For 277 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 30% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 69% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 12.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Gary Arnold's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 51
Highest review score: 100 Real Life
Lowest review score: 10 Cannonball Run II
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 76 out of 277
  2. Negative: 69 out of 277
277 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 77 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
    • 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.
    • 55 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Arnold
    The most coherent thing about the new action thriller Blue Thunder is its eagerness to succeed and its rabble-rousing spectacle of stunt flying and aerial combat. Blue Thunder, a chase melodrama with police helicopter pilots as the good guys, transposes the salty tone of The French Connection and Dirty Harry to a chopper squadron in Los Angeles. [13 May 1983, p.B1]
    • Washington Post
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Gary Arnold
    One of the snazziest, wittiest productions in the history of the serial.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 20 Gary Arnold
    A round of misfires from title to denouement, the new comedy "Modern Problems" is a modern problem for moviegoers: the latest rummy example of that strange abomination, the unfunny "fun" movie, victimized by utter confusion about its genre, tone and audience. [30 Dec 1981, p.B6]
    • Washington Post
    • 38 Metascore
    • 25 Gary Arnold
    The finished film obliterates whatever promise of novelty and human interested existed in the basic idea of Belinski's culture shock. If the rabbi's odyssey was embryonically appealing, the filmmakers have nurtured it along pact from an elephant trying to hatch a robbin's egg. [27 July 1979, p.B1]
    • Washington Post
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Arnold
    A more modest, down-to-earth disappointment than Firefox, it benefits from a fair amount of incidental entertainment value, much of it supplied by a distinctive and often humorous supporting cast. [18 Dec 1982, p.C4]
    • Washington Post
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Gary Arnold
    After getting off to a wretched start, the film settles down in mid-passage and grows unexpectedly appealing. Down the stretch it reverts to faltering form. The best policy might be to go about 30 minutes late and leave about 15 minutes early. [7 Aug 1981, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Gary Arnold
    Despite its excesses, "The Howling" has some tricks and jokes worth howling about. The sexual undercurrents in the werewolf myth have been made playfully explicit, especially in the sultry, voluptuous form of Elisabeth Brooks, cast as a nympho werewolf named Marsha. When she ambushes a victim in the woods, they change forms in the course of coupling strategically obscured by a blazing campfire in the foreground -- a deliberate howl of a sex scene. [13 March 1981, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Gary Arnold
    A fitfully witty and reliably spine-tingling horror melodrama...While it works you over effectively, Poltergeist betrays a good deal of rather dubious, uncoordinated manipulation. [4 June 1982, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Gary Arnold
    Stallone hasn't done himself proud in Paradise Alley. The film could still use a director, a scenario writer and someone to discourage the star from lapsing into happy-go-lucky imitations of Lee J. Cobb. Still, there's something likeable about this zany manipulator. [10 Nov 1978, p.E1]
    • Washington Post
    • 13 Metascore
    • 10 Gary Arnold
    If you aren't feeling so generous, it's pretty obvious that the movie is not only a stinker but an inexcusably corrupt stinker, dependent on the indulgence of a public slavish or naive enough to feel honored when old pros content themselves with smugly amateurish shtik. [29 June 1984, p.B5]
    • Washington Post
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Gary Arnold
    An acceptable scene-setter, Carpenter reveals glaring inadequacies as a storyteller. [15 Feb 1980, p.C3]
    • Washington Post

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