For 1,111 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 2.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Dana Stevens' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Ghost World
Lowest review score: 0 Salinger
Score distribution:
1,111 movie reviews
    • 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
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    A peripatetic comedy about two comedians on a jaunt around the north of England, alternately amuses, bores, and annoys, just like its two hilariously intolerable protagonists.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    Django Unchained provoked a lot of contradictory feelings in me, including some that don't usually come in pairs: Hilarity and boredom. Aesthetic delight and physical nausea. Fist-pumping righteousness and vague moral unease.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Skyfall leaves you wondering whether this incarnation of the character has anywhere left to go. It's the portrait of a spy at the end of his rope by an actor who seems close to his.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    A most curious movie, one with nearly all the elements of a classic crime-family saga and yet somehow lacking the moral complexity and emotional heft of the films to which it pays fastidious aesthetic homage: the New York–set urban thrillers of Sidney Lumet (Serpico, Prince of the City) and Coppola’s Godfather series.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Its subject matter is intrinsically upsetting.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    The movie's energy peters out in a series of book-club conversations about divine will, the power of storytelling, and the resilience of the human spirit. The ending's pious dullness is enough to make you wish you were back on that lifeboat, where the most pressing questions weren't spiritual but gastronomic: What's on the menu for lunch, and what can I do to make sure it isn't me?
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    Portman toils slavishly to realize Aronofsky's mad vision. It isn't her fault that, despite Black Swan's visual splendor and bursts of grand guignol excess, this emotionally inert movie never does grow wings.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    Jasmine attains the paradoxical state of being fascinatingly tiresome. The same pair of words might be used to describe Blue Jasmine, which, whether you like it or not, surely counts as one of Allen’s more unexpected films of the past decade
    • 78 Metascore
    • 40 Dana Stevens
    At over two hours and forty minutes long, with repeated scenes of bone-crunching violence and a maddeningly unrelenting percussive score by Hans Zimmer, The Dark Knight Rises is something of an ordeal to sit through.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 40 Dana Stevens
    Martha Marcy May Marlene took a good hour to start really getting on my nerves. Up till then, I kept cutting this maddening little psychological thriller break after break, because it has the outer form of a promising debut.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Except perhaps for Lux, who, like The Virgin Suicides itself, is a hothouse flower perishing for want of sunshine and fresh air.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 40 Dana Stevens
    Nightcrawler, like its entrepreneurial-to-a-fault protagonist, is ambitious but ultimately hollow, eager to dazzle and shock us but reluctant to let us inside.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Leconte's visual instincts are so impressive that they outstrip his story, leaving us flushed and dazzled, but also, as after a long night of champagne and baccarat (to say nothing of other irresponsible pleasures), hungry, tired, and homesick.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Immerses you in violence and agony, but it may leave you with a curious feeling of detachment.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    A hallucinatory tour de force of color, perspective and scale, virtually encapsulates the history of Japanese animation.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Dana Stevens
    Epic in size but claustrophobically narrow in scope, The Wolf of Wall Street maintains a near-exclusive focus on the greed and self-indulgence of its proudly rapacious hero.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    There are some scenes that display impressive technical cunning, and others that show an astute regard for the emotional capacities of his able cast, but On the Run amounts to a sullen display of skill in a dubious cause.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 Dana Stevens
    An autopsy for The Town would list multiple causes of death.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Especially when Baymax is onscreen doing his adorable-puffy-robot thing, Big Hero 6 qualifies as a better-than-average kids’ movie with enough cross-generational appeal to make it a fine choice for a family weekend matinee. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that this film was designed to function as a starter kit for future Marvel aficionados.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    The main problem with Such a Long Journey is its storytelling. There is simply too much happening.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Somehow, in spite of the stunning vistas and some witty and affecting moments, the story seems to unfold at a distance; the human drama is diminished by the setting rather than amplified by it.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    Throughout The Imitation Game, there’s a sense the filmmaker is trying to shield viewers from the story’s most difficult parts — whether it’s the horrors of war, the technical complexity of the Enigma code and its solution, or the bleakness of Alan Turing’s final fate. I wish Tyldum had trusted the audience enough to let us in on the worst. It would have made his movie so much better.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Mr. Belvaux's sensitive, generous way with actors suggests that, with more discipline and less gimmickry, he might have made a single masterwork, and After the Life provides the best support for this assessment.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 40 Dana Stevens
    With so much going for it, how could the movie be such a dud?
