Dana Stevens

Dana Stevens
Tomatometer-approved critic
Publications: New York Times, Slate

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
90% Promising Young Woman (2020) It's as if the movie wants to provide the audience with the satisfaction of a successful revenge plot while robbing its main character of everything the quest for vengeance was meant to give her in the first place... - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2021
93% Saint Maud (2020) Rather than seeming abstract or preachy, Saint Maud is visceral, sensuous, and tactile. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2021
46% Locked Down (2021) Though this experiment isn't a total success, I appreciated its stubborn insistence on engaging with the current moment, this unsettled and complexly miserable moment in time. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 13, 2021
59% Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Jenkins and Gadot have gone and done it: They've gotten me invested in the emotional well-being of a franchise superhero. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 25, 2020
94% Nomadland (2021) Nomadland is a meditation on the meaning and value of the concept of home: Does it reside in a building? A vehicle? A family? A sense of security and belonging? - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2020
83% Mank (2020) Mank finds its heart when both of its best-drawn characters are on screen: Oldman's ruined, rueful Mankiewicz and Amanda Seyfried's tartly funny Marion Davies... - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2020
90% The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) Barn-burning speeches are a lot more rousing when the barn in question is rotted enough to require immediate burning to the ground. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2020
82% Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) Missteps and all, this movie's heart remains in the right place. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2020
91% Uncut Gems (2019) Certainly Uncut Gems is the product of an uncompromising vision. But I found the result to be claustrophobic and, finally, dull... - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2019
68% Bombshell (2019) Whatever beliefs they may hold about other people's humanity, I'm glad these women finally received justice from the network that wronged them. I'm just not sure that translates into wanting to spend two hours in their company. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2019
98% Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2020) Portrait of a Lady on Fire is that rare movie in which every choice feels thought through, meaningful, and right, from the costumes by Dorothée Guiraud to the cinematography by Claire Mathon. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 2, 2019
89% Dark Waters (2019) While I hope, for his next project, that he's back on the less conventional, more stylish Haynes train, I'm glad we got to see what a Todd Haynes courtroom drama looked like. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2019
95% A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) The ever-present potential for bathos in a movie about accessing one's own inner child is offset by a dedication to visual whimsy and playfulness that can recall Michel Gondry. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2019
97% Knives Out (2019) There's no one on earth, or even in the movies, who talks quite the way the people in Knives Out do, but we become conversant in their idiosyncratic patois by listening to it and learning the rules of this stylized fictional world. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2019
94% Marriage Story (2019) Baumbach's most mature and generous work to date. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2019
70% Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Terminator: Dark Fate seems uninterested in questions of technology, dystopia, gender, race, or even the logic puzzles of time travel. It's all about the wham-bam with barely a thank you to the three ma'ams at its center. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2019
90% The Lighthouse (2019) This at first fascinating and never less than bonkers movie is eventually sunk by its own theological overreach. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2019
98% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) Maybe the best film Bong has yet made... - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
68% Joker (2019) Joker is a bad movie, yes: It's predictable, clichéd, deeply derivative of other, better movies, and overwritten to the point of self-parody. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
95% The Irishman (2019) I'd be hard-pressed to say that the three-plus hours of The Irishman fly by, but it's also tough to think of a single individual scene I'd want to lose. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2019
83% Ad Astra (2019) A movie that, for the bulk of its two-hour-and-two-minute running time, I watched in a state of hypnotized delight. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2019
49% Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) For all this movie's faults, I can't wait to take my own middle-school-aged daughter to see it; it's rare to find a movie about mothers and daughters that neither sentimentalizes nor oversimplifies that too often idealized relationship. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
85% Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) It's dispiriting to suspect that part of why Tarantino wanted to stage a Manson-adjacent story was because the accoutrements-the period cars and costumes and neon signs, the glowering barefoot hippie girls, the acid-laced cigarettes-were just so cool. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2019
