For 1,100 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Dana Stevens' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 A Mighty Wind
Lowest review score: 0 The Nutcracker
Score distribution:
1,100 movie reviews
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    See it because it's f---ing hilarious.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Its pleasures are almost obscenely abundant.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Like finding that perfect stage of moderate drunkenness in which the senses are sharpened rather than dulled, and time passes with leisurely grace.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Mr. Guest and Mr. Levy's jokes are sometimes so subtle as to seem imperceptible, until you realize that they are everywhere, from the broadest gestures to the tiniest details of dress and décor.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    The World’s End not only makes a more than worthy conclusion to the Cornetto trilogy — it stands on its own as one of the sharpest, saddest and wisest comedies of the year.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Boyhood reimagines the coming-of-age film as family album, longitudinal character study, and collaborative artistic experiment — a mad risk that paid off in a movie that’s as transcendent as it is ordinary, just like life.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    The way that Redford’s character — who for all his namelessness and near-wordlessness emerges as a distinct character, a calm, pragmatic, curious man with a dry sense of humor — struggles with that ultimate question is the beating heart of All is Lost, which somewhere in its second hour goes from being a good movie to being a great one.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    I realize that the fear of contracting writer's block from a fictional character is crazy, but in the brilliantly scrambled, self-consuming world of Adaptation it has a certain plausibility.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Fruitvale Station’s wrenching power lies in the specificity of its storytelling and the ordinary human warmth of the world it conjures. You walk out of it, not shaking your head over an abstract social problem, but grieving the senseless death of one flawed, complex, tragically young man.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    The rapport between Ms. Watts and Mr. Serkis is extraordinary, even though it is mediated by fur, latex, optical illusions and complicated effects. Mr. Serkis, who also played Gollum in the "Lord of the Rings" movies, is redefining screen acting for the digital age, while Ms. Watts incarnates the glamour and emotional directness of classical Hollywood.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Neither the neighborhood intimacy of "Mean Streets" nor the grandeur of the "Godfather" movies is imaginable without Visconti's example. Its richness, though, is inexhaustible, and well served by the spotless new 35-millimeter print being shown at Film Forum.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Surely the best movie yet made from Mr. Irving's fiction. It may even belong in the rarefied company of movies that are better than the books on which they are based.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    To skip Moolaade would be to miss an opportunity to experience the embracing, affirming, world-changing potential of humanist cinema at its finest.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    In exchange for three hours of your time, Yi Yi will give you more life.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Full of brilliantly executed coups de théâtre, showing the director's natural flair for spectacle.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Not merely an interesting document from a far-off place; it is a masterpiece.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    With its careful, unassuming naturalism, its visual thrift and its emotional directness, Million Dollar Baby feels at once contemporary and classical, a work of utter mastery that at the same time has nothing in particular to prove.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Asghar Farhadi's A Separation serves as a quiet reminder of how good it's possible for movies to be.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    It rediscovers the aching, desiring humanity in a genre -- and a period-- too often subjected to easy parody or ironic appropriation. In a word, it's divine.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    If you're interested in the history of the human race-if you're a member of the human race-you owe it to yourself to see this movie.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Qualifies as one of my favorite movies of all time. This 1932 masterpiece, now digitally restored with retranslated subtitles and a newly recorded score, is a silent film that doesn't feel silent at all.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Ida
    There’s an urgency to Ida’s simple, elemental story that makes it seem timely, or maybe just timeless.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Astonishingly well acted film, so much so that it seems unfair to single out any of the performances. Mr. Lawrence's camera sense is as sure and unobtrusive as his feel for acting. The movie just seems to happen, to grow out of the ground like a thorny plant, revealing the intricate intelligence of its design only in hindsight.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    It's surely the best depiction of teenage eccentricity since "Rushmore," and its incisive satire of the boredom and conformity that rule our thrill-seeking, individualistic land, and also its question-mark ending, reminded me of "The Graduate."
