Stephanie Merry
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For 130 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stephanie Merry's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 88 How to Train Your Dragon 2
Lowest review score: 0 A Haunted House 2
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 77 out of 130
  2. Negative: 25 out of 130
130 movie reviews
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Stephanie Merry
    Boynton’s most impressive feat in Big Men is how she takes an impossibly convoluted scenario, makes sense of it and tells a story that’s riveting on its own but also serves as a parable about greed and human nature.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Stephanie Merry
    The film serves an effective marketing tool after all, with some lively footage and funny interviews. It’s just too bad viewers can’t see the actual play.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Stephanie Merry
    A riveting, moving and beautifully animated film.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Stephanie Merry
    For all its simplicity, Tracks the movie is a poignant, deeply emotional story.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Stephanie Merry
    Editing these unwieldy stories into a cohesive, meaningful way must have been a massive undertaking. Editors Jenny Golden and Karen Sim did such an impressive job that even at two hours — an eternity for a doc — the movie never feels too long.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Stephanie Merry
    The Overnighters is commendable for many reasons, not the least of which is the way it allows complex issues to remain complex.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    Farahani’s performance is outstanding. She comes across as both delicate and fierce, and her sad-eyed anguish is palpable.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    Don Jon is a disarming film that proves Gordon-Levitt’s deftness both behind the camera and in front of a computer screen, writing.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    The documentary is unwieldy, unfocused and frustrating at times... But the movie is also, somehow, dazzling.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    For all its melancholy and grey, snowy landscape, The Motel Life never feels totally hopeless, thanks in large part to colorful ancillary characters (not to mention occasional trips into Frank’s mind).
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    With its exquisite depictions of suffering, The Broken Circle Breakdown is not always easy to watch. But, as in life, sometimes there’s beauty to be found in the pain.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    The animated comedy-adventure has a sweet and very modern message, plus strong characters. More important, the movie blends the music-minded mentality of yore with the more recent ambition (thank you, Pixar) of truly appealing to all ages.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    The Punk Singer, like the best documentaries, captures more than just its subject, fascinating though she may be. Anderson manages to capture the feel of an era and the excitement surrounding a fresh feminist voice.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    It can feel, at times, both overlong and oversimplified, but the story propels itself along while awakening in viewers some profound emotions.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    For the most part, Gloria is a day brightener of a character study about finding someone new and making the same old mistakes.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    Writer-director Alain Guiraudie takes an all-natural approach to his material, and not just because most of the men spend the movie in the buff. He takes long, lingering shots, never rushes a scene and uses no score, just organic sounds.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    Kids for Cash proves that the abuse was both more nuanced and more tragic than the public understood.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    What’s most fascinating about Afternoon of a Faun — and what the movie could spend more time delving into — is ballet’s grueling and fleeting nature.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    Mock’s biases are clear here, and her documentary does at times feel a bit too worshipful of its subject... Still, the documentary remains a powerful time capsule. It’s a reminder of what we were and, thanks to Hill, how far we’ve come.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    While the movie can feel disjointed at times, bouncing around to cover so much territory, the climax of the kids’s ballroom competition makes up for any quibbles. If nothing else, it’s heartening to see the kids so transformed.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    The movie packs a lot in, and the quick pace of early scenes can feel like running on a treadmill, but Belle settles into a nice rhythm. It ends up having all the requisites of a period drama — a strings-heavy soundtrack, lavish costumes and passionate declarations of love — plus a good deal more.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    For all the spectacular weirdness, Jodorowsky manages to generate real emotion.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    None of the movie’s faults can undo the power of Binoche and Owen. Their interactions look so naturalistic that they seem unscripted.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    This may be a buddy comedy on its surface, but Bicycling With Molière also gives some insight into the way art imitates life, and also the way life informs art.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    Ivory Tower covers a lot of ground, and sometimes the focus feels diffuse.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    Knappenberger’s documentary is smart and focused, homing in on a recurring theme of independence.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    There is an obliqueness to In Bloom. Writer Nana Ekvtimishvili, who directed the movie with Simon Gross, doesn’t spell things out, and the complete story never comes into focus... But when the truth is so troubling, sometimes part of the story is more than enough.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    This may not be Roman Polanski’s finest movie; it may not even be his best adaptation of a play. But it’s masterfully done in a way that does justice to its source material.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    It manages to make an entertaining story out of nothing in particular. And just when you get comfortable passively observing a passive observer, the minutest of twists becomes its own call to action. It urges the audience to consider this small story in a broader context.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    Closed Curtain is at times slow and constantly puzzling. It doesn’t carry the impact of some of Panahi’s more conventional films. It’s not his best movie, but the fact that he’s making a movie at all is remarkable.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    The story itself never wavers when it comes to portraying the truth.