For 518 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 57% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Rita Kempley's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Vincent & Theo
Lowest review score: 0 See Spot Run
Score distribution:
518 movie reviews
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Rita Kempley
    As disturbing and densely beautiful as its opening image, a lofty forest that dwarfs the gangsters as they laugh over their kill.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Rita Kempley
    Merchant and Ivory have regathered many of the cast and crew from their earlier films to work on this reproduction to exquisite effect.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Rita Kempley
    Hopkins and Thompson's downright marvelous duet is supported by a host of deft players, and the detailed re-creation of this small universe is in all ways remarkable.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Rita Kempley
    Like the eloquent, darkly funny dialogue, the film's characters, setting and cadences draw us into its world, with all its terrors and tenderness. What emerges is a masterpiece of Southern storytelling that draws a sharp line between good and evil.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Rita Kempley
    Grand enough in scale to carry its many Biblical and mythological references, Blade Runner never feels heavy or pretentious -- only more and more engrossing with each viewing. It helps, too, that it works as pure entertainment.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Rita Kempley
    The Little Shop of Horrors is a thoroughly original adaptation, if that's possible. With its toe-tapping cadences, its class cast and its king-sized cabbage, it's destined to become a classic of camp comedy. It's vege-magic.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Rita Kempley
    Vincent & Theo is more than art appreciation, it is a treasure in its own right, unframed and arcing in the projector's light.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Rita Kempley
    More than just one of the best movies so far this year, it is a revolution in young-adult entertainment.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Rita Kempley
    A magnificent melodrama that draws both tears and laughter from the everyday give-and-take of seemingly ordinary souls.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Rita Kempley
    Delicious with foreboding, a masterly suspense thriller that toys with our anticipation like a well-fed cat.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Rita Kempley
    This engrossing mystery-comedy peeks through the keyholes of the rich and infamous in a manner both droll and delicious.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 100 Rita Kempley
    It is a wacky, happy, daring, darkly comic tale of parenting outside the law. It celebrates the middle-of-the-road dreams of decidedly off-center folks. It's a bundle of joy.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Rita Kempley
    With its spectacular scenery, stupefying effects and epic scope, is a dream come true.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Rita Kempley
    An instant slapstick classic from Disney and Steven Spielberg. Already, it's a hare's breadth away from legend. [22 June 1988]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Rita Kempley
    Enormously entertaining and surprisingly touching.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Rita Kempley
    What "Raising Arizona" was to baby lust, "Barton Fink" is to writer's block -- a rapturously funny, strangely bittersweet, moderately horrifying and, yes, truly apt description of the condition and its symptoms.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Rita Kempley
    One of the smartest, most inventive movies in memory, it manages to be as endearing as it is provocative.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Rita Kempley
    A great big beautiful valentine of a movie, an intoxicating romantic comedy set beneath the biggest, brightest Christmas moon you ever saw. It's a monster moon, a Moby Dick of a moon, whose radiance fills the winter sky and every cranny of this joyous love story.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Rita Kempley
    A tour de force so haunting that other films can't exorcise the memory of its radiant cast, exquisite craftsmanship or complex system of metaphors. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a movie.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    A deliciously mordant French spine-tingler.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Profoundly affecting.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Lethal Weapon opens with a shot of Mel Gibson in his birthday suit and just gets better. Likewise we meet costar Danny Glover in the bathtub, fêted by his family on his 50th birthday. This endearing double exposure introduces us to the vulnerabilities of these superduper heroes, an odd couple of cops who mature into friends as they quell crime.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Not since "Ghostbusters" have the spirits been so uplifting. [30 Mar 1988]
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    The French originals are always much breezier, the characters more genuine and the actors subtler even if the situations are just as silly.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Profound, powerful Czech import takes a tragicomic approach to the Holocaust, though unlike Benigni's film, the movie does not sentimentalize those caught up in the Nazi dragnet.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    The brothers, who have always seemed fond of their characters, have never taken quite so overt a stand for life's simple joys.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Director Jonathan Demme has nailed one with this playful, but dangerous, gangster farce.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    A hilarious new addition to the wonderfully warped Generation X-Files.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Bewitching.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    X marks the G-spot perhaps, for this is an orgiastic comedy of terrors and errors.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    A spiritually enriching testament to the human capacity for change -- and surely Spike Lee's most universally appealing film.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Joyous redemptive romantic comedy.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    It's a deliciously dishy comedy, but like sushi an acquired taste.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    It spins its wheels in a giddy sort of way, then puts the pedal to the mettle, lays rubber and fairly takes wing.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Gripping, troubling and deftly acted.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Apollo 13 is humanized by Hanks's reassuring portrait in courage, by Harris's nicotine-stained fingers and Quinlan's lacquered French twist.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Go
    The latest furiously paced, perversely entertaining "Pulp Fiction" for puppies.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Zemeckis, an undisputed master of film technology, shows off an equal aptitude for vivid storytelling.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    It's a movie that walks on air.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    JFK
    JFK is Stone's best and most emotional film since "Platoon."
