Stephanie Zacharek

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For 2,137 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 0.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stephanie Zacharek's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 The Power of the Dog
Lowest review score: 0 The Hunt
Score distribution:
2137 movie reviews
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Day Shift delivers everything it promises, which isn’t all that much. But Foxx goes above and beyond the call of duty, seemingly without even trying. Before you know it, his shift, and ours, is over, and the time has passed painlessly enough.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Bodies Bodies Bodies is one of those movies that wins you over scene by scene, before sealing the deal with its marvelous, ludicrous ending. See it with a group of friends you love. Or even just low-key resent.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    It’s a shrill, razor-shredded mess, a fringy assemblage of action, cartoony violence, and allegedly snappy dialogue that has the soporific effect of white noise. This is proof that too much lousy action is worse than no action at all.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Luckily, we have the benefit of being able to read the future even as we watch Thirteen Lives, and that leaves us free to enjoy Howard’s crackerjack storytelling skills, not to mention the picture’s bracing, casually heroic lead performances.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Vengeance is a small but ambitious film, and the murder mystery is its weakest element: Novak has so many threads going that he doesn’t quite know how to tie them up. But he’s made a shrewd satire that’s a pleasure to watch.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Because Nope, enjoyable as a spectacle but conceptually barely thought through, is all over the place. Peele can’t take just one or two interesting ideas and follow their trail of complexity. He likes to layer ideas into lofty multitextured quilts—the problem is that his most compelling perceptions are often dropped only to be obscured by murkier ones.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    This is a story about following one’s dreams and then learning there’s a lesson attached to those dreams—you might catch more than a perfume whiff of sanctimoniousness here. But it’s rare to find movies that value the mere idea of beauty, and this one—directed by Anthony Fabian—does so unapologetically.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Gray Man inadvertently pulls off a mission you’d think would be impossible: rendering its stars nearly invisible, or at least just people you can’t wait to get away from.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    This is a movie that seems to be striving to please a crowd, but its cornpone humility only becomes wearying.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Unfortunately, Persuasion isn’t a great movie, maybe not even a good one. But its problems are failures of filmmaking, not necessarily of adaptation: Cracknell, who has until now worked largely in theater, may make some choices that undermine her aims, but she gives no indication of being careless with the material—her affection for it comes through.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    In Both Sides of the Blade, Sara isn’t acting like a man; she’s simply being herself, and the raw texture of her desire, and how it affects her behavior, isn’t something we can either applaud or disapprove of. It’s just there, in all its cruel, ragged splendor.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Thor: Love and Thunder is packed with gags and jokes, advertising itself so loudly as “Fun!” that it ceases to actually be fun. This is the way with Waititi, a gifted director who, now that he’s no longer required to wield a light touch, seems to have forgotten how to do so.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Minions: The Rise of Gru is hardly the best of the Despicable Me movies or spinoffs...But the ridiculousness quotient of The Rise of Gru—directed by Kyle Balda, Brad Ableson and Jonathan del Val—is still high enough to spark at least mild rejuvenation. And whether you have one eye or two, six hairs sprouting from your pate or none at all, you could probably use a little of that right now.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Beauty ends before it has really dug into anything of consequence. Its heroine, whom we know is headed for trouble, is left stranded in the middle of her own story.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Man From Toronto, a Netflix action-comedy starring Woody Harrelson and Kevin Hart, is the kind of movie you forget almost the minute the end credits have rolled, two hours of moderate laughs rolled up in a tissue-thin plot that just barely qualifies as a distraction from the dreariness of life.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    There’s nothing jarring or upsetting about Marcel the Shell With Shoes On; it deals very gently with the realities of death and loss. But its quiet tenderness feels expansive regardless, proof that good things really do come in small exoskeletons.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    The joy of Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe is that these two haven’t gotten the memo.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    Good Luck To You, Leo Grande—from Australian director Sophie Hyde, with a script by Katy Brand—is the first great movie, in a long time, for the invisibles.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    All three actors are clearly having a blast with this satire of actorly egos and vanity projects, but it’s Cruz who truly dazzles.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    The small details are what give this Father of the Bride its gentle glow.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    While Buzz strides through every scene with plodding virility, Sox pads along breezily, minding his own business unless he’s called upon to save the day, which is often. Sox is the secret star of Lightyear. But not even he is a great enough creation to warrant his own spinoff.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    Jurassic World Dominion is the biggest, most excessive Jurassic Park–franchise film yet. But what good is a movie that leaves you feeling more flattened than entertained? That rumble you hear is the sound of millions of disgruntled, long-dead dinosaurs, rolling in their fossilized graves.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Hustle works its smooth moves scene after scene and ends with a satisfying whoosh, something like the sound of a ball sweeping through the net after circling the hoop for a suspenseful second or two.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Luhrmann and his co-writers Sam Bromell and Craig Pearce use the story of Elvis’ supremely crooked manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks, lurking beneath prosthetic jowls), to frame the larger, more glorious and more tragic story of Elvis.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    You might not call this picture a major achievement—it’s both elegant and rather silly—but you can’t fault it for lack of vision.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Men
    Even if [Garland] offers no clear solutions to this crisis, he throws his full weight into exploring it. Just be warned that the path he cuts is a thorny one.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    You could compare Armageddon Time to autobiographical reflections like Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma or, to a lesser extent, Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast, both stories in which kids’ eyes are suddenly opened to the unfairness of the world. But for all its tenderness, this isn’t a movie that allows you to make peace with yourself, or with our highly imperfect world.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    The highest purpose of movies is to give us more than what we think we want, and even though Three Thousand Years of Longing offers plenty of rapturous imagery, the arrow it shoots from its mighty bow just doesn’t pierce as it should.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Downton Abbey: A New Era goes down as easy as a Nice sunset.

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