Stephanie Zacharek
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For 1,447 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 1.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stephanie Zacharek's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Zero Dark Thirty
Lowest review score: 0 Over Her Dead Body
Score distribution:
1,447 movie reviews
    • 66 Metascore
    • 55 Stephanie Zacharek
    The subject of Spurlock's movie is Spurlock, and while he may be reasonably affable, and sometimes extremely goofy, it's a stretch to call him controversial.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 55 Stephanie Zacharek
    To invoke Pauline Kael's review of Diane Kurys's "Entre Nous," it's about two women not having a lesbian affair.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 55 Stephanie Zacharek
    It has neither the Red Bull–fueled crudeness of "Crank" nor the Frenchified lunatic vitality of the "Transporter" movies; it's not even as cheaply entertaining as the generic hit-man retread "The Mechanic." Safe shows Statham comfortably treading water, proving all the things he no longer needs to prove.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 55 Stephanie Zacharek
    Parts of Dark Shadows look lovely. So what happened to the story?
    • 44 Metascore
    • 55 Stephanie Zacharek
    The picture, the debut feature of Irish director Gary McKendry, is rote and joyless, an exercise in disposability.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 55 Stephanie Zacharek
    Stone's moralism, coupled with discreet but bloody beatings, shootouts and all manner of tawdry goings on, rings hollow. The picture is neither entertaining nor preachy – it is simply very loudly meh.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 55 Stephanie Zacharek
    As Lily Tomlin's Ernestine once said, "There's nothing like a Hoover when you're dealing with dirt." Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar could use more dirt: This is a sensitive, sympathetic portrait of a scummy little man.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 55 Stephanie Zacharek
    W.E. is actually two intertwining stories - or maybe, more accurately, two stories clumsily rubbing against each other in an awkward attempt to set off a spark.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 55 Stephanie Zacharek
    This is good-for-you, arthouse-style horror. Which doesn't mean it's necessarily any good.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 55 Stephanie Zacharek
    Wheatley drops enough unnerving bread crumbs in the first two-thirds to leave you wondering where the hell he's headed, and even the big finale should be satisfying enough: It just belongs to a different movie, and it's unsettling in a way that doesn't feel earned.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 55 Stephanie Zacharek
    None of it quite works, but it seems Beresford did his damnedest to try to pull it off.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 55 Stephanie Zacharek
    Walks the jittery line between being exploitative and too sensitive, and while it's probably a relief that it tips more toward the latter, the movie also seems a bit unclear in its motives.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    It is a very expensive-looking, very flashy entertainment, albeit one that groans under the weight of clumsy storytelling in the second half and features some of the most godawful dialogue this side of "Attack of the Clones."
    • 25 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    When in Rome may fall flat in places, but at least it hasn't had all the personality manicured out of it.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Comes off not as topical but as opportunist. The picture is brushed with a fine glaze of slickness, a product sealed in a blister pack. It's like airplane air -- it has a packaged freshness that isn't really fresh at all.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Isn't emotionally manipulative but simply dull.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Hawke gives his all here -- or maybe just half his all -- and it isn't quite enough: He's trying to be soulful, but he really just looks a little tired. The real delight is Willem Dafoe, as the rednecky leader of the survivor humans.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    There's nothing wrong with Chan's making a silly comedy for kids. But he's got more in him than grinning, nodding and falling down a lot. All he needs is a filmmaker who's ready to let him to make that leap.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    2012 is totally, certifiably nuts, without being quite as off-the-wall kitschy as Emmerich's last special-effects extravabanzoo, "10,000 BC."
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Has such a sweet spirit that it's easy enough to let its flaws sail by.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The finest effect in this visceral gouge of a picture is Korean pop star Rain.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Up
    Save for a few inspired canine gags and a handful of very pretty visual details, Up left me cold. Its charms appear to have been applied with surgical precision; by the end, I felt expertly sutured, but not much else.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    His (Miyazaki) stories, and often his character design, just leave me cold. I know I'm supposed to be magically transported by his fanciful tales and his whimsical grandiosity, but they make me listless.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    There are epic impulses everywhere you look in There Will Be Blood; what's missing is character development, focused storytelling and, most significantly (apart from that terrific opening sequence), any sense of raw, intuitive drama.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Nolan may want us to believe in the darkness that lurks within each of us, but instead of leading us to it visually, he chops it up and sets it out in front of us, a grim, predigested banquet.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Morgan transcends the wayward silliness of Cop Out just by going for the gusto. He grabs it, and he hangs on.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Although it's supposed to be supremely romantic, there's no daring in it, no go-for-broke passion. It's a nice little movie about romantic compulsion, just big enough to fit in a teacup.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Kelly is devoted to telling his stories visually -- except when he's not. And the second half of The Box, unfortunately, underscores everything Kelly, as a filmmaker, wants to be and just can't.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    These interlocking stories don't move along as swiftly or as urgently as they should, and much of the dialogue thumps along on square wheels.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Strives to be a work of greatness. But Kaufman's overarching vision is a lot less interesting than the small insights he gathers along the way. This is what happens when life imitates art, and blows it.