NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,000 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 59% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 38% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.5 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:
1,000 movie reviews
  1. Director Larry Charles has made Bruno a tighter, better-looking film than "Borat," which is not necessarily a good thing on those occasions when you suspect it of scripting rather than just observing.
  2. Delightfully, Kinshasa's streets are alive with music, and snippets of sidewalk performances are integrated into the movie. The musicians are unidentified, alas, but then after 35 years, the filmmakers probably don't know who they are.
  3. In fact, given its subject matter, Creation should arguably be bolder and more shocking if it wants to survive among the fittest at the multiplex. Audiences with so many flashier pictures available may not regard a straightforward period biopic as a natural selection.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    You don't have to be a fan of Sex and the City to appreciate the kitsch humor here. Part TV-series sequel, part Hollywood sendup, SATC 2 is all satire. It's hard to miss that this film is making gentle fun of itself, of the franchise's materialism, even of its own cinematic allusions.
  4. When it comes to family togetherness, love and quality time are thicker than blood, water or just about any other social glue you can think of. That's the admirable if hardly news-breaking message of Rodrigo Garcia's domestic drama Mother and Child, whose official thread is the impact of adoption on three different women.
  5. The best scenes in Solitary Man find Douglas at his most charming, dispensing nuggets of wisdom to whomever will listen. His may not be an altogether honorable life, but it's a life in full.
  6. The movie poignantly demonstrates that, 41 years after Stonewall, there are still places in this country where gay people cannot simply be themselves.
  7. Despite the contrived climax, I Am Love has emotional power. The contrast between duty and passion is well-drawn, and Swinton's transition from winter matriarch to springtime lover is compelling, even if the circumstances are implausible.
  8. Slight but engaging, and considerably energized by its two young leads, Daly's Kisses gives several fresh spins to one of Irish cinema's most common recent subjects: troubled working-class children on the lam.
  9. Hardly a laff riot, but then that's been true of Allen's movies for a while. It is, however, briskly cynical about human nature, graciously forgiving about human foibles, and situationally amusing about the spectacles otherwise sane people make of themselves when they trust their fates to the stars.
  10. Ideally, The Taqwacores should be seen with "Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam," a new documentary that provides a better sense of the scene's aims and motivations. Zahra's jumpy feature film captures much of taqwacore's energy, but less of its meaning.
  11. For all its dazzling allure, Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, a feverishly psycho thriller set in the hermetic world of classical ballet, proves a meaningless exercise in Grand Guignol exhibitionism.
  12. It's silly and often laughable, but it's a sweet fantasy, too, produced in loving homage to the frothiest traditions of stage and screen.
  13. An awkward jumble of half-assed thriller and lumbering romantic comedy, less competent by a wide margin than "The Lives of Others." It's also a whole lot sillier, though not in a good way.
  14. When it comes to the emotional state of those being laid off, of their families and even of those doing the laying off, it gets things right enough to make audiences squirm.
  15. Theatrically inclined parents will also appreciate a passing reference to the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Moving Co.
  16. This is the story of two young people whose aspirations are of absolutely no interest to their elders. Zero Bridge is a fitting found title for the movie, but Tapa could also have called it No Exit.
  17. Still, the Farrellys have a distinct touch that carries their dubious premise across. They bring back the toilet humor of yore and make it shocking and funny again.
  18. It's all still pretty silly, though. So it makes sense that the director approaches the story through a period lens, encouraging his cast to behave as if they were in a frothy '70s confection like "Cousin Cousine" or "Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe."
  19. After a few queasy moments at its midpoint, the trajectory of In a Better World becomes so relentlessly platitudinous that an audience that ought to feel seriously rattled will be settling back, feeling comfortably reassured.
  20. Though it has plenty of shocks, the film creates a wasteland that would be compellingly deranged even without vampires pressing insistently at every border. Horror is just the half of it.
  21. There's nothing unexpected in this well-made picture, aside from the name of the director: Takeshi Miike.
  22. Somber and insubstantial, October nevertheless suggests that the Vega brothers are developing a careful, painterly style. Whether they will be able to match it with narrative depth remains to be seen.
  23. A surpassingly silly monster movie with a side helping of satire, Trollhunter beckons mainly for its stunning Norwegian scenery and slyly effective government-bashing.
  24. Perhaps because he's an actor, Rapaport prefers drama to analysis. And this story has plenty of conflict.
  25. Big hair, fine period frocks and interior design lend The Help a pleasingly retro look. Yet for someone who grew up in Mississippi, the director has little sense of place.
  26. Neither innovative nor profound, but it is kinetic, visceral and sometimes moving.
  27. Perhaps the ending worked better in the book, Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog, which sold more than a million copies in France. Certainly this adaptation, Mona Achache's directorial debut, is a very bookish movie.
  28. But it does mean you're always aware that you're watching filmed theater - a scripted pressure-cooker where playability is being allowed to trump plausibility as theoretically cultivated adults morph into savages - going from civility to carnage in 80 minutes flat.
  29. The movie might not be a vengeance-driven wolf-man cage fight, but in subverting those escapist expectations, it sinks its teeth far deeper and more memorably.

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