Ishtar

Metascore
52

Mixed or average reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 16
  2. Negative: 3 out of 16

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Critic Reviews

  1. The New York Times
    Reviewed by: Elvis Mitchell
    50
    The worst of it is painless; the best is funny, sly, cheerful and, here and there, even genuinely inspired. [15 May 1987, p.C3]
  2. San Francisco Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Judy Stone
    50
    It's worth seeing the movie just to observe [Grodin's] delicious blend of unctuous manipulation and anti-Communist sanctimoniousness. [15 May 1987]
  3. 40
    For all the bad press Ishtar received, it does have a certain odd charm... The biggest problem is that any attempted subtlety is swamped by May's bid to turn the film into an epic adventure story.
  4. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Julie Salamon
    40
    Hoffman and Beatty are so tone-deaf they don't even know how to play the songs for deadpan humor. They seem old, white, and without shtick. [14 May 1987, p.26(E)]
  5. 40
    The guys in Ishtar are the boring wallflowers of the world. They probably shouldn't be mocked, disgraced and beaten, but who really wants to spend close to two hours with them.
  6. The New Yorker
    Reviewed by: Pauline Kael
    40
    When Beatty and Hoffman doe their (deliberately hopeless) singing numbers, jerking like mechanical men, phrasing unmusically, going off-key, they don't have the slapstick skills for it. That's when you long for Martin and Murray, or some other comics. [1 June 1987, p.102]
User Score
5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 6
  2. Negative: 3 out of 6
  1. Nov 5, 2012
    0
    Ishtar is literally the worst movie I've ever seen in my entire life. Anyone who sits through it, is either socially/financially obligated to,Ishtar is literally the worst movie I've ever seen in my entire life. Anyone who sits through it, is either socially/financially obligated to, or they just hate themselves that much. Full Review »
  2. Sam
    Oct 29, 2005
    2
    Ishtar isn't funny, it isn't clever, and it isn't entertaining, the complete opposite of Young Frankenstein, a true comedy Ishtar isn't funny, it isn't clever, and it isn't entertaining, the complete opposite of Young Frankenstein, a true comedy classic. It is however, so damn close to being so bad it's good though. Full Review »