Steve Persall

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For 883 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 67% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 31% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Steve Persall's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 I Love You Phillip Morris
Lowest review score: 0 The Change-Up
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 84 out of 883
883 movie reviews
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    No
    The movie needs one or two central characters directly affected by the dictatorship, in order to create more tension around a conclusion that's already known.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    Anchored by Natalie Portman's uncanny impersonation — wispy voice, aristocratic posture — Jackie fascinates and frustrates, sometimes at once. We can't be certain any of her actions here are true. Some don't seem likely.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    We can now agree that Johnson is not only the Sexiest Man Alive but also our strongest, lifting Moana on his character's beefy shoulders, carrying it like other hits before. No movie left behind.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    The movie's assured direction by Sam Mendes can't be underestimated.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Allen eventually gets to the heart of this matter: the allure and danger of nostalgia.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    What "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz" did for zombie and cop flicks The World's End does for sci-fi fatalism, respecting its doomsday tropes while presenting them with cheeky wit and a refreshing strategy of sensory underload.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    The Force Awakens accomplishes its fan base mission, bringing back a modern myth with the torch-passing respect it deserves (plus some crass commercialism it doesn't).
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Silver Linings Playbook is a bracing shaken cocktail of awkward failure and accidental success, with Pat and Tiffany making a refreshing and unlikely couple to root for. We just want them to be abnormal together, share their favorite antidepressants, maybe even dance to Stevie Wonder.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    Nobody can disagree that Waiting for Superman deals with a subject demanding attention. But it paints the engulfing problems of U.S. education with a brush too broad and samples too small to be definitive.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    Ridley Scott's The Martian is a brainy blockbuster, melding genuine science and fiction into a rare popcorn epic that actually makes you feel smarter for watching.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    The Queen of Versailles leaves viewers with one feeling about the Siegels: Let them eat stale cake.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Incendies is a gallery of nightly news atrocities - a bus massacre, rape, children with guns - yet it's made intensely personal under the director's steady hand.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    The man's goodness and his support team's devotion are quickly obvious; Gleason is nearly two hours long. Tweel could get to every uplifting turn his movie makes a bit sooner.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    Casino Royale mostly succeeds as an introduction to a badder Bond than ever.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    It's a remarkable movie, the first of 2015 that I can't wait to see and hear again.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    True Grit is a very good movie that might be more embraceable if we didn't know who was pulling the trigger.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    The movie grabbed me and wouldn't let go during a bravura set piece at a soccer game when Campanella's camera glides into the stadium, finds Benjamin's face in the crowd and doesn't stop moving (with only a couple of edits) for six breathtaking minutes.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    The Safdies' knack for '70s-era grit set to techno beats impresses nearly as much as their star, a teen dream waking up to an exciting new stage of his career.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    I'm not sure there's anything else to take away from this film besides Manville's performance and gratitude that we aren't these people.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    Thanks to Jackson's involvement as a producer, Berg has time and access Berlinger and Sinofsky didn't, allowing expansion of whatever material that's repeated.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    The Sessions is often brazenly funny, not from shocking dialogue but characters speaking and reacting the way real people do, especially with such a flustering subject as sex.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    In the movie's best moments, Rivers is defiantly obnoxious and forthcoming about the fact that she'll do anything for money. At other times, the filmmakers attempt to make the wildcat warmer and fuzzier.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    A Most Violent Year has its share of wham-bam moments — a car-truck-foot chase into the city's bowels is superb — but the action never speaks louder than Chandor's hard-boiled words.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Gone Girl is a terrific movie, everything the book and its fans deserve.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Only Scorsese could craft a film of such moral gravity for multiplexes and fascinate for nearly three hours.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    A boxing movie swinging in too many directions at once, as if someone sneaked a third clubber into the ring. All the emotional punches land solidly, to occasionally devastating effect, but at the conclusion you're not sure which competing cliche wins.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Herbert's tale is twisted into a barely recognizable rush of pretentions made entertaining by Jodorowsky's glee in describing them. At age 85 he remains a madman with immense personality, a pinhole visionary insisting his Dune would be a prophecy shaping generations. Jodorowsky's Dune makes a viewer wish he'd gotten the chance.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Green Room is a blunt instrument of terror announcing Saulnier as a filmmaker to watch, just as soon as you pry those fingers off your eyes.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Yet for all of the technological genius at work here, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes maintains a remarkably human core, even under digital makeup.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    It's touching, and you can dance to it. What's not to love?

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