NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,031 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 Mr. Turner
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,031 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    Turbo is harmless good fun — and impressionable kids could take worse lessons away from the multiplex.
  1. A likable but warmed-over comedy.
  2. What hasn't advanced is the plotting, which was nothing special last time and is so formulaic now that it's basically surprise-free.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Where "About a Boy" was both funny and wise about urban alienation, Admission settles for skin deep.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. The film is frequently masterful, suggesting the turbulent inner state of an American sociopath who believes himself to be a good guy.
  9. What's refreshing, though, is Coffey's skeptical but affectionate feel for the tenacious strivers who cling like limpets to the margins of every arts scene, often for precious years of their impoverished lives.
  10. Like the (far superior) recent Russian film "Elena," Child's Pose paints a compelling portrait of post-Soviet capitalism in all its uncorked appetites, its brash cronyism and graft, its pretensions, its clueless philistinism.
  11. 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.
  12. Bethlehem qualifies as a promising debut for its first-time actors and director, but it's slack at first, and the thriller tricks it uses to ratchet up the tension later — musical underscoring, careening vehicles, threatening crowds — keep it from sneaking past your defenses.
  13. We're here to see the film's leading lizard, who is pretty gorgeously realized by an army of digitizers, even if he seems just a bit-player in his own movie for the first hour or so.
  14. There's nothing unexpected in this well-made picture, aside from the name of the director: Takeshi Miike.
    • 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    The diminishing returns in part are due to Burdge's performance, which too often settles for the same look of fraught anxiety. But they also result from Fidell's decision to pare her film down to the barest elements.
  17. While Populaire would still have suffered from being overlong and overfamiliar, a smoother leading man could have done much to boost the intended Cary Grant vibe.
  18. Aided by subtly wounded performances by Daniels and Stone, and a surprisingly affecting comic turn from Reynolds, Paper Man makes up for many of its shortcomings with an abundance of heart.
  19. The movie drowns the deeper questions it raises in a sadistic procedural, an endless circular motion of fight scenes whose only justification is themselves.
  20. W.
    A surprisingly unsurprising film.
  21. The plot fails to deliver a single surprise, however, and the characterizations are thin even by the standards of the tough-guy genre.
  22. A documentary that focuses rigorously on process and atmosphere at the expense of context and engagement.
  23. It's as if everyone involved in the film figured they could keep Hereafter from turning ghost-story hokey by making it grounded, beautiful and matter-of-fact. And it sort of works. There are no inadvertent giggles here; it just doesn't add up to enough, after.
  24. Doubt cast a long moral shadow on Broadway but seems blunter on screen, largely because Shanley's fussy directorial notions ... are less nuanced than the religious and moral arguments he's given his principal characters.

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