Steve Persall

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For 740 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 67% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 31% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Steve Persall's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Anomalisa
Lowest review score: 0 Little Fockers
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 73 out of 740
740 movie reviews
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    As usual, psychological anguish is a key element of Marvel heroes. Age of Ultron boasts a cast of actors that "serious" filmmakers would kill for, so the gravitas they're capable of conveying amid such outlandish fantasy is the franchise's stealth advantage.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    The Avengers is as brawny and lamebrainy as any comic book movie deserves to be, capped by a 40-minute assault pummeling senses as few action sequences ever have.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Even when The Net goes off-line, Bullock's captivating presence is a screen saver. [28 July 1995, p.6]
    • Tampa Bay Times
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    How many surprises and peaks can Walken possibly have left, after so many movies and memorable roles? Well, there's this one.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Vallée's movie itself begins falling apart after being so artfully put together. Yet Gyllenhaal's performance is the center that holds, making Davis' melancholic obsession and irrational acts seem like the sanest things anyone could do. His disintegration is the actor's triumph.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Tampa Bay wears fringe nihilism well, including wet-fever dreams of trigger-happy angels floating on cannabis clouds and dusted with cocaine like beignets waiting to be licked clean. Or drug gangstas sporting cornrows and gold-grill teeth, living large and thinking three-ways. Film as a fetish tool, that's what Spring Breakers is all about, y'all.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Whatever definition of "dope" you prefer, it applies to Rick Famuyiwa's movie of the same name.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Forbes' screenplay is fuller of humor than the topic might suggest, and Ruffalo as usual is imminently watchable, in a uniquely feel-good movie.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    The man is a movie star, underline it twice. Cruise is this young century's personification of what it takes to earn that title, a perfect storm of personality, drive and talent on delivery, incapable of irrelevance.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    It works because Timberlake and Kunis are totally in control of their damaged characters without winking at the audience, as if to say: "Aren't we cute, behaving so naughty?" Their sex is amusingly awkward, and their repressed longings more so. It's the kind of chemistry that comes along once in a generation.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Corbijn keeps the intrigue uncluttered, guided by Andrew Bovell's economical adapted screenplay.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Jeff Nichols fashions three-quarters of a terrific movie with Midnight Special, a slow burn science fiction thriller. The rest is merely gripping, which isn't a bad problem to have.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    The movie's first half is its funniest, as Moore sets up this alternate low-resolution universe.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Wormald won't make anyone forget Bacon, but he dances better, and without a stand-in. Hough's dance ability is well-known, but she also displays flashes of acting skill.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    The choicest performance in Animal Kingdom is Weaver's sing-song sinister matriarch of the Cody clan, a cheery sort with the benign nickname "Mama Smurf."
    • 50 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    This movie, saddle sores and all, is a lot of fun.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    The movie is as quietly assured as its heroine, Bathsheba Everdene, gracefully played by Carey Mulligan.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Working in tandem they (Gordon-Levitt/Shannon) make Premium Rush a movie that's off the chain, as the kids say.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    As viscerally exciting as Padilha's RoboCop can be, the movie is elevated by serious considerations of the ethics of using robots as guardians (shades of drones), commercialism, playing God with science, and what being human is about.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    The Force Awakens accomplishes its fan base mission, bringing back a modern myth with the torch-passing respect it deserves (plus some crass commercialism it doesn't).
    • 95 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Haynes designs a perfectly nostalgic sensory experience — something like a Manhattan department store window — needing a suppler story to sell.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Quantum of Solace bends whatever rules 2006's Casino Royale didn't break, presenting more action in less time, with a world domination scheme based on natural resources rather than unnatural gadgets.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Ritchie stages plenty of gunfights and beatdowns to satisfy action fans, pausing to consider the beauty of violence before resuming speed and piling on more.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Megamind's Kryptonite is a common weakness for any comedy so fast out of the blocks: It simply runs out of surprises.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    For two hours it's a fun head trip.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Thompson's fans will embrace its twisted verbal dexterity, romantically imagining the author feverishly pulling strings from the beyond.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Hugo is Scorsese's most personal film, from the standpoint of both an artist and a grandfather. He is as interested in Melies' posterity as in making a movie that his descendants can see before they're adults.
    • 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.

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