For 51 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 27% higher than the average critic
  • 0% same as the average critic
  • 73% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Pauline Kael's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Rosemary's Baby
Lowest review score: 10 The Accidental Tourist
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 51
  2. Negative: 9 out of 51
51 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    Wonderful comedy about a tragedy.
    • The New Yorker
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    Exciting, handsomely staged, and campy.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    It's enjoyably trivial – a piece of charming foolishness. [24 Mar 1986, p.112]
    • The New Yorker
    • 55 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
    • 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
    As Octopussy, the beautiful amazon Maud Adams is disappointingly warm and maternal - she's rather mooshy.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    Starts smart and ends dumb. [24 Aug 1987, p.79]
    • 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
    • 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
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    A romantic adolescent boy’s view of friendship.
    • 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

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