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    The Kill Team is expertly edited, at one point overlaying interviews with the men who participated in the war crimes with B-roll of infantrymen milling about, weapons in hand. And it’s all set to a brilliantly spare and evocative soundtrack. It’s a beautiful way to lose faith in humanity.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    It’s a funny, fascinating look at why Landis became an art forger, how he got caught and what he plans to do in the future, which may be more of the same.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    Details count in this movie, whether it’s well-executed camera work or the affecting score.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    The movie is inspiring and tragic, and, directed by street artist One9, it’s captured in an artful, emotional way that will speak to an audience beyond rap fans.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    One of the delights of the documentary is hearing Terry tell stories. Watching the movie feels as if you’ve sat down in someone’s living room to hear tales of other legendary jazz musicians, such as Count Basie or Miles Davis.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    The three actors excel in their roles, and director Matthew Saville gives additional insight into the men through small yet informative details.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    There are slow bits, as Baumane delves into stories that are less interesting than others. But overall, her family history is rife with complex characters, and she brings them all to life in a loving, if scrutinizing, way.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    Brown seamlessly blends the emotional, intimate stories of people with bigger pictures, using the explosion as the starting point for a ripple effect that just keeps growing.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    National Gallery could have used a few more edits; its long run time may limit its appeal. But the film is remarkably engaging and, with close looks at so many important pieces of art, bursting with beauty.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    It’s an oddity, and all that strangeness is what makes the movie hard to shake.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Merry
    Remote Area Medical is an in­cred­ibly tragic movie. It’s also an important one, reminding viewers that America is more than its coasts and cities. There are corners of the country we all too easily forget.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    I’m on to you, Spurlock. There are holes in your story about five lads who don’t appear to ever drink, smoke, fight, curse or partake in romantic dalliances of any kind. At least, not on screen.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    Riddick can be cheesy and silly, not to mention excessively violent, but it’s also fun.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    The story starts to feel crowded, especially when each character seems instantaneously at odds with another. One set of opposing forces would probably suffice.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    When it comes to writing the poetry that Kalindra recites, Murray knows how to do more with less; he needs to apply that lesson to his filmmaking, too.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    The documentary transmits plenty of positive vibes, but it offers nothing fresh about the Fab Four.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    Haute Cuisine provides no huge revelations or profound messages, but it is sweetly and consistently engaging — a tasty treat that’s not entirely filling but perfectly enjoyable all the same.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    You Will Be My Son is not a subtle movie. Some of the characterizations and music feel heavy-handed, and one major plot point late in the film feels inauthentic.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    It’s the actors, plus an exuberant Mary Steenburgen as quick-witted lounge singer Diana, who make the movie more than a middling copycat.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    Free Birds has the colorful palette, zippy action and silly story to keep kids giggling, but it also delivers a few worthwhile winks to parents.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    The movie doesn’t always feel cohesive, but the stories are unexpectedly touching.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    The Book Thief has its moments of brilliance, thanks in large part to an adept cast. But the movie about a girl adopted by a German couple during World War II also crystallizes the perils of book adaptations.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    Hart is clearly working overtime; there’s nothing effortless about his histrionic delivery, but it works.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    The documentary’s greatest strength is its ability to humanize Paulson.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    The movie lacks some of the verve and chemistry that made the series a must-see. I guess that makes the movie more of a good-to-see.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    Although his character might be a one-trick pony, Bateman’s directing proves he’s got skills to spare.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    Bercot’s sense of atmospherics is more successful than her editing and camera work. Some pieces of the plot seem like they would make a bigger impact with a bit more backstory... But these series of vignettes still leave an impression, thanks in no small part to Deneuve.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    The Galapagos Affair spins a strange and compelling tale, with perfectly sinister music by Laura Karpman setting the mood. But the movie is better at building suspense than following through.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    You might call it a black comedy of errors, but the humorous side of the film is less well executed than Slattery’s impeccable creation of a certain neighborhood feel.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    Palo Alto starts strong but runs out of momentum. Strangely, as aimless vignettes give way to bigger life events.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago may not be entirely brilliant, but it’s at the very least inspiring.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    The movie’s focus on good vibes and high times leaves little room to contemplate the more human story. Regardless, the movie is good-natured and an enjoyable watch. If Myers really just wanted to show his appreciation, he went above and beyond.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    Fans of the play will be pleased. And for those that love the Four Seasons’ music but haven’t made it to the play, you can put your fear of missing out to rest. This is a much more affordable way to very nearly re-create the experience.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    In a jovial, if superficial way, he offers some perspective on the men behind the banana hammocks.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    Wish I Was Here touches on some timely themes and does so with an artistic vulnerability.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    It may not be wholly original or without its flaws, but Magic in the Moonlight offers a pleasant vacation from reality, and what more could you want from a summer movie?
