For 150 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 0% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Hal Hinson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Dances with Wolves
Lowest review score: 0 Bio-Dome
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 74 out of 150
  2. Negative: 25 out of 150
150 movie reviews
    • 62 Metascore
    • 100 Hal Hinson
    Tequila Sunrise succeeds in both its larger strokes and its smaller ones-as both a romance and a thriller. It has a sense of comedy audacious enough to stage a bust that is delayed by a seduction and the sophistication to know that, for some people, to be called "slick" is the cruelest of insults. Tequila Sunrise has a deep-down glamor that borrows not from movies, but from life. It's knowing, but the last thing you'd call it is slick. [2 Dec 1988, p.b1]
    • Washington Post
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Hal Hinson
    Hoop Dreams is the most powerful movie about sports ever made.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Hal Hinson
    Leigh has fashioned a limber style of political commentary that is part documentary, part cartoon and wholly novel in the movies.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Hal Hinson
    A gigantic achievement, an endowment of riches.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Hal Hinson
    Leigh hasn't the affect of a poet, but he's a poet nonetheless. This movie captures the smallish details in life that perhaps you've felt before, but have never before seen on screen. He has a genius for the commonplace. It is truly sweet stuff.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Hal Hinson
    For Kieslowski, subtlety is a religion. He hints or implies -- anything to keep from laying his cards on the table. With "Blue," you never feel he's shown his whole hand; not even after the game is over.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Hal Hinson
    Even if it weren't in pristine shape for its current re-release, it would still qualify as one of only a handful of films made in the past 30 years that truly deserve to be called great. (Review of 1994 Release)
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Hal Hinson
    The Double Life of Veronique is a mesmerizing poetic work composed in an eerie minor key. Its effect on the viewer is subtle but very real. The film takes us completely into its world, and in doing so, it leaves us with the impression that our own world, once we return to it, is far richer and portentous than we had imagined.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 90 Hal Hinson
    Boomerang is the funniest, most sophisticated movie of Eddie Murphy's career; it's a sleek, dexterous satire, with a slew of rich comic performances that remind us of everything we loved about Murphy in the first place.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Hal Hinson
    Actually, the film's more serious side is beautifully balanced by the joy we experience as both Jesse and Willy come into their own.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Hal Hinson
    An exceedingly loopy satire of the entire American political circus, and could be viewed as offensive to the sensitive-souled in either camp. And time hasn't in the least softened its bite. [Re-release]
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Hal Hinson
    This is a spectacularly well-made thriller. It is an odd thing, really -- the movie is sexy and at the same time a warning about the costs of sex.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Hal Hinson
    A director with a more sensationalistic temperament might have milked this last section of the picture for melodramatic effect, but Russell's direction becomes, if anything, more brisk and more clipped.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Hal Hinson
    Disney's new full-length animated feature, Beauty and the Beast, is more than a return to classic form, it's a delightfully satisfying modern fable, a near-masterpiece that draws on the sublime traditions of the past while remaining completely in sync with the sensibility of its time.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Hal Hinson
    Most astounding, though, is the power of the film's leading actor. While Branagh's direction is forthright and articulate, his acting is brash and flamboyant.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 90 Hal Hinson
    From its opening shots, the film is like an invigorating elixir, a movie pick-me-up that delivers thrills and races your pulse but keeps your head in gear too. It's divinely frivolous, nearly perfect fun.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Hal Hinson
    Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is a wondrous feat of imagination. In terms of sheer inventiveness, it makes the other movies around these days look paltry and underfed. The worlds Gilliam has created here are like the ones he created in his animations for Monty Python -- they have a majestic peculiarity. And you're constantly amazed by the freshness and eccentricity of what is pushed in front of your eyes.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 90 Hal Hinson
    There's nothing bogus about this locomotivated follow-up; it's a truly excellent adventure, hilariously inventive, greased-lightning paced and dumb-bunny brilliant.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Hal Hinson
    Few films are more assured in their storytelling or build more forcefully, irrevocably toward their resolution.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Hal Hinson
    Van Sant gives his material shape and an invigorating, syncopated style. It keeps coming at you in surprising, dazzling ways.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 90 Hal Hinson
    What's more, Bertolucci's voice is stronger, clearer and more effortlessly confident than it has been in years. He's stolen the beauty of Tuscany and his youthful star and transformed it into an exquisite work of movie art.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Hal Hinson
    Though brilliant, Menace II Society is definitely a film to guard yourself against. There's not a trace of softness or sentimentality. At times, the picture takes on the scary you-are-there verisimilitude of a tabloid-TV show.
