Steve Persall Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Steve Persall

Steve Persall
Steve Persall's reviews (from any publication) always count toward the Tomatometer because this critic is a Tomatometer-approved critic.

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
C+ 71% Beauty and the Beast (2017) ... a puzzling contradiction, musically dutiful to its source yet shunning the original's shimmering magic. This movie is drab, its setting somewhere in the vicinity of Transylvania, its narrow color scheme strangled by tinted 3-D glasses.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2017
C- 40% Wilson (2017) Harrelson and Dern's efforts aside, Wilson is indie ennui at its emptiest, a vessel of misshapen wit with a hole in the bottom.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2017
b- 68% Life (2017) Espinosa and screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick earn their right to rip off better movies, not only imagery but tone with regard to Life's stunning finale. What we've seen before they make worth sitting through again.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2017
C+ 76% Kong: Skull Island (2017) Kong: Skull Island strips the beauty from a legendary beast, reducing a classic movie star to soulless monster mechanics. Kong smashes, but not much else. Whoever dies doesn't matter. Whoever lives has a sequel promised by the end credits.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2017
B- 22% Table 19 (2017) Thankfully Eloise is played by Anna Kendrick. Plucky hurt always looks good on her.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2017
A- 92% Logan (2017) Logan establishes a new beachhead in comic book cinema wars, somewhere between hectic Avengers spectacle and Deadpool irreverence, a somberness that Batman and Superman haven't mastered.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2017
B 99% Get Out (2017) ... an allegory of African-American strengths being siphoned for the benefit of white people, disguised as a run-of-the-kill horror flick. ‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2017
B+ 90% John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) When it comes to choreography, the spunky dreamers of La La Land have nothing on the death dances Reeves leads. This movie's balletic brutality and relentless pacing are breathtaking. Or maybe that's just a No. 2 pencil shoved in my throat.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2017
C 9% Fifty Shades Darker (2017) Fifty Shades Darker is what you'd expect from encoring a regrettable one-night stand. Not a keeper, but nothing to gnaw off your arm about.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2017
D 42% A Cure For Wellness (2017) ... a repellent curiosity, rich in atmosphere yet starved for dramatic morsels a sound plot might nourish.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2017
C 35% The Great Wall (2017) Yimou is a dazzler from way back in Asian cinema, but most Americans know him from all those drums and aerial dancers he directed at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The Great Wall is pretty much the same thing with sharp fangs and less plot.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2017
B+ 90% The Lego Batman Movie (2017) McKay and his writers must deeply love Batman to shred him into such entertaining, mostly awesome pieces.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Feb 17, 2017
C 42% Gold (2017) I'd prefer to see the movie Gaghan leads me to imagine, which a better movie wouldn't do.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2017
D 17% The Space Between Us (2017) The Space Between Us is romantic science fiction with zero gravity and less to recommend. Its space is between its ears, a YA fantasy cribbed from alien fish-out-of-water flicks by the guy who wrote Collateral Beauty. Yeah, him again.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2017
D 25% The Comedian (2017) The Comedian is a phony movie about funny people, starring a great actor understanding next to nothing about stand-up comedy... There isn't a comical bone in De Niro's body, only comical skins occasionally stretched over it.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2017
B+ 80% Patriots Day (2017) Patriots Day continually surprised me with details I'd forgotten or missed.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Jan 13, 2017
B+ 93% Fences (2016) If Fences occasionally feels cinematically inert, it's emotionally resonant thanks to Davis and Washington the actor, not the director as much.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2017
B+ 93% Hidden Figures (2017) Hidden Figures deserves consideration as another great black hope of putting that #OscarsSoWhite problem to rest. More importantly, it's a lesson that African-American culture offers more inspiring stories than Hollywood has chosen to tell.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2017
C+ 74% Miss Sloane (2016) Miss Sloane piles up too many red, white and blue herrings; too many things need to go right in order to reach its conclusion.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2016
B 89% Jackie (2016) Larrain spins a tale of dignified anguish and calculations less sympathetic. Anchored by Natalie Portman's uncanny impersonation - wispy voice, aristocratic posture - Jackie fascinates and frustrates, sometimes at once. ‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2016
B 86% Lion (2016) Lion can't avoid seeming lesser in the second half after Davis' mesmeric first but it's solid storytelling nonetheless.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2016
A 93% La La Land (2016) Chazelle revitalizes not only a genre but an optimism coming in handy now. La La Land is the movie we didn't know we needed until it's here.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2016
C 31% Passengers (2016) There are worse people than Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt to be stranded with in outer space, and better ways to spend time with them than the third act of Passengers.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2016
B- 40% Why Him? (2016) Why Me? sputters around the 90 minute mark, when raunchy ideas and even the funniest execution often expires. Before then, Cranston and Franco earn plenty of guilty laughs, doing what they do, one less often than the other.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2016
B 85% Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) Of the three sidekicks, Yen's rueful but deadly martial artist leaves the best action impression.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2016