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    If you can suspend your incredulity for a moment, What If has its bright moments. And that’s thanks in large part to its leads, who manage to do what Radcliffe has always done well: conjure up a little magic.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    It’s diverting to watch and has moments of brilliance, but even with all its refreshing female characters, May in the Summer doesn’t leave a lasting impression.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    Sometimes a great story is enough to overcome mediocre storytelling, and that’s the case with the documentary The Green Prince.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    For a movie that lasts longer than two hours and is made up solely of talking, it’s impressive that the story never seems to drag. But with all of the possibilities of movie magic, it’s a shame that the characters keep us at arm’s length.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    With strong performances, plenty of chemistry between the leads and pithy dialogue, the movie is fun until things get serious — which is to say, until things get unbelievable.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    Even if at times its structure feels overly complicated and the B-roll seems silly, the movie makes compelling points. More important, the film suggests both long-term and short-term solutions.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    It is, as the title suggests, sweet — but also slight.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    Like so many action movies, John Wick goes way beyond a reasonable carnage threshold. Brawls that are exciting in the beginning become dull as each sequence attempts to outdo the last. But John Wick has a more interesting story and better fights than most.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    [A] dreamy, entrancing and occasionally overstuffed documentary.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Stephanie Merry
    A movie that’s visually stunning and often poetic, but also leaves too much unsaid.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    With the exception of one heartbreaking and well-acted scene towards the end of the movie, the atmosphere is oppressive and the characters act as if their personalities have been shot with novocaine.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    The movie doesn’t offer much more than fleeting and superficial pleasures.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    It’s hard to imagine this tale of tradition and miracles leading skeptics to contemplation, much less faith.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    Enzo Avitabile Music Life succeeds at conveying one-quarter of its title. It is full of beautiful sounds that should delight fans of Avitabile and world music in general. The life portion is a bit trickier, but you get the sense that Avitabile wanted it that way.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    Luckily, a strong supporting cast makes up for the protagonists’ tepid interactions. The brilliant duo of Kevin Hart and Alan Arkin steal the show.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    Sometimes the punch lines land and sometimes they don’t, but overall the result is pleasantly nostalgic.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    Winter’s Tale is ambitious with its otherworldly ingredients and temporal leaps. It’s not always a success, but the movie has one thing going for it: spot-on casting.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    As quickly as the technical elements pull the audience in, the plot pushes us away.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    It seems like a waste of talent, but worse still, Cesar Chavez squanders an opportunity to revisit a story worth retelling.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    This isn’t a sports movie so much as a procedural about backroom dealings, double-crosses and high-stakes trades.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    The movie feels at once too busy and too derivative. That’s no easy feat, but it’s also one sequel-makers probably shouldn’t aspire to.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    It’s as if the movie’s many pieces are supposed to be like impressionistic brush strokes. When seen together, the result is pretty to look at. But it’s not as meaningful as it should be.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    A simple retelling of these stories would have been more dramatic, more effective and more powerful.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    Without much to go on, Just a Sigh lives up to its name. It disappears without a trace.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    A Night in Old Mexico succeeds when it comes to suspense, and the ever-evolving plot will keep viewers guessing. But the movie doesn’t have the same kind of emotional depth that Duvall and Wittliff managed to pull off decades ago. Worse, the dialogue often sounds stilted.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    Each sweet moment is inevitably punctuated by some in-your-face joke that’s at least as stupid as the preceding moments were heartfelt. Blended has other problems, too, including some faulty editing and a typically predictable finale. But there are some genuinely sweet and funny moments, which are more than enough to exceed expectations.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    The movie’s great strength is the way it captures these dancers, sometimes in slow motion, as they contort their bodies in ways that don’t seem possible. When it comes to the narrative, though, the movie struggles a bit.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    The plot is so similar to “The Big Chill” that it almost could be called a remake, except that it isn’t nearly as funny, it follows millennials instead of baby boomers and the characters tweet.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is as visually imaginative as its predecessor.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    The music is catchy and sounds sufficiently Elvis-like, and The Identical occupies a neglected niche as a family-friendly movie that isn’t geared just toward kids. But living up to a legend is an uphill battle, and the movie doesn’t ever reach those heights.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    The tone is all over the map, switching from fantastical one moment to naturalistic the next... It all gives God Help the Girl a disconnected, haphazard feel.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    Horovitz may have made a questionable decision in adapting this particular play for the screen, but his casting was flawless.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Merry
    The whole thing is so inconsistent, with intermittent slow motion and curious motivations, that you have to finally just accept things like a disappearing narrator as par for the course.

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