Stephanie Zacharek

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For 1,921 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 lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stephanie Zacharek's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 The Missing Picture
Lowest review score: 0 Life Itself
Score distribution:
1921 movie reviews
    • 85 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.
    • 58 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    What Kelly Gang lacks in historical accuracy it makes up for with brash punk energy.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Bad Education is a story of small-town villains who just can’t help themselves, and it’s fun to see how their own carelessness trips them up. These are people we can’t trust, played by actors we trust implicitly. Why not be flimflammed by the best?
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Sergio’s intentions are pure, and the movie is pleasingly old-school in the way it merges political drama — and tragedy — with romance. Sometimes, though, the burden of playing a dedicated servant of the people appears to be too much for Moura: the performance feels stiff and stately, as if he’s considered every breath. Moura makes us see the gleaming role model, but it’s much harder to see the man underneath — and you can’t leave a legacy without first having had a heartbeat.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    As co-director LeBrecht, himself a Jened attendee, puts it in the film, “This camp changed the world, and nobody knows this story.”
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Davidson’s Zeke is one of those inexplicably winning losers with coolness in his bones. He just doesn’t know how to make it work in the real world.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 0 Stephanie Zacharek
    In its eagerness not to condemn any political view, its points are so blurry that you have no idea what it’s trying to say. Its meaning, to the degree that it has one, just slides off the screen in a jellied mess.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Bang and Debicki are grand, and we’d be lucky to watch them in any movie. But it’s Jagger’s witchery you remember. Pleased to meet you — and at this point, there’s no need to guess the name.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Stephanie Zacharek
    A picture that’s both tranquil and dazzling, two qualities that should be at odds with one another yet somehow bloom in tandem under Reichardt’s gentle touch.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Way Back has an indescribable something that’s missing from so many modern movies. It’s filled with emotional textures, most notably the serrated edge of shame.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Moss is good at these roles, so good that she should probably take a break from them. But The Invisible Man is still an excellent vehicle for her; you can’t imagine the film without her.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Last Thing He Wanted makes some kind of sense at the end. But getting through its long, unwieldy middle is an undertaking — and not even a serious-minded political thriller like this one should feel so much like an assignment.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Autumn de Wilde’s bright and lively adaptation of Austen’s 1815 novel Emma — its title is Emma., with a definitive period — feels both modern and authentic in the best way, inviting everyone, diehard Austenites and newbies alike, into its embrace.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    The Photograph, both thoughtful and entertaining, with a pleasurably laid-back vibe, belongs to a class of movie that barely exists anymore on the big screen. It’s also a reminder that appealing actors are sometimes the best spectacle of all.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    In Downhill, everything is played for blunt laughs. Ferrell and Louis-Dreyfus — both gifted performers who have done much better work elsewhere — muddle through, recognizing that they’re making a movie about Trust with a capital T, but failing to get at any real darkness that might lurk beneath the movie’s shiny, slippery surface.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    All lives are made of shadow and light, and The Times of Bill Cunningham acknowledges that. But through it all, spending time in Cunningham’s presence is bliss.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Its faux-riot-grrl moxie still leaves a metallic aftertaste. But it’s all leavened, at least, by a few fun supporting performances. And it introduces one character who, unlike the others, doesn’t work hard to be cool—because working hard to be cool is, as everyone knows, the exact opposite of cool.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Garner is perfectly cast, a pixie of steel. You can see by the stern set of Jane’s lips and by the way, time and again, she just barely represses an eye roll, that she’s tough enough to handle all of this–and yet she knows she shouldn’t have to.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    It should be fun – but it isn’t. Ritchie, who wrote the screenplay from a story he conceived with Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies, veers into territory that’s possibly anti-Semitic and maybe a little racist. It’s all a lark, so we’re not supposed to care, but some of the gags still leave a bitter aftertaste.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    There’s nothing exactly like it: It has a bracing, melancholy energy all its own.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    As Stewart plays it, Norah’s charismatic, deadpan insouciance feeds her bravery. And it’s just the thing that might get you through Underwater, too.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    Mendes has made a film that feels wholly alive. It’s a carefully polished picture, not one that strives for gritty realism. But its inherent devotion to life and beauty is part of its power.

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