Stephanie Zacharek

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For 1,568 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 46% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stephanie Zacharek's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Under the Skin
Lowest review score: 0 Speed Racer
Score distribution:
1568 movie reviews
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    Inherent Vice isn't the towering masterpiece that those who admired There Will Be Blood and The Master were probably hoping for, and thank God for that. It's loose and free, like a sketchbook, though there's also something somber and wistful about it — it feels like less of a psychedelic scramble than the novel it's based on.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Stephanie Zacharek
    This is an unsparing picture, one whose violence, though deftly handled, is bone-crunchingly rough. Yet its emotional contours are surprisingly delicate, thanks, in large part to O’Connell’s performance.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    When you’ve been charged with reviving one of the most obsessively beloved franchises in modern movies, is it better to defy expectations or to meet them? With Star Wars: The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams splits the difference, and the movie suffers—in the end, it’s perfectly adequate, hitting every beat. But why settle for adequacy?
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    In these three potent miniatures, Hou Hsiao-hsien suggests that time passes differently when you're deeply in love. He captures the mystical quality of that time on film, making us feel as if we're living in it, rather than simply watching it.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 95 Stephanie Zacharek
    The actresses' performances intertwine beautifully, like twin climbing vines vying for the attention of the sun.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    This is Bond as we've never seen him, more naked, alive and mysterious than ever.
    • 80 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Stephanie Zacharek
    The beauty, and the horror, of Bill Pohlad's exhilarating and inventive Love & Mercy...is the sense it gives us of the world passing through Brian Wilson's ears.
    • 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
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    Like all good documentaries, Iris is about much more than what we see on the surface, no matter how dazzling that surface may be.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Blitz captures the intensity of the bee itself, showing how it frazzles the nerves of even the most well-prepared spellers as, one by one, their colleagues and competitors drop away.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    It's such a lovely piece of work -- and, especially for a filmmaker whose name is barely known outside of art-house circles, so pleasingly accessible -- that it's troubling to think that few people outside of major cities will be able to see it.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Stephanie Zacharek
    Hou uses very few close-ups here, preferring to tell his story mostly through movement: combat, dance, the act of passing through a landscape of satiny green firs or silvery birch trees and just watching. Shu conveys complicated feelings — longing, regret, anxiety — with little more than the tilt of her chin or the set of her shoulders.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The plot of Howl's Moving Castle meanders so listlessly that its details become less and less charming.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    The picture works because, despite the fact that it took nearly six years for the filmmakers to bring it to the screen, it doesn't strive for greatness. It's fleet, concise and clever in a nut-ball way.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Stephanie Zacharek
    Aside from the effectiveness of Set Me Free as a coming-of-age story, it's also one of the most poetic avowals of love for movies that I've seen in years.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Coraline is essentially faithful to the spirit of its source material. But it's also so visually inventive, and so elaborately tactile, that it stands apart as its own creation.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    A comedy embedded with secret tips for better, more enjoyable living.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    It doesn't sacrifice craftsmanship and elegance at the altar of its strong convictions.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Carell's physical comedy is close to genius.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Howard has made a picture for grown-ups, a well-constructed entertainment that neither talks down to its audience nor congratulates it just for showing up.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    There's more drama, and more heartbreak, in March of the Penguins than in most movies that are actually scripted to tug at our feelings.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Pride hits some bumpy patches when it switches gears between comedy and gentle pathos, which it does often. But its spirit is bold enough to power through the rough spots. It’s easy to find fault with Pride, but it’s not so easy to resist it.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    The performances are so plainspoken and direct that they manage to push the material beyond the confines of a mere social-problem tract -- as played by the cast, these characters aren't symbols of inner-city hardship, but people.
    • 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.

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