52% The Lion King (2019) Pairing off romantically to produce a legitimate heir to the throne is nice and all, but it's getting destroyed by the minions of your own venal ambition that's the real circle of life. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
97% Toy Story 4 (2019) It will send you out of the theater laughing, crying, and thinking all at once, an appropriate mix of responses for what I hope, out of love, will be our last minutes with a franchise that's given us so much. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2019
96% Booksmart (2019) Booksmart is a teen sex romp well suited for the summer of 2019: feminist but not preachy, raunchy but not nasty, emotionally intelligent but not sentimental. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
89% The Souvenir (2019) The Souvenir treats the painful events at its center with a kind of remoteness, as if handling a fragile long-lost object while wearing thick gloves. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) Endgame consists almost entirely of the downtime scenes that were always secretly everyone's favorite parts of these movies anyway. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
93% Us (2019) Peele is a born filmmaker who cares where the camera is placed, how a scene is lit and scored, what the props in the corner of the image suggest. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
65% Vice (2018) Vice is so weighed down with narrative embellishments that its many simpler virtues... get lost in the rococo encrustations. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
79% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) This Mary Poppins may not be strictly necessary, but it's more than sufficient. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
93% The Favourite (2018) Even when the movie's self-love gets to be a bit much, there are stylistic touches to enjoy. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2018
95% Roma (2018) Roma is hypnotic and transporting and sublime, everything a movie seen on the big screen ought to be. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2018
91% Widows (2018) McQueen has created a tense and satisfying action drama with a decidedly feminist bent. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
89% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) In the movie's most memorable storylines, the filmmakers appear to be working through some sort of problem in their, and our, relationship to the mythology of the American West. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
65% Suspiria (2018) Suspiria is a meditation on the dangers of pedagogy and the perils of placing your art above all else, but it never quite fights its way to the surface. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2018
3/5 No Score Yet A meditation on the conflict between family loyalties and personal ambition, Face ... can feel slight on a first viewing. But ... it is likely to remain in your head long afterward. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
87% First Man (2018) A movie that's as fascinated by the remote inner landscape of its hero as he is by the unexplored surface of the moon. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2018
90% A Star Is Born (2018) It feels somehow compact despite its sprawling two-hour-and-15-minute size, with nary a scene or frame wasted as it builds to its inexorable yet heart-shattering finale. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
93% The Old Man & the Gun (2018) The Old Man and the Gun is as old-fashioned and sincere, as temperamentally un-postmodern, as it's possible for a movie to be. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2018
79% Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) [A] pleasure-loving, sex-positive, Cher-starring Ramos gin fizz of a movie... - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2018
99% Eighth Grade (2018) A deeply kind movie, curious and nonjudgmental even about the characters who in most coming-of-age films would be hissable villains. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2018
89% You Were Never Really Here (2018) You Were Never Really Here may be something of a blunt instrument. But it still managed to knock me out. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2018
90% Isle of Dogs (2018) Isle of Dogs boils over, not just with kinesthetic fur, but with visual details, cinematic references, and, in a relatively new development for this filmmaker, topical political ideas. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2018
91% Phantom Thread (2018) This devilishly funny and luxuriantly sensuous film is so successful as entertainment that it's hard to stop and notice the extreme degree of craft that went into its construction. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2017
91% The Disaster Artist (2017) Even more impressively, Franco makes Wiseau, maybe the most unpleasant character he's ever played, someone you genuinely root for in his demented quest for greatness. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2017
92% The Shape of Water (2017) Even if you're not transported by every minute of the film's story, though, del Toro creates such a sumptuous visual world that it's impossible to take your eyes off the screen. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2017
94% Call Me by Your Name (2018) Filmed in luminous 35mm, as attentive to the colors and sounds of nature as it is to the beauty of art, architecture, and yes, Armie Hammer, this is the kind of movie you live in as much as watch. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2017
90% Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) But [Frances] McDormand, at age 60 one of our most gifted and least calculating actresses, fearlessly challenges us to love her character anyway. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2017
99% Lady Bird (2017) Lady Bird finds fresh purchase in well-trodden territory by observing the human carnival from a girl's point of view. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2017