NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,039 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 Stories We Tell
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,039 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Police, Adjective has considerable power, and the issues it raises linger in the mind.
  3. All these characters make a beautiful mess together, even if McCarthy spends too much time tidying it up.
  4. This was an era when international travel was not yet common, and in 16mm home movies from the trip, you can see the excitement as 1940s cities burst into gaudy state welcomes for the creator of El Raton Mickey.
  5. 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.
  6. Ends with a big action sequence, turning into Raiders of the Lost Arby's when you wish it would serve up something less conventional. But by that time, the filmmakers have also served up a little food for thought, along with a lot of laughs.
  7. Probably the most artful of the Apatow Factory comedies so far, but that's not to suggest it doesn't take being sweetly dumb just as seriously as the rest.
  8. Freeman's Mandela, however, is pretty marvelous -- so persuasive in gesture, in bearing, in that signature mix of gravitas and twinkle, even in accent -- that when a shot of the real Mandela appears over the final credits, it's momentarily jarring to realize you've been watching an impersonation.
  9. By and large, the tone is gentle, the music French, and the food shot so delectably that you can all but smell the freshly baked bread.
    • 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?
  10. For Soldini, even bleakness has a poetic side, and his imagery is occasionally breathtaking here -- never more so than in the film's final tableau, which elegantly connects a Renaissance fresco Elsa had been working on before the couple's fall from grace with a strikingly similar real-life image suggesting the possibility of a renaissance in their marriage.
  11. The visual jokes -- one standout is an army of ogres condemned by the Pied Piper to perpetual line-dancing -- are pretty irresistible.
  12. Flashy and fun, and a nifty showcase for Yen.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    De Palma is such a dazzling stylist that for most of Passion, you'll find it perfectly acceptable to let the visuals wash over you, paying only passing attention to the plot.
  13. As a satire of the insurance industry, and more implicitly of religious hypocrisy, Cedar Rapids is mild stuff. But the movie has a nice lived-in feel, and a sense that its comedy has been earned.
  14. Unmade in China is nominally about filmmaking, but what Kofman and Barklow do well is to use their unusual position within the Chinese state machine to make a thinly veiled movie about politics.
  15. Disconnect is naturally gripping. Using unforgiving closeups, Rubin pokes into unexpected corners— not least the different ways in which men and women respond to calamity — and never forces his story's social-media scares to improbable heights.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Trance really belongs to Dawson and Cassel. When Dawson's Elizabeth steps onto the scene, you may be instantly convinced — without the aid of hypnosis, even — that she's surely the most effective hypnotist on the planet.
  16. 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.
  17. After sitting at his elbow that day, I can tell you how he manages the tricks I saw really close-up. Not mysterious at all: It's magic, pure and simple.
  18. With most of its voices hailing from Broadway, it's a good bet the composers have one eye fixed on a future stage incarnation; makes sense, then, that there'd be references to a couple of Disney's Broadway hits. The opening number sounds a lot like "The Lion King"; then there's a "Beauty and the Beast"-style tour of the town.
  19. At its best, The Punk Singer tells the story of one pivotal life in a whole movement. Both Anderson and Hanna are at pains to avoid giving the impression that one singer carried the movement single-handedly.
  20. Epstein and Friedman's doc-like approach also results in a certain dramatic stasis; Howl is a film aimed more for the head than the gut.
  21. Though most will visit R.J. Cutler's subtle, supple documentary hoping to peek beneath the formidable bangs of Vogue editor Anna Wintour, they will be disappointed: This is a movie whose ambitions range wider than the contents of her guarded psyche.
  22. Edwards is a wizard with his laptop's effects program. The squiddy things he conjures up look like the real deal - thoroughly creepy and a gazillion feet tall. Too bad his screenwriting software didn't have an equivalently impressive plot-twisting algorithm to get him to the final fade.
  23. Like many neglected offspring, Gregory comes across as an eternal child himself, hooked on his capacity to enchant but rarely able to listen to anyone other than the actors over whom he has such power.
  24. Illness, death, bad fathers and bad marriages, suppressed old loves — there's nothing new here, yet we are held by the way ordinary suffering has hardened into an emotional prison for three old friends.
  25. Berg is relentlessly unsparing.
  26. Leaving this improbably feel-good movie, you'll wish Robbie all the luck in the world, and the mentors to go with it.
  27. Jaoui's insights into the human struggle to find meaningful ways to live may not be especially profound, but she brings a warm particularity and a tough but tender compassion to her studies of congenital human discontent and the crazy, often self-defeating ways in which we strive to complete ourselves. If that's bourgeois, we might all plead guilty.

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