For 166 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Vincent Canby's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Raging Bull
Lowest review score: 10 Harry and the Hendersons
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 84 out of 166
  2. Negative: 27 out of 166
166 movie reviews
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    What makes it so instructively entertaining is the pivotal character of Claus von Bulow, played by Jeremy Irons within an inch of his professional life. It's a fine, devastating performance, affected, mannerly, edgy, though seemingly ever in complete control. [17 Oct 1990]
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    Merchant, Ivory and Jhabvala triumph again with their entertaining, richly textured film. [13 March 1992]
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    One of the most deliriously funny, ingenious and stylish American adventure movies ever made.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    The Grifters moves with swift unsentimental resolve toward a last act as bleak as any in recent American screen literature. In a less skillful work, it would be a downer. The Grifters is so good that one leaves the theater on a spellbound high. [5 Dec 1990]
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    Looks grand without being overdressed, it is full of feeling without being sentimental. Here’s a film for adults. It’s also about time to recognize that Mr. Ivory is one of our finest directors. [5 November 1993, p. C1]
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    Mr. Allen's most securely serious and funny film to date.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    The reason the film prompts laughter, and finally elation, is not because it's jolly or has any feel-good words to live by. It's because of the utterly demonic skill with which these foulmouthed characters carve one another up in futile attempts to stave off disaster.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    Virtually nonstop exhilaration--a dramatic comedy not quite like any other, and one that sets new standards for Mr. Allen as well as for all American moviemakers. [7 February 1986]
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    The film itself is invigorating - written, directed, and acted with enormous insight and comic elan. [27 Sept 1991]
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    Mr. Lee means for Malcolm X to be an epic, and it is in its concerns and its physical scope. In Denzel Washington it also has a fine actor who does for Malcolm X what Ben Kingsley did for “Gandhi.” [18 November 1992]
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    A remarkable piece of work. [30 June 1989]
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    The entire film is played at such high pitch it may well exhaust audiences that don't come prepared. And, at the heart of the film, there is the mystery of Jake himself, but that is what separates Raging Bull from all other fight movies, in fact, from most movies about anything. Raging Bull is an achievement.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    Prepare yourself for something very special...Here's a severely beautiful, mysterious movie that, as if by magic, liberates the romantic imagination. [16 Oct 1993]
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    One of the most brutal and moving chronicles of American life ever designed within the limits of popular entertainment. [16 Mar 1972]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    It raises the spirits not by phony sentimentality but by the amplitude of its art. From time to time, it is also roaringly funny... A terrific movie. [1 Oct 1993, p.C1]
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    It's movie making of the high, smooth, commercial order that Hollywood prides itself on but achieves with singular infrequency.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    Not since "Love Story" has there been a movie that so shrewdly and predictably manipulated the emotions for such entertaining effect.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    It is a film of enormous visceral power with, in the central role, a performance by Tom Cruise that defines everything that is best about the movie.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    I'll go out on a limb: I can't believe the year will bring forth anything to equal The Purple Rose of Cairo. At 84 minutes, it's short but nearly every one of those minutes is blissful.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    A moving, intelligent and funny film about disasters that are commonplace to everyone except the people who experience them. Not since Robert Benton's "Kramer vs. Kramer" has there been a movie that so effectively catches the look, sound and temper of a particular kind of American existence.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    One may legitimately debate the validity of Malick's vision, but not, I think, his immense talent. Badlands is a most important and exciting film.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    Hollywood's latest big-budget, high-concept, mass-market reworking of material not entirely fresh, has more endings than Beethoven's Fifth, but it's also packed with surprises, not the least being that it's a smashing work. It's vulgar, violent, funny and sometimes breathtakingly beautiful.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    No other performer (Jack Nicholson) in an Antonioni film, except Jeanne Moreau in "La Notte," has so gracefully submitted to Mr. Antonioni and survived intact. (Review of Original Release)
    • 100 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    The movie is perfectly cast, from Trintignant and on down, including Pierre Clementi, who appears briefly as the wicked young man who makes a play for the young Marcello. The Conformist is flawed, perhaps, but those very flaws may make it Bertolucci's first commercially popular film. (Review of Original Release)
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    The real thing. It's a sneakily rude, truly zany farce that treats its lunatic characters with a solemnity that perfectly matches the way in which they see themselves.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    A big, awkward, crazily ambitious, sometimes breathtaking motion picture that comes as close to being a popular epic as any movie about this country since "The Godfather."
