Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 16
  2. Negative: 10 out of 16
  1. The movie contains its moments, charms and felicities-even its sharp stings of pleasure and pain. [20 May 1994]
  2. The novel's exuberance, happy sensuality, goes AWOL in Van Sant's sadder, darker vision. [20 May 1994]
  3. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, the movie does not work, though it's difficult to sort out the “what is” from the “what was” and “what might have been.”
  4. Campbell and Edwards work wonders with the rocky, wide-open Oregon landscape, but none of their periwinkle-blue skies and sparkling shots of whooping cranes in flight can compensate for a film that aims high, means well, and ultimately fails its audience. [20 May 1994]
  5. While the results are both cheerful and occasionally inventive, they can't hold a candle to his previous features; too many jokey asides and cameos - not to mention an overdose of plot - keep getting in the way.
  6. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    Pic stays on the surface, without attempting any exploration of painful depths. Result is at best amusing; at worst, uninvolving, often confusing, and sometimes a little boring.
  7. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    No one seems to be having any fun, including the normally masterful Van Sant, whose direction is unstructured, confusing, and lackadaisical.
  8. One of the many problems with Gus Van Sant's tortured, worked-over Even Cowgirls Get the Blues is that Sissy Hankshaw talks like a novel, and a dated one at that.
  9. Loaded as it is with undeveloped notions about feminism and individuality, nothing about it is really memorable except the appealing musicality of the fine k.d. lang/Ben Mink score, which deserves better. [20 May 1994]
  10. Writer/director Gus Van Sant, who's built his reputation on the romantic decadence of "Drugstore Cowboy" and "My Own Private Idaho," completely misses the poetry and the irony of the book. [20 May 1994]
  11. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Van Sant winds up with disconnected, dispirited pieces that never come together and lift off the screen with a whoosh of sly high spirits. [20 May 1994]
  12. Reviewed by: Colette Maude
    Van Sant's film is cold and the gallery of eccentrics merely come across as vulgar caricatures.
  13. 12
    Even Cowgirls Get the Blues is one of the more empty, pointless, baffling films I can remember, and the experience of viewing it is an exercise in nothingness.
  14. 12
    Even Cowgirls is as close to an unwatchable film as there is available at this time in the theaters.
  15. Reviewed by: Joe Brown
    Saddled with leaden lead performances, hobbled by an arch, incoherent script and pokey pacing, the new, improved Cowgirls is a miscarriage - misconceived, miscast, miserably boring.
  16. Cowgirls, a flaky-surreal adaptation of Tom Robbins' 1976 feminist hipster road novel, finds the director of "Drugstore Cowboy" and "My Own Private Idaho" lost in the ozone of his own private whimsies.

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