Stephen Dalton
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For 61 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stephen Dalton's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 90 For Those in Peril
Lowest review score: 20 Mortdecai
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 61
  2. Negative: 4 out of 61
61 movie reviews
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Dalton
    Haunting and atmospheric, For Those in Peril proves that creeping grief and guilt can deliver just as much dread-filled dramatic tension as a straight horror movie.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Dalton
    It is a testament to the immersive immediacy of Victoria that the scale of its technical achievement only really dawns on you afterwards.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Dalton
    The film repays patient viewing as it evolves into an engrossing, nuanced, philosophical drama.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Dalton
    Tales of the Grim Sleeper is unusually somber and conventional by Broomfield's standards, relying more on slow accumulation of detail than caustic commentary or ambush interviews. But it has a quiet emotional force which pays off during the powerful final sequence.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Dalton
    A Field in England is a rich, strange, hauntingly intense work from a highly original writer-director team.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Dalton
    A deluxe multi-character drama that blends real history with semi-fictionalized spy thriller and soap opera elements, Burning Bush feels in places like an extended Czech remake of the Cold War-themed German Oscar-winner The Lives of Others.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Dalton
    An ingenious micro-budget science-fiction nerve-jangler which takes place entirely at a suburban dinner party, Coherence is a testament to the power of smart ideas and strong ensemble acting over expensive visual pyrotechnics.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Dalton
    Dolan's fifth feature feels like a strong step forward, striking his most considered balance yet between style and substance, drama-queen posturing and real heartfelt depth.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Dalton
    Beautifully shot with an acute eye for crisp composition, this intimate mood piece explores the subtle intricacies and low-level power struggles of long-term love in forensic detail.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Dalton
    Red Army is a slick, witty, fast-moving blend of sports story and history lesson.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Dalton
    Baird can be forgiven for a handful of careless and ham-fisted touches. Filth is still a hugely entertaining breath of foul air fueled by McAvoy’s impressively ugly star performance.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Dalton
    Do not be fooled by the playful, irreverent tone. Behind its attractive surface sheen of lusty humor and ravishing visuals, this Trojan Horse drama makes some spiky topical points about the lingering scars of slavery, feudalism, misogyny and racism.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    There are so many witty touches and sharp little observations here that The Strange Little Cat can be forgiven for ultimately making no dramatic statement.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    Even if it tells us nothing new, Pulp is still a handsome cinematic homage to a unique band, a proud city and the unifying power of pop music.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    Inevitably harrowing and sickening in places, but with tender and uplifting moments, Night Will Fall is a somber treatment of a serious topic which earns its place in the broad pantheon of Holocaust-themed cinema. It is just a shame that Singer's worthy memorial feels a little too small for its world-shaking theme and world-famous cast list.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    An uneven mix of serious issue movie and sensational thrill ride, Honour is no masterpiece, but it is an accomplished debut.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    Strickland and Fenton bring an extra layer of visual invention, smartly expanding on the show's pre-existing video elements and adding their own bespoke cinematic touches.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    Do not expect blazing emotional fireworks, just finely calibrated performances and deep reserves of inner torment.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    Weekend of a Champion begins as a motorsports movie but ends up a portrait of two wily elder statesmen who have survived into their seventies by skill, stealth and sheer luck.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    Goldberg has made a commendably adventurous and mostly enjoyable meta-comedy that recalls both the best and worst of 1970s Hollywood.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    The tone veers into film-fan geekery in places, but Jodorowsky is such a natural showman and irrepressible egotist that his ancient anecdotes never become tedious.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    Over the long haul, the Wolfe brother never quite provide enough psychological and emotional ballast to flesh out their complex, conflicted characters. But these are minor flaws in an otherwise confident, gripping, highly charged debut.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    An unflinching portrait of state-sponsored evil, Manuscripts Don’t Burn feels like the work of an angry artist who has been jailed, censored and harassed too long. This time it’s personal.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    Though heavy-handed in places, The Mafia Only Kills in Summer is a generally charming and engrossing debut feature.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    The young Spanish director Eugenio Mira and his American screenwriter Damien Chazelle have fun paying homage to the pulpy potboilers of yesteryear.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    Though not the finest screen outing for Coogan’s best-known alter ego, this is a worthy addition to the ever-growing Partridge archive, with enough weapons-grade comic zing in the first half to excuse the less sure-footed second.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    The sleepy-paced, elementally simple plot initially requires a degree of patience, but the story ends up gently absorbing.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    Drones is not exactly subtle, but it is a commendable attempt to dramatize a hot contemporary issue without resorting to clumsy didacticism or obvious political bias.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    An inspired comic thriller.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    However mindless and heartless it may be, Through the Never succeeds as pure sense-swamping spectacle. It is a blow-out banquet for Metallica fans, and a blockbuster rock-and-rollercoaster ride for any heavy metal tourists curious to see this music played at major-league level.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    With a scare factor far greater than its modest dimensions initially seem to promise, The Canal is a polished indie psycho-thriller full of macabre twists and nerve-snapping tension.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    Finely acted and minutely observed, Ilo Ilo certainly has the texture of real life. The performances feel authentic, the emotional shadings agreeably nuanced.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    Gebbe has made a robust and compelling first feature, deftly shot and ably acted, especially by its younger cast members.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    Propelled by a steady heartbeat of low-level dread, McNaughton’s classy comeback is a superior genre movie but also a refreshingly old-school, character-driven nerve-jangler with no need for paranormal monsters or flashy special effects.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Dalton
