Steve Persall
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For 605 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 8.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Steve Persall's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Top Five
Lowest review score: 0 The Last Airbender
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 58 out of 605
605 movie reviews
    • 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
    • 91 Steve Persall
    Garland's original screenplay brims with intelligence, unafraid to let characters speak over our heads. Yet it remains a pulpy delight, due largely to its uniquely mad scientist.
    • 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
    • 91 Steve Persall
    This is a story to make blood boil and change demanded, so future waves of incoming freshmen — even that term is male-centric — won't have their dreams ruined.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    The images captured by cinematographer Adam Arkapaw are more dreamy than nightmarish as if his camera — like the children — doesn't fully understand the dangers.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Buck is a movie to be revisited again and again, like passages from a satisfying self-help book. Riding experience isn't necessary to realize how extraordinary this man and his calling are.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    Exhilarating drama, and a triumphant return to glory for both Zemeckis and Washington.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    At least the latest movie about the financial meltdown doesn't make the same mistake as the last one. It also doesn't prove that a fictional film can explain the downturn's causes and effects better than a documentary.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    What is off limits to steal when everything is available, not only in a digital age but clacking through a projector? Isn't fame always at someone else's expense? Even Baumbach borrows, notably from Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors. Fair, and funny enough.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Kaur and Khan, who was robbed of a IIFA nod, scarcely share a frame of The Lunchbox, yet the emotional connection of their characters is palpable.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    This is a performance without ego or modesty, for a character without self-respect, played by Witherspoon as unvarnished as any pampered movie star can be expected.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    Robespierre does a nice job of balancing the seriousness of this situation with the no-boundaries irreverence of Donna's comedy background.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    How to Train Your Dragon 2 is how to make a sequel, when it gets its head out of the clouds.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    Guardians of the Galaxy is fun but forgettable, or perhaps Gunn crams so much onto the screen that memory is crowded out. Definitely worth a second look, just to figure out what in the name of Buckaroo Banzai is going on.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    A Dangerous Method is a movie believing the most formidable sex organ really is the brain.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Sounds depressing, although Rabbit Hole isn't, with David Lindsay-Abaire presenting a perceptive, subtly dark-humored adaptation of his Pulitzer Prize-winning play.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    The movie has a caffeinated spirit worthy of its graveyard shift milieu, a darkness artfully breached by cinematographer Robert Elswit, who previously framed L.A.'s unstill life in Magnolia and Boogie Nights.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    Nothing much happens in Greenberg, yet Stiller and co-star Greta Gerwig make inconsequence tolerable with solid performances.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    Rapace is a magnetic presence in a far-ranging mystery requiring such a solid character to orbit around.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Rango is wild, woolly and weird, and the first movie of 2011 that I must see again.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    The movie's finest performance is Daniel Bruhl's unapologetic bluntness as Lauda, and his subtle conveyance of jealousy the driver — whose resemblance to a rat is often noted — must have felt about Hunt's popularity and handsomeness.

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