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    The feel-good movie of the year.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    Its fidelity to its characters’ view of the world -- although they are presumably college graduates, they seem never to have read a book or expressed an opinion -- is more a liability than a virtue. The Puffy Chair is as modest as their ambitions and as narrow as their curiosity about the world beyond themselves.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    I was onboard with the gentle charm of Safety Not Guaranteed until these last few scenes, when the genuine trauma suffered by these characters - especially Kenneth, whose paranoia and isolationism seem like symptoms of real mental illness - gets glossed over in an unconvincingly Spielbergian happy ending.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    It's just a movie with no particular reason for existing, a flashy, trifling throwaway whose surface cleverness masks a self-infatuated credulity.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Scene by scene, 50/50 can be both amusing and moving, with the tightly wound Gordon-Levitt and the boundaryless Rogen forming an oddly complementary pair. But as a whole the movie never quite coheres, seeming to skitter away at the last minute from both full-body laughter and full-body sobs.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    The movie can -- indeed, should -- be intellectually rejected, but you can't quite banish it from your mind.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    Michael Fassbender's portrayal of Brandon, the rootless Manhattan sex addict in Steve McQueen's Shame, may lay claim to this year's title of most outstanding performance in a mediocre movie.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    There is no way a feature-length movie could do justice to such bounty, and Walk the Line settles for the minimum.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    The most memorable element of The Winter Soldier, besides Redford, is probably Scarlett Johansson, whose dryly funny Natasha at times comes perilously close to being … a well-developed female character?
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    The one-liners are clever enough and the physical comedy and pop-culture goofing sufficiently dumb and broad to make Undercover Brother, a reasonably pleasant experience.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    The tedium of Into the Woods’ second half has less to do with the downbeat subject matter than Marshall’s clumsy direction.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    For all the film’s best intentions — and a finely tuned performance from the ever-better Woodley — for me The Fault in Our Stars never entirely found its way out of Sparks territory.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    If only the results weren't so respectably dull.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Even in the film's weaker stretches, the fierce presence of Tilda Swinton made it impossible to tear my eyes away.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    After a while the movie spins its wheels, unable to find much emotional traction in the icy bleakness.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    This disdain for women is not incidental to the film; it is integral to the fantasy Mr. Brewer is selling, which is that pimping is not as hard as it looks.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Tight, sober and strangely comical.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    At a certain point, Mr. Carruth's fondness for complexity and indirection crosses the line between ambiguity and opacity, but I hasten to add that my bafflement is colored by admiration.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Smart, sincere and sloppy film.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    There is a lot of violence, but not much action; a plot involving vengeance, jealousy and double-crossing, but not a great deal of suspense.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    The narrative scheme, the brooding period atmosphere, the understated score (by David Byrne) and the precision of the acting also make the story seem more interesting than it is.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Dana Stevens
    Mr. Costner's relentless, root-canal humorlessness turns what might have been an enjoyable B-picture throwback into a ponderous drag.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    Despite across-the-board bravura performances (especially by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti as dueling campaign managers), The Ides of March somehow remains static and lifeless, like a civics-class diorama.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Though at times Rosewater is clearly the work of a first-timer still finding his voice, Stewart is indisputably a real filmmaker.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    When every character is always operating at maximum loathsomeness, it can be difficult to recalibrate your disgust-o-meter. I suspect this sense of moral vertigo, and the resulting nausea, is part of what Cronenberg is after, but his skill at evoking those states in the viewer doesn’t make the experience of watching Maps to the Stars any less sour.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Ms. Lazin succeeds in conjuring his presence and in showing how smart and likable he could be, but the film's perspective is frustratingly limited.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    For all the hype and the inevitable box office bonanza, Terminator 3 is essentially a B movie, content to be loud, dumb and obvious.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Age of Ultron, then, shows what happens when an unstoppable force (Joss Whedon’s imagination) meets an immovable object (the Disney/Marvel behemoth). And the result is, indeed, paradoxical: a crashy, overlong, FX-driven blockbuster that’s capable of morphing, Hulk-to-Banner style, into a loose-limbed ensemble comedy about collaboration, flirtation, and friendship.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    Its cheery inoffensiveness, though, is in some ways disappointing.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    I'm not sure it would be possible, or desirable, for a documentary to reveal any more about Stephin Merritt than this one does. But I would have loved to see one that revealed more about his music.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    The movie is a little claustrophobic -- a marathon of conference calls, frenzied pointing and clicking, and office pep talks.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Dana Stevens
