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 4.4 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. 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.
  2. The movie falls somewhere between the austere and the playful.
  3. That the same performers keep returning in different roles, playing Peruvian and Japanese flyers as well as American ones, only adds to the sense of man as machine. Everything, and everyone, must run like clockwork. Yet no apparatus is foolproof.
  4. The kiddie set can chortle at Megamind's slapstick and its goofy one-upmanship while adults get a kick out of all the smart spatial tricks that highlight the 3-D effects.
  5. A Woman in Berlin doesn't justify retribution, but in such moments it does clarify the horrible logic of vengeance.
  6. The stories are horrific, if laced with Tarantino-style humor.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The Fitzgerald Family Christmas is extremely perceptive about certain angles on life in a big family.
    • 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.
  7. Personally, I'd show up for Maggie Smith's top-drawer basilisk stare if she were guesting on "Sesame Street."
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The film, it should be said, does not blame Tilikum for his actions. It posits instead that, like a disenfranchised youth driven to a life of crime, Tilikum is a product of his upbringing.
  8. It's even harder being the semi-supportive wife, which is what generates most of the electricity in this slight but entertaining documentary.
  9. Lemmy gives the filmmakers enough time and candid access to create a profile of the man that goes deeper than just the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll - even though in Lemmy's case, there's enough of a surplus of all three to power multiple documentaries.
  10. Grant the filmmakers the efficiency of their plotting, even if it reduces characters to types. And credit them with having assembled a cast capable of making the film's craziness and stupidity appealing, even if hitching actors of the caliber of Moore and Gosling (and to a lesser extent Carell and Stone) to material this thin is a little like hitching a Saturn rocket to a go-cart.
  11. Over the nine months the movie chronicles, about half the refugees leave the school building. Many return to the Fukushima area, but none to Futaba, which is still radioactive and officially off-limits.
  12. The movie has made it to theaters not dead on arrival, but walking dead, running dead, and — when it's really working — swarming dead.
  13. Renoir doesn't present a particularly dynamic tale, and its attempts at stage-like drama — notably the sometimes epigrammatic dialogue — can seem overdone. But the performances are assured, the ambiance impeccable and the themes resonant.
  14. Tykwer being something of an architecture freak, controlling Third World debt also requires a trip to the rooftops of Istanbul, to Zaha Hadid's BMW factory, and to Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum in Berlin. All great fun in a story that's more kinetic than compelling.
  15. 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.
  16. 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."
  17. The film rests firmly on the shoulders of its central icon, and Williams, though she doesn't really resemble Monroe in either voice or visage, is pretty splendid at conjuring her.
  18. As family viewing, it's pleasant enough: primitive, yes, but in a digitally sophisticated way that's boisterous, funny and will no doubt sell a lot of toys.
    • 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.
  19. 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.
  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.
  21. The East makes for a passable thriller, as 1 percenters get theirs in satisfying, if incrementally implausible ways.
  22. Yes, The Rocket is a sports movie, with an outcome that's easily foreseen. The cultural specifics of this Laos-set tale, however, are far less predictable.
  23. It all contributes to making the story breathless and nerve-jangling.
  24. 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.
  25. Shot entirely in Hackney — a mostly ungentrified London borough — My Brother the Devil has a strong odor of authenticity.

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