For 495 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 8.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Steve Persall's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 All Is Lost
Lowest review score: 0 The Watch
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 50 out of 495
495 movie reviews
    • 52 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    Movies don't come any brawnier than Safe House, and all that chaotic mayhem eventually beats the plot to a pulp.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    There is nice stuff found in The Lorax - Thneedville's artificial nature is inspired - and bad, like the original songs nobody will be humming when they leave the theater. But good intentions don't trump mediocre filmmaking. If that makes me a Grinch, so be it.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    Next to Swinton's excellent portrayal of a woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown, the movie belongs to the two Kevins, young actors with matching arched eyebrows and sullen expressions.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    An imagined conversation between Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes, after the premiere of Wrath of the Titans...
    • 74 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    At times the sewer dwellers don't appear worth saving, except for Socha's profiting. This can't be the filmmaker's intention but it's there.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    Even the smuttiest jokes about rape, torture and genitals have a more polished edge, sliding by without causing much offense. Watching actors portray alarm at Cohen's antics isn't as hilarious as civilians doing it for real.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    Rock of Ages is nothing but a good time and sometimes less, slogging through the knee-deep hoopla of 1980s nostalgia at a jukebox pace.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    The rest are hit-and-miss propositions with occasional flashes of wit, and a few standout performances. It's always good to see Judy Davis exchanging barbs with Allen, like when he boasts of having an IQ of 160.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    Sparkle may wind up as Ejogo's breakthrough but will forever be remembered as Houston's swan song, and a glimpse of what her next life chapter might have been. What a talent. What a waste.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    Writer-director Martin McDonagh's followup to his more cohesive "In Bruges" is a middle finger to cliches "Pulp Fiction" wrought, while garishly reveling in the same hyper-ironic, pop referenced ultraviolence it lampoons.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    The relevant question now isn't who John Galt is, but how much demand there will be for what the producers supply.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    Nobody dies softly here; they're mutilated, splattered in blood and vomit, set up by people who'll get theirs soon.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    The movie finds its humor in the royals' shock at Hyde Park's lacking decorum, and a hint of FDR's political savvy.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    The movie is airy, predictable and ultimately inconsequential. Yet, there are moments in She's All That when the filmmakers create something close to artfulness, a rare trait in a teen-dream movie. It's a minor, reassuring cure for those Varsity Blues. [29 Jan 1999]
    • 48 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    Emperor is also one of those movies in which the most intriguing occurrences are revealed by "what-happened-to . . ." title cards at the finale.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    It took brains to create such a sumptuous fantasia with pixels and keyboard swipes. Now, if it only had a heart.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    The third act of Scardino's movie is very funny, and its finale featuring the exposure of an impossibly successful illusion is flat-out brilliant. It's just too bad that the movie's opening act is so sleight of humor, damaging the movie's potential. Now you see it. Then you don't.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    Paramount prefers to think of Star Trek: Generations as the first of a new film series, rather than the seventh act of the old, but prior knowledge of the saga definitely is a necessity. It's a movie filled with punchlines that depend on the audience knowing the set-ups. [18 Nov. 1994, p.3]
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    I learned a total of two things from watching Evil Dead: No camping kit is complete without duct tape, and sometimes end credits are worth sitting through for a movie's best gag.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    Iron Man 3 is missing that old Tony Stark spark. Not from Robert Downey Jr., who is still the best thing about this overblown show.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    Renoir is beautifully filmed and scored, yet with the emotional pull of watching exquisitely textured oil paint dry.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    The Hangover Part III is more like "Beverly Hills Cop," a generic crime flick improved by comical touches that shouldn't fit the proceedings.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    The movie at times resembles a screenwriting workshop, with Delpy and Hawke trying to shoehorn every shade of this shifting relationship into a single scene. It doesn't feel genuine; certainly these two would know each other better by now.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    When director Paul Feig — who revitalized feminine comedy with "Bridesmaids" — allows McCarthy's improvisational instincts to take over because, honestly, nobody else in the cast can stand up to her. McCarthy is the best thing about The Heat.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    There's enough here for a nice little movie, anyway, even if Al Pacino didn't think so. He was hired to voice the movie's arch villain but dropped out due to "creative differences."
    • 47 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    Anthony Hopkins, new to the franchise, is introduced in a prison cell, in stir-crazy shades of Hannibal Lecter. At 53, Catherine Zeta-Jones is nearly too young for this stuff.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    The fun of watching We're the Millers is guessing how raunchily low it will go, and realizing you've sorely underestimated these writers and actors.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    It's rambunctiously amusing but the laughs clot in your throat. There's a meaner streak this time to Kick-Ass and Hit Girl's exploits, or maybe Carrey's sensitivity is justified. Either way, the third act of Kick-Ass 2 is a visceral beatdown.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    Don Jon is so friskily risque, with teasing glimpses of what turns Jon on and frank dialogue to match, that you don't notice the movie is stuck in a rut until Julianne Moore shows up late, offering Jon an older, wiser perspective on sex and relationships.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    It's the only chance for small children to drag parents to the movies until November, so knock yourself out, kiddies.