Steve Persall

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For 811 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 6.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Steve Persall's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Mission: Impossible
Lowest review score: 0 Little Fockers
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 80 out of 811
811 movie reviews
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    Eggers' chilling debut is a small masterpiece of atmosphere.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    This is a gorgeous production, even by Miyazaki's standards.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    The choicest performance in Animal Kingdom is Weaver's sing-song sinister matriarch of the Cody clan, a cheery sort with the benign nickname "Mama Smurf."
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Hugo is Scorsese's most personal film, from the standpoint of both an artist and a grandfather. He is as interested in Melies' posterity as in making a movie that his descendants can see before they're adults.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    At this point in his celebrated career, there shouldn't be much new that Hanks can show us. But there is, as the actor reaches deep inside to express the relief of dodging death as I've never seen it played before. He's in shock; we're awed.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    The jokes fly at a pace demanding viewers to either refrain from laughing (highly unlikely) or see The Lego Movie again to catch all the wondrous sights and amiable wit sliding by the first time.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Gabe Polsky's movie about the dynastic Soviet Union hockey team is surprisingly light on its skates, despite being a Cold War history lesson and conventional sports documentary.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    It Follows has an impressively sustained sense of dread, less explicit gore than measured tension. Mitchell slyly inverts the conventions of dead-meat teenager flicks, although not with wink-wink comedy like the Scream series. This movie is serious about creeping out viewers, and Mitchell is just artistic enough about it to create a minor masterpiece.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Creed proceeds to hit the same beats as six Rocky movies preceding it, all the way to the Big Fight. But there's a difference here. This is the first Rocky movie Stallone didn't write, enabling Coogler and co-writer Aaron Covington to bring new perspective and respect.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Monsieur Lazhar becomes a deeply affecting film not for pathos but for the way sadness is conveyed so subtly. It's a small triumph of restrained compassion, coaxing throat lumps rather than jerking tears.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    It's gory and gut-wrenching but strangely life-affirming.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    The soundtrack is a small marvel of music hall tunes and dialogue that is mostly garbled, allowing expressions and body language to be interpreted.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    The End of the Tour asks viewers to lean in, listen well and be rewarded with an uncommonly intelligent and relatable movie experience.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    The Lobster remains strangely romantic throughout, an absurdist take on the notion that great love stories — Casablanca, The Way We Were, Gone With the Wind — don't always end tidily.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    The new, vastly improved Star Trek moves at warp speed through a marvelously reinvented sci-fi franchise, reverent to the past and firmly entrenched in the now.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Baumbach keeps everything dialed down to medium cool, with occasional flashes of exuberance like Frances dancing down a street to the beat of David Bowie's Modern Love.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    Danny Boyle's movie is meticulously crafted to artful specifications, written in Aaron Sorkin's torrential style and acted to perfection by a superb ensemble. Yet like Jobs' NeXT Cube in 1988, there's one obvious question that isn't satisfactorily answered: What does it do?
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Sicario is a tentacled drug cartel thriller grabbing viewers by the throat and squeezing for two hours. This movie continually defies the conventions of its genre, from its hero's gender to the vagueness of its morality.
    • 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
    It's one of a handful of movies that have legitimately fooled me; not with an abrupt twist but a dawning awareness of where it's going thematically, how deeply and how distanced from sci-fi as usual.
    • 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
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Bridge of Spies is solid work but feels like Spielberg's best intentions as a filmmaker and world conscience on cruise control.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    The stop-motion technique never ceases to fascinate, but the episodic structure of Shaun the Sheep Movie hinders any true emotional buildup and payoff.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 50 Steve Persall
    McKay's frustration about the financial crisis is obvious, his instinct of how to engage viewers less so. Buyer beware.
    • 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.

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