For 1,102 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 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Dana Stevens' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 I'm Still Here
Score distribution:
1,102 movie reviews
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    I pretty much loved this movie from start to finish - risible implausibilities, insufficiently explained premise and all. An admirably spare survival thriller, The Grey (nice title!) abounds in qualities that are rare in movies of its type. It's quiet, contemplative, and almost haiku-like in its simplicity.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    The ultimate praise given to sports movies is always, "Even if you don't care about sport X, you'll care about these characters," and that's certainly true of Undefeated (I don't, and I did).
    • 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.
    • 82 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    The thoughtful and leisurely paced Marley is an exemplary music documentary in almost every way - but the area in which it falls short is an important one. Like a surprisingly large number of films about musicians (whether biopic or documentary), this one is curiously resistant to letting the audience hear its subject's songs in their entirety.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    This elegantly hand-drawn caper doesn't have a lot to it - a little girl and her cat help break up a Parisian crime ring, un point c'est tout. But it moves to a different rhythm than the animated spectacles we're used to - it's sparer, less hectic, less cute - and the difference feels welcome and refreshing.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Compliance examines, among other things, how misplaced faith in authority can lead to abuse on a systemic scale. It's a deeply moral movie about the failure of morality, as grueling to watch as it is necessary.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    This frank, funny, tender film both asks and receives more from its sex scenes than any movie I've seen in a long time.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Holy Motors, a movie that's beyond weird, and beyond beautiful.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    In the quietly devastating Amour, Haneke's cool, dispassionate gaze feels, for the first time, something like love.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    A gleefully crummy buddy comedy that uses horror-movie conventions as catapults to hurl the audience down one "whoa, dude!" narrative wormhole after another.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Happy People's images of the Taiga, while often breathtaking, come from the standard visual language of nature documentary: in between interviews with villagers, cutaways to icicles hanging from branches or dawn breaking over an expanse of snow. It's Herzog's inventive use of voice-over that elevates the film above an extremely well-researched episode of "Nature."
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Like Someone in Love is a movie that never quite lets you through to the other side of the glass, but it’s dazzling to watch whatever drifts by on the surface.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Based on a horrifying real-life case that took place in the Moldavia region of Romania in 2005, Beyond the Hills can be seen as both a critique of patriarchal religious systems and an allegory about the tension between secularism and faith (as well as a precisely and painfully observed portrait of one particular friendship).
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    This movie’s human scale, its unaffected compassion for every one of its far-from-perfect characters, is what kept me on its side throughout.
    • 78 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    The revelation of Hateship Loveship is the casting of Kristen Wiig, who effortlessly makes the shift from comedian to straight dramatic actress in a role full of potential ego traps that she never falls into.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Blue Ruin is a Clint Eastwood vigilante fantasy with an anti-Clint at its center—small-statured, round-faced, nervous Dwight (Macon Blair), whose burning desire to avenge the long-ago murder of his parents doesn’t make him one whit less terrified of actually doing it.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Byrne, who played a tightly wound control freak to perfection in "Bridesmaids," here gets a chance to bust loose. In a late sequence where she frantically spearheads a multipart mission to bring down Delta Psi from the inside, Byrne makes you wish someone would write a big, broad, raunchy comedy just for her.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Days of Future Past is the kind of extravagant production that sweeps you up in a sense of mythic grandeur even as you struggle to follow what’s going on.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    A slow-burning suspense thriller about a trio of eco-terrorists conspiring to blow up a dam, it’s directed by Reichardt with the concision and elegance of a chess master.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    There's something old-Hollywood about Slate's dizzy-dame charm, and at the same time, something very modern about her unapologetic ownership of her own sexuality.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Above all else, Venus in Fur is a sharp, sexy comedy (adapted by Ives and Polanski from a translation by Abel Gerschenfeld) performed by two superb and superbly in-tune actors, and directed with a sure hand by a filmmaker who’s clearly not cowed by the challenge of blowing up a two-person chamber piece for the screen.
