Stephanie Zacharek

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For 1,729 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 Before Midnight
Lowest review score: 0 Crush
Score distribution:
1729 movie reviews
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    It's not quite as crazy as it needs to be: There's something listless about Life After Beth — it starts out as a reflection on the potentially morbid nature of grief and then doesn't seem to know where to go.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    In the highly imperfect world of contemporary romantic comedies, What If is as close to perfect as anything we've got, not least for the way it captures the abject hopefulness of young people who'd like to be in love but don't know how to go about it.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Almost embarrassingly enjoyable, despite the fact that — or maybe because — it's ridiculous in a shiny, Hollywood way.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    This odd little wonder captures the delicate textures and shadowy half-secrets of family life, mapping them out in a mosaic of fragmented dialogue and half-poetic, half-prosaic images.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    Get On Up isn't a perfect-picture; there are moments of awkwardness, little gambles that don't quite pay off. But it's one of those experiments that's both flawed and amazing, a mainstream movie (with Mick Jagger as one of its producers) that fulfills old-fashioned, entertainment-value requirements, even as it throws off flashes of insight.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 55 Stephanie Zacharek
    Winterbottom’s version goes too far.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    Demme, following in the footsteps of the late Louis Malle, takes a spare, direct approach to the material -- his economy pays off in quiet eloquence.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Wish I Was Here is at least stretching toward something, and even if its reach exceeds its grasp, Braff's earnest determination as a filmmaker and performer helps smooth out some of the awkward bumps.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Stephanie Zacharek
    Boyhood had the curious effect of making me feel lost, uneasy, a little alone in the inexorable march forward — and also totally, emphatically alive.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a much better and far less silly movie than its predecessor.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    James — the director of Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters — gives us a sense of Ebert as a man who kept reinventing life as he went along — out of necessity, sure, though he also took some pleasure in adapting. It couldn't always have been easy, but that, too, is part of the story.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Berlinger covers lots of territory, including heartrending accounts from the family members of some of Bulger's victims. The whole exercise is fascinating, if vaguely unsatisfying.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Jalil Lespert's Yves Saint Laurent tries to sweep the evanescent butterfly Yves into its net: The movie isn't enough, but it's something.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    Polanski orchestrates this cat-and-mouse game with devilish delight, dancing around Ives's play as if it were a pagan bonfire, jabbing at it with his figurative pitchfork.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    22 Jump Street isn't uncharitable or mean-spirited; at worst, it's just confused. Tatum is, predictably, adorable. His Jenko is a pumped-up naïf bumbling through life with a crooked smile, and Hill again makes a great sparring partner.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Stephanie Zacharek
    Subtle emotional intelligence has always distinguished Bellocchio's filmmaking, and Dormant Beauty is constructed from fine-grained layers of it, the filmmaker's equivalent of a master cabinetmaker's craft.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    Van Warmerdam keeps such a calm, firm hold on the material that he practically hypnotizes you into following along to the end. The craftsmanship is precise; the result is enigmatic.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Fault in Our Stars doesn't quite capture the discreetly twisted humor, or the muted anger, of Green's book, and its problems can be attributed to a constellation of little annoyances rather than any one serious, North Star–size flaw.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Stephanie Zacharek
    Brash and sweet, We Are the Best! captures perfectly the aimlessness of adolescence, the waiting to become something that's so often intertwined with the desire to make something, to leave your mark on the world in some small way.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Stephanie Zacharek
    Gray has a knack for wrapping big themes into an intimate embrace, and The Immigrant feels both epic and fine-grained.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Stephanie Zacharek
    The movie perfectly captures the vibe of late high school, in a way that's both of its time and timeless.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    There's a great story here, but Asante — who has made one previous feature, the 2004 drama A Way of Life — can't quite harness its power.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Other Woman doesn't give these actresses much to do except look ridiculous, if not sneaky and conniving.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Transcendence, written by Jack Paglen, is just more business as usual, one of those "control technology or it will control you" sermons that nonetheless enlists the usual heap of technically advanced special effects.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Fading Gigolo is a breeze, enjoyable both for its sweetness and its unapologetic silliness.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    This isn't so much a movie about sports as it is a riff on politics in the broad sense of the word, and the ways in which smart, insightful people play along to get along -- and then change the game for the better by following their gut.

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