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 12 Years a Slave
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,019 movie reviews
  1. 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.
  2. The end result is that Tiny Furniture plays like situation comedy, but with an overlay of performance art.
  3. Another Year is a stacked deck of a movie that draws a harshly unforgiving, sometimes smug line between boomers who've made good and those who've fallen by the wayside.
  4. 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.
  5. Like zombie auteur George Romero at his best, Grau locks his sights on his social commentary of choice and goes after it with the zeal of a 19-year-old cannibal girl sinking an ax into the skull of her next meal. The result is messy, but it makes more than a meal.
  6. Style over substance? Well, yes, but Dolan's a precocious talent (a decent actor, to boot), and at the advanced age of 21, has all the time in the world to deal with weightier matters. Heartbeats, meanwhile, is fluff - engaging, moody, visually snappy fluff.
  7. All these characters make a beautiful mess together, even if McCarthy spends too much time tidying it up.
  8. What sets Dupieux's film apart is its unexpected secondary dimension: an absurdist meta-commentary on cinema itself that hilariously articulates the notion that the movies stop existing the moment we stop watching, like the sound of an unobserved tree falling in the forest.
  9. 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.
  10. Flashy and fun, and a nifty showcase for Yen.
  11. The Beaver is at its core a classically Oedipal tale. While one son angles in all the wrong ways for his abject father's attention, another engages in a heroic struggle with his abusive bully of a dad.
  12. 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?
  13. Page One is an insider's view, but if it isn't raking up any muck, it's not a love letter either.
  14. 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.
  15. Mozart's Sister is consequently gorgeous, with candlelit shots looking like old master paintings - a fine match for music that takes your breath away.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. This film exists purely to dazzle and thrill, and by that measure, it delivers expertly, never lagging despite a lengthy 133-minute running time.
  19. The lady was - and remains - a pro, still glowin', crowin', goin' strong.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Wain's brand of humor thrives on stepping over the line - and then sprinting a few hundred yards past it.
  23. 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.
  24. Nobody's idea of "Mr. Holland's Opus," but it winds up in a similar place, more or less.
  25. Both Jeff and the film have a way of sneaking up on you.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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?

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