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 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
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Though the film gleams with Howard's customary spit polish, there's no denying that the story is pitted with plot holes.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Jackie Gleason and Tom Hanks team entertainingly in Nothing in Common, a sugar-coated variation on "Death of a Salesman." It proves an uncommonly funny drama, its painful truths brightened by Hanks' clowning glory and Gleason's glowering deadpan. [1 Aug 1986, p.25]
    • Washington Post
    • 41 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Attention all units: Slapstick in progress in the vicinity of Police Academy. Suspects wanted for mugging the camera and possession of night shtiks with intent to incite a laugh riot. Please respond to this blues burlesque, a uniformly funny hit sure to have a long run. Its target audience -- those who can take their T&A with a grain of assault. Its plot -- a combo of "Animal House" and "An Officer and a Gentleman." Its stars -- a rainbow coalition of hot newcomers and dependable, unexpendable pros. [23 Mar 1984, p.23]
    • Washington Post
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Jon Amiel, who previously directed "Sommersby," delivers a taut, gripping thriller and, with the help of his accomplished leads, succeeds in camouflaging some of the mammoth holes in Ann Biderman and David Madsen's otherwise intelligent and inventive screenplay.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    And even though the jokes keep on coming, not all are side-splitters. But before it's all over, they will have viewers howling at one or more pants-wettingly silly moments.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    The most unlikely of undertakings: an energetic feel-good movie about sex, drugs and other rock-related depravities.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    A jumble of subplots and suppositions, The Unbelievable Truth ultimately comes together as suburban farce in a door-banging conclusion to all the wild speculation.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    It's less like a film by Demme than the best of Frank Capra. It is not just canny, corny and blatantly patriotic, but compassionate, compelling and emotionally devastating.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    A scrappy independent film that packs the same emotional punch as "Rocky."
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Pu Yi's personal tragedy has become Bertolucci's three-hour epic of obsolescence, opulently visualized. It's docudrama that dazzles, but basically Pu Yi was a bore.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    This sweet little tale is as informative as it is entertaining for its target audience, the very youngest of the Muppet franchise's fans.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Big Night, a scrumptious tale of great food and grand passions, belongs on the menu with such mouth-watering movie fare as "Babette's Feast" and "Like Water for Chocolate."
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Brendan Fraser breathes loopy new life into the swinging '60s TV cartoon icon.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Like the male-bonding movies upon which it's modeled, it celebrates letting down your hair with your own gender.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    It's the rapport between the two actors, De Niro and Murray, that saves Mad Dog and Glory from being something less than just another buddy movie. Their real-life friendship spills over into this jittery, very funny look at the male bonding experience.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    It's a quirky film -- extremely profane and violent -- a respite from reverential sigh-fi. It's like visiting the bus depot late at night, and finding you kind of like it. [14 Sept 1984]
    • Washington Post
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    A dumbed-down adaptation of Michael Crichton's techno-novel on the dangers of dinosaur cloning, it's not Spielberg at the top of his game, but it's dino-mite just the same.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Like many of his recent films, The Mexican would be an independent movie if Pitt, not to mention the queen of popcorn cinema, weren't part of the picture. This is not your typical star vehicle.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    The case is tried off-screen. Thank goodness for the maid (Sarah Flind), who runs home from her chores with tidings from the outside world -- we hear from the maid that Sir Bobby gave a helluva final argument. The jurors wept, the crowd went wild. Too bad we missed it.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    With its energetic cast and insistent street score, it still manages to be poignant without becoming bathetic, and violent without being exploitative.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    A densely plotted, visually dynamic post-apocalyptic thriller.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    The tale is propelled by its characters and buoyed by the film's warm and loving spirit.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    A complex, compelling examination of personal-injury law as well as a portrait of personal redemption, the movie quickly sets its tone with a heartless summation of an individual's relative worth.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    The action scenes are beautifully mounted and photographed and offer a sense of the rigors of the sport.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Rita Kempley
    Despite Allen's sincere face; Bridges' quirky, effective portrayal; some exquisite effects; and many funny moments, the film falters at the finish, if not a little before. Mostly it never delivers what it promises -- an alien with all the right answers. [14 Dec 1984, p.31]
    • Washington Post
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau reprise the roles of a pair of Minnesota mossbacks in the heartwarming, albeit warmed-over, sequel Grumpier Old Men—though given its scatological bent, it might have been called Grump and Grumpier.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    In Burton's hands, Washington Irving's spooky classic is reincarnated as an overripe, grisly Goth cartoon.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    Writer-director Stephan Elliott is obviously fond of his characters, and this may account for the upbeat story line, but it blinds him to how very annoying two hours of dishing can be.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    Most egregiously, the filmmakers set up a classic struggle between right and wrong and then, in a coy coda, refuse to take a stand.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    Director John McTiernan, who redefined the action genre in the original "Die Hard," does devise some smashing explosions, crashes and so on, but nothing really new.

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