NPR's Scores

  • Movies
For 1,021 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 Social Network
Lowest review score: 0 This Means War
Score distribution:
1,021 movie reviews
  1. The movie maintains its sense of style throughout, but that hardly matters as the story just gets stupider and stupider.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Jesse's nobility is one of the primary reasons Liberal Arts is so hard to take.
  5. 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.
    • 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.
  6. A witless ninny of a movie about Italy, romantic disillusion, Shakespeare, history, more Italy and getting to "yes" in love and intimacy.
  7. 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.
    • 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.
  8. 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.
  9. What possessed Liv Tyler to take a role in this sadistic, unmotivated home-invasion flick.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. This is a movie so in love with its own supposed cleverness that it never realizes it's not all that clever.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Feels from start to finish like a throwback to the action cinema and military thrillers of decades past.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. My advice to potential audiences: Find something else to do.
  24. 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.
    • 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.
  25. Hafstrom, on the other hand, has some serious work ahead of him if he wants any kind of absolution after this wreck.
  26. Without much actual character to latch on to, most of the actors seem lost and awkward, even the usually dependable Hall.
    • 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.

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