Stephen Holden

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For 2,186 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stephen Holden's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Gideon's Army
Lowest review score: 0 King's Ransom
Score distribution:
2186 movie reviews
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Amusing one-joke film.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    In trying to be both bold and nonthreatening, the movie ends up seeming tame and mildly offensive.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    If you're looking for a 90-minute post-teen soap opera with pretty people, ludicrous hairpin turns and a whopper of an ending, the movie will keep you mindlessly off balance.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    A chilly machine-tooled comedy.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    As A Rumor of Angels reveals itself to be a sudsy tub of supernatural hokum, not even Ms. Redgrave's noblest efforts can redeem it from hopeless sentimentality.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    For much of the movie, the kinetic furor of the game sequences helps camouflage the weaknesses of a screenplay that is a mechanically contrived series of power struggles.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Sergio's urban melodrama Under Hellgate Bridge suggests the contemporary equivalent of any number of 1930's B movies.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Metamorphoses from a character study into a confusingly edited sampler of sexual possibilities that feels both programmatic and old-hat.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Despite its sociological tidbits and flashes of musical vitality, Saudade do Futuro never goes anywhere.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The product is so synthetic it has only attitude where its heart ought to be.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The re- enactments, however fascinating they may be as history, are too crude to serve the work especially well.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Dramatically as well as visually, The Musketeer conflicts with itself by trying to blend grand old- school costume drama and MTV- style rhythm and attitude into the same movie. The juxtapositions are often preposterous.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    So narratively garbled and its screenplay so underwritten that you have to strain to piece together the story.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    A candy-colored, unabashedly sentimental movie.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    (Shue's) sweetly likable performance is the only coherent element in a film that has the impersonal feel of a television drama slapped together in a rush.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The guiding philosophy of The Price of Milk seems to be that if you throw something on the screen and call it a fairy tale, it has to mean something. But it doesn't.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Might be described as a muddy, cliché-ridden sudsfest that lurches uncertainly between comedy and soap opera without finding its emotional or visual footing.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Bland, unrevealing.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    As flimsy and manipulative as the shallowest Hollywood fantasy.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Advance word of mouth has suggested that Ms. Basinger...turns in a performance comparable to Meryl Streep's in "Out of Africa." Would that it were so. Ms. Basinger certainly works hard at her role.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Strives desperately for a zaniness that is largely absent from the screenplay and from comic performances that are too blank and unfocused to register as parody.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    But for all its provocation, Kedma is an often dull, incoherent film, and its characters remain frustratingly sketchy
    • 26 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    A movie that pits a substantial actor like Mary McDonnell, playing a New York madam, against a bogus story that crossbreeds noirish affectations and romantic comedy into an unpalatable mush that suggests strawberry ice cream slathered with beer.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The movie equivalent of a box of Froot Loops followed by a half-gallon Pepsi chaser.
    • 14 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    They play cotton candy effigies of themselves named Kelly and Justin, and the best that can be said is that they don't embarrass themselves.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    A grindingly conventional comedy that insists on tying up its subplots in pretty ribbons and bows.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The movie, which is crudely dubbed into English, lacks the raucous, anything-for-a-shock carnival humor of its American prototypes. After it's over, the only question worth asking is whether dear, cozy old Heidelberg can survive the slander.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Admirably high-minded and visually gorgeous but fatally anesthetized by its own grandiosity.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The movie works so diligently to convey a spirit of heroic uplift and fails so completely that it feels like a tragic misfire.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Rob Schneider runs an obstacle course of taste and emerges remarkably unsullied, considering the choices he faces.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Little more than a loose- jointed succession of goofy "Saturday Night Live"-style sketches and sight gags inspired by an actual event that is nearly half a century behind us.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The home-movie crudeness of Dead or Alive: Final indicates it was made on the cheap with minimal preparation.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Although there is the germ of a very sharp comedy in the intersection of real mobsters and make-believe thugs in a Hollywood mob comedy, Analyze That is far too lazy to do much with it.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The movie has a frantic staccato style that is more game-oriented than cinematic.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Ultimately seems naïve. In developing the comparison of sex and cannibalism, it never goes beyond the standard Draculian symbol of blood to include other bodily substances.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    For all its intimations of fire and brimstone, the film isn't remotely frightening, and the high-school-level acting doesn't help.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Many of the faces that emerge through the murk appear bug-eyed. And much of the dialogue, which is frequently shouted, is only semi-intelligible.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    As the film loses its grip on its multiple stories, the title begins to suggest an overheated stew bubbling out of its pot. By the end of the film, the intersecting dramas and histrionic performances have spilled all over the floor, so to speak.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    In the end you have to wonder why the highly reputed director Michael Apted ("Coal Miner's Daughter") and the gifted screenwriter Nicholas Kazan ("Reversal of Fortune") chose to go slumming in territory like this. They must have been offered wads of money to do the dirty job.
