For 391 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 65% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 8.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stephanie Zacharek's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Something in the Air
Lowest review score: 10 The Internship
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 391
391 movie reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    Meek's Cutoff is an ambitious feat of visual storytelling that's alive to both its landscape and the actors who people it.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 65 Stephanie Zacharek
    So why can't I love Moonrise Kingdom? For all the movie's technical meticulousness, the storytelling still has a wiggly-waggly quality, like a dangly loose tooth.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 55 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Descendants is an ultra-polished picture in which every emotion we're supposed to feel has been cued up well in advance. There's nothing surprising or affecting about it. Not even Clooney, who works wonders with the occasional piece of dialogue, can save it.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Stephanie Zacharek
    What's remarkable about Dallas Buyers Club is its lack of sentimentality. The movie, like its star, is all angles and elbows, earning its emotion through sheer pragmatism.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    What's remarkable about Pina is how democratic it is, how casual it is about opening up the world of modern dance to people who know, or perhaps care, little about it.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    Hugo states, in its adamant, straightforward poetry, that old things do matter.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Even if Captain Phillips treads into some ideologically rough waters, there's one thing that's hard to find fault with: Hanks gives a performance that goes from good (through the first 124 minutes) to extraordinary (in the last 10).
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    But damned if Boyle, with the help of his star, doesn't make the experience almost… cheerful.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    The animation itself is technically gorgeous, a class act all the way. But there's so little to be found in the faces of the characters, or even in the way their limbs move (much of it adopted, cleverly enough, from Tati's own physical style), that it's not clear what we're supposed to feel for them.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Zacharek
    There's such a thing as having too much reverence for your material, and although Davies is an extraordinarily gifted and principled director, The Deep Blue Sea may suffer for that reverence.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    Frances Ha is a patchwork of details that constitute a sort of dating manual—not one that tells you how to meet hot guys, but one that fortifies you against all the crap you have to deal with as a young person in love with a city that doesn't always love you back.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Danish director Tobias Lindholm's wiry, neatly crafted thriller A Hijacking wrests fact into the shape of believable fiction, although the movie is most remarkable for everything it doesn't show.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 85 Stephanie Zacharek
    In the early moments of The Trip, you wonder if either actor will survive the enterprise.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Zacharek
    What Cedar captures here is the way a father and son can be bound so tightly they almost choke the air out of one another. You can't exactly call it affection; it's that far more complicated thing we call kinship.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 85 Stephanie Zacharek
    By the end you feel you've learned something about the man, yet his mystique emerges intact.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    Le Havre proceeds from the usual Kaurismäkian premise: Things are only going to get worse, so why not just go with it?
    • 81 Metascore
    • 85 Stephanie Zacharek
    The faces of these performers - particularly Williams' - are the key to Blue Valentine.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 85 Stephanie Zacharek
    Beginners is all about beginnings that begin with endings - the point, Mills seems to be saying, is that sometimes you need to say good-bye to make room for hello.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    To be bewildered by Upstream Color is to be human; the story is obtuse by design, though the filmmaking is X-Acto precise. But it's a bloodless movie, and its ideas aren't as tricky or complex as Carruth's arch, mannered approach might suggest.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    The best Allen movie in 10 years, or maybe even close to 20 - is all about that idea: Reckoning with the past as a real place, but also worrying about the limits of nostalgia.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    The World's End is a big, shaggy dog of a thing, a free-spirited ramble held together by off-kilter asides, clever-dumb puns, and seemingly random bits of dialogue that could almost become catchphrases in spite of themselves.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 95 Stephanie Zacharek
    The actresses' performances intertwine beautifully, like twin climbing vines vying for the attention of the sun.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 85 Stephanie Zacharek
    Mattie is a no-nonsense mite with a forthright manner and a mean head for figures; she wears her hair in two sturdy braids whose tips have never seen the inside of any inkwell, believe you me.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 95 Stephanie Zacharek
    An adaptation that wholly and faithfully captures the spirit and mood of the book it's based on, and an example of computer animation - the 2-D sort - that shows the human touch in every frame.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Zacharek
    Naranjo keeps the action tense but understated; instead of allowing explosions and shootouts to pile up, he rations them in taut doses.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Rivers appears to have more energy than most 30-year-olds; she gets more done in a day that some of us could accomplish in a week.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 65 Stephanie Zacharek
    Fiennes works hard to keep the rhythm going: He stages hand-to-hand combat sequences and knife fights as if he were making a smart action movie, not adapting Shakespeare, which is precisely the point.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 55 Stephanie Zacharek
    The tragedy of The Fighter is that Wahlberg's performance suggests a character who wants more. And yet Russell barely seems to notice how much subtlety Wahlberg brings to his role, or to the movie at large.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    Louis-Dreyfus and Gandolfini are lovely together, though her character is the sharper-edged of the two. It's Gandolfini's Albert, soft-hearted and soft-bellied, who suffers more. Gandolfini takes the movie's small, offhand jokes and intensifies them.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Bell captures the insularity of certain professional pockets of Hollywood, with all their petty rivalries and backstabbing. But she's sharpest in her exploration of what makes women desire success, and what prevents them from getting it.