For 379 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 31% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 68% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 12.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Gary Arnold's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 52
Highest review score: 100 Jaws
Lowest review score: 0 Poison Ivy
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 95 out of 379
379 movie reviews
    • 100 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Arnold
    Vertigo remains something less than a foolproof psychological spellbinder and agonizer. It's compulsively watchable and stylish, but the obsessive and delirious moods seem to exist apart from the creaky plot, which fails to convince one of the nature of the conspiracy that entraps Stewart's character in the first place or of the follow-up system of coincidence that eventually drives him up the fateful bell tower. [10 March 1984, p.G1]
    • Washington Post
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Arnold
    The disappointing thing about Streets of Fire is that it can't deliver on the promise of a tangy, sexy evening of stimulation. The failure is aggravated by the exorbitant scale of the production, which seems much too lavish for an atmosphere of B-movie squalor. [01 June 1984, p.B4]
    • Washington Post
    • 67 Metascore
    • 30 Gary Arnold
    The best reason to see The Rose is to be in a position to relish the inevitable parody on "Saturday Night Live." Here's a sitting turkey that virtually sits up and begs to be plucked. [8 Nov 1979, p.F1]
    • Washington Post
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Arnold
    Until betrayed by its essential docility, The Promise promises a fairly stimulating wallow in the tear-jerking depths. [10 Apr 1979, p.B3]
    • Washington Post
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Gary Arnold
    Steve Rash directs the firm in a clean, observant and confidently transparent style - making an impressive debut after several years of TV pop-music specials - and demonstrates a flair for expressing Holly's appeal. [18 Aug 1978, p.B1]
    • Washington Post
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Gary Arnold
    1941 represents an appalling waste of filmmaking and performing resources. As one would expect, Spielberg, who directed "Jaws" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," sustains a high energy level. But the energy is expended on material that is pointless at best and occasionally hateful. [15 Dec 1979, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Arnold
    The movie proves a curiously harmless pet of a black comedy: It barks and snaps at you in fitfully funny ways, but it's essentially tame, pipsqueaky and more than a trifle antiquated. [05 Nov 1982, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Gary Arnold
    John Landis must have entertained greater aspirations for his new movie, "An American Werewolf in London," than the dismaying results he's stuck with -- a wasted clever title and a minor fiasco destined for an obscure niche in the scrapheap of horror movies.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Gary Arnold
    Candleshoe isn't immobilized by wholesomeness, as Disney movies go, it's unsually spirited as well as pleasant. [11 Feb 1978, p.E1]
    • Washington Post
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Gary Arnold
    The shocks are strictly mechanical and redundant, the script uncomplicated by incidental humor or character byplay. It comes as no great surprise when the killer is revealed to a be a Halloween clone and then allowed to vanish, aggravating the pathetic resemblance. The reviewers who made a fuss over Halloween have a lot to answer for. [25 Feb 1981, p.B12]
    • Washington Post
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Arnold
    After a fairly promising getaway, Romancing the Stone gradually chases its tail into enough melodramatic dead ends to deteriorate into an expendable runaround, all too easy to shrug off as a miscalculated clone of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 Gary Arnold
    Class, a sexual disillusion acted out at the prep school level, would be represented far more accurately by the one-word title "Crass." [22 July 1983, p.C4]
    • Washington Post
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Arnold
    It's a beautifully composed and tautly engineered production, a model of trim and attractive genre moviemaking. This movie looks marvelous. Hyams and his cinematographer, Richard Hannah, seem to be experimenting with some form of enhanced lighting that gives the color images extraordinary vividness, a very fine grain combined with a sharp, hard-edged focus that produces a far more expressive three-dimensional illusion than 3-D. The effect is especially breathtaking. [5 Aug 1983, p.C6]
    • Washington Post
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Arnold
    A powerful period setting might have taken up the slack, but Lynch doesn't impose the past as vividly as the theme demands. Nor does he place us in a position to appreciate Merrick's fears and longings as if they were our own. [17 Oct 1980, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Gary Arnold