    • 82 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    The Guest isn’t here to deliver an earnest social message about the state of veterans’ affairs. Instead, the way good horror movies do, it channels our collective fear, guilt, and rage by creating a monster.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Maggie’s agonizing zero-sum struggle to balance a life of military service and a steady relationship with her son feels fresh, raw, and real — even if the conflict it enacts is as old as the transition between The Iliad and The Odyssey, between the horrors of the battlefield and the difficult journey home.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Like a film noir siren Gone Girl is beautiful, sexy, and fascinatingly mean — a nasty but estimable piece of work.
    • 88 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    A movie I snickered at more than once but never stopped staring at in wonder. This isn’t Nolan’s best film by any stretch, but it abounds in the qualities that are among his strengths.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Jones and Redmayne are both superb as a devoted but imperfect pair of headstrong people trying, and sometimes failing, to treat each other with care and respect.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    It’s well worth seeing, both for its merciless anatomization of the country’s post-Ceausescu social order and for Gheorghiu’s stupendous central performance as a mother so monstrous she makes Medea look like a pushover.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    Glatzer and Westmoreland don’t need to stack the emotional deck on Alice’s behalf or wring tears from the irony of a brilliant linguist’s cognitive decline. They just leave the camera on Moore’s beautiful but increasingly faraway face, and our tears come on their own.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    By focusing on the power of cannily staged collective action to turn the tide of public opinion, Selma achieves a contemporary relevance that few historical dramas can — especially those built around real-life figures as encrusted in layers of hagiography as MLK.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Dana Stevens
    The majority of Fury Road’s effects were done without using CGI, but even so, the onslaught of action is so fast-paced and overpowering there’s little time to appreciate Miller’s analog artistry, and the feeling of being inside a video game—a sinking sensation familiar from less carefully orchestrated action movies—sometimes takes over.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    So unlike most Hollywood coming-of-age stories as to seem downright revolutionary.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    As luxuriant and intoxicating as a theme park ride; more remarkably, it feels like a real movie.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    But even though, most of the time, you know exactly what will happen next -- you don't much mind. Nor do the many plot holes and improbabilities -- undermine its silly, raucous spirit.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    I was struck by how personal this movie is, and by the delicate symbiosis that develops between biographer and subject. Mr. Ponfilly's presence in the film (mostly on the soundtrack and once or twice on camera) does not overshadow Massoud so much as filter our understanding of him.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Contrived as this may sound, Mr. Rose's updating works surprisingly well. -- the story's sympathetic, tragic sense of the fragility of individual dignity is, if anything, made even more haunting in this version.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Mr. de Broca's film is full of durable cinematic pleasures: a little sex, a lot of sword fighting and a plot that combines heady passion with complicated political intrigue.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    It is Ms. Dunst who carries the movie and unifies its disparate elements. She's a terrific comic actress.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    The violent scenes veer vertiginously between slapstick, soft-core pornography and raw documentary, leaving you repelled and confused, as well as fascinated.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    The movie is booby-trapped with so many loud gags that some of its sneakier humor is nearly lost in the din.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Enemy at the Gates has its deficiencies, but the first-rate cast is not among them.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Mr. Toback uses his improbable, conventional story as the trelliswork for a series of wild and florid riffs about sex, ethics and the delirium of renegade moviemaking.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Though Last Resort dwells on sorrowful circumstances and illuminates a grim corner of contemporary reality, it is far from depressing.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    A modest and thoughtful movie, and if it doesn't quite break new ground in addressing its difficult subject, it at least does not cheapen it.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    A breathless dash to nowhere in particular, doesn't feel bad.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Leans a bit too much toward the lachrymose and has a wrong-note final image.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    An interesting, elusive hodgepodge of comedy, melodrama and implicit allegory, lighted by occasional sparks of formal bravado.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    It's a meal you may feel you've eaten before, but you nonetheless walk away stuffed and happy.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    The inhospitability of the land emphasizes the spare precision of the narratives and helps to give them an atavistic power, as if they were tales that had been handed down since the beginning of time.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    It's an anti- romantic comedy that resolves on a minor chord of grief.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Because of its relentlessness, its crawling pace (the 77 minutes pass like 2 1/2 hours) and its sometimes confusing story, A Time for Drunken Horses may not be for every taste, but it's still an affecting, and in its way beautiful, movie.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Mr. Lou lets it play on for too long. Suzhou River offers impeccable attitude and captivating atmosphere, but little emotional or intellectual impact.