Stephanie Zacharek

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For 1,909 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 Lost in Translation
Lowest review score: 0 The Amityville Horror
Score distribution:
1909 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 56 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.
    • 71 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.
    • 68 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.
    • 77 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Stephanie Zacharek
    With her film adaptation, Gerwig re-embroiders and reinforces that unspoken reassurance. Like Alcott, she leads by example: She has made a film that’s complex and thoughtful but that is also, at every moment, pure pleasure to watch.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Hayward is the very best thing about Cats, a movie that, like cats themselves, is otherwise filled with contradictions. Cats is terrible, but it’s also kind of great. And, to cat-burgle a phrase from Eliot himself, there’s nothing at all to be done about that.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    This overloaded finale, directed by J.J. Abrams, is for everybody and nobody, a movie that’s sometimes reasonably entertaining but that mostly feels reverse-engineered to ensure that the feathers of the Star Wars purists remain unruffled. In its anxiety not to offend, it comes off more like fanfiction than the creation of actual professional filmmakers. A bot would be able to pull off a more surprising movie.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Stephanie Zacharek
    Theron is a superb and versatile actor, and she’s good here — it’s not that she always needs to play nice characters. But as Megyn Kelly, she’s like a Hitchcock blonde with all the allure drained from her.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Sandler has perfected the art of talk-smiling through his teeth, barely moving his lips, and it’s perfect for Howard: He’s a guy who’s always hustling, because to stop would be a kind of death. He shows what he’s feeling by trying to hide what he’s feeling. He’s extreme, but he’s also for real. And his is the shtick you keep buying even when the movie around him tempts you with cheaper, shinier stuff.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    Richard Jewell is one of those expertly crafted pictures that reminded me how little I care for craftsmanship when a filmmaker’s ugliest impulses are thrumming in the background.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Stephanie Zacharek
    It’s all kind of fun. It’s also kind of dumb. Even though The Aeronauts is based on real people, none of this really happened, or at least not like this.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Mostly, though, it’s an enjoyable portrait of a prickly friendship between two men of vastly different temperaments.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Stephanie Zacharek
    Queen & Slim is a movie made of equal parts sorrow and glamour, all tempered by the grim reality that during the course of their odyssey Queen and Slim do some things they’re not proud of.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Stephanie Zacharek
    This is a movie in which expertise and good sense win the day; no one is rewarded for stupidity or cruelty. And in that sense, Knives Out isn’t just a beautifully made diversion. It’s also a utopian vision.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Stephanie Zacharek
    This is a movie that’s both entertainment and spiritual toolkit — take from it what you need.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Stephanie Zacharek
    A shaggy, listless action movie that’s too messy to be fun.

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