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 The Tribe
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,037 movie reviews
  1. The movie is less than incisive, but it's utterly well-meaning.
  2. Hysteria, a disappointingly limp ode to the invention of the vibrator, plays like a Merchant Ivory Production of "Portnoy's Complaint."
  3. 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.
  4. The protagonists of Late Bloomers have a problem, but it's not that they're getting older. Their dilemma is that they're reacting so differently to aging.
  5. A streamlined script might have helped. Curran and Winterbottom lose themselves in the soupy business of union shenanigans, an internal investigation and Lou's intervention in a troubled boy's life, but the added complications -- and the talk, talk, talk they require -- take away from the disquieting core of Thompson's story.
  6. 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.
  7. Kaplan keeps the story breezy and brisk, and provides his down-to-earthily modern fairy tale with an appropriately other-worldly visual style.
  8. Once the colorful anecdotes sprawl out into an actual narrative, the film gets convoluted and loud, amplifying the weirdness without doing much to clarify it.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Artist and the Model suffers from the opposite affliction: It has all the trappings of a serious work of art, and it hasn't been hurried but it remains, in the end, disappointingly hollow.
  9. Basically the anti-"Kill Bill." Both movies are quilted together from their auteurs' favorite Asian action flicks, but where Tarantino's was overheated, Reeves' is elegantly iced.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    LUV
    So it's nice that, despite some cliched rhythms, the flawed-ex-con-makes-good drama LUV gets the details of childhood-cut-short heartbreakingly right.
  10. By movie's end, director Marcos Carnevale has made it possible for you to see Elsa through Fred's eyes. Love has bloomed late -- but with sweet exuberance -- in this romantic charmer.
  11. 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.
  12. It all works out agreeably enough, albeit in strict adherence to rom-com formula, right down to the obligatory wacky-best-friend roles given to space cadets Jeff Goldblum and Juliette Lewis.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Coyle's vulnerable performance as Frank undermines the film's goal. Coyle expresses the weight of his exhaustion and the incredible debt hanging over him with a closed-off physicality and haunted eyes that prevent him from becoming a flat character.
  13. The movie's violence, although gruesome, flirts with slapstick, and the story appears bound for domestic comedy when all the major characters sit down for Thanksgiving dinner at June and Chet's grand Victorian farmhouse. But the meal becomes more freak show than satire.
  14. Nanny McPhee, the homely yet exemplary governess, is back. Why? Hard to say, but one thing is certain: Writer-star Emma Thompson didn't do it for the kids.
  15. There's lots of information, some nice images, plenty of earnest sermonizing about culture and almost no suspense, or tension, or character development, or structure. Or, well, art.
  16. It was only a matter of time before someone made a Tony Scott movie without Tony Scott.
  17. There's a better documentary to be carved out of Hit So Hard, but not necessarily a great one, because the gossip and drug-fueled capers offered up by Love are simply more compelling than the tremulous course of Schemel's life. Here, as then, Schemel plays backup to history.
  18. Labor Day may be filled with autumn's falling leaves, but it makes sense that they're bringing it out as a prelude to spring, for the sap — and I do mean sap — is rising.
  19. It's not a political satire, or even satire of tabloid journalism. It's just another "bromance," with jokes so bad (they are) "freshmanic."
  20. It's well made, polished, and hits every mark — but is it crazy to want a futuristic sci-fi action flick about a motorcycle-riding metal supercop to be just a little more fun?
  21. La Soga isn't without redeeming qualities: Superfluous flashbacks aside, Crook keeps the action moving at a fast clip, cutting fluidly from the streets of Santiago to its criminal pipeline in Washington Heights, and he gets a sinister turn from Calderon, a veteran character actor who plays Rafa with a soulful swagger.
  22. There's plenty of material for a lively, profound documentary about Norman Foster. But How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster? is, by design, lightweight.
  23. Sweet and well-intentioned, Sassy Pants is difficult to dislike, despite its missteps.
  24. Nothing about it lingers, not even the sulfuric stench of a bum scene or a particularly hammy performance.
  25. When Stanton lets the film be pure popcorn entertainment, with swashbuckling set pieces and lovably corny romanticism, it's a great ride in the Indiana Jones tradition.
  26. The film's main problem — apart from its predictability and the sometimes unconvincing and cartoonish CGI for the army of giants — is that it never entirely commits to what kind of fantasy movie it wants to be.
  27. 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.

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