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Takes great pains to be a compassionate love story; but the filmmaking itself, self-consciously restrained and desiccated, is inert and inexpressive.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Eastwood is so busy humanizing Japanese soldiers that he ends up rewriting history.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    This is a movie about two people in pain; the last thing they need is for Mendes to turn his cool camera on them. But that's all Mendes knows how to do. He's a clinical director, and whatever feeling he puts into a movie is measured out in careful quarter-teaspoon increments.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Bits of the picture are fascinating to look at, but eventually, exhaustion kicks in, to the point where we're not sure what we're looking at, or why.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The structure of Duplicity is its own worst enemy.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Isn't as uproarious as it pretends to be. The foul language, the constant repetition of words like the aforementioned "boobies" -- look, they've even got me doing it -- doesn't feel daring or cathartic, only canned.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Snaps to life too late. But at least there IS life in it. It doesn't hold together as a piece of filmmaking, but there's no doubt it comes from somewhere close to Schreiber's heart.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    How you'll feel about Sunshine Cleaning probably depends on your tolerance for slender, semi-hip comedic dramas about oddball families grappling with sometimes overwhelming problems.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Parts of it are brilliant; some of it feels tired and overplayed. Cohen has come up with some marvelous satirical motifs; elsewhere, he's just showing how far he'll go to get a laugh.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Does feature one or two jump-out-of-your-skin moments.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Through its first two-thirds, at least, Hide and Seek does a good enough job of piquing our curiosity that the movie's ultimate dumbness is more than a minor insult.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    As lousy as it is, Diary of a Mad Black Woman is weirdly fascinating.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    A disappointingly blunt, monochrome work.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The super-duper whiteness of Ashton Kutcher is funny. Just not funny enough.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Fever Pitch lacks that Farrelly spark, that warm, crazy glint.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Interpreter is so intent on reminding us that it's a QUALITY piece of work that it forgets to give us the very thing we thought we came in for: a story.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The big screen doesn't seem to like Kutcher much, or even to GET him, whatever there is to get.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The plot of Howl's Moving Castle meanders so listlessly that its details become less and less charming.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Kidman will have the last laugh; not even Ephron, with her dumb flying house of a movie, can crush her magic.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Fantastic Four doesn't expand on, or even illuminate, anything much beyond the most basic theme of what it feels like to be an adolescent misfit. This is a comic-book movie that actually makes an effort not to go over kids' heads.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Island walks a weird, wobbly line between being stupid, falsely fattened-up entertainment and a picture that just might have possibly been made by a person with a brain -- a scrambled one, but a brain nonetheless.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Although The Brothers Grimm is partly an inventive fantasy, it's also a cluttered, jangly action picture, and there's too much noise and commotion for Gilliam's subtler ideas to really resonate.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The picture is outrageously predictable and somewhat poky, but there's also something admirably bold about the way it so adamantly demands we swallow its hokum.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Proof isn't just a movie about mathematics; it's a mathematical movie. The scenes may as well have been laid out by diagram.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The picture is an exercise in exploitation joi de vivre, and your enjoyment of it will depend on your tolerance for shameless, reckless, unredemptive violence with relatively little artistic or spiritual value. After all, there's a time and a place for everything.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    There are moments when Cage (with his perpetually worried eyebrows) and Caine (with his inherent emotional elegance) carry the picture admirably enough.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Mendes doesn't care about people -- he's too busy making his art. And with Jarhead he pulls off, effortlessly, what so many pro-and antiwar individuals since Vietnam have tried so conscientiously to avoid: His movie is antiwar and anti-soldier.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    I wasn't sure a movie musical could be worse than last year's styrofoam-and-gilt swan-boat travesty "Phantom of the Opera," but I'm afraid Rent proves me wrong.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    There's no life, no juice, in the picture. Instead of tempting you into submission, it merely drugs you. It's surprising that a filmmaker who gave us such a lively debut, "Chicago," could slap us with a picture as dull and worthy as this one.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Match Point is a fatally neat exercise in detached craftsmanship, and maybe that's the best we can expect from Allen at this point.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    This is like a Tony Scott movie on quaaludes: Words and pictures are matched up in counterintuitive ways, and although the cutting is much slower than in Scott's hyperactive showboating, it makes just about as much sense. The movie's leisureliness is aggressive; the picture is artfully designed to make you feel that if you're bored, it's your own damn fault.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The movie has a perversely unifying effect: Muslims, Christians and Jews may not be able to agree on exactly who the heck Jesus is, but they're fully capable of bonding in boredom.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Like so many disappointing movies, it's peopled by performers who do their damnedest to make the whole thing work.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    This is one of those lazy, lukewarm pictures that's even more disappointing than a purely bad one, and for one glaring reason: How could Marshall, his writers, and even his actors have let these dogs down so badly?
