Stephanie Zacharek

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For 1,944 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 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stephanie Zacharek's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 20,000 Days on Earth
Lowest review score: 0 Miss March
Score distribution:
1944 movie reviews
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Perched at the restless midpoint of psychological and super-natural horror, She Dies Tomorrow is dotted with experimental flourishes: the screen is occasionally smeared with what looks like blood, though it might be an ecto-plasmic communiqué from another world. And there’s no tidy resolution — She Dies Tomorrow leaves a trail of jagged question marks in its wake.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Visually, Made in Italy is reminiscent of another escape-to-Italy romance, Audrey Wells’ 2003 "Under the Tuscan Sun," starring Diane Lane (and also featuring Duncan). As these types of fantasies go, that movie was as satisfying as a deep sigh. Made in Italy is less so. But remember — we came for the scenery! And on that score, Made in Italy is a low-cost souvenir of the Tuscan-villa dream so many of us harbor, without the headaches of rewiring old electrical systems or fixing broken shutters.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    An American Pickle is a real movie, and it’s delightful.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Being fortunate enough to survive a catastrophic event doesn’t necessarily protect you from future heartbreak. Rebuilding Paradise recognizes that, though it also offers some cautious optimism. This is a movie about how life goes on, in defiance of whatever may have been burned away.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Other questions to ponder: Is The Kissing Booth 2 a good movie? Yes and no. Is the acting adequate, if not necessarily good? Yes and no. Is it a wholly accurate depiction of young love in any era, past or present? Yes and no. The Kissing Booth 2 — directed, as was the first installment, by Vince Marcello — is kind of terrible and kind of wonderful.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    A flawed movie with life in its veins is better than a pristine one that’s dead on arrival. Satrapi made her name with the autobiographical comic book Persepolis, which she later adapted into a marvelous animated film. She brings an animator’s touch to Radioactive, an often fanciful-looking picture that nevertheless holds tight to its dignity.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Its easygoing structure may also be what makes it feel so intimate. Davis and Einhorn — both of whom are New York Times reporters — don’t have to spell out codes of masculinity, familial duty and love for one’s country. Instead, we’re allowed to bear witness as Eisch and his family show us what those values mean to them.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Feels like three-quarters of a movie. It leaves you wanting some elusive soupçon of comedy or drama or romance that it just doesn’t deliver. Yet even within those parameters, there’s something appealingly human about it: It has the warmth of a tiny beach fire on a cool night, casting a soft glow that makes you want to creep closer; there’s wistfulness, at least, in its low-key quietude.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    It’s tense and quietly thrilling, though it’s brushed with somber elegance, too. There’s an abstract, poetic quality to Greyhound; it’s less about rah-rah heroics than it is about the secret burden of heroism—because with wartime heroism, there’s always a price to pay.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    This is a horror movie with a soul. It’s less ambitious and aggressively complicated than, say, Ari Aster’s "Hereditary" — another movie about the sometimes-unnerving complexity of parent-child bonds — but it’s also, in the end, more thoughtful.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Mercado the human shell is gone, but his spirit lives on, expansively. In Mercado’s universe, there’s no such thing as just a little amor.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    The movie is so light on its feet that it never feels forced or didactic, even when it asks us to confront piercing truths about love and the elusive meaning of happiness.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    In its craftsmanship and soul, it has more in common with the 1990s films of action genius John Woo than with anything that’s been extruded through the franchise Play-Doh pumper in recent years. If an action movie can be elegant and thoughtful, this one is.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    It’s a pleasure — both a delight to watch and a great piece of pop scholarship, an entertainment informed by a sense of history and of curiosity.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    John Lewis: Good Trouble shows us an activist and an effective politician — as well as a powerful and passionate public speaker — who has devoted his life to public service, often putting himself at risk to defend basic human rights.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    It’s perfectly entertaining as you’re watching, but when it’s over, you might not feel any smarter—or humbler—than you did going in.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    As Lemtov, Stevens is so absurdly lascivious that he supercharges the movie every time he shows up, which, thankfully, is often. Innocent gazelles everywhere, look out.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    It’s not just the story of a mother and daughter, but a tapestry of a whole community. Peoples, who grew up in the Fort Worth area herself, has filled her movie with characters and details that feel lived in.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Loose-jointed and openhearted, a wink of reassurance in our age of anxiety, it’s that rare comedy that may actually play better in the living room than it does in the theater.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    The picture has an ungainly shape, and certain dramatic notes don’t resonate with the boldness they need: when a tragedy strikes, the characters barely react. The story keeps moving like a freight train chugging along the track, and the effect is disorienting. But even when Lee makes a flawed film, his spirit is a kind of braille, a code you can feel and see.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Shirley leans a little too hard on its calculated “1950s housewife empowers herself” finale. Even so, Moss’ channeling of Jackson keeps the movie crackling.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    While it’s all to the good that Drew Dixon’s story has come to light, it’s likely that Russell Simmons will always be more famous than she is. In another, more just world, it could have been the other way around.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    These two are both a little mad, and they’re made for each other; it takes this absurd mystery to make them see it. The screwball comedy is the truest and purest language of love. Like the song of lovebirds, it sounds like dizzy chatter—until you stop to really listen.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    It’s all so silly. But it’s also kind of great, like a single glass of sparkling wine after a really bad day. And the light dancing off the brilliant blue sea isn’t so bad, either.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Capone is an odd little film, at times weirdly engaging but often so bizarrely muddled that you might identify a little too closely with its perpetually unglued protagonist. But Hardy is always worth watching.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Blue Story, at its essence, is a narrative you’ve seen before. But Onwubolu vests it with firecracker energy — the pace never drags, even when you think you know what’s going to happen next.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    When you look at the faces of the elderly Donahue and Henschel, even at their most frail, the young women within shine through. It’s enraging that society made them feel they had to hide. But their happiness is the ultimate triumph.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    It’s sweet and funny, but also, in places, as raw as a scraped knee.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    It’s all rather cartoony and self-aware, yet still not as much fun as it ought to be.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Adam Yauch, known as MCA, was both the founder of the group and guy whose vision helped hold it together for more than 20 years; he died in 2012, from parotid cancer, and though he’s present in spirit in Beastie Boys Story, you can’t help feeling that the whole thing would be a lot more fun, and smarter, if he were around.

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