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 9.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Sheila Benson's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Sex, Lies, and Videotape
Lowest review score: 10 Cocktail
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 86
  2. Negative: 11 out of 86
86 movie reviews
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Sheila Benson
    But the climax of "Close Encounters" was breathtaking and the climax of The Abyss is downright embarrassing; in the light of day, its payoff effect looks like a glazed ceramic what's-it your 11-year-old made in crafts class. It's criminal. [9 Aug 1989, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Sheila Benson
    With Manhunter, there seems to be some danger that style has overrun content, leaving behind a vast, chic, well-cast wasteland. [15 Aug 1986]
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Sheila Benson
    Did you miss "Pretty in Pink," with the glowing Molly Ringwald? No problem. Some Kind of Wonderful, which has the same director -- Howard Deutch -- also has the same story... The real complaint, however, is that Hughes has absolutely nothing new to report -- no fresh perspectives, no gratefully received maturity, nothing added or depleted. [27 Feb 1987]
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Sheila Benson
    For all its good intentions, for the thrillingly staged moments in the film's first quarter-for all the sweeping movement of thousands of people streaming through the streets of Shanghai-and for all its not-inconsiderable craft, the film's grave problem is a lack of central heating: We don't have a single character to warm up to. [09 Dec 1987]
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Sheila Benson
    There's more length than depth to Labyrinth. The Baryshnikov staging of "The Nutcracker" has more to tell about a girl on the edge of young womanhood, with more poignancy and a more palpable sense of transition, than all the technical wizardry Henson and crew have offered so lavishly-and without a single pop song, either. [26 Jun 1986, p.1]
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Sheila Benson
    The film's greatest asset is Kelly LeBrock, who is triumphant. She may represent souped-up womanhood at its most fanciful but she does so with great warmth and a sharp sense of herself.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Sheila Benson
    It's strange that in this somber inspection of moral fiber and what causes it to fray, De Palma couldn't have made his hero at least as interesting as his villain, and both of them at least as complicated as they were in life.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Sheila Benson
    Under Australian director George Miller ("Mad Max"), The Witches of Eastwick begins so promisingly. It has such smashing separate moments, so succulent a cast and so interesting a premise that watching it crumble into stomach-turning crudeness and "Poltergeist"-scale special effects is deeply painful.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 40 Sheila Benson
    Unfortunately, director Michael Lehmann's point of view is swivel-mounted: He doesn't have the courage of his cynicism. [31 Mar 1989]
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Sheila Benson
    In all his athletic scenes, leaping through doors, leaping between uptown and downtown trains, leaping on an assortment of villains, Swayze is just fine. It's the movie's big cosmic questions that throw him; for these he's reduced to a look of total stupefaction--not the movie's finest moments. [13 July 1990, Calendar, p.F-1]
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Sheila Benson
    At all times the wretched high-concept, low-intelligence story contrives to bring everything down to its sudsy level. [22 Nov 1985]
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Sheila Benson
    Sanitized for our protection and in the hands of director Adrian Lyne, 9 1/2 Weeks is a swooningly silly cautionary tale about the bad and the beautiful; a pair whose sexual tastes might have surfaced after a night of watching "Bolero" on videocassette. [21 Feb 1986, p.1]
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Sheila Benson
    Wall Street wants to be a shrewd piece of movie making, our own insider's tip, but it's tinny and thin and close to moral bankruptcy. As for its veracity, it's probably no closer to Wall Street than "The Bad and the Beautiful" was to the skills of movie making. And it's a lot less fun. [11 Dec 1987, p.1]
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Sheila Benson
    In this stately and fairly slavish representation, directed by Richard Attenborough, what pokes through with the pain of a broken bone is how thin the material really is. [12 Dec 1985]
    • 86 Metascore
    • 40 Sheila Benson
    It's big, cartoonish and empty, with an interesting premise that is underdeveloped and overproduced. [3 July 1975, p.Calendar 6]
    • 66 Metascore
    • 30 Sheila Benson
    Without complexity to its characters, with little balance and without a hint of the personal, family or community issues involved, Colors becomes a movie that never has to ask "Why?"--a vivid, noisy shell of a film filled with eager young actors rattling along on the surface of a lethally important subject. [15 Apr 1988]
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Sheila Benson
    The astonishing thing about Raising Arizona is how it can move so fast, be so loud, and ramain so relentlessly boring at the same time. [20 Mar 1987]
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Sheila Benson
    Nothing works, except perhaps the sight of Julia Roberts' lean, well-tempered midsection and her roughly eight yards of legs that, in this frail comedy, are worked until they're almost a story point of their own. [23 Mar 1990, Calendar, p.F-14]
    • 66 Metascore
    • 30 Sheila Benson
    The Joker has been demoted into a broad-scale sociopath, without a tempter's power or a mythic villain's complexity. And that's the movie's real undoing. [23 June 1989, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Sheila Benson
    It's hard to believe that the group who came up with the hard, clean edges of "Top Gun," sleek and unfeeling though it may have been, could make a picture as crude, as muddled, as destructo-Derbyish as this one. If Beverly Hills Cop II is its opening salvo, this is going to be a long, smoggy summer. [20 May 1987]
    • 35 Metascore
    • 20 Sheila Benson
    When director Herbert Ross is away from his dance numbers, he lets the pace sag frightfully. A lot of good talent on both sides of the camera goes down with this PG-13-rated ship. [20 Aug 1990, p.6]
    • 60 Metascore
    • 20 Sheila Benson
    You can leave Days of Thunder feeling positively chafed. That clanking noise, however, comes from Robert Towne's tinny story and its malnourished characters. [27 Jun 1990, p.1]
    • 38 Metascore
    • 20 Sheila Benson
    Actually it's not a bad notion for a satiric comedy and this one begins well, but then veers entirely out of hand until it's as over-inflated as its own Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come and as funny as a mugging. [23 Nov 1988, p.1]
    • 48 Metascore
    • 10 Sheila Benson
    James Earl Jones proves that he is probably the only actor in America who can wear the skin of a full-grown lion-jewels in its eyes, its tail in its mouth-over street clothes and not look like a damn fool. But there's not a thing he can do with this flaccid, foolish film. [29 Jun 1988, p.1]
    • 12 Metascore
    • 10 Sheila Benson
    Arm wrestling and hamburger building have been exhausted as backgrounds for movies, so it was probably inevitable that bartending would be next. But nothing quite prepares you for the hamburger that Cocktail makes of an old and relatively honorable profession. [29 Jul 1988, p.14]
    • 24 Metascore
    • 10 Sheila Benson
    In spite of a sturdy cast and dazzling production design, Highlander is stultifyingly, jaw-droppingly, achingly awful.[11 Mar 1986, p.5]