NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,060 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 4.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 The Past
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1060 movie reviews
  1. Unmade in China is nominally about filmmaking, but what Kofman and Barklow do well is to use their unusual position within the Chinese state machine to make a thinly veiled movie about politics.
  2. Disconnect is naturally gripping. Using unforgiving closeups, Rubin pokes into unexpected corners— not least the different ways in which men and women respond to calamity — and never forces his story's social-media scares to improbable heights.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Trance really belongs to Dawson and Cassel. When Dawson's Elizabeth steps onto the scene, you may be instantly convinced — without the aid of hypnosis, even — that she's surely the most effective hypnotist on the planet.
  3. Using de Chabannes as the film's conscience and moral fulcrum, Tavernier - just as he did in his 1996 film "Captain Conan" - exposes the shame of a meaningless war and the psychological damage borne by those fighting it.
  4. After sitting at his elbow that day, I can tell you how he manages the tricks I saw really close-up. Not mysterious at all: It's magic, pure and simple.
  5. With most of its voices hailing from Broadway, it's a good bet the composers have one eye fixed on a future stage incarnation; makes sense, then, that there'd be references to a couple of Disney's Broadway hits. The opening number sounds a lot like "The Lion King"; then there's a "Beauty and the Beast"-style tour of the town.
  6. At its best, The Punk Singer tells the story of one pivotal life in a whole movement. Both Anderson and Hanna are at pains to avoid giving the impression that one singer carried the movement single-handedly.
  7. Epstein and Friedman's doc-like approach also results in a certain dramatic stasis; Howl is a film aimed more for the head than the gut.
  8. 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.
  9. Edwards is a wizard with his laptop's effects program. The squiddy things he conjures up look like the real deal - thoroughly creepy and a gazillion feet tall. Too bad his screenwriting software didn't have an equivalently impressive plot-twisting algorithm to get him to the final fade.
  10. Like many neglected offspring, Gregory comes across as an eternal child himself, hooked on his capacity to enchant but rarely able to listen to anyone other than the actors over whom he has such power.
  11. Illness, death, bad fathers and bad marriages, suppressed old loves — there's nothing new here, yet we are held by the way ordinary suffering has hardened into an emotional prison for three old friends.
  12. Berg is relentlessly unsparing.
  13. Leaving this improbably feel-good movie, you'll wish Robbie all the luck in the world, and the mentors to go with it.
  14. 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.
  15. Nair likes to have fun even when her material is somber, and for this movie she deploys a rich palette and a multi-culti but mostly kitsch-free score that fuses old and new with a lovely Sufi devotional piece, and is peppered with Pakistani pop.
  16. Sentimental? Certainly, but in a part of the world where hope and optimism haven't shown their faces in a long time, it's hard not to feel carried along by the generously conciliatory spirit that warms The Other Son, as it did "The Band's Visit." Movies have rarely been known to change the world, but you never know.
  17. The resulting documentary, Finding Vivian Maier, might better have been titled Constructing Vivian Maier — not because the filmmakers came up empty-handed, but because what they found out sheds too neat and tidy a light on her unsparing, yet warmly sympathetic portraits of the denizens of Chicago's seamy underside.
  18. The cast is more than game. DeWitt's Abby is earnest and searching and a little bit nuts, but we're never encouraged to see her as dumb, credulous or pathetic.
  19. A film in which everyone is lusting after the wrong person, and consummating those desires tends to lead to awkward - but not funny, unlike Dunham's usual projects - disasters of various scales.
  20. Cross may not earn the broad recognition he deserves for his performance in It's a Disaster, a droll apocalypse comedy of exceedingly modest scale and even more modest commercial appeal. But it's still a master class in how to play the straight man right.
  21. There's no denying its status as a rousing and thoroughly enjoyable Old Hollywood-style adventure.
  22. The banter has zip, the effects are fun, the climactic battle is decently spectacular, and if the 3-D is mostly expendable, there are a few scenes where it adds a nice kick.
  23. A splendidly plotted if thematically unsurprising comedy. The pleasure comes not from fresh insights, but from a droll script and expertly timed performances.
  24. The Secret World of Arrietty may be too gentle and meditative to be the studio's breakout hit in this country, but it's another sweet advance, and further evidence that the Ghibli secret must soon out.
  25. Looper, a cocky sci-fi tale with more brass than substance, is rife with these "Say what?" moments.
  26. What sets Dupieux's film apart is its unexpected secondary dimension: an absurdist meta-commentary on cinema itself that hilariously articulates the notion that the movies stop existing the moment we stop watching, like the sound of an unobserved tree falling in the forest.
  27. 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.
  28. This film exists purely to dazzle and thrill, and by that measure, it delivers expertly, never lagging despite a lengthy 133-minute running time.
  29. An evocative overview of anti-gay hysteria in the 1960s, a period when homosexuality was illegal in every state except Illinois.

Top Trailers