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    There are films as lovely, but none lovelier.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Marshall masterfully plays our strings without becoming either melodramatic or maudlin. Like Brian De Palma's "Bonfire of the Vanities," hers is an adaptation that ends with a wake-up call, only here it's done successfully and in context.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    In a performance of enormous complexity and nuance, emotions seem to race across McKellen's face like hurrying clouds.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Though computer-animated rather than hand-drawn, this wry, rippingly paced buddy movie is as delightful in its own way as any of Walt Disney's traditional fairy tales.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Obliged to go from lost soul to demigod, Sewell's performance is as fascinating as Proyas's mystical vision.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Unforgettable, especially in Pearce's startling performance.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    What "The Big Chill" was to baby boomers, the inspirational sex, lies, and videotape is to the mall crowd. It's designer soul-searching, a looking glass for a generation.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Unlike "Heathers," a satiric treatment of teen suicide, Pump Up the Volume is passionately caring. It's a howl from the heart, a relentlessly involving movie that gives a kid every reason to believe that he or she can come of age. It appreciates the pimples and pitfalls of this frightening passage, the transit commonly known as adolescence.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    This rapturous romance is not only laugh-out-loud funny but demonstrates how little humankind has evolved in matters of the heart.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Written by former deejay Audrey Wells, the observant and funny script includes some wonderful scenes for the leading ladies.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    A delectable reworking of the ultimate girl's myth, a corporate Cinderella story with shades of a self-made Pygmalion.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Weird, warm, monumentally entertaining comedy.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    A quirky, tender, splendidly acted fable.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Warmhearted, wonderfully witty.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    A riot from start to finish, Carrey's first feature comedy is as cheerfully bawdy as it is idiotically inventive.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    We've seen it all before, most recently in "Gardens of Stone," most romantically in "An Officer and a Gentleman," but never more elegantly than here as Kubrick sustains the athletic ballet of obstacle courses and white-glove inspections for a breathtaking 40 minutes.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Amelie is joie de vivre in a nougat.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Remarkable.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    The movie is sleek and shiny as a new bullet, reflecting Scott's patented surplus of style.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Yet much of the movie's validity stems from time and place recreated with such authenticity that you can sense the wet chill in the morning air and the new wax pungent on the old gym floor. [27 Feb 1987, Weekend, p.n29]
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Perceptive, powerfully acted psychodrama.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    As a good fairy tale should, The Princess Bride teaches but never preaches. It's a lively, fun-loving, but nevertheless epic look at the nature of true love.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    Nolte is not only made for the role, he's also rehearsed it in real life.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    A hip, hilarious new animated feature.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    A brainy, superbly acted buddy movie.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Rita Kempley
    The real story lies beneath the surface of this superbly acted, strangely moving film.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Rita Kempley
    It crackles with comedy, but it's no space cartoon, nor self-lampoon. It's a happy, heartfelt chapter that reunites the original cast with the original TV format, shying away from the cold and epic scale of the preceding movie adventures.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    An enchanting, staggeringly beautiful epic at sea, is poetry in motion.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Tender, touching and downright delightful.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    It's rambunctiously entertaining, a loop-de-loopy bumper car ride through a firecracker sky, all bright lights, sonic booms and impossible heroics.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Like the director, the cast seems to have burrowed into the material, made all the more wrenchingly realistic by Dogme precepts.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    It practically celebrates convenience of plot, over-the-top acting and follow-the-footprints dialogue, but mostly it is a salute to sequins and sashay. With just a hint of sarcasm.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Astute and entertaining documentary.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Diane Keaton's kooky sensibilities as a director are ideally suited to the sweet madness of Unstrung Heroes.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    An uplifting, superbly acted and intelligent family drama.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    The potential for hokum is there, but Duvall and co-star James Earl Jones capably avoid the sticky pitfalls of Tom Epperson and Billy Bob Thornton's sugar-cured script.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    The movie is as visually inventive and wildly eccentric as the Coens' earlier movies, but it lacks the emotional maturity and moral clarity of 1996's "Fargo."
