Steve Persall

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For 1,008 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 65% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 33% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Steve Persall's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 42
Lowest review score: 0 Blair Witch
Score distribution:
1008 movie reviews
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    Hamm makes for a compelling guide, Bogart-weary and mind racing, assessing each situation with a readable face for the camera. Beirut won’t make him a bigger movie star, but more interesting actors are tough to find.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    The Death of Stalin is explicit content music to the ears of comedy buffs, a torrent of gutter wordsmithery unleashed by a bawdy ensemble.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    This movie is smart terror that’s a lot of fun if you let it be. Stay quiet or stay at home.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    Director and co-writer Sebastian Lelio keeps the melodrama muted, allowing Vega’s expressive passivity to move viewers. She’s a tragically striking character, a face of abruptly lost love seldom seen in movies.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Steve Persall
    Gloriously, uproariously, there’s Rose Marie herself, sharp and tart as ever with total recall of every juicy moment, every conversation. A portrait of an indefatigable entertainer emerges, restless when she wasn’t working and fearless when she was.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    It’s a theme park ride but not the rollercoaster Spielberg hopes. More like It’s a Small Virtual World, careening through gamer nirvana, jerking viewers to and fro among everything Gen X retro.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    Free to create practically any whim, Anderson requires a bit too much narratively of himself and brainstorming buddies Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola. Their plot scrambles keeping pace with inspiration, eventually surrendering to commotion and holding on for dear clarity.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    Lara’s appealing enough in humor and drive but Vikander brings deeper notes than the script and green screens require, from sorrow and fear to first-kill horror. Tomb Raider isn’t a place to expect good acting even from an Oscar winner, but Vikander persists.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 42 Steve Persall
    DuVernay finds herself in the unenviable position of being both the right and wrong person for an important job. A Wrinkle in Time is gratifying for what it is, a step forward for creative women of color, and so disappointing for what it turns out to be.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    I’m stunned by where this movie dares to go with a star like Lawrence (and female co-stars) at a time like this, nearly as much as I’m impressed by Red Sparrow’s total investment in such trashy, grindhouse affairs while maintaining a veneer of high-toned quality. Blood lust and carnality at its classiest. Guilty pleasures as charged.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Steve Persall
    Alex Garland’s Annihilation is a bracing blend of cerebral sci-fi and grindhouse terror, a genre movie that’s more, maybe too much for some viewers.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    Game Night is one of those comedy tweeners in which the jokes that click are milked too long and jokes that don’t will take too long to confirm that. Appropriately for the premise, it’ll likely be more enjoyable at home with friends.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Steve Persall
    Early Man proudly retains Park’s simple/not simple Plasticine pleasures.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Marvel’s Black Panther is a milestone not only for its casting and director/co-writer Ryan Coogler’s cine-griot myth building but because it’s alive with fresh sights and sounds in a genre easily leaning on sameness.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 25 Steve Persall
    Like many sudden heroes, these lifelong friends led unremarkable lives until fate stepped in. Eastwood is committed to depicting every single unremarkable step along the way.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    There is nowhere logical for the story to go since it wasn’t intended to run this long. Sex is everything in this movie because nothing emotional or thrilling registers beyond the moment.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    Bale operates in full brood throughout. Studi is a strong presence stymied by the movie’s misplaced priorities. Hostiles is another Western in which Indian characters are props for white man problems.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Call it what you want but this movie is an instantly fond memory.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread is passionless window-shop cinema, each static tableau lovingly arranged for display and easy dusting. Its centerpiece is a mannequin, albeit played by Daniel Day-Lewis, whose gift for keeping anything interesting is seldom so necessary.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    Extraordinary heroism deserves a less ordinary movie.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    Steven Spielberg’s The Post is a fake news movie, a true story told phony to further an agenda.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Steve Persall
    It takes too long for The Commuter to build a head of steam but it’s medium speed ahead after that.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    Craig Gillespie’s hysterically accurate biopic I, Tonya sets up the punchline she became. Harding’s spiteful rise and spectacular fall would make fine comedy even if they weren’t true. I, Tonya scores on higher degrees of difficulty, making these tabloid antics relatable and strangely sympathetic.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    The Shape of Water is a fairy tale of eros, horror and whimsy, a creature feature doubling as a swooning romance, its bloodiness pumped straight from the heart of master fantasist Guillermo del Toro.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    Gary Oldman may finally get that Oscar he has long deserved for Darkest Hour, a movie that seems constructed to do little else.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 67 Steve Persall
    The Jumanji sequel nobody demanded is fun. Kind of. Sort of. It’s a close call.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 25 Steve Persall
    Pitch Perfect 3 totally eclipses the heart of a charming franchise, turning the scrappy Bellas a capella posse into needy Charlie’s Angels wannabes. It’s a movie taking popularity for granted, a finale saying goodbye with a "you’re welcome."
    • 63 Metascore
    • 58 Steve Persall
    Alexander Payne has a great idea with Downsizing and doesn’t quite know what to do with it.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Persall
    The Greatest Showman is the feel-good (and feel good about it) movie every holiday season needs. P.T. Barnum is famous for saying there’s a sucker born every minute and he’s still right. For 105 minutes I’m a sucker for his movie, that may not be the greatest show on Earth but close enough.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 25 Steve Persall
    Wonder Wheel is one of Allen’s worst movies.

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