    Splash betrays a slightly drippy side, but by and large it's a refreshing plunge into unabashed romantic fantasy and not to be missed for the sake of John Candy, who hits the screen like a playful fat diver cannonballing off the high board. [09 Mar 1984, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Arnold
    Well, cloddish as it is, Tank doesn't put any obstacles in the way of separating the good guys from the bad guys. And while you might justly call it stupefying, it's never boring. [28 Mar 1984, p.B17]
    • Washington Post
    • 24 Metascore
    • 10 Gary Arnold
    Unfortunately, all too many paying customers will remember being suckered into the Derek remake of "Tarzan," which shortchanges every feature susceptible moviegoers must assume they'll find: tongue-in-cheek romance, exotic high adventure and generous scrutiny of Bo in the buff. Denying people the forms of amusement, notably erotic amusement, that the publicity suggests, Derek exposes a truly dangerous ineptitude.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Arnold
    Milius and his co-writer, Kevin Reynolds, commit a fatal blunder by jumping into combat sequences before we've scarcely had time to take in the idyllic heartland setting, a rural Colorado town called Calumet. [10 Aug 1984, p.B4]
    • Washington Post
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Gary Arnold
    At best, the filmmakers are guilty of wholesale confusion. For lamentable example, the plot degenerates into a hopeless tangle of loose threads and discarded hooks, beginning with the initial vicious teaser, which identifies Pam Grier as a drug-crazed prostitute who guns down a pair of unwary young patrolmen in their squad car. [7 Feb 1981, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Arnold
    Innovative, lavish and lacking. [30 Mar 1984, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Arnold
    Cannery Row is expendable and creaky, a lavishly mounted antique.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 25 Gary Arnold
    Although Bostwick is left in the most exposed position by the nonsensical war games invented for Megaforce, it's obviously Needham who deserves the preeminent rap for fabricating a system of illusion so juvenile that the actors can scarcely avoid looking like chumps.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Arnold
    Mr. Mom has its share of bright lines and funny moments, but if you bring anything beyond trifling expectations to this role-reversal farce, starring Michael Keaton and Teri Garr as a couple obliged to switch homemaking and breadwinning duties, it will be difficult to avoid feeling shortchanged. [20 Aug 1983, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Gary Arnold
    John Carpenter's remake of The Thing is a wretched excess. It's not that originals are too sacred to be reinterpreted. They're period pieces that would have to be tinkered with to appear contemporary. They've simply been unlucky with their tinkerers, who haven't spruced up the pretexts without laying waste to the accompanying human interest, wit and thematic suggestiveness. [25 June 1982, p.C3]
    • Washington Post
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Arnold
    Sufficiently attractive and absorbing to sustain the fond delusion that Charles' pursuit of the mystifying Sarah might culminate in a revealing, conclusive confrontation. [02 Oct 1981, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Arnold
    The movie is a stunning example of collaborative fidelity and artistry directed by Karel Reisz, and its impact may be heightened if one is in the dark as to the plot of its literary source, Robert Stone's Dog Soldiers. Suddenly you find yourself in the grip of an overwhelming cinemate and melodramatic undertow, at once thrilled, astonished and dreadfully uncertain of where it may set you down. [09 Aug 1978, p.B1]
    • Washington Post
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Gary Arnold
    There's sure nothing purgative about the kind of anxiety the filmmakers are exploiting. If anything, it condemns them to strictly degenerate company. [24 Mar 1981, p.B8]
    • Washington Post
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Gary Arnold
    You find yourself chewing over Laura Mars after the lights come up. Unfortunately, it's the kind of chew that leaves your jaw feeling tired and your mouth tasting sour. [03 Aug 1978, p.B6]
    • Washington Post
    • 42 Metascore
    • 25 Gary Arnold
    If any one made a respectable effort to invest this story with authenticity or tension it is not apparent on the screen. Even the big spectacle, the demolition of a dam, is going to look unimpressive to moviegoers who've already been to Superman and seen the identical illusion depicted with far more skill. Force 10 is a mission that should probably have been aborted. Instead it's been allowed to abort on the screen.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Arnold
    Directing from his own screenplay, Alan Alda displays an alarming aptitude for the comedy of manners at its most trifling and synthetic. [22 May 1981, p.F1]
    • Washington Post

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