    • Washington Post
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Hal Hinson
    Writer-director David O. Russell's exhilarating follow-up to "Spanking the Monkey," is even wilder, giddier and more unpredictable than that irreverent debut.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Hal Hinson
    A glorious romantic confection unlike any other in movie history.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Hal Hinson
    Oldman is the least inhibited actor of his generation, and as this deranged detective, he keeps absolutely nothing in reserve.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Hal Hinson
    For once, the audience isn't forced to surrender its intelligence (or its healthy cynicism) to embrace the film's sunny resolution.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Hal Hinson
    The filmmakers have done a beautiful job of preserving the satirical snap of Gibbons's original. But the real joy of Cold Comfort Farm is watching these actors play so freely and exuberantly off each other.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Hal Hinson
    In Sleepless, though, we're as stuck on these people as the director is, and it puts us in a receptive, forgiving mood. We fall -- and I think a lot of people will fall hard for this movie -- even though we know we shouldn't.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Hal Hinson
    Never has political correctness looked so sumptuously handsome as it does here, and in its perfect-pitch instinct for the cultural vibe, this sweeping movie is so immaculately dead-on that it nearly transcends criticism.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Hal Hinson
    Unlike “Metropolitan,” which for all its brittle wit seemed clunky and stagebound, Barcelona is sharply paced and alive on the screen.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Hal Hinson
    At the most fundamental level, the real Chet Baker is a kind of nowhere man. He's too insubstantial for Weber to levitate him into greatness. This fact is the source of the film's dramatic tension, and Weber, to his credit, seems to have realized it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Hal Hinson
    House Party isn't a great movie, but it's heartfelt and enormously winning. In its own modest, ramshackle way, it manages to seem innocent even when it's profane. And maybe a party that demonstrates that those two qualities aren't necessarily opposed is exactly the kind we need.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Hal Hinson
    As the movie progresses, it deepens emotionally and becomes less of a detective thriller and more of a character study, and it's to Franklin's credit that he never allows his hard-boiled style to soften. Thematically, the movie doesn't make a strong statement, but it is strikingly expressive in its details.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Hal Hinson
    The "Godfather" films transcended their mobster genre; New Jack City doesn't, but it's a great genre film, edgy, vibrant and full of urgent color.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Hal Hinson
    The Big Easy, starring Ellen Barkin and Dennis Quaid, is the sexiest, most companionable movie of the summer. Set in New Orleans, it's an amiable, loping, goof of a movie, with charm to burn and not a thought in its head.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Hal Hinson
    Here, the comedy breathes, and the illusion that it's not a factory-assembled product (which it most certainly is) is a nifty one. For a major studio blockbuster, the thing is darned chummy, and above all, that rare, modest thing, a good show.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Hal Hinson
    If "Top Gun" was a stylish bimbo of a movie, all cleavage, white teeth and aerodynamic flash, then Days of Thunder is its paradoxical twin -- a bimbo with brains.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Hal Hinson
    One of the loopiest, most hysterical family-values movies ever made.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Hal Hinson
    Martin's poetic elegance turns to sappy mysticism. And if the material had been presented more insistently, it might have been insufferable, too goopy and new-age. Its modesty, though, is its prime virtue.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 80 Hal Hinson
    The current of bereavement never flags even when the dramatic flood becomes stagnant. In every scene, Penn seems to know precisely where the nugget of feeling is hidden, and he doesn't let up until its uncovered.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Hal Hinson
    A Man of No Importance is as rich and soulful as it is modest. [27 Jan 1995]
    • Washington Post
    • 46 Metascore
    • 80 Hal Hinson
    It's a tough, intense, wrenching picture about drugs and growing up and surviving, driven by a fierce, skinless performance by its star, Leonardo DiCaprio.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Hal Hinson
    Star Trek VI surprises us only by completely satisfying our expectations, by giving us exactly what we want from a "Star Trek" picture. It's not startling or revelatory, only witty, ebulliently good-natured and close to ideal.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Hal Hinson
    As it turns out, big secrets aren't revealed in Broadcast News, but the film is so ingratiatingly high-spirited, and the performances so full of sass and vigor, that in the long run it doesn't really matter much.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Hal Hinson
    Though Linklater allows the movie to wander, he never allows the pace to slacken, and more often than not he finds some unexpected bit of found poetry or cultural kitsch to make the digressions worthwhile.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Hal Hinson
    Director Frank Oz has brought a devilish tang to the machinations here, and the actors bring a sense of a spoiled grandeur to their characters' mingy souls.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Hal Hinson
    Linklater's control seems all but invisible here. But this kind of stylistic lucidity can only be the result of determined calculation and planning. The kind of happy accidents he captures don't come about by accident.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Hal Hinson
    Spielberg and Co. have finally made their Disney movie -- or better yet, their film version of a theme park at Disneyland. It's sort of like "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "It's a Small World" rolled into one. It's a helluva contraption, and certainly one to be marveled at. It gives good ride.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Hal Hinson
