Stephanie Zacharek

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For 1,730 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 Only Lovers Left Alive
Lowest review score: 0 Crush
Score distribution:
1730 movie reviews
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 Stephanie Zacharek
    What a difference a comma makes — or would make, in the case of Jessie Nelson's lumpy, wretchedly unfunny Love the Coopers, whose title commands us to love people it's impossible even to like.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    The 33, directed by Patricia Riggen, makes a valiant effort to tell this harrowing story onscreen, and there are moments when every shifting plate clicks right into place. In the end, though, the picture stumbles, and it may not completely be the fault of the filmmakers.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    When James White really digs in, it's an affecting portrait of grief and of feeling lost in life.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Stephanie Zacharek
    Spotlight feels both timeless and modern, a dexterously crafted film that could have been made anytime but somehow feels perfect for right now.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    In the end, Spectre is just too much of a good thing. Though each scene is carefully wrought, there's little grace, majesty, or romance in the way the pieces are connected. The whole is bumpy and inelegant — entertaining for sure, but hard to love.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    The movie gets duller and less focused as it wears on.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Wonders has an intimate, subtly buzzing power.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Silverman has taken serious, or at least semi-serious, roles before, but she's never had a part that demanded so much of her. She has been open about her own battles with depression, but what makes her turn here work is that it isn't nakedly expressive.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Walk, in its last half at least, is a dazzling piece of work, particularly in 3-D; even so, its most luminous effect is an actor.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Stephanie Zacharek
    The spongy subtext of this and every Meyers movie is "We're being serious, but we're also being FUN!" No viewer must ever be made to think too much, feel too much, or be left out. She doesn't so much tell a story as lead a team-building exercise.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Everest is visually splendid, though it loses a few points for its murkiness in rendering its main characters as distinct individuals.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Black Mass is a tightly wound piece of work, and Cooper (Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace) keeps its many small parts moving with ease. He's skillful at merging telling, minute details with bigger, looping schemes.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Pawn Sacrifice clicks along with crisp efficiency. Zwick, the director behind movies like Glory and Blood Diamond, is old-school in his attention to craftsmanship, alive to telling details.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    It's a chilly, elegantly assured little picture, a horror story with its roots not in fantasy but in the reality of hurt feelings.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    Coming Home obviously has historical and political significance for Chinese who lived through the Cultural Revolution, and for families that were torn apart by it. But Zhang tells this particular story in a deeply personal way — the time and place of its setting have a specific meaning, but its emotional contours spread out into something bigger.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    It has its charming, lively moments, but also many that just feel tired and listless, as if the filmmakers were working off a checklist of all the things two well-past-middle-age travelers would say and do while trekking through the wilderness.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The picture never quite finds its tone: It's neither go-for-broke outrageous enough to be consistently funny, nor energetic enough to be viscerally entertaining. It's neither as bad as you might fear, nor as much fun as you might hope.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    The film works on its own terms, capturing, at least, the mournful vibe of O'Brien's book. What's more, Zobel's revision opens up plenty of space for the three actors who inhabit this circumscribed little world, all of whom are terrific.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Stephanie Zacharek
    Queen of Earth is also a semi-comedy, often funny in an intentionally bleak way. And that, besides Moss, is what makes it work.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    It gradually settles and deepens into something nuanced and moving, a character study that's not so much about aging, specifically, as it is about the great and awful process of getting to know yourself.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    There are some modest pleasures to be mined from Peter Bogdanovich's romantic caper She's Funny That Way, which at least strives for buoyancy.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    Though it's made with lots of modern tricks and technology, it's old-fashioned in the best sense, and not just because it's set in the Sixties.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    The movie has a lilting, generous spirit: Springer Berman and Pulcini, the filmmaking team behind the 2003 American Splendor, have a feel for human eccentricities and weaknesses, and they know how to draw the best from their casts.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    It's fascinating. It's horrible. It's fascinatingly horrible. It's also, as Gladstone points out, a sterling example of the power that television, when it was still a "public square," could have.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    There's nothing quite like it in the world of Hollywood documentaries, though Riley's presentation of this rich material is at times a little discomfiting.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    This new Vacation is hardly an improvement on the old Vacation, and may in fact be worse. Neither of them, to borrow the immortal words of the Go-Go's, is all we ever wanted.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Stephanie Zacharek
    The director's last film was the superb 2012 Barbara, also starring Hoss and Zehrfeld, another romance with a mystery built in; Phoenix is an even finer piece of work, so beautifully made that it comes close to perfect.

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