NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,037 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 4.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The Tribe
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,037 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Predictable but appealing, Trouble with the Curve is the latest of Clint Eastwood's odes to old-fashioned attitudes and virtues.
  3. It's the warm tenor of the film that ultimately rescues it.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. As The Fifth Estate excitedly illustrates, in the Internet age no one can ever really have the last word.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Allowed remarkable access, presumably because of the familial connections, Rademacher comes up with compellingly unfamiliar documentary footage.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. The movie poignantly demonstrates that, 41 years after Stonewall, there are still places in this country where gay people cannot simply be themselves.
  19. 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.
  20. Theatrically inclined parents will also appreciate a passing reference to the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Moving Co.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  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. 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.
  28. 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.

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