For 60 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 38% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 61% 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: 61
Highest review score: 100 The Kids Are All Right
Lowest review score: 0 The Nutcracker
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 60
  2. Negative: 6 out of 60
60 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    A near-perfect piece of popular entertainment, a children's classic.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    It’s a stunningly assured debut, a slyly subversive delight, and one of my favorite movies of the year so far.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    It’s the unhappiest happy ending I’ve ever seen, a moment that makes you weep not just for this one man who found his way back to freedom, but for all those men and women who never knew it in the first place.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    If you're willing to let go of your Hollywood-bred expectations for a movie of this type-spectacular action set pieces, constant pulse-pounding music, a killing every 15 minutes-The American is a great pleasure to watch, an astringent antidote to the loud, frantic action movies that have been clogging our veins all summer.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    The film's best moments are the quiet ones in which Oldman's ironically named Smiley provides the story with its wise, unsmiling soul.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Though its story may sound formulaic on paper, please take my word for it: Monsieur Lazhar, written and directed by Philippe Falardeau, is a sharply intelligent, deeply sad, and not remotely sappy film about both teaching and collective grief.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    It's a rollicking children's entertainment, gorgeously animated and wittily cast, and also an unusually astute exploration of the complex bond between mothers and daughters, a relationship that's often either elided or sentimentalized in children's literature and film.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    The Master is above all a love story between Joaquin Phoenix's damaged WWII vet, Freddie Quell, and Philip Seymour Hoffmann's charismatic charlatan, Lancaster Dodd. And that relationship is powerful and funny and twisted and strange enough that maybe that's all the movie needs to be about.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    In the quietly devastating Amour, Haneke's cool, dispassionate gaze feels, for the first time, something like love.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Linklater may not have set out to make a decade-spanning triptych of poetic meditations on youth, young adulthood, and middle age, but he, Hawke, and Delpy have accomplished exactly that. The Before series has steadily gotten better as it goes along, which is more than any but the most optimistic among us dare to hope for from love.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    This Much Ado About Nothing — while perhaps not an adaptation for the ages in every respect — is as bracingly effervescent as picnic champagne.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    A wonderful movie, observant and hilarious and full of sad and beautiful truths.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    This is not to say that Gravity is a masterpiece: Unlike Cuarón’s extraordinary "Children of Men", it doesn’t quite pull off its ambitious effort to combine formal inventiveness, heart-pounding action, and intimate human storytelling. But it succeeds thrillingly at the first two of those categories, and only misses the mark on the last because it tries a little too hard — which is certainly a welcome respite from the countless sci-fi thrillers that privilege the human story not at all.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    This is a movie that traffics in deep hindbrain emotions: fear and rage and lust and, above all, the pure animal drive to go on living.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Like "Spartacus," this movie is engaging because it's actually about something: the love of learning, the clash between science and religious faith, and the grim fact that political change often proceeds on the foundation of mob violence and genocide. Agora engages more effectively with this kind of big historical idea than it does with human drama.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    It's a question of whether or not the movie speaks to your secret, unregulated, inherently ridiculous experience of identification and desire--not who you should be, but who you are. Does the warm blood of a teenager still flow beneath your icy grown-up flesh?
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    At the end of Inception, I hadn't lived through the grueling emotional journey Nolan seemed to think I had, but I'd seen a bunch of cool images and admired some technically ambitious feats of filmmaking.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Of all the twists in Catfish-the most surprising of all is what an honest and thoughtful film it turns out, against all odds, to be.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    What emerges from the chaos may be uneven and at times ridiculous, but it's never boring.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    It's the movie's affectionate portrait of female friendship, along with Miller and Graynor's loose, playful performances, that make this whole imperfect soufflé rise as high as it does.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Bachelorette places a trio of women front and center who are so irredeemably loathsome, it's kind of refreshing. At least until a conventional third-act redemption undercuts some of the movie's sharpest insights and funniest jokes.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Like most haunted-house stories, Mama gets steadily less scary as its (for the most part, fairly predictable) secrets unfold. But even if the beats are familiar, Muschietti sustains a remarkable mood throughout: wintry, elemental and stark, like a late Sylvia Plath poem.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Given how efficiently World War Z has delivered jolts and screams over the course of its sleek 116-minute running time, it’s easy to forgive this rushed and slightly muted finale.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Though this is a sweet, clever, gorgeously animated movie I’d be glad to take my kid to on a Saturday afternoon, I’m not sure it’s one I’d insist all my grownup friends drop what they’re doing to see.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    If I had a child near Dre's age, I'd drag him or her out of "Marmaduke" and into The Karate Kid--but not before requiring an at-home screening of the still unsurpassed original.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    There's no buildup, no narrative arc, just one scene of comically debauched partying after another.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Mining the incest prohibition for laughs in what's essentially a light romantic comedy is a bold move, and for the first two-thirds of the movie, it works surprisingly well. But as long as the Duplasses are willing to go there, I can't help but wish they'd gone a little further.