Steve Persall

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For 970 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 65% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 33% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Steve Persall's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Toy Story
Lowest review score: 0 The Last Airbender
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 87 out of 970
970 movie reviews
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    McKay and Ferrell keep the jokes naughty not dirty and flying for shrapnel accuracy; many miss, but when one hits it counts.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Not much happens to Woody in Payne's movie, compared to modern penchants for rushed narratives and easily defined characters. Yet patience pays off, with a suitably minor triumph for such an unassuming man. And a major acting triumph for Dern.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Frozen impresses by conveying coldness in all its frostbitten beauty, from northern lights and blizzards, to ice magnifying, refracting and reflecting light. The movie is a lovely example for animation enthusiasts to study.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Philomena is simply one of those small, true stories that astonish in print and inspire good movies.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    Spike Lee's remake of 2003's Oldboy is as brutally perplexing as the South Korean original, and needless for both its repetition and tweaks. Nothing is really lost in translation, or gained.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Director Jean-Marc Vallee dutifully progresses from one obvious scene to the next. Solid work but unspectacular, perhaps figuring the boldness of his characters' words and actions can be artistic enough. And it is, in the hands of a temporarily reformed sex symbol and his unexpected leading lady.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is movie escapism made with intelligence, and that doesn't come around often enough. As I sensed this movie ending I wished it wouldn't, and when it did I wanted the next one now. Take that, Bilbo.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    The actors are so good that you wish Collyer offered them a richer arc to play, rather than just a topic.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    Poor Thor. Dude can't even hold center stage in his own movie. He's the Asgardian god of stolen thunder, upstaged at each ab turn by Loki, malarkey and Odin's eyepatch.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    Kechiche's doting on entwined limbs, thrusting pelvises and oral stimulation, all carefully posed and continued longer than necessary to get his point across, races beyond titillation to creepy voyeurism.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    There has never been a movie like 12 Years a Slave, which is Hollywood's shame. Miss it, and that mistake is yours.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    Plenty of ideas float through Ender's Game but the notion of honing a child into a war machine is one that sticks. Writer-director Gavin Hood's adaptation of Orson Scott Card's novel doesn't offer much else, bottled up with battle jargon and special effects debris as it is.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    Nostalgia counts a lot and needs to, with this sitcom-level material and Jon Turteltaub's uninspired direction.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Chandor and Redford make an illuminating procedural of Our Man's response to calamity... Our Man is everyman, revealed by beautifully filmed and edited action without exposition.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    Cumberbatch is very good, in a movie that isn't.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    Escape Plan is so dumb it's adorable, as any movie pitting Sylvester Stallone's grunt against Arnold Schwarzenegger's accent should be.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 42 Steve Persall
    The concept is rich with potential to offend yet after a promising opener Cody doesn't seem interested.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    The movie zings when Jenkins is snapping off venomous wisecracks, or O'Hara speaks politically incorrectly with only the best intentions. But those moments aren't enough to raise A.C.O.D. above the level of a failed pilot for a racy pay channel sitcom.
    • 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.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Gravity is a game-changer like "Avatar" in the realm of digital 3-D special effects, inventing trickeries to be applied by future filmmakers and possibly never improved upon. Yet its spirit is closer to Avatar's smarter descendants, "Hugo" and "Life of Pi," with the gimmicks embellishing, not driving, the material. Less Cameron, more Kubrick.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    Writer-director David E. Talbert, working from his novel, tackles each musical interlude, montage and mad dash to an airport like he's the first person ever to think of them.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    The movie has its heart and humor in the right place, and there's no "Shame" in that.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    It is well acted bunk, led by Hugh Jackman's righteous raging as the father of a missing girl, abducting a suspect (Paul Dano) to pummel and scald a confession from him. If only solving the case and ending this movie sooner was that simple.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    Wan in particular is pacing today's movie horror by reverting to the past. There's a touch of Hammer Films in his haunted house atmospheres, and Roger Corman in his groaning comic relief from the dread.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    Russell remains one of our most adorable, underused actors, although this role lacks the emotional and comedic breadth of her turn in 2007's "Waitress."

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