NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,013 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 4.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Boyhood
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,013 movie reviews
  1. Selick puts his real faith not in the gimmickry that Coraline's audiences will think they've shown up for, but in the stronger virtues that they'd likely view as old-fashioned: character, and story, and handmade figures, handmade milkshakes, handmade blades of grass, each one moving utterly persuasively as he and his animators tweak it, frame by frame.
  2. 12
    The title is shorter, but that's the only thing remotely diminished about 12, Nikita Mikhalkov's exuberantly Russian reworking of Reginald Rose's 1950s jury-room play, "12 Angry Men."
  3. Psihoyos describes his troops as a kind of "Ocean's 11" team, and that's apt enough: He's making a real-life action caper, a heist with potential consequences in the real world. The buildup to getting the shots they want has a good deal of natural tension. And the payoff -- well, let's just say it's devastating.
  4. The film's greatest accomplishment is its ability to change tone at least three times without losing the audience.
  5. In the end what drives the movie is the hip young filmmaker's struggle with himself -- his showman's need to toy with our anxieties threatening to overwhelm his desire to make amends to all the servants he took for granted growing up.
  6. Messengers with the worst possible message, they nonetheless manage to be human and alive, humorous and lively. In a film that itself bears such sad tidings about the costs of war, that is an affirming, even an inspiring, gift.
  7. While the story pivots on an actual girl-who-cried-wolf incident, this elegantly constructed movie is about much more than that.
  8. The movie is a curiosity, of course. Both Marc and Kim have decidedly unusual life stories.
  9. There's something kind of captivating about a film that's been painstakingly drawn to glorify the craft of illustration, and that's comfortable using retro techniques. Because after all, what else makes sense for bringing to life the gold and scarlet ornamentation in ancient manuscripts?
  10. It's a surprisingly nuanced and sober tale of brotherhood and betrayal.
  11. The Secret in Their Eyes finds secrets everywhere -- even in what's driving Ben and Irene as they separately examine the decisions they made back in the 1970s. For both of them, as for their country, accurate remembrance of that period is crucial.
  12. Sergio Leone learns to speak Korean in The Good, the Bad, the Weird, an exuberant tale of greed, vengeance and, well, weirdness.
  13. Like all her (Holofcener) movies, Please Give is multitonal, as tenderly sympathetic as it is tough toward all its tortured, even unlikable characters.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    In the end, Looking For Eric is about nothing less than trying to do the right thing when life keeps doing you wrong.
  14. Like "The Big Sleep," Micmacs tells a tangled story that may be just too much for some viewers. But the film moves nimbly, has an exuberant sense of style and is leavened by comic asides, many of them strictly visual. (The movie would be plenty of fun even without the subtitles.)
  15. As its brilliantly choreographed -- and appropriately modest -- climax proves, given the right ingredients, even the simplest story can leave you gasping.
  16. More than anything, though, Living in Emergency leaves us wanting to know more about what makes these four people tick differently from the rest of us -- we who balk at anything riskier than signing petitions and joining Facebook protest groups.
  17. As the film demonstrates over the course of a full year with her, and not a great year by any stretch -- there is more to this particular hard-charging, egomaniacal, joke machine than gets revealed onstage.
  18. On its face, Winter's Bone, like "Down to the Bone," is a bleakly realist drama about a community decimated by poverty and hopelessness, yet bound together by deep ties of class, gender and blood.
  19. Jagged and gentle, shocking and sweet, Life During Wartime finds the King of Cringe more concerned than usual about forgiveness: who deserves it, and who is capable of bestowing it. True to form, though, he's not telling.
  20. Frequently moving and quietly enlightening, Last Train Home is about love and exploitation, sacrifice and endurance.
  21. Kings of Pastry is about the craft, the teaching and learning, the collaborative work, the tedium, the heartbreak and emotional backbone it takes to make something lovely, even if that something is destined to disappear down a gullet in seconds - and even if the maker ends up a noble failure.
  22. The star of the film is a matter-of-fact, highly perceptive Indian woman, Soma Mukhopadhyay, whose autistic adult son is now a published author.
  23. On its own terms, Tamara Drewe is a hugely exuberant black comedy, unfolding over four scenic seasons at a writer's retreat set in a rose-strewn village overrun by city bobos in search of authenticity.
  24. Most of the dialogue is invented, but the sweep of events is genuine.
  25. What is singular about Inhale is the intelligent way in which plot and character keep opening up the moral landscape so as to complicate our responses to Paul's multiplying dilemmas.
  26. Yet in the end it's less the climactic madness and mayhem in White Material that sear the memory than it is the silent, balletic creep of child soldiers, grabbed out of school and sent with machetes and rifles through a forest to exact revenge for decades of repression.
  27. Mitchell brings respect, tenderness and a generous helping of his antic wit to Rabbit Hole, not to mention a rare gift for adding visual radiance to a talky stage play.
  28. If Meek's Cutoff is every inch a Western, it's an art-film mutant of the genre, inching along with intensely naturalistic obsession for detail that courts tedium even as it dares us not to pay attention.
  29. It's fair to say that men in general and ardent Catholics in particular don't come off well. Yet even they are humanized by the movie's merciful temper, and by a cast of damaged ancillary characters wearing eccentric goodwill on their sleeves.

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