For 495 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 69% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 29% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 8.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Steve Persall's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Rush
Lowest review score: 0 I'm Still Here
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 50 out of 495
495 movie reviews
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    There has never been a movie like 12 Years a Slave, which is Hollywood's shame. Miss it, and that mistake is yours.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Gravity is a game-changer like "Avatar" in the realm of digital 3-D special effects, inventing trickeries to be applied by future filmmakers and possibly never improved upon. Yet its spirit is closer to Avatar's smarter descendants, "Hugo" and "Life of Pi," with the gimmicks embellishing, not driving, the material. Less Cameron, more Kubrick.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    This is a remarkable film for more reasons than its antihero, from the cyberspeed wisdom of Aaron Sorkin's screenplay to Jeff Cronenweth's camera prowling the excesses of youthful genius gone wild.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    The last thing we see in Zero Dark Thirty is Maya's face and it is also ours, silently crying tears of reflection.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    It's a mystery wrapped inside an enigmatic nation, flawlessly acted and difficult to predict. I'm always impressed when a movie informs about a foreign culture while it entertains, and this one is powerful art in that regard.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    With Amour, it's the rare feeling of watching a masterpiece unfold.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    The Coens fashion an atmospheric descent for Llewyn, a meticulous re-creation of Greenwich Village's folk scene in 1961, around the time Bob Dylan hit town.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Toy Story 3 isn't merely the best movie of the summer -- even with summer just kicking in -- but an immediate candidate for best of the year.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    Plenty of secrets are uncovered before the fadeout, plus another nugget dropped midway through the end credits that may render nearly everything beforehand to be false. That's the nature of intimacies submerged so long then revealed.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Lawrence is in every scene of Winter's Bone, leaving her plenty of opportunity to make false moves. I dare you to find one, in a performance to be remembered during awards season.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Her
    So many things could go terribly wrong with Spike Jonze's Her, and it's a small cinematic miracle that nothing does.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Russell and co-writer Eric Warren Singer lay out these deceits and double-crosses with precision but American Hustle isn't merely a procedural. Defining these outsized personalities, tracing their unconventional connections and affections, is where Russell's movie finds its irreverent heartbeat.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Hazanavicius crafted more than a replica of the silent era; this feels like a time capsule found 80 years later, right on time to be revolutionary in a louder world. Yet The Artist is a masterwork that likely won't be imitated. How many movies in 2011 can you say that about? Only the best one.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Like Bertie's struggle, there's so much wonderment to articulate about this film that being mistaken for a stammering idiot is a risk. See it, then say it for yourself: The King's Speech is the best movie of 2010.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    The Grand Budapest Hotel is as artistically manicured as any of his seven previous movies, and richer comically and emotionally than most.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Chandor and Redford make an illuminating procedural of Our Man's response to calamity... Our Man is everyman, revealed by beautifully filmed and edited action without exposition.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Considering Parts 1 and 2 of Deathly Hallows as a single enterprise, as they should be, this is a rare franchise that just kept getting better.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    One of the year's best documentaries.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Not much happens to Woody in Payne's movie, compared to modern penchants for rushed narratives and easily defined characters. Yet patience pays off, with a suitably minor triumph for such an unassuming man. And a major acting triumph for Dern.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    The pointlessness of Jep's journey is Sorrentino's point, richly made.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Argo works superbly on two levels, first as a white-knuckle re-enactment of events in Iran and scrambling strategies in Washington.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    This is a rapturous cinematic experience, a spellbinding expression of shrouded ideas and exposed talent, top to bottom.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Hushpuppy carries a lot of emotional weight on her slender shoulders, and Wallis makes one wish to climb into the screen to lighten the load with an embrace. Do not miss this performance, or this quietly astonishing, life-affirming masterpiece.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    A movie as direct and devastating as a point-blank bullet to the back, like the one that killed Oscar Grant on the first morning of a new year, 2009.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    With The Past, Farhadi again displays a gift for poking into corners of nondescript lives and discovering unique drama.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Restrepo is about soldiers, not politics. The question of whether U.S. troops belong there isn't posed. Their devotion to duty and each other is unquestioned.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    These characters don't realize they're funny, and the actors are determined not to push it. Willis fares best, playing against in-control type; Murray fans expecting a comedy explosion won't find it here.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    Johnson keeps it simple, yet never stupid. Looper is a puzzle engaging your brain, rather than frying it, as one character describes the process. Obviously he has seen enough movies on the subject by 2024 to know how frustrating that is. This one plays fair with the fantasy.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    The Descendants would still be a splendid movie without him; with Clooney, it's one of 2011's very best.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Director Jean-Marc Vallee dutifully progresses from one obvious scene to the next. Solid work but unspectacular, perhaps figuring the boldness of his characters' words and actions can be artistic enough. And it is, in the hands of a temporarily reformed sex symbol and his unexpected leading lady.