For 1,915 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 1.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stephen Holden's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Stand Clear of the Closing Doors
Lowest review score: 0 Simon Birch
Score distribution:
1,915 movie reviews
    • 50 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    Played in a loud sketch-comedy style that might be described as "Gay Mad TV." The haranguing, badly acted farce wears out its comic welcome within half an hour.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    A moth-eaten stranded-in-the-desert yarn that throws in every cheap trick in the manual to pump up your heartbeat, is so manipulative that the involuntary jolts of adrenaline it produces make you feel like a fool.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    Throughout Happy Hour, observations that mean next to nothing are presented as nuggets of profound enlightenment.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    Impenetrable mess of a movie.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    All you really need to know about Say It Isn't So,the latest flatulent noisemaker from the Farrelly Brothers' gross-out comedy factory, is that late in the movie, Chris Klein punches a cow from behind and finds his arm stuck inside.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    There are brave, boundary-breaching movies, and there are mad, foolhardy ones. Harry and Max belongs to the latter breed.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    The film has no idea of how to develop its one-joke premise. The tepid love scenes are as erotically charged as a home movie of a little girl hugging her Barbie doll, and the satire as cutting as the blunt edge of a plastic butter knife.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    A shrunken, cowardly movie in deep denial of its true nature, which is far uglier than it is ever willing to admit.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    But after 15 minutes, this yellow-orange vision of spiraling circles of hell, snorting devils and demonic shapes continually morphing out of one another, begins to seem redundant and conceptually impoverished.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    A facile exercise in nihilism posing as an indie "Training Day" with street cred. Don't believe it.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    Mr. Edwards, who wrote and directed Land of the Blind (it's his debut film), might counter that the movie is a Brechtian comedy that's not supposed to make literal sense: the big picture is what matters. But the big picture is a mess.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    A wooden police thriller that is as dull as it is impenetrable and ultimately beyond ludicrous.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    You may view Untraceable, as I do, as a repugnant example of the voyeurism it pretends to condemn.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    This portrait of 20-something gay men and their straight friends is a joyless exploration of middle-class deadbeats (with the exception of Ephram) lost in a torpid funk of low self-regard. Because they’'e not rich, there is no sleazy zing of "Less Than Zero"-worthy glamor.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    Plods along in its sloppy, joshing way, it tastes like pasta sauce that has sat on the shelf long after the expiration date on the can.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    Feels like a movie whose story was slapped together during filming. Its three phases -- Southern pastorale, Sudsville and Kablooie -- don’t really connect.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    In Good, the anemic screen adaptation of C. P. Taylor's play about a respectable "good German" who passively acquiesces to Hitler's agenda, Viggo Mortensen, miscast and ineptly directed by Vicente Amorim, plays John Halder, a liberal, mild-mannered literature professor who becomes a Nazi.
    • 20 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    Less a movie than an essay.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    Death in Love hasn't a drop of humor or hope. Its dull, smudged look makes every environment appear joyless and claustrophobic.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    Homecoming is coldly efficient for what it is. But what it is is trash.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    This disjointed, desperately whimsical film is simply not funny: not for a minute.
    • 15 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    Robert Kane Pappas’s documentary about scientific experiments in life extension, makes a digressive, disorganized hash of a fascinating topic.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    It is no wonder that the insufferable romantic comedy Happythankyoumoreplease, set in New York, looks and sounds like a flop pilot for a television sitcom.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    Short-circuits the novel's quirky charms and period atmosphere by its squeamish attitude toward gritty circus life and smothers the drama under James Newton Howard's insufferable wall-to-wall musical soup.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    Beyond the lugubrious pageantry, there is no sign of emotional or spiritual life in the film, only windy posturing.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    You see, this character, who is given no back story, is Life with a capital L. He is the Forneys' guardian angel who rouses them out of their funk. Given the movie's U-turn into allegory, maybe he's supposed to be a punk Jesus. Not even Mr. Gordon-Levitt's unremittingly savage performance can begin to salvage such hokum.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    A sloppy, exploitative act of star worship created (if that's the right word for cynical hackwork) around Mr. Lautner, the pouty 19-year-old heartthrob of the "Twilight" franchise.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    A catastrophe worth noting only for the presence of its name cast.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    At a certain point this would-be shocker suddenly jerks into high gear and becomes a blatant, incompetent rip-off of "Psycho."
