For 1,094 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 The Kids Are All Right
Lowest review score: 0 State Property
Score distribution:
1,094 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Its pleasures are almost obscenely abundant.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    The Social Network wants to be a social satire, a miniaturist comedy of manners, and a Greek tragedy; it bites off a lot, at times more than it can chew. But even the unmasticated morsels are pretty tasty.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    It's only at the very beginning and the very end that Zero Dark Thirty functions (brilliantly) as a ripped-from-the-headlines political thriller. Much of the rest of the time, it's a workplace drama about a woman so good at her job that most of her colleagues think she's crazy.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    In the quietly devastating Amour, Haneke's cool, dispassionate gaze feels, for the first time, something like love.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Despite its atmosphere of failure and melancholy, Inside Llewyn Davis is ultimately a dark valentine to both its hero and his milieu.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    In exchange for three hours of your time, Yi Yi will give you more life.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    A near-perfect piece of popular entertainment, a children's classic.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Not merely an interesting document from a far-off place; it is a masterpiece.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Offers the kind of experience that makes you glad movies exist.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Her
    It’s a wistful portrait of our current love affair with technology in all its promise and disappointment, a post-human "Annie Hall."
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    It's particularly exciting to get to see an inventive underground work like This Is Not a Film in the wake of Iran's first-ever Oscar win for Asghar Farhadi's great film "A Separation." It's becoming clear that the blossoming of Iranian cinema, which has been going on now for at least 20 years, is too strong a force for the government censors to contain.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    The script of Before Sunset is both rambling and self-conscious, and at times it has the self-important sound of clever writing. But though it is sometimes maddening, the movie's prodigious verbiage is also enthralling.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Because it is so visually splendid and ethically serious, the movie raises hopes it cannot quite satisfy. It comes tantalizingly close to greatness, but seems content, in the end, to fight mediocrity to a draw.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Ida
    There’s an urgency to Ida’s simple, elemental story that makes it seem timely, or maybe just timeless.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Among the most profound, formally complex, and emotionally overpowering documentaries I’ve ever seen. It’s also, by turns and sometimes at once, luridly seductive and darkly comic and physically revolting — a movie that makes you want to laugh and cry and retch and run out of the theater, both to escape the awful things the film is showing you and to tell everyone you know that they need to see it, too.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Full of nuance and complexity, but it is also as accessible and engrossing as a grand 19th-century novel.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    A gorgeous entertainment, a feast of blood, passion and silk brocade. But though the picture is full of swirling, ecstatic motion, it is not especially moving.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    This is no tale told by an idiot — on the contrary, it’s a funny, fast-moving parable about fame and ambition, laid out for us with care and craft by a gifted filmmaker, a long-missed actor, and a world-class cinematographer. But I’m left with the suspicion the whole thing may signify — well, if not nothing, at least a good deal less than the filmmakers would have us believe.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    This slight but enormously likable picture seems destined to be an awards magnet.
    • 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."
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    A fascinating and fine-grained reconstruction of that period in its subject's life, a time when he (Capote) pursued literary glory and flirted with moral ruin.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    As played with a melancholy rakishness by the handsomer-than-ever Fiennes, M. Gustave is one of Anderson’s more memorable creations—but he’s stranded in a movie that, for all its gorgeous frills and furbelows... never seemed to me to be quite sure what it was about.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    The Spirit of the Beehive, like "Cinema Paradiso," also takes place at the particular intersection of reality and fantasy defined by youthful moviegoing.
    • 87 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    The interest of To Be and to Have, though, is not sociological: it is not really about the French educational system, rural life or even the way children learn. It is, rather, the portrait of an artist, a man whose work combines discipline and inspiration and unfolds mysteriously and imperceptibly.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Full of brilliantly executed coups de théâtre, showing the director's natural flair for spectacle.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    The movie is at its best when Moodysson... lets his three rebellious heroines simply exist and interact as the overgrown children the actresses still are, collapsing in laughter during a cafeteria food fight or negotiating their first stiff flirtations with a like-minded group of punk-rock-loving boys.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    It represents something stranger and, to those of us with only a secondhand or thirdhand knowledge of that history, more disturbing: a survivor's conviction that there were aspects of the experience itself that can only be described as beautiful.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    It's always hard to predict how a work of art will age over time, but I have the feeling that, like its three young leads, the Harry Potter series will turn out just fine.
