Stephen Hunter

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For 923 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 3.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stephen Hunter's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Lowest review score: 0 Saving Silverman
Score distribution:
923 movie reviews
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Straightforward, droll, brutally honest and arresting.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    It's a brilliant, profound movie, but it's almost no fun at all.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    You may not want to hang with the haunted Caouettes, but the movie is so compelling, it doesn't give you a choice.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    There are complications, extremely cleverly worked out. Jones is in just about every scene in this taut, provocative film.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Nuanced, exquisite and predictable.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    The genius of the film is its utter commitment to the Pekar point of view.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    In its insistence on the centrality of the war to the collective consciousness of mankind, it's of a piece with "The English Patient," rather than "Saving Private Ryan."
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    The movie avoids sensationalism. What it requires and what it delivers is performance.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    A character so real and poignant (yet hysterically funny), she'll linger for months or years.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    It takes the rock movie into regions it has never been before.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Isn't much of a movie, but it's a whale of a story.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    It's sad, funny, shocking and completely unlike any movie in a dozen years.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    A brilliantly amusing couple of hours.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Anyhow, either as history at its most inspiring or moviemaking at its most exciting, The Tunnel is a trip.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    May be too much suspense for some, but it's vividly powerful.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Jon Heder in the magnificent Napoleon Dynamite, is one of the most winning movie creations in years.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    Delightful, delicious, de-lovely.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    The cutting is so sinuous and breathtaking, the music (by Danny Elfman after too much coffee) so onrushing and the camera so penetrative of the depths and heights of midtown Manhattan at cloud level, that the illusion, despite its artificiality, works. You don't believe it but you "believe" it.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    What is so impressive about Welcome to Sarajevo is its cool restraint: Like the best of journalism, it never stoops to sensationalize or sermonize, but merely observes. It's about the facts rather than something called The Truth. [9Jan1998 Pg. D.01]
    • Washington Post
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Stephen Hunter
    What emerges is quite extraordinary.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Stephen Hunter
    One False Move doesn't make a single false move its own self: It's as tough and gripping as they come. It's the first movie I've seen in months where, when I was walking out, I thought to myself, "Damn! I wanna see that one again!"
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Lung-bloatingly funny.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    The Pixar people have an extreme talent for conjuring imagery that is both soaring in its majesty but also resonant -- it's a stylization but acute enough to carry emotional meaning.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Generally quite amusing, with a brilliant cast.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    It's a fine, old-fashioned 2 1/4 hours at the Bijou.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    So those seeking a softer approach to the realities of both child- and animal-rearing should search elsewhere. The rest of us, meanwhile, are free to enjoy a well-made family drama pitched to young adults that's honest, tough and surprisingly engaging.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    The camera, freed to glide, flows as if through the old man's memory, discovering both the glory of his life and the tragedy.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    The Good Shepherd is serious adult moviemaking, a truly surprising effort from De Niro, a man deeply interested in the art, craft and psychology of espionage. He seems to believe that we'd better be interested in it, because it's interested in us.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Unlike so many pagan entertainments that seem to have no moral center as they blow things up, this one in fact does. It's very small, but it's there.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    A lot of bigger movies won't provoke you half as much.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    It gets frenetic, in the French way, but it never stops getting amusing. This is what happens when you let grown-ups make movies.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Stunningly acted by Liam Cunningham and Orla Brady as the Cloneys.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    A greatly ambitious undertaking, but from the commercial point of view quite insane. The movie is ridiculously fragile: It's like a Faberge egg, and even a twitch of foreknowledge will destroy the magic of the movie utterly.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    In noir, everybody's guilty, and that's one of the pleasures of Joy Ride. The three youngsters aren't exactly innocent.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    It never smirks or condescends as does, say, a Michael Moore; it never seems smug and superior, only committed and compassionate.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    This movie gives it to you, as no movie has in some years. Okay, if that's not your part of the swamp, don't go into it.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    As a terrifying example of what can happen when too many angry people are crowded into too small a space, it's a gripper.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    The audience is treated to one extraordinary vision after another; the sense of a world literally being destroyed around the principal actors, the sense of their flight through panic and destruction, the sense of concussion, collapse, rubble and ruin.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Blondes may or may not have more fun, but in this one case, they certainly provide more fun.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    So childish it seems to arrive in diapers, and that's not bad; it's good.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    You have to see this to believe it.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    This curious documentary is something rare, evincing opposites: It's both delightful and powerful.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    It's without posturing or phony outrage, and offers instead something far more affecting: a deep sense of melancholy. This is the way it is, it says, and not much can be done about it.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    The chronological looseness is part of the pleasure of the piece, which magically reassembles in the last reel into something strong, lucid and compellingly powerful.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    If you view it passively, as a well-crafted melodrama set in danger among passionate antagonists, The Boxer is rewarding enough. If you attack it intellectually, you see the degree to which it is informed by ideas and realize the power of its argument.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    He (Tobias) had a life, however, that was way off the charts in its unpredictability, and sharing it with him is fascinating.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Nicely done, sweet, delicately comic and a complete delight.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Let it swindle you; it's part of the fun. In fact, it's all of the fun.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Like nothing else that's played in months.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Endlessly interesting. It's about people who thought ideas and art mattered, which makes it a rarity today.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    What makes the film so affecting, however, is its matter-of-fact evocation of character. Each person in the four-character cast is vivid and specific and believable.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    You don't really watch the film; you survive it.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    First and best, it's got a rip-roaring story. It sweeps you along, borne effortlessly by believable if flawed characters, as it flows toward the inevitable tragedy. But it's also got a heart: It watches as a child harsh of judgment learns that judgment is too easy a posture for the world, and it's best to love with compassion. [07Nov1997 Pg G.01]
