Sheila Benson

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For 91 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 56% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 42% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Sheila Benson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 When Harry Met Sally...
Lowest review score: 10 Road House
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 91
  2. Negative: 12 out of 91
91 movie reviews
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is as fine a film as it is a brutally disturbing one.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    The summer's uncorseted, unqualified delight. [14 July 1989, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    Hopkins' insinuating performance puts him right up there with the screen's great bogymen. [13 February 1991, Calendar, p.F-1}
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    Dense, satisfying, feverishly inventive and a technical marvel… But--animation aside--the treasure of the piece is Hoskins' pungent, visceral comic performance. [22 June 1988]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    GoodFellas is "Raging Bull" squared. [20 September 1990, Calendar, p.F-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    Mellow, beautiful, rich and brimming with love, "Hannah" is the best Woody Allen yet and, quite simply, a great film. [7 February 1986, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    Such nourishing comedy. It satisfies every hunger, especially the irrational ones that seem to hit hardest at holidays: hunger for impetuous romance and for the reassuring warmth of family, for reckless abandon, and for knowing who we are and what we want. [16 Dec 1987]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    A clear-eyed vision. Authentic as an Edward Curtis photograph, lyrical as a George Catlin oil or a Karl Bodmer landscape, this is a film with a pure ring to it. It's impossible to call it anything but epic [9 Nov 1990, Calendar, p.F-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    [Stone] succeeds with an immediacy that is frightening. War movies of the past, even the greatest ones, seem like crane shots by comparison; Platoon is at ground zero.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    To think of a film this assured, this unified and this dizzyingly potent, you have to go back to "Blue Velvet." [22 Sept 1988]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    A convulsively funny affair.[15 July 1988, Calendar, p. 6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    The performances of Close and Silver are flawless, but it is Irons' portrait that remains behind, an enigmatic after-image… Reversal of Fortune is a delectable tour through facets of the lives of the rich and famous that Robin Leach wouldn't touch with a forked stick. [17 Oct 1990]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    Electrifying… As writer, director and editor, [Soderbergh’s] control is mesmerizing. It's also more than a little creepy; as though Soderbergh were drawing us, a step at a time, into a warm pool where intimate secrets flowed back and forth as simply as currents of water. [4 Aug 1989, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    It's as engaging, as modest, as utterly American and as thrilling as the true-life story it's based on. [11 Dec 1986, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    The most brilliantly disturbing film ever to have its roots in small-town American life. [19 September 1986, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    One of the bloodiest and most beautiful reflections on atonement in the Scorsese canon... It is still one of cinema's most breathtaking films.
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    Diamond-hard and mesmerizing… Bening and Cusack are perfection at what they are doing, she twinkly as any rhinestone, he dangerously passive; it's hardly their fault that Huston is the motor of the piece and so ferociously seductive that one cannot look away from her. [5 Dec 1990]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    Stirred up impassioned debate everywhere; it would seem the greatest compliment that could be paid a stunning entertainment. [30 June 1989, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 53 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    Irresistibly funny… Just about the best holiday gift imaginable. [23 Dec 1988, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    The Manchurian Candidate proves that its fascination is intact. [12 Jan 1998, p.C1; Re-Release]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Sheila Benson
    It would seem impossible that anyone looking into the heart and the clear intent of the film would fail to see Scorsese's passion for his subject. And if our world is becoming so dangerously constricted that we're forbidden even to look, that is something we should all worry about. [12 Aug 1988, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Sheila Benson
    Ron Howard reaches real maturity here, as he pulls together the script's tendency to skitter between sociology and sitcom, making it into one perceptive, delicious whole. [2 Aug 1989, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Sheila Benson
    Demme finds haunting overtones in the somewhat old-hat situations of E. Max Frye's first screenplay. Something Wild also has three first-class performances: by Daniels, who seems to have resources that his earlier roles never touched; by electrifying newcomer Ray Liotta, and by Griffith as the maddening, mysterious Lulu. [6 Nov 1986]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Sheila Benson
    In a superb cast of mostly unknowns -- with the exception of Matthew Modine and Dorain Harewood -- D'Onofrio, who put on 60 pounds for this pivotal role, and Ermey are exceptional. [26 June 1987]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Sheila Benson
    Smart and funny, touching and unabashedly sensual... the sweet sleeper of a hot season. [21 Aug 1987]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Sheila Benson
    Biting and vicious, a styptic pencil on the battered face of "civilized divorce." It's also thoughtful, laceratingly funny, and bravely true to its own black-and-blue comic vision. [8 Dec 1989]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Sheila Benson
    Working Girl is the sparkling success that it is because of the sheer irresistibility of Melanie Griffith. [21 Dec 1988, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Sheila Benson
    Somehow, Hoffman makes all this hypnotically interesting, and, through impeccable timing, sometimes terribly funny--a sweet humor which never betrays Raymond's unalterable character. [16 Dec 1988]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Sheila Benson
    Drugstore Cowboy, an electrifying movie without one misstep or one conventional moment. [11 Oct 1989]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Sheila Benson
