For 111 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 33% higher than the average critic
  • 0% same as the average critic
  • 67% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Pauline Kael's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Lowest review score: 10 The Accidental Tourist
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 111
  2. Negative: 13 out of 111
111 movie reviews
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    It may be the most sophisticated political satire ever made in Hollywood. (As quoted by Roger Ebert)
    • The New Yorker
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    The picture draws out the obvious and turns itself into a classic. [26 June 1989]
    • The New Yorker
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    It's genuinely funny, yet it's also scary, especially for young women: it plays on their paranoid vulnerabilities... Mia Farrow is enchanting in her fragility: she's just about perfect for her role.
    • The New Yorker
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    The Orson Welles film is generally considered the greatest American film of the sound period, and it may be more fun than any other great movie.
    • The New Yorker
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    The best scary-funny movie since "Jaws" - a teasing, terrifying, lyrical shocker, directed by Brian De Palma, who has the wickedest baroque sensibility at large in American movies. Pale, gravel-voiced Sissy Spacek gives a classic chameleon performance as a repressed high-school senior.
    • The New Yorker
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    This is one of the most entertaining science-fiction fantasies ever to come out of Hollywood.
    • The New Yorker
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    Undiluted pleasure and excitement. The scriptwriter, W.D. Richter, supplies some funny lines, and the director, Phil Kaufman, provides such confident professionalism that you sit back in the assurance that every spooky nuance you're catching is just what was intended.
    • The New Yorker
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    On paper this movie, written and directed by Brian De Palma, might seem to be just a political thriller, but it has a rap intensity that makes it unlike any other political thriller...It’s a great movie.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    A first-rate piece of work by a director who's daring and agile... It's heaven – alive in a way that movies rarely are. [9 Jan 1989]
    • The New Yorker
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    One of the most sheerly enjoyable films of recent years, this sophisticated horror comedy, written and directed by Brian De Palma, is permeated with the distilled essence of impure thoughts.
    • The New Yorker
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    Huston's power as Lilly is astounding... She bites right through the film-noir pulp; the [climactic] scene is paralyzing, and it won't go away.
    • The New Yorker
    • 99 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    This exuberant satire of Hollywood in the late 20s, at the time of the transition from silents to talkies, is probably the most enjoyable of all American movie musicals.
    • The New Yorker
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    The film is distinguished by the fine performances of Nicholson and Quaid, and by remarkably well-orchestrated profane dialogue. It's often very funny. It's programmed to wrench your heart, though-it's about the blasted lives of people who discover their humanity too late.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    A classic screwball fantasy - a neglected modern comedy that's like a more restless and visually high-spirited version of the W.C. Fields pictures...Set in the world of competing used-car dealers in the booming Southwest, this picture has a wonderful, energetic heartlessness; it's an American tall-tale movie in a Pop Art form. The premise is that honesty doesn't exist; if you develop a liking for some of the characters, it's not because they're free of avarice but because of their style of avarice.
    • The New Yorker
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    It's like visual rock, and it's bursting with energy. The action runs from night until dawn, and most of it is in crisp, bright Day-Glo colors against the terrifying New York blackness; the figures stand out like a jukebox in a dark bar. There's a night-blooming, psychedelic shine to the whole baroque movie.
    • The New Yorker
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    It would be fun to be able to dismiss this as undoubtedly the best movie ever made in Pittsburgh, but it also happens to be one of the most gruesomely terrifying movies ever made.
    • The New Yorker
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    Moonstruck isn't heartfelt; it's an honest contrivance – the mockery is a giddy homage to our desire for grand passion. With its special lushness, it's a rose-tinted black comedy. [25 Jan 1988, p.99]
    • The New Yorker
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    This may be the best-paced and most slyly entertaining of all the decadent-ancient-Rome spectacular films. It's a great big cartoon drama, directed by Stanley Kubrick, with Kirk Douglas at his most muscular.
    • The New Yorker
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    Wonderful comedy about a tragedy.
    • The New Yorker
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    This romantic comedy-fantasy about a mermaid (Daryl Hannah) who falls in love with a New Yorker (tom Hanks) has a friendly, tantalizing magic.
