For 1,879 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 Gideon's Army
Lowest review score: 0 Dirty Love
Score distribution:
1,879 movie reviews
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    As smart and warmhearted an exploration of an upwardly mobile immigrant culture as American independent cinema has produced.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    This entertaining movie is content to be something a bit more modest: a pungent period folk tale that teases you until the very end.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    As this powerful, minutely documented film reveals, the tragedy wasn’t caused by the failure of the Peoples Temple to realize its goals. In many ways, it was succeeding as a self-sufficient community.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    A breezy, informal history of the Black Bear Ranch, a long-running California commune begun in the summer of 1968 and still in existence, offers the fascinating spectacle of observing people then and now.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    The current of intellectual energy snapping through the ferociously engaging screen adaptation of Alan Bennett’s Tony Award-winning play feels like electrical brain stimulation.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    Intimate, compelling film.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    If you love to hate the superrich, The Valet, a delectable comedy in which the great French actor Daniel Auteuil portrays a piggy billionaire industrialist facing his comeuppance, is a sinfully delicious bonbon.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    Julie Gavras’s wonderful film, Blame It on Fidel, views its ideological conflicts through the eyes of a smart, willful child.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    Tom DiCillo’s angry comedy Delirious subjects modern celebrity culture to a microscopic examination that shows the toxic virus of fame squirming and multiplying under its lens.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    In the Shadow of the Moon is such a morale booster. The power of its archival images hasn’t diminished with familiarity.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    There is more raw vitality pumping through Romance & Cigarettes, John Turturro’s passionate ode to the sensual pulse of life in a working-class neighborhood of Queens, than in a dozen perky high school musicals. This is a movie in which a dirty mind is a good thing. Call it “The Singing Id.” Prudes, be forewarned.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    Somewhere around its midpoint, Across the Universe captured my heart, and I realized that falling in love with a movie is like falling in love with another person. Imperfections, however glaring, become endearing quirks once you’ve tumbled.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    Mr. Cusack demonstrates once again that he is Hollywood’s second-most-reliable nice guy, after Tom Hanks. Devoid of vanity, with no hidden agendas, he never strains to be likable. Good will, integrity and a native common sense ooze out of him.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    What makes the film bearable is the knowledge that a few people did what they could to hold the line against humanity’s worst instincts. The voices in Nanking speak for the persistence of good in times and places where a moral crevice opens to reveal a vision of hell on earth.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    The Witnesses may frustrate those who prefer movies that tell clear-cut stories in which hard lessons are learned. But in the director’s farsighted vision of life, the ground under our feet is always shifting. As time pulls us forward, the shocks of the past are absorbed and the pain recedes. In its light-handed way, The Witnesses is profound.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    The movie offers an encouraging vision of old age in which the depression commonly associated with decrepitude is held at bay by music making, camaraderie and a sense of humor.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    Bigger, Stronger, Faster* left me convinced that the steroid scandals will abate as the drugs are reluctantly accepted as inevitable products of a continuing revolution in biotechnology. Replaceable body parts, plastic surgery, anti-depressants, Viagra and steroids are just a few of the technological advancements in a never-ending drive to make the species superhuman.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    Today few would dispute Trumbo's assessment of that very dark period: "The blacklist was a time of evil, and no one who survived it on either side came through untouched by evil."
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    The film's distance from factual reality oddly enhances its bleak underlying vision. It portrays a demoralized American work force fearfully going through the motions of life while waiting without much hope for things to get better.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    Mr. Garfield's performance makes Jack so endearing and vulnerable that as he takes his first wobbly steps, like a baby bird shoved from its nest, your instincts are protective.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    Gonzalo Arijón’s documentary offers an incontrovertible argument for the necessity of team spirit in the face of catastrophe.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    It is impossible not to be fired up by Kurt Kuenne's incendiary cri de coeur, Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    A visually enthralling 40-minute tour of the southwestern Pacific depths.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    Although The Song of Sparrows has some of the trappings of a naturalistic drama, it is really a series of strict moral lessons pieced together into an austere Islamic sermon.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    As operatic cinema, it ranks alongside the best of Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    In its cold-eyed assessment of the English aristocracy Easy Virtue has none of the lurking Anglophilia found in Merchant-Ivory movies.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    The movie uses the talent show Afghan Star as a prism through which to examine the fragmented tribal culture of Afghanistan as reflected in the backgrounds of four finalists (two of them women) and the public responses to their performances.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Holden
    If Invincible is soft at the center, its visual grandeur and mostly full-blooded performances make it gripping, for this eminent German director has pulled off the tricky feat of elevating a true story into a larger-than-life allegory.