Stephanie Zacharek

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For 1,675 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 1.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stephanie Zacharek's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Clean
Lowest review score: 0 The Amityville Horror
Score distribution:
1675 movie reviews
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    It's hard to say whether Sound of My Voice is a wholly bogus and pretentious indie enterprise or a weirdly compelling bit of low-budget storytelling.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Most wonderful of all is Josh Brolin as the young Agent K. It's so easy to believe that Brolin could turn into Jones, given a couple of decades.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    If director Tim Johnson -- adapting Adam Rex's book The True Meaning of Smekday -- can't do much with the story's confused, if well-intentioned, agenda, at least he's got some charming, vivid characters to work with.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    The surprise of Anatomy of Hell is that Siffredi's character is ultimately more vulnerable than the woman
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Inside this failed picture there’s a sicker, darker, more truthful one crying to get out. But for a while, Passengers is really going for something. The movie it might have been is lost in space, alone, never to be seen by mere mortals. All we can see from Earth are its few brightly burning scraps, but at least it’s something.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Birth of a Nation isn’t a great movie – it’s hardly even a good one. But it’s bluntly effective, less a monumental piece of filmmaking than an open door. Parker stars as Turner, and his performance is grounded and thoughtful – he may be a better actor than he is a director.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Just doesn't give us enough to hold onto, perhaps partly because it's executed with so much restraint and subtlety. It's often a tense, uncomfortable little movie.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Ben Affleck is smart about setting the scene -- he's even better at it than Clint Eastwood was in another Lehane adaptation, "Mystic River." But he's less adept at defining individual personalities, at making us care about the characters who deserve our sympathy -- or, maybe more important, the ones who don't.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    The fact that Cronenberg directed almost works against Maps to the Stars: We expect greatness from him, not just proficiency, and he doesn't exactly have a gift for comedy, not even the black kind. But the movie still has the darkly glittering Cronenberg touch, even if it's just a light brushing.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Hickenlooper too often approaches his subject with the filmmaking equivalent of a wry chuckle.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    If you boil the psychology of Collateral down to its essence, what you get, mostly, is Vincent badgering Max for not having enough chutzpah -- in essence, for not being enough of a tough guy.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    As lukewarm as We Have a Pope may be as a piece of filmmaking, Moretti doesn't tread particularly gently into sacred territory. The picture could be more irreverent, but at least it dares to suggest that popes are people too.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Cooper may have gone overboard in delineating the hardships of blue-collar life in Out of the Furnace. But he has a gift for getting actors to put some muscle into their work, and enough finesse to make sure the sweat doesn't show.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Weitzes haven't come up with a masterpiece in Down to Earth, but they have put their stamp on a perfectly pleasant 90-minute diversion
    • 34 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Getting a movie's setup right is one thing. But following through on an intriguing premise is the hard part, and that's where Matthew Chapman's The Ledge, a thriller that wrangles with intricate ideas about faith and religious extremism, goes splat.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Not half as clever as its setup leads you to think it might be: It's all buildup and no payoff, the kind of romantic thriller in which if just one sensible character called the police at the moment as any normal human being would -- well, then, you wouldn't have a movie.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Martian is only partly a story about a man in peril; it's mostly a story about men (and a few women) taking control of the uncontrollable. It's confident, swaggering sci-fi, not the despairing kind. That may be why, as elaborate and expensive-looking as The Martian is, it's almost totally lacking in poetry.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Once you start reckoning with Anomalisa’s obsession with self-absorption, the novelty of this one-man pity party begins to wear off. A little puppet pain goes a long way.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    As visually arresting as Kill Bill often is, there's a stultifying blankness about it. Despite Tarantino's obvious enthusiasms, he comes off jaded and cynical: He's seen plenty of movies, and this is his proof.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Preachy infotainment that wants to offer thrills, too -- an uneasy hybrid.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Somewhat entertaining, in its own little mud-brown way.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Whatever his strengths may be, Nolan lacks the human touch. His movies are numbingly sexless, and by that I don’t mean they need sex scenes or nudity -- those things are rarely really about sex anyway. But in all of Nolan’s films, human connection is such a noble idea that it’s beyond the grasp of flesh-and-blood people.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    "Gunsmoke" meets "Planet of the Apes" in Martin Scorsese's overlarge, overcooked epic of 19th century Manhattan. You should see it anyway.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Although The Reluctant Fundamentalist raises some complicated questions, in the end, it doesn’t challenge that much.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    If The Animal -- co-written by Schneider and Tom Brady -- never quite gets fired up, at least it chugs along efficiently on its mildly inspired ridiculousness.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Even though Papushado and Keshales raise some ticklish questions, it's hard to know exactly what they're going for, beyond some mischievous, grisly thrills. At least they're skillful at delivering those.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    The movie itself seems to be locked in a kind of adolescence; it never quite blossoms into maturity, into a fully rounded whole.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Where’s the line between a sensitive work of imagination and an invasion of real-life grief in the service of arty filmmaking? There’s a lot of clever technique in Jackie, like its canny, razor-precise editing. But there’s also something arch and distant about the picture.

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