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    So entertaining, so flip and so genially irreverent that it seems to announce the return of the great gregarious film maker whose "Nashville" remains one of the classics of the 1970's.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    A big commercial entertainment of unusually satisfying order. [11 Dec 1992]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    Although Mr. Petri quite consciously makes movies about ideas, he has, in his "Investigation," made a movie in which the ideas, and the man who seethes with them, have the shock and impact of the most fundamental kind of melodrama.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    It is galvanizing because of Al Pacino's splendid performance in the title role and because of the tremendous intensity that Mr. Lumet brings to this sort of subject. (Review of Original Release)
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    As Lucy Honeychurch, Miss Bonham Carter gives a remarkably complex performance of a young woman who is simultaneously reasonable and romantic, generous and selfish, and timid right up to the point where she takes a heedless plunge into the unknown.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    Though small in physical scope, Reservoir Dogs is immensely complicated in its structure, which for the most part works with breathtaking effect. [23 Oct 1992]
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    All sorts of macabre things have gone on, and are still going on just offscreen, in Jonahan Demme's swift, witty new suspence thriller.[14 February 1991]
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    Nothing Miss Close has done on the screen before approaches the richness and comic delicacy of her work as the Marquise. [21 Dec 1988, p.C22]
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    It seems to me that by describing horror with such elegance and beauty, Kubrick has created a very disorienting but human comedy, not warm and lovable, but a terrible sum- up of where the world is at... Because it refuses to use the emotions conventionally, demanding instead that we keep a constant, intellectual grip on things, it's a most unusual--and disorienting--movie experience.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    A huge, initially ambivalent but finally adoring, Pop portrait of one of the most brilliant and outrageous American military figures of the last one hundred years.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    Mr. and Mrs. Bridge is wise and funny and just a little bit scary. Though it's an adaptation, it has the manner of a true original.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    The Big Chill represents the best of mainstream American film making. It's a reminder that the same people who turn out our megabuck fantasies are often capable of working even more effectively on the small, intimate scale of The Big Chill.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    Kramer vs. Kramer is densely packed with such beautifully observed detail. It is also superbly acted by its supporting cast, including Jane Alexander, Howard Duff and George Coe.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    Scarface is the most stylish and provocative - and maybe the most vicious - serious film about the American underworld since Francis Ford Coppola's "Godfather."
    • 56 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    Falling Down is the most interesting, all-out commercial American film of the year to date, and one that will function much like a Rorschach test to expose the secrets of those who watch it.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    It looks to be clean and pure and without artifice, even though it is possibly as sophisticated as any commercial American movie ever made.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    GREASE is not really the 1950's teen-age movie musical it thinks it is, but a contemporary fantasy about a 1950's teen-age musical—a larger, funnier, wittier and more imaginative-than-Hollywood movie with a life that is all its own. It uses the Eisenhower era — the characters, costumes, gestures and particularly, the music—to create a time and place that have less to do with any real 50's than with a kind of show business that is both timeless and old-fashioned, both sentimental and wise. The movie is also terrific fun.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    Life Is Sweet, a title that should not be taken as irony, demands that the audience accept its meandering manner without expectations of the big dramatic event or the boffo laugh. It is very funny, but without splitting the sides.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    Steven Spielberg's giant, spectacular Close Encounters of the Third Kind...is the best—the most elaborate—1950's science fiction movie ever made, a work that borrows its narrative shape and its concerns from those earlier films, but enhances them with what looks like the latest developments in movie and space technology.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    Acting of this sort is rare in films. It is a display of talent, which one gets in the theater, as well as a demonstration of behavior, which is what movies usually offer. Were Mr. De Niro less an actor, the character would be a sideshow freak. (Review of Original Release)
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    A big, convoluted, entertainingly dizzy romantic mystery melodrama.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    Basically decent, intelligent and sweet. It's a fanciful romantic comedy whose wildest and craziest notion is that Los Angeles, for all of its eccentricities, is a great place to live.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    The dancing itself, especially the dirty dancing, choreographed by Kenny Ortega, looks very contemporary, or, at least, as contemporary as "Saturday Night Fever," but it has a drive and a pulse that give the filim real excitement. [21 Aug 1987, p.C3]
