Steve Persall

Steve Persall

Agrees with the Tomatometer 77% of the time.

Publications:
Tampa Bay Times
Critics' Group:
Florida Film Critics Circle, Southeastern Film Critics Association
Total Reviews:
440

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

Showing 1 - 50 of 440
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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Add Date
B- 62% Draft Day (2014) " Like the marginally more entertaining Moneyball, Draft Day is less about the game than the front office and an executive in crisis mode." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Apr 11, 2014
B+ 47% Rio 2 (2014) " Like its peppy predecessor, Rio 2 doesn't look or sound like other animated licenses to print money. That alone is reason enough to appreciate it." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Apr 11, 2014
A 92% The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) " Farcical pleasures are plentiful in Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, set in an eastern European republic steeped in Marxism. Groucho, not Karl." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Apr 1, 2014
A- 77% Noah (2014) " Darren Aronofsky's Noah, like the good book it springs from, is wide open to interpretation. Bold yet reverent, his head-trip take on the biblical legend is bound to confound literalists wondering what in the name of Cecil B. DeMille is going on." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Apr 1, 2014
B 89% Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) " The Winter Soldier features an unusually complex plot for a comic book flick, and a where-to-go-from-here conclusion bating fanboys' breath. Not everything's clockwork but ambition counts for something." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Apr 1, 2014
B 63% Bad Words (2014) " Contributing to the delinquency of minors is a comedy tradition older than W.C. Fields, and dependable as a fart to get laughs. Jason Bateman is smart to go there with his directing debut." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Mar 20, 2014
B 79% Muppets Most Wanted (2014) " We're now two movies into the second generation of Muppet films and it's feeling a lot like the first. A marvelous introduction, then a formulaic series of adventures, each a little less wondrous than before." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Mar 20, 2014
B 40% Divergent (2014) " "The future belongs to those who know where they belong," declares the icy villain of Divergent, an action fantasy with fewer frills and thrills than Hunger Games but feeling good about that. The movie knows its runner-up place, and capably fills it." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Mar 20, 2014
B 59% Non-Stop (2014) " Mostly there's Neeson doing what he does profitably, glaring and growling through tight spots made to seem less preposterous by his presence. Other action heroes are sprier, more handsome or ripped but these days nobody snaps a neck better." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Mar 11, 2014
A 94% The Past (2013) " With The Past, Farhadi again displays a gift for poking into corners of nondescript lives and discovering unique drama." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Feb 27, 2014
A 88% The Wind Rises (2014) " ...a gorgeous production, even by Miyazaki's standards." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Feb 27, 2014
B 22% Son Of God (2014) " Artistically, Son of God seldom rises above its basic cable roots... But spiritually - what Son of God's audience is really interested in - the movie can hardly be faulted." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Feb 27, 2014
B+ 69% About Last Night (2014) " If this was December, Hart might be in the Oscar mix, he's that good in About Last Night. Explosively good, a comedy nova who won't shut up and never should. Eddie Murphy in 48 Hrs. good, when raw talent meets purpose and the course of movies shifts." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Feb 14, 2014
49% RoboCop (2014) " ...elevated by serious considerations of the ethics of using robots as guardians, playing God and what being human is about. All handled briskly enough to stay out of mayhem's way, but it's nice to actually think during an action flick for a change." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Feb 14, 2014
D 13% Winter's Tale (2014) " It's a movie to make tear ducts shrivel in shame for even thinking of opening up." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Feb 14, 2014
A 96% The Lego Movie (2014) " The Lego Movie doesn't simply put imagination into practice but celebrates it, makes it integral, in a late development so uncharacteristic for an animated film that it's a wonder unto itself." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Feb 6, 2014
C+ 33% The Monuments Men (2014) " The Monuments Men has all the makings of a rousing World War II caper and no intention of having that much fun." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Feb 6, 2014
C+ 22% Gimme Shelter (2014) " ... a meatier role than Hudgens' chops can chew but she's constantly watchable, trying too hard to keep it real." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Jan 31, 2014
A- 91% The Great Beauty (2013) " Cut from similarly sexy and satirical cloth as Federico Fellini's masterworks a half-century ago, Paolo Sorrentino's movie glides like reverie, probing the emptiness that can result from living a full life." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Jan 31, 2014
C 33% Labor Day (2014) " Labor Day is a chest-swelling melodrama that will cause ice cream sales to soar when it debuts on the Oprah Winfrey Network.... Reitman delivers a two-tissue examination of what happens when the Stockholm syndrome goes right." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Jan 31, 2014
C- 22% That Awkward Moment (2014) " Promising careers take a bumpy detour in That Awkward Moment, the kind of movie that can push an actor back from the cusp of stardom. Not for long. The young stars biding time in this listless rom-com are too gifted for one mediocre movie to bury." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Jan 31, 2014
C+ 50% The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013) " By imposing carpe diem purpose on The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - although no deeper than a Nike ad - Stiller turns Thurber's everyman into every man for himself. If you have a dream, get your own movie." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Jan 6, 2014
B 75% Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) " McKay and Ferrell keep the jokes naughty not dirty and flying for shrapnel accuracy; many miss, but when one hits it counts." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Jan 6, 2014
A 93% American Hustle (2013) " To understand the breadth of disco-era deception laid out in American Hustle, understand that the most honest character in the movie is a politician. Not entirely honorable but compared with the swindle sharks circling, he's Jimmy Carter on Sundays." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Jan 6, 2014
B 79% Saving Mr. Banks (2013) " The most satisfying portions of Saving Mr. Banks occur when the movie adds pinches of salt to the spoonfuls of sugar making this medicine go down." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Jan 6, 2014