    • The New York Times
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Breezing along on gusts of stale air and perky inanities, Two Weeks Notice is a romantic comedy so vague and sadly undernourished that it makes one of Nora Ephron's low-cal strawberry sodas seem as tempting as a Philip Barry feast.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Quickly curdles into a nasty variation of the one-last-score genre.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The cinematographer-turned-director likes his MTV-style editing so much that in his drive for hyperkinetic overkill he sacrifices coherence to wallow in barely contained chaos.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    A leaden, skimpily plotted space-age Outward Bound adventure with vague allegorical aspirations that remain entirely unrealized.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Flagrantly old-fashioned, triple-hankie tear-jerker.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    So preoccupied with delivering its effects that it doesn't bother to make sense of its story.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The screenplay never begins to finds a workable balance between wit and adventure. And the performances in several smaller roles are so mechanical that they lend Kill Me Later the tone of a vanity production.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    A lumpy three-and-a-half-hour glob of Civil War history.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    This poorly acted, ramshackle tour of the lower echelons of the Los Angeles rock scene has the feel of a largely improvised home movie filmed without retakes, and its sense of humor could only be fully appreciated by struggling musicians.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Doesn't have a genuinely human moment.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    A bubbling crockpot of farcical mush to warm the tummies of anyone who really and truly misses "The Brady Bunch," and I mean really and truly.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The spectacle of two mature stars forced to grovel in the bathroom for cheap laughs is pathetic.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Too lazy and too loosely structured to accomplish much besides conveying some vivid physical impressions. There is no narrator, and the structure that exists is clouded by the new-age mumbo-jumbo of eight principal commentators.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    A slapdash, poorly acted, paint-by-numbers teen horror comedy, the sequel is too frenetically edited to build any suspense, and its special effects are strictly bargain basement.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    One
    The film's spareness and lack of words seem affected and ultimately unrealistic. At such moments, its refusal to put things into words and its crushing sense of gloom turn self-defeating.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    A bleak, static mood piece about adolescent emptiness. There's little dialogue, and what there is offers the scantest information about Gerardo, who, as played by Mr. Ortuño, conveys an impenetrable blank-faced melancholy.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Squandered in foolish horseplay and on a story that zigzags so far out of control that it feels as if the screenwriter, Steve Adams, pasted together a bunch of zany notions in a frantic search for confusion.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Even for a fairy tale, A Cinderella Story, directed by Mark Rosman from a screenplay by Leigh Dunlap, fails to make sense.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Pushes its ugly humor further than most.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Makes no psychological sense. Even within the convoluted realm of film noir, the development of the relationships defies any logic.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Strains to be the ne plus ultra of arch, hyper-sophisticated fun, but the laughs are few.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The screenplay is closer in tone to an uneasy mixture of post-"Seinfeld" bile and unfocused Altmanesque satirical misanthropy. Partly because the story's structure is so haphazard, most of the jokes land with a thud.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    As you watch the comedy lurch along, the woozy, sinking sensation it produces suggests a movie slapped together after the consumption of far too many gallons of that spiked eggnog.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Doesn't deliver.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Evokes a mood of tenderness. Beyond that, it is a weightless, sentimental and intellectually lazy effort from an independent filmmaker whose movies seem increasingly insubstantial.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    May be the opposite of trash, but it is something just as disposable: dead literary meat. Dragged down by a stuffy screenplay clotted with generic period oratory, overdressed to the point that the actors seem physically impeded by their ornate costumes, and hopelessly muddled in its storytelling, the movie is edited with a haphazardness that leaves many dots unconnected.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Proving once again that skillful performances can't create something out of almost nothing - the best they can do is make it palatable.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    This crude, inspirational tear-jerker is as sweet as a bowl of instant oatmeal smothered in molasses. It should please those who honestly believe that Santa Claus and God are synonymous; others may retch.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    A tedious World War II epic that slogs across the screen like a forced march in quicksand.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Solemn, sentimental bore of a movie that suffocates in its own predictability and watered-down psychobabble.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Neither funny nor sexy, nor leavened by the wistful laissez-faire wisdom of the typical sophisticated Gallic comedy, it is less than a trifle.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Even if it ends on a hopeful note, this is a feel-bad movie that leaves a bitter aftertaste.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Overcompensates for its sloppiness with loud, knockabout farce.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Good intentions do not guarantee good movies, or even watchable ones. A sad case in point is The Kid and I.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Annapolis has enough material for an exciting trailer. But that's all the movie really is: a trailer tricked out with protracted boxing sequences and an undernourished romantic subplot that culminates in a single tepid kiss.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The gay, independent comedy Adam & Steve is as crude and nonsensical as any number of B-list studio equivalents, with the added disadvantages of a low budget and shaky direction by Craig Chester, who wrote and also stars.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The question is why. Why would a star of Michael Douglas's stature and intelligence attach himself to a Washington thriller as deeply ridiculous, suspense-free and potentially career-damaging as The Sentinel?
