Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 75 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Al Pacino won his first Best Actor Oscar for his brilliant portrayal of an overbearing, blind retired Lieutenant Colonel who hires a young guardian (O'Donnell), to assist him. It's a heart-wrenching and heartwarming tale of opposites attracting when they embark on a wild weekend trip that will change the lives of both men forever. (Universal) Expand
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: Terrence Rafferty
    This is acting that chills the heart beyond any possibility of warming.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    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]
  7. 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.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Sep 26, 2014
    One of my favourite movies of all time, classic performances from Pacino and Chris O'Donell.
  2. Sep 26, 2014
    One of the best dramas in cinematic history. The acting is of the highest caliber and the story is very
    +++++++++++++++++++++++¥¥++++++++++ Expand
  3. Aug 30, 2014
    Scent of a woman is a classic drama thanks to Pacino and O Donell in two of their best roles.
    They complement one another on screen and the
    movie is engrossing. The movie sets itself apart
    by its fantastic cast and original screenplay.
  4. Aug 28, 2013
    Beautiful 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. Expand
  5. MarkG.
    Aug 31, 2008
    A fine film, if overly drawn out. Its central drawing point is the great acting masterclass given by Mr. Pacino. He really brings a life and charisma to the Lt. Col. that i find hard to imagine other actors capable of replicating. Chris O Donnell for once appears not to be made out of mahogony, and give a restrained, yet powerful performance as the young student who acts as Pacino's carer. The set pieces are fabulous fun to watch, and include such memorable episodes as the blind Pacino driving a ferrari through the traffic filled streets. Overall, a very enjoyable, and well directed movie. Expand
  6. Aug 11, 2014
    Hoo-ah! Scent of a Woman is an interesting movie. It s a showcase for Al Pacino, and a reason to give him an Oscar. It throws in some life messages and themes to seem important, and gives Al some good quips to make about prep school life. The character development is on point, an it is entertaining to watch. It doesn't have much substance, but it makes up for it in comedy and themes; and the soundtrack is beautiful. Expand
  7. May 12, 2014
    There is no plot whatsoever in this film. It's poorly structured, lacks consistency and the ending is very weak. Unlike most people here, I'm going to have to criticize Pacino as well for wildly overacting this time around. He is nowhere close to his best and you expect better from an actor of such calibre. Expand

See all 16 User Reviews