NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,022 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 4.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The Tree of Life
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,022 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Theatrically inclined parents will also appreciate a passing reference to the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Moving Co.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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."
  10. 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.
  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. There's nothing unexpected in this well-made picture, aside from the name of the director: Takeshi Miike.
  13. 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.
  14. A surpassingly silly monster movie with a side helping of satire, Trollhunter beckons mainly for its stunning Norwegian scenery and slyly effective government-bashing.
  15. Perhaps because he's an actor, Rapaport prefers drama to analysis. And this story has plenty of conflict.
  16. 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.
  17. Neither innovative nor profound, but it is kinetic, visceral and sometimes moving.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Though it's certainly moving, it suffers from a frantically overproduced desperation to hold what the filmmakers seem to fear will be our wavering attention.
  22. In most respects, On the Ice is the kind of straight-ahead, underprivileged-teen drama beloved of Sundance audiences.
  23. Deeply silly in a classic mode, The Fairy continues the French new wave of near-silent cinema.
  24. 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.
    • 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. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. The director doesn't require - and doesn't really get - distinctive acting from his cast, but every once in a while, the company manages to wink broadly at the film's genre.
  28. 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    Yet as viewers, we may instinctively crave more than what Clayman alone can offer us. Segments where he cedes screen time to others, including the bipolar General Hospital actor and mental-health advocate Maurice Benard, are a relief.

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