    • The New Yorker
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    A glitter sci-fi adventure fantasy that balances the indestructible James Bond with an indestructible cartoon adversary, Jaws (Richard Kiel), who is a great evil windup toy. This is the best of the Bonds starring the self-effacing Roger Moore.
    • The New Yorker
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    Exciting, handsomely staged, and campy.
    • The New Yorker
    • 97 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    Lemmon is demoniacally funny - he really gives in to women's clothes, and begins to think of himself as a sexy girl. Monroe gives perhaps her most characteristic performance, which means that she's both charming and embarrassing.
    • The New Yorker
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    Sydney Pollack's directing is efficient and the film is moderately entertaining, but it leaves no residue. Except for the intensity of Newman's sly, compact performance...and the marvelously inventive acting of Melinda Dillon.
    • The New Yorker
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    It isn’t a dialogue comedy; it’s visceral and lower. It’s what used to be called a crazy comedy, and there hasn’t been this kind of craziness on the screen in years. It’s a film to go to when your rhythm is slowed down and you’re too tired to think. You can’t bring anything to it (Brooks’ timing is too obvious for that) ; you have to let it do everything for you, because that’s the only way it works.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    Probably the most consistently entertaining of the Bond packages up to the time - not as startling as parts of "Goldfinger" but much superior to "Thunderball."
    • The New Yorker
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    John Cusack and Mahoney have to carry the unconvincing melodramatic portion of the plot, but they carry it stunningly. [15 May 1989]
    • The New Yorker
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    Midler gives a paroxysm of a performance - it's scabrous yet delicate, and altogether amazing. The movie is hyper and lurid, yet it's also a very strong emotional experience, with an exciting visual and musical flow, and there are sharply written, beautifully played dialogue scenes.
    • The New Yorker
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    This slapstick adventure comedy is in the commercial genre of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it's a simpler, more likable entertainment than Raiders; it doesn't leave you feeling exhausted.
    • The New Yorker
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    A competent director (Peter Yates), working with competent technicians, gives a fairly dense texture to a vacuous script about cops and gangsters and politicians. The stars are Steve McQueen with his low-key charisma, as the police-officer hero, and the witty, steep streets of San Francisco.
    • The New Yorker
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    This muckraking melodrama has considerable power and some strong performances. The script, by W.D. Richter, has offhand dialogue with a warm, funny edge.
    • The New Yorker
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    There's always something bubbling inside Arthur--the booze just adds to his natural fizz. This was the only film directed by Steve Gordon (who also wrote the script); he was a long way from being able to do with images what he could do with words, but there are some inspired bits and his work has a friendly spirit.
    • The New Yorker
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    Is it a great movie? I don't think so. But it's a triumphant piece of filmmaking -- journalism presented with the brio of drama. [24 Sept 1990]
    • The New Yorker
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    The attraction of the movie is its friendly, light tone, its affectlessness, and its total lack of humanity. [6 Aug 1984, p.72]
    • The New Yorker
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    If audiences enjoy the movie, it's largely because of the elderly actors and the affection that the young director, Ron Howard, shows for them.
    • The New Yorker
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    I was surprised at how not-bad it is. It may fall into the category of youth-exploitation movies, but it isn't assaultive, and it's certainly likable. [1 Nov 1982, p.146]
    • The New Yorker
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    Tomlin confirms herself as a star whenever she gets the material, and Dolly Parton's dolliness is very winning, but it's easy to forget that Jane Fonda is around - she seems to get lost in the woodwork. The director, Colin Higgins, is a young fossil who sets up flaccid, hand-me-down gags as if they were hilarious, and damned if the audience doesn't laugh.
    • The New Yorker
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    Fairly consistently funny.
    • The New Yorker
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    It's enjoyably trivial – a piece of charming foolishness. [24 Mar 1986, p.112]
    • The New Yorker
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    Raising Arizona is no big deal, but it has a rambunctious charm. The sunsets look marvelously ultra-vivid, the pain doesn't seem to be dry – it's like opening day of a miniature golf course. [20 Apr 1987, p.81]
    • The New Yorker
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    The picture is just a flimsy, thrown-together service comedy about smart misfits trying to do things their own way in the Army. But it has a lot of snappy lines (the script is by Len Blum, Dan Goldberg, and Ramis), the director, Ivan Reitman, keeps things hopping (it's untidy but it doesn't lag), and the performers are a wily bunch of professional flakes.