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Freedomland, overall, could have been so much better. But Moore, even in a performance as patchy as this one, is something to watch. She's an echo of the movie that might have been.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Deschanel may not be as brilliant as the great comedian Gracie Allen (and, at any rate, it's too soon to tell). But her Rube Goldberg timing (which only seems indirect) and blissfully zonked demeanor suggest the spirit of Allen. She's the only actor in Failure to Launch who isn't earthbound; she leaves everyone else in the dust simply by hanging back.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    With its wiry twists and turns, ends up buckling under the weight of its own cleverness.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Clearly designed to be an action thriller with emotional underpinnings. But you can't get blood from a stone, no matter how hard you squeeze. And so Cruise, a huge box-office star, is the single bright, blinking emblem of the failure of Mission: Impossible III.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Disappointingly tame.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    While Jacobson navigates the first half of Down in the Valley deftly, he loses his way in the second.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    An acceptably entertaining picture. At just 100 minutes long, it feels tight and trim, and unlike so many contemporary action pictures, it boasts only one ending, instead of three false ones. What's more, it's just as dumb as the original.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Probably supposed to be half fashion fantasy, half satire of the fashion world. What a drag that it's not enough of either.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Everything about You, Me and Dupree, even the toilet humor, is tepid and rigorously inoffensive
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The experience of watching The Night Listener didn't make me feel "real" at all, only stuffed.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The movie is straightforward in a way that makes it feel less manipulative than it might.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The plot has been greatly streamlined from Ellroy's book, but even so, it isn't any clearer, and the ending, convoluted and barely believable, hits with a thud.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Baldwin brings so much lumbering weariness to his role that we can't help feeling something for his character
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Prestige is a trick box with too many false bottoms. Ultimately, the last one simply gives way -- leaving us with a hole, and a little residual darkness, but not much else.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Catch a Fire just doesn't spark.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The picture is an overworked trifle: There's so much going on in it that it becomes hard to care about ANYTHING that's going on in it. The story in Stranger Than Fiction is stranger than fiction. But what good is it if it's unreadable?
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The movie is designed to stir up controversy. (Linklater and Schlosser have admitted as much.) But can you really stir up controversy with a lesson plan?
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Just when you think you've got a handle on the central characters in Bobby, yet more of them appear: The thing is a little like the stateroom scene in "A Night at the Opera."
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    To believe Déjà Vu, or even to pretend you can actually follow it, you'll need heavy-duty gear -- harness belt, spelunking helmet, a great deal of rope, PowerBars for sustenance. A little coffee wouldn't hurt, either.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Holiday drags on for more than two hours, long enough for even the most ardent suitor to lose interest. The premise, so delectable at the start, quickly begins to feel tired and oversold.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Breaking and Entering is so bloodless that even Minghella's best ideas come off as wan and pale.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Good Shepherd, soft when it needs to be sharp, is all cloak with very little dagger.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    A very gentle picture, intended to soothe us, not to jolt or shock us. But it's so gentle that it lacks any discernible energy; sometimes it seems there's barely enough tension in the story to keep the images from sliding off the screen.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    While I don't think Blades of Glory is exactly homophobic -- it's not mean-spirited enough for that -- there's something a little too cheap and easy about the way it plays up to the ultra-straight guys in its target demographic.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Perfect Stranger is one of those movies that two years, or two months, from now, you won't recall having seen. Ostensibly a movie about big secrets, it comes up with few that are worth keeping, or telling.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Hayek, with that old-time movie-star pout, those dark, reflective eyes (they could be Satan's twin swimming pools), is the shivery, chilling backbone of Lonely Hearts. Martha Beck couldn't get away with murder. But Salma Hayek can.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The picture is clever, somber, quiet: There's just no reason it has to be as deadly boring as it is.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The picture is so gentle, it barely leaves an impression.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Beneath its drab veil of self-seriousness, Mr. Brooks is nothing but just plain silly.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Dahan's filmmaking damn near sabotages the performance.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    More ambitious than its predecessor. It's also more cluttered and less fleet: The light, pleasingly casual quality of the first picture has evolved into something forced and metallic.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    One night in 1408 stretches out until it ends up feeling more like a routine three-day business trip. The scariest thing in it may be the way the clock radio has a way of turning itself on, loudly, of its own accord. The song is always the Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun." Now THAT'S horror.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    With its tepid gags and faltering pacing, may not be a very good movie. But at least, within its clumsiness, it strives for some kind of solidarity.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    One of those unapologetically cerebral space-exploration sci-fi movies that's both boring and compelling at once.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    An adamantly unterrible picture, a reasonably enjoyable diversion.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Represents a breakthrough in the moviegoing experience. It may be the first time we've been asked to watch a book on tape.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    If these new, allegedly topical movies are to make us feel anything -- to move us toward any action or even just toward any fresh realization -- they need to at least seem alive on the screen, instead of just courting our polite, measured applause.