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 not that Part II is bad, exactly. If "The Hangover" had never existed, this movie might feel funnier than it does, if not quite as freshly hilarious.
  2. A theological trifle that ultimately twists itself into a romantic comedy.
  3. So the principal point of controversy involved here is not Jobs himself, but Ashton Kutcher, who plays him. The actor's approach is to ape Jobs' speech and movements, which he does quite well. Whether mimicry qualifies as characterization is a question for Jobs' viewers to answer for themselves.
  4. Long on hero worship and woefully short on insight, Lula: Son of Brazil oozes good intentions, but it wouldn't look out of place in a retrospective of early Soviet workerist cinema.
  5. Idiotic, if reasonably kinetic, Eagle Eye -- in which Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan spend the better part of two hours urgently answering phone calls and dodging hurtling machinery -- is every bit as over-edited as it is under-thunk.
  6. In the past, the director has usually had an irreverent response on the issues of the day; Survival of the Dead is the first time in the series where he hasn't seemed to bother looking for one.
  7. Despite dramatic Hawaiian locations, up-to-date visual effects and a bit of nontraditional casting, the movie feels not especially brave and far from new.
  8. Set in a high-tech yet shabby future, the remake of Total Recall is a fully realized piece of production design. But its script, credited to six authors, is more like a preliminary sketch.
  9. Ultimately, in a film that highlights the physical barriers - walls, roadblocks, armed guards - that keep Palestinians where the Israelis want them, the film's biggest barrier is the one Jacir erects between Soraya and the viewer.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The Brass Teapot too often devolves into stale slapstick.
  10. Unfortunately, brutality is about all this update of 1941's The Wolf Man can do well. Mutilations, decapitations and disembowelments are handled with aplomb in the first R-rated film from director Joe Johnston (Jumanji, Jurassic Park III). But everything that doesn't involve gore feels like an afterthought.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 45 Critic Score
    Stolen is less shameless than "Taken" - which featured evil Albanians and other assorted politically incorrect appurtenances - which also makes it less effective.
  11. Will Tom choose the woman before him, or the maid of honor just a few feet behind? Unfortunately, given barely any idea of who these people are beyond their contrived literary inclinations and impeccable fashion sense, it's hard to muster much emotional investment in the decision.
  12. Austenland, a clunky broadside aimed at the cult of Jane Austen, is worth seeing primarily for its end credits, a mix of pop oil and water so joyfully dippy it might have produced a stifled giggle even in Herself.
  13. It's a shame that the film comes across like an awkward and ingratiating teenager, given that the two performances at its core are so winning.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 55 Critic Score
    Even though Hogan has some terrific actors to work with — Toni Collette and Liev Schreiber among them — it's never clear what he's trying to say or do with Mental.
  14. The movie is, as these things go, enjoyably trashy.
  15. In the real world or a realer movie, the deceitful Arthur and the larcenous Mike would eventually get in big trouble. Yet this road movie is headed not toward serious consequences, but toward docile acceptance. In spirit, it turns out, Arthur Newman is a pretty much a Wallace Avery.
  16. This China/Hong Kong co-production flips the formula: The fantastic images are solid, but the action is less substantial.
  17. At times, to be blunt, he (Trejo) comes off like a silent film star who's accidentally lumbered onto the set of a bloody, violent, thoroughly ridiculous talkie: reluctant to speak, sometimes a little confused by his surroundings.
  18. The story, by brothers Erich and Jon Hoeber, who also penned the clever, quippy, aging-assassin movie "Red," is cleverer and quippier than it has any reason to be, even if it makes not the remotest sense.
  19. The Purge is mostly a genre picture trying to layer on some prestige by way of social commentary. The latter falls flat; the film is actually stronger when it just goes for our baser instincts.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Henry can finish a college application test in two minutes, yet Jesus Henry Christ doesn't know what to do with 90.
  20. Despite some very welcome black comedy — Jimmi Simpson appears delightfully, but too briefly, as a passive-aggressive co-worker who threatens to unravel the cocoon of delusion in which Emanuel has wrapped herself — the movie, trapped in the weeds of self-pity and skin-deep badassery, never quite earns the sympathy it so strenuously solicits.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 55 Critic Score
    Grassroots is a movie where bad ideas, because they're the ones championed by the "correct" side, are king. It never acknowledges that sometimes idealism is just another kind of manipulation.
  21. The entertainment value of the violence trumps most of the larger meaning, and the film exploits its characters just as they do their prisoners.
  22. Renton's approach is, to its benefit, fair and never strident. But it's also gentle and cautious, often to a fault.
  23. The movie's two bright spots are Cox and Dano, who perform excellently despite the dull inevitabilities the script forces on them.
  24. Now, it's not fair to ask that a romantic comedy be entirely realistic, but some level of plausibility would make the jokes go down easier, as would a touch of delicacy in the writing.
  25. The newest model of the old submarine-from-hell picture.

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