NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,046 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 The Tree of Life
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1046 movie reviews
  1. This is a film about people who are lost, and the filmmakers draw a direct line between their characters' existential wanderings and the religious obsessions they find for themselves.
  2. What's most surprising, given the latitude provided by all that conjecture, is that the Durst - "David Marks" for the purposes of the film - who emerges is less a character study than a thumbnail sketch.
  3. 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.
  4. As "Blood Simple" fans should expect, Noodle Shop is a comedy of presumed deaths and unexpected revivals, with some victims flat out refusing to stay in their shallow graves.
  5. "Driving Miss Daisy" this ain't. Except that it sort of is.
  6. The dude with the blond mane and bulging biceps clearly owns that hammer. And when the screenplay gives him something besides arrogance to work with, he owns the movie too.
  7. The effect is weirdly lulling. Viewers with a special connection to this story, or a weakness for little boys and single dads, may find The Boys Are Back moving. For everyone else, the movie is merely picturesque.
  8. Winterbottom's 2004 film "9 Songs" is the most sexually explicit picture ever to get general release in Britain. Oddly, given its subject matter, The Look of Love turns out to be much tamer; as Raymond's shows and magazines become raunchier, the director sidesteps or actively censors the steamiest material.
  9. "Humanize" might not seem the obvious verb for what happens in Chimpanzee, Disneynature's latest kiddie documentary. But it's dead on; this escape to the planet of the apes is anthropomorphic to a fault.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Rise of the Guardians is adapted from Joyce's book series The Guardians of Childhood. But the occasional Joycean touch aside, it bears so little resemblance to the look and feel of its source material that it ought to be considered an entirely different beast.
  10. Here and There has been compared to such Jim Jarmusch films as "Stranger Than Paradise," and "Lungulov" does emulate Jarmusch's deliberate pace, minimal dialogue, deadpan humor and strong sense of place. In fact, Belgrade is the movie's most compelling character, its tattered charm underscored by back-street New York locations that oddly evoke Eastern Europe.
  11. Triumph seems the wrong note for a feature film about mass murder. Yet Gallenberger insists on an old-school historical melodrama, with the darkest of terrors leavened by humor, tenderness and even romance. It's only the terror that rings true.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 45 Critic Score
    What dooms Snow White and the Huntsman is ultimately not how over the top it is, but how dull it is.
  12. When faced with the choice of which gag to go for, Horrible Bosses generally selects the raunchiest laugh possible, all other considerations be damned.
  13. 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Slowly but surely, Unfinished Song devolves into its premise's worst-case scenario: a generic portrait of suffering, resilience, grief and reconciliation that, even in its postscript dedication — "To Family" — can't reach beyond safe, all-encompassing but ultimately unsatisfying sentiments.
  14. The thriller elements of the plot — which Karpovsky delivers quite ably, with an electric tension that carries through much of the film — aren't really balanced by the personal revelations on which Karpovsky eventually hangs Paul's problems. Both the mystery and the character piece wind up feeling incomplete.
  15. In short, Ritchie's come up with precisely what you'd expect of him — a pumped-up, anachronistically modern Sherlock Holmes designed for the ADD crowd. Expect a sequel. Or six.
  16. Director Salim Akil deserves credit for keeping the film from falling apart completely. He sets a the brisk pace, and uses the picturesque oceanside setting to give the movie an inviting gloss even as the overstuffed narrative threatens to push viewers away.
  17. The director recycles some of the better effects from his gladiator epic "300"...and he's being so faithful to the work of comics artist Dave Gibbons that he might as well have used the graphic novel's illustrations as a storyboard.
  18. On the page, it's a funny little snapshot of the preteen mind, ruled by prevailing forces of fear and aggression, yet still given to silliness and lowbrow yuks. In a movie, however, Greg's thoughts are made painfully literal, so instead of being a reflection of his hyperactive imagination, they're grotesque cartoons standing in for real life.
  19. It's Liam Neeson at his Neesoniest, and yet another entry in his expanding late-career bloom into gruff and commanding action hero.
  20. As action movies go, Valkyrie is pretty short on action.
  21. Eventually, too little is left to the imagination to do what it does best: fill in the gaps with visions far more frightening than anything a filmmaker could put onscreen.
  22. The film is too frenetically paced and clean to quite recreate the magic of their source material, but it does often face these issues in the same admirably head-on fashion.
  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. After a while, you can see the setups happening -- and once you do, the careening gets predictable. Which gets old, really fast.
  25. W.
    A surprisingly unsurprising film.
  26. Almodovar is in party mode here, and if you liked his 1990 comedy "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" you'll probably love I'm So Excited! for its candied pastels and its impishly clever design, which transforms the plane into a theater and its galley into a staging area for those three theatrical stewards.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    What it fails to supply much of — surprisingly, it must be said — is fun. This is serious business, Snyder seems always to be saying. This is badass. And given the sheer logistical size of the spectacle on display, it's a position that's hard to argue with.

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