For 456 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 39% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 58% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stanley Kauffmann's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Brokeback Mountain
Lowest review score: 0 Miller's Crossing
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 456
456 movie reviews
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    All in the cast are competent, and some of the slaughter scenes make us ache, but the overlaid material does not enrich, it impedes.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    Two cheery notes: Nicolas Cage, as the erring brother, shows surprising signs of life, and Cher, as the erring fiancee, confounds those who swore she was a remote-control robot. [8 Feb 1988]
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    Cruise is becoming a real star, confident and gleaming. But neither he nor Hoffman nor the cleverness of the director, Barry Levinson, can prevail against a screenplay that has a beginning at the Ohio home, a finish in L.A., and nothing much in between. [9 Jan 1989]
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    One reasonably dependable pleasure in Woody Allen's films is that he uses old-time songs, in moderately jazzed-up versions, on his soundtracks.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    Meyer's screenplay has been called unsuccessful, and I agree; but, without glossing some bumps that are his doing, I'd say that in this case the trouble with the screen adaptation is the novel.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    Patently intended to be a serious exploration of a cultural encounter, but this intent withers through a lack of writers' gravity and a mass of action clich├ęs.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    The screenplay is schizoid. The first half is figuratively brassy, but then the violins begin to soar.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    Still, it never quite realizes the oneiric quality because, paradoxically, of its best achievement--the performances of the two boys. They are vital, insistent. Their beings contradict the dreaminess and make us ask the questions mentioned above.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    Combination of comedy and gravity is certainly common enough, but it requires a sure hand and perceptible intent. This screenplay has some neat touches, but it never makes up its mind.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    The writer of Very Bad Things has done poorly by the director. This is particularly painful because they are the same person, Peter Berg. Director Berg shows lively talent, focused and controlled. Writer Berg shows some talent, too, but he is wobbly in design and purpose. [14 December 1998, p.26]
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    The best way to watch this film is while sipping coffee in a café. Nicotine optional.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    Martin himself still seems to be filing in at run-throughs for the real star who couldn't make rehearsals. [11 March 1991, p.28]
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    Fahrenheit 9/11 is sometimes slipshod in its making and juvenile in its travesty, and of course it has no interest in overall fairness to Bush. But it vents an anger about this presidency that, as the film's ardent reception shows, seethes in very many of us.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    The script is a tidy work of carpentry, in several time planes and with a tart finish. Tense moments abound, fights and shootings and near-drownings, but they seem items drawn from casework files. [5 Aug 1996, p.26]
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    Pappas's talking heads can't exactly solve the problem, but they help to keep us from forgetting it.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    The director, Michael Mann, remembers the best of film noir pretty well, but it doesn't protect his film against its ultimate Movieland silliness.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    The actors understand completely why they are there. The editing, complex because of several time strands, is more than skillful. But the screenplay by von Trotta and Pamela Katz suborns its subject.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    It's sad to see two talented actresses, Rebecca de Mornay and Jennifer Jason Leigh, wasted in puppet parts. [17 June 1991, p.28]
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    Just a series of episodes: it has no trace of the structure that has supported drama and comedy for two millennia.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    Leaves the viewer with the sense of a writing-directing talent concocting complexities. Everything he touches is well-turned, but he now feels compelled to put the pieces together in something other than a lucid design.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    Everything falls into place, click click click. Like many a formulaic piece, this one engages a real theme--here it's the conflict between the concept of duty and the idea of the individual--and does little with it. [25 Jan 1993]
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    The trouble, which becomes quickly and oppressively apparent, is that the screenplay has no point except its plot. No theme, no intent of anything like Oliver Stone weight, is ever manifested.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    The picture is too long. It repeats and repeats. Thirty minutes, instead of its eighty-six, could have told us all we need to know about the danger and tedium of these lives.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    Both Wong and Soderbergh have understandably expressed their gratitude at, even in this tripartite way, being part of an Antonioni project... But Eros is better for what they contribute than for his work.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    The picture's effect: the sexual element is trenchant, while the status of Muslim youth registers strongly.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    Its very existence as a film sets up expectations that wouldn't exist within a book -- another reason I'd bet that there would be more pleasure in reading the screenplay. I can't remember ever thinking that previously about a film. (1998 May 23, p. 26)
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    The film is repetitious. Herzog has varied the original footage with some interviews that he conducted with a former Treadwell girlfriend and some other friends and observers. Still, an hour of it would have been more effective than the present feature length.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    Candor about homosexuality is now so widely accepted as part of theater-film possibilities that plays and films offering not much more than such candor seem dated. In that sense Love! Valour! Compassion! is an important, if dull, milestone. [09Jun1997 Pg 30]
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    This sort of investigation has been done so masterfully by Sam Peckinpah in "The Wild Bunch" and Oliver Stone in "Natural Born Killers" that, in a sternly utilitarian sense, we don't need Cronenberg. He is not, as far as I have seen, in their class. He proves it again in A History of Violence.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    Yet the McCarthy/Murrow conflict in the picture is not pressing enough--these days, anyway--to justify the considerable skill expended on it.