For 529 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 56% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Rita Kempley's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Lowest review score: 0 Broken Arrow
Score distribution:
529 movie reviews
    • 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)
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Consistently absorbing family saga is primarily a safari of the soul.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Simple fare, a feel-good movie that re-creates a time and place with gentle humor and a reminder that the Aussies have the right stuff, too.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    It's a good ride, briskly paced, well played and vividly photographed by Caleb Deschanel.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    An intriguing, visually startling murder mystery that showcases the virtuosity of Samuel L. Jackson.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    All the performances are exceptional.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Coppola, who both wrote and directed this entertaining adaptation, follows the well-thumbed scenario, but with the help of his winning cast he disguises the absence of invention.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    It's like a chick flick for men--and the women who love them, sniff-sniff.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Director Joe Johnston, a veteran of Industrial Light and Magic, brings a wry Rube Goldberg approach to his first-ever feature. The sets are definitely plastic, but that slightly homemade look is refreshing in the hardware movie decade.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Though the Oscar-nominated documentary captures the fight and the fighters, it also explores Ali's role in reintroducing black Americans to their African culture.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Wickedly clever.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    The movie is not only a better version of the book, it's a work unto itself.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Ramis...does extract every last yuk from this lively clash of id and superego, this spoofy buddies' odyssey from underworld to Prozac nation.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Along with witty, appropriately rough-hewn repartee and genuine poignancy, writer Simon Beaufoy manages to sustain suspense to the last gyration.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    You seldom leave a theater walking on air, much less float all through a movie. But the joyous Bend It Like Beckham never lets you down.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    An entertaining tangle of pop aesthetic and comic book myth that occasionally bogs down, but manages to be ingratiating for all its defects.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss star in this hilarious brain-teaser about a patient who suffers acute separation anxiety when his psychiatrist goes on vacation.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    The story holds a potential for sap that is mostly unfulfilled thanks to Beresford's stately approach, the stars' better judgment and the protagonists' sharp wits. Admirably, Driving Miss Daisy takes the road less traveled.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Hilarious ... It's dishy, but not swishy.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    War is hellishly entertaining, especially in Behind Enemy Lines, a 21-gun salute to the commitment and preparedness of the U.S. military.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    It isn't wildly imaginative, but its subjects are novel enough in their own right. They're a little bit country and a little bit Rachmaninoff.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Though lovely to behold, this film isn't meant to send you home with a song in your heart.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Affecting, gloriously acted.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Writer-director Todd Solondz is far from clueless when it comes to the agonies of early adolescence, which he mercilessly re-creates in his caustic suburban comedy Welcome to the Dollhouse.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    A compelling French Canadian drama.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Carrey is not only under control, but funnier than ever.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Though far from a seamless work, the film is gorgeously crafted, and Silberling obviously has a passion for angels. But then these days, who doesn't?
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    This is not a movie that wraps up its story in a tidy bow, but it's a lot more fun than most of the ones that do.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Doesn't go down smooth, but it doesn't promise to.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    This is painless sexual politics, a fiendish comedy full of prickles and pain and the bright shiny pinks of a matador's cape. The farce falters from time to time, the pace is imperfect, but who can resist this "Twilight Zone" of limitless coincidences?
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    An edgy, irreverent, thoroughly winning comedy.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Star Wars had all the right stuff, and unlike its confounding progenitor, "2001: A Space Odyssey," it was fairy-tale simple: "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away," good met evil. [Special Edition]
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    A tantalizing spine-tingler.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Soderbergh won't hit the Oscar jackpot with Ocean's Eleven, but he has come up with a stylish winner.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Parker, a director of breadth, not depth, never supplies the big answers, but he does powerfully depict the climate of the Confederacy in the "Freedom Summer" of 1964.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Weaned on the homilies of "Happy Days" and the hominy grits of Mayberry, Ron Howard brings sitcom aphorisms to bear on the sticky-fingered realities of the beamish Parenthood.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    An episodic drama rich in sly humor and symbolic imagery.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Director DeVito, who never did know when to quit, manages to be as clever as he is vicious. His first movie, "Throw Momma From the Train," seems almost lyrical in comparison to the ruthlessness of this vehicle.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    A provocative, but extremely profane work, it is surely Allen's bawdiest since "Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex."
