Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 14
  2. Negative: 2 out of 14
  1. But it's essentially a tour de force for Pacino, and he sustains us through the slow passages by working with a closed-in intensity that turns each scene into a kind of mini-movie complete with its own ticking time bomb. [23Dec1992 Pg. 1]
  2. The good thing is that the principals and film makers make the absolute most of a conventional opportunity.
  3. 75
    By the end of Scent of a Woman, we have arrived at the usual conclusion of the coming-of-age movie, and the usual conclusion of the prep school movie. But rarely have we been taken there with so much intelligence and skill.
  4. Reviewed by: Staff(not credited)
    75
    Thanks to a landmark performance by Al Pacino, SCENT OF A WOMAN is an agreeably watchable film. If they'd made it half an hour shorter and re-written the ending, it could have been a great one.
  5. 75
    If there's anything special about the film, it's that on this occasion, the emotional realism of the characters, especially Slade, is heartwrenchingly believable.
  6. In the end, Scent of a Woman offers little more than lumbering simulation of Rain Man's nimble magic. But Pacino's performance-scabrous, tender, ripely theatrical-is a master showman's trick.
  7. 70
    This is a great performance from Pacino, who has the good luck here to work with Goldman's mostly wonderful, edgy script, but it might not become a beloved one because the man he plays is such a bitter pill.
  8. In the end, however, when all Pacino's demons are bared, they don't add up to the poignant punchline you were set up for. The movie seems to have two or three finales too many -- a disturbing trend in all too many films of late.
  9. Reviewed by: Terrence Rafferty
    60
    This is acting that chills the heart beyond any possibility of warming.
  10. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    50
    A 2 1/2-hour movie with halves that don't quite mesh, it still gives Al Pacino a role that's a perfect fit. [23 Dec 1992 Pg. 01.D]
  11. There's no denying that Pacino's performance is superb. The rest of the movie plays like a bunch of inconsequentially strung together sequences.
  12. Given the talent on board, there's an undeniable flair and effectiveness in certain scenes (such as Pacino dancing the tango with a stranger in a posh restaurant), but the meretricious calculation finally sticks in one's throat.
  13. 38
    The movie, however, is a crock.
  14. Instead, you get a nominal character study that boasts a single mighty performance and one nifty scene; alas, both performance and scene exist in a narrative vacuum - the plot is non-existent and the pace makes the ice age seem hasty.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 60 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Sep 12, 2013
    9
    Finally! Something really emotional! The acting is just so amazing that it's hard to believe that it's a movie! I love it and i highlyFinally! Something really emotional! The acting is just so amazing that it's hard to believe that it's a movie! I love it and i highly recommend it to people with heart! 9/10 Full Review »
  2. Aug 28, 2010
    9
    now when i first heard of this film i thought it was about some blind guy finding love . so the films title is very misleading which is anow when i first heard of this film i thought it was about some blind guy finding love . so the films title is very misleading which is a very good thing cause the first one woulda bored the hell outa me . no what this film is about is a ex army colonel frank slade played by al pachino who is a cranky , mean , nasty son of a **** . who plays this role to perfection . as well as a college kid played by chris o donnel who have a adventure in new york . the film is best seen to be understood. i dont know what film the critics saw to give this such low reviews . its a excellent film that has a great story and is very well acted. Full Review »
  3. Aug 28, 2013
    9
    Beautiful film. Pacino's magnum opus. His cantankerous, wise, and somewhat sadistic character surprisingly is a likable one. He plays it to aBeautiful film. Pacino's magnum opus. His cantankerous, wise, and somewhat sadistic character surprisingly is a likable one. He plays it to a whole new standard. The performance is a masterpiece of cinema. Loved it the whole time. Full Review »