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 Miller's Crossing
Lowest review score: 0 Not Another Teen Movie
Score distribution:
518 movie reviews
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    Like Shepherd's speech, The American President touches on all manner of issues but illumines none of them. And while there are some engaging glimpses of the president's staff in action...the film's principal pleasures lie in the president's pursuit of a first lady.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    Though it lacks the gloss, twists and star power of earlier Grisham movies, The Chamber does possess Gene Hackman's most cantankerous turn since the lowdown lawman he created in "Unforgiven."
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    Pollack makes a solid job of it, as does Cruise. But solid isn't enough when it comes to thrillers -- or courtroom dramas, for that matter. Solid is great when it comes to office furniture.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    While this adaptation of Waller's treacly bodice-ripper leaves out a lot of the lurid excess, it is not altogether free of pomposity.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    A superbly heartfelt drama for six diverse actors, it is as colorfully striated as its majestic namesake - and almost as wide. The film's depth is another matter altogether.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    Like "Ghost" and "Pretty Woman," this romance is blissfully dependent on our staying good and starry-eyed, seduced by the charisma of the leads. And we do, despite its lackadaisical pace and disappointing ending.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    Despite the quirky trappings, Something Wild is often as tame as its star couple.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    As a persona of epic polarities, [Harrison Ford] animates this muddled, metaphysical journey into the jungle.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    Behind the lens Murray has an uneven touch (or perhaps his co-director does), and "Quick Change" is given to slow moments and miscalculations. But in front of the camera, he is as wonderfully acerbic as ever, equal parts anger and hurt feelings as he grapples with the rot of the Apple, the roar of subway, the smell of the crowds.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    Douglas plays Gekko with a terrible intensity. He raves and rants, but he has a rascal's humor.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    UHF
    Yankovic, an advocate of the Monty Python and Mel Brooks schools of comedy, favors yechy burlesque, and UHF, with its scant plot, is basically a variety show with skits, sight gags and gross stuff. "Weird" reminds us there's nothing quite like a good booger joke for pure entertainment.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    A flawed but funky adventure.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    "Nerds" is erratic -- more gags work than don't, but more situations don't work than do. There are some great throwaway lines. [10 Aug. 1984, p.23]
    • Washington Post
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Rita Kempley
    The story line is little more than a shiny hat for holding the high-tech rabbits. Still, it's an enjoyable bit of smoke and mirrors, thanks to the decency and resourcefulness of its hero.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rita Kempley
    O
    Everything has been modernized except for the characters, and that's this movie's tragic flaw.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Rita Kempley
    A coy seriocomedy distantly related to--but missing the sting of--"Kiss of the Spider Woman."
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Rita Kempley
    Shaft? Not in this splashy-but-empty remake he isn't.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rita Kempley
    The topic certainly suits the times, but the director's approach is as alienating as it is old-fashioned.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Rita Kempley
    A bittersweet duet convincingly, if unexcitingly, performed by Baye and Lopez.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Rita Kempley
    Those who do go with the fantasy are probably hopeless romantics.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Rita Kempley
    Directing with an eye to "Rebecca," Branagh brings more mood than suspense to this apparent hommage to Hitchcock. Still, he raises no goose bumps.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Rita Kempley
    Defiantly sophomoric, often hilarious and crude as all get-out.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rita Kempley
    Awkwardly acted.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Rita Kempley
    A corkscrew of a thriller, has more twists than a tarantula with a permanent.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rita Kempley
    Wendy Wasserstein brings a dull pen to this literary adaptation, which shows none of the bite or savvy of Stephen McCauley's novel.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rita Kempley
    Gibson and the overexposed Hunt don't exactly burn up the screen, not that it much matters. The charm isn't in the relationship, it's in Gibson's puckish appeal.