Stephen Dalton

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For 197 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 40% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 55% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stephen Dalton's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 90 A Hard Day
Lowest review score: 20 Unhinged
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 90 out of 197
  2. Negative: 17 out of 197
197 movie reviews
    • 46 Metascore
    • 20 Stephen Dalton
    Without Crowe's brooding performance, Unhinged would just be another forgettable, formulaic, functional B-movie. With the burly Kiwi on board, it is transformed into a forgettable, formulaic, functional B-movie starring Russell Crowe.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Dalton
    The performances here are bloodless, the pacing listless, the dialogue witless almost to the point of deadpan parody.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    Despite its relatively unusual setting, Crystal Swan is a largely conventional fish-out-of-water story at heart. But it is elevated above the routine by its excellent cast, especially Nassibulina, and plenty of visual flair.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Dalton
    It is a superior genre piece at heart, but elevated by its high-caliber leads, Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg, plus a script rich in political and cultural resonance.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Dalton
    Handsome and intense, Ahmed is a reliably magnetic screen presence, while his punchy real-life chops as a rapper and lyricist also serve him well here. But his screenwriting skills are less assured, and Mogul Mowgli is strangely low on dramatic or emotional bite given its high-stakes storyline. Baggy editing, underexplained context and flat dialogue add to this muted effect.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Stephen Dalton
    Big on atmosphere but low on drama, DAU. Natasha is fascinating conceptually but weak cinematically.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    The State Against Mandela and the Others adds little essential to the vast library of documentaries about Mandela and the anti-apartheid struggle. All the same, this is a heartfelt, humane and visually inventive tribute to a fading generation of giants whose principled sacrifices ended up changing history.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Stephen Dalton
    There is enough rich narrative potential in The Corrupted for an ambitious state-of-the-nation TV miniseries in the mold of The Wire. Unfortunately, Scalpello and screenwriter Nick Moorcroft take the lowest common denominator route, falling back on tired mob-movie clichés, stock characters and leaden dialogue so generic it could have been written by an algorithm.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Stephen Dalton
    In its favor, Amanda boasts subtle, sensitive lead performances from Lacoste and Multrier, who has a rare easy naturalism for such a young performer.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    A twist-heavy crime thriller spiced with horror and noir elements, I See You is such a finely crafted exercise in slow-burn suspense that its loopy plot contortions only seem absurd in retrospect.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    Featuring a stellar ensemble cast headed by Matthew McConaughey, Hugh Grant, Charlie Hunnam, Michelle Dockery and Colin Farrell, Ritchie's homecoming is a fairly familiar affair, but also refreshingly funny and deftly plotted, with more witty lines and less boorish machismo than his early work.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Stephen Dalton
    There are teasing glimpses of artistic genius in A Dog Called Money, but eccentric choices and muddled intentions, too. A talent as strong and singular as Harvey deserves a more probing, less indulgent film than this.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Stephen Dalton
    Closely based on the director's own troubled youth, Farming is rooted in rich, complex, potentially gripping material. But Akinnuoye-Agbaje slaps this story together with so little subtlety, he ends up seriously diluting its dramatic power.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Dalton
    This remarkable true story is a finely crafted exercise in slow-building suspense, though it works better as a gripping mood piece than as journalistic investigation, its raw confessional style slightly compromised by niggling narrative gaps and dramatic contrivances.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Stephen Dalton
    This solidly crafted Ridley Scott production is sprinkled with classy ingredients, including Alicia Vikander as headline star. But it is also a fairly flat treatment of over-familiar plot elements, and fatally low on the key psycho-thriller elements of suspense, surprise and dread.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Dalton
    Initially a caustic and somewhat programmatic checklist of alt-right obsessions, Cuck becomes more tonally and dramatically interesting after it shifts gear midway through, when Ronnie's story becomes a lurid psychosexual nightmare reminiscent of Darren Aronofsky's "Requiem for a Dream."
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Dalton
    Scorsese's choice to make this a standalone feature and not a limited series seems mildly perplexing. Anyone hoping for the propulsive dynamism of, say, Goodfellas or Casino may be disappointed. But The Irishman is also on many levels a beautifully crafted piece of deluxe cinema.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Dalton
    The disappointing end result feels less than the sum of the talents involved, a weak script and thin high-concept plot only just held together by smart visual wizardry.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    Driven by nuanced, persuasive performances and shot with an urgent, jittery tension, White Lie is a compelling close-up character study of a recklessly needy anti-heroine caught in an impossible dilemma of her own making.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    An atmospheric thriller with a noir-ish undertow and strong visual style, Strange But True puts a classy spin on familiar ingredients. The twist-heavy, logic-bending plot will test audience patience in places, but the whole package is handsomely crafted and rich in strong performances.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Dalton
    Jenkin's heavily stylized debut is a disorienting experience at first, but it ultimately creates a boldly Expressionistic mood of uncanny beauty and mesmerizing otherness.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Dalton
    This well-intentioned meditation of the banality of evil packs a modest emotional punch, but it might have been more powerful if it had shown us a little less banality and a little more evil.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 30 Stephen Dalton
    This bloodthirsty comic-book fantasy is let down by its infantile humor and derivative, incoherent plot.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Dalton
    It may lack the refined wit and revered pedigree of blue-chip animation franchises such as Toy Story, but it still ticks plenty of lightweight fun boxes for its prime target audience of younger children, with just enough adult humor to keep parents from yawning, too.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Dalton
    I Do Not Care if We Go Down in History as Barbarians is a mature, ambitious work from a spirited auteur who has mastered the cinematic rules well enough to break them with confidence.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Dalton
    Despite its title, this mild-mannered feature debut from British TV actor turned writer-director Shelagh McLeod remains determinedly earthbound for most of its duration, more heart-tugging family saga than intergalactic adventure.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Dalton
    Examining the idea of paranoia as an engineered reaction, a tool of control that inhibits potential activism and self-expression, it's more than a lesson in living history. It's a powerful argument for how necessary it is to watch the watchers.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Dalton
    A charming exercise in low-key romantic realism that risks being too subtle for its own good.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Dalton
    Breezy and bright, with the stylized look and feel of a stage play, Honore’s bubbly bottle of cinematic champagne runs out of fizz somewhere around its midway point. Even so, there are still enjoyably shallow pleasures to be savored here.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    Like much of Bong’s work, Parasite is cumbersomely plotted and heavy-handed in its social commentary. The largely naturalistic treatment here may also alienate some of his fantasy fanboy constituency. That said, this prickly contemporary drama still feels more coherent and tonally assured than Snowpiercer or Okja, and packs a timely punch that will resonate in our financially tough, politically polarized times.

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