User Score
5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 13
  2. Negative: 4 out of 13
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  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, or they just hate themselves that much.
  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 classic. It is however, so damn close to being so bad it's good though.
  3. JocelynP.
    Jan 24, 2005
    10
    Totally misunderstood, misjudged, HILARIOUS movie. It's a thrill to see Hoffman and Beatty enjoy their against typecast parts.
  4. PatC.
    Jan 7, 2004
    1
    Seems unfair to kick a film that has been so universally panned. But that's never stopped me before.
  5. PatrickN.
    Oct 31, 2003
    10
    This is one of the funniest, saterically witty films ever made. It is a classic.
  6. YoonMinC.
    Sep 26, 2003
    4
    I probably missed much of the humor since I'm not too familiar with the road movies Ishtar is parodying, but what really hurts this movie is its insane scale. Why this threadbare but fun comic material had to be given the Lawrence of Arabia treatment is beyond comprehension. Elaine May, known for her nimble wit, is left straining her meager cinematic muscles in this white elephant of I probably missed much of the humor since I'm not too familiar with the road movies Ishtar is parodying, but what really hurts this movie is its insane scale. Why this threadbare but fun comic material had to be given the Lawrence of Arabia treatment is beyond comprehension. Elaine May, known for her nimble wit, is left straining her meager cinematic muscles in this white elephant of a movie. Hoffman and Beatty seem confused and lost, as though they're stuck with material beneath their dignity. Expand
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
  1. Reviewed by: Angel Cohn
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    70
    Enter Charles Grodin, who upstages all involved via his savagely comical portrayal of a CIA agent.
  3. 12
    A truly dreadful film, a lifeless, massive, lumbering exercise in failed comedy. Elaine May, the director, has mounted a multimillion-dollar expedition in search of a plot so thin that it hardly could support a five-minute TV sketch.