    • The New Yorker
    • 31 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    The picture seems to crumble... because the writer and director don't distinguish Loew's fantasies from his actual life... But with Cage in the role we certainly see the delusions at work. This daring kid starts over the top and just keeps going. He's airily amazing. [12 June 1989]
    • The New Yorker
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    It has so many unpredictable spins that what's missing doesn't seem to matter much. The images sing. [10 July 1989]
    • The New Yorker
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    The jokes get rather desperate, but there are enough wildly sophomoric ones to keep this pop stunt fairly amusing until about midway. It would have made a terrific short.
    • The New Yorker
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    As Octopussy, the beautiful amazon Maud Adams is disappointingly warm and maternal - she's rather mooshy.
    • The New Yorker
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    The director, John Badham, does a glamorous, showy job, and, what with all the stunt flying and the hair-trigger editing, this is the sort of action film that can make you fell sick with excitement, yet it's all technique -- suspense in a void.
    • The New Yorker
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    The scenes inside the Institute have a chill, spectral beauty, yet the spookiness doesn't explode. The movie seems a little too cultivated, too cautious.
    • The New Yorker
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    The best that can be said about this jumbled scrapbook of Joan Crawford's life from her middle years to the end is that it doesn't seem to get in the way of its star, Faye Dunaway, who gives a startling, ferocious performance.
    • The New Yorker
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    Robert Wise, who made this expensive version of the Michael Crichton novel, having chosen a fanatically realistic documentary style, has failed to solve the dramatic problems in the original story. The suspense is strong, but not pleasurable.
    • The New Yorker
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    The people in this serious Woody Allen film are destroyed by the repressiveness of good taste, and so is the picture. It's a puzzle movie, constructed like a well-made play from the American past, and given the beautiful, solemn visual clarity of a Bergman film, without, however, the eroticism of Bergman.
    • The New Yorker
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    As the teen-age small-town girl looking for excitement who joins up with a carnival that's traveling through, Jodie Foster has a marvelous sexy bravado. The dialogue, from Thomas Baum's screenplay, is often colorful, but the picture is heavy.
    • The New Yorker
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    It's a very even work, with no thudding bad lines and no low stretches, but it doesn't have the loose, manic highs of some of Allen's other films.
    • The New Yorker
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    This Bond thriller-the sixth, and set mainly in Switzerland-introduces a new Bond, George Lazenby, who's quite a dull fellow, and the script, by Richard Maibaum, isn't much, either, but the movie is exciting, anyway.
    • The New Yorker
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    The picture might have been a pop classic if it had stayed near the level of impudence that it reaches at its best. But about midway as Eddie has a crisis of confidence, and when Eddie locks his jaw and sets forth to become a purified man of integrity, the joy goes out of Newman's performance, which (despite the efforts of a lot of good actors) is the only life in the movie, except for a brief, startling performance by the 25-year-old black actor Forest Whitaker as a pool shark called Amos.
    • The New Yorker
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    Plenty of shrewd commercial calculation went into concocting the right sugar coating for this story of an 11-year-old girl's painful maturation, but chemistry seems right. Laurice Elehwany's script neatly handles a number of details but on larger matters falls into predictable patterns.
    • The New Yorker
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    The picture doesn't come together and much of it is cluttered, squawky, and eerily unfunny. But there are lovely moments --especially when Olive is loping along or singing, and when she and Popeye are gazing adoringly at the foundling Swee'Pea (Wesley Ivan Hurt).
    • The New Yorker
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    There's a total absence of personal obsession - even moviemaking obsession - in the way Crichton works; he never excites us emotionally or imaginatively, but the film has a satisfying, tame luxuriousness, like a super episode of "Masterpiece Theater."
    • The New Yorker
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    Gilliam has a cacophonous imagination; even the magical incongruities are often cancelled out by the incessant buzz of cleverness. It's far from a bad movie, but it doesn't quite click together, either. The director doesn't shape the material satisfyingly; this may be one of those rare pictures that suffers from a surfeit of good ideas.
