For 913 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stephen Hunter's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Bus 174
Lowest review score: 0 An American Werewolf in Paris
Score distribution:
913 movie reviews
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    This is the rare American film really about something, and almost all the performances are riveting.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    It's the best sports documentary since "Hoop Dreams," a great piece of work."
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    The sheer joy of letting go as a tale overwhelms your senses and drives the known world away -- that's the story.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    The genius of the film, besides Hoffman's stunning performance, is that it knows exactly how much is enough. It never overplays, lingers or punches up.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    Two hours and six minutes has never seemed so much like two and six-tenths seconds. It's pure pulp metafiction.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    Jackson's big monkey picture show is certainly the best popular entertainment of the year. The film is a wondrous blend of then and now: It honors its mythic predecessor of 1933 while using sophisticated movie technology to seamlessly manipulate the fantastic.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    It's a strange enough film, yet weirdly great. No movie has quite gotten the clammy weight of fear, the sense of hopelessness that would necessarily haunt underground workers. To see it is to sweat through your underclothes. It'll melt the pep out of your weekend.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    Stands with the best movies of this young century and the old one that preceded it: It's passionate, honest, unflinching, gripping, and it pays respects. The flag raising on Iwo might have indeed become a pseudo-event as it was processed for goals, but there was nothing pseudo about the courage of the men who did it.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    The genius is in the writing and in keeping all gambits created by the individual writers in sync, so the piece has a tonal consistency and a narrative flow. A lost art in Hollywood? It's really one of the best movies of the year.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    It's an astonishing movie, with a real-life feel.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    A brilliant film--vivid, haunting, intelligent and in good taste, wonderfully acted, wonderfully written and directed.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    It's a terrific movie.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    In some ways Soderbergh does a much better job than Tarantino. He handles the time shifts more adroitly, always keeping us on track; he goes easy on the violence, and when he does unleash it, it's short, fast and ugly.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    A terrific piece of filmmaking. It's taut, believable as it unspools. It's charismatic, with a slow buildup of tension in near-real time that finally explodes into a blast of violence.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    But [Raimi]'s instructed his fabulous Style to take a hike, and, working from Scott Smith's brilliantly reconfigured script from Smith's own (much darker) novel, delivers a piece that is severe and disciplined in its evocation of the cold terrors of fate.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    Misanthropic, cruel, hostile, corrupt, blasphemous and basically pretty evil. I loved it.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    If you don't fall in love with it, you've probably never fallen in love with a movie, and never will.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    The results are as riveting as any action movie ever made.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    It's brilliantly acted. But best of all, it's brilliantly made.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    It's wondrous, it's fabulous, it's -- all but unprecedented.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    Searing, heartbreaking, so intense it turns your body into a single tube of clenched muscle, this is simply the greatest war movie ever made, and one of the great American movies.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    A wonderful, piercing and hilarious examination of high school politics and how bitter and ruinous it can become.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    Payne is a comic miniaturist, who works in a small compass, as if through a magnifying glass with tweezers.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    It never disconnects from two values: its honesty and its intensity.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    It's a celebration of young American women, finding them smarter, tougher, shrewder, more rigorous, more persistent and more honest than any movie in many a moon.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    Surely the most creative trick of the year and grimly funny throughout.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    A beautiful story, told in measured cadences by a master of old-timey narrative compression and expression.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    It's funny, it's heartbreaking, it's scary, it's exhilarating. It's got love stuff and lots of laughs and cool gunfights. It's really long and it feels like it's over in 15 minutes. It does something so few movies do these days: It satisfies.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    Delivered with such high panache and brio, it's mesmerizing.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    The story is told so passionately that it demands as much of you as it does of its performers, all of whom are up there, giving everything.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    It's a trip to Hell and back, and testimony for embittered cynics of all that a movie can be.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    This is an absolutely brilliant film but in a quiet way.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    A superior adaptation that bypasses the Ann Reinking version now on Broadway.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    Gripping, whole and nourishing. Certainly of the fantasy film series currently in American theaters -– I include "Harry Potter and the Secret Toity" and "Star Trek: Halitosis" -– The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is the best, and not by just a little.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Stephen Hunter
    Great American movies are, these days especially, few and far between, so let's everybody take a deep breath and mark the moment: Hoop Dreams, all three hours' worth, is a great American movie. It's got the sting of drama and the ache of truth; it's even got the sting of truth and the ache of drama.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Gibson may not be much of a deep thinker, but he's a heck of a storyteller. Apocalypto turns out to be not a case of Montezuma's revenge but of Gibson's: It's something entirely unexpected, a sinewy, taut poem of action.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Then, finally, there are the endings, all six of them...For us outsiders, it seems like too much of a good thing...But all those are minor rants: The big fact is that The Return of the King puts you there at Waterloo, or Thermopylae or the Bulge, any desperate place where men ran low on blood and iron and ammo, but not on courage.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    From the very first seconds a viewer believes totally in Downfall.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Anyhow, either as history at its most inspiring or moviemaking at its most exciting, The Tunnel is a trip.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    He gives these characters the time to develop, to display their nuances, to establish their relationships with each other, to talk out their destinies.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    For my generation, Revenge of the Sith is a brilliant consummation to a promise made a long time ago, far, far away, in a galaxy called 1977.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Nuanced, exquisite and predictable.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    What emerges is quite extraordinary.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Superb.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    May be too much suspense for some, but it's vividly powerful.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Well told, handsome, stirring and loads of fun.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    There are complications, extremely cleverly worked out. Jones is in just about every scene in this taut, provocative film.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Laurent's crime is really the crime of being European and conquering people of color. That understood, Cache is brilliant.