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Preposterous, predictable, but excessively entertaining, this frenzied thriller draws both story and characters from such action classics as "The Fugitive," "Die Hard," "The Dirty Dozen" and "The Silence of the Lambs."
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Though its attitudes are decidedly French, this intelligent film goes a long way toward explaining America's obsession with Martha Stewart Living, fake designer labels and TV talk show makeovers.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    A downright entertaining combo of mystery, melodrama and action adventure.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    A captivating comic allegory about daring to be different in the face of conformity.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Grounded in a good cause but never puffed up or preachy, the father-daughter drama transcends the issues.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    It's a literate though strained uplifter.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    The chatty, romantic roundelay takes a lighthearted look at the misadventures of six in the city.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    It's not the monotonous, neurotic's ego trip you'd imagine, but a karate-chop crawl against a rising tide of complacency.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    A flurry of stunts, close shaves and deeds of desperate daring, it easily transcends its television origins to become a stylish pacemaker-buster.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    And you will laugh till your ribs ache -- not because director Chris Columbus of the "Home Alone" movies has a gift for farce, which he does, but because Williams is to funny what the Energizer Bunny is to batteries. He keeps going and going and going.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    With its droll underpinnings, Robocop does for cyborgs and Detroit what "Blade Runner" did for androids and L.A.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Roberts and Richard Gere costar in this bubbly scamper, which goes to the head like champagne -- the cheap, sweet kind that leaves you with a throbbing head. And yet this monstrously derivative romance is great giddy fun.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    "Lethal Weapon," that BMW of buddy movies, spawns Lethal Weapon 2, a blacktop-blistering bad-guy-getter that's nearly twice as much fun.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    A steely neo-noir thriller with a nasty comic veneer.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Forget the heavy stuff. This monkey shines.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    As for Billy Bob, they all steal the money, but he steals the show.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    You have the right to remain silent. But if you do, call 911 -- your funny bone is busted. [2 Dec 1988]
    • Washington Post
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Cuaron approaches the film not as a fairy tale for children, but a work of magic realism. And perhaps best of all, he doesn't talk down to young folks, in the audience or in the cast. The performances are as natural as skinned knees and missing teeth.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Part cop caper, part coo-fest, it is a feel-good movie, a jolly little button-pusher about a street-smart cop who brings law and order to a classroom full of unruly but adorable youngsters.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Mann, who's best known for such urban crime dramas as "Vice" and "Manhunter," is equally at home whether the chase concerns a cigarette boat or a birch-bark canoe. He brings the same flair pairing action and style to The Last of the Mohicans, an attempt to resurrect and redefine the American hero.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Subtle, sensitive and every bit as swoony as a Barbara Cartland bodice-ripper, James Ivory's superb screen translation of E.M. Forster's Maurice.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    The key to success: The audience must really like both characters and believe that they deserve a fairy-tale ending. That's definitely the case in this nicely acted love story.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    An ingratiating West German "Heaven Can Wait." (Review of Original Release)

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