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Dour, ponderous picture.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Just another ambitious, lavish animated adventure, pretty enough to look at, but ultimately foundering on the weakness of its script.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Before long, the story's conceit -- a loud-and-clear metaphor for the ways in which we all sometimes feel alien when it comes to human relationships -- just becomes wearying.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Fred Claus does feature some very nicely groomed reindeer, a far cry from those patchy, depressed-looking creatures you see every holiday season at the petting zoo. They're prancing and dancing as fast as they can, but they can't pull Fred Claus from the rut it's in.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The picture throws off no feeling, not even the misanthropic kind; at best, it manages a dull, throbbing energy, as if Burton were dutifully pushing his way through the material instead of shaping it.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Funniest in its first half, when you're not quite sure where it's going, and drags in the second, by which time you realize it's going nowhere.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Over and over again, Hoblit misses opportunities to make an engaging picture, instead giving us a merely pedestrian one.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Meet the Browns, like the rest of Tyler Perry's movies and plays, will find its audience. His talent lies in knowing what people will buy. He's a marketer, not a filmmaker.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    You have to give Leatherheads this much: It's like no other comedy, or movie, out there these days. Clooney, one of our few old-style Hollywood movie stars himself, obviously loves old-fashioned moviemaking.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    It's a late-night infomercial masquerading as a concert movie, more an advertisement for vitality than a picture of vitality itself. There's something self-congratulatory, preening, about both the performance and the filmmaking.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Forgetting Sarah Marshall follows the Apatow formula faithfully enough. All that's missing is charisma -- the je ne sais quois that makes us fall in love in the first place.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Incredible Hulk suggests only that we've bottomed out on special effects: They're not necessarily getting better -- they're just getting bigger. Technically, Leterrier's Hulk is as realistic-looking as a rampaging green giant could be. But that doesn't make him credible.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    I left Australia feeling drained and weakened, as if I'd suffered a gradual poisoning at the hands of a mad scientist.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    A maddeningly indistinct picture.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Gets more cluttered and confused as it moves along.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    If Appaloosa is something to look at, it's also unnecessarily lethargic. Even an intentionally slow-paced picture needs to have its own internal source of energy, and as a filmmaker, Harris can't quite get that motor running.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    A picture that's dramatically compelling in some places and plodding and didactic in others.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    A disappointing picture that suffers from all manner of ills: Both the direction and the dialogue are stiff and awkward, and Kramer -- who also wrote the script -- crams too many not-believable-enough subplots into the movie's "Crash"-style construction. Yet Crossing Over is an interesting failure.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Bolt is just too knowing; it keeps reminding us, loud and clear, of how culturally savvy it is.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Reader feels weighty, all right; but it's an unsatisfying kind of weight, and Fiennes' presence, as the grown-up Michael, doesn't help much.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Neither a masterpiece nor an embarrassment, but a workmanlike picture that sits, inoffensively, in the middling space between.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    It's great that Perry has seized opportunity for himself and for the performers he employs. But has he succeeded only in creating a kind of ghetto for black-themed entertainment that's of sub-par quality -- one that, admittedly, makes him a lot of money?
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Even in 3D, as the picture is being shown in some theaters -- Ginormica is a disappointingly flat character.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    There's enough sweetness, and enough just-under-the-surface intelligence, in The Education of Charlie Banks to suggest that Durst may have a future as a filmmaker.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The movie overall is painless if not exactly electrifying.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    It's often breezily entertaining.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Management is ultimately undone by its own bland idiosyncrasies. It's nothing but a mismanaged opportunity.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Chéri is a perfect example of a movie that gets many of the details right and the vibe all wrong.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    So gentle it barely has enough vitality to stick to the screen.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Some questions just can't be answered by science, and the quandary of why Creation is so poundingly dull is one of them.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    In the end, Alice in Wonderland comes off as manufactured instead of dreamy. Burton delivers all the wonder money can buy; what's missing is the wonder it can't.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    May be a weightless picture, but it's hardly torture to sit through. Just watch out for those angel rays.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    A simple entertainment that's by and large carried on the backs of its actors, some who are wonderful and others who are merely likable.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    It's sunny and cheerful without coming off as too saccharine.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Would be more fun if it were either more shameless or more principled in the bad-girl way, taking a stance on the value of artistry and attitude over commerce.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    It's dull in a very tasteful way, with none of the reverberating tenderness and sometimes surly vigor that characterize Rohmer's best work, things like "Summer" and "The Aviator's Wife."
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    A Perfect Murder is more like a handful of anemic ice cubes floating in a lukewarm puddle.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Grant takes every stupid line and makes it funny, just by underplaying.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Mystery Men is supposed to be an action comedy, but there isn't nearly enough of either.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Redford glances too lightly off the story's racial questions. You could call that approach "eminently tasteful" if you're looking for a nice substitute for "wimpy."
