Stephen Holden
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For 2,007 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 1.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stephen Holden's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Ilo Ilo
Lowest review score: 0 Hearts in Atlantis
Score distribution:
2,007 movie reviews
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    A gem of contemporary neo-realism, the movie offers a ground-level view of a poor but vital community where many residents survive by scavenging bits of recyclable steel and plastic.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    The quiet humanity of the performances infuses the movie with a truthfulness that outweighs its flaws.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Holden
    Easy A isn't nearly as good a movie as "Clueless," Ms. Heckerling's contemporary pastiche of the Jane Austen novel "Emma." But the one-liner-loaded screenplay has the same insouciant charm.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    The screenplay bluntly faces anxieties of aging that are rarely voiced in the movies, and it is too hard-headed to offer comfy palliatives.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Holden
    The movie is an amusing ball of fluff that refuses to judge its characters’ amoral high jinks. Winking at the vanity of wealthy voluptuaries and hustlers playing games of tainted love, it heaves a sigh and says welcome to the human comedy.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Holden
    Until it fizzles in an anticlimactic train crash, it is extremely entertaining.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Holden
    The performance of Mr. Barnev, who has the poker face and agility of a silent clown, defines the style of a film whose timing and physical comedy look back to 1920s slapstick.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Holden
    Scene by scene, The Rookie does a better job of capturing the rhythms and rituals of the playing field and the electricity that flows between a team and its fans than well-regarded baseball films like "Field of Dreams" and "The Natural."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    Visually, and in its soundtrack of overlapping voices, the film sustains a mood of heightened consciousness.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Holden
    Despite a shaky narrative focus and dramatic reticence, its journey is consistently absorbing.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Stephen Holden
    It's all so seamy, sordid, lurid and shocking! And dull, despite a noirish gloss of wide-angle cinematography and a jaundiced, smoggy color scheme.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Holden
    A misanthropic dentist, a roguish ghost and a zany Egyptologist: as these unlikely companions scamper around Manhattan in the buoyant comedy Ghost Town, they resurrect the spirits of classic movie curmudgeons like W. C. Fields and such romantic comedians as Cary Grant and Carole Lombard in Woody Allen territory.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Holden
    Pressure Cooker belongs to the honorable if overpopulated genre of inspirational films (both documentaries and features) dedicated to the proposition that one committed, passionate teacher can make all the difference in the lives of disadvantaged students.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    Veber's giddy social comedy The Closet finds more delicious, chortling fun in the spectacle of obsequious hypocrisy than any movie I've seen in ages.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Stephen Holden
    What does it all mean? Less than meets the eye. Amer is a voluptuous wallow in recycled psychosexual kitsch.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    Its portrayal of impoverished, careworn people barking at one another and protecting their territory in a daily struggle is bracingly hardheaded.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Holden
    The best movie of its kind since the French director Guillaume Canet's hit from 2006, "Tell No One."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    12
    With its thunderous drama and larger-than-life characters, which lend it a brawling energy, 12 is never dull.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Holden
    Mr. Wang and his screenwriting collaborator, Lu Wei (“Farewell My Concubine”), portray a world that, apart from its hardship, is thoroughly recognizable in its human complexity. Its characters are motivated by the same needs for companionship and material well-being and the same demons — greed, lust, jealousy and despair -- that drive everybody.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Holden
    The degree to which Smashed refuses to indulge a voyeuristic taste for the kind of sordid details exploited by reality television amounts to an unspoken declaration of principle. In lieu of self-pity, Smashed substitutes tough love.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Holden
    Along the way, Paradise Now sustains a mood of breathless suspense. Politics aside, the movie is a superior thriller whose shrewdly inserted plot twists and emotional wrinkles are calculated to put your heart in your throat and keep it there.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    Because movies have become so invested in the unleashing of violent emotion and the escalation of hostility, that expressions of restraint, reconciliation and forgiveness can easily be read as corny cop-outs. Cry, the Beloved Country is not corny, and it doesn't cop out.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    Remarkable for its seamless ensemble performances.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Holden
    Like all of Mr. von Trier's films, The Boss of It All is a cold, misanthropic work that places no faith in institutions and in humanity itself. But it's also very funny.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    In A Family Thing, an earnest upbeat fable about the meaning of brotherhood in America, first-rate film acting infuses a contrived story with enough flesh, blood, wrinkles, warts and beads of sweat to make it intermittently surge to life.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Holden
    The dialogue and the ensemble acting maintain a near-perfect pitch.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    Shot in just two weeks with a hand-held digital camera, the movie often looks frayed around the edges. Yet it has a soulful heart and a clear grasp of its rarefied milieu (Manhattan upper-level moneyed academia).
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    Filmed in less than three weeks, Man Push Cart is an exemplary work of independent filmmaking carried out on a shoestring. Mr. Razvi’s convincing performance is a muted portrait of desolation bordering on despair.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    No matter how serious it becomes, however, La Moustache never forsakes an underlying attitude of high-style playfulness that recalls Hitchcock's cat-and-mouse romantic thrillers.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    Establishes its mood of playful erotic suspense in the first 10 minutes and sustains its cat-and-mouse game between therapist and patient through variations that are by turns amusing, titillating and mildly scary.

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