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 A Separation
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,028 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. A highly respectable piece of genre entertainment, one with a little more class than most.
  3. Claude Miller's ravishingly shot drama A Secret gives up its titular mystery early, so it may seem odd to speak of the suspense it generates.
  4. Canner's eye-opening, entertaining account of the search for the little pill that supplies the Big O is looney-tunes enough without the cartoon asides.
  5. Strange and uncompromisingly personal. It's also vivid and unforgettable.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. The semi-autobiographical, microbudgeted Breaking Upwards is indeed precious. But it's also smart, witty and less self-absorbed than you might reasonably expect.
  9. Before settling into such comfortable territory, however, the movie is propulsive and involving. If The Company You Keep is far from radical, it's pretty audacious by the standards of counterrevolutionary Hollywood.
  10. Kore-eda is himself a father now, which may explain why his work has gotten sunnier.
  11. 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.
  12. Inescapable is Nadda's first foray into thriller territory, and her inexperience shows in awkwardly mounted fight scenes and clumsy car chases, not to mention an almost fatally explanatory script.
  13. 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.
  14. This is a world of dinner jackets and evening gowns, casual jaunts to Venice and Morocco; it's about elegance, style, money and perhaps too heady a mix of drink, religion and intrigue.
  15. 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.
  16. It's also a testament to the strength of Claude-Michel Schonberg's music that everything after the show-stopping lament of Fantine's "I Dreamed a Dream" doesn't come across as so much padding.
  17. The Pirogue spends only about an hour on open water, but that's enough to convey the risks that make the trip foolish, and the desperation that makes it inevitable.
  18. Don McKay is a curious hybrid of warring tones that occasionally make peace. When they do, it's quite magical.
  19. 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."
  20. 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.
  21. All of which makes the film Noah psychologically credible — his behavior is very much what you might expect of a man who has just condemned millions of screaming souls to watery graves. And it makes the film unpredictably suspenseful, which is dramatically the most welcome thing you could ask of a biblical epic.
  22. Film Socialisme, his (Godard) latest intellectual assault, includes grating noise, scruffy camera-phone video and subtitles in fractured "Navajo English."
  23. The story is carefully constructed, with moments that seem offhand initially, but are later revealed as crucial.
  24. Credit Kondracki and Kirwan with having endowed their picture with considerable, if blunt, force. Their filmmaking suits the real-life atrocities they're exposing.
  25. It's impossible for all of them to work, but the sheer volume of material, delivered by a cast dedicated to the absolute absurdity of the setups — Fantana's new career as a kitten photographer, Kind's side business running a fast-food chain with a specialty in fried bat, Burgundy nursing and training a live shark while blind and living in a lighthouse — is a kind of comedy carpet-bombing. All it takes is a certain percentage of hits for things to detonate.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It's Pierre Richard, however, who anchors All Together, portraying Albert as stubbornly happy-go-lucky, a man bent on retaining his jovial disposition even as he's frustrated by what he's forgotten.
  26. It's a sweet-tempered folly in which all's well that ends well.
  27. The result is complex yet lighthearted, as diverting as it is meditative. Resnais uses contrapuntal editing — one of his trademarks — as well as artificial settings, special effects, split screens, cinematic references and anachronistic devices to keep viewers tipsily off-balance.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Manages to turn the grimmest of grim subjects into something charming, raunchy and improbably uplifting.
  28. Even with its strong supporting cast, I doubt this small, finely observed movie would have seen the commercial light of day without Carlyle in the lead. Amid the deafening roar of big Oscar-bait pictures, I'm glad it's there.

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