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    If emotional catharsis is what you seek, Stepmom delivers the goods.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Classy fare, with posh settings, gorgeous scenery and lots and lots of polishing from director John Madden ("Ethan Frome") and writer Jeremy Brock.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Yes, it's corny and reemerging cynics need not apply. But it is blissfully heartwarming.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    An engrossing chronicle.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Sharp, wildly funny social satire behind the profanity and potty jokes.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    A crackling courtroom drama with more twists than O.J. had alibis.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    It's a wonderfully corny story, performed exuberantly by Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze. When these two get together, you practically have to get out the fire extinguishers.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Hounsou, a West African model with beauty and presence but no acting experience, carries much of the movie on his broad shoulders with surprising skill and strength.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Swinton is elegantly comic, but also strangely cartoonish.... A funny and forthright screen presence, she is the foil for the stately pace and the opulent sets -- the most ravishing since "Bram Stoker's Dracula." There is only one conclusion: Potter, the little smarty-pants, is pulling our cross-gartered gams. She's having us on with this spoof of the prissy masterpiece theatricality.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Armstrong applies a dusting of contemporary feminism, but the stubborn sentimentalism of Alcott's endearing family portrait endures. [21 Dec 1994]
    • Washington Post
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    As intoxicating as the flower it's named for, and its characters, most of them as flawed and fascinating as the film itself, seem intoxicated by the overpowering scent.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Aimed at kids, but written with parents in mind, The Santa Clause balances the sugar with the spice, which Allen sprinkles on just right.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    A joyous genre-blender guaranteed to crank up your karma.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Rita Kempley
    Cerebral, frenetic and funny, this chamber piece from filmmaker James Toback provides a timely if inconclusive comment on monogamy.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Rita Kempley
    With its foibles and quirks, it's something like a Sam Shepard play by way of the Black Forest.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Rita Kempley
    A cheerful romp through a fussy New York hotel.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Rita Kempley
    Outbreak is an absolute hoot thanks primarily to director Wolfgang Petersen's rabid pacing and the great care he brings to setting up the story and its probability.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Rita Kempley
    Hell's belles! Nicholson's back. And that old Jack magic has us in his spell.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    The experience overall is like laughing down a gun barrel, a little bit tiring, a lot sick and maybe far too perverse for less jaded moviegoers.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Adapted from Valerie Martin's psychosexual novel, this maudlin film transforms the legend of Jekyll and Hyde into a talky romantic love triangle. [23 Feb 1996]
    • Washington Post
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Barkin's succulence and De Niro's showboating lend sizzle and ferocity to the proceedings, but the film draws its poignancy from 18-year-old DiCaprio's performance.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    The picture seems muted, the flower's petals a little brown at the edges.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    While the plot is thin and there's little action till the big blow some 60 minutes into the film, a volcano offers a greater variety of thrills than your basic cyclone ever could.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Star Trek III: The Search for Spock isn't really a movie, it's a happy reunion. The Enterprise is 18 years older and the crew members look like Gray Panthers in space. It may be old stuff, but it's still the right stuff up there. [8 June 1984, p.23]
    • Washington Post
    • 27 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Proud to be junk food, but it still tackles the serious subjects of illiteracy, teen-age pregnancy and young adult alcoholism. [22 July 1987]
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Adam Sandler is surprisingly likable as Robbie, a struggling musician who is left at the altar early in this modest romantic comedy.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    McGregor, the movie's most engaging performer, is convincing enough to sell the mutual attraction. The "Trainspotting" star is usually playing some kind of freak, and this is a nice stretch for him.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Bill Forsyth's Being Human, an anthology about the hesitant ascent of man, is a whimsically offbeat, stubbornly upbeat tour of man's progress as seen through the eyes of five guys named Hector. [06 May 1994]
    • Washington Post
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    With it's many knotty connections and complex exposition, the movie is definitely something of a muddle, but for that matter so are most conspiracy theories.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    This is hardly your same old trough of slop. Babe nonetheless prevails, demonstrating once again "how a kind and steady heart can heal a sorry world."
