NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,016 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 Social Network
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,016 movie reviews
  1. Good Hair isn't selling anything but a good time.
  2. On balance, though, Turning Green is more fresh than stale. Gallery holds his own impressively with the better-known supporting players, and the script -- a Project Greenlight runner-up -- is solidly constructed.
  3. Photographed with bare-bones simplicity by longtime Herzog collaborator Peter Zeitlinger, My Son presents yet another Herzogian hero who views insanity as the only logical response to an insane world.
  4. Redmayne is hugely persuasive as a redneck geek -- you'd never guess he's a Brit with credits in classical theater.
  5. Admirably turns a potentially one-note joke into a consistently funny package.
  6. The semi-autobiographical, microbudgeted Breaking Upwards is indeed precious. But it's also smart, witty and less self-absorbed than you might reasonably expect.
  7. Don McKay is a curious hybrid of warring tones that occasionally make peace. When they do, it's quite magical.
  8. A tight, anxious little film that plays like a call to arms for senior citizens, Harry Brown could be "Gran Torino" reimagined as a subdued episode of "Prime Suspect."
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Of course, there's no need to overthink it: If you just want to watch a baby respond to the arrival of a rooster in his bed with perfect comic timing, Babies is the movie to see.
  9. Quietly, the film makes the case that "enhanced interrogation techniques" were no enhancement. Interviewing jihadis "by the book," one interrogator testifies, yielded better information than violence and deprivation.
  10. It would be charitable to say Lost In Rio picks up right where "Cairo, Nest Of Spies" left off; in reality all it does is rinse and repeat. Hazanavicius does, however, get the most out of the new backdrop.
  11. 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.
  12. The filmmakers tried to get him to tell his side of the story, but he's unwilling to appear on camera. Which leaves them in documentary limbo, since they've gone to great lengths to raise questions in the audience's mind about the case. The answers they've found are questions, their conclusion, inconclusive.
  13. Cairo Time is the kind of quietly romantic chamber piece one wants to speak up for, in part to support the small but growing band of Arab women making their mark on national cinemas both East and West.
  14. The movie ends powerfully, with a sudden pileup of fright, death and a disconcerting glimpse of beauty. If Lebanon's goal is to keep the viewer on edge and off balance, its final minutes are exemplary.
  15. 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.
  16. A fine overview, with enough new material to please Gould buffs. But the film fails to demonstrate that conventional biography is the best path to its subject's inner life.
  17. Confrontational and hyperactive, Enter the Void is a difficult film to experience. That's not because Noe is somehow inept. The Argentina-born French writer-director knows exactly what he's doing and what effect his swirling camera, exuberant colors and strobelike effects will have.
  18. So it's no surprise that this stately but inert biopic wakes up only when von Bingen becomes less of a singing-nun superstar and more of a human unglued by her own flaws.
  19. Back in Canada, Dallaire tells a psychiatrist that he remembers Rwanda in flashbacks that are "not like memories at all." Shake Hands with the Devil captures something of that sensation; it's a depiction of events that are too painful to remember, too essential to forget.
  20. A creaky, sometimes forced drama that burrows under your skin if you let it, Welcome to the Rileys lurches along like Lois' car as she tries to exit her garage for the first time in years.
  21. He's hardly a cuddly figure, but neither does he come across as an intimidating presence. After all, it's hard to think of anyone in cantankerous terms after they've just lovingly described the history of the beloved old hand-knitted stuffed animal that is their oldest possession.
  22. 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.
  23. The movie evokes its time and place so potently that it almost doesn't matter that Hamilton's script proves unequal to her vision.
  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. Even by my super-wimp standards, Aron's exit is surprisingly coy, coming from a filmmaker who gets his kicks from goosing the hell out of his audiences.
  26. The film, while unfailingly entertaining, feels a little small for its subject.
  27. Kawasaki's Rose is the first Czech or Slovak film to address the issue of collaboration with the former Czechoslovakia's bygone secret police. That history must still be raw for some who survived the era, as it is in "The Lives of Others."
  28. To devotees of Al Gore's prophecy of a soon-to-be-parboiled Earth, "Skeptical Environmentalist" author Bjorn Lomborg is the devil. So what does an ecologically incorrect demon look like? Like an aging Danish surfer dude, it turns out.
  29. Their friendship in Due Date is hard-won, and the audience is right there with them.

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