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Careening from bathos to bromance to naked sexytime, the movie is like a mashup of three or four different movies, at least two of them fairly unpleasant. And yet Love and Other Drugs is so sincere and unjaded about its mystifying purpose that it keeps our gaze fixed on the screen for the full two hours.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Brooks has given us the rare contemporary rom-com that's by turns (if intermittently) thoughtful and funny, and that doesn't feel focus-grouped, cynical, misogynist, or mean. It seems ungenerous not to cut such a generous movie a break.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Super 8 is at its best when it dwells in this secret childhood empire, and at its worst when it juices up its essentially simple story with increasingly senseless action set pieces.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    By the time the great vampire showdown finally got started, I was good and done with Breaking Dawn, Part 2. But the big action scene is so campily over the top - with one twist so unforeseeable - that it sent me out on a burst of grudging goodwill.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    There's just not quite enough to the movie: not enough jokes, not enough obstacles, not enough sex.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    Though the movie never overcomes the miscasting of its lead couple, The Romantics does show a surprisingly fine authorial touch.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    If these developments sound slight and meandering, so is the movie. Everything Must Go has a spacious, under-inhabited feeling.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    The film spends too much time wringing its hands over the all-too-evident fact that journalism is in crisis, when it could be documenting that crisis from the inside.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    Fincher is a master of mood and atmosphere, but this chilly, efficient movie never transcends the shallowness of its source material.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    Though Carano isn't without a certain glowering charisma, her flat line readings and apparent discomfort with dialogue-heavy exchanges make her seem like a refugee from a different, schlockier movie, the kind of low-budget, straight-to-video MMA rock-'em-sock-'em that might pop up on late-night basic cable and charm you with its rough-hewn amateurism and animal high spirits. As Haywire's long-seeming 92 minutes limped by, I found myself wishing I was watching that movie instead.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    Albert Nobbs is the rare double drag king bill you could plausibly take your grandmother to. It's genteel, well-crafted, mostly sexless and frequently dull - a movie that, like its title character, never quite dares to let itself discover what it really wants to be.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    Where "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" frolicked on the beach, this amiable but underachieving comedy just sort of blobs on the couch.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    Looper felt to me like a maddening near-miss: It posits an impossible but fascinating-to-imagine relationship...and then throws away nearly all the dramatic potential that relationship offers. If someone remakes Looper as the movie it could have been in, say, 30 years, will someone from the future please FedEx it back to me?
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    The movie's curious capacity for self-erasure makes it a tough one to write about; less than 24 hours later, I recall it with all the clarity of something I half-watched on a plane with a hangover in 1996.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    Unfortunately, that sharp-eyed domestic comedy is dwarfed by the far less well-written supervillain crime plot that surrounds it.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    Frances Ha feels like a collaboration between two people in love, and not always in the best way. There are too many scenes in a row that make the same point.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    If this version of Superman is to have a future — as Warner Brothers seems convinced he will, having already green-lit the sequel — I hope Snyder will dial back both the casualty count and the Krypton mythmaking and instead focus on establishing a fictional Earth that’s rich enough to be worth saving.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    For all its tasteful spareness and eerie, diaphanous mood, Blue Caprice feels, in the end, insubstantial. It’s a true-crime story that illustrates little about the crime in question and a character study whose characters, even when haunting, remain stubbornly opaque.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Dana Stevens
    Like Cooper's lady-killing character, Face, The A-Team is utterly convinced of its own lovability even as it strains our credibility, abuses our patience, and punishes our eardrums.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Dana Stevens
    The character of Roy Miller is so quintessentially Cruise-ian that he skirts the edges of self-conscious parody.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Dana Stevens
    The most offensive bodily fluid being hurled around in Due Date are the tears that Phillips dishonestly tries to wrest from the audience's eyes.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Dana Stevens
    Natalie Portman may have the black swan and the white swan down, but she's still working on the gray.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Dana Stevens
    Sadly, these small bursts of beauty seemed so at odds with the movie's general crushing mediocrity that they were like quickly squelched protests against it.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Dana Stevens
    At its worst, This Is 40 feels like being condemned to watch two hours of someone else's home movies - overly long, self-indulgent, and bone-crushingly banal.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Dana Stevens
    It would be easier to forgive Identity Thief its overfamiliar comic setups and shameless gag-recycling if the movie’s second half didn’t make such an abrupt about-face from soliciting our revulsion to begging for our pity.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 10 Dana Stevens
    And it's true that this movie's absolute tone-deafness, its complete disconnection from our current economic and geopolitical reality, by moments achieves a perverse Warholian profundity.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 0 Dana Stevens
    The worst thing about I'm Still Here is the fact that it exists.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 0 Dana Stevens
    This non-balletic adaptation by the Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky is something gnarled and stunted and wrong, something that should never have been allowed to see the light of day. How's that for a holiday-ad pullquote?