    • 24 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    Ms. O'Neal's Grace is a fluttery Blanche DuBois type who transforms into a ranting madwoman wreaking havoc. Instead of an ax, she wields scissors. From here on, the movie is a grotesquely overacted, ineptly staged screamfest.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    A comedy that is so scatterbrained and long-winded that much of it feels invented on the spot. (It’s also a half-hour too long.)
    • 42 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    The glum, episodic and unbelievable Arthur Newman is the film equivalent of a dysfunctional computer sloppily assembled from discarded parts of other machines.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    Its narrative continuity is so sketchy and the screenplay so haphazard that the movie doesn’t add up to more than trash, seasoned with pretentious religiosity.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    The movie is so devoid of emotion that its ritualized gore acts as a narcotic. Filmed in shades of red, with a minimal screenplay, Only God Forgives looks like a ghoulish fashion shoot in hell. Three words should suffice: pretentious macho nonsense.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    Mr. Oldman and Mr. Ford are the only actors in the film, directed by Robert Luketic (“Legally Blonde”), skillful enough to navigate the yards of jargon-packed boilerplate in Jason Hall and Barry L. Levy’s thudding screenplay.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    An awkward, long-winded mash-up of therapy session, horror movie and survival tale with pretensions of psychological depth.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    The glimmers of wit and carnival humor in the “Fast & Furious” franchise are nowhere to be found in Getaway.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    The Book Thief is a shameless piece of Oscar-seeking Holocaust kitsch.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    The movie is so incoherent that its screenplay, by Mr. Drolet and Mr. Richards, might as well have been scrawled between takes as it was being filmed.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    The movie acts like screwball comedy, but there are no laughs as Daisy and Jay’s connection lurches toward implausible romance.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    This female revenge comedy is so dumb, lazy, clumsily assembled and unoriginal, it could crush any actor forced to execute its leaden slapstick gags and mouth its crude, humorless dialogue.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Holden
    Lullaby, the directorial debut of Andrew Levitas, a jack of all artistic trades, is the kind of manipulative, cliché-infested hokum that alienates moviegoers by its insistence on hogging all the tears.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    Ludicrous, impenetrable and headache-inducing.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    It is the kind of film that only a certain breed of cinematic cultist could tolerate. Its grade-school-level acting, for instance, is so rudimentary that it makes the cast of "The Blair Witch Project" (which Ice From the Sun seems to be consciously parodying at times) appear Stanislavskian.
    • 16 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    A film that desperately wants to be a music video circa 1983.
    • 13 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    A preposterous, prurient whodunit.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    Although the concept seems promising enough, it is undone by disastrous casting decisions and an utter lack of ensemble unity.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    Beneath its studiedly ugly surface, this bargain-basement answer to "Thelma and Louise" is as loathsome as any mindless, blood-drenched Hollywood action-adventure yarn.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    Once Ice-T sticks his mug in the window of the couple's BMW and begins haranguing the wife in bad stage dialogue, all credibility flies out the window.
    • 12 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    So lazy and slipshod it confuses the mere flashing of kinky soft-core imagery with naughty fun.
    • 7 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    A confusedly misconceived hybrid of interracial buddy comedy and imitation Marx Brothers farce.
