NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,019 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 4.3 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:
1,019 movie reviews
  1. It's a more mature magic than in previous Potter movies.
  2. Using de Chabannes as the film's conscience and moral fulcrum, Tavernier - just as he did in his 1996 film "Captain Conan" - exposes the shame of a meaningless war and the psychological damage borne by those fighting it.
  3. Resolution is really a less self-conscious cousin to last year's "Cabin in the Woods"; both are hugely satisfying exercises in examining the way in which stories are told. Cabin succeeded by deconstructing horror without ever intending to be scary itself. Resolution takes the opposite path: When Benson and Moorhead voyeuristically suggest that someone or something is watching Mike and Chris, the chilling effect is marrow-deep.
  4. The movie's first word is oishi, Japanese for "delicious," and what follows is a treat for sushi veterans. First-timers, however, may wish for a little more context.
  5. The documentary is powerful, as far as it goes, but would be stronger if the filmmakers had been able to follow the story further.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Mother of George's cinematography, for which it won an award at this year's Sundance Film Festival, is by and large one of its standout features.
  6. Like the (far superior) recent Russian film "Elena," Child's Pose paints a compelling portrait of post-Soviet capitalism in all its uncorked appetites, its brash cronyism and graft, its pretensions, its clueless philistinism.
  7. An exquisite, almost sensual grief suffuses every frame of A Single Man.
  8. 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.
  9. Calvary is bleak and corrosively funny in about equal measure, with the rugged grey/green landscape suiting the harshness of the village's attitudes about the Church, and repentance, and the worth of good works.
  10. The Taviani brothers, Paolo and Vittorio, have been blurring the line between reality and fiction in their films for six decades.
  11. A Touch of Sin is the most dramatic and even lurid of writer-director Jia Zhangke's movies. The film-festival star hasn't quite become a Chinese Tarantino, however.
  12. The House I Live In shows Nannie Jeter as she hopefully watches Barack Obama's 2008 electoral victory, but doesn't analyze the current president's apparent reluctance to significantly alter anti-drug policies.
  13. Handsomely and vividly mounted, in a palette of period chocolates and golds, Get Low opens with an image of a burning man running from a house on fire -- an enticing promise of Southern Gothic that the movie never quite fulfills.
  14. What emerges as the film goes on is that the things military service provided for many of these individuals - family, friends, camaraderie, a support network of other like-minded individuals willing to lay down their lives for them - is the exact thing that has been taken away by their injuries, leaving them feeling particularly isolated. The climb provides them with that sense of community once again.
  15. Moors' film is at its best when it worries at notions of how evil is born, fostered and brought to bloom.
  16. The result? A briskly self-aware, thoroughly stage-struck portrait of a theatrical portrait.
  17. Perhaps because he's an actor, Rapaport prefers drama to analysis. And this story has plenty of conflict.
  18. The stories are horrific, if laced with Tarantino-style humor.
  19. Director Stephen Frears, working from a book by the real Martin Sixsmith, isn't about to let the Irish church off the hook for a monstrous (and well-documented) chapter in its history. In flashbacks, he pictures the young Philomena as a sort of proto-Katniss, doing battle with a tyranny of nuns.
  20. The picture's real achievement though, is the warmth it brings to the music that animates the lives of these Afro-Cuban characters.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite his flashes of bitterness, the Helm captured here seems like a man at peace with where he ended up — however taxing the road that brought him, however many friends lost or discarded along the way.
  21. The climax Shortland offers us is much harder to take than Seiffert's gentler vision, yet far more evocative of the bitter price paid by the children of the Third Reich for the sins of their parents.
  22. Hara-Kiri is formal, deliberate, leisurely almost to a fault. It features the sort of slow-gliding camera movements favored by Kenji Mizoguchi, one of the greatest 20th century Japanese filmmakers - and the one least like Miike.
  23. Scahill is right to focus on the price American security efforts have cost in human rights — and human life. Yet there are difficult questions hovering just outside the frame of Dirty Wars. Short of pacifism, and given that there is no such thing as a truly clean war, what would count as an "acceptable" level of collateral damage?
  24. Soderbergh imposes a shape until the film begins to feel less like puzzle pieces in search of their place and more like one seamless picture: It's almost as if, with this collage of the artist's past work, he's created an entirely new final monologue for Gray.
  25. Resolutely descriptive, It Felt Like Love doesn't exactly have a plot, which feels absolutely right for a film whose elliptical yet intensely focused visual style seem to flow directly from Lila's consciousness.
  26. One of the big reasons Flight is so satisfying is that it moves with the no-frills, meat-and-potatoes conventions of a first-rate procedural while being awash in ambiguity.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.

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