NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,000 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 59% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 38% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The King's Speech
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,000 movie reviews
  1. But lo! Isn't that Owen Wilson, blond and goyische to the gills, yet faithfully replicating the put-upon slump of the Allen shoulders, the quavering stammers about art vs. success, literature vs. Hollywood?
  2. Page One is an insider's view, but if it isn't raking up any muck, it's not a love letter either.
  3. Not until the film's surprisingly touching finale do we learn the source of that friction, in a delicately handled sequence that retroactively floods the story with satisfying context.
  4. Mozart's Sister is consequently gorgeous, with candlelit shots looking like old master paintings - a fine match for music that takes your breath away.
  5. Iron Crows isn't the miserablist wallow you might expect. While director Park Bong-Nam observes the hazards of ship-breaking with a thoroughness that borders on fetishization, he also catches the humor and camaraderie of men in the trenches.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The film does have a distinctly British cheek; even with a Sony Pictures co-credit over the titles, it's just un-Hollywood enough to feel like a breath of fresh North Pole air.
  6. So it makes sense that Young Adult feels at times like a mashup of styles and genres - part curdled rom-com, part psycho-prom-queen flick, with a little "Revenge of the Nerds" thrown in.
  7. This film exists purely to dazzle and thrill, and by that measure, it delivers expertly, never lagging despite a lengthy 133-minute running time.
  8. The lady was - and remains - a pro, still glowin', crowin', goin' strong.
  9. Big Miracle is a family movie fitted with the usual appeals to multiple audiences, and though tots, teens and younger parents might find the action a little slow until the rescue pressure builds, the grandparents will enjoy it as a trip down media memory lane.
  10. The Secret World of Arrietty may be too gentle and meditative to be the studio's breakout hit in this country, but it's another sweet advance, and further evidence that the Ghibli secret must soon out.
  11. Wain's brand of humor thrives on stepping over the line - and then sprinting a few hundred yards past it.
  12. Richly photographed by Rob Hardy (who gave Red Riding: 1974 its almost surreal bleakness), this meticulously researched story (Marston spent a month interviewing families trapped in these vendettas) reveals a culture dominated by male pride and patriarchal selfishness.
  13. Nobody's idea of "Mr. Holland's Opus," but it winds up in a similar place, more or less.
  14. Both Jeff and the film have a way of sneaking up on you.
  15. The Hunger Games' pacing is brisk, its stakes as high as stakes get, and its leading lady engaging enough that the odds - at the box office at least - will be ever in its favor.
  16. Barely a moment goes by without a well-orchestrated joke (or three), and it's paced as briskly as a clipper in front of a stiff tailwind.
  17. The banter has zip, the effects are fun, the climactic battle is decently spectacular, and if the 3-D is mostly expendable, there are a few scenes where it adds a nice kick.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    When you're young, there's just so much to misunderstand about the world. And isn't that kind of what makes it such fun?
  18. Ruby Sparks is far from a landmark in the rickety pantheon of romantic comedy, and under the direction of Dayton and Faris it gnaws a little too hard on its magical-realist trickery. But it's great to see them help an emerging young writing talent like Kazan make her mark by by sweeping away male fantasies of pliant girls and replacing them with a desirable, flesh-and-blood woman.
  19. I went to school in Aberdeen and know the region well. It's a place of unforgiving winds and magnificent sunsets, harsh farmland and deserted beaches. The people are hardy, hardworking and fiercely self-sufficient, asking little of their government except the will to do the right thing. They weren't Trumped; they were betrayed.
  20. Unless this disingenuous creep of an agent actually believes his own propaganda, you have to wonder what possessed him to open himself to scrutiny by two filmmakers who are well-known for expose docs like "Mardi Gras: Made in China" and "Camp Katrina."
  21. 17 Girls has a powerful and loving sense of place.
  22. Looper, a cocky sci-fi tale with more brass than substance, is rife with these "Say what?" moments.
  23. The truthfulness of Winstead's performance - and those of her co-stars, too - has a steadying influence on James Ponsoldt's modest drama, which at times seems in danger of failing a sobriety test.
  24. A film in which everyone is lusting after the wrong person, and consummating those desires tends to lead to awkward - but not funny, unlike Dunham's usual projects - disasters of various scales.
  25. Sentimental? Certainly, but in a part of the world where hope and optimism haven't shown their faces in a long time, it's hard not to feel carried along by the generously conciliatory spirit that warms The Other Son, as it did "The Band's Visit." Movies have rarely been known to change the world, but you never know.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    If David O. Russell pulls anything off in Silver Linings Playbook - an almost-comedy about a bipolar high-school teacher who goes off the deep end and isn't sure how to climb back - it's this: He refuses to make mental illness adorable.
  26. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey isn't "unexpected" at all, though between its lighter tone and a decade's worth of improvements in digital film techniques, there should be enough of a novelty factor to delight most fans.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Neil Barsky's documentary Koch captures the essence of this very big personality - though if the film were even two minutes longer, it might constitute Koch overload. Luckily, Barsky knows when enough is enough, even if his subject doesn't.

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