    • 16 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    It is painful to watch an actor as skillful as Mr. Dorff reduced to delivering flat repetitive dialogue that would make any actor look foolish.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    Why Mr. Foxx, who was so impressive in "Any Given Sunday," chose to make a movie so boring and idiotic that it barely meets minimal standards of lowest- common-denominator entertainment.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    Teeters from a noisy sitcom (only one step removed from "The Beverly Hillbillies") to brickbat satire until it collapses in a pool of redemptive mush.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    As this chaotic barrage of muscle flexing, swordplay, fireballs, crude digital effects and comic-book quips hurls itself off the screen, it's like having several garbage cans clogged with stale pizza, lukewarm cola, soggy French fries and greasy, ketchup-stained napkins emptied over your head.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    The moment the movie loses its lighthearted spirit is the moment it loses touch with reality
    • 26 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    The movie's computer animation is so cut-rate and its direction (by Joe Chappelle) so slack that the attacks are virtually terror-free.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    What sets this syrupy swatch of kitsch apart from other films peddling a dogmatic religious agenda is the serious money that obviously went into it.
    • 9 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    Might have generated a laugh or two had it not forced the actors into uncomfortable extremes of caricature.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    Spike Lee carries his political exasperation beyond outrage into chaos. The carelessness with which he hurls his feelings about hot-button topics onto the screen is the filmmaking equivalent of last-ditch marketing: grab everything in sight, roll it up into a big messy mud ball, and hurl it against the wall, hoping that something sticks.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    Barely watchable.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    Every truly awful movie epic has a point of no return, a moment when the accumulated bad lines and bogus sentimentality become so cloying that the best defense against a mounting queasiness is an awed amusement. The Postman, offers a new opportunity for levity every few minutes after its first hour.
    • 6 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    This stomach-turning exercise in gratuitous sadism -- wears a nasty smirk on its face right down to its end title comment, "Gotcha."
    • 44 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    More than sad, it's slightly sickening to consider the technology, talent and know-how squandered on Hostage, a pile of blood-soaked toxic waste dumped onto the screen in an attempt to salvage Bruce Willis's fading career as an action hero.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    The best and maybe the only use to be made of the catastrophic screen biography Modigliani is to serve as a textbook outline of how not to film the life of a legendary artist.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    The range of Ms. Locklear's lobotomized acting runs from mild irritation to mild melancholy, expressed without expression.
    • 8 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    As the jaundiced, disjointed, drug-infested story heads toward its dismal conclusion, its reputable actors vainly struggle to infuse the goings-on with a deadpan psychotic zaniness. But even when viewed sideways, Perception is not funny; it's hardly anything at all.
    • 13 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    The only heat that rises from the movie is mechanical.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    The movie is so witless and confused in tone that its seedy racetrack clientele only emerge as dim, inarticulate cartoons.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    The movie’s most disturbing aspect, of which the filmmakers could not have been unaware, is the physical resemblance between Mr. Elba and Ms. Larter to O. J. and Nicole Brown Simpson. It lends Obsessed a distasteful taint of exploitation.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    The queasiness produced by this sentimental weepie builds into a wave of nausea during its interminable finale.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    You might reasonably assume that any movie starring Mr. Rourke and Mr. Murray would have to have something to recommend it. But aside from a haunting musical interlude, in which Mr. Rourke, with pathetic ineptitude, mimes playing a trumpet, Passion Play is barely palatable.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    The only reason I can think of to watch Vivi Friedman's flat, satirical farce The Family Tree - and it's not a good enough reason - is the opportunity to play a game of spot the semi-star.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    When a sheriff's deputy (Carla Gugino) visits the house, I Melt With You turns into a ludicrous, cheap horror thriller that sheds any claims to integrity. By the end, you feel nothing, not even contempt.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    Rarely has a film exhibited a bigger disconnect between urban realism and utter ludicrousness.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    Did I mention that Upside Down is simply awful?
