Citizen Ruth Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 10 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. Dern is nothing short of brilliant here.
  2. Is it really possible to make a comedy about abortion? Alexander Payne, who cowrote and directed this mischievous bit of sociological screwball, has brought it off.
  3. 80
    Both Fellini and Woody Allen have remarked that casting is 90 percent of directing--and Citizen Ruth bears witness to that notion. While this is primarily Dern's show, the casting is perfect all around.
  4. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    An equitably rude comedy about abortion, brazen by definition but also fairly droll. It's probably too schematic to reward more than a single viewing, but as a provocative one-time surprise it may become a specialized sleeper. [13 December 1996, p.4D]
  5. Reviewed by: Nell Bernstein
    Citizen Ruth takes such pains not to take sides that it doesn't have any fun. Each faction gets the same amount of screen time, yells at the same volume, is equally unpleasant.
  6. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Payne cannot shape or propel his own good material. He lets things dawdle when briskness would be a boon, and defeats the gung-ho efforts of Dern and other worthy actors. [9 December 1996, p.82]
  7. Payne is just as guilty of using her (Ruth) as a figurehead for his ideas--most of them about the stupidity and futility of politics--as are the targets of his satirical abuse.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Nov 3, 2010
    Brilliant laugh out loud satire on both sides of abortion 'debate' in 1990s USA. You don't need to be interested in abortion politics to get a kick out of this movie. Recommended for fans of intelligent humor. Expand