Steve Persall

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For 886 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 5.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Steve Persall's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Baby Driver
Lowest review score: 0 The Last Airbender
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 84 out of 886
886 movie reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Amy
    In some moments, Amy feels like another intrusion on the singer's privacy, like the gossip vultures circling her drug and alcohol binges, awaiting her 2011 death. Those uncomfortable moments are far outweighed by sympathetic ones.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Sicario is a tentacled drug cartel thriller grabbing viewers by the throat and squeezing for two hours. This movie continually defies the conventions of its genre, from its hero's gender to the vagueness of its morality.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Only Scorsese could craft a film of such moral gravity for multiplexes and fascinate for nearly three hours.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    The Revenant is an action blockbuster with an art house soul, a headlong rush of motion with meaning. Pure cinema from Iñárritu and Lubezki, two undisputed masters working at their peaks.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Anomalisa ends with a major decision and a minor triumph, the result of a one-night stand in Cincinnati. Sad, desperate? Maybe. But in the hands of Kaufman and Johnson, an extraordinary movie.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    David Lowery's A Ghost Story is a different sort of haunting, a quiet reverie of never letting go of people, places, anything. Some viewers may think it silly, others profound, but there's no other movie quite like it.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    Many actors would focus their energies only on Arnie's tics, but DiCaprio aims for his soul. We could either laugh at Arnie or pity him, but DiCaprio makes us love him. [4 Mar 1994, p.5]
    • Tampa Bay Times
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    Anchored by Viggo Mortensen's prismatic portrayal of Ben, this is one of the summer's nicest movie surprises, and among its wisest.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    A singular look, an exemplary vocal cast, and a narrative arc like a caress. That'll be the Kung Fu Panda franchise's legacy, the idea that shouldn't have worked but did, beautifully and with its own chi.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    The new, vastly improved Star Trek moves at warp speed through a marvelously reinvented sci-fi franchise, reverent to the past and firmly entrenched in the now.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    War for the Planet of the Apes seals Caesar's place in the pantheon of movie messiahs and the trilogy's place among the finest ever.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    Room is a startling movie experience, peculiar in setting and profoundly simple. It's a story of love born out of unseen horror, of nurture conquering nature. Room must be felt to be believed.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    Mistress America is certainly funnier and sunnier than While We're Young, mostly thanks to Gerwig, America's dizzy, dazzling new girl on the side.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    More than any previous Marvel adaptation, Civil War conveys the comics' light touch amid somber circumstances. In a bold stroke, those circumstances are of the heroes' own making.

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