NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,028 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 4.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Mr. Turner
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,028 movie reviews
  1. Machete works because at no time does it ever ask the audience to take any of this too seriously, yet the nudges and winks are never so forceful that it feels like it's begging for your laughter.
  2. Ultimately, Winocour does stage an instance of what could be called love. It's unconvincing narratively, alas, and an odd disruption of the tone in a film that is otherwise bracingly clinical.
  3. Though cinematographer Flavio Labiano turns the city into an alien maze of steel and glass, his chilling work is undercut by a script with more logical craters than Martin's.
  4. A veteran film editor making her first feature, Israel emphasizes the area's low-key beauty.
  5. The movie is a sharply observed if formally bloated addition to the canon of visceral tales from the Baltimore city - if "tale" is the right word for a movie that puts so much energy into the avoidance of plot.
  6. Tabloid spins a heck of a yarn, while implicitly warning viewers not to be so entertained that they believe every gamy detail.
  7. The film's bluntness doesn't diminish the power of the nature-versus-nurture questions Eva's asking herself. Or of Swinton's harrowing portrait of parental guilt.
  8. This is a special Jersey Boys universe crafted specifically for fans — among whom you can pretty clearly count Clint Eastwood.
  9. Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin isn't exactly known for slapstick, so Soul Kitchen has the feel of a palate cleanser. After the hard-edged drama of "Head-On" and "The Edge of Heaven," this boisterous comedy milling with scruffy misfits goes down more easily than an oyster on the half shell.
  10. Klapisch is a master of the half-biting, half-soothing farce, and he usually keeps the divergent tones in harmony.
  11. Knuckleball! looks and feels like a standard ESPN documentary, slickly packaged and a little bloodless, and Stern and Sundberg lean a little heavily on music to goose up the excitement.
  12. Would be more satisfying if it were a more definitive look at Guantanamo's workings. All Cote and Henriquez can provide is some glimmers of insight about just one of the men held there. But that's enough to make their movie enlightening, compelling and, finally, heartbreaking.
  13. The Salt of Life is easygoing and naturalistic, but clearly a work of imagination.
  14. Quietly astonishing documentary.
  15. Kaboom's one-liners are snappy, knowing, and unexpected.
  16. The Big Picture has been compared to "The Talented Mr. Ripley," the twice-filmed Patricia Highsmith novel about a sociopath who kills and then impersonates a rich acquaintance. But in spirit it's closer to Michelangelo Antonioni's 1975 "The Passenger," with Jack Nicholson as an existential adventurer who poses as a dead stranger.
  17. The filmmakers wanted to broaden the formula a little, make it more inclusive, do something a little adventurous. Kinda like Earth to Echo's tween heroes.
  18. Good demonstrates the surprising power of character flaws in drama. How else to explain that the portrayal of a good man who does nothing in Good should prove more dramatically compelling than the stories in "Valkyrie" and "Defiance" of good men who did good?
  19. Not even the presence of a goth-chick hotel clerk could turn Nobody Else But You into "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." The movie may teeter on the edge of Switzerland, but its playful sensibility is entirely French.
  20. The lack of chemistry between Hemsworth and Portman, plain enough in the first Thor movie, is still a problem here, but at least they've largely ditched the starry-eyed schoolgirl routine.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    There's something overtly mechanical about McDonagh's approach that keeps it all from being as outrageously fun as it's pretending to be.
  21. If Gibney was looking for contrition, though, he didn't find it. Armstrong is candid about his doping and his legendary belligerence with the press. But he's confessing, not apologizing. And that "maybe not," mumbled to Oprah, is about as equivocal as he gets — on or off camera.
  22. Redmayne is hugely persuasive as a redneck geek -- you'd never guess he's a Brit with credits in classical theater.
  23. Eisenberg lets us see Sam's growing distress, and also the fortitude with which he faces down his fears -- few young actors are as adept at simultaneously conveying panic and bravado.
  24. Deathly Hallows I actually manages to be involving and kind of artful about the boredom and loneliness of heroism, while sounding a long throbbing drumroll for next summer's grand finale.
  25. Me, I wanted to know what these two remarkable young women will obsess about once the whole world has stopped watching, whether they will always be together — and what it would really feel like to be one of their much less famous siblings. We'll probably never know, except in someone else's future fiction feature.
  26. Bhutto is smart and thorough on the inflamed history of Pakistan. But as a portrait of the first woman elected head of state in an Islamic nation, it comes closer to hero-worship than to considered biography.
  27. The movie's first word is oishi, Japanese for "delicious," and what follows is a treat for sushi veterans. First-timers, however, may wish for a little more context.
  28. Effective scares, respectful nods to its inspiration and a few new twists make the question of whether this new Evil Dead succeeds in matching its inspiration superfluous. This is one remake that succeeds on its own blood-soaked terms.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If it aims to be an inside story of life in Georgia, a kind of people's history of Georgian youth, this documentary sometimes feels like scattershot vox-pop journalism. Its individual threads resonate strongly, but the larger pattern never comes together; the social tapestry meant to be on display seems, to the end, to have holes in it.

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