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 Incendies
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,037 movie reviews
  1. It's a classic Hollywood domestic comedy with a mischievous twist.
  2. In a story built on ugly secrets and lifetimes of terrible events, small moments of beauty and redemption sneak through - proving that sometimes utilizing those bitter remnants of charred memories can prove more fruitful than Earl Gray thought.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Laurence Anyways flows naturally, both thematically and stylistically, from Dolan's previous movies; here, though, he succeeds more than ever at incorporating his visual idiosyncrasies into the narrative. In "I Killed My Mother" and even more so in "Heartbeats," the director's long slow-motion sequences and overbearing, eclectic soundtracks could feel like crutches, overused particularly during characters' moments of vulnerability.
  3. You don't have to believe in the transmigration of souls to fall languorously in love with the Thai film that won the Palme d'Or at last year's Cannes Film Festival.
  4. Cianfrance and his actors, Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling, have not made a cold or schematic film. They aim instead for raw emotional experience, one that's full of insight into the ways a relationship can go astray, but mostly feels like a slow-motion punch to the gut.
  5. An animated western that's effortlessly the most exhilarating flight of computer-drawn fancy since "Ratatouille."
  6. Anderson has the ability to control our emotions just as expertly as his camera.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The movie surges ahead, moving nimbly through a series of action set-pieces that owe more to films like "Where Eagles Dare" and "The Guns of Navarone" than they do to, say, "The Green Hornet."
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. The director makes clear that everyone means well — the headmistress, protective of her students; the parents, trying to shield children from things they shouldn't know about just yet; the investigators asking questions carefully, trying to see their way through ambiguous answers.
  11. The truth may not be quite that simple, but Kapadia's slightly ecstatic version of it makes for gripping viewing.
  12. The movie is a curiosity, of course. Both Marc and Kim have decidedly unusual life stories.
  13. Never one to take a back seat in his movies, Broomfield projects a shambling, Columbo-style bonhomie that gains him access to people who should be very afraid of letting him cross their threshold.
  14. One thing Doueiri didn't get from Tarantino is smirky attitude; The Attack is sad and resigned, but also tender.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Silent House is smart about its scares as well as its delivery method.
  15. The movie is not a story but a text, and Cedar is its playfully intrusive interpreter.
  16. God Bless America ends with a couple of tale-twisting bullet orgies designed to take your preconceptions, as well as your nerve-endings, by surprise.
  17. 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Prince Avalanche speaks insightfully to the joys and costs of being alone, and of the risk that comes with letting another person in. Bittersweet and deeply felt, it also shows with confidence the estimable and still surprising talents of its cast and director.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    It's jaw-droppingly cool stuff, explained with admirable clarity by an affable physicist tour-guide, David E. Kaplan, and wedded to the tale of a massive technological undertaking like nothing in history. ("The biggest machine ever built by human beings," as one scientist puts it.) And it's flat-out thrilling.
  18. As captured by the Safdies, they are — one and all — persuasive, arresting and fiercely in the moment, whether scamming or shooting up or doing heaven knows what to get by.
  19. 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.
  20. As its brilliantly choreographed -- and appropriately modest -- climax proves, given the right ingredients, even the simplest story can leave you gasping.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Although it's the fourth documentary about the West Memphis Three, West of Memphis doesn't feel superfluous. This bizarre case rates at least 18 documentaries - one for each year Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley spent in prison for murders they clearly didn't commit.
  24. As odd as it sounds, director Ruben Ostlund manages to make Tomas's crisis of masculinity — his not having lived up to expectations that even he shares — as funny as it is appalling.
  25. Beautiful Boy is the antithesis of melodrama. Painfully perceptive and relentlessly raw, this intimate observation of a couple in extremis plays out with such subdued intensity that, by the end, audiences will very likely feel as wrung out as its embattled stars.

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