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    There's something refreshing about the way it invites us to splash around in its little wading pool of amorality.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The big problem with it is that the setup is treated as just that, a scheme around which many things that are intended to be funny (but aren't very) are packed like ice around a fish.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    There's a refreshing surefootedness in the way Amiel, his screenwriters Cooper Layne and John Rogers, and most of his actors recognize how preposterous the idea of traveling to the center of the earth in a souped-up Rototiller really is.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Less a movie for intelligent moviegoers than a suggestion that we're all brainless chickens.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The penalties for drug trafficking in Thailand are very, very stiff. If there were any justice in the world, the penalties for saddling fine actors with terrible dialogue would be even stiffer.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    There's only one good reason to see The Bone Collector, and her name is Angelina Jolie.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Feels very nicely made, at least until it falls apart: By its midpoint, you start to recognize that it has acute creepy-thrilleritis, which means that it promises us some things at the beginning that it has no intention of actually following up on.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    In the end, Tupac: Resurrection gives us too much raw Tupac, and yet somehow not enough. He remains a mystery -- one who still sells lots and lots of records.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Spartan is the same old stuff, but now it's been thoroughly Mametized, like a spray-on treatment you could spritz out of a can.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    So unself-conscious and breezy that you find yourself sailing along with it; its flaws become as negligible as harmless barnacles nestled well below the water line.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    (Harron) has made a passionless movie about a passionless man, and it's all supposed to add up to make us feel or even just think something, but what?
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Always worth watching when Angelina Jolie steps to the fore. Somehow, she takes a thuddingly ill-conceived role and turns it into gold
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Matchstick Men isn't even remotely intricate; it's not even particularly interesting.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    One of those comedies that "thinking" people tend to stay away from, but if you look beyond its admittedly aggressive marketing campaign, you can see that it was made with care and intelligence as well as a sense of fun. The pleasures it offers may be modest, but they're not negligible.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    You come away with the sense that you should have come to care (or at least to know) more about its central characters than you do.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    An eminently defensible light entertainment, peopled with characters that are easy to like and care about.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    It's not a full-on go-for-broke love letter to rock 'n' roll or a broad, joyous spoof, but something stuck awkwardly in between.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Instead of taking us someplace we fear to go, Secret Window leads us to a place we've already been -- we know it so well, we could write the book on it ourselves.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The fatal flaw of Down With Love... is that in mining what's kitschily amusing about those movies, it also re-creates far too faithfully everything that's unbearable about them.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    A neo-vampire movie for tender-hearted preadolescent girls who are afraid of sex. If that's your thing, go for it. But there's something genuinely creepy, and not in the good way.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Suffers from a lack of conviction.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    In terms of the gap between the movie it's trying to be and the movie it actually is, Mona Lisa Smile is in many ways indefensible. Yet for all its problems, it's satisfyingly movielike. The minutes drift by pleasurably and mindlessly.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    A good-natured but massively flawed little comedy.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Isn't so much a movie as a tract, a parable in which the charred wisdom of its characters is much more significant than the intricacies of their lives.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Replacement Killers has a plot -- barely -- but no story.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The reality is that it's neither hip nor funny: Instead, it's excessively broad one minute and unctuously instructional the next.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Should have been either a whole lot worse or a whole lot better than it is: If it were worse, we could simply toss aside the things that are fun and entertaining about it and not even think twice. And if it were better -- well, we'd have fewer complaints all around.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Feels like a movie that keeps wishing it were something else: an award-winning play, a grand novel, an epic poem, anything but that populist thing we call a movie. Mendes makes movies as if he hates them.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Even as a nostalgia ride, Starsky & Hutch poops out before it ever gets going.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Depp aside, the movie is higher on style than it is on substance.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    So captivating to look at that you can almost forget there's virtually nothing to it.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Handled more delicately, Monster's Ball could have been a fine little movie about human beings' capacity for growth and change. As it is, it's less than half a fine movie. The great surprise is that its actors come through in the clutch.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    If you buy the overprocessed headcheese of the serial killer as refined genius, you'll love Red Dragon. Or maybe not. Even Hannibal Lecter devotees may lose patience with this picture's grandiose, self-serious ponderousness -- that's Lecterese for, "It's kind of boring in patches, actually."
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Here, Lynch has traded some of his disturbing originality for noir formula and schticky weirdness.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Never as delightful and silly as it needs to be. The action is often manic, and there's a veneer of unapologetic corniness to it.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Isn't really a movie but a blatant girls' night out vehicle.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    A little like the '80s crowd-pleaser "Ghost," but way artier.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    It might not measure up to the 1967 original, but now Satan's got sooty pussycat eyes and a kitten-cruel smile.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The difference is that Michael Caine delivered the impossible; Jude Law can't.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Curiously and disappointingly lethargic.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Mel Gibson may have changed the face of cinema forever. I think he has: He's made the first true Jesusploitation flick, a picture that, despite its self-righteous air of grave religiosity, is barely spiritual at all.