Stephen Dalton

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For 211 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 37% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 58% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stephen Dalton's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 90 A Hard Day
Lowest review score: 20 Unhinged
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 98 out of 211
  2. Negative: 17 out of 211
211 movie reviews
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Dalton
    There are poetic and profound rewards here, even if Hamaguchi makes us wait too long for this quietly devastating emotional pay-off.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Dalton
    Even if this deceptively artful debut feels a little muted and unpolished in places, it is plainly the work of a skilled filmmaker with ample future potential.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Stephen Dalton
    Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy is full of understated, melancholy poetry.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Dalton
    The humor is broad, the satirical targets many, the overall effect mixed.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Stephen Dalton
    Of course, ravishing Malick-esque visuals cannot quite excuse muddled plotting, portentous dialogue and wobbly performances. But In Full Bloom is still an impressively polished debut feature, admirably ambitious and elegantly crafted.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    This haunting slow-burn psychodrama is superbly acted and quietly gripping, despite some minor plot wobbles and that cumbersome title.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Dalton
    Even if Werewolf lacks bite as an allegorical horror thriller, it works pretty well as a psychological study of tender young minds struggling to relearn their humanity after years of brutal mistreatment by inhuman adults. The unschooled cast are unusually natural and convincing for child actors, and technical credits are generally superior.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    Leap of Faith is an easy, entertaining watch, but it feels like a smaller film than its two predecessors, chiefly because it features just a single long interview with Friedkin rather than a rich chorus of insider insights.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Stephen Dalton
    Pixie is a trigger-happy comedy road movie that relies more on boorish energy than wit or charm.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    White Riot is a timely, engaging exercise in social and cultural history, but a wider focus might have given it deeper context and broader marketability.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Stephen Dalton
    Plenty to admire here, if only this tasteful tearjerker lived up to its title with a few more explosive fireworks instead of settling for timid twinkles, ending not with a bang but a whimper.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    Limbo is an appealing little gem overall, with a feel-good message about the kindness of strangers that is glib and simplistic but hard to resist.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Stephen Dalton
    Another Round ultimately has little fresh or profound to say about intoxication and addiction, but it is an engaging tribute to friendship, family and bacchanalian hedonism in moderation.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Stephen Dalton
    While Sandoval's hard-working dedication is admirable, and her semi-autobiographical story full of latent dramatic potential, Lingua Franca is ultimately an underpowered, amateurish disappointment.
    • 40 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.
    • 66 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 clich├ęs, 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.
    • 41 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."

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