    The second half of the movie squanders suspense and momentum, solving its riddles by deflating them.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    The sheer scale of the production, and the size of the venue, make the film interesting to watch.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Unlike most movie love stories, Closer does have the virtue of unpredictability. The problem is that, while parts are provocative and forceful, the film as a whole collapses into a welter of misplaced intensity.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Being Julia may not make much psychological or dramatic sense, but Ms. Bening, pretending to be Julia (who is always pretending to be herself), is sensational.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    These ludicrous but endearing moments of bro-bonding are all that sets this otherwise stock-issue superhero movie apart from its mass-produced brethren.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    There's no buildup, no narrative arc, just one scene of comically debauched partying after another.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    Prometheus is more interested in piling on big questions than in answering them. It's deep without being particularly smart, although the dazzling design and special effects keep you from noticing that basic flaw until at least an hour in.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    The performances, even those by trained actors like Mr. Ramirez and Ms. Majorino, have the hesitant, blinking opacity that some directors look for in nonprofessional casts. Their awkwardness is charming, and part of the point of the movie, but it also makes for some dull stretches and thwarts your ability to regard the characters with sympathy rather than mere curiosity.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    Inspiring, but also, as a film, a little tedious, without enough narrative or exploration to justify its feature length.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Dana Stevens
    The mystery of Enigma is how a rich historical subject, combined with so much first-rate talent -- a highly capable (if not always exciting) director, a fine English cast, a script by Tom Stoppard -- could have yielded such a flat, plodding picture.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    Has occasional moments of heat, but not much warmth. And while it is pretty enough to look at, real beauty eludes it.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Reasonably well-executed thriller. It suffers not from awkwardness or silliness, which would make it more fun, but rather from its air-brushed, expensive pretentiousness.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Dana Stevens
    The film is ultimately done in by Dominik's bursts of directorial grandiosity.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    While far from a great movie, nonetheless effectively dramatizes a position that has been argued, by principled commentators on the left and the right, for several years now: that the abuse of prisoners, innocent or not, is not only repugnant in its own right.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Dana Stevens
    Occasionally, real dramatic scenes will spring from the loamy soil of von Trier’s free-wandering fantasy. But they’re isolated sketches, little one-act plays in the theater of degradation.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    As drama, Stage Beauty is both timorous and ungainly, words that might also describe Ms. Danes's performance.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    A sometimes enthralling, sometimes exhausting tour de force.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Dana Stevens
    In the end, though, Robots is hollow and mechanical, an echo chamber of other movies and an awkward attempt to turn the intrinsically scary sensitive-robot theme into something heartwarming and cute.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    The result is a minor, meandering film.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Ms. Silverman is a skilled performer, and Jesus Is Magic is occasionally very funny, but don't be fooled: naughty as she may seem, she's playing it safe.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    The story, touching though it is, does not quite have enough emotional resonance or variety of incident to sustain a feature, and even at 85 minutes it feels a bit long. The premise, too, is a little thin.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    It is not so much a documentary as a fictional film about the making of a documentary, or perhaps a documentary about the making of a fictional film about the making of a documentary. If this sounds a bit maddening, it is, though the confusion that The Blonds induces is clearly part of its intention.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    We're all familiar with the experience of seeing movies that cram ideas and themes down our throats. Les Misérables may represent the first movie to do so while also cramming us down the throats of its actors.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Dana Stevens
    The problem lies in the calculating pretentiousness of using human misery to make shallow entertainment seem serious. It's worth comparing Spy Game with "The Tailor of Panama," John Boorman's far superior exercise in post-cold-war spycraft.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    More amusing than annoying. It is not as maniacally uninhibited as "Old School" or as dementedly lovable as "Elf," but its cheerful dumbness is hard to resist.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    By the end, instead of feeling stirred to a high pitch of anxiety and excitement, you may feel battered and worn down. But not, in the end, too terribly disappointed.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    The skills on display in Freestyle are too varied and idiosyncratic for one movie to contain, but this one at least offers a heady, rousing education in an art form that is too often misunderstood.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    The sharks are scary, and the ocean is vast and indifferent, but the most effective parts of Open Water, which is ultimately too modest to be very memorable, evoke a deeper terror, one that can chill even those viewers who would never dream of putting on a wet suit and jumping off a boat.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    Narrative coherence is perhaps not among the film's virtues, but its loopy, cluttered story is part of the fun. And a clearer, simpler plot might have required the sacrifice of some delightful grace notes and visual marvels, like the elastic-necked geisha or the one-eyed ambulatory umbrella.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    A seriously flawed movie wrapped around two nearly perfect performances.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Dana Stevens
    The pleasure of watching McConaughey strut, preen, and menace his way through this Southern-fried black comedy (at least I think it's a comedy) isn't quite enough to save Killer Joe. The whole movie has something tonally off about it, not to mention a theatricality that works against it in a way Bug's didn't.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Dana Stevens
    That they're English and elderly apparently makes their antics screamingly funny to people who would turn up their noses at similar humor in a film like "Scary Movie."

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