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    Everyone treats his material with the proper combination of solemnity and good humor that avoids condescension. One of Mr. Lucas's particular achievements is the manner in which he is able to recall the tackiness of the old comic strips and serials he loves without making a movie that is, itself, tacky.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    If you think about Jaws for more than 45 seconds you will recognize it as nonsense, but it's the sort of nonsense that can be a good deal of fun, if you like to have the wits scared out of you at irregular intervals.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    The Big Red One, for all its uncompromising brutality, is viscerally, angrily alive. Fuller was lucky to survive the war. It is our good fortune that this film, a tribute to his luck (and to those who did not share it), has come back to life.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    Unforgiven... never quite fulfills the expectations it so carefully sets up. It doesn't exactly deny them, but the bloody confrontations that end the film appear to be purposely muted, more effective theoretically than dramatically.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    Ms. Pfeifer is lovely, the visual focal point of the film, but also much more. With her soft voice, her reserve and her quickness of mind, her Ellen has emotional weight. She's the film's heart and conscience. [17 Sept 1993, p.C1]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    How each frees the other is the stuff of Free Willy, which is as engaging as such films can be without offering rude surprises.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    A rollicking musical memoir, as much a recollection of the show as of the period, a film that has the charm of a fable and the slickness of Broadway show biz at its breathless best.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris is a beautiful, courageous, foolish, romantic, and reckless film.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    The great satisfaction of Mad Dog and Glory is watching Mr. De Niro and Mr. Murray play against type with such invigorating ease. Each is the other's straight man, a relationship that is hilariously set up in the initial encounter of the cop and the hoodlum.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    The Distinguished Gentleman is an easy, breezy romp of a movie, a low comedy of highly entertaining order.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    Postcards From the Edge seems to have been a terrifically genial collaboration between the writer and the director, Miss Fisher's tale of odd-ball woe being perfect material for Mr. Nichols's particular ability to discover the humane sensibility within the absurd.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    Line by line, the dialogue isn't all that quotable, but there is consistently funny life on the screen. The film's comic timing is nearly flawless.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    Even the special effects are more to the point of the comedy than they were in the first film. For some reason, this appears to leave more room for the sort of random funny business that Mr. Murray and his friends do best, or to which they react with most aplomb.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    Mr. Branagh has made a fine, rousing new English film adaptation of Shakespeare's ''Henry V,'' a movie that need not apologize to Laurence Olivier's 1944 classic.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    Mr. Brooks's screenplay overstates matters both at the beginning of the film and at the end, with a prologue that strains to be cute and an epilogue that is just unnecessary. In between, however, the movie is a sarcastic and carefully detailed picture of a world Mr. Brooks finds fascinating and also a little scary.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    With their remarkable contributions, ''Baron Munchausen'' is full of moments that dazzle, just for the fun of seeing the impossible come to life on the screen. What the Folies-Bergere once was for the foot-weary tourist, ''Baron Munchausen'' is for the television-exhausted child. Nothing much happens, but you can't easily tear your eyes away from it.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    Mr. Beresford and Mr. Uhry, working in concert, see to it that the essential spirit of Driving Miss Daisy shines through the sometimes deadening effects of literalism.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    Naked is as corrosive and sometimes as funny as anything Mr. Leigh has done to date. It's loaded with wild flights of absurd rhetoric and encounters with characters so eccentric that they seem to have come directly from life. Nobody would dare imagine them.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    A Brief History of Time is a kind of adventure that seldom reaches the screen, and it's a tonic.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    Though big of budget, A League of Their Own is one of the year's most cheerful, most relaxed, most easily enjoyable comedies. It's a serious film that's lighter than air, a very funny movie that manages to score a few points for feminism in passing.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Vincent Canby
    Mr. Polanski and Mr. Towne attempted nothing so witty and entertaining, being content instead to make a competently stylish, more or less thirites-ish movie that continually made me wish I were back seeing "The Maltese Falcon" or "The Big Sleep." Others may not be as finicky. [21 June 1974]
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Vincent Canby
    Superman is good, clean, simple-minded fun, though it's a movie whose limited appeal is built in.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Vincent Canby
    A comedy that can't quite support its tragic conclusion, which is too schematic to be honestly moving, but it is acted with such a sense of life that one responds to its demonstration of humanity if not to its programmed metaphors.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Vincent Canby
    Dracula has the nervy enthusiasm of the work of a precocious film student who has magically acquired a master's command of his craft. It's surprising, entertaining and always just a little too much.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Vincent Canby