B 77% The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) " Greed is grating in The Wolf of Wall Street, Martin Scorsese's face-first motorboating of the sex, drugs and dwarf tossing of American excess." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Jan 6, 2014
B- 58% Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013) " It's a valuable history lesson crammed into a creatively uninspired movie. Wiki-cinema, if you will." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Jan 6, 2014
C 30% Grudge Match (2013) " Grudge Match is winners take all and losers bought tickets. Now, tap gloves, and cash those paychecks." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Jan 6, 2014
C+ 42% Oldboy (2013) " Spike Lee's remake of 2003's Oldboy is as brutally perplexing as the South Korean original, and needless for both its repetition and tweaks. Nothing is really lost in translation, or gained." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Dec 10, 2013
B+ 92% Philomena (2013) " Philomena is simply one of those small, true stories that astonish in print and inspire good movies, showing up in theaters just in time for awards consideration. In Dench's case, consider her an Oscar favorite." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Dec 10, 2013
B+ 89% Frozen (2013) " Making even better use of 3-D - earning the "plus" in this B+ review - is a short masterpiece preceding Frozen, an ingenious Mickey Mouse cartoon titled Get a Horse.... It's the only thing your ticket's buying that'll be revered 20 years from now." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Dec 10, 2013
A 92% Nebraska (2013) " Dern's performance feels transported from the 1970s, when least likely characters inspired memorable movies, with open-ended, meaningful payoffs." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Dec 10, 2013
B+ 94% Dallas Buyers Club (2013) " The frailer this character gets the fiercer McConaughey's persona barges through; a drawl turning snake oil into syrup, with eyes impaling our attention." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Nov 19, 2013
A- 89% The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) " Movie escapism made with intelligence, and that doesn't come around often enough. As I sensed this movie ending I wished it wouldn't, and when it did I wanted the next one now. Take that, Bilbo. " — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Nov 19, 2013
C 67% Sunlight Jr. (2013) " There are two intensely professional performances at the heart and soul of Sunlight Jr., from A-minus list actors fully investing themselves in bringing the gloom, playing their characters' distresses subtler than Collyer's screenplay presents them." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Nov 19, 2013
C 65% Thor: The Dark World (2013) " Poor Thor. Dude can't even hold center stage in his own movie. He's the Asgardian god of stolen thunder, upstaged at each ab turn by Loki, malarkey and Odin's eyepatch." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Nov 8, 2013
C 90% Blue Is The Warmest Color (2013) " Judges at Cannes bestowed the Palme d'Or on the movie, for the first time including lead actors as recipients. The gesture seems like a generous tip for several minutes of a somewhat live sex show, skimpily as of the story plays out over three hours." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Nov 7, 2013
A 97% 12 Years a Slave (2013) " The closest comparison is Schindler's List, with its immersion into historical tragedy, bringing the unspeakable to discussion. But make no mistake. There hasn't been a movie like this, which is Hollywood's shame. Miss it, and that mistake is yours." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Nov 7, 2013
B- 60% Ender's Game (2013) " Regardless of its fascist undertones, Ender's Game works better as validation for all those hours and thumbs spent playing video games." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Nov 4, 2013
B+ 99% Wadjda (2013) " ... details a culture's repression of women starting at a young age: denial of simple enjoyments, remaining silent and subservient around men, the constant pressure to conceal femininity; a situation covered in movies that can't be covered enough." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Oct 31, 2013
A 93% All Is Lost (2013) " From the moment Our Man awakens to discover he's stranded at sea, to its Rorschach conclusion - what do you see, and what does that say about you? - All Is Lost is both practical and spiritual, now and Zen." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Oct 31, 2013
B- 47% Last Vegas (2013) " Hard to believe that four actors as storied and honored as these never shared a screen before now. Imagine the movie (they) could've made together in younger, hungrier times. Now hold that thought because Last Vegas isn't that movie." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Oct 31, 2013
C- 22% Paradise (2013) " Diablo Cody should've written a better script for her directing debut, or at least used her Oscar-winning instincts to not choose this one... isn't in the same snarky-lark league as Juno, nor as comically raw as Young Adult." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Oct 18, 2013
C 50% A.C.O.D. (2013) " ...a busy movie for one running under 90 minutes, with people like Amy Poehler and Jessica Alba popping in with no-destination characters, and poor Mary Elizabeth Winstead wasted in the wings as Carter's patient girlfriend." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Oct 18, 2013
A 93% Captain Phillips (2013) " The movie plays as verite' as scripted cinema can... It's a shame of sorts that such a celebrity as Tom Hanks plays the title role, sticking out among mostly unknown faces, reminding us that what often appears real isn't documentary." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Oct 18, 2013
C+ 37% The Fifth Estate (2013) " Cumberbatch is very good, in a movie that isn't. His portrayal of Assange's vain paranoia, his delusion of intellectually hovering above the world around him, is The Fifth Estate's sole pleasure." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Oct 18, 2013
B- 49% Escape Plan (2013) " Stallone's third-wind career isn't damaged while Schwarzenegger's comeback is certainly helped, playing burly second banana to a cagey ape, the George Kennedy for Cool Hand Sly." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Oct 18, 2013
A 97% Gravity (2013) " ...a technical and emotional spectacle, creating a how-did-they-do-that illusion of weightlessness in all its beauty and peril." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Oct 3, 2013
C 82% Prisoners (2013) " Prisoners is a methodically grim story of child kidnapping and vigilante torture, extended beyond necessity by short-sighted police work and a cannery's supply of red herrings. It is well acted bunk..." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Sep 26, 2013
B+ 96% Enough Said (2013) " There's an unintended ache to this movie, a feeling of loss in a story of middle-aged people finding themselves. It's the first new James Gandolfini performance since his death, making the case that even better work was ahead of him." — Tampa Bay Times
Posted Sep 26, 2013
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