NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,000 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 59% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 38% 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 A Separation
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,000 movie reviews
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Zombies are a versatile source for metaphor, whether they represent a deadened consumerist society, a victimized minority or a worldwide medical disaster. In The Returned, they serve best as an unseen peril, one that's growing inside Alex and threatening to undo his and Kate's enviable existence.
  1. It's Liam Neeson at his Neesoniest, and yet another entry in his expanding late-career bloom into gruff and commanding action hero.
  2. Tron: Legacy revels in its over-the-top nature: the sharp contrast of inky blacks against vibrant neons, the bombastic clash of orchestral and synthetic elements in the soundtrack (by French electronic musicians Daft Punk), the trippy, sometimes incoherent ideas it presents.
  3. But the McManuses' skill with character detail does hold promise for future efforts. The boys in the film are on the verge of maturity; while there appears to be very little grace in their interactions with their church, they are just beginning to find some within their own characters. Perhaps that's appropriate for two directors who seem on the threshold of an artistic maturity hinted at by this first effort.
  4. There's a great deal of promise and potential in the idea of a documentary study of Hicks. Unfortunately, American falls short of anything beyond the ordinary. Part of the problem is the difficulty in resisting the temptation to squeeze the comic's story into the familiar confines of a VH1 Behind the Music-style template.
  5. Sfar's imaginative direction and the film's lush visual sense, along with a hugely charismatic performance by Eric Elmosnino in the title role, do manage to elevate much of the formula elements.
  6. What more often sinks Mama is, well, Mama herself. Much like another recent homage to a spookier era of horror, 2011's "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" - which, like Mama, was executive-produced by Guillermo del Toro - Muschietti's film shows its monster too early and too often.
  7. If this fabulously decked-out foursome is self-absorbed enough to be inadvertently cruel on occasion, they also suffer lots of guilt -- though their angst is rendered somewhat less angsty for viewers by the zingers, the designers, and the cheerfully objectified men on display.
  8. Even in a film that clocks in at a quasi-epic 2 hours and 40 minutes, that's just too much narrative. And matters aren't helped by the fact that Lee, who has never staged battle sequences before, hasn't quite got the rhythms or camera angles right.
  9. The performances are nicely calibrated, even when the director isn't meshing them into a persuasive whole. Summer Bishil makes Jasira an appealing naif -- smart, precocious and curious, if too easily led by hormones.
  10. There's something centrally pat and predictable about the coincidence-laden story, and by the time they get to Vegas, The Lucky Ones has been all but done in by a surfeit of serendipity.
  11. After a while, you can see the setups happening -- and once you do, the careening gets predictable. Which gets old, really fast.
  12. Unlike the tale told in "Precious", however, The Blind Side's story is contrived, storybook sweet, credulity-straining and ... um, true.
  13. (Untitled) does have great moments, particularly in its technical execution -- the director began his career as a musician, and his command of sound design is particularly imaginative.
  14. The City of Your Final Destination does eventually prove intelligent enough about how we all become prisoners of dependency and obsession. Yet for a movie that argues for free agency and following your bliss rather than your career, it's awfully torpid.
  15. The original was a little sharper, with actual satirical swipes at modern British life. The remake replaces some of that material with lazy pop-culture gags, most of them specifically African-American.
  16. Brand's character, who combines Bono's moral sanctimony with Keith Richards' supernatural hedonism, ultimately doesn't add up.
  17. Ultimately, in a film that highlights the physical barriers - walls, roadblocks, armed guards - that keep Palestinians where the Israelis want them, the film's biggest barrier is the one Jacir erects between Soraya and the viewer.
  18. Frothy, frantic and inescapably unromantic - the two leads have less chemistry than an American high-school curriculum - Heartbreaker marks the uneven feature debut of television director Pascal Chaumeil.
  19. An overwrought, undercooked tale of crazy love and crazier revenge.
  20. Heartless seems eternally at war with its own genre, unwilling to succumb to bloody mayhem yet neither smart nor coherent enough to transcend horror convention.
  21. This is among the better Allen knockoffs of recent years, even if a few of its riffs seem hazardously off-key.
  22. Directed by Neil Burger, whose "The Illusionist" also pulled an upbeat coda out of a hat, Limitless is entertaining for much of its running time. It's glib, and it's overly fond of hyperdrive pans, psychedelic montages and swift rack-focus shifts.
  23. Rio
    Name the first things that come to anyone's mind about Rio de Janeiro - samba, soccer, sunbathing, Carnival - and those are the building blocks of this movie. Expect the expected.
  24. So long as Exporting Raymond sticks to the headaches of adapting Everybody Loves Raymond into Everybody Loves Kostya, it's a funny and revealing look at the immense chasm between the two cultures.
  25. These fleeting moments never quite overcome the sense that Earthwork's narrative follows too-familiar templates, and that its characters lack the careful detail of Herd's own art.
  26. On a technical level, The Tree marks a significant advance over the humble utility of Bertuccelli's previous film, drinking in Australia's pastoral majesty with an abundant eye for beauty that falls just short of the intended poetry. Yet the characters aren't nearly as resonant.
  27. The glib story and hectoring structure undermine the filmmakers' best intentions.
  28. Watching these two actors move from being sweetly flirtatious to doing real emotional battle may not entirely compensate for the movie's other failings, but it goes a long way toward making amends.
  29. For those already somewhat familiar with the subject, the directors' distillation of these 40 hours of film will expand their knowledge - if not their consciousness. But other viewers may spend the whole movie wondering exactly when the merry magic is going to kick in.

Top Trailers