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Sometimes stylish flashiness can be fun, and the movie does have a terrific, bleached-out, ice-blue look. But anyone who cares about what actors do has a right to be distrustful of a director who puts more emphasis on the look of his movie than on the performances.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Cold Mountain is a romance, refreshingly free from the taint of any political realities other than the "War is hell" variety. It's also completely juiceless.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    It's nicely made, well shot, and reasonably well acted, yet it's enough to filet the life force right out of you. We need stories in order to dream, and to live. But that doesn't mean we have to buy every crappy one that comes down the pike.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The movie's ridiculous good humor -- laced with just enough barbs to keep it from going soft -- suggest that it's been made with some thought and care. I often found myself laughing in spite of no one, not even myself.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    After its deceptively fleet opening 20 minutes or so, Chamber of Secrets settles into a plodding amble, a rickety framework in which many allegedly exciting things happen -- and are forgotten only minutes later.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Jon Voight shows up as Ben's daddy, and Harvey Keitel plays a devilishly goateed FBI agent: They're the only two actors who seem to have a sense of how ridiculous National Treasure is, but there's not enough of them to carry the picture.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    "Pearl Harbor" is exactly the kind of prestige project you'd expect from a director like Bay, hitting all its targets with plodding precision and never once achieving surprise.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    If you boil Thirteen down to its flimsy bones, you'll find that it's not really so much about peer pressure in contemporary teen life as it is a story about a classic bad egg. That right there dilutes its highfalutin aspirations.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Bend It Like Beckham is supposedly a movie about youth; its biggest shortcoming is that it rarely feels young.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    So bloodless that it feels like an act of arty dishonesty.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    I, Robot strives to be so many things that it ultimately falls away to nothing, a heap of expensive metal parts.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    I would have hated Love Actually less if it had been a total, clumsy disaster; the problem is that Curtis does pull off some amazingly well-tuned moments, as well as some very funny ones.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Overburdened with knowingly charming touches. It's waterlogged with whimsy.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    If there's any reason to bother with Meet the Fockers, it's to see Hoffman and Streisand.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Herman isn't sure if he's doing a big-statement picture or a tiny treasure of a comedy, and his confusion throws Brassed Off off balance.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    But as badly as the younger women in The First Wives Club are treated, none of the three central characters, with whom we're supposed to identify so strongly, comes off that well either.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Fine actors do their damnedest to make this dumb movie look sharp.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    An ungodly mess that's great fun to look at for about 15 minutes and exhausting the rest of the time.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The picture is directed with such a loose, slack hand that you'd think Craven had never directed a slasher-thriller before: I didn't jump once; I never even felt vaguely scared or creeped out.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    It's a movie that needs to look down its nose for its laughs, which generally isn't the best place to find them.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The big problems with Iron Man 3 are less specific to the movie itself than they are characteristic of the hypermalaise that’s infected so many current mega-blockbusters—too much plot, too much action, too many characters, too many pseudo-feelings.
    • 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.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Like so many modern animated features, Free Birds packs too much in; the picture feels cramped and cluttered, and, despite its occasionally manic action, it moves as slowly as a fattened bird waddling toward its doom.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Even if there were a compelling narrative here to begin with, Montiel's excessive technique would throw you right out of it.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Red 2, disappointing in so many ways, isn't torture to watch, in part because Mirren has even more to do than she did in the first installment.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Wolverine—despite being an improvement on Gavin Hood’s muddled 2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine—isn’t worthy of Jackman’s gifts. It’s a reasonably engaging summer diversion, a semi-rousing adventure that doesn’t make you feel robbed of two hours of your life.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    There's too much people and not enough dog in Lawrence Kasdan's Darling Companion, and even if you prefer people to dogs, that's a serious problem.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The movie -- too much of it -- is spent testing the boundaries of how loud and obnoxious McCarthy can be. Feig doesn't hand this able comic actress the gift of freedom; he simply gives her enough rope, which isn't nearly the same thing.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    This is a here today, gone tomorrow trifle, albeit one with lots of gunplay. In midsummer, that may be enough, but it's still a shame that 2 Guns shoots so many blanks.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Weitz, an openhearted director if not always a precise one, can't bring himself to whet the knives. Only Fey drills to the center of what Admission might have been—her performance has more layers of emotion than the picture does.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    To Crowley's credit, Closed Circuit is decidedly unflashy. But maybe that's a liability: There's a fine line between restrained and drab, and Closed Circuit falls just on the wrong side of it.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Emperor may not be the most dazzling of history lessons, but it never treats the past as a dusty, deserted place.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Even though Coppola is one of our most compassionate storytellers, she can't bring herself to like these kids much. She's not cynical enough to turn this story into satire.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Refn may be taking himself too seriously or not taking anything seriously enough—it's hard to tell. But Only God Forgives, so brazen in its double-scorpion-bowl vision, is at least good for a giggle or two. Its sins are many, but after a while, it's not even worth keeping count.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Godzilla is one of those generic, omnipresent blockbusters that's undone by the very spectacle it strives to dazzle us with: Everything is so gargantuan, so momentous, that nothing has any weight.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    [A] heartfelt but largely inarticulate documentary.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Even as dystopian dramas go, the picture is arid and lusterless in its more serious moments and unpleasantly kitschy when it tries to soar over the top.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Too bad the story tucked around all that production design is such a futuristic drag.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    If The Marked Ones is mildly brilliant in the first half, it stumbles witlessly into its own dumb pentagram in the second.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The road to the finale is littered with dead bodies and red herrings, but Open Grave is more notable for its laid-back approach to storytelling than for its plot twists. That's a kind way of saying it's sort of boring.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Tusk is kind of terrible, annoying and self-congratulatory in all the ways we’ve come to expect from Smith (without even, say, any of the silly sweetness of the 2008 Zack and Miri Make a Porno). But Tusk is at least trying to be about something.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 45 Stephanie Zacharek