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    What Mr. Crowe has done is nonetheless remarkable. He has made a movie about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll that you would be happy to take your mother to see.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Like a good novel, Les Destinées is many things: a family chronicle, a series of psychological portraits, a sumptuous re-creation of the past. But the film is also a pointed tribute to the French tradition of quality and distinction, a tradition in which it clearly includes itself.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    The movie we've been waiting for all year: a comedy that doesn't take cheap shots, a drama that doesn't manipulate, a movie of ideas that doesn't preach. It's a rich, layered, juicy film, with quiet revelations punctuated by big laughs.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    The Babadook creates tension not with jump scares or chase sequences but with judicious editing and slow-burn suspense—that is, until it descends into a final half-hour of harrowing emotional and physical intensity, an extended climax that made me gasp aloud, hide my eyes, and weep at least twice.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    As the couple’s widening rift exposes the gender and class assumptions that underlie their marriage... Force Majeure morphs into a biting critique of modern masculinity, of traditional parenting roles, and possibly of the institution of marriage itself.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    A clever, vividly imagined, consistently funny, eye-poppingly pretty and oddly profound movie … about Legos.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Stupendously entertaining.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Mr. Turner does resemble "Topsy-Turvy" in its meticulous yet vibrant recreation of the past and its ever-expanding thematic amplitude. This is a movie not only about one particular artist, but about art as both a field of human endeavor and an object of shifting cultural and economic value.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Mystic River is the rare American movie that aspires to -- and achieves -- the full weight and darkness of tragedy.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Watching E.T now, in an era dominated by cold, loud special-effects-laden extravaganzas, one is struck less by its lavish grandeur than by its intimacy and precision.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    This document of youthful confusion has not aged one minute. If anything, its detached, discursive and sympathetic observation of the earnest foolishness of post-baccalaureate, pre-1968 Parisians is more acute, and more prophetic, than ever.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Since her character wears no historical costumes and suffers from no debilitating ailment, it is likely that Ms. Curtis will be overlooked when Oscar season rolls around. This is a shame, since it is unlikely that any other actress this year will match the loose, energetic wit she brings to this delightful movie.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    To call The Son a masterpiece would be to insult its modesty. Like the homely, useful boxes Olivier teaches his prodigals to build, it is sturdy, durable and, in its downcast, unobtrusive way, miraculous.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    It seems almost unthinkable that such a charismatic, generous and lively man could be gone. It also makes you understand what it means for a country like Haiti to lose a citizen like Jean Dominique.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    A near-perfect piece of popular entertainment, a children's classic.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    By allowing the stories to play off one another and allowing layers of meaning to accumulate before we even notice them, the filmmakers capture some of the essential strangeness of life -- the way our relations are governed by laws that remain invisible to us until art reveals their workings.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    A brilliant feat of rug-pulling, sure to delight fans of movies like "The Usual Suspects" and "Pi."
