NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,032 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 4.4 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:
1,032 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Though it's fun to watch Garcia let out his inner goofball, the jewels in the crown of At Middleton are the dynamic sisters Farmiga.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    There's a compulsion to describe a film with such a slow and unusual pace as poetic - it already has a Netflix blurb calling it "lyrical" - but Bestiaire's best quality is its unpretentiousness.
  4. You'd think the weakest link in Fanboys would be that it's all in-jokes, but they're actually not so "in" that a casual fan won't get them.
  5. Relaxed and goofy in "Dave," "A Fish Called Wanda" and a host of other comedies, Kevin Kline has an endearing way of subverting his own grandee impulses when he's being funny. Give the actor a dramatic role, though, and he comes on all Shakespeare in the Park.
  6. Dragon is partly an homage to "One Armed Swordsman," a 1967 kung fu classic whose star, Jimmy Wang Yu, plays the new movie's arch-villain. But there's much Western influence: Jinxi's plight recalls David Cronenberg's "A History of Violence," and Baijiu's cerebral and flashy style of detection - complete with animated glimpses of victims' innards - suggests Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes series. Dragon is also one of several recent Chinese crime movies that borrow from CSI-style TV dramas.
  7. The film, while unfailingly entertaining, feels a little small for its subject.
  8. 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.
  9. This mashup of genres and themes doesn't entirely succeed, but it is warm, funny and ably crafted.
  10. It's rare these days to see an old-fashioned, elegant chamber-piece movie about life and art - let alone one with Christopher Walken as, of all things, a steadying influence.
  11. Admirably turns a potentially one-note joke into a consistently funny package.
  12. DeNoble aside, Addiction Incorporated finds most of its heroes in Congress, the White House and federal agencies.
  13. 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.
  14. The movie's storytelling can be as old-fashioned as its appearance. Some sequences are quick and messy, but others are grand and theatrical.
  15. 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.
  16. West's throwback style and disdain for excess allows his characters to shine.
  17. 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.
  18. The film portrays Plimpton as someone devoted to illuminating how talent and creativity work — both for himself, and for the rest of us.
  19. The movie evokes its time and place so potently that it almost doesn't matter that Hamilton's script proves unequal to her vision.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Calling it a mess would be both accurate and pointless, because a tidier comedy would squeeze the life out of this vital, generous blob of a film.
  24. 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.
  25. Succeeds as a character study, while gently raising questions about human use and misuse of animals.
  26. There's something pure about the crude pleasures of Hobo with a Shotgun, a pre-fab cult film that aspires to nothing more (or less) than the red-meat feeding of a feral midnight-movie audience.
  27. Ultimately, the bleak universe conjured by Beyond the Hills is more compelling than what happens in it.

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