B 96% Moana (2016) We can now agree that Johnson is not only the Sexiest Man Alive but also our strongest, lifting Moana on his character's beefy shoulders, carrying it like other hits before. No movie left behind.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2016
D 73% Nocturnal Animals (2016) Nocturnal Animals is why they hate us, whoever we are for others to despise... a billboard of cultural decadence, its grotesque nudity and violence polished to an empty, artful sheen. ISIS could use it for recruitment, an example of the infidel enemy‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2016
24% Captain Ron (1992) Any movie that features a dramatic actor like Kurt Russell playing straight man to a goofball like Martin Short already is sailing on choppy waters.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2016
B 89% Loving (2016) Loving is a well-crafted reminder of times that some folks think are returning and why they probably won't.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2016
A 98% Moonlight (2016) ... practically vibrates with authenticity, a sense of unique place and unsure purpose, gliding like a dream from which one doesn't wish to awaken.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2016
B 71% Bleed For This (2016) Bleed for This is a scrapper, with solid mechanics and a true story that would otherwise be dismissed as too incredible for a movie. ‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2016
C+ 73% Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) Not even J.K. Rowling can say abracadabra and make a worthwhile movie franchise appear. The lightning that struck Harry Potter once merely grazes Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, turning the sorcerer's mentor into a fantasy apprentice.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2016
B- 87% Hacksaw Ridge (2016) If any filmmaker is ruthless enough to make war truly look like hell, it's Mel Gibson. We saw what he did to Jesus. You can imagine how Gibson cranks the meat grinder with hordes of World War II soldiers, even in tribute to a pacifist.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2016
B+ 90% Doctor Strange (2016) Not since Iron Man has a superhero movie surprised and delighted like Doctor Strange, after eight years of Marvel glut and DC rebuttals in-between.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2016
A 93% Arrival (2016) One of a handful of movies that have legitimately fooled me; not with an abrupt twist but a dawning awareness of where it's going thematically, how deeply and how distanced from sci-fi as usual.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2016
C 19% Inferno (2016) Inferno is a series of competent chases and creep-arounds linked by rushed explanations of doomsday theology. Even Hanks appears tired of faking Langdon's incredulity, deducing out loud then hi-yo away to the next tell-tale museum or cathedral.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2016
D 19% Keeping Up With The Joneses (2016) Woody Allen said of true comedy: If it bends, it's funny. This movie snaps like a twig.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2016
D 52% The Accountant (2016) Ben Affleck is Agent Double-OCD in The Accountant, an effortlessly dumb thriller barely more entertaining than an audit. Until it's time to pick it apart.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2016
C 44% The Girl on the Train (2016) A title card reading "spoiler alert" at an early juncture of The Girl on the Train would be appreciated. Director Tate Taylor doesn't recognize when trope trumps mystery and the seeing aspect of cinema shows too much.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2016
B- 63% Storks (2016) Stoller gets into the Warner Bros. spirit and goes for Looney Tunes-style comedy... It's occasional fun, but that's about all, folks.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2016
B- 64% Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016) ... , the material is right up Burton's dark corridor, surreal and nostalgically scary. This time, Burton's manner is changed, not drastically or consistently but more controlled, making strangeness the story's accessory rather than its purpose.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2016
B 84% Deepwater Horizon (2016) ... a brawny hybrid of technical expertise and real-life tragedy, with neither quality getting shortchanged... That 2010 oil spill was horrible; Deepwater Horizon wants us to also remember the blood spill.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2016
A 71% The Birth of a Nation (2016) ... a cauterized reminder of antebellum slavery... taking back African-American history while also stripping D.W. Griffith's movie title of its racist singularity. Justice, of a sort.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2016
B 61% Snowden (2016) Snowden brings out Stone's moderate side, at least in cinematic terms... not as theoretically conspiratorial as JFK, not abrasively operatic like Platoon, and never approaches Natural Born Killers' feverish lack of precision.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2016
B 63% The Magnificent Seven (2016) It should be noted that The Magnificent Seven is more like a very cool two and a half, counting Ethan Hawke's wonderfully named Goodnight Robicheaux, a former Confederate marksman whose PTSD is a brief drag on the action.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2016
F 35% Blair Witch (2016) Blair Witch is blasphemy, taking in vain the name of a landmark exercise in horror and hype.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2016
C+ 85% Sully (2016) Remember how CNN ran this story into the ground, as it were? Eastwood does that here, draining whatever suspense that remains in a story for which we know the happy ending.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2016
B+ 59% War Dogs (2016) War Dogs is cocked with an irreverent pedigree and loaded with the genius teaming of Hill and Teller as high rolling gun runners making up everything as they go.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2016
C 25% Ben-Hur (2016) Let's cut to the chariot chase. The latest screen version of Ben-Hur would be little more than a condensed miniseries without it, framed for small television screens, with performances to fit.‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2016
B+ 82% Indignation (2016) Lerman projects a unique sensitivity, even when playing someone as callous as Marcus can be. He doesn't have that modern aura some actors bring to period pieces to make them less convincing. ‐ Tampa Bay Times
Read More | Posted Aug 16, 2016