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Mulan may be exotic, but it's hardly a risky enterprise, what with its sentimental show tunes, wholesome morals and plucky teen heroine.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    It's plenty entertaining, but the ending is disappointing, given the buildup.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    The caper isn't as passionate as the title suggests—in fact, it's facile—but Ryan and Kevin Kline, as her attractive opposite, are irresistible together.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    This wonderfully acted romance brings the touching fantasy "Truly, Madly, Deeply" to mind.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    All canapes and haute bourgeoisie, it is a smart comedy of conversation, like "My Dinner With Andre" but with eight place settings.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    A decidedly medieval enterprise, darker in text and tone than a Gothic cathedral by the light of the moon.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    The trouble is that the picture is far from over when suddenly we find ourselves watching another movie -- a punishing, overly complex melodrama in which the Gingerbread Man receives his comeuppance.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Just isn't as fresh, focused or uniformly funny as "Waiting for Guffman."
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Showcases its cast's athleticism and Ping's kinetic high-wire artistry. But unlike similar Western-made fare, it doesn't take itself seriously.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    This is screenwriter Richard LaGravenese's directorial debut and now that he's in charge, he finally has his chance to give dialogue and character their due.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    A celebration of buddies and butts, it's an unconventionally structured, wonderfully acted group portrait of the regulars at a Brooklyn cigar store.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    A solid second film from director Gary Fleder ("Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead"), it's sure to set pulses racing and spines tingling. Too bad it's at the expense of the dignity of young women everywhere.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    About as understated as a 21-gun salute... What's missing is anything of Reiner himself.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    There are laughs -- lots of them, too -- but at some point the source of the laughs -- Vaughan's Ricky, a yammering loose cannon -- goes from entertaining to obnoxious.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    This knowing, low-budget comedy will appeal to men, who'll recognize their behavior, but also to women, who'll see it as goosing the gander.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    It satisfies your appetite for totally tasteless but deliciously flaky boy movies.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Primarily, it's a warm, fuzzy and funny duet between Spacey and Bridges, one that brings to mind the interplay between Spock and Kirk.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Sliding Doors is frothy stuff, far more complicated in structure than in content.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Romantic comedies don't get more formulaic than this bouncing-screwball valentine, but then they don't get much more delightful, either.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    With its outrageous double-entendre, gonzo performances and appalling lack of restraint, the sequel is more than a guilty pleasure.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    The movie is really almost tasteful considering [Cronenberg’s] stomach-churning capacities. He always does it for a higher purpose, though, which is why his films sometimes win wider audiences. This one probably won't cross over, because it's too queasy. [23 Sept 1988]
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Hairspray is definitely self-congratulatory, like the message movies it aims to spoof. But there's a sweet morality mixed with the camp clumsiness of this nostalgic goof. Waters couldn't care less about the subtleties of plot or character. He writes and directs the way a kid finger paints. As usual, he's gathered a tantalizing cast from the so-out-they're-in crowd. [26 Feb 1988, p.b1]
    • Washington Post
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Though a thematically ambitious and deftly acted thriller, the film is also shockingly coldblooded and not a little reactionary.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Darkman, as unnerving as a gargoyle, is a classic nightmare, elegant and sumptuous, everything "Batman" should have been. But we're numbed after a while, as we are by the grotesquerie of the nightly news. Then again, maybe that's Raimi's intention. His work is beautiful in its scary way, and never only skin deep.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Diverting and provides a satisfying alternative to teen-oriented summer comedy.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    A knowing, somewhat slight, often hilarious sendup of cubicle culture.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Entrancing, uncommonly compassionate film.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Funny without being flip.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    It starts slow, but finishes fast with some clever plot twists. In the end, all is not lost with these boys.

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