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    No
    It’s the rare political satire that can sound the depths of irony as No does and still end on a note of ambivalent hope.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Though Sweetgrass has moments of great beauty, the film is never nostalgic or idealizing about its human or ovine subjects. It shows the relationship of human and domesticated animal—and the relationship of both to nature—as a productive and symbiotic yet often brutal struggle.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Ten
    A work of inspired simplicity.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Stringent, clinical and almost unbearably moving.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    You realize you are witnessing a psychodrama of novelistic intricacy and epic scope.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Metropolis retains its power to overwhelm, trouble and move because it is connected to the deep anxieties of modern life as if by a high-voltage cable.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    It's not one of Kurosawa's great films.... But it is, within its own proportions, nearly perfect.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Polanski, who was a Jewish child in Krakow when the Germans arrived in September 1939, presents Szpilman's story with bleak, acid humor and with a ruthless objectivity that encompasses both cynicism and compassion.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    An exquisitely simple movie. Mr. Kim manages to isolate something essential about human nature and at the same time, even more astonishingly, to comprehend the scope of human experience.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Remarkable for its genuine, unpretentious lyricism.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Is, in the end, a boisterous love song -- a funny valentine to London, to chaos and to human decency.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    In an era whose culture was defined by what the literary critic Richard Poirier called the performing self, Mr. Ali's persona was one of the greatest performances of all.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Offers the kind of experience that makes you glad movies exist.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Has a quiet, cumulative magic, whose source is hard to identify. Its simple, meticulously composed frames are full of mystery and feeling; it's an action movie that stands perfectly still.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Still, for me, Wuthering Heights' almost impersonal immersion in the light and texture and sound of the moors was the source of its vividness and necessity. In order for the art of literary adaptation to remain vital, we have to be willing to let directors throw aside the book and film their dream of it.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    One of the best entertainments this season has yet offered.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    The raw intimacy of some of the scenes -- whether they take place at a diner, in the death house or in the bedroom -- is breathtaking.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    An unexpected delight, a film that weds the humor and magic of a folk tale with a very modern feel for the psychological dynamics between men and women and for the subtle politics of male rivalry in a macho culture. It has been made and acted with intelligence and evident love, which deserves to be requited.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    The visual beauty of the film, rather than distracting from the troubling story, makes it more troubling still.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    He [Clooney] has found a cogent subject, an urgent set of ideas and a formally inventive, absolutely convincing way to make them live on screen.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    It is the work of a master -- of more than one, for that matter. Mr. Godard, who once called it "my first real film," was showing the obsession with, and mastery of, cinematic technique that would make him one of the culture heroes of the 1960's.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Mr. Stone has taken a public tragedy and turned it into something at once genuinely stirring and terribly sad. His film offers both a harrowing return to a singular, disastrous episode in the recent past and a refuge from the ugly, depressing realities of its aftermath.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    She (Varda) plucks images and stories from the world around her, finding beauty and nourishment in lives and activities the world prefers to ignore.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Alan, who Mr. Sachs has said was based on his own father, is a great character - passionate, complicated, bursting with life. Those words also describe Mr. Torn's performance.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    It's not a perfect movie, and it does not aspire to be a great one. It's just wonderful.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    If nothing else, it's an eye-boggling two hours at the movies and a must for Swinton completists fascinated by her recent turn toward operatic roles in odd, unmarketable films like this one and last year's Julia. She's becoming the Maria Callas of international cinema.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    A political thriller that manages to be at once silly and clever, buoyantly satirical and sneakily disturbing, but he (Demme) has recovered some of the lightness and sureness of touch that had faded from his movies after "The Silence of the Lambs."
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Mr. Sauper has produced an extraordinary work of visual journalism, a richly illustrated report on a distant catastrophe that is also one of the central stories of our time.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Osama's unvarnished vulnerability, along with the director's combination of tough-mindedness and lyricism, prevents the movie from becoming at all sentimental; instead, it is beautiful, thoughtful and almost unbearably sad.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Its effects seem more like those of a poem or a piece of music than a movie. Requires the reverent darkness and communal solitude of a theater.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    May be the oddest movie of the year, by turns sweet and sinister, insouciant and grotesque, invitingly funny and forbiddingly dark. It may also be one of the best, a tour de force of ink-washed, crosshatched mischief and unlikely sublimity.