Steve Persall
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For 627 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 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Steve Persall's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Captain Phillips
Lowest review score: 0 I'm Still Here
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 60 out of 627
627 movie reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    As a wisely devised teenage drama, The Spectacular Now treats kids and adults respectfully, even their foolish weaknesses. That respect extends to the audience.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    The easiest way for filmmakers to show injustice in the world is through the eyes of a child. In the case of Haifaa al-Mansour's movie, the injustice is Saudi Arabia's male-centric culture, and the child is a preteen girl named Wadjda.
    • 81 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Sounds depressing, but Blue Valentine is a reminder that well-measured and expertly acted pain is as thrilling to watch as 3-D spectacle.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Top Five is the funniest movie I've seen this year, and the calendar's running out. No matter whose movie Rock's resembles, it is completely his, and a brash start to being taken seriously as an artist.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Miller unravels this story with the grim inevitability of a death row vigil, but not without flashes of sly humor.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 25 Steve Persall
    By the time Melancholia finally crawls to its conclusion, his (von Trier) round orb in the sky isn't as depressing as the rectangular screen.
    • 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
    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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    Never has 3-D illusion been used to such pure storytelling effect.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    This is how a romantic vampire flick should work.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    Black Swan is a stage door melodrama putting new spins on cliches as old as "All About Eve" (and maybe Adam). Setting them among ballerinas as opposed to showgirls or movie stars doesn't make them any less familiar.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    Buckle up for a bumpy ride but one that a road warrior like McQueen would hitch in a heartbeat.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    The role of Albert in Nicole Holofcener's Enough Said is closer to who the man was, and who the actor seldom got the chance to play: bearish yet soft-spoken, a self-confessed slob with a soul bigger than his gut. There's warmth pouring from those slitted eyes, loosening up guarded smiles as Albert takes a chance on love again.

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