Orion Pictures Corporation | Release Date: December 14, 1988 CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION
Generally favorable reviews based on 14 Critics
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I never saw the original, but the sprightly remake couldn't be more delightful. As the ultra-suave Lawrence Jamison, Mr. Caine wears his hair and mustache Niven-like -- slicked down but never greasy. He manages to draw more laughs by merely reacting than most comics can pull out of a punchline. With his calculated coarseness, Mr. Martin is a perfect foil. Behind the scenes is former Muppet Man Frank Oz. He pulls the strings so deftly he never disturbs the froth. [15 Dec 1988, p.1]
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels essentially remains a duet of exquisitely turned gestures exchanged by Martin and Caine. It isn't killer comedy. Sometimes its leisurely pace veers dangerously close to slackness. But it's as close as Hollywood comedy comes to chamber music. [14 Dec 1988, p.77]
Most of this is bald, and very funny; some of it is witty, and even funnier. [14 Dec 1988, p.C9]
Blithe, reasonably witty, with as many story twists as a Riviera roadway, its greatest assets are its glorious look and Michael Caine, his hair full of Dippety-Doo, his heart full of larceny. [14 Dec 1988, p.1]
A character comedy requires some notion of respect and integrity. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels has none. [14 Dec 1988, p.1]
This disappointing comedy, which seems to move at a snail's pace, is almost saved by the gorgeous scenery and settings, crisply photographed. Locations include the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, the harbor at Juan-les-Pins, and other lovely spots on the Cote d'Azur. [14 Dec 1988, p.E1]
Scoundrels isn't rock-bottom. That a more sturdy vehicle couldn't be found for such stellar leads, though, is a dirty rotten shame. [14 Dec 1988, p. 4D]