Steve Persall
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For 541 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 8.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Steve Persall's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Her
Lowest review score: 0 For a Good Time, Call...
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 52 out of 541
541 movie reviews
    • 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
    Gone Girl is a terrific movie, everything the book and its fans deserve.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Blue Jasmine is Allen's 44th movie in 47 years, an amazing run with storied highs and notorious lows along the way. This one ranks among his finest dramas, his best since "Match Point."
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    It can get a bit redundant but always remains interesting, as young lives take shape on an asphalt oval.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    When the fadeout comes, viewers may feel as unsatisfied with the movie as these characters are with their lives.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    There's something fairly malignant in the way Glazer's strange movie holds attention, against the urge to give up and leave. There is no doubting its boundless artistry or pretension, a dangerous position for any movie in today's love-me pop culture to place itself in. Under the Skin is exactly where it gets.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    The Dark Knight Rises declares its importance with each scene but seldom backs up the claims. It is a climax more fitful than fulfilling, solemn to a fault and begging the Joker's question: "Why so serious?"
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Much Ado About Nothing is simply a fun time among Whedon and his friends, and for the most part it's contagious.
    • 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
    • 75 Steve Persall
    To borrow just a few of Aleichem's words that are ingrained in Jewish culture: "It could be worse."
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    If he made The Ghost Writer under a pseudonym, it might be roundly hailed as the classy white-knuckler it is. But it's Polanski's name above the title, with his own ghosts haunting each frame.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    Get Low is a pleasant yarn, well-acted and dutifully mounted with period designs. There isn't a false note among the actors.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Whatever Career Girls lacks in polish or ambition, it compensates with three memorable performances and an unwavering filmmaker working on nobody's terms except his own. [5 Sep. 1997, p.3]
    • Tampa Bay Times
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Philomena is simply one of those small, true stories that astonish in print and inspire good movies.