NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,066 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 61% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 36% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 A Separation
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1066 movie reviews
  1. The plot doesn't quite sink Baywatch, but it sure slows it down.
  2. Tomorrowland is designed, just like its theme park namesake, to celebrate optimism.
  3. It's not a political satire, or even satire of tabloid journalism. It's just another "bromance," with jokes so bad (they are) "freshmanic."
  4. 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.
  5. Shot in New Mexico on a limited budget, Boys of Abu Ghraib is a credible depiction of the tedium, frustration and humiliation of wartime service. (Jack gets coated in human excrement not once but twice.) Naturalistic scenes of boxing, bantering and masturbation, set to a rap and hard-rock score, emphasize that these boys are young American everymen.
  6. 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.
  7. If you're only going to see one film about the Battle of Stalingrad — and there are many — Stalingrad would be the wrong choice. Russian director Fedor Bondarchuk's treatment of the World War II turning point is shallow and contrived, if sometimes impressively staged.
  8. It's Liam Neeson at his Neesoniest, and yet another entry in his expanding late-career bloom into gruff and commanding action hero.
  9. 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Zombies are a versatile source for metaphor, whether they represent a deadened consumerist society, a victimized minority or a worldwide medical disaster. In The Returned, they serve best as an unseen peril, one that's growing inside Alex and threatening to undo his and Kate's enviable existence.
  10. It's well made, polished, and hits every mark — but is it crazy to want a futuristic sci-fi action flick about a motorcycle-riding metal supercop to be just a little more fun?
  11. If Nenette as a character is more a narrative convenience than a depiction of an actual condition, her permanent childhood does provide the 63-year-old Balasko with an exuberant, unpredictable role. That she continues to make work for herself as both an actress and a director is a good thing, but it would be better if she found a more ambitious writer.
  12. There's lots of information, some nice images, plenty of earnest sermonizing about culture and almost no suspense, or tension, or character development, or structure. Or, well, art.
  13. The effect eventually becomes that of about a dozen story pitches all strung together. Any one of them might have the potential for greatness in isolation. Try to mash them up into one movie, though, and much like Jack, they fall to pieces.
  14. Labor Day may be filled with autumn's falling leaves, but it makes sense that they're bringing it out as a prelude to spring, for the sap — and I do mean sap — is rising.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Given the feel-good themes of the average kids' movie — be yourself, follow the golden rule, love each other, blah blah blah — it's refreshing to see an animated comedy chuck that guck and focus on a real jerk.
  15. The entertainment value of the violence trumps most of the larger meaning, and the film exploits its characters just as they do their prisoners.
  16. Despite some very welcome black comedy — Jimmi Simpson appears delightfully, but too briefly, as a passive-aggressive co-worker who threatens to unravel the cocoon of delusion in which Emanuel has wrapped herself — the movie, trapped in the weeds of self-pity and skin-deep badassery, never quite earns the sympathy it so strenuously solicits.
  17. Like most of LaBute's work, Some Velvet Morning ends as it begins, more clever than wise.
  18. This all essentially serves to distract from the fact that all that really happens in the film is that the company manages to eventually reach the mountain.
  19. Cooper does slow the action and set it in the least glamorous of circumstances, which drains the pleasure from the thriller conventions. But just because Out of the Furnace isn't much fun doesn't make it profound.
  20. The film was shot entirely in South Africa, and revels in golden light on dry yellow grasslands. But it's still a very British movie, a respectful view from a suitable distance.
  21. Set to Jeremy Turner's spare and mournful score, Narco Cultura is ultimately more pensive than lurid.
  22. The documentary is at its best when it eases up on the adoration a little and turns to a serious discussion of the state of comics these days, what with newspapers on the decline and digital media scattering an art form that was once centralized on pages delivered to everyone's door.
  23. German history and culture are among Sokurov's concerns in this visually compelling, intellectually scattershot movie.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 55 Critic Score
    There are few enough directors with either Sayles' independent streak or his ability to parse the U.S.'s social and political divisions. In the best cases, the combination of the two makes his films vital. Go For Sisters, unfortunately, isn't the best case, even for itself.
  24. Basically the anti-"Kill Bill." Both movies are quilted together from their auteurs' favorite Asian action flicks, but where Tarantino's was overheated, Reeves' is elegantly iced.
  25. It may seem odd for a teen-focused action movie to feel so glum, but that's actually something that the director gets right, even if it threatens to make this a dull affair: Ender's Game is a dark story of a children's crusade built on the crushed psyches of damaged youths, and too much uplift would undermine it.
  26. If The Counselor is a failure, it's at least a fascinating one. Much of the reason for that is time spent in the theater examining why the film isn't working.
  27. Rickman is too theatrical, and too British, to vanish entirely into the person of Hilly Kristal. But he's entertaining to watch, and ultimately one of the more persuasive actors in a movie that suffers from as many odd casting decisions as Lee Daniels' The Butler.

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