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Even if you couldn’t care less about jazz drumming, though, Whiplash is a thrill to watch. Underneath that taut, stylish surface, it’s really a movie about the perils of pedagogy, about the relationship between a passionate (perhaps too passionate) student and a demanding (perhaps too demanding) teacher. Which is to say, a movie about a uniquely powerful and potentially destructive form of love.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    I’ve always admired this director’s commitment to both seriousness and laughter, to showing the beauty and significance of ordinary human life side by side with its petty, venal absurdity.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    I'll be forever grateful to this movie for introducing me to Nim's story, a tale so powerful and suggestive that it functions as a myth about the ever-mysterious relationship between human beings and animals.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    The animation is a marvel - all the more so because the most demanding sequences seem almost casually tossed off. The world of Wallace and Gromit is one of the few genuinely eccentric places left in the movies, a place where lumpy, doughy characters achieve a peculiar dignity in spite of their grotesque features and the ridiculousness of their circumstances.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    He's (Kingsley) pure violence, a sociopath who radiates menace even while sitting perfectly still mouthing pleasantries.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    A gorgeous, heartbreaking and utterly convincing work of art.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Both sharply comical and piercingly sad. Mr. Baumbach surveys the members of the flawed, collapsing Berkman family with sympathy but without mercy, noting their individual and collective failures and imperfections with relentless precision.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Like so many European pictures these days, Read My Lips seems destined to be remade in Hollywood, and it is unlikely to be improved by the addition of vainer actors, a simpler screenplay and flashier direction.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Heist is a pleasure to watch, and the greatest pleasure is to watch Mr. Lindo and Mr. Hackman steal it.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Thrillingly smart, but not, like so many other pictures in this vein, merely an elaborate excuse for its own cleverness. As you puzzle over the intricacies of its shape, which reveal themselves only in retrospect, you may also find yourself surprised by the depth of its insights.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    You come away from his film overwhelmed, hopeful and, perhaps paradoxically, illuminated.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    The political implications of the film are manifest, as is the quiet courage of making it.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Easy Money's big heist scene is the only action set piece so far this year that was so suspenseful I could feel my heartbeat in my ears.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Williams plays this tired, disillusioned, chronically angry woman without a trace of actorly vanity. It's a performance noteworthy not just for its intensity but for Williams' ability to communicate inner experience at a micro-level of detail.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    May be the most necessary film you'll see this year. But if you go to the movies in search of emotion rather than edification, don't let that word necessary deter you, because this is also one of the most engaging films you'll see this year, full of vibrant, complex real-life characters whose troubles and joys will stay with you long after the movie's done.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    The Coens have used the noir idiom to fashion a haunting, beautifully made movie that refers to nothing outside itself and that disperses like a vapor as soon as it's over.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Russell has always excelled at finding new ways to use familiar actors, and every performance in The Fighter is noteworthy if not outstanding.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    One of the great movies of the 1960's, but it has been, in this country at least, maddeningly elusive. In spite of its bitter edge, Billy Liar is pure Ambrosia.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Fascinating. Anyone interested in the challenges and techniques of acting -- which is really to say, anyone interested in human behavior -- should turn off E! and head down to Mr. Almereyda's film.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Mr. Parker has brilliantly updated his source and grasped its essence, composing a sorrowful and hilarious tone poem about alienated labor, or an absurdist workplace sitcom, as if a team of French surrealists had been put in charge of "The Drew Carey Show."
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Like its hero, who is brave without a trace of bravado, Overlord is unusually quiet and thoughtful. The scale and ambition of combat movies has usually been epic, but this one is disarmingly lyrical and subjective.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    A brilliant satire of emotional politics.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    A refreshing movie that's so good natured, so confident of its ability to provoke not queasy awe or numb exhaustion but pure delight.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Not for the faint of heart, though it has no scenes of overt violence, and barely a tear is shed. It is also strangely thrilling, not only because of the quiet assurance of Mr. Kore-eda's direction, but also because of his alert, humane sense of sympathy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    An almost unbearably powerful documentary.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    In spite of its limited perspective on Vietnam, its churning, term-paperish exploration of Conrad and the near incoherence of its ending, (it) is a great movie. It grows richer and stranger with each viewing, and the restoration of scenes left in the cutting room two decades ago has only added to its sublimity.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    The lovely clarity of this story, which seems to have been drawn from the literature of an earlier age, is well served by the artful subtlety of the telling. Mr. Majidi prefers imagery to exposition, and his shots are as dense with meaning, and as readily accessible, as Dutch paintings.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    An astute and surprisingly gripping drama not only about the ethics of magazine writing, but also, more generally, about the subtle political and psychological dynamics of modern office culture.

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