Stanley Kauffmann
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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 4.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Stanley Kauffmann's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Away from Her
Lowest review score: 0 Hulk
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 456
456 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    Nicholson, one of the best actors in American screen history, is miscast again… He is quite visibly uncomfortable in his role. It needed an actor who could easily be viciously stuffy, like William Hurt. Nicholson struggles for the core of the man but never gets it. [Feb. 2, 1998]
    • The New Republic
    • 89 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    Scorsese's style, fierce as it is, doesn't accomplish what he clearly expected of it. Often, in many arts, fresh treatment can redeem familiar subjects, but it doesn't happen here. [Oct 22, 1990]
    • The New Republic
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    What helps Pfeiffer most is the fact that though she is exceptionally pretty, she patently doesn't rely on her prettiness: she wants to act. But, with her Ellen, though we know what she means from moment to moment, we simply don't feel it... Winona Ryder is disastrously miscast. [18 Oct 1993, p.30]
    • The New Republic
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    The disaster is John Malkovich in the key role of Valmont... From the moment he steps out of a carriage at the start, he walks and gestures like Malkovich. He has done nothing to bring himself to the part, not even bothering to learn how to pronounce "mademoiselle." ("Madam-uhzell," says M.) [2 Jan 1989, p.24]
    • The New Republic
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    The best way to watch this film is while sipping coffee in a café. Nicotine optional.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    We can almost hear the way he (Keitel) will speak a line before he speaks it. The triteness of the role and its performance, instead of dramatizing the contrast between this philistine and the artist, makes the confrontation between the two men a smug setup.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    The net effect of the incessant dazzle is depressing.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    To read a Carver collection is to walk through a gallery of beautifully formed objects. To blend his stories into "soup," no matter how smartly, to see them "as just one story," is to vandalize good art, to rationalize filmic opportunism as aesthetic principle. [25 Oct 1993]
    • The New Republic
    • 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.
    • 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)
    • The New Republic
    • 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]
    • The New Republic
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    Come back, Jim Jarmusch. Come back to the pungency of your first films. Leave the 1970s. Come back to the future. [03 Jun 1996, Pg.30]
    • The New Republic
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    [Douglas McGrath's] adaptation of the novel is as complete as two hours would allow. What it lacks texturally is what no adaptation could adequately supply: the gleam of the Austen prose. [19 Aug 1996, Pg.38]
    • The New Republic
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Stanley Kauffmann
    Eastwood, who directed the picture adequately, is inadequate in this role. He has done a lot of impressive acting in films, but none of it has been sexually romantic, and the age of 64 was not the right time to take up that line of work. [03Jul1995, Pg. 26]
    • The New Republic
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 40 Stanley Kauffmann
    Is Scorsese desperate? This screenplay has the scent of it, as if he is scraping for material to feed his basic filmic interests. But the risk in this case--not evaded--was that his need led him close to painful strain. I can't remember another Scorsese moment as shockingly banal as the finishing touch here.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Stanley Kauffmann
    The grave story is leaden, the comic story isn't funny, and the comparison--the rivalry--between the two modes is never crystallized.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Stanley Kauffmann
    The director, Sydney Pollack, who appears briefly in the film, has done his experienced best with this Scotch-taped script. But his two stars are insuperable handicaps.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Stanley Kauffmann
    The film, so far as it is betrayable, is betrayed by the casting of Jean. She is played by Jennifer Lopez, a sexy star who is out of key with the picture and is presumably on hand to supply the oomph that Redford no longer provides.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Stanley Kauffmann
    Black comedy? Black enough, but they muffed the other word. Robert Benton and Harold Ramis, put on dunce caps and go stand in the corner.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 40 Stanley Kauffmann
    The dialogue creaks, all the more so since we know better than it does what it is going to say.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Stanley Kauffmann
    I could have managed to bear all the film's shortcomings if it weren't for Clooney. Where was he during the making of this film? His face is there, he knows his lines, he moves as needed, but any traces of the intelligence and rapport, the subtlety and understanding, that have marked his best work are excruciatingly missing. Clooney behaves as if he discovered after he had committed to the film that he really didn't like the script as much as he thought he did but would go through with it anyway. The result is puppetry.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Stanley Kauffmann
    Nelson's writing, as arranged by Simpson, adds absolutely nothing to our experience of September 11.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Stanley Kauffmann
    Little in [Connery's] character is explored or colored. It's not a highly complex role, but the man has qualities that could make him interesting; after all, it's his aberrant action that initiates the whole naval plot. Connery merely fulfills his contractual obligations to the producer-no depth in him at all. [26 Mar 1990, p.26]
    • The New Republic
    • 77 Metascore
    • 40 Stanley Kauffmann
    And as film, Apollo 13 is dull… Partly it's because there are no characters, no room for any substantive character development… Apollo 13 is staffed with human puppets. [31 July 1995]
    • The New Republic