    The premise of this Hungarian/German/Swedish co-production is solid, even if the execution feels a little slack and the running time too long.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Dalton
    A Life in Dirty Movies is still a sweet and illuminating journey into cult cinema history, but it would have been more honest and psychologically rich if it had shown us the money shot.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Dalton
    The story is rich in juicy anecdotes and epochal events, even if the man behind these striking images remains a little too elusive throughout.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Dalton
    Klinger is clearly aiming at a hardcore of filmmakers and cinema students, but even that niche audience will only glean incomplete insights into the methods and motivations of his subjects.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Dalton
    The Dance of Reality is a rich pageant of nostalgic narcissism laced with New Age mysticism and fortune-cookie wisdom.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Dalton
    Any sense of narrative momentum or intellectual focus quickly unravels as the film evolves into an almost wordless symphony of disconnected images, sounds and music. But the nature-heavy montages are mostly beautiful and bizarre enough to excuse the film’s pretentious excesses.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Dalton
    Strip away the Middle East backdrop and Bethlehem is a fairly routine thriller about good cops, corrupt bureaucrats and armed criminal gangs.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Dalton
    Shot in precisely composed frames, with recurring visual motifs and an eye-pleasing color palette that accentuates blue hues, Tip Top is commendably ambitious in its Godardian attempts to deconstruct the police thriller format, but it's only partially successful.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Dalton
    The plot is diffuse and disjointed, but theater director Andrea Pallaoro’s feature debut scores highly with its exquisite beauty and fine performances.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Dalton
    The story ends in a muddled rush, leaving many unanswered questions. Like a newly launched high-end smartphone, Ex Machina looks cool and sleek, but ultimately proves flimsy and underpowered. Still, for dystopian future-shock fans who can look beyond its basic design flaws, Garland’s feature debut functions just fine as superior pulp sci-fi.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Dalton
    There are just enough laugh-out-loud moments here to excuse the lurches into shameless, tear-jerking sentimentality.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Stephen Dalton
    The film relies on high production values and sense-battering shock tactics to make up for wooden performances and an illogical, silly script. As an exercise in retro pastiche, it impresses. But as a postmodern genre reinvention, it fails to deliver.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Stephen Dalton
    The pace is gently hypnotic and the topic fitfully interesting, but the format will test the patience of all but serious art-cinema fans with its narrow focus and chilly film-school minimalism.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Stephen Dalton
    Ahluwalia has striven for a very self-consciously arty aesthetic here, more Gus Van Sant than Michael Mann. This is a commendably bold way to approach material that might otherwise have drifted into routine lowlife crime-thriller territory, but it also drains a rich story of narrative momentum and emotional punch.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Stephen Dalton
    With its splashy paintbox palette and jaunty pop soundtrack, All Cheerleaders Die just about hangs together as a cheerfully goofy romp.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Stephen Dalton
    An initially promising genre reboot ends up feeling like a major failure of nerve.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Stephen Dalton
    Effie Gray is an exquisitely dreary slice of middlebrow armchair theater which adds little new to a much-filmed story.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Stephen Dalton
    It is difficult to believe a single word of it, still less to care about these relentlessly selfish and short-sighted characters.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Stephen Dalton
    Omirbaev fails to invest either the murder plot or its political subtext with much suspense or conviction.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 Stephen Dalton
    Halfway between a guilty pleasure and a missed opportunity, it makes the crucial mistake of treating curious viewers like deferential subjects, demanding far more sympathy than it deserves.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Stephen Dalton
    Heli is undoubtedly made with serious intent, but it is also relentlessly depressing and curiously uninvolving.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Stephen Dalton
    While Avery handles the kinetic action set-piece with impressive swagger for a first-timer, his self-penned screenplay is a major weak point.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Stephen Dalton
    The film’s facile message of cross-cultural unity owes more to fairy tale than reality, but the action is slick and the story gripping.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Dalton
    The real problem here is not the shameless blurring of fact and fiction, but how unforgivably dull it all seems.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Dalton
    A clumsy high-school sex comedy which tries too hard to be both shocking and endearing, falling short on both counts.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Dalton
    This film’s thin charms lie not in its authenticity but in its zippy energy, good-looking cast and mild sprinkling of action.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Dalton
    Mortdecai is an anachronistic mess that never succeeds in re-creating the breezy tone or snappy rhythm of the classic caper movies that it aims to pastiche.

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