    • The New Yorker
    • 93 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    Dershowitz's life-enhancing scenes are flatulent, and they're dishonest: the movie seems to be putting us down for enjoying the scandal satire it's dishing up. [19 Nov 1990]
    • The New Yorker
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    Not bad, but not quite top-grade Bond. A little too much under-water war-ballet.
    • The New Yorker
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    Mostly it gets by on being good-natured enough for you to accept its being clumsy and padded and only borderline entertaining.
    • The New Yorker
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    The action simply doesn't have the exhilarating, leaping precision that Spielberg gave us in the past... The joyous sureness is missing. [12 June 1989]
    • The New Yorker
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    Marlon Brando is airily light and masterly as the veteran anti-apartheid barrister who takes the case even though he knows that he can't get anywhere with the rigged court. He saves the picture for the (short) time onscreen. But the director, Euzhan Palcy, seems lost; her work is heavy-handed, and the script (by Colin Welland and the director, from a novel by Andre Brink) is earnest and didactic.
    • The New Yorker
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    Woody Allen is trying to please, but his heart isn't in it, and his talent isn't either. He is so much a man of our time that his comedy seems denatured in this classy, period setting
    • The New Yorker
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    Starts smart and ends dumb. [24 Aug 1987, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    Nicholson's fatuous leering performance dominates the movie, and because his prankishness also comes out in the casting and directing, the movie hasn't any stabilizing force; there's nothing to balance what he's doing--no one with a strait jacket. An actor-director who prances about the screen manically can easily fool himself into thinking that his film is jumping; Nicholson jumps, all right, but the movie is inert.
    • The New Yorker
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    Cheesy low farce, with Danny DeVito as a thieving millionaire who wants to kill his heiress wife (Bette Miler) and is overjoyed when she's kidnapped.
    • The New Yorker
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    The subject - the romantic life of an American Communist - may be daring, but the moviemaking is extremely traditional, with Beatty playing a man who dies for an ideal. It's rather a sad movie, because it isn't really very good.
    • The New Yorker
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    The movie is ungainly – you can almost see the chalk marks it's not hitting. But it has a loose, likable shabbiness. [19 Oct 1987, p.110]
    • The New Yorker
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    The picture is scrappily edited, and the director seems willing to do almost anything for an immediate effect. It's only in the best scenes that satire and sultriness work together.
    • The New Yorker
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    When Attenborough starts crosscutting from the escape to Woods' flashback memories (with bursts of choral music), the movie is dumbfounding. It looks as if Attenborough staged scenes and then didn't know what to do with them, so he stuck them in by having the escaping Woods think back. An every time Biko appears in a flashback our interest quickens; this man with fire in his eyes commands the screen -- Denzel Washington is the star by right of talent.
    • The New Yorker
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    Rob Reiner's film, taken from Stephen King's autobiographical novella "The Body," overdoses on sincerity and nostalgia. Seeing it is like watching an extended Christmas special of "The Waltons" and "Little House on the Prairie" - it makes you feel virtuous. All that stays with you is the tale that Gordie, the central character, tells his friends around the campfire.
    • The New Yorker
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    This attempt at screwball charm was directed by Susan Seidelman, who wipes out her actors. All their responsiveness is cut off -- there's nothing going on in them. This flatness can make your jaw fall open, but it seems to be accepted by the audience as New Wave postmodernism.
    • The New Yorker
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    A romantic adolescent boy’s view of friendship.
    • The New Yorker
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    Most of the movie lacks zest.
    • The New Yorker
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    The film is rich in fillips--smart little taps and strokes. But after a while you start asking yourself, what is this movie about? (You're still asking when it's over.)
    • The New Yorker
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    When the picture stops being comic it turns into a different kind of kitsch... The material turns into cheesy plot-centered melodrama... Beetlejuice would have spit in this movie's eye. [17 Dec 1990]
    • The New Yorker
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    Yes, it's a collection of barbs and sick jokes, but it's not fun, and it lacks a punch line...The young, inexperience director, Michael Lehmann, doesn't find the right mood for the gags. [17 Apr 1989]
    • The New Yorker
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    The picture is stupid and often perfunctory; at the same time it's moderately enjoyable.