    The movie is inventive, hilarious and, in its own sneaky way, moving.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Hal Hinson
    And yet, Goldeneye proves the character's viability as a pop icon: It isn't a great movie, but it's great, preposterous fun.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Hal Hinson
    There's a synergistic overlap here between Cronenberg's own particular brand of weirdness and Burroughs's; they're both twisted in ways that complement each other nicely.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Hal Hinson
    This brilliantly naive, low-budget shoot-'em-up presents every action as if it were brand spanking new.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Hal Hinson
    As a writer, Baumbach loves smart, glib talk, and he has a sharp ear for fast-paced, overlapping dialogue; as a director, though, he prefers long takes that allow his characters to work out their feelings.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Hal Hinson
    Freeman lays out the father-son dynamics with great skill and very little fuss. There's no hysteria in his approach; instead, he sticks to the facts, relying on his cast to provide the emotion. The result is a surprisingly powerful, insightful film. The dramatic curve of the narrative may not seem entirely fresh, and some of the characters are simplistic, but the movie still gets to you.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Hal Hinson
    Sexy, slap-happy links comedy.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Hal Hinson
    The movie is poppy, clever and more than enjoyable, but Posey is something else altogether. She's a revelation.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Hal Hinson
    The Last Temptation of Christ, Martin Scorsese's provocative, punishing, weirdly brilliant adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis' novel, has a feverish intensity. And undeniably, there's a prodigious greatness on display here. But just as undeniably, it is failed work.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Hal Hinson
    This is a great performance from Pacino, who has the good luck here to work with Goldman's mostly wonderful, edgy script, but it might not become a beloved one because the man he plays is such a bitter pill.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Hal Hinson
    The movie turns maudlin in the end, but still, nothing matters except the jokes. And Streep. She skates through the picture, unscathed by its lapses, glorying in her chance to strut her comic stuff. This alone is cause for celebration. Tragedy's loss is comedy's gain.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Hal Hinson
    Fear is pretty much a cheap-thrills fix; the ideas, such as they are, function as window dressing. Still, cheap though these thrills may be, they are genuinely thrilling.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Hal Hinson
    Nixon is an audacious biography rich in imagination and originality, with a provocative, often subversive sense of character and history. Dense and challenging, it is also undermined in places by Stone's obsessions just as dramatically as Richard Nixon was undermined by his.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Hal Hinson
    The movie has a big payoff; it's the setup that's the drag. But Kevin's antics will touch the budding subversive in every kid. My advice? Hide the car keys.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Hal Hinson
    The movie won't come clear, Eastwood has succeeded so thoroughly in communicating his love of his subject, and there's such vitality in the performances, that we walk out elated, juiced on the actors and the music.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Hal Hinson
    Taylor Hackford's film version of the Stephen King novel, has a whopping list of shortcomings -- and yet it still manages to be an engrossing, unsettling and, at times, powerful psychological thriller.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Hal Hinson
    It's not a challenging movie or an original one, but it does have its pleasures -- most notably a radiant, soulful debut performance from Driver, who saves Circle of Friends from being merely an Irish ugly duckling story.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Hal Hinson
    [Leven] keeps the film's tone light and ingratiating. And, though the material is thin, the actors do seem to be getting a kick out of playing off each other.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Hal Hinson
    Ferrara is clearly drawing an equation between the criminals' actions and The Lieutenant's, and as trite (and potentially shameless) as this may sound, it actually works.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Hal Hinson
    Big
    Big has a warmhearted sweetness that's invigorating; it makes you want to break out the Legos. It's only near the end of the film, when Hanks has to play the scenes for pathos, that the movie becomes cloying.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 70 Hal Hinson
    Lee elevates herself from the lower echelon of mere international super-babedom to the loftier realm of pulp myth. She is "It" with an exclamation mark.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Hal Hinson
    It is a serious and, at times, moving film, and it deserves serious analysis.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Hal Hinson
    Its intentions seem fairly modest, and so are its achievements. It's a modestly enjoyable diversion.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Hal Hinson
    The spirit of the film, though, is snazzier and more playful than Crichton’s rather thin, humorless schematic. The subject is serious; thankfully, the movie is not.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Hal Hinson
    He's made two features, "The Unbelievable Truth" and now Trust, and both are cool, strikingly original case studies of middle-class anomie.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 63 Hal Hinson
    Dugan has a brisk, imaginative comic style; he sets up his gags well, so that there's still some surprise in the punch lines when they come.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Hal Hinson
    Dracula, which also stars Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves and Anthony Hopkins, is an evocative visual feast. But the meal is spectral, without the dramatic equivalent of nutritional value.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Hal Hinson
    The film is a sort of prison fantasy, in which all the most popular boys in the cellblock have a high time together, smoking cigarettes, working on cars and spraying each other with paint guns...All the while you're thinking, "What is this, ancient Greece?"
