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 3.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Rita Kempley's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 The People vs. Larry Flynt
Lowest review score: 0 Broken Arrow
Score distribution:
518 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Murphy owes much of his success to the amazing special-effects makeup by Rick Baker ("An American Werewolf in London"), but he brings a tenderness and dignity to the performance that he has never shown before.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Bound, a diabolically clever caper, isn't nearly so deep as the genre it kids.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    The hero's feats are implausible even by action standards, but screenwriters Tony Puryear and Walon Green have concocted one of the summer's most spectacular action sequences.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    For all of its departures, Luhrmann's largely successful reinterpretation is far from irreverent. He takes liberties with the world, but never the words of this achingly beautiful love story.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    The picture seems muted, the flower's petals a little brown at the edges.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Rita Kempley
    Filled as it is with unforced errors, A League of Their Own isn't a perfect picture, but it is irresistibly ebullient with not one, but nine Babes on base.
    • 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]
    • 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]
    • 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]
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    Howard's film, like McConaughey's performance, is unassuming, ingratiating and a little rough around the edges.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    Like last winter's "Pleasantville," this movie juxtaposes classic virtues against modern mores. The former did so with far more invention.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    A live-action cartoon without dramatic focus, a solid structure or discernible theme.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    Brings bite as well as bark to the funnier sequel.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    Everything from time travel to melodrama figures in this whimsically daft story, a romanticization that tries your patience even as your tear ducts well.