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. Arguably the most dynamic Asian action film since the 1990s peaks of John Woo and Tsui Hark, The Raid: Redemption works as sheer gladiatorial ballet.
  2. I'm pretty sure that the terrific British actress Janet McTeer never meant to act Close out of every frame they share, but she surely does as Hubert, a cheerful bruiser who brings his own secrets to the party, as well as a monumentally fake broken nose, a kind heart and a practical gift for converting adversity to advantage.
  3. And then there's the simple fact of De Niro, playing a delusional taxi driver. It's easy to imagine Being Flynn's story turning precious in the wrong hands, but Weitz and his cast spin it just right - as a narrative that is both emotionally real, and just writerly enough to suit its leading men.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Somehow, without soft-pedaling the nastier angles of Wagner's life and legacy, Wagner & Me lands on the side of joy and defiance - broadly speaking, Fry decides not to let the terrorists win.
  4. Director Stephen Frears, working from a book by the real Martin Sixsmith, isn't about to let the Irish church off the hook for a monstrous (and well-documented) chapter in its history. In flashbacks, he pictures the young Philomena as a sort of proto-Katniss, doing battle with a tyranny of nuns.
  5. The filmmakers have been telling interviewers they have sufficient additional material for a whole other movie. And The Dog is eye-opening enough to make you kind of hope that's true.
  6. After all, the documentary itself stands as a thrilling testament to the fact that art is — and should be — open to interpretation.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There are certain plot points in Starbuck, it's true, that either don't make much sense or are simply underexplained. But the picture is so breezily warm, without being too insistently ingratiating, that those flaws don't matter much.
  7. It's customary to describe this kind of thriller as "adrenaline-fueled," but this is the first time apart from "Pulp Fiction" I can recall there being an actual shot of adrenaline on screen. Samuel uses it to wake Hugo from his coma, then kind of wishes he hadn't.
  8. It's brilliantly silly entertainment whose flaws are glaring only in hindsight; in the moment, you'll have much more fun if you stop looking for holes in the script and join Paul in looking for a way out.
  9. Without their guns, the men prove surprisingly helpless. And when a representative of a larger pan-African community tells them that if they want the women to stop treating them like children, they must behave responsibly, you sense a corner has been turned.
  10. A dramedy laying out the dueling coaching philosophies of guys who doubtless meant a great deal to fans, but of whom I'd been blissfully unaware for decades -- is enormously engaging. Enormously.
  11. John Malkovich has played some odd ducks in his career, but for sheer unsavoriness, few can match the blandly monstrous Cape Town poetry professor he brings to off-putting life in Disgrace.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Robert May, a producer on "The Station Agent" and "The Fog of War," makes his directing debut with a carefully measured, admirably precise account of this sordid business.
  12. What's not fictional in their Trip to Italy is the gorgeous Italian coastline director Michael Winterbottom has them romping through, or the food they barely notice (though it'll have you famished by film's end), or the yacht they commandeer, bellowing all the while ...
  13. End of Watch is one thriller where the adrenaline rush, considerable as it is, is almost always put in the service of character. Happily, the character on display turns out to be considerable, too.
  14. A film that's sweet, inclusive and sunny, a charmer filled with people who seem every bit as surprised as we are when they manage to look past surface differences, and find reasons to bond.
  15. It will absolutely delight the art-house crowd. Multiplexes will be crowded with noisy summer films, after all, from which Departures will represent a sophisticated and elegant departure.
  16. Moors' film is at its best when it worries at notions of how evil is born, fostered and brought to bloom.
  17. What gives their story emotional heft has to do with a different kind of dimension: a depth of feeling surrounding the Black Stallion-style bonding of boy and beast.
  18. Among other things, this powerfully confused man is a study in American extremity.
  19. Undertow, for all its narrative tricks, has been given the rhythm and texture of real life, as well as emotional undercurrents that are haunting.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    More directly, In Bloom follows on 2012's "The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear," a documentary by Tinatin Gurchiani that offered bleak vignettes about the lives of young Georgians.
  20. Despite its fanciful premise, Never Let Me Go looks and feels utterly real.
  21. The Well-Digger's Daughter offers a fervent poem to the region's abundant beauty.
  22. (Marsh) downplays political questions of ideological rights and wrongs. Rather than making a film about terrorism, or about war, Marsh looks at how they affect the people caught up in their machinery.
  23. That film is far more interesting in concept, and infinitely more elegant in execution, than what Rogen and his buddies have cooked up in This Is the End — but I've gotta admit, it's not nearly as funny.
  24. The filmmakers have mostly cast from Dominican playing fields rather than from acting studios -- Algenis Perez Soto, the accomplished first-time performer who plays Miguel Sugar Santos, was himself a teen ballplayer -- so game and practice sequences have an easy authenticity from the start.
  25. The director wants him to engage his "audience," but Rebney -- as misanthropic as one would expect of a man who lives alone in a remote rural cabin -- only wants to talk about politics.
  26. Wiseman's fragmented approach misses the continuity of the show, which mixes erotic dance with comedy, magic and even a little soft shoe, and tells an overarching story that Crazy Horse never quite communicates. Yet there's more than enough compensation in the scenes Wiseman does catch.
    • NPR

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