concerned than usual about forgiveness: who deserves it, and who is capable of bestowing it. True to form, though, he's not telling.
  2. In Hollywood these days, such epic transformations are rendered with computers and called "morphing." Offering a lesson both to filmmakers and climate-change deniers, Chasing Ice demonstrates how much more powerful it is to capture the real thing.
  3. It's a surprisingly nuanced and sober tale of brotherhood and betrayal.
  4. Nim's suffering is heartbreaking, but Marsh's melodramatic style, with its re-enactments and intense score, sometimes feels bombastic and overblown for a group of people who, aside from the frighteningly detached and morally careless Terrace, seem to be garden-variety neurotics and narcissists, more clueless than willfully cruel.
  5. There's something kind of captivating about a film that's been painstakingly drawn to glorify the craft of illustration, and that's comfortable using retro techniques. Because after all, what else makes sense for bringing to life the gold and scarlet ornamentation in ancient manuscripts?
  6. From the opening moments, the one thing clear about It Follows is that it will not follow in everyone else's footsteps.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    The movie finds its warmest and its best comedic moments exploring the dynamic between this unlikely trio: the shy, uncertain kid; the sex-obsessed cad who couldn't care at all about him; and the uncle who's trying to care but has no idea how to connect with him.
  7. What you'll carry away is the film's austere sympathy for the struggles of its benighted characters and its bleak conviction that justice and resolution mostly happen in movies.
  8. The hipster moment may have faded fast through repression and attrition, but in Todorovsky's reading, it was crucially formative on today's Russian youth.
  9. Like "The Big Sleep," Micmacs tells a tangled story that may be just too much for some viewers. But the film moves nimbly, has an exuberant sense of style and is leavened by comic asides, many of them strictly visual. (The movie would be plenty of fun even without the subtitles.)
  10. Ai is a great movie subject for many reasons, but one is that he understands the power of appearing larger than life on the silver screen.
  11. Messengers with the worst possible message, they nonetheless manage to be human and alive, humorous and lively. In a film that itself bears such sad tidings about the costs of war, that is an affirming, even an inspiring, gift.
  12. Nathan's film gets at a difficult and sobering fact: Pug's world is one that often rewards only hard detachment and distrust. That's a cultural tradition perhaps even more entrenched than the dirt bikes, and one from which it's more difficult to find release.
  13. The film has some fairly grisly violence, but also considerable humor and the sort of intricate, thought-through storytelling you'd expect from Hitchcock or the Coen brothers.
  14. Though these two really grow on you, what's almost more remarkable than Nick, Norah or their playlist (which may not be infinite, but really does include some great music) is the quirky, melting-pot world director Peter Sollett creates around them.
  15. The climax Shortland offers us is much harder to take than Seiffert's gentler vision, yet far more evocative of the bitter price paid by the children of the Third Reich for the sins of their parents.
  16. The wonder of Black's performance here is its empathy and balance: inasmuch as he can disappear into any role, he dissolves into this one with no hint of mocking remove. It's a beautiful thing to see.
  17. McConaughey's flirty drawl and rowdy energy have never been put to better dramatic use than they are in Dallas Buyers Club.
  18. 12
    The title is shorter, but that's the only thing remotely diminished about 12, Nikita Mikhalkov's exuberantly Russian reworking of Reginald Rose's 1950s jury-room play, "12 Angry Men."
  19. This hugely entertaining movie is about the wisdom and - with trenchant wit and sympathy - the human flaws in one of America's most idealized heads of state.
  20. Most of the dialogue is invented, but the sweep of events is genuine.
  21. The film's greatest accomplishment is its ability to change tone at least three times without losing the audience.
  22. The beguiling Computer Chess is about the dawn — one of many, but that's another story — of the tech revolution. It's also a reminder that you don't need state-of-the-art toys to make a formally playful comedy about man versus machine.
  23. Crialese is a sentimentalist at heart, but a fine one, and his compassion for the wretched of the earth is thrillingly amped by the movie's ecstatic imagery.
  24. If the movie's mix of nihilistic violence and snarky attitude suggests "In Bruges," it's a family resemblance. The writer-director of that film, which also starred Gleeson, is Martin McDonagh, the younger brother of this one's. Despite the similarities, the older McDonagh has a lighter touch. Where "In Bruges" ultimately became a mechanical bloodbath, The Guard scampers quickly through the action scenes, delivering commentary on genre conventions as it goes.
  25. The Turin Horse is an absolute vision, masterly and enveloping in a way that less personal, more conventional movies are not. The film doesn't seduce; it commands.
  26. The star of the film is a matter-of-fact, highly perceptive Indian woman, Soma Mukhopadhyay, whose autistic adult son is now a published author.
  27. The elephant in the room of any discussion of Poland and the Jews is that country's less-than-glorious record of betrayal and collaboration with the Nazis. Holland, who is half-Jewish and whose mother was active in the Polish Resistance, doesn't shrink from that legacy.
  28. Sergio Leone learns to speak Korean in The Good, the Bad, the Weird, an exuberant tale of greed, vengeance and, well, weirdness.
  29. The picture's real achievement though, is the warmth it brings to the music that animates the lives of these Afro-Cuban characters.

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