Steve Persall

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For 639 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 68% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 29% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Steve Persall's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 The Social Network
Lowest review score: 0 The Change-Up
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 62 out of 639
639 movie reviews
    • 88 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    Kechiche's doting on entwined limbs, thrusting pelvises and oral stimulation, all carefully posed and continued longer than necessary to get his point across, races beyond titillation to creepy voyeurism.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    Leigh's characters merely act in a goofy and irritating fashion until their dramatic pay-off scenes. This uneven style cheats fine actors out of the chance to shade their roles rather than rely upon black-and-white emotions. [6 Mar. 1992, p.10]
    • Tampa Bay Times
    • 77 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    Chungking Express essentially tells two muted love stories set in a bustling locale, without fully involving the audience in either. [3 May 1996, p.5]
    • Tampa Bay Times
    • 77 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    Calvary becomes a lurid Agatha Christie yarn with something important to say about the church and Ireland that McDonagh can't fully articulate. Pulp keeps getting in the way.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    At least the latest movie about the financial meltdown doesn't make the same mistake as the last one. It also doesn't prove that a fictional film can explain the downturn's causes and effects better than a documentary.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    Thankfully in space, no one can hear you yawn.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    It is well acted bunk, led by Hugh Jackman's righteous raging as the father of a missing girl, abducting a suspect (Paul Dano) to pummel and scald a confession from him. If only solving the case and ending this movie sooner was that simple.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    The strategy deserves to self-destruct in five seconds.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    Shame smears the lines between daring and taunting, and art versus indulgence. When it ends there's the urge to take a shower, and not a cold one.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    Almodóvar dives into perversity, practically daring the audience not to follow. The Skin I Live In is a mediocre addition to his resume, yet for fans, even bad Almodóvar is better than none at all.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    Imagine a stuffy Merchant Ivory production blended with muted Michael Crichton sci-fi and you have Never Let Me Go, at least as it plays on screen.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    Unstoppable isn't unwatchable, but it is a letdown after "Speed" and some of the Speed-on-a-(fill in the blank with a vehicle) flicks that followed. Forget missing Hopper; even Keanu Reeves might make this movie more entertaining.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    I expected, even wanted to cry at The Fault in Our Stars, or at least choke up a little. Yet the transparent eagerness of this movie to break hearts, through means not entirely justifying that end, always pulled me back.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    The problem isn't entirely Lehane's script... It's the way Belgian director Michael R. Roskam, making his English language debut, is so visually uninspired by all this meanness.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    Wright is an insanely funny filmmaker (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) yet only the front half of that description carries over to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    The Homesman isn't as confident with balancing madness and dark humor as Jones' only previous directing job, 2005's border odyssey The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. This movie's switchback plotting ambles from crisis to comical, threatening to maintain a tone but not for long.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    Feels like half of a good movie, much of it revealed in admittedly thrilling trailers.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    Soderbergh doesn't always match his pacing to Mallory's fury.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    This Cinderella is achingly old-fashioned, with scant humor, a regressive heroine and godmother effects that aren't special.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    Coppola's movie has a sense of indie vitality, although the energy feels wasted by running in place.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    Salt is a movie constantly painting itself into corners then tromping out with arbitrary twists and action distractions.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    The Rover fascinates and frustrates in equal measure, with Michod withholding details of plot and character so thoroughly that a nihilistic fog sets in.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    Fury reeks of self-importance, a strange arrogance for a fictional World War II drama drenched in more blood than ideas.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 42 Steve Persall
    Veronica Mars, the movie, plays like a two-parter without commercials. Its uninspired framing and static action suits a TV screen better than a multiplex's.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 42 Steve Persall
    Despite its haunted house setting, the movie's most visible cobwebs are found in Jane Goldman's screenplay, adapted from Susan Hill's novel.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    Apatow hates leaving anything on the cutting room floor. You could excise entire chunks of The Five-Year Engagement - the donut experiments at college, a couple of wise soliloquies, most of the stuff involving Violet's sister (Alison Brie) - and never miss a beat.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    At some juncture — much earlier than director Gareth Edwards intends — Godzilla needs to stop being an extra in his own movie.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    There are too many convenient romances, trumped-up crises and reversals of conscience to clear up while those poor whales suffer. Big Miracle isn't an entirely bad movie but a wholly misguided one.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    The junk in Lucy doesn't entirely eclipse the moments when weird is fun.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    The actors are so good that you wish Collyer offered them a richer arc to play, rather than just a topic.

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