NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,013 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 4.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The Tree of Life
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,013 movie reviews
  1. When he divides the screen into quadrants for his big finish, the effect is just laughable -- but then by that point, the movie is too.
  2. There's no chemistry between Zellweger and Connick, and there's not a moment in which anything anyone does feels remotely plausible.
  3. The Ugly Truth serves up yet another tightly wound career woman, ripe for chopping up, tenderizing and ravishing by an alpha male who knows what's good for her.
  4. Lumbering comedy, adapted by Larry Doyle from his own novel.
  5. First-time feature director Peter Billingsley could have enlivened the action with more vigorous editing. Everything takes too long, and the slapstick sequences are particularly lethargic.
  6. Indeed, despite occasional attempts at plot and character, this is basically a roast with scenery.
  7. Produced in partnership with YouTube and distributed by National Geographic Films, the documentary Life in a Day is offspring with the worst genetic traits of both: narcissism on a global scale, speckled with pretty pictures. In a world without books or magazines, this is the movie people would watch in the waiting room at the dentist's office.
  8. Whichever side of the aisle you inhabit, you will leave The Iron Lady feeling disgusted; you will also feel cheated - of information, insight or even an identifiable point of view.
  9. Without much actual character to latch on to, most of the actors seem lost and awkward, even the usually dependable Hall.
  10. The movie maintains its sense of style throughout, but that hardly matters as the story just gets stupider and stupider.
  11. With 26 films, one for each letter of the alphabet, one might expect enough gems in the mix to make up for any stinkers. That's sadly not the case.
  12. Feels from start to finish like a throwback to the action cinema and military thrillers of decades past.
  13. A disastrous father-son endeavor about a calamitous father-son expedition, After Earth doesn't play to the strengths of any of its major participants.
  14. The overused homages and a tacked-on twist ending are just failed attempts to save Repo Men from its own shallow blood lust.
  15. What possessed Liv Tyler to take a role in this sadistic, unmotivated home-invasion flick.
  16. Alas, there's scarcely a moment of ingenuity or surprise in this tale of the supremely smug, unmarried-but-made-for-each-other Brad and Kate.
  17. Dunno about the Earth, but time certainly stands still for a goodly portion of Scott Derrickson's expensively produced but utterly boneheaded remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still.
  18. Hard to say what's dumber, the premise or the characters in William Olsson's trashily preposterous An American Affair.
  19. McAdams glows, as always, but Bana looks drained: I guess all that time-shifting leaves its mark on the complexion as well as the soul.
  20. If it's about anything at all, the lame new comedy All About Steve is mostly about Mary, a logorrheic crossword compiler with too much arcane information in her head -- and the social skills of an excitable 6-year-old boy.
  21. This Arthur cravenly turns Susan into a monstrous status-seeker, making her less of a human being and thus much easier for Arthur to trample over in securing a meaningful adult relationship.
  22. Without the humor, the stereotypes that define these characters aren't satirical; they're just mean-spirited and dull.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    At its heart, Garry Marshall's New Year's Eve is soup made of rocks.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    None of it is inherently funny - as evidenced by how many scenes depend for a punchline on Hill swearing at one child or another.
  23. The movie uses the mutt's disappearance as a frame on which to hang a well-worn package of fatally mild domestic disorder, then resolve it in what feels like real time. Let's just say that the dog gets the best lines.
  24. Jesse's nobility is one of the primary reasons Liberal Arts is so hard to take.
  25. For all its strenuous feints at fair play, though, Won't Back Down is something less honorable - a propaganda piece with blame on its mind.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Tragically unfunny, Frankie is occasionally elevated by some of its gifted and game cast, but the film's nasty, comedically incoherent script limits its potential.
  26. The new Red Dawn's body count is as high as its predecessor's. But the fatalism in all of Milius' projects - even the silliest ones - has weight. That's not the case with the remake, whose portrayal of violence derives more from video games than from history.
  27. Style can be a risky thing in a movie like this, which aspires above all to inoffensiveness. Originally titled "Playing the Field," which was deemed too racy, this rom-com would have been more aptly renamed "Running Out the Clock."
  28. Stevens wants to honor the living legends who have miraculously agreed to appear in his movie, but after spending a full hour treating their characters like cartoons, the about-face into heartfelt slop lacks the necessary gravitas.
  29. Between the loaded conversations and metaphors, and the phony overlay of a children's fairy tale, The Playroom can't stop telegraphing themes and interpreting itself. There's nothing left for the audience to do.
