Stanley Kauffmann

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For 456 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 39% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 59% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stanley Kauffmann's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Secrets & Lies
Lowest review score: 0 Hulk
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 456
456 movie reviews
    • 89 Metascore
    • 10 Stanley Kauffmann
    An overwrought, hollowly symbolic glob of glutinous nonsense... I haven't seen a sillier film about a woman and a piano since John Huston's "The Unforgiven" (1960), a Western in which Lillian Gish had her piano carried out into the front yard so she could play Mozart to pacify attacking Indians. [13 Dec 1993]
    • The New Republic
    • 86 Metascore
    • 30 Stanley Kauffmann
    In crudest terms, there's no one to root for, and unlike Mamet or Pinter, for instance, the story isn't remotely strong enough to thrive without such a center… [The film s]trains hard to be smart and is ultimately repellent. [11 May 1992]
    • The New Republic
    • 84 Metascore
    • 30 Stanley Kauffmann
    As is frequently the case when there is public fuss about a film or play, the work itself is not very good.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 20 Stanley Kauffmann
    Virtually everything that happens in Adaptation is almost juvenile showing off - daring to make a film that is in search of a script.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 20 Stanley Kauffmann
    The plot, the gags, the action are so stupid and strident, so unfunnily parodic, that the film's only interest is in wondering how they did it-the mix of animation and live action. [1 Aug 1988]
    • The New Republic
    • 82 Metascore
    • 30 Stanley Kauffmann
    At the last, we're left with a film that tries to doll up a conventional genre with hints of depth, hoping to disguise the cross-dressing by putting it in the shape of an epic. Murnau, Mizoguchi, Ford, even you authors of the Book of Genesis, rest easy. [12 Oct 1992]
    • The New Republic
    • 80 Metascore
    • 30 Stanley Kauffmann
    The picture is cloudy in intent. That cloudiness is deepened by Susan Sarandon's performance as Sister Helen. If she were giving the role what it seems to demand, a glow of true religious light, the film would have some organic cohesion, a strong spiritual cord running through it. But Sarandon does little more than present her face. [Feb. 5, 1996]
    • The New Republic
    • 78 Metascore
    • 30 Stanley Kauffmann
    After years of preparation in the hands of a man celebrated for his penetration and style, the picture adds almost nothing to our knowledge of its subject and adds it in a manner almost devoid of visual distinction. [27 July 1987]
    • The New Republic
    • 76 Metascore
    • 30 Stanley Kauffmann
    For this mortal, the film converts piety into pathology and then converts it back again at the end with a Song of Bernadette conclusion. I don't know what the title means. I do know that this ridiculous film won the Grand Jury Prize at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival.[ Dec. 9, 1996]
    • The New Republic
    • 75 Metascore
    • 30 Stanley Kauffmann
    Contrivances accrue so thickly that the source seems to be not 1978 Toback, but 1930s Warner Brothers. The film sweats to be up-to-date with ultra-hectic editing, pace, elision, and sangfroid, but they can't verify the pasteboard base.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 30 Stanley Kauffmann
    The surprise is that a picture made to be exciting for 136 minutes is so unexciting most of the time. It starts with a bang and keeps banging, so there's little suspense and no crescendo. [12 Aug 1991, p.28]
    • The New Republic
    • 74 Metascore
    • 20 Stanley Kauffmann
    So this is not, as vaunted, a documentary about a film destroyed by temperaments and tizzies. It is the account of a medical catastrophe that could have spoiled the opening of a supermarket.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 30 Stanley Kauffmann
    The whole is just a wan rejection of traditional story, as well as a weak slap at those who still bother to attack the story tradition.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 10 Stanley Kauffmann
    A braggart piece of empty exhibitionism.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 10 Stanley Kauffmann
    Billed as a comedy, but it could also be billed as a drama, a satire, an allegory, or a film (partially) noir. It wouldn't matter, or help... Not since Robert Altman has any American filmmaker been as overrated as this pair. [30 Sept 1991]
    • The New Republic
    • 69 Metascore
    • 30 Stanley Kauffmann
    The really relevant defect of this thriller is that it isn't scary.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 0 Stanley Kauffmann
    A lifeless, tedious picture... A complete dud. [29 Oct 1990, p.26]
    • The New Republic
    • 64 Metascore
    • 30 Stanley Kauffmann
    It's the flat, self-exposing dud that fate often keeps in store for the initially overpraised. [26 Jan 1998, p.24]
    • The New Republic
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Stanley Kauffmann
    For all the film's frantic editing, it never really takes off, principally because of Gibson. He never seems concentrated, really present. He was better as Hamlet. [1996Dec9 Pg.27]
    • The New Republic
    • 60 Metascore
    • 10 Stanley Kauffmann
    For me, the execution of the picture is so weak, so imitative, so facile that it makes all the thematic discussion seem idle. [25 Nov 1996, Pg.30]
    • The New Republic
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Stanley Kauffmann
    His (LaBute's) work needs attention even at its nadir, which I hope this new film is.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 20 Stanley Kauffmann
    Disembodied, patchy, pointless work, which isn't even successfully pretentious.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Stanley Kauffmann
    The tenuous conclusion is that all this metaphysical hugger-mugger was divinely ordered to reconcile Costner and his father. All those dead players were summoned from that Great Locker Room in the Sky in a painfully false move. [9 May 1989, p.26]
    • The New Republic
    • 57 Metascore
    • 10 Stanley Kauffmann
    Imagine finding the will to get up every morning to do another day's work on this stale story tarted up with relevance.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Stanley Kauffmann
    The film's intent was presumably satirical in the vein of "Catch-22" or "M*A*S*H," but the satire is so weak, the action so devoid of comic perspective, that we are left with a naked gaggle of ugly episodes.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Stanley Kauffmann
    DeLillo felt he needed a plot, and he invented one that is shockingly bad for a novelist of his accomplishment. It isn't the use of a plot that degrades the picture: it is the degrading plot itself--which isn't even a good cartoon of a too-busy plot.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 0 Stanley Kauffmann
    In future Lee can best serve his versatility by never doing anything like this again.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Stanley Kauffmann
    Gerry is all manner without any trace of depth.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 10 Stanley Kauffmann
    His (writer/director Konchalovsky's) plunge into the world of mental distortion is so garish, so exploitative, that the picture needs only a few clicks of the dial to move from the horrible to the ludicrous
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Stanley Kauffmann
    A series of disconnected scenes alternating between two story lines, neither of which is cogent or concluded. The picture is tinged with the irrational.

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