NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,025 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 The King's Speech
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,025 movie reviews
  1. The clinical style doesn't play to the director's strengths. A Dangerous Method didn't have to be another "Naked Lunch," but Freud plus Jung plus Cronenburg should have equaled something a little more dissonant and troubling.
  2. Leigh, a novelist making her cinematic debut here, directs with a cold and distancing eye. Sleeping Beauty has the deliberate grace of Kubrick, and while comparisons to the sex parties of "Eyes Wide Shut" are inevitable, Leigh's approach is even more sexless and sterile than the master's.
  3. 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.
  4. Klapisch is a master of the half-biting, half-soothing farce, and he usually keeps the divergent tones in harmony.
  5. DeNoble aside, Addiction Incorporated finds most of its heroes in Congress, the White House and federal agencies.
  6. The stories are horrific, if laced with Tarantino-style humor.
  7. West's throwback style and disdain for excess allows his characters to shine.
  8. There's not a lot that's new about the terrors he faces - the director uses time-honored techniques to keep you on edge, every one of which graced Hammer films of yore. But happily for the picture, there's a reason they're time-honored. And keep you on edge, they definitely do.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Perfect Sense shines best outside of the bedroom, in sequences that show the human race adjusting to tragedy after tragedy.
  9. A veteran film editor making her first feature, Israel emphasizes the area's low-key beauty.
  10. The Salt of Life is easygoing and naturalistic, but clearly a work of imagination.
  11. 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The devil-may-care attitude is what makes 21 Jump Street so entertaining.
  12. Scott has made an art - or at least a career - out of playing the affable dimwit. And with Goon, a salty Canadian comedy about the rise of a minor league hockey enforcer, Scott finally has his Hamlet, a role that calls for every blank, uncomprehending look in his toolbox while accessing the cuddly puppy within.
  13. There's an undeniable sweetness here, evident in the vulnerability that peeks through Alma's disaffected facade, and in the unconventional grand romantic gesture that turns the film's climax into a playfully dirty spin on "Say Anything's" boombox scene.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The performance that lingers after the film like a fizzy champagne buzz is Hammer's. He remains at all times deeply and persuasively sexy, but he also commits utterly to sequences that require a level of silliness that not all traditionally gorgeous young actors can give themselves over to so completely.
  14. Just as Ulysses illustrates the reflective nature of his journey by constantly turning back the hands of the house's clocks, each film of Maddin's is a reset button for the past. The director operates like a ghost himself, going back over his personal history and the history of cinema in an endless loop until he gets them right.
  15. Yet Elles has contemporary pertinence. As the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair showed, feminism hasn't significantly mellowed France's macho culture. And sexual predation on young women from Eastern Europe remains a timely topic.
  16. It's a sweet-tempered folly in which all's well that ends well.
  17. 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.
  18. Sonnenfeld's best movies function like elaborate Rube Goldberg contraptions, with visual gags popping out on a precise calibration of gears and springs, and Cohen's script, however derivative, is a stable apparatus.
  19. The movie falls somewhere between the austere and the playful.
  20. Hara-Kiri is formal, deliberate, leisurely almost to a fault. It features the sort of slow-gliding camera movements favored by Kenji Mizoguchi, one of the greatest 20th century Japanese filmmakers - and the one least like Miike.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It's a highly imperfect movie - many of the gags are strained, a bit too pleased with their own finger-on-the-pulse zinginess - but it still represents a breakthrough of sorts, a way of looking at marriage that resists portraying a "failed" marriage as a failure.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The characters in Bachelorette are most human when they're behaving badly. They break the spell when they turn into women we can merely relate to.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Satisfies as a standalone experience.
  21. 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The picture is frustrating not because it's bad, but because of how almost-good it is.
  22. Sister offers several reasons why the boy can't or won't return to ski-resort robbery next winter. But the movie also quietly suggests that, whatever he does, Simon will always be the boy from down below, boldly impersonating someone born to the heights.
  23. 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.

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