Steve Persall
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For 598 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 8.4 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: 57 out of 598
598 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    The weight of Carlos' world shows on his rugged face, even with rare half-smiles. This is a masterfully understated performance that should be remembered during awards season.
    • 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."
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    The jokes are often double-edged, the performances always spot-on. The Way, Way Back doesn't re-invent the teenage turning point genre, but Faxon and Rash offer a breezy new spin. You'll see more inventive movies this year but few more endearing.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Furious 7 is so entertaining that you don't notice Dwayne Johnson is missing from action much of the time, only that he kills it when he shows up.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    It's the most unsettling nice surprise of 2011.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    The Grand Budapest Hotel is as artistically manicured as any of his seven previous movies, and richer comically and emotionally than most.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    The Descendants would still be a splendid movie without him; with Clooney, it's one of 2011's very best.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    With The Past, Farhadi again displays a gift for poking into corners of nondescript lives and discovering unique drama.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    I adore The Perks of Being a Wallflower for its honest, unsentimental feel, which gets stretched a bit in the revelatory finale, but by then I didn't mind.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Hushpuppy carries a lot of emotional weight on her slender shoulders, and Wallis makes one wish to climb into the screen to lighten the load with an embrace. Do not miss this performance, or this quietly astonishing, life-affirming masterpiece.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    What's fun is how the new Karate Kid embraces and vastly improves the cliches, keeping the plot cleverly updated for a generation that never heard of Ralph Macchio.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    Robot & Frank occasionally strains for emotion and stretches credulity, even for such fantasy circumstances. But it has two hearts - one human, one not - in the right place, and intelligence that is anything but artificial.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    Part two is even more gorgeous to behold, and deeper in substance.
    • 75 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    Cumberbatch radiates such intelligence — with Sherlock and this, egghead Benedict is his speciality — that gaps are easily excused. From sets and costumes to Alexandre Desplat's musical score, The Imitation Game is everything classy that Hollywood wishes it could be.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    For all of its movie-of-the-week mechanics, this is a deeply moving dramatization of what Alzheimer's does to mind and spirit, anchored by the finest performance, male or female, from any 2014 movie release.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    The East is a crackling thriller and a political statement tough to peg.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    Johnson keeps it simple, yet never stupid. Looper is a puzzle engaging your brain, rather than frying it, as one character describes the process. Obviously he has seen enough movies on the subject by 2024 to know how frustrating that is. This one plays fair with the fantasy.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    Tangled would be a satisfying adventure on plot and 3D sensations alone.
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    The A-Team is literally a blast, from the opening credits containing more thrills than the average shoot-'em-up (and more laughs than some comedies), to a climactic orgy of CGI destruction.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    Two Days, One Night is deceptively slight of drama; it's simply a procession of real moments encountered by a simple character deserving more happiness than life allows, fleshed out by an extraordinary actor.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    Unlike many post 9/11 war movies, American Sniper goes easier on the gung ho, with a third act leavened by Chris' depressed denial, his "hurt locker" of stored regret. Eastwood is less concerned with action heroism than the consequences of deadly action, how it chips away at the living.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    The pointlessness of Jep's journey is Sorrentino's point, richly made.

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