Stephanie Zacharek
Select another critic »
For 1,431 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 51% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stephanie Zacharek's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 We Are the Best!
Lowest review score: 0 Miss March
Score distribution:
1,431 movie reviews
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    (Coppola) connects with the essential purity of Eugenides' story, stripping it down to its bare essentials and cutting straight to everything that's wonderful about it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Buirski clearly shows that the spark that made her great couldn't be snuffed out so easily.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Penn and Teller are bright guys, and their act can be fun in small doses. Yet Tim's Vermeer accentuates one of their worst impulses: They think they're mischievously raining on our parades when, really, they're not telling us much at all.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    The plot is needlessly busy, and much of the action is more manic and indistinct. But How to Train Your Dragon 2 cuts deeper than the first picture — it will be particularly resonant for anyone who has ever worked with or adopted rescue animals — and there are a few sequences of cartoon grandeur.
    • 76 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    In short, Cronenberg has made an elegant film, with spanking. There's some mildly kinky sex in A Dangerous Method, but Cronenberg makes it neither exploitive nor so tasteful that it loses its charge.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Director John Cameron Mitchell - adapting David Lindsay-Abaire's play - has a surprisingly deft touch with this admittedly downbeat material; he builds dramatic intensity in subtle layers, rather than slapping it on with a trowel.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Offers only the stingiest platform for its actors, and as a piece of storytelling -- built on the foundation of a great story -- it's an epic that's been sliced and diced into so many little morsels that almost nothing in it has any weight.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Its pleasures and charms lie in its very crudeness, in the way the characters' thoughts begin in their d---s and spill out of their mouths, completely bypassing their brains.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Toothless, gutless, one-note political movies like Jonathan Demme's The Manchurian Candidate, a picture that purports to have a galvanizing, liberal-minded theme (big business is taking over our country and our lives) but is really just ploddingly pedestrian.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    An unsettling but ultimately joyous little picture, a movie that's as self-conscious as anything Baumbach has ever made, and yet far more open: It reaches out to the world instead of insisting on hugging its own pain, tight.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    There's nothing too clean or too overbright about it. It's magic, but not the loud, shiny kind: It has the texture of worn velvet, or a painstakingly hand-knit sweater stored away for years in tissue paper.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Stephanie Zacharek
    To paraphrase something Quentin Tarantino once said about Sergio Corbucci, Verbinski loves the uglies. They return the favor by looking almost beautiful.
    • 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
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Catherine Keener, Emily Mortimer and Brenda Blethyn shine in a delicate, loose-limbed and tremendously alive indie about women, family, self-image and survival.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    The kicker is that Joy Ride is funny, too. In fact, it would be a superbly frightening entertainment if not for the way Dahl fixates, disturbingly, on sadistic details.
    • 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
    • 100 Stephanie Zacharek
    Cheung is one of the finest actresses working today, an expressive, lustrous beauty capable of plumbing a boundless range of emotional hues. This is the greatest performance she's given to date.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    A deeply and disappointingly conventional picture masquerading as a free-spirited one.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    One of the truest American gangster films of all time.
    • 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
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Might not be as intriguingly odd as the picture that inspired it. But like that earlier picture, it bristles with life and energy. It's a movie made with equal measures of bravado and humility -- the same mix of qualities you need to play Beethoven, Mozart or Bach.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    Virtually nothing at all is wrapped up in The Lawless Heart, which is probably why it feels so satisfyingly whole by the end.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Anderson's other hallmarks here are brilliant gags that deflate in the execution, potentially interesting characters that end up so flat they feel as if they'd been cut out of paper, a plot that's all setup and no story.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    The picture is clever and vivacious -- at times, like the first "Shrek," it seems a bit taken with its own precociousness. But its moments of sheer inventiveness can still catch you off-guard, and some of them are wittily poetic.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Is legendary Hollywood producer Robert Evans feeding us a load of crap in this documentary? When it's this much fun, who really cares?