    • Washington Post
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Bleak and post-industrial, this is no easy film to watch. It hasn't a conventional image of beauty anywhere within its grim 93 minutes, being shot in harsh natural light that somehow plays up the grime and chill of back-alley life. But by the end, it's suffused with something utterly rare: moral beauty. [27 June 1997, p.D6]
    • Washington Post
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Phone Booth is 82 New York minutes long, all of them exciting.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    The original was about social manipulation as blood sport. Amazing how easily it transports, themes intact, to our blighted decade, and to our children.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    The film, built of interviews with participants, is fast-paced, utterly absorbing and ultimately tragic.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    This is postmodern folk art, a tricky transaction in which the work isn't just a story, it's a genre survey, a homage, a meditation, a parody and, oh yeah, while it's at it, still a pretty good story.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Isn't quite a great espionage movie or a great Africa movie, but in a summer of heat and wind, it's the next best thing.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    So closely observed, so funny and so true to the junk that is everybody's real--as opposed to movie--life that it comes to feel like some kind of a miracle.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    The documentary is fascinating, but hardly enjoyable. It's like watching ants eat an elephant.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    It is kept watchable and empathetic by the energy of the superb performances and the sense of complete freshness.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    It's clean and transparent, with no movie director tricks. The characters, not the montages, speak the loudest.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    The film occasionally drags -- a money transfer scene set in a department store lasts longer than several geologic epochs -- but it's so funny and the plot twists are so sudden and violent it's great fun.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Full of astonishments, not the least of which are its ideas.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    A deft, tense, pure thriller, the movie has great star turns and is brilliantly directed, but it began as an extremely well-crated screenplay by Russell Gewirtz. It's professionally entertaining.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    There's a kind of liberating, almost transforming energy in this film; it lights you up and sends you out all giddy with silliness.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    It's good fun for bad boys.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    It may stir you, it may make you laugh. I am of the stirred variety. I do not want to meet this guy in the dark, though I've been meeting him in my dreams for years. We all have.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Delightful, delicious and destructive.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Great picture? No. Cool picture? Oui. Not as good, I must say, as the sort of thing we moron yanks were doing on our own over here – "D.O.A." is much better.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Stars Audrey Tautou, gaminelike, waiflike, vivid and completely adorable.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Yes, it's a hyped, hip "Sting" for our times, with goatees, mousse and attitude as part of the update package. It's also Burns's best film since "Saving Private Ryan."
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Macdonald has a fetching feel for the continent, and the movie has a powerful sense of what Africa looks and feels like; you can almost smell it.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    May be the most ruggedly decent film to come along in a couple of decades.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    The two women relate brilliantly, and the movie has lots of fun creating an erotic subtext between them.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Takes its absurd premise and keeps itself narrowly focused, pushing its heroic cast through obstacle after obstacle.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Still, the movie -- as beautifully drawn, as sleek and engaging as it is -- has the annoyance of incredible smugness.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    The film is more of an anthropological essay on the way young Americans relate while they make war, not love, and try to survive in the meantime.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    It's a very funny movie in that sniffy Brit way.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    This movie probably gets the Washington process better than any since Otto Preminger's underrated "Advise & Consent" in 1962. It's not about men of virtue doing the impossible, but men of flaws doing the doable, but just barely.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    It's so gritty it'll get under your fingernails. And it harks back to one of Hill's greatest films from the '70s, "Hard Times."
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    If you're the sort of person who laughs at funerals, train wrecks, earnest political documentaries and stories about the rape of nature, you'll love Closer.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    The movie, though quite funny in parts, turns organically dark, and it refuses to paint a picture of a cotton-candy world. It prefers the real one.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    This is a movie that understands the larger-than-life appeal of the old-fashioned movie star and one of the movies' most primal appeals: beautiful people doing amusing things while talking about it cleverly.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    These are great, primal stories that pull you in, make you care and put you on the edge of madness and violence.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Ghastly yet wonderful at the same time.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    It's a terrific film because each of the characters is so fiercely felt.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Tried hard to honor the spirit of the franchise, not exploit it, and take it to a new level and a surprising destination.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    The movie is powerful, if numbing. What movie about a massacre isn't?
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Janet McTeer doesn't imitate Mary Jo Walker, and she doesn't act her. She becomes her. It's almost spooky.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    Its pleasures aren't so much in the inevitable plot complications, but in the passion of the performances and the spare beauty of the elegant framing and photography.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Hunter
    A well-acted first effort written and directed by Jamie Thraves.

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