Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Typically, films about '60s subculture recycle the same set of media cliches and teach us nothing. Harron approaches the milieu with curiosity, compassion and an anthropologist's eye.
  2. Reviewed by: Laura Miller
    90
    In the title role, Lili Taylor continues her campaign to become the female Harvey Keitel, a consistently engaging character actor with a penchant for droll, oddball parts. She's wildly fun to watch.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    An exemplary and dynamic work that goes about as far as a narrative film can in both analyzing a complex personality and portraying a cultural scene.
  4. It's dazzling and serious, with flurries of impulse playing around a persistent core of madness. [6 May 1996, p. 24]
  5. Mary Harron's movie turns out to be anything but a sensationalistic bio-picture; it neither sanctifies nor demonizes the shooter or her famous victim. What the movie accomplishes is something trickier: It treats its two principals, Solanis and Warhol, with respect and humanity.
  6. 88
    Immensely entertaining and provocative.
  7. 88
    Lili Taylor plays Solanas as mad but not precisely irrational. She gives the character spunk, irony and a certain heroic courage.
  8. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    88
    A cool and clinical reportorial remembrance whose very title reminds us who Solanas was. [3 May 1996, p. 10D]
  9. The film's greatest directorial success is in finding a thoroughly entertaining way of inviting the audience to share Valerie's point of view.
  10. If you want to know what the Warhol scene was all about, this is even better than the documentaries.
  11. Buoyed by Lili Taylor's explosive acting, the movie paints a vivid portrait of Warhol's eccentric universe without stinting on lurid details and outrageous behaviors.
  12. Reviewed by: Barry Walters
    75
    After more than an hour of fun, the film turns dark as Solanas' mental state worsens. Not only does the brilliant kook wear out her welcome with Warhol, but the portrayal also grates on the viewer.
  13. 75
    This is a film of powerful ideas, impressive set design, and compelling performances.
  14. Might have benefited from a more satirical edge.
  15. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    60
    The film does nothing to demythologize the '60s; rather, it uses prevailing myths as a substitute for critical thinking.
  16. Reviewed by: Terrence Rafferty
    60
    The movie is fairly entertaining; it's too bad the guest of honor is such a drag.
  17. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    50
    Harron sets the stage expertly, but her lack of a point of view ultimately enervates the movie. [6 May 1996, p. 78]
  18. Feels so slight and pointless.
  19. 30
    Obstreperous, male-bashing pain in the patoot.
User Score
tbd

No user score yet- Awaiting 2 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Sep 6, 2014
    8
    I thought this film described the crazy world that was Andy Warhol's- a guy who had grown up on a rural farm idolizing Hollywood actresses and collecting signed photos of them from Hollywood's golden era. I think Andy Warhol's world was a world of possibilities and new experiences which he wanted his friends to be part of like going on a big adventure. As such he attracted all kinds of colourful people including a few transexuals, one of which was excellently played by actor Steven Dorff who is about as masculine an actor as I have ever seen onscreen. He really did an amazing job of it considering I think he is about as close to actually being a transexual as Ronald McDonald is to being s four star general. The film shows how people can go from being 'seekers' to being 'destroyers' as Andy Warhol's rejection of a stupid play by one member of his large entourage turns deadly for him in the end. Ya gotta figure stuff like that is bound to happen with all the drugs and booze and craziness in general that was the hallmark of life in the big city art world of the late 1960's. Worth seeing if you were a fan of late 60's counterculture. Full Review »
  2. Dec 17, 2010
    9
    On the surface the film feels compressed and seems to mirror the tone of Warhol culture. On a deeper level Harron is implicitly examining the role of violence as a part of the human experience. Solanas is used as a narrative frame and the audience see the world from her perspective. The film is not about Andy Warhol or the 1960s, it is an examination of the internal and external workings of the human mind. In this sense it is extremely complex, Solanas is exposed as a person who is organised and articulate yet weak and exploited. She doesn't see people as individuals, she sees them as personalities and defines herself the same way therefore leaving her vulnerable to violence. She is criticized as comfortable within a violent world and desperate to belong. You can learn about violence by watching how her world changes when she leaves confined settings and merges into the streets. Mary Harron is admirable in her attempt to criticize human desire and there is a great deal to talk about, though the film is not perfect. Is Solanas a hero or is she a loser? Nobody knows though she will sure argue her case. Full Review »