Stephanie Zacharek

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For 2,033 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 45% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stephanie Zacharek's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Chicago
Lowest review score: 0 Over Her Dead Body
Score distribution:
2033 movie reviews
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    Lowery (A Ghost Story, The Old Man & the Gun), in addition to fleshing out the story, puts his stamp all over it so confidently that the results could be annoying, if they weren’t so enchanting.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Val
    Val is a portrait of an actor who poured his all into his work. Only now can he see what it amounts to, and find some vindication in the truth that it was worth defending all along.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Even when the story falters, or becomes astonishingly silly, there’s still plenty to keep you gazing at the surface.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Old
    The possibilities are rich. But Old is just dumb.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Roadrunner is lively, comprehensive, moving and troubling, as well as suitably joyous, capturing everything about why viewers loved Bourdain, while also reminding us that even those very close to him couldn’t always fully understand him.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Pig
    This is primo Nicolas Cage dialogue, inquisitive and soul-deep, the kind of stuff he was born to say. To hear and watch him in this movie is like greeting an old friend. Pig seems to have come out of nowhere, but we’re lucky to have it.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Even if you don’t care much about whales, or don’t think you do, Joshua Zeman’s enthusiastic documentary The Loneliest Whale: The Search for 52 might make you care about people who care about whales.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    If Black Widow follows the standard Marvel template in some basic ways, it deviates enough to make its own mark. It’s blissfully free of that “Avengers working together” baloney, and all the smirky-cute bickering that comes with it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    No Sudden Move riffs on stereotypes of the 1950s, even as it suggests we haven’t come as far as we might think.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    It’s a moderately effective horror movie with a much better, creepier and more nuanced one nestled invisibly alongside, the unborn twin ghost of a movie that might have been.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Even after The Ice Road overcomplicates itself, there’s enough gas here to keep the thing going, including some nicely sustained bridge-crossing suspense and several fine demonstrations of stunt dangling.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    F9
    Just as the dessert topping you scoop out of a tub may contain only trace amounts of actual cream, the ninth installment in the Fast & Furious franchise, F9: The Fast Saga, isn’t so much a movie as an entertainment product. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long you know what you’re getting, and there are even some pluses.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Zola’s comic absurdities are entwined with its horrors in a way that almost shouldn’t work. But Bravo—who co-wrote the script with actor and playwright Jeremy O. Harris—shows a lightness of touch in navigating the story’s quicksilver tone shifts, and the movie’s two leads bring their best.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Summer of 85 delights in romantic excess, ending up as an almost literal evocation of one of the songs on its era-specific soundtrack.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 Stephanie Zacharek
    Sometimes a dumb action comedy can work perfectly well as a one-off, particularly if its writers and director can pull off the illusion that they didn’t have to work hard to earn our laughs. But The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is all work and no payday. Even in the service of airheaded entertainment, no one should feel compelled to take a bullet for it. It’s OK to let a franchise die.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Though Skater Girl may give the illusion of telling one seemingly simple story, Makijany—who cowrote the script with her sister, Vinati Makijany—is really weaving many stories into one.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    This is an imperfect film that still captures an elusive and incandescent vibe, as alluring as a strand of lights strung up for an impromptu concrete picnic.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Anthony—whose previous documentary, Rat Film, traced the history of Baltimore via the city’s relationship to its rodent residents—has fashioned a thoughtful, if sometimes frustrating, meditation on the acts of “seeing” and “interpreting,” particularly as they apply to law enforcement and the criminal-justice system.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Petzold loves his romantic bargains, his meditations on longing, obsession and deceit, and he unfurls all of that seductive cloth of gold in Undine.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    For all the ways in which Plan B is sometimes thunderously obvious, there’s still a lot going on beneath the surface.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    A Quiet Place Part II is effective, all right—Krasinski holds all the keys to turning us into nervous wrecks by the end. But just because you hold the keys doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to use them all. And a horror movie that gives us space to breathe is also more likely to hit us where we live.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Snyder’s new zombie entree The Army of the Dead is too scattershot, perhaps too derivative and definitely too long. But it’s definitely a movie, as well as a perfectly acceptable turn-your-brain-off entertainment.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    The picture is enjoyable not so much for its twisty plot—which, even if you haven’t already read the book, is essentially pretty guessable—as for its artful dedication to its own highly theatrical, drapes-drawn somberness.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    Watching Street Gang is a largely joyous experience, but there’s also something heartbreaking about it.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Adapted from a novel by Walter Dean Myers, Monster is the story of not just one kid but many kids. It’s harrowing in its believability alone. If only it were a better movie.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    Limbo, tender and searching, shows what can happen to people when they’re between points A and B, a nowheresville that can change the shape of a life forever. It’s also about the meaning of musicianship, of how songs and sound can define who we are and where we come from.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    And yet, in these stressful times, a little mindless action isn’t wholly unwelcome, and Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse—directed by Stefano Sollima, who not long ago gave us Sicario: Day of the Soldado—is moderately un-terrible, a diversion that hits every beat predictably, with a mighty grunt.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    It’s meditative, mournful and gently funny, and celebratory, too, but in a muted way. If you don’t know what kind of movie you’re in the mood for, this may be the one. It’s a tonic for listless times.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Stowaway pulls plenty of pages from the generic space-movie handbook, but it still builds a mood of dread and contemplative ennui, finding its resolution in a final, somber shot.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Courier is almost two films in one: the second half is much darker and more intense than the first, but the shift is so delicately abrupt that at first you barely register it. That’s part of the movie’s edgily engaging artistry; what begins as a shadowy spy adventure ends in a place of mournful resignation.

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