    • 28 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    To say that Justin Zackham’s farce The Big Wedding takes the low road doesn’t begin to do justice to the sheer awfulness of this star-stuffed, potty-mouthed fiasco.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    What does it add up to? Um ... I have no idea and don’t really care. Just because the characters waste their time doesn’t mean you should waste yours watching them circle the drain.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    The Hangover Part III, directed by Todd Phillips from a screenplay he wrote with Craig Mazin, is a dull, lazy walkthrough that along with "The Big Wedding" has a claim to be the year's worst star-driven movie.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    This catastrophe of a movie zigzags drunkenly between action-adventure and surreal comedy with some magical realism slopped over it like ketchup.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    A vile, witless sex comedy.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 10 Stephen Holden
    If there is any humor to be gleaned from this concept, it is nowhere to be found in a movie so shoddily made that there is little continuity between scenes and not a laugh or even a titter.
    • 10 Metascore
    • 0 Stephen Holden
    Bottom-feeding monstrosity of a comedy.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 0 Stephen Holden
    An excruciating demonstration of the unsalvageability of a movie saddled with an amateurish screenplay.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 0 Stephen Holden
    It's a little sad to see actors of the quality of Christopher Plummer and Jonny Lee Miller struggling straight- faced to dignify this sewage.
    • 5 Metascore
    • 0 Stephen Holden
    Cheesy, amateurish film.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 0 Stephen Holden
    Mush, delivered with a trembling, quasi-biblical solemnity, is what emanates from Anthony Hopkins most of the time in Hearts in Atlantis, a nostalgic fiasco so shameless it makes movies like "Simon Birch" and "Frequency" seem as austere as the work of Robert Bresson.
    • 1 Metascore
    • 0 Stephen Holden
    Thoroughly incoherent... A dreary fizzle. [12 Jan 1996, p.C12]
    • 1 Metascore
    • 0 Stephen Holden
    The Singing Forest was written and directed by Jorge Ameer, whose film "Strippers" opened three years ago and remained the single worst movie I had ever reviewed -- until now.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 0 Stephen Holden
    Ms. Ryan's lean, eagle-eyed golden girl is enough to curdle milk.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 0 Stephen Holden
    No doubt there are those who will deem Simon Birch ''heartwarming.'' It is exactly the kind of movie that has given that hackneyed superlative a bad name.
    • 9 Metascore
    • 0 Stephen Holden
    So inept on every level, you wonder why the distributor didn't release it straight to video, or better, toss it directly into the trash.
    • 11 Metascore
    • 0 Stephen Holden
    Incoherent mess of a film.
    • 9 Metascore
    • 0 Stephen Holden
    Even by the standards of its bottom-feeding genre, Dirty Love clings to the gutter like a rat in garbage.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 0 Stephen Holden
    Putrid comic stew.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 0 Stephen Holden
    The movie... hasn't the foggiest notion whether it's a soap opera or a horror film, and wanders around in a generic fog.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 0 Stephen Holden
    A convoluted, hysterical mess of a movie with grandiose spiritual airs and not a drop of humor.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 0 Stephen Holden
    This imbecilic, mean-spirited farce, which sneers at adults, leaves you wondering: where are the Three Stooges when we really need them?
    • 24 Metascore
    • 0 Stephen Holden
    This strident exposé may gladden the hearts of some anti-’60s conservatives, but it is a shapeless mess steeped in prurience. Its grain of truthfulness, however, is just enough to leave you unsettled in the pit of your stomach.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 0 Stephen Holden
    It doesn't get worse than Grown Ups, Adam Sandler's sloppy entry into this year's man-child-comedy sweepstakes. Lazy, mean-spirited, incoherent, infantile and, above all, witless.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 0 Stephen Holden
    There is not a laugh to be found in this rancid, misogynistic revenge comedy.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 0 Stephen Holden
    For all the cinematic crimes against him, there has been no book-to-screen translation of his work quite as atrocious as Hemingway's Garden of Eden.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 0 Stephen Holden
    With its red lighting and Hades-like smoke and fog, the lurid look of The Big Bang suggests a tacky disco inferno. I have a mental picture of the film's creators, stoned out of their minds on who knows what, cackling crazily as they outline a movie that would have more appropriately been titled "The Big Goof."