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 King's Speech
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,022 movie reviews
  1. 360
    Meirelles, who made the exciting "City of God" and "The Constant Gardener," has visual flair to burn. But he's less comfortable with inner lives than he is with feverish physical motion, and though the film is meant as a meditation on love and the post-modern psyche, it's shot like a thriller.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    The Global Catch may be one-sided in its argument, but it's a persuasive one - and the next time you eat sushi, you may think twice about ordering bluefin.
  2. Predictable but appealing, Trouble with the Curve is the latest of Clint Eastwood's odes to old-fashioned attitudes and virtues.
  3. Reportedly, the movie's humor relies heavily on Cantonese slang and profanity, which will be lost on most American viewers. But Quin's rapid-fire bilingualism gives some sense of the movie's verbal dexterity.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    Butter thrives on skewering characters whose self-importance isolates them completely from the consequences of their actions. And while the film's perspective is distinctly liberal, providing several thinly veiled criticisms of conservative politicians, nearly everyone (except Destiny) is guilty of something.
  4. 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.
  5. The dialogue is merely functional, and not always delivered convincingly.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    In The Details' finest moments, writer-director Jacob Aaron Estes exerts a precise control over tone using sound and performance; in its worst moments, the score and actors overcompensate for weak material. Those elements let Estes get away with often-indulgent writing, throwing up whole scenes that don't add texture or conflict.
  6. What emerges as the film goes on is that the things military service provided for many of these individuals - family, friends, camaraderie, a support network of other like-minded individuals willing to lay down their lives for them - is the exact thing that has been taken away by their injuries, leaving them feeling particularly isolated. The climb provides them with that sense of community once again.
  7. Relocating Dangerous Liaisons, the 18th-century French erotic intrigue, to 1930s Shanghai is a bold move. And yet it's not especially surprising. In Chinese movies, that city in that decade frequently serves as shorthand for decadence.
  8. Inner life comes hard to Knightley, and she never gets a grip on the mounting emotional turmoil that threatens to crush Anna as she progresses from stylish young hipster-about-town to kept woman to bereft mother to paranoid social pariah.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    A heartfelt and well-intentioned love letter to an already deeply beloved star, and for anyone who's still not convinced, the picture works hard to make the case for Monroe's gifts as an actress.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    The bigger problem is that Cruise, as Reacher, has no wit and no style, other than the studiously applied kind. He's so desperate to do everything right that nearly everything he does comes off all wrong.
  9. Starring flying debris and surging walls of water, The Impossible takes the template of the old-timey disaster movie, strips it to the bone and pumps what's left up to 11.
  10. It's the warm tenor of the film that ultimately rescues it.
  11. Where "About a Boy" was both funny and wise about urban alienation, Admission settles for skin deep.
  12. Although the story is told with narration rather than dialogue, Tobias relies too much on reconstruction. A more inventive melding of documentary and docudrama would have benefited the film, whose most moving scenes all involve real members of the families. A bit more historical and geographic context would also be useful.
  13. The film is frequently masterful, suggesting the turbulent inner state of an American sociopath who believes himself to be a good guy.
  14. 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.
    • 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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?
  18. The documentary's most memorable vignette is suitably unnerving: a visit to northern China, where the threatened disappearance of bees has already come to pass, leaving workers to pollinate fruit trees ... by hand.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    It's when Coppola lets the beautiful, gorgeous things retain their sparkle that The Bling Ring shines most brightly.
  19. What hasn't advanced is the plotting, which was nothing special last time and is so formulaic now that it's basically surprise-free.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    Turbo is harmless good fun — and impressionable kids could take worse lessons away from the multiplex.
  20. A likable but warmed-over comedy.
  21. 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.

Top Trailers