    Mr. Coppola, the writer as well as the director, has nearly succeeded in making a great film but has, instead, made one that is merely very good.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Vincent Canby
    It's not really awful, but it's not much fun. It's pretty to look at and it contains a number of good performances, but there is something exhausting about its neat balancing of opposing manners and values.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Vincent Canby
    Silkwood is a very moving work about the raising of the consciousness of one woman of independence, guts and sensitivity.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Vincent Canby
    Hoffa is an original work of fiction, based on fact, conceived with imagination and a consistent point of view.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Vincent Canby
    The over-all production is very handsome, and the performances fine, especially Newman, Redford, and Miss Ross, who must be broadly funny and straight, almost simultaneously.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Vincent Canby
    With the exception of Nicholson, its good things are familiar things - the rock score, the lovely, sometimes impressionistic photography by Laszlo Kovacs, the faces of small-town America.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Vincent Canby
    Though Coming to America is a romantic comedy the director steers the film more often toward quick, in-and-out comic situations and gags that are only mildly funny. In part this is due to the fact that Mr. Murphy plays the prince with cheerful, low-keyed innocence that is completely legitimate, but is not supported by the short attention span of the screenplay. The romance is tepid.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Vincent Canby
    Wall Street isn't a movie to make one think. It simply confirms what we all know we should think, while giving us a tantalizing, Sidney Sheldon-like peek into the boardrooms and bedrooms of the rich and powerful.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Vincent Canby
    A Nightmare on Elm Street puts more emphasis on bizarre special effects, which aren't at all bad.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Vincent Canby
    The members of Mr. Linklater's cast, most of whom are non-professionals, are so amazingly effective that it's hard to believe they didn't make up their own lunacies.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Vincent Canby
    F/X
    The movie, which looks as if it had been made on an A-picture budget, has a lot of the zest one associates with special-effects-filled B-pictures.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Vincent Canby
    The biggest, longest, most expensive Leone Western to date, and, in many ways, the most absurd... Granting the fact that it is quite bad, Once Upon the Time in the West is almost always interesting, wobbling, as it does, between being an epic lampoon and a serious hommage to the men who created the dreams of Leone's childhood. (Review of Original Release)
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Vincent Canby
    Mr. De Niro and Mr. Grodin are lunatic delights, which is somewhat more than can be said for the movie, whose mechanics keep getting in the way of the performances. [20 July 1988, p.C15]
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Vincent Canby
    In much the way that Raymond stays detached, the performance seems to exist outside the film but, instead of illuminating Rain Man, it upstages the work of everyone else involved. [16 Dec 1988, p.C12]
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Vincent Canby
    The film recreates Toby and Caroline's aimlessness, but without appearing to understand it enough to make it as moving and important as it ought to be.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Vincent Canby
    More problematical is the tone of the film, which attempts to be both compassionate and goofy, though the events are funny only if they are seen as farcical.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Vincent Canby
    The movie is sorrowful, funny and beautiful. It is also, finally, very unsatisfactory.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Vincent Canby
    Mr. Almodovar's comic invention runs out too soon, leaving the audience to giggle weakly in anticipation of the big laughs and disorienting shocks that never arrive.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 60 Vincent Canby
    Within the limits and cliches of utterly predictable material, Mr. Coppola is still finally able to make this one from the heart.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Vincent Canby
    Unfortunately the plot thickens so rapidly and so lumpily that one very soon loses interest in spite of the quite stunning and gory special effects.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Vincent Canby
    Although its aspirations are high, the film works only fitfully when Mr. Singleton exercises his gift for vernacular speech, for finding the comic undertow in otherwise tragic situations, and even for parody.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Vincent Canby
    Peter Weir’s The Year of Living Dangerously is a good, romantic melodrama that suffers more than most good, romantic melodramas in not being much better than it is.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Vincent Canby
    However, like many album covers, Purple Rain, though sometimes arresting to look at, is a cardboard come-on to the record it contains.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Vincent Canby
    Last Action Hero is something of a mess, but a frequently enjoyable one. It tries to be too many things to too many different kinds of audiences, the result being that it will probably confuse, and perhaps even alienate, the hard-core action fans.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Vincent Canby
    Class Action won't put you to sleep. Yet it vanishes from the memory as fast as anything dreamed in the conventional manner.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 60 Vincent Canby
    Lethal Weapon 3 isn't that much worse than the two earlier films.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Vincent Canby
    JFK
    The movie, which is simultaneously arrogant and timorous, has been unable to separate the important material from the merely colorful.