NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,034 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 12 Years a Slave
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,034 movie reviews
  1. The East makes for a passable thriller, as 1 percenters get theirs in satisfying, if incrementally implausible ways.
  2. 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.
  3. It all contributes to making the story breathless and nerve-jangling.
  4. 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.
  5. Shot entirely in Hackney — a mostly ungentrified London borough — My Brother the Devil has a strong odor of authenticity.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. You can't accuse the new Brighton Rock of being untrue to the book - it actually reinstates the novel's climax, placing violent events back atop a cliff as Greene had originally, rather than on the Brighton Pier, as he had in his screenplay.
  9. By the end of Gone Girl, the social issues that animate the film's beginning — job loss in an economic downturn, differences in wealth and class, media manipulation — have receded, and things have gotten so plot-driven and pulpy, there's nothing to challenge the director or make him stretch. In the film's final stages he seems to be relying entirely on craft — but, boy, is it effective craft.
  10. The rhythms are gentle, the smiles plentiful, the chuckles frequent, with the overall effect about as pleasantly innocuous as the film's hero.
  11. Their friendship in Due Date is hard-won, and the audience is right there with them.
  12. A good-hearted, perfectly watchable bonbon.
  13. His sorry tale is worth re-telling, if only to piece together the connective tissue between government, big business and, to a lesser degree, the media institutions that propped up what most insiders knew or suspected was a massive fraud for years before Madoff got his comeuppance.
  14. Good Hair isn't selling anything but a good time.
  15. With its whispery conversations, sepulchral atmosphere and soothing play of light and shadow, Cave of Forgotten Dreams is probably best enjoyed in a chemically enhanced state of mind.
  16. There's not a lot of gore - or even suspense - in Warm Bodies, and the script plays fast and loose with the zombie rules invented by "Night of the Living Dead" creator George Romero. But director Jonathan Levine's area of expertise is confused-young-men comedies like "The Wackness" and "50/50," so he really gets this hero's predicament.
  17. Posey dominates Price Check, mostly for the better: Whatever observations Walker's film makes about the perils of ambition or women in the workplace register entirely through her. She's simply funnier and more interesting than anyone else, and Walker has written her a complex character whose immediate wants are clearer than her long-term ones.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The picture is frustrating not because it's bad, but because of how almost-good it is.
  18. Those who don't savor Cohen's leisurely rhythms will probably not respond to Museum Hours, and even the movie's admirers will admit that it could be a little tighter. One scene that might be trimmed is the one where museum-goers pose, naked as the people on the canvases around them. The interlude certainly isn't dull, but it is a little brazen for a film that encourages its viewers to find the beauty in more commonplace sights.
  19. Everybody loves a do-over, but this could become tedious were it not for the undeniable chemistry of the two leads, whose dialogue crackles like cellophane.
  20. 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.
  21. Grohl's jovial presence is the hook; playing interviewer and emcee as well as director, he's the catchy bit you welcome every time it returns. The star-studded interview list provides much of the personality and attitude, as does a fantastically tense behind-the-scenes video of Petty and his band laboring long hours to craft their breakthrough record.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The devil-may-care attitude is what makes 21 Jump Street so entertaining.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 68 Critic Score
    Date Night isn't great; it's not really going for "great." But it's a well-executed comedy with a warm but not cloying center.
  22. The film on the whole feels unusually labored and conventional by Tarantino standards. Reducing World War II to juvenilia isn't the problem; the problem is that juvenilia needs to pop.
  23. Bandslam works best when it's focused on young, adorably neurotic creative types putting on a show.
  24. What comes through is the freshness and innocence of a generation's passion for the infant rock 'n' roll.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    The film feels ultimately hollow, perhaps because mocking soap operas is the comic's equivalent of shooting fish tacos in a barrel. In fact, the concept for Casa de mi Padre seems born out of one too many tequila-infused evenings in the Funny or Die writers' room.
  25. Predictable but appealing, Trouble with the Curve is the latest of Clint Eastwood's odes to old-fashioned attitudes and virtues.

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