Stephanie Zacharek

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For 1,745 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 Ratatouille
Lowest review score: 0 The Amityville Horror
Score distribution:
1745 movie reviews
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Birdman is a marvelously entertaining picture, a work of "look at me!" bravado that's energized every minute. Its proficiency, the mechanically fluid kind, works against it in some ways.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    If Whiplash doesn't quite hang together, Chazelle has still managed to pack it with some wonderful ideas.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Judge has its funny moments but is far more serious at heart, and much more of a slog, too.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    If you’re not expecting too much, Drive Hard is mindlessly entertaining, but it lacks that spark of madness that might have made it truly fun. At least Cusack is able to shed some of his usual overseriousness.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Pride hits some bumpy patches when it switches gears between comedy and gentle pathos, which it does often. But its spirit is bold enough to power through the rough spots. It’s easy to find fault with Pride, but it’s not so easy to resist it.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Whatever its flaws may be — and there are many — John Ridley's Jimi: All Is By My Side is compelling for one specific reason: It's more attuned to the women in Hendrix's life than it is to Hendrix himself.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    The movie, while entertaining and extremely well crafted, is too self-conscious about its depravity to be either truly disturbing or disturbingly funny. Ticking along with metronome-like efficiency, it's more slick than sick.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Too bad the story tucked around all that production design is such a futuristic drag.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Stephanie Zacharek
    20,000 Days on Earth is meticulously crafted but nonetheless feels casual and heartfelt. It's revelatory, and wonderful, to watch Cave walking (or driving) around, being a real person — if the movie is somewhat staged, it's never stagey.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Berry isn't afraid to use melodrama as a tool to highlight injustice. It's his very un-flashiness that makes Frontera effective.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Stephanie Zacharek
    This is an unsparing picture, one whose violence, though deftly handled, is bone-crunchingly rough. Yet its emotional contours are surprisingly delicate, thanks, in large part to O’Connell’s performance.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    It's Kline who anchors the movie, swan-diving into Flynn's complexities without making excuses for him.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    [Cutler] approaches all these teenage hyperfeelings with respect and sensitivity. It doesn’t hurt that he has Moretz in his corner.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Stephanie Zacharek
    Sachs and his performers know that the perfect marriage is a thing of phantom beauty — it doesn't exist, yet we persist in believing that someone out there must have it.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Now we know just what to expect from Coogan and Brydon, although as long as you're willing to settle in for the ride, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
    • 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.

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