    • The New Yorker
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    An aggressively silly head-horror movie, the result of the misalliance of two wildly different hyperbolic talents-the director Ken Russell and the writer Paddy Chayefsky.
    • The New Yorker
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    The 12th James Bond film goes through the motions, but not only are we tired of them, the actors are tired of them - even the machines are tired...The producers have made the mistake of deciding on a simpler, more realistic package, without dazzling sets or a big, mad super villain.
    • The New Yorker
    • 85 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    Seeing “Raiders” is like being put through a Cuisinart—something has been done to us, but not to our benefit.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    Lightning didn't strike three times; the movie is lumbering... I don't think it's going to be a public humiliation, and it's too amorphous to damage our feelings about the first two. [1 Jan 1991]
    • The New Yorker
    • 78 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    The picture is a piece of technological lyricism held together by the glue of simpleminded heroic sentiment; basically, its appeal is in watching a couple of guys win their races.
    • The New Yorker
    • 77 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    This is a film noir without malevolence or mystery. It's a Yuppie thriller: it has no psychological layers.
    • The New Yorker
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    Coppola's efforts to bring depth to this material that has no depth make the picture seem groggy. It's as if he were trying to direct the actors to bring something out of themselves when neither he nor anyone else knows what's wanted.
    • The New Yorker
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    The film is comatose; you're brought into it only by the camera tricks or the special-effects horrors, or, perhaps, the nude scenes.
    • The New Yorker
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    Script lacks satiric insolence, and the picture grinds on humorlessly. The villain Christopher Lee's fanged smile is the only attraction.
    • The New Yorker
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    What's strange about the movie is that the best things in it aren't developed, and what Superman and the other characters do doesn't seem to have any weight. [11 July 1983, p.90]
    • The New Yorker
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    But all that this encounter-session movie actually does is strip a group of high-school kids down to their most banal longings to be accepted and liked. Its real emblem is that dreary, retro ribbon. [8 Apr 1985, p.123]
    • The New Yorker
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    There's no electricity in it, no smart talk, no flair. Written and directed by George Seaton, it's bland entertainment of the old school: every stereotyped action is followed by a stereotyped reaction -- cliches commenting on cliches.
    • The New Yorker
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    This one doesn't look too bad, but it has no snap, no tension. It's an exhausted movie.
    • The New Yorker
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    Unimaginative Bond picture that is often noisy when it means to be exciting.
    • The New Yorker
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    You're supposed to need a strong stomach to sit through this one, but it's so stupefyingly obvious and repetitive that you begin to laugh with relief that you're not being emotionally affected; it's just a gross-out.
    • The New Yorker
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    When Beatty and Hoffman doe their (deliberately hopeless) singing numbers, jerking like mechanical men, phrasing unmusically, going off-key, they don't have the slapstick skills for it. That's when you long for Martin and Murray, or some other comics. [1 June 1987, p.102]
    • The New Yorker
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    Its emotional climate is too extreme to invite identification, and its characters are too single-minded in their revenge to evoke pity, terror or even much interest.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    Screenwriter Oliver Stone and the director, Alan Parker, have subjected their Billy (Brad Davis) to the most photogenic sadomasochistic brutalization that they could dream up. The film is like a porno fantasy about the sacrifice of a virgin. It rushes from torment to torment, treating Billy's ordeals hyponotically in soft colors -- muted squalor -- with a disco beat in the background.
    • The New Yorker
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    There isn't a whisper of surprise in Redford's performance, and he's photographed looking like a wary, modest god, with enough backlighting and soft focus to make him incandescent even when he isn't doing a thing.
    • The New Yorker
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Pauline Kael
    The director, Herbert Ross, and the writer, Dean Pitchford, exhaust one bad idea after another, and build up to a letdown: you don't get the climactic dance you expect.
    • The New Yorker
    • 76 Metascore
    • 30 Pauline Kael
    What happened to the Kubrick who used to slip in sly, subtle jokes and little editing tricks? This may be his worst movie. He probably believes he's numbing us by the power of his vision, but he's actually numbing us by its emptiness. [13 July 1987, p.75]
    • The New Yorker

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