  30. Judging from the lack of care that went into making this one, I'm not so sure how much Schrader cares about the movies anymore either.
  31. This is a movie for those who watched Liam Neeson in "Taken" and thought, "Hey, this is fun, but can we do it without having to wait 15 minutes for the action to start?" Solomon has 90 minutes at his disposal, and doesn't want to waste time with setup.
  32. Anderson's repeated hurling of flaming volcanic projectiles directly at the screen — the dominant feature of the latter third of Pompeii — is firmly in the lovably trashy spirit of the '50s drive-in.
  33. Weighed down by its plodding mediocrity.
  34. Despite Benhiby's best efforts to create one from many, the only thing the roughly 10-minute segments in New York, I Love You have in common are a general air of indifference.
  35. Miles ahead in terms of production values and a conscious avoidance of overt proselytizing. It will likely be an enormous success with the evangelical communities at which it's targeted. That doesn't save it from being an utter failure outside that narrow context.
  36. A witless ninny of a movie about Italy, romantic disillusion, Shakespeare, history, more Italy and getting to "yes" in love and intimacy.
  37. A deeply off-putting independent comedy.
  38. As the loosely aligned band of survivors turns into a pack of sociopathic loners, the only reasonable conclusion is that they were all pretty rotten to begin with.
  39. Olek never decides what his film should be, and the result takes wild stabs at slasher gore, supernatural horror, black comedy and even social commentary, thanks to a zero-hour attempt to tie things up with a morality tale about the damaging effects of organized religion.
  40. What's the difference between an action figure and an action star? Very little in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which features no performances of note, even from such combat-tested thespians as Bruce Willis, Jonathan Pryce and Dwayne Johnson.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    There's a stiffness to the actors' performances that reinforces the film's ambiguous tone. And Chen's use of jump cuts is jarring and arbitrary, their ubiquity upping the ante on the film's already tiring hyperactivity.
  41. The result isn't fresh and realistic, though; it's clumsy and stilted. Improvised dialogue can work wonderfully if the actors have a solid feel for their characters, but everyone here seems rushed and uncomfortable.
  42. None of them -- not one, not for a moment -- is remotely funny.
  43. The film becomes particularly risible when family matters come into play. Since the young demigods, by nature, are raised in single-parent homes, their encounters with the gods are characterized less by wonder than by the therapy-speak of wounded kids with daddy issues.
  44. This is a movie so in love with its own supposed cleverness that it never realizes it's not all that clever.
  45. The Change-Up's spin on the material transplants the same old house on a crumbled foundation, trying to disguise its creaky familiarity with the gaudiest coat of paint possible.
  46. There are swords and sorcery, pirates and monsters, taxed bodices and taxing mythology. In other words, there's the bare minimum necessary to summon this dismal movie into existence.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Project X strives to appall, and it would be similarly self-deluded to pretend this jumble of ecstasy and crotch shots is anything other than repulsive.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    What is watchable here is made possible by the sheer will of the gifted Moretz, who's in every scene as the precocious Luli.
  47. My advice to potential audiences: Find something else to do.
  48. Hafstrom, on the other hand, has some serious work ahead of him if he wants any kind of absolution after this wreck.
  49. Along with the rest of the movie's fine cast, Franco presumably believes he is in the presence of art. Me, I know a fire hose when I see one.
  50. The only apparent reason Tooth Fairy exists at all is to squeeze tough-guy ex-wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson into tights and a tutu. As comic ideas go, that doesn't stretch much further than the poster.
  51. Tedious to watch and torture to listen to.
  52. The shame of it is, all this ridiculousness might have worked under surer hands. After all, farces are supposed to be a little silly, and the audience, for lack of a better phrase, can be trained to just go with it. The trick? Don't treat us like a bunch of Palmers.
  53. I Am Number Four's CGI sequences are murky and dark, its performances negligible, its script genuinely inept. There is, I should note, a puppy, which arguably keeps the film this side of completely unbearable, but just barely.
  54. The words "florid" and "inert" are not quite antonyms, but it would nonetheless seem impossible for those two adjectives to apply to the same thing. And yet here comes The Paperboy, a swamp noir so spectacularly incompetent that even the ripest pulp attractions are left to rot in the sun, flies buzzing lazily around them.
  55. This movie, like all of Sandler's, insists on its star's likability.
  56. With the material they're given, they mostly just seem foolish for showing up to the movie to begin with. Audiences would do well to avoid the same mistake.

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