For 411 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 Gravity
Lowest review score: 10 The Internship
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 411
411 movie reviews
    • 59 Metascore
    • 55 Stephanie Zacharek
    How, I'm wondering more and more often, do studios put movies like this one in front of audiences and assume they'll just buy it? The secret to making a great, or even just a good, thriller these days seems to have been lost.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 25 Stephanie Zacharek
    Rubber could have been a modest horror novelty, a wicked, malevolent version of "The Red Balloon."
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    In its empty-headed hubris, it's not much more admirable than the conniving, moneygrubbing elite it's trying to take down.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 65 Stephanie Zacharek
    A movie like Norwegian Wood is a peculiar case – its intentions are sterling, and it's hard to pinpoint any technical flaws. The problem, maybe, is that it's trying too hard; Tran has such firm control over the storytelling that the resulting picture has no room to breathe.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    For all the absurdity, there's also something strangely touching about it, maybe because for once Malick has allowed himself to be unsure. To the Wonder is an irresolute piece of work, a sketchbook of a movie, one made by a human being rather than an august master.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    August: Osage County, however, bitterly funny in some places and numbingly earnest in others, is just too much Streep. But all is not lost. Some of her fellow actors are resourceful enough to reconstruct themselves after being obliterated.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    Brewer, who spent most of his childhood in Memphis, is one of the few contemporary filmmakers I know of who can make movies about the South without sentimentalizing it, glorifying it or looking down on it.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Nothing says "Awards Season" like feel-bad cinema, and with Biutiful, Iñárritu hauls out the big guns. He also, maddeningly, has one hell of a weapon in his star, Javier Bardem.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 85 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Dictator, for all its liberal leanings, doesn't let anyone off the hook, not even well-intentioned liberals. Cohen comes right out and says things that most of us, in polite conversation, wouldn't dare. He knows it's the impolite conversation that really gets things moving.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Eclipse, while admittedly an improvement over last year’s barely coherent "New Moon," only adds insult to injury. Nothing so grand as a real eclipse, it’s more just a massive blind spot.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Fading Gigolo is a breeze, enjoyable both for its sweetness and its unapologetic silliness.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 65 Stephanie Zacharek
    Though it's a bit of an oddity, it's an affecting curio suitable for both Hardy enthusiasts and Winterbottom fans alike.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Zacharek
    Sleeping Beauty is best experienced as a piece of fragmented poetry rather than a strict ideological tract.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    I was with the movie every step of the way, right until the final credits began rolling – at which point I realized that the whole thing made no sense whatsoever, and that none of my nagging questions about what the hell was going on would ever be answered. There's a distinction to be made between being a dupe and being had.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Actually, The Intouchables isn't bad - its merely shameless, but at least it's overtly so.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    I never would have believed it, but Branagh gets the balance between pageantry and silliness just right.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Stephanie Zacharek
    Bateman, as both director and star, digs his heels in too hard to make the movie's points, using lots of ho-hum close-ups and wriggly camera work along the way.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 65 Stephanie Zacharek
    The big problem with Iron Man 2, maybe, is that it so dutifully gives the people what they want, instead of giving them what they didn’t know they wanted.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Gallenberger tells Rabe’s story deftly, establishing essential elements of the man’s personality in subtle shorthand.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 55 Stephanie Zacharek
    The plot of Cars 2 is both overly convoluted and thin, and it folds in so much unvarnished toddler-instruction that it almost feels like an educational film.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Why can't heroines just be heroines anymore, instead of micromanaged personalities who may as well have the words "Role Model" tattooed across their foreheads?
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Breezy and enjoyable.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Aside from having murder on their minds, these three are a lot more well-behaved than the "Hangover" guys.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is half silliness, half swagger, but Branagh's arms-akimbo impudence as a director makes it work. He takes it all seriously, but with a wink.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Zacharek
    Leaving is a bit too dry and controlled, as well as too relentlessly bleak, to be a satisfying melodrama.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    But at the risk of overintellectualizing what probably is, at heart, just a bunch of overgrown guys acting out, I will venture that many of the gags in Jackass 3D show plenty of visual wit, if not brilliance.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    In the end, Non-Stop is a waste of a perfectly good Neeson, and of our time and goodwill. Please make it stop.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Del Toro loves his creatures. Maybe he loves them too much: He always wants us to get a good look at them, and that's one of the things that saps the spookiness from this Don't Be Afraid of the Dark.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    It goes through all the motions, properly and efficiently, and yet it's missing some core warmth. Watching Real Steel, I kept thinking of Brad Bird's retro-modern cartoon "The Iron Giant," and of how that picture humanized a metal alien so effortlessly.