NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,023 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 4.2 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:
1,023 movie reviews
  1. Mitchell brings respect, tenderness and a generous helping of his antic wit to Rabbit Hole, not to mention a rare gift for adding visual radiance to a talky stage play.
  2. If Meek's Cutoff is every inch a Western, it's an art-film mutant of the genre, inching along with intensely naturalistic obsession for detail that courts tedium even as it dares us not to pay attention.
  3. It's fair to say that men in general and ardent Catholics in particular don't come off well. Yet even they are humanized by the movie's merciful temper, and by a cast of damaged ancillary characters wearing eccentric goodwill on their sleeves.
  4. Beautiful Boy is the antithesis of melodrama. Painfully perceptive and relentlessly raw, this intimate observation of a couple in extremis plays out with such subdued intensity that, by the end, audiences will very likely feel as wrung out as its embattled stars.
  5. These guys are a hoot, and The Trip is a trip and a half.
  6. The Empire State's eminent domain laws are unusually loose, but most of the rest of this story is pertinent far beyond New York. Change a few names and add the next credit bubble, and a Brooklyn-style Battle could be headed to a neighborhood near you.
  7. Nim's suffering is heartbreaking, but Marsh's melodramatic style, with its re-enactments and intense score, sometimes feels bombastic and overblown for a group of people who, aside from the frighteningly detached and morally careless Terrace, seem to be garden-variety neurotics and narcissists, more clueless than willfully cruel.
  8. If the movie's mix of nihilistic violence and snarky attitude suggests "In Bruges," it's a family resemblance. The writer-director of that film, which also starred Gleeson, is Martin McDonagh, the younger brother of this one's. Despite the similarities, the older McDonagh has a lighter touch. Where "In Bruges" ultimately became a mechanical bloodbath, The Guard scampers quickly through the action scenes, delivering commentary on genre conventions as it goes.
  9. Ruiz, whose best-known films include his 1999 adaptation of Proust's "Time Regained," coolly roams the ambiguous territories between tragedy and soap opera, and between the traditional and the modern.
  10. The truth may not be quite that simple, but Kapadia's slightly ecstatic version of it makes for gripping viewing.
  11. Never one to take a back seat in his movies, Broomfield projects a shambling, Columbo-style bonhomie that gains him access to people who should be very afraid of letting him cross their threshold.
  12. The Turin Horse is an absolute vision, masterly and enveloping in a way that less personal, more conventional movies are not. The film doesn't seduce; it commands.
  13. The elephant in the room of any discussion of Poland and the Jews is that country's less-than-glorious record of betrayal and collaboration with the Nazis. Holland, who is half-Jewish and whose mother was active in the Polish Resistance, doesn't shrink from that legacy.
  14. The picture's real achievement though, is the warmth it brings to the music that animates the lives of these Afro-Cuban characters.
  15. The hipster moment may have faded fast through repression and attrition, but in Todorovsky's reading, it was crucially formative on today's Russian youth.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Silent House is smart about its scares as well as its delivery method.
  16. The movie is not a story but a text, and Cedar is its playfully intrusive interpreter.
  17. All I can add to the discussion is the fervent hope that any parents, teachers, administrators or students who see it will immediately start clamoring for it to be shown at their next PTA meeting.
  18. We Have a Pope is not the filmmaker's next assault on a Roman patriarch. It's a half-sweet, half-rueful existential drama in which the satire comes secondary.
  19. The film has some fairly grisly violence, but also considerable humor and the sort of intricate, thought-through storytelling you'd expect from Hitchcock or the Coen brothers.
  20. The wonder of Black's performance here is its empathy and balance: inasmuch as he can disappear into any role, he dissolves into this one with no hint of mocking remove. It's a beautiful thing to see.
  21. God Bless America ends with a couple of tale-twisting bullet orgies designed to take your preconceptions, as well as your nerve-endings, by surprise.
  22. Beneath the noirish topicality of Elena, which won a special jury prize at Cannes last year, lies a bone-deep existential unease and spiritual alienation, a preoccupation with sin that is at once quintessentially Russian and wholly archaic.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Even as it depicts a forgotten way of life, Found Memories is already on its way to becoming a relic itself, its glacial, meditative style an anachronism in the 21st century.
  23. As you might expect from the creator of "Inception" and "Memento," there are surprises both in the story and in the storytelling. But the biggest surprise may just be how satisfying Nolan has made his farewell to a Dark Knight trilogy that many fans will wish he'd extend to a 10-part series, at least.
  24. Greenfield's refusal to pass judgment on the Siegels lends her subjects and their marriage unexpected complexity and depth - especially Jackie, a true force of nature.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    The movie finds its warmest and its best comedic moments exploring the dynamic between this unlikely trio: the shy, uncertain kid; the sex-obsessed cad who couldn't care at all about him; and the uncle who's trying to care but has no idea how to connect with him.
  25. Ai is a great movie subject for many reasons, but one is that he understands the power of appearing larger than life on the silver screen.
  26. The film, though, is as sure-footed as their partnership is not - a nuanced portrait of emotional turmoil, persuasively acted, richly sensual one moment, wrenching the next, and unlike so many films centering on gay characters, not particularly concerned with things like coming out or HIV.
  27. While it's lavish and lush in all the expected costume-drama ways, A Royal Affair never bogs down in period detail. What drives the film, along with great acting, is the appetite of director Nikolaj Arcel and his boisterous co-writer Rasmus Heisterberg ("I want a fun queen!" wails Christian) for the queasy workings of political gamesmanship both above and below board.

Top Trailers