Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 13
  2. Negative: 3 out of 13
Watch On
  1. 100
    It is a wacky, happy, daring, darkly comic tale of parenting outside the law. It celebrates the middle-of-the-road dreams of decidedly off-center folks. It's a bundle of joy.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    90
    To their old fascination with Sunbelt pathology, to their side-winding Steadicam and pristine command of screen space, the Coens have added a robust humor, a plot that keeps outwitting expectations and a surprising dollop of sympathy for their forlorn kidnapers. [23 March 1987]
  3. 70
    Raising Arizona is no big deal, but it has a rambunctious charm. The sunsets look marvelously ultra-vivid, the pain doesn't seem to be dry – it's like opening day of a miniature golf course. [20 Apr 1987, p.81]
  4. The whole caper loses its rhythm and its direction around the two-thirds mark. By the finish, the punch has left the lines, and the once-purposeful energy goes mindlessly manic - gone are both the point and the parody.
  5. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    60
    Cage creates a homey and thoroughly likable character who earns the respect of the audience, but Hunter is the real surprise. Appearing in her first starring role, the stage veteran displays so much energy that she forces the audience to pay attention.
  6. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    60
    As leisurely and disconnected as "Blood Simple" was taut and economical. While film is filled with many splendid touches and plenty of yocks, it often doesn't hold together as a coherent story.
  7. Like "Blood Simple," it's full of technical expertise but has no life of its own... The direction is without decisive style. [11 Mar 1987, p.C24]
  8. Reviewed by: Dave Kehr
    50
    Quickly and fatally, the overlooked form peels away from the slight, frail content, and the film starts to look like an episode of "Hee Haw" directed by an amphetamine-crazed Orson Welles. [20 March 1987]
  9. These fraternal film makers have a lot of imagination and sense of fun - and, most of all, a terrific sense of how to manipulate imagery... But sometimes they seem to be getting too big a kick out of their own shenanigans. By the end, the fun feels a little forced. [26 Mar 1987, p.34(E)]
  10. [The Coen Brothers] sweat and strain to deliver more of the same cinematic ingenuity, but the result seems more nervous than inspired. Relax, fellas! [13 Mar 1987]
  11. 38
    What Raising Arizona needs more than anything else is more velocity. Here's a movie that stretches out every moment for more than it's worth, until even the moments of inspiration seem forced.
  12. The astonishing thing about Raising Arizona is how it can move so fast, be so loud, and ramain so relentlessly boring at the same time. [20 Mar 1987]
  13. The big trouble with Raising Arizona is that the Coens overdrew their wild and crazy yarn, and overdo almost every gag and gimmick. [20 Mar 1987]
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 89 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Jul 7, 2014
    7
    While Raising Arizona isn't a bad effort from the Coens, there's something about the movie that makes me think "they can do better." However,While Raising Arizona isn't a bad effort from the Coens, there's something about the movie that makes me think "they can do better." However, it still is quirky and sweet enough to be watchable. Full Review »
  2. Jun 11, 2013
    6
    Certainly one of the zanier movies I've seen. The Coen Brothers are in full force here as you can really see a lot of their "style" in useCertainly one of the zanier movies I've seen. The Coen Brothers are in full force here as you can really see a lot of their "style" in use here and used very effectively as per usual. Cage does very well in the lead role and it really makes you miss the old Nicolas Cage rather than the one we're forced to see in today's world. Overall, if you like the Coen Brothers, you'll like the movie. Full Review »
  3. Apr 1, 2012
    6
    Bizarre, surreal and zany with all the hallmarks of a Cohen brothers movie. Not as polished as some later efforts but that adds to the movie.Bizarre, surreal and zany with all the hallmarks of a Cohen brothers movie. Not as polished as some later efforts but that adds to the movie. With great performances from both Cage & Hunter. Full Review »