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    A curiously thrilling and often hilarious experience.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Shows so much intelligence and compassion that its tendency sometimes to overreach or underdramatize can surely be forgiven.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Shows the human face of both communism and its victims, and shows how hard it is to tell the two apart.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    It could easily have become either prurient or moralistic, but Mr. Goldman's stance is that of a sympathetic observer, and his style combines ground-level realism with a touch of Almodóvarian extravagance.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    The final scene is a piece of cunning visual wit that makes you realize how artful and sneaky Cure, has been beneath its clinical, deadpan surface.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    The movie's warmth, and Mr. Gilliam's sober, likable performance sustain it through its ragged stretches and amateurish lapses.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Crude, unpolished, yet curiously dreamy.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    The filmmakers explore not only the banality of evil, but also the banality of goodness, and the ridiculousness, as well as the tragedy, of their collision.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Much more effectively terrifying than the usual overplotted, underwritten Hollywood thriller.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Delicate, quietly devastating.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    The acting is impeccable, and the intentions are serious and noble, but the affection it elicits stops short of love, and its coziness never risks true intimacy.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    The movie, for all its prettiness, manages to be shallow and portentous at the same time.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Mild, harmless and occasionally affecting, possessing the fizz of diet soda and the sweet snap of slightly stale bubble gum.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Sexy and infectious in spite of itself.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    It's hard to resist being swept up in Blue Crush, not least because David Hennings's shimmery photography carries the breeze and spray of the island right into the theater. The movie is also the latest example of a subgenre that might be called feminexploitation.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    The blend of grim violence with romantic whimsy tilts toward sentimentality. Mr. Salles has the confidence of a storyteller too entranced by his tale to worry about the resistance of his audience, which he thus effortlessly overcomes.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Disturbing, infuriating and often very funny film.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    The humor in Me, Myself and Irene is often outrageous but rarely cruel.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    An oblique, vaguely sorrowful study in domestic emotion, structured around the small eruptions of feeling -- tenderness, anger, and joy -- that punctuate the slow serenity of daily life.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    At once endearing and unbearably show-offy, it seems to be the product of a sensibility formed by age-inappropriate reading.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    What the movie lacks in polish, though, it makes up for in pluck, enthusiasm and slapstick shamelessness.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    It might be tempting to regard Mr. Andrew and his collaborators as oddballs, but Mr. Earnhart's quizzical, charming movie allows us to see them, finally, as artists.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    After Jimmy Neutron was over, I felt glassy-eyed and a little headachy. But the boy genius who accompanied me to the screening could not take his eyes off the screen. I think he's in his room right now, building a shrink ray to try out on his dad.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    The "American Pie" movies succeed where many other comedies aimed at the youth market falter: they manage to be both lewd and sweet, exploiting the natural prurience of young people while implicitly comforting their raging anxieties.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Though well dressed and well made, ultimately falls prey to the contradiction that afflicts so many movies about writers. What makes them so fascinating, so representative, cannot really be shown on screen.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Mr. Longley makes powerful use of the techniques of cinéma vérité. The absence of voice-over narration and talking-head interviews gives his portrait of daily life under duress a riveting immediacy.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Luckily Mr. Reygadas has talent to match his ambitions; or, rather, gifts that undercut them sufficiently to give his film a prickly, haunting poignancy.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    At its best when it forsakes earnest psychological exposition for magic realism, when, instead of trying to explain Kahlo's life, it conjures the moods and sensations that fed her art.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Mr. Im's own aesthetic command is evident in the movie's wealth of beautiful, perfectly framed images of nature -- shots so full of passion and perception that they could almost be paintings themselves.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    I've seen better movies recently, but it's been a long time since I've left one feeling the easy, full-bellied happiness this one evoked.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    He plies his viewers with plenty of bread -- chewy and, to some tastes, dry and starchy scenes -- but he also scatters petals of whimsy and delight to nourish the senses.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Naughty is an outdated word in an era of proud nastiness, but Heartbreakers has a slinky, teasing quality that recalls the dressed-up comedies of the studio era.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Dana Stevens
    Perhaps the most satisfying Bond movie since "The Spy Who Loved Me."

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