Steve Persall

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For 830 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 66% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 32% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Steve Persall's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 The Lunchbox
Lowest review score: 0 For a Good Time, Call...
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 81 out of 830
830 movie reviews
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    This is how a romantic vampire flick should work.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    If Fences occasionally feels cinematically inert, it's emotionally resonant thanks to Davis and Washington the actor, not the director as much.
    • 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
    James Schamus makes an impressive directing debut with Indignation, an oasis of summer movie intelligence.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    For those viewers who've watched Stewart's recent progression in offbeat films like Camp X-Ray and Still Alice — when she held her own opposite Academy Award winner Julianne Moore — it shouldn't be a surprise. Clouds of Sils Maria matches Stewart with another Oscar honoree, Juliette Binoche, with equally impressive results.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 58 Steve Persall
    Good intentions don't always make for good movies. Case in point: Zootopia, a Disney film with more on its mind than animated fun and fuzzies. So much, in fact, that it loses track of what audiences expect, what they're being sold.
    • 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
    • 75 Steve Persall
    Finding Dory is a good sequel to a great film, and perhaps that's all fans could hope for.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    The Gift is B-movie melodrama at its lurid finest, and worth a look.
    • 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
    • 67 Steve Persall
    Personal Shopper is wildly imperfect, wandering like Maureen through surroundings matching her dark, curious mood. Dead ends abound with scenes running long then abruptly dropping their subjects. Thrills aren't part of the bargain unless Stewart's intense vulnerability counts. Now more than ever, it should.
    • 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
    • 83 Steve Persall
    The Jungle Book could use better lighting and less of John Debney's musical score insisting each moment be melodically underlined twice. Still, it's a movie to thrill and perhaps inspire kids to play Mowgli games again. Not outside, of course. Now there's an app for that.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Philomena is simply one of those small, true stories that astonish in print and inspire good movies.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    James Mangold's Logan is an uncommonly mature comic book movie, practically from another universe unto itself. It's a movie demanding and deserving to be taken seriously, an elegy for a mutant.
    • 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
    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.

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