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Hal Hinson
    Unfortunately, the film rarely slows long enough for the actors to do anything more than sketch in their characters. On the other hand, the showdowns between Sarandon and Jones are choice; it's a meeting of charismatic equals.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Hal Hinson
    Though Empire of the Sun is a profoundly perplexing, frustrating object, there are things in it to marvel at and enjoy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Hal Hinson
    This is an impassioned movie, made with conviction and evangelical verve. It's also hysterical and overbearing and alienating.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Hal Hinson
    Sometimes thrilling, but rarely inspired, it is thoroughly-almost perfectly-adequate.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Hal Hinson
    The movie isn't mindless; it just has a mind that's a bit junky and muddled. And to their credit, Arnold and his collaborators haven't played it safe. Last Action Hero is a stretch. Unfortunately, it's a stretch that proves the star wasn't that elastic to begin with.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Hal Hinson
    The central story itself is not distinctive, and though Lee certainly churns up a lot of dust, he never captures the mythic quality that made Price's original seem so much bigger than its almost generic cast of players.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Hal Hinson
    The movie is a mess from start to finish. But then again, this jerky, haphazard approach is part of the movie's goofy charm.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Hal Hinson
    It's more a brave movie than it is a good one, but at least Singleton has faced the unknown. And he deserves credit for the attempt.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Hal Hinson
    Despite its mixture of macabre slapstick and broadly stroked caricatures, the film has sleepy-time rhythms; it's easily the pokiest farce I've ever seen.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Hal Hinson
    Ultimately, La Scorta is a tight, competent but rather inconsequential thriller. It's diverting, but thin. (Review of Original Release)
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Hal Hinson
    Coming to America isn't as aggressively awful as the "Cop" films or "The Golden Child," but at least in those films there was something to react to. In making Coming to America, Murphy seems to have set his sights on the lowest prize imaginable. He aspires to blandness.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Hal Hinson
    It's respectful but not particularly vigorous or enlightening.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 60 Hal Hinson
    Roger Spottiswoode's Air America is partly glorious, partly junk, but unfortunately not in equal parts.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Hal Hinson
    The real root of the movie's problems may lie in the fact that Mamet has identified with the men of principle and De Palma with the scoundrels -- in other words, with Capone instead of the eagle-scout Ness.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 60 Hal Hinson
    The movie isn't a disaster, and if you responded to the first one, its memory may carry you over the roughness, the excessive, ugly violence and lack of conviction here. Hill and his stars are merely going through the motions, but the motions are immensely familiar. If you've been there before, then you've been there.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Hal Hinson
    Polanski stages some lovely moments, particularly Paulina's candlelit dinner in her closet. But he also undercuts the high-minded ideals of Dorfman's original by exposing its radical chic pretentions.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Hal Hinson
    A lot of what Bigelow puts up on the screen bypasses the brain altogether, plugging directly into our viscera, our gut. The surfing scenes in particular are majestically powerful, even awe-inspiring. Bigelow's picture is a feast for the eyes, but we watch movies with more than our eyes. She seduces us, then asks us to be bimbos.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Hal Hinson
    A lot of this stuff is irresistible. In the early going especially, the movie's infantilism is snappy and surprising. But this is a great idea for a sketch, not a feature, and if Heckerling had resisted padding it out, it might have made a brilliant short. A comedy can ride only so far on high concept. It has to deliver the jokes, and this one doesn't.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Hal Hinson
    Boyle's characters, too, are young and fresh and promisingly rude - especially McGregor's Alex - but they become less and less interesting as the movie progresses.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Hal Hinson
    What McGrath's Emma does have going for it is a breakthrough performance from Gwyneth Paltrow as the heroine.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Hal Hinson
    A movie that celebrates the life of the mind and the uniqueness of the individual but does so in glib slogans and is, itself, a sort of knockoff.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Hal Hinson
    If the director, Stephen Herek, has any talent for comedy, it's not visible here.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Hal Hinson
    There's nothing embarrassing about Zeffirelli's brisk new version, nor anything particularly remarkable; it's an entirely credible, middle-of-the-road production.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Hal Hinson
    Undeniably, the picture now and again supplies that edge-of-the-seat sensation; yet, by action-adventure standards, Speed is leaden and strangely poky. It never seems to shift into overdrive and let fly.

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