Mixed or average reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 12 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Chuck Clarke (Hoffman) and Lyle Rogers (Beatty) are a couple of no-talent New York singer-songwriters who agree to play the only gig they can find at the Chez Casablanca in Morocco. En route, they become embroiled in various international intrigues in the neighboring (fictional) Ishtar.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 16
  2. Negative: 3 out of 16
  1. A smart, generous, genuinely funny affair. Sometimes, like the camel who almost ambles away with the picture, it's longish in the tooth, but it is based on an extremely astute vision of life. [15 May 1987]
  2. 75
    Ishtar is a good movie, but you can't help but wonder if, lurking somewhere in those cans of outtakes, there isn't a great movie, too. [15 May 1987]
  3. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Enter Charles Grodin, who upstages all involved via his savagely comical portrayal of a CIA agent.
  4. The worst of it is painless; the best is funny, sly, cheerful and, here and there, even genuinely inspired. [15 May 1987, p.C3]
  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. 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]
  7. 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.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 6
  2. Negative: 3 out of 6
  1. Sam
    Oct 29, 2005
    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. Collapse
  2. Nov 5, 2012
    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. Expand

See all 6 User Reviews