    It comes to the party overdressed and still fails to make an impression.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 45 Stephanie Zacharek
    Isn't just unfunny; it's so dull.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 45 Stephanie Zacharek
    Your enjoyment - if that's the right word - of Buried will hinge on two things: Your ability to tolerate situations in which characters are confined to very tight spaces, and your willingness to be emotionally manipulated in the cheapest way imaginable.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 45 Stephanie Zacharek
    As horrific as Something Borrowed is, it's compelling in its own sick way.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 45 Stephanie Zacharek
    Every actor in Friends with Benefits, including the nearly indestructible Patricia Clarkson and Richard Jenkins, stalls out in the process of pedaling desperately to make this substandard material work.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 45 Stephanie Zacharek
    In the early scenes of Larry Crowne, Hanks' Larry is so assertively regular he almost comes off as a special-needs child - grinning into his coffee-cup in the big-box-store break room, he has all the sexual allure of Forrest Gump.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 45 Stephanie Zacharek
    The movie's look is artificially grainy, and most of the scenes are encrusted with CGI - you'd have to chip it away with a chisel to get to anything human or interesting or even remotely fantastical.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 45 Stephanie Zacharek
    Too earnest and dour to be a silly bit of summer fun, but it's not exactly scientifically sound, either.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 45 Stephanie Zacharek
    There are some body-horror gross-outs if you're into that sort of thing, but mostly what you get are a bunch of too-obvious leftovers from the "Alien" stockroom, including a selection of moist innards, slimy tendons, dripping fangs and the like.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 45 Stephanie Zacharek
    There's a fine line between a character who has a sense of humor about herself and one who's being repeatedly humiliated for entertainment value, and I'm afraid Ally falls on the wrong side of the line.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 45 Stephanie Zacharek
    Some of us wonder, still, how Margaret Thatcher can continue to live with herself. Watching Meryl Streep walk around so ably in Thatcher's skin isn't enlightening; it's more like a living nightmare.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 45 Stephanie Zacharek
    The only bright spot in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is Max von Sydow, as a mysterious, and mysteriously mute.
    • 14 Metascore
    • 45 Stephanie Zacharek
    The tiniest bit of Hudson's wrinkly-crinkly cuteness goes a long way, and in A Little Bit of Heaven, watching her waste away becomes slow torture. She's like an adorbs Camille.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 42 Stephanie Zacharek
    The violence is so indifferently presented that it has no kick; it’s not grim or graphic enough to shock, but it doesn’t rev us up, either. The picture’s various shoot-’em-up sequences are so generically conceived and shot that each one is indistinguishable from the next – by the movie’s end, they may as well all collapse into an exhausted heap.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 42 Stephanie Zacharek
    Watching Identity Thief will steal nearly two hours of your life that you’ll never get back. It takes far more than it gives.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 42 Stephanie Zacharek
    Dead Man Down is actually mildly entertaining, without being particularly fun.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Wolfman isn't crazy enough to be fun or multilayered enough to be touching. It's impossible to have any real feeling for this anguished beastie.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Jonze's ideas, visual and otherwise, spill out in a faux-philosophical ramble that isn't nearly as deep as he thinks it is; at best, it's a scrambled tone poem. Even the look of the picture becomes tiresome after a while -- it starts to seem depressive and shaggy and tired.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Funny People is an ambitious, misshapen picture that feels like two, maybe even three, separate movies uncomfortably jammed into one.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Revenge of the Fallen just comes off as a bratty kid showing how many swear words he knows.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Amelia is a stunted epic, an ambitious and handsome-looking picture that tells its story in the dullest, most confusing way possible.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Disjointed and disorganized, and it meanders when it needs to gallop.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    A belabored trifle that's occasionally amusing but often just bewildering.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    An exploration of self-absorption that is itself too self-absorbed to be either entertaining or enlightening.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    A romantic comedy doesn't need to be original to be enjoyable, and yet The Proposal still falls way too short of the mark.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    300
    The bigger question to ask about 300 is why, for a supposedly rousing tale of heroism, it's so curiously unaffecting.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Both oversimplifies and overcomplicates Moore's and Lloyd's vision, but it never cuts to the bone. It's a movie drawn with big, bold strokes and very little feeling -- a tracing-paper exercise masquerading as a masterpiece.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    I can't recall ever having seen a single bad Ice Cube performance, and his utter charm even in flimsy material like this only reaffirms his gifts.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Dermot Mulroney is the movie's only genuinely romantic lead. And he's so good that he nearly carries The Wedding Date single-handedly.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Isn't assaultive or dumb, just slack and de-energized, as if its batteries start running down in the first frame.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Even these actors -- who, in other pictures, are often wonderful in distinctive ways -- don't seem like themselves: It's as if they've been pulverized and pressed into convenient actor shapes.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Paris Hilton is the big draw in Jaume Collet-Serra's not-really-a-remake horror-slasher thriller House of Wax, and she'd have to be: There's so little else going on in it that you find yourself waiting for her few brief scenes.