Stephanie Zacharek

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For 2,125 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 A Christmas Tale
Lowest review score: 0 Crush
Score distribution:
2125 movie reviews
    • 61 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.
    • 57 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.
    • 80 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.
    • 68 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Top Gun: Maverick, directed by Joseph Kosinski, is a much better film than its predecessor was, and much better than it needs to be overall.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Aside from the fact that Operation Mincemeat features not one but two former Mr. Darcys (one from the much-loved 1995 Pride and Prejudice mini-series, the other from Joe Wright’s similarly marvelous 2005 film adaptation), and works beautifully as a romance, it’s also a cracking espionage caper.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    It’s an unyielding picture in some ways; you might long for a sliver of optimism tucked amid its layers of grim truth. But then, all its hope lies in Anne’s face, as uncompromising as an early crocus. This is the face of a woman who deserves much more respect—for her body, for her very life—than her society affords her.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    The best thing you can say about the moderately entertaining, if predictably excessive, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is that if you squint and concentrate really hard, you can tell it’s a Sam Raimi movie.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    So much of Vortex is stirring, compelling, upsetting. But a greater share is merely numbing in its depressive showiness.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Northman, whether you approach it as legitimate folklore or as a testosterone-fueled Saturday-afternoon lark, speaks to the 10-year-old boy in all of us, with a loud and mighty Viking burp.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Unfortunately, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, a meta-comedy of ostensibly epic proportions, is not nearly grand enough to embrace those multitudes.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    For a surprisingly solid stretch, Ambulance is great fun.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Everything Everywhere is fringey and wayward, too often frenetic only for craziness’ sake. But Yeoh anchors it. When the story around her flails, she gives you plenty to hang onto.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Memoria is moody and perplexing, even in the context of Weerasethakul’s others, and if you’re a neophyte, it may not be the best one to start with. But even so, its circuitous, misty trails of logic leave you feeling as if you’ve been entrusted with some kind of nebulous treasure; it’s easy to become pleasurably lost in speculation about what it all means.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    If the premise sounds tired, what’s surprising—or perhaps not—about The Contractor is how well Pine carries it.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    How you feel about Morbius will probably depend on how much you have invested in the Sony-Marvel pie slice, and on your feelings about Leto, who perhaps isn’t so much a serious actor as one who takes himself very seriously. Still, his performance here has a quietly vibrating vulnerability; he seems to have made at least a small emotional investment in this film, as if to keep it from sliding into total special-effects-laden soullessness.

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