Stephanie Zacharek

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For 1,755 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 45% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stephanie Zacharek's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Lady Bird
Lowest review score: 0 Collateral Beauty
Score distribution:
1755 movie reviews
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    You don’t need to be a woman working in finance to get a shivery thrill—and possibly a few chills—from watching Equity, a modestly scaled but perceptive drama about an investment banker who just happens to be a woman.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Greengrass, a meticulous, thoughtful filmmaker (he also directed the second and third films in the series, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum), clearly believes in what he’s doing. But his earnestness is at odds with the movie’s desperate, frenetic desire to keep us engaged every minute.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Lin keeps this tense adventure (co-written by Doug Jung and Simon Pegg, who also reprises his role as chief engineer Scotty) from stumbling over its own excess: he knows that any good Star Trek needs wit as well as spectacle.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    The movie glows with vitality, thanks largely to the performers, who revel in one another’s company.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    So where’s the line between rigid parental standards and possible abuse? Captain Fantastic crab-walks tentatively toward that question, and even though its conclusion feels rushed, the movie still works as a portrait of an unorthodox family that’s well adjusted in its own odd way.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Goldblum manages to rise above the proceedings via his invisible jetpack of dry wit — thank God for that. The only newcomer who emerges unscathed is Gainsbourg, who glides through this mess with Zen equanimity—even as chaos reigns, she keeps her cool.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Cheerful and efficient, this is the stripey tights of melodramas.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Together, the three wheel through absurd gags that shouldn’t work and somehow make them sing, giving the movie a loose, joyous energy.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    The modest pleasures of The Nice Guys lie not in following the wiggy story twists but in watching Gosling and Crowe mix it up and mess everything up.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    This ambitious blend of live action and computer animation runs the risk of being overwhelming and sterile, but it turns out to be a pleasing and sweet-natured adventure thanks in large part to Spielberg’s big, friendly secret weapon: Mark Rylance, as the BFG himself.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Neon Demon isn’t much of movie, at least if you’re looking for an actual story. Nor is it a moralistic fable about the emptiness of Hollywood—if anything, it’s a winking mockery of that sort of thing. But whatever the heck it is, it throws off a chilly, pleasurable sheen. This is visual hard candy.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Nichols—director of Take Shelter, Mud and, most recently, Midnight Special—tells the Lovings’ story in a way that feels immediate and modern, and not just like a history lesson.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Somehow, it works, thanks largely to Farrell.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Like the provocative classics Dog Day Afternoon and Network, this is discomfiting entertainment–its edges are serrated, sharp enough to cut. The camera moves to just the right place every minute, and the editing is crisp. Moments of nearly unbearable tension are broken by bursts of energy and even humor.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    It’s that rare superhero movie that doesn’t grind you down with nonstop action or, worse yet, the usual tiresome cavalcade of smart-ass wisecracks.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Stephanie Zacharek
    There’s only one reason to see The Huntsman: Winter’s War: Gowns! Insane, off-the-hook gowns.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    You’ve seen every element of Sing Street hundreds of times before — it’s Carney’s knack for assembling them that makes the difference. In his hands, this isn’t just a nostalgia trip. It’s an homage to teenage kicks and the urgency of getting them any way you can.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Somehow this Jungle Book works, because Favreau has both a sense of humor and a sense of spectacle.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    This Barbershop is simply a place where we can all laugh together, sometimes at ideas that veer close to being explosive.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Movies are often about so much more than what they’re about, and the riches of Louder Than Bombs—which borrows its name from a compilation album by The Smiths—lie in the way Trier reveals the secret fears and longings of nearly every character, showing, ultimately, that even when people fail to connect, that itself can be a kind of connection.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Vallée, working from a script by Bryan Sipe, packs in too many symbols and potent signifiers – some are harmless, others are literally sledgehammer heavy. The movie doesn’t need all that when it’s got Gyllenhaal.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Stephanie Zacharek
    Crude gags mingle with squishy, underdeveloped messages about family and belonging and empowerment. And while self-abasement is part of the comedian’s toolbox, there’s something depressing about watching as a chortling Michelle airs her unmentionable area while spraying herself with self-tanner. McCarthy deserves better than this. She can aim higher.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    Everybody Wants Some!! is a seemingly straightforward picture that’s surprisingly stealthy in capturing the joy and exaltation of being an almost-adult but still feeling young, of messing around and messing up, of waiting and hoping for the chance to meet a guy or girl you really like.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Those jokes are mostly just toothless and silly. The plot is barely serviceable, but it will do, and most of the first movie’s cast has been reassembled under its flimsy umbrella.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Batman v Superman lunges for greatness instead of building toward it: It’s so topheavy with false portent that it buckles under its own weight.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    Roy-Lecollinet’s face, both haughty and welcoming, both anchors the movie and sets it free in the wind. No wonder Paul can’t shake the memory of it. It’s the thing that will age him before his time—and also keep him young forever.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    What really registers is how frustrating Krisha’s erratic, furtive behavior would be if she were part of your family — and how deeply sympathetic she is because, thankfully, she is not. Fairchild’s performance is key to the movie: Krisha is witty and chatty one moment, and shut down like a deserted fairground the next.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Nine out of ten gags in this crude pub crawl of a comedy are indefensible. Maybe ten out of ten. Tragically, perhaps, I laughed anyway: It’s so hard to know what to laugh at anymore, and what it’s OK to laugh at.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    10 Cloverfield Lane...is not an outright Cloverfield sequel but rather, as Abrams has put it, a “spiritual successor.” It’s also a better movie, one with a sense of humor about itself and its genre.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    For loyal Malick fans, the woozy dream-logic visuals here may be enough. But this director is hardly the perceptive student of human nature he’s cracked up to be. He understands so little about women – and even less about our shoes.

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