Stephanie Zacharek

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For 1,602 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 45% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stephanie Zacharek's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Palo Alto
Lowest review score: 0 Over Her Dead Body
Score distribution:
1602 movie reviews
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Isn't a great work of horror, but it's admirable simply because it serves the genre so serviceably. It's nicely constructed, and it doesn't have one of those ridiculous extended endings.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    No director yet has found the best use for Hudson, the role that will tap those terrifying and thrilling reserves that are just lying in wait. But Softley comes closer than anybody has.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Well-meaning but remote picture.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    While the filmmaking overall suffers from a kind of tasteful, low-key blandness, Philip Seymour Hoffman's portrayal of Capote keeps the blood coursing through it. He's the bright, chilling spot of color at the center of an otherwise beige movie.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Now that Woody Allen is no longer making acceptable Woody Allen movies, it's surprising we're not seeing more comedies like Prime, a slight but well-meaning picture that strives for the same kind of pleasurably neurotic sophistication that Allen, at his best, used to give us.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Never lets us forget that it's a nonmainstream story about a nonmainstream subject, when ideally, it should simply be a story about a person. The picture too often feels like a lesson in tolerance.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    If there was ever a testament to the resilience of actors, in the face of a flawed script and wonky direction, The Family Stone is it.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    An odd and not wholly successful little comedy. Its pacing is slack, and although it has a gentle heart, it treads so gingerly across the minefield of potential offensiveness that it sometimes snuffs out its sparks of life as quickly as it throws them off.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Watching Last Holiday, I kept waiting for the moment I could decree the movie truly terrible, the instant I could comfortably put my pen and notebook away and give it up for lost. But that moment never came, partly because I never fail to take pleasure in Latifah, and partly because I couldn't shake the eerie feeling that the movie I was watching was something of a ghost from another time.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    There's just not enough of Forster, who has a small role as Ford's work colleague and confidant. ..Sometimes star quality shines out from the corners of a movie, and not from the center.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    The chief problem with Thank You for Smoking, isn't that it's over the top; it's that it fits so neatly UNDER the top.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    A sweet-tempered, mildly entertaining picture.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Only half a mess -- and even with all its flaws, it's an enjoyable diversion that shows both respect and affection for the formidable legacy of the "X-Men" comics.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Cars is an elaborate concoction all right. But it feels soldered together from a scrap heap of tired ideas.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Lake House is an example of the way bad movies can sometimes be more interesting than merely mediocre, workmanlike ones, and of the way they sometimes compel us even against our better judgment.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    This is Lunson's debut picture and she's smart enough to keep the whole affair very simple.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley manage to sparkle, but this overstuffed sequel is no treasure.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Perhaps only a marginally effective movie about 9/11, because, I suspect, there can be no such thing as an effective movie about 9/11 -- at least not right now.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    While Snakes on a Plane barely stands up as a movie, it definitely qualifies as an event.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    An absurd little trifle, but it does have a kind of buoyant, punky energy.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Even though Brody works hard -- and he's got those magnificent drooping eyes, which suggest both innocence and a seen-it-all-before weariness -- his scenes don't spark, and the movie drags around them.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    As a story of courage and personal growth, The Guardian is perfunctory, a saga of character building that could (and may, advertently or otherwise) serve as a Coast Guard recruitment vehicle. But it's far more interesting as a tale of two faces: Kutcher and Costner have a kind of visual chemistry that's just as elusive as the other kind. And the connection and contrast between them remind us that Hollywood isn't as forgiving of older male actors as we like to think.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    This Diane Arbus, as she's portrayed by a tremulous Nicole Kidman, radiates warmth and empathy that's nowhere to be seen in the work of the real Diane Arbus. Fur is intended to be a tribute to Arbus, but it's more a fancifully embroidered tapestry of wishful thinking.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    I have to hand it to Hardwicke: I was a lot less bored by The Nativity Story than I feared I'd be.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Preachy infotainment that wants to offer thrills, too -- an uneasy hybrid.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    One of those movies where the small pleasures stack up high enough to dwarf the disappointments.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    The movie doesn't for a moment pretend to be subtle, and it has a sprawling, unfocused quality. But it's got some juice, and it's even faithful, in some surprising ways, to the essence of the original.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    The picture might be entertaining if it didn't take itself so seriously.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    A gentle, easygoing picture -- it's not exactly dramatically gripping, but somehow, its spirit carries it through.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Crass, stupid and crudely made. It's also, in places, weirdly brilliant, a picture that plays to the largest possible audience with mechanical efficiency but also, here and there, betrays glimmers of self-deprecating cleverness, as if it were striving, perhaps even unconsciously, to transcend its own dumbness.

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