    Broadcast News is so diabolically clever that you rather expect it to be heartless, in the way that so much surface cleverness can be. No such thing. Heartless is the wrong word for this movie: It's insightful and understanding and marvelous fun, while giving up none of its thoughtfulness. [16 Dec 1987, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Sheila Benson
    It's just that when a movie is this close, with so much of the sports flavor (co-producer Thom Mount is co-owner of the real Durham Bulls), you like to see it perfect. [15 June 1988]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Sheila Benson
    A film of warmth, insight, humor and surprising originality… [It] isn't perfect, but when it's good, which is every moment John Cusack is on screen, it's a living joy. And when it's not-so-good--earthbound and not inventive enough--it s till almost single-handedly redeems the breed. [14 April 1989]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Sheila Benson
    If you want the true, jaw-dropping details of Pu Yi's life, try the biography by Edward Behr, Newsweek International's cultural editor. If you want a staggering and certainly singular movie experience, The Last Emperor will do very nicely. [20 Nov 1987, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Sheila Benson
    Strangely enough, Married to the Mob, which may prove to be Demme's long-overdue passport to mass audience adulation, may tickle everyone but die-hard Demme fans. [19 Aug 1988]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 Sheila Benson
    Weir's orchestrated The Mosquito Coast's action to match Fox's progressive mental state, from rage to explosion to squalls and finally to hurricane velocity; however, the film leaves us not with an apotheosis, but exhaustion. [26 Nov 1986]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Sheila Benson
    The actors, many of whom are part of a loose Mike Leigh stock company, are miraculously deft at erasing that line between performing and being.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Sheila Benson
    The production is as clean and effective as Red October herself; there's not one dial or glowing radar screen too many; the underwater hits and near-misses are clearly choreographed and the undersea intensity is captured perfectly by Jan De Bont's camera work. [2 Mar 1990, Calendar, p.F-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Sheila Benson
    F/X
    A love of the world of movies permeates the first-class, crackling excitement of F/X, giving a rare dimension to this thriller.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Sheila Benson
    Eventually the film's suspense underpinnings take over its personal story, yet that tension Quaid and Barkin generate still holds.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Sheila Benson
    Stylistically, the film is a dream. But in every case, the style has a reason. [12 Aug 1988]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Sheila Benson
    Depardieu and MacDowell seem to share an uncommon honesty and generosity of spirit. So as the sexual tension between their characters grows, their scenes together are charmingly open and uncompetitive. The sense is that if these two ever become lovers, it will be because they have first become friends. On that startling note, in today's climate of explicit, loveless love, the film floats to its heady conclusion. [11 Jan 1991, p.6]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Sheila Benson
    The comedy of Quick Change is city-dweller humor, honed to a fine edge and site-specific to New York because the Big Apple is more or less on its knees, civility-wise. All it needs is a lethally funny comedy like this to give it the coup de grace. [13 Jul 1990, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Sheila Benson
    A smart, generous, genuinely funny affair. Sometimes, like the camel who almost ambles away with the picture, it's longish in the tooth, but it is based on an extremely astute vision of life. [15 May 1987]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Sheila Benson
    In addition to its photography, the film's details of costuming (by "The Last Emperor's" James Acheson) and production design (by Stuart Craig of "Gandhi" and "The Mission") are ravishing. [21 Dec 1988, Calendar p.6]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Sheila Benson
    Class Action s good, chewy entertainment, part courtroom pyrotechnics, part Machiavellian legal maneuvers. [15 Mar 1991]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Sheila Benson
    Ghostbusters II doesn't seem to be pushing as hard as its predecessor, which of course makes it even more fun. There's an old-shoeishness to the proceedings; even Murray's owlish put-downs seem a little less snide-they're almost affectionate, if that's not too outrageous a word in this context. [16 Jun 1989, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Sheila Benson
    This is the most cheerfully preposterous film of a jaw-dropping summer, which is not to say it's not fun, it's simply orchestrated Looney Tunes.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Sheila Benson
    For all its genuinely funny moments and its mix of outrageousness and insights, Down and Out remains curiously unsatisfying in the way it resolves the Nolte character.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Sheila Benson
    If "Back to the Future" made you bored and querulous, then the tumbling inventiveness in its sequel may come as a pleasant surprise. Of course, if you were among the 92% of the world who loved the ride in Dr. Emmett Brown's diabolical DeLorean back in 1985, then Part II is your oyster. [22 Nov 1989, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Sheila Benson
    Gilliam never aims down, his films zing in somewhere at the Mensa level of reference, but he seems confident that we will catch the wit of his visual quotations and so we do. Like a film making Catherine wheel, he throws off an immoderate art history display; he plunders past film styles with a free hand to make a point. [5 Mar 1989, p.23]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Sheila Benson
    But seductive as his surfaces are, Forman's tack doesn't hold for long. His changes have muted a great tale of betrayal by intelligence and he has blunted the malign inevitability of Laclos' story. [17 Nov 1989]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Sheila Benson
    Blithe, reasonably witty, with as many story twists as a Riviera roadway, its greatest assets are its glorious look and Michael Caine, his hair full of Dippety-Doo, his heart full of larceny. [14 Dec 1988, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Sheila Benson
    A lovingly assembled cast in a brilliantly detailed production, with special notice to Vilmos Zsigmond's haunting cinematography, which seems somehow to have captured the light as it was, pre-smog. [10 Aug 1990]
    • Los Angeles Times

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