NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,056 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 Boyhood
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1056 movie reviews
  1. Gordon-Levitt keeps things riotous for the film's first hour, and if he eases into an ending that's a little Hollywood-standard, after having so much fun tweaking form and content, I'm guessing audiences will cut him some slack.
  2. If the sum of Enough Said is less than its parts — and really, the midlife challenges here are pretty small potatoes — the movie does have some lovely grace notes that add up to an astute observation of the symbiosis of single mothers and their daughters.
  3. Oddly though, the most shocking thing about the film is that it often prompts laughs.
  4. It's a more mature magic than in previous Potter movies.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Perrin and Cluzaud mainly emphasize the sea's beauty and power as its best argument, finding exquisite choreography between those florid stretches of narration.
  9. There's heroism and an escape of sorts in Out in the Dark — but in Mayer's despairing vision, there are no winners.
  10. Director Sam Mendes makes '50s suburbia a persuasively suffocating place — he did the same for '90s suburbia in "American Beauty," remember.
  11. The Beaver is at its core a classically Oedipal tale. While one son angles in all the wrong ways for his abject father's attention, another engages in a heroic struggle with his abusive bully of a dad.
  12. The moments when the guitarists teach the others their best-known riffs are fascinating.
  13. Those pole riders swaying high above the action - hired from Cirque du Soleil, don't you know - there to help make "Fury Road" a gorgeous, scrap metal demolition derby of a popcorn picture.
  14. The lady was - and remains - a pro, still glowin', crowin', goin' strong.
  15. The Hunger Games' pacing is brisk, its stakes as high as stakes get, and its leading lady engaging enough that the odds - at the box office at least - will be ever in its favor.
  16. Wain's brand of humor thrives on stepping over the line - and then sprinting a few hundred yards past it.
  17. Ruby Sparks is far from a landmark in the rickety pantheon of romantic comedy, and under the direction of Dayton and Faris it gnaws a little too hard on its magical-realist trickery. But it's great to see them help an emerging young writing talent like Kazan make her mark by by sweeping away male fantasies of pliant girls and replacing them with a desirable, flesh-and-blood woman.
  18. Engaging enough as polemics go, but unlikely to change many minds.
  19. I went to school in Aberdeen and know the region well. It's a place of unforgiving winds and magnificent sunsets, harsh farmland and deserted beaches. The people are hardy, hardworking and fiercely self-sufficient, asking little of their government except the will to do the right thing. They weren't Trumped; they were betrayed.
  20. 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.
  21. Richly photographed by Rob Hardy (who gave Red Riding: 1974 its almost surreal bleakness), this meticulously researched story (Marston spent a month interviewing families trapped in these vendettas) reveals a culture dominated by male pride and patriarchal selfishness.
  22. Two Lives makes a decent thriller, though it does seem a touch overloaded with grainy flashbacks and plotty flourishes retrieved from Sergei Eisenstein (or perhaps Brian De Palma). Not that these faults matter much: The most ham-fisted filmmaker couldn't ruin the incendiary material on which this tale is built.
  23. Barely a moment goes by without a well-orchestrated joke (or three), and it's paced as briskly as a clipper in front of a stiff tailwind.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Like "Sherrybaby," Sunlight Jr. explores the troubling gap that can open up between a person's aspirations and his or her reality. But Collyer never looks down on her characters; instead, her films have the quality of a good Springsteen song.
  24. Makes fascinating viewing despite its clumsy bombast.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. That she continues to invite not just Beyoncé and Katy Perry but millions of adoring men and women along for the ride is icing on the cake.
  28. As written, Jasmine is a hopeless neurotic, trapped in a perpetual panic. As played, she has a wicked hint of Scarlett O'Hara.
  29. Brimming over with sadism and the occasional touch of kink, Blancanieves piles on the pathology that's the birthright of any fairy tale worth its salt. Yet it's still a tale of lost innocence, and Berger keeps faith with a prototype revered by the Disneys and the Grimms alike: the resilient, enterprising girl who overcomes wave after wave of adversity.

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