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    All in all, A Good Woman retains ye olde Wilde's zing, his sense of pace and place, but most of all his snappy one-liners, and it finds a new way to showcase them brilliantly.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Water, set in 1930s India, is something pretty rare in the world of movies: an artistic muckraker. It is superb and strange at once, a discreet and self-disciplined attack dog of a movie.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Down in the Valley is exactly what we don't have enough of: It's singular, unusual, unexpected, fresh and familiar at once.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    It feels so real it hurts, and it's the perfect antidote to all those movies where all sorts of stuff blows up.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Zhang Yimou's Curse of the Golden Flower is a kind of feast, an over-the-top, all-stops-pulled-out lollapalooza that means to play kitschy and grand at once.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    The acting is superb, particularly from the three principals.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    To see seemingly reg'lar guys utterly stripped of dignity and defense is cruel enough, but crueler still is the laughter that you cannot seem to stop from rupturing your lungs and aorta.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    It has the aspirations of an epic of crime and punishment, a superb feel for time and milieu, and an almost subliminal feel for myth.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    In the end, we're about a third of the way through the great Khan's life; he hasn't even begun to take down the cities of Cathay or spread his seed. That suggests two sequels. I, for one, can't wait.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    A stunner -- as big and messy as a war, as small and perfect as a diamond.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    The movie avoids sensationalism. What it requires and what it delivers is performance.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Stephen Frears's stunning Liam, -- a vivid, intense evocation of another British time and place.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    The trick of this movie is that it's so changeable: You think you've got it nailed and it slithers away to become some other new, fabulous thing.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Charlotte Rampling takes you so far inside the pain of Marie Drillon it leaves you stirred, shaken and a little in awe.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    The Blue Angel it's clear to Von Sternberg, and to us, that he's connected with some pure being of cinema, whose power to ignite an audience was unstoppable. She became a great star.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    It is in fact a traditional mystery more reminiscent of Agatha Christie than the reigning film noir aesthetic of 1947. But it's fabulously entertaining.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Isn't much of a movie, but it's a whale of a story.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Huge, sprawling, and utterly absorbing.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Brilliantly played by Denzel Washington
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Sad and lovely.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    The director isn't much on orgies; he's all talk. But that's good, not bad, because his talk is so brilliant. Stillman is the Balzac of the ironic class, the Dickens of people with too much inner life.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    And that's the surprise of the movie, beyond even the humor and humanity of its inside look at contemporary American Indian culture. It's really the oldest and most primal story forms, the one about the old man and the boy.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    The tension is never crushing, as it would be in an American job. Instead, it grows by increments, until you realize the movie, in its quiet way, has you snared entirely.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Mamet loves two things: scams and dialogue. This movie is rich with both.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    It begins by scaring you to death by evoking a monster, and by the end it has seduced you into caring for him.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    This Tarzan doesn't bellow, he kvetches; he doesn't dominate, he persuades; he doesn't rule, he seeks consensus. He isn't the king of the apes, he's a citizen of the animal planet.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    It's sad, funny, shocking and completely unlike any movie in a dozen years.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    About as good a picture of a writer's real life as we are likely to get. It is wide-ranging, it is fair, it is thorough, and although it admires, it is also tough enough to condemn.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    One of the year's best films.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    A dead-on sense of how rich kids live and talk today, a sense of the melancholy of a dysfunctional family, and some great dark laughs.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    It's funny and human and really pretty damned wonderful, all at once.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Delightful, delicious, de-lovely.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Puerile, pitiful, grotesque, offensive, immature, repulsive and, of course, extremely funny.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    The interplay between Glass and Lane is riveting and rigorous.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    I love the unsettling details.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    It's a highly professional project complete with exquisite production details and superb actors, yet its subject matter is so far out of the mainstream, it feels almost radical.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    What a good movie. Sometimes you get tired of 'splaining and you just want to say: Hey, this one's really very good. That's all, folks. It's a damn good movie.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Sumptuous, warm, continually amazing, it's a completely enjoyable couple of hours at the flickers.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    A brilliantly amusing couple of hours.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Friendship matters to those of us who still claim membership in the human race, and Goldbacher's merciless autopsy on it is both illuminating and dispiriting.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Profane, sacrilegious, pornographic, sadistic and Sade-istic, titillating and the most honorable movie of the year.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    The movie becomes something quite rare and magical: a text about a text that is also full of life. In other words, it's a true first: It's both postmodern and fun!
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    The genius of the film is its utter commitment to the Pekar point of view.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    When you think you've figured out Bielinsky's great game, that's when you're in the most trouble: He's the con, and you're just the mark.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    I don't think "Queimada" is as great a movie as "Battle of Algiers," but it retains its vitality, its outrage, its savagery and its spirit.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    The next worst thing to being there. That's how real it feels.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Witherspoon's simply terrific, and it's amazing how quickly and easily she sheds speculation that she was too modern for the role.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    It's not the sort of film one can be said to enjoy, but it is the sort of film that has the clarity of a dream and lingers for hours.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    It's a new new thing, classic myth from both literature and the movies, commingled, set to great folk music, and untrammeled by any sense of predictability, urgency, realism or believability but hypnotic, graceful and seductive.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    The longest, hardest sit of the season -- you are stuck there, a single tube of puckered muscle, waiting for the extremely ugly violence to occur -- but it is driven by performances of such luminous humanity that they break your heart.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    But the movie has a great deal of zest and charm, and Yakusho gets so exactly that crest of melancholy that is a man’s early 40s, until he decides to go for another kind of life, that the movie is infinitely touching.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    It's a brilliant, profound movie, but it's almost no fun at all.