NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,017 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 4.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The Past
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,017 movie reviews
  1. It's impossible for all of them to work, but the sheer volume of material, delivered by a cast dedicated to the absolute absurdity of the setups — Fantana's new career as a kitten photographer, Kind's side business running a fast-food chain with a specialty in fried bat, Burgundy nursing and training a live shark while blind and living in a lighthouse — is a kind of comedy carpet-bombing. All it takes is a certain percentage of hits for things to detonate.
  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. Kore-eda is himself a father now, which may explain why his work has gotten sunnier.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. All of which makes the film Noah psychologically credible — his behavior is very much what you might expect of a man who has just condemned millions of screaming souls to watery graves. And it makes the film unpredictably suspenseful, which is dramatically the most welcome thing you could ask of a biblical epic.
  7. This is a special Jersey Boys universe crafted specifically for fans — among whom you can pretty clearly count Clint Eastwood.
  8. The filmmakers wanted to broaden the formula a little, make it more inclusive, do something a little adventurous. Kinda like Earth to Echo's tween heroes.
    • 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Bandslam works best when it's focused on young, adorably neurotic creative types putting on a show.
  11. What comes through is the freshness and innocence of a generation's passion for the infant rock 'n' roll.
  12. Stuart Gordon's inventions -- vivid, gruesome and occasionally quite funny -- offer a just-deserts ending and make both characters surprisingly active participants in their fates.
  13. Allowed remarkable access, presumably because of the familial connections, Rademacher comes up with compellingly unfamiliar documentary footage.
  14. The actor proves capable of embodying all sorts of contradictory impulses as his character becomes tragically self-aware. But he can't overcome a plot that goes slack at precisely the moment it should be soaring, or a corporate-villainy premise that practically begs not to be looked at too closely.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. The movie poignantly demonstrates that, 41 years after Stonewall, there are still places in this country where gay people cannot simply be themselves.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.

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