    • 87 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
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Certainly one of the strangest and most interesting movies of the year, and I suspect that in years to come a number of other strange and interesting movies will show traces of its influence.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    The heart of Life Itself, and the part of the film that’s most instructive even for those familiar with Ebert’s story, is the long middle section dealing with his stormy, never-resolved relationship with Gene Siskel.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    It's to the director's credit, and Pitt's, that Moneyball is anything but bloodless - in its own quiet, unspectacular way, this movie courses with life.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Lincoln does sometimes get a little sappy around the edges. Though his project here is clearly one of conscious self-restraint, Spielberg can't resist the occasional opportunity for patriotic tear-jerking, usually signaled by a swell of John Williams' symphonic score. But in between, there are long stretches that are as quiet, contemplative, and austere as anything Spielberg has ever done.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Ten
    A work of inspired simplicity.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Argo isn't quite on the level of the Sidney Lumet classics to which Affleck pays stylistic homage - smart and taut as it is, it lacks the broader political vision of a film like "Dog Day Afternoon." But Lumet lite still goes down pretty smooth.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Mr. Ozon gives the movie to Ms. Rampling, whose performance is like a perfectly executed piano etude, finding precise, impossibly subtle shadings of pleasure, confusion and distress.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Los Angeles Plays Itself, in spite of its length, is rarely tedious, an achievement it owes mainly to the movies it prodigiously excerpts.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    It's hard not to admire Zeitlin's ambitious vision, his do-it-yourself aesthetic, and the commitment of his cast and crew - a kind of utopian collective whose jobs often overlapped, as the local, nonprofessional actors collaborated on set-building and other technical tasks. But that doesn't mean the result of their labor is exactly what you'd call a "good movie."
    • 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
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    The tale, in any case, is so gripping, so full of improbable turns and agonizing reversals that it bears repeating, and Mr. Butler and Ms. Alexander tell it straightforwardly and well.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    The middle section of the film, in which we follow Jack's childhood in a series of fragmented memories from birth until about the age of 12, is as astonishingly precise a rendering of the way the world looks to a child as I've seen on film.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    This is a grippingly original work, with gorgeous cinematography by Christopher Blauvelt, and the first hour or more achieves something like greatness.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    The political implications of the film are manifest, as is the quiet courage of making it.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Holy Motors, a movie that's beyond weird, and beyond beautiful.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    A tough and touching exploration of honor and friendship among thieves.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Like the great films of the 1930's and early 40's, it is at once artful and unpretentious, sophisticated and completely accessible, sure of its own authority and generous toward characters and audience alike -- a movie whose intended public is the human race.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Moonrise Kingdom is fun: a gorgeously shot, ingeniously crafted, über-Andersonian bonbon that, even in its most irritatingly whimsical moments, remains an effective deliverer of cinematic pleasure.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    Mystic River is the rare American movie that aspires to -- and achieves -- the full weight and darkness of tragedy.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Snowpiercer is its own strange, special thing, a movie that seems to have been sent back to us from some distant alternate future where grandiose summer action movies can also be lovingly crafted, thematically ambitious works of art.
    • 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?
    • 84 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    It's such a disappointment that The Descendants isn't a better movie than it is. In this soap opera disguised as a comedy, Payne, who was always a master at balancing sharp satire with an essential humanism, has traded his tart lemon center for a squishy marshmallow one.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    This movie operates in the limbo between memory and oblivion that we recognize as daily life. It bears courageous and stringent witness to the impossibility of bearing witness.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    So wrenching and absorbing that you can easily lose sight of the sophistication of its techniques.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Though it’s just slightly over two hours long, The Wind Rises has the historical sweep of a David Lean picture, complete with panoramic shots of migrating populations against a background of disaster and a romantic orchestral score by Miyazaki’s longtime musical collaborator, Joe Hisaishi.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Dana Stevens
    Better than its predecessor, and also superior to most other comic-book-based movies. It has a more credible (and more frightening) villain, a more capacious and original story and a self-confidence based not only on the huge success of the first "Spider-Man" but also on Mr. Raimi's intuitive and enthusiastic grasp of the material.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Somehow, for me, this earnest, pretty movie never came to life on screen; it remained a curio in a cabinet, to be admired through a pane of glass.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    And then comes that transcendent last scene, in which the man whose side we’ve barely left during this incredible ordeal is suddenly revealed as the best kind of hero, not super at all but ordinary and vulnerable and human.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Dana Stevens
    A clever, vividly imagined, consistently funny, eye-poppingly pretty and oddly profound movie … about Legos.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    While this film can seem politically simplistic, it is nonetheless psychologically astute, and more complicated than it at first appears.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    The film, which includes some breathtakingly beautiful images of the green, wet Guyanese jungle and a monumental waterfall that cuts through it, is driven less by narrative than by ideas and impressions.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Lithgow and Molina play Ben and George with such depth, tenderness, and history that their affection for one another’s bodies (there’s no sex, but loads of snuggling) seems like a natural extension of their pleasure in being together.

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