NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,021 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 4.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The Past
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,021 movie reviews
  1. The film plays by genre rules - explicit gore included - even as it turns them on their severed head.
  2. Stylistically unremarkable, playing it safe with structure, the film is still quietly revelatory.
  3. Cloud 9 is most moving when it steps quietly into the gap between physical decline and the persistence, at full blast, of unfulfilled longing and desire.
  4. Probably the most artful of the Apatow Factory comedies so far, but that's not to suggest it doesn't take being sweetly dumb just as seriously as the rest.
  5. For Soldini, even bleakness has a poetic side, and his imagery is occasionally breathtaking here -- never more so than in the film's final tableau, which elegantly connects a Renaissance fresco Elsa had been working on before the couple's fall from grace with a strikingly similar real-life image suggesting the possibility of a renaissance in their marriage.
  6. It's a more mature magic than in previous Potter movies.
  7. A bit abrupt about its mood-changing revelations and a bit sketchy about its put-out-to-pasture characters. But it's a warmly engaging romp nonetheless.
  8. Director Sam Mendes makes '50s suburbia a persuasively suffocating place — he did the same for '90s suburbia in "American Beauty," remember.
  9. Unlike say, "Monsters Vs. Aliens," which would have been nothing at all without its special-effects spectacle, this is a sweet little comedy, both family-friendly and centered on a nontraditional family, and so suitable for pretty much everyone.
  10. Ends with a big action sequence, turning into Raiders of the Lost Arby's when you wish it would serve up something less conventional. But by that time, the filmmakers have also served up a little food for thought, along with a lot of laughs.
  11. The moments when the guitarists teach the others their best-known riffs are fascinating.
  12. Watching Lorna's attempt to balance self-interest and empathy can be heartbreaking. If Lorna's Silence as a whole doesn't rank among the Dardennes's best, it does follow the money to moments and characters that are unforgettable.
  13. Though most will visit R.J. Cutler's subtle, supple documentary hoping to peek beneath the formidable bangs of Vogue editor Anna Wintour, they will be disappointed: This is a movie whose ambitions range wider than the contents of her guarded psyche.
  14. This was an era when international travel was not yet common, and in 16mm home movies from the trip, you can see the excitement as 1940s cities burst into gaudy state welcomes for the creator of El Raton Mickey.
  15. By and large, the tone is gentle, the music French, and the food shot so delectably that you can all but smell the freshly baked bread.
  16. Freeman's Mandela, however, is pretty marvelous -- so persuasive in gesture, in bearing, in that signature mix of gravitas and twinkle, even in accent -- that when a shot of the real Mandela appears over the final credits, it's momentarily jarring to realize you've been watching an impersonation.
  17. Police, Adjective has considerable power, and the issues it raises linger in the mind.
  18. If Marshall is an unrepentant Tory on some issues -- Valentine's Day stumps for teen abstinence and marrying your best friend, and warns that career women may end up alone -- he is open-hearted and generously conciliatory on gay rights, and he implies quite casually that multi-culti coupling may be the surest way to dispose of racism.
  19. Lisbeth, pierced, tattooed and played by Rapace with a sometimes uncontrolled ferocity, qualifies as both a victim of male violence and a violent avenger of it. This makes her a lot more compelling than her comparatively passive partner -- something that Hollywood will doubtless find it necessary to "remedy" when Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is remade in English.
  20. The movie's principal liability is that most of the music is highly derivative. Ghobadi spends a lot of time on songs that are more interesting sociologically than musically.
  21. Perrin and Cluzaud mainly emphasize the sea's beauty and power as its best argument, finding exquisite choreography between those florid stretches of narration.
  22. Celebrity's tough to let go of, apparently, even when you know it's undeserved. Best Worst Movie doesn't plumb that thought very deeply. It doesn't do anything very deeply, really -- it's content to skate across the surface of the so-bad-it's-good phenomenon that gave it birth. The filmmakers are too close perhaps; probably don't want to kill the troll that laid the golden egg.
  23. The visual jokes -- one standout is an army of ogres condemned by the Pied Piper to perpetual line-dancing -- are pretty irresistible.
  24. A splendidly plotted if thematically unsurprising comedy. The pleasure comes not from fresh insights, but from a droll script and expertly timed performances.
  25. Jaoui's insights into the human struggle to find meaningful ways to live may not be especially profound, but she brings a warm particularity and a tough but tender compassion to her studies of congenital human discontent and the crazy, often self-defeating ways in which we strive to complete ourselves. If that's bourgeois, we might all plead guilty.
  26. An evocative overview of anti-gay hysteria in the 1960s, a period when homosexuality was illegal in every state except Illinois.
  27. Engaging enough as polemics go, but unlikely to change many minds.
  28. Makes fascinating viewing despite its clumsy bombast.
  29. Yet Patrik, Age 1.5 does go further than "The Kids Are All Right" in its willingness to test the limits of mainstream tolerance for emerging family forms.
  30. Likable as this full-hearted and uplifting movie is, though, I wish that Beresford had not fallen into the familiar trap of dividing Chinese characters into two roles: brutal, ideology-spouting apparatchiki; or parable-spouting, salt-of-the-earth proletarians, the better to show off by contrast the open society of the West.

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