Sheila Benson
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For 86 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 9.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Sheila Benson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Hannah and Her Sisters
Lowest review score: 10 Coming to America
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 86
  2. Negative: 11 out of 86
86 movie reviews
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Sheila Benson
    Heart may be what the movie needs most, but a bit of clarity wouldn't hurt either. Even here in gangsterland, where random characters are cherished and non sequiturs are considered wisecracks, there is a difference between complications and impenetrability, and this plot is a bloody thicket.. [5 Oct 1990, Calendar, p.F-10]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Sheila Benson
    You can't roll monstrous boulders straight at audiences any more and have a whole theater-full duck and gasp with fright--and pleasure. We may be plumb gasped out. And although Harrison Ford is still in top form and the movie is truly fun in patches, it's a genre on the wane. [24 May 1989, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Sheila Benson
    The pace of the direction and-especially-of the screenplay by playwright-television writer John Kostmayer-begins to crawl, weighing down everything. [06 Apr 1990]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Sheila Benson
    Although it, too, is gorgeous to look at, this skeletal thriller is as direct and spare as its Mennonites. [08 Feb 1985]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Sheila Benson
    For all its mosaic of nice details, Silverado is still a faintly hollow creation-constructed, not torn from the heart. For a generation of kids to whom the Western is a new adventure, there probably will be action and distraction enough to dazzle. Those who need to be deeply stirred by this redoubtable form will still have to wait: Silverado is good but not great. [10 Jul 1985, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Sheila Benson
    Possibly because Stone empathizes so enormously with co-writer Kovic, who came back from Vietnam at the age of 21 paralyzed from the chest down, the director has lost the specificity that made "Platoon" so electrifying. In its place he uses bombast, overkill, bullying. His scenes, and their ironic juxtapositioning, explode like land mines. [20 Dec 1989, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Sheila Benson
    These and wickedly funny backstage snapshots of moviemaking are the good times of Postcards, but even they can't hide its emotional starvation. [12 Sep 1990, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Sheila Benson
    Written with his trademark artfulness, nicely acted and gorgeously pretty, Tequlia Sunrise finally blows away into slick unsubstantiality. [2 Dec 1988, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 Sheila Benson
    Everyone who grew up with the full range of the Oz books is deeply in Murch's debt. However, the framework surrounding Return to Oz is dark and, I suspect, terribly frightening for very young children. [21 Jun 1985, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times