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Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critics What's this?

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 23
  2. Negative: 2 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: Michael Wilmington
    Jun 4, 2013
    100
    Kansas City is a wonderful film, done with all Altman's offbeat virtuosity, maverick humor and creative daring -- plus the acid nip that runs through all his recent works.
  2. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Jun 4, 2013
    80
    Many will find Kansas City unbearable, because Leigh (with a mouth full of jagged teeth and a permanent snarl) and Richardson (who totters along in a druggy stupour), give brilliant performances as extremely unpleasant characters. Furthermore, the ending is a real slap-in-the-face downer. But if you can get past that, this is the real stuff.
  3. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jun 4, 2013
    75
    What he asks of the actors (those who are “soloists,” anyway) is not realism but the same kind of playful show-off performances he's getting from the musicians. And to understand the acting, it's helpful to begin with the music.
  4. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Jun 4, 2013
    60
    If the movie, which uses blues-based Kansas City jazz as a raucous, nonverbal Greek chorus, lacks the emotional range of Mr. Altman's masterpiece, ''Nashville,'' it still has its own brawling vitality.
  5. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jun 4, 2013
    50
    It's an obviously personal work, and that's both its primary strength and weakness: The movie has a distinct, carefully detailed sense of place and time, but it's also not as involving as Altman seems to think it is. It's thick on atmosphere, but short on plot. [16 Aug 1996, p.6G]
  6. 50
    It starts out with several seemingly separate stories and characters, allows them to tease, overlap and shade one another, and then weaves them into one rich fabric. It's an allegory about American life -- a tough, cynical meditation on race, crime and the futility of human endeavor.
  7. Reviewed by: Jami Bernard
    Jun 4, 2013
    30
    Jazz is a good metaphor for Robert Altman's movies they're often improvisational, free-form and full of unexpected dissonance. Unfortunately, his movies also fall prey to the hazards of jazz they can be boring, screechy and endless. Thus, Kansas City. [16 Aug 1996, p.49]

See all 23 Critic Reviews

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