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 4.7 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. 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.
  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. As The Fifth Estate excitedly illustrates, in the Internet age no one can ever really have the last word.
  4. If these experiments in shock comedy don't always work, there's a certain courageousness in the way Tim and Eric refuse to back down from them, as well as the gusto with which guest stars like Reilly, Robert Loggia, Will Ferrell, and Jeff Goldblum throw themselves into the film's gonzo aesthetic.
  5. 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.
  6. For all its obsession with the past, Photographic Memory ends in a simple, genuinely moving interaction between father and son that illustrates McElwee's discovery that memories are nice, but can't be touched and embraced as we can the present.
  7. As obvious and expected as this turn of events is, the filmmakers and Hollyman create such an endearing character in Sarah that one still wants to see her get there.
  8. Allowed remarkable access, presumably because of the familial connections, Rademacher comes up with compellingly unfamiliar documentary footage.
  9. Because it serves up Armageddon with a side order of teen romance, How I Live Now is not always credible. But as a portrait of a surly 16-year-old whose internal crisis is overtaken by an external one, the movie is persuasive.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. The movie poignantly demonstrates that, 41 years after Stonewall, there are still places in this country where gay people cannot simply be themselves.
  13. 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.
  14. Theatrically inclined parents will also appreciate a passing reference to the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Moving Co.
  15. A waka is a traditional Japanese style of poetry, and this documentary does take a lyrical approach. Although barely an hour long, Tokyo Waka leaves room for offhand observations and humorous asides.
  16. Oblivion occupies an awkward no-man's-land between escapist space adventure and heady science fiction, but it's neither thrilling enough nor intellectually stimulating enough to satisfy devotees of either.
  17. Like "Eve's Bayou," her best-known movie, Kasi Lemmons' Black Nativity presents a child's view of a troubled family. The latter film is sweeter and slenderer, but that's only to be expected.
  18. 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.
  19. The accomplished actress Michelle Yeoh, who brought the project to Besson, is a regal beauty who brings off an uncanny resemblance to Suu Kyi largely through posture and the trademark flowers the activist wore in her hair.
  20. Post Mortem is - intentionally - not an engaging movie. And Larrain sometimes overplays the existential anguish, notably during a few scenes of joyless, mechanical sexual release.
  21. Herman's House would benefit from more background material on Wallace, notably about the alleged weakness of the murder rap against him. In the end, though, neither Sumell nor the film is concerned with that. Their goal is to make palpable — and palpably horrific — the fact of living 23 hours a day in caged isolation.
  22. There's black comedy, and then, in the darkest corner of an airtight box buried deep underground, there's the humor of Big Bad Wolves.
  23. 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.
  24. For the charming but skin-deep documentary When Comedy Went to School, filmmakers Mevlut Akkaya and Ron Frank gained enviable access to pioneer stars of Borscht Belt standup.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    Bear in mind that Fun Size is the only comedy in recent memory to feature a Ruth Bader Ginsburg joke. You won't find any of those in the "Hangover" movies' bag of tricks.
  25. 42
    A profile in real-life courage that would be stronger as a movie if it weren't quite so intent on underlining teachable moments.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    Where the film excels is in capturing the quiet revelations in Marie's life over the few days it chronicles — revelations that represent the aftermath of choices made years before, when expectations were higher.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    With his debut picture, Antiviral, Brandon Cronenberg, son of David, has made a movie that's decidedly, resolutely unjunky — and more's the pity. This is a sleek, willfully elegant exercise, high on style even if it's conspicuously low on ideas.
  26. In most respects, On the Ice is the kind of straight-ahead, underprivileged-teen drama beloved of Sundance audiences.
  27. Scahill is right to focus on the price American security efforts have cost in human rights — and human life. Yet there are difficult questions hovering just outside the frame of Dirty Wars. Short of pacifism, and given that there is no such thing as a truly clean war, what would count as an "acceptable" level of collateral damage?

Top Trailers