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    This is muddled and oppressive storytelling (the script is by William Monahan) dotted with elaborate but weightless battle sequences.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Fonda and Sykes are made for each other, and their incessant bickering and arguing are about the only things that give Monster-in-Law any life.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    I suspect this picture is pretty close to what fans were hoping for, and for their sake, I'm glad it's markedly better than the two that preceded it. But Revenge of the Sith is still crap.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Needs much more energy and kinetic flow -- less dolor and more dolomite.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Spins toward its glum, dishwater-gray whirlpool of an ending, which doesn't have nearly as much emotional punch as it should. It doesn't leave you feeling spent -- only soaked.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    The kind of self-conscious puzzle picture in which characters behave in ways that serve the plot but in no way resemble things that actual human beings would be likely to do.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    The whole thing seems so perfectly good-natured that you settle in for some harmless, silly fun. But Dukes runs out of gas early on.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    An exercise in edgy tedium, and even though it's only 90 minutes or so, it seems to last longer than an actual transatlantic flight. If you bring an eye mask and a few sleeping pills, you should get through it OK. A magazine or book wouldn't hurt, either. It'll be over before you know it.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Elizabethtown is a sprawl, perhaps the victim of a kind of ADD of the heart.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Watching The Producers is simply exhausting.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    The plot is so convoluted that missing even five minutes at a stretch won't make any difference in your comprehension of the story.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    What we really need from Stoned, the very thing that it fails to give us, is a sense of Jones as a human being.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    If you're trying to reinvigorate the art of the stylish thriller, the movie you come up with needs to be stylish and it needs to be thrilling. Basic Instinct 2, is neither.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Break-Up doesn't know whether it wants to be a facile, enjoyable date movie or an unnerving examination of the dark, pockmarked underbelly of everything we expect out of romantic relationships, and it settles for a deeply unsatisfying nowheresville.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    The problem with contemporary Hollywood isn't that so many of the movies it's churning out are based on formula; it's that so many directors take perfectly good formulas and wreck them with bad filmmaking.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    There's so little love to be found in Dreamgirls. It's a product that promises magic, and yet gives us nothing to live on.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    There are so many emotions in We Are Marshall that there's hardly any room for football -- and when we finally get some, even THAT'S clogged with excess feeling.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    In this mess of a picture, Timberlake may be the rookie actor, but he's also the one to watch, the movie's North Star. The rest may as well be pinholes in a box.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    There are so many problems with Norbit that when you try to pin one down, another one splooges out elsewhere.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Premonition doesn't know when to stop. The picture can't decide between cheap scares or deep thoughts, so it goes for both.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Feels deeply calculated rather than genuinely crazy.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Next is clearly an attempt at a puzzle movie, one of those brainteaser pictures that lures viewers into another dimension, but it doesn't have the momentum, the quick-wittedness, to keep us wondering what's going to happen next.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    The picture is so drab and listless that it often feels like punishment, even though Rickman gives a fine performance, one that's heartfelt as well as characteristically elegant (not to mention sexy).
    • 25 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    [Georgia Rule] is clearly intended to be an uplifting multigenerational drama about abuse, healing and forgiveness. Yet there's something unsavory about the way it uses a character's emotional and psychological scars as a gimmick.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    This is a glazed, inhuman, cluttered piece of work, a storytelling mishmash that buries the considerable charms of its actors under heavy drifts of silt.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Sometimes movies make sense in a logical way; sometimes they make only emotional sense. No Reservations makes no damned sense at all.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Becoming Jane would have been more honest if it had been called "No Sex in the Country."
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Intended as nothing more than a here-today, gone-tomorrow zany entertainment, and at the very least, it has a good-natured, slightly raunchy spirit about it. But ultimately, it's a hollow enterprise, all ping and no pong. It doesn't bounce; it splats.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    The movie chickens out. In the Valley of Elah could have been really interesting -- and really daring -- if it had focused on Hank's realization that his own child, supposedly a good kid, had perhaps committed the kinds of atrocities that would make any decent human being recoil. The movie (which Haggis also wrote) dances around that territory, but doesn't dare to march straight into its terrifying maw.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Might have been a lavish, silly entertainment. In places it comes close, but no sheaf of tobacco.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Ambitious, overbearing and hollow; it goes overboard to impress, yet it never feels truly inventive or imaginative. At best, it achieves a level of clumsy camp.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Forget the heat of passion: The movie never breaks a sweat.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Whatever complex or interesting ideas might have been found in the source material have been watered down, skimmed over, mashed into nonsense or simply ignored.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    The picture has no legs, no style, no sense of movement other than the meandering, dawdling kind.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    First Sunday is simply a case of wasting gifted performers on material that feels slapped together and unshaped.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    The movie is neither cathartic nor entertaining. The action scenes (and there are many of them) feel mechanized and calculated.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Too heavy on applied charm and too flimsy when it comes to plot. The picture has a hapless, meandering quality that's tolerable at first but ultimately becomes maddening, as if it were a cartoon narrative recounted by a distracted 4-year-old.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    There's loads of suffering in Sleepwalking, piled on until the picture almost becomes an unintentional comedy.