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The upbeat ending can't erase the lingering aura of being trapped in an insane asylum with the Manson family.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Terminally glum and waterlogged.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    A movie like We Are Marshall stands or falls on its ability to make you feel the pain and loss of individuals in a place where community pride and football are one and the same. As the film, directed by McG (the "Charlie's Angels" movies) from a wooden screenplay by Jamie Linden, follows a handful of Huntington residents during the months after the accident, not one of them comes fully to life.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Just when it seems as though the language of insult and humiliation couldn’t get any nastier, the movie escalates the barrage.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The kindest thing to be said about this deluxe photo spread of a film is that Sienna Miller's Edie and Guy Pearce's Andy capture their characters' images and body language with relative precision.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Feels like a desperate attempt to stretch a flimsy half-hour made-for-cable concept into a feature film.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The sloppy, absent-minded Premonition is a giant step backward for Ms. Bullock.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The director, as he showed in movies like "After Dark, My Sweet," and "Fear," specializes in conjuring conspiratorial atmospheres in which anxiety and sexual menace hang in the air like a heavy, bitter perfume. Long after you've dismissed the movie's ridiculous, convoluted story, traces of that scent may linger.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Under the direction of Andy Tennant, the Olsen sisters lay on the icky-poo cuteness with several trowels, often delivering their lines as though they were reciting the alphabet.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    A scare movie about gambling addiction, is as grim and lurid as any in the recent spate of films about the evils of crystal meth.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The film's elegantly tricky cinematography and ominous, pounding score by Hans Zimmer (provocatively juxtaposed with the Rolling Stones), only underline the emptiness behind its technical flash.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The movie, which imagines its principal characters as metaphorically ticking time bombs, never convincingly portrays their passions.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Nightwatch spends so much time churning up eerie atmospheric effects that it doesn't have time to develop its preposterous story in which Martin finds himself accused of the murders.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Watching the movie is like reaching into a Christmas stocking and pulling out handfuls of cheap plastic toys that are broken.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    A hopeless jumble of visual and linguistic styles.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Shirley’s instant metamorphosis from insecure high school student to ruthless madam is ludicrous in spite of the best efforts of the talented Ms. Waterston to convince you otherwise. The Babysitters has the increasingly jerky momentum of a film that was butchered in the cutting room, sacrificing continuity and character development to whip the plot forward.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    War, Inc. is gonzo moviemaking with a bleeding heart. A satirical farce that wants to be "Dr. Strangelove" for the age of terrorism, it is a zany, nihilistic free-for-all that goes soft.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    This candy-colored movie, whose soft hues match the colored cereal loops that Alby devours at his mother's house, is a post-Freudian fable that wants to be a kind of anti-"Wizard of Oz" for a culture inundated with toys and toons.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The kindest thing to be said for this frantic, cluttered mess of cheesy computer-generated action-adventure clichés is that at least you can see how the estimated $175 million budget was spent.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The film's spiritual deck is stacked. In the mawkish tradition of movies like "Simon Birch," "Wide Awake," "August Rush" and "Hearts in Atlantis," Henry Poole Is Here is insufferable hokum that takes itself very, very seriously.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Soon after that the movie simply stops dead in its tracks, as though the money had run out and the project had been called off in the middle of a scene that makes no psychological or dramatic sense. It leaves you frustrated and annoyed.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    The suds that cascade through Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys more than equal the cubic footage from nighttime soaps like "Dallas," "Dynasty" and their offspring.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    A supernatural thriller so mechanically inept and lacking in suspense that it doesn't even pass muster as lowbrow Halloween-ready entertainment.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Holden
    Filled with awful, recycled jokes.

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