For 415 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 9.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stephanie Zacharek's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Dormant Beauty
Lowest review score: 10 Oldboy
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 415
415 movie reviews
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    It's both a perceptive dual character study and, that rarity of rarities, a large-scale action movie for grown-ups, one worth leaving the house for.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Zacharek
    The picture's finale isn't as smart as it ought to be. Cornish tries to make a damning social statement, but the only thing you take away from the movie is how cool it is to kick alien ass.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    It was a stroke of genius, at least a miniature one, to cast Black in this role – he's made to play the affable teddy bear who could snap at any moment.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 65 Stephanie Zacharek
    Bridesmaids is the Bride of Frankenstein of contemporary comedies, a movie stitched together crudely, and only semi-successfully, from random chick flick and bromance parts.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 85 Stephanie Zacharek
    I've seen Detective Dee twice now, and I still don't think I've taken the full measure of the visual nuttiness, and lushness, Tsui has packed in there.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Catching Fire suffers from the movie equivalent of middle-book syndrome: The story is wayward and rangy, on its way to being something, maybe, but not adding up to much by itself. Still, it’s entertaining as civics lessons go, and it’s a more polished, assured picture than its predecessor.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Gunn has to juggle so many plot elements — so many booming galactic battles, so many whisker-close brushes with death — that it's little wonder he loses his grip on the thing. He inserts occasional moments of wonder but doesn't bother to smooth over the seams.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    There are hints of greatness, one or two artfully constructed scenes that remind you why you look forward to new Scorsese films in the first place. But as a highly detailed portrait of true-life corruption and bad behavior in the financial sector, Wolf is pushy and hollow, too much of a bad thing.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    It's an amusing enough story, all right, and it adequately fills up Tabloid's 88 minutes - but a minute longer would have been too much.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 30 Stephanie Zacharek
    Everything he (Nolan) does is forced and overthought, and Inception, far from being his ticket into hall-of-fame greatness, is a very expensive-looking, elephantine film whose myriad so-called complexities -- of both the emotional and intellectual sort -- add up to a kind of ADD tedium.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Farewell, a cold war drama by the French director Christian Carion, isn't just a movie set in 1981; in many ways it feels like a movie made in 1981.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 65 Stephanie Zacharek
    Bully is much better when it sticks to simple storytelling. And storytelling, not grandstanding, is the thing that just might grab the attention of, say, school administrators, people who can have some effect on how bullies are dealt with.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    This odd little wonder captures the delicate textures and shadowy half-secrets of family life, mapping them out in a mosaic of fragmented dialogue and half-poetic, half-prosaic images.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Berlinger covers lots of territory, including heartrending accounts from the family members of some of Bulger's victims. The whole exercise is fascinating, if vaguely unsatisfying.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 85 Stephanie Zacharek
    It's the kind of movie that makes the world feel like a smaller place, suggesting that the similarities connecting us across continents and cultures are more resonant than the things that divide us.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 65 Stephanie Zacharek
    Between the Truffautish voice-overs and Jacques Demy-style musical interludes, it's a wonder anyone in this sort-of drama, sort-of comedy ever gets any rest.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    The women of Pussy Riot have an idea of what the new Russia should sound like; Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer shows just how hard it is to make that new world audible.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    It's valuable for both the vintage footage Rostock has collected and for the observations provided by Belafonte, who is as charming, handsome and persuasive in his mid-80s as he ever was.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    In the end, though, Our Nixon is an elusive piece of work. It doesn't add much to our understanding of the man himself, though admittedly, there may not be much more that we want or need to know, anyway.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Get On Up isn't a perfect-picture; there are moments of awkwardness, little gambles that don't quite pay off. But it's one of those experiments that's both flawed and amazing, a mainstream movie (with Mick Jagger as one of its producers) that fulfills old-fashioned, entertainment-value requirements, even as it throws off flashes of insight.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Zacharek
    The picture could be so much better than it is, and yet it's also the kind of movie that makes you want to grade on the curve, adding extra points for good intentions.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 65 Stephanie Zacharek
    The timing couldn't be more opportunistic for a new Steven Spielberg movie that mines the thrilling uncertainties of childhood - even if it happens to have been made by J.J. Abrams.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 85 Stephanie Zacharek
    For all its borrowing from old Hollywood, I don't think War Horse is particularly nostalgic. The word I'd use is wistful. It's the largest, most lavish handful of wistfulness money can buy, and sometimes it's too much. Yet it's nice to know that even Steven Spielberg can still wish for something.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Armadillo tells us lots of things we shouldn't be so naïve as to think we don't already know. Maybe we need to see these things again and again, just so we don't lose sight of the costs and risks of the wars in which American and European soldiers are currently engaged.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Documentaries don't have to be technically great to be irresistible, and Bess Kargman's First Position, which follows six young ballet dancers as they prepare for an elite competition, is a case in point.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Zacharek
    Rather than rushing to determine the cause of death – of love, or of a country -- it stubbornly keeps listening for a heartbeat, even though there may not be one.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 85 Stephanie Zacharek
    Mulligan is terrific here, and restrained in a way that suggests an actorly generosity unusual for someone so young: Her scenes with Fassbender don't so much say "Look at me" as "Look at him."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    The picture is celebratory, in its own quiet way, as well as clear-eyed.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Stephanie Zacharek
    Subtle emotional intelligence has always distinguished Bellocchio's filmmaking, and Dormant Beauty is constructed from fine-grained layers of it, the filmmaker's equivalent of a master cabinetmaker's craft.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Unsettling, energizing and more than a little mystifying, Amer is the kind of movie that may leave you feeling indifferent or puzzled at the end. But damned if it doesn't return, days later, to visit - kind of like a killer in black leather gloves.