Paul Attanasio

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For 113 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 30% higher than the average critic
  • 0% same as the average critic
  • 70% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 13.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Paul Attanasio's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 50
Highest review score: 100 Peggy Sue Got Married
Lowest review score: 0 Silver Bullet
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 113
  2. Negative: 32 out of 113
113 movie reviews
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Paul Attanasio
    The script of Three Amigos (Martin's collaborators were producer Lorne Michaels and singer Randy Newman) plays like it was slapped together by a few friends with a tape recorder enjoying a charming weekend at the beach. You can't tell one amigo from another, the gags are silly (a "singing bush") and far between, the dialogue full of inane wordplay. Sample: "We could take a walk and you could kiss me on the veranda." "The lips would be fine."
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Paul Attanasio
    From the first frames of The Color of Money, you feel, almost physically, the presence of a man singularly obsessed with the romance of movies. In this movie, Martin Scorsese enters a new period in an already extraordinary career. It would be hard to exaggerate the complex pleasure and wonderment that The Color of Money conveys.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 10 Paul Attanasio
    It's the kind of stuff you come up with when you're not trying very hard, and on Spies Like Us, nobody seems to be trying. And that can be very trying indeed. [09 Dec 1985, p.C3]
    • Washington Post
    • 24 Metascore
    • 10 Paul Attanasio
    Watching Maximum Overdrive is like sitting alongside a 3-year-old as he skids his Tonka trucks across the living room floor and says "Whee!" except on a somewhat grander scale...It's hard to even imagine a movie so impeccably devoid of everything a movie ought to include. [29 July 1986, p.C2]
    • Washington Post
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Paul Attanasio
    As directed by Rob Reiner, Stand by Me has a quality of seriousness, and of relaxation, that you hardly ever see in movies made about kids. It's at its best when its characters are just hanging out, razzing each other, feeling the summertime -- when it's like "Diner" for 12-year-olds. [22 Aug 1986, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Paul Attanasio
    This jokey horror movie, adapted in part from King's short stories, is composed of three brief tales, the perfect form for him. Instead of having to create characters and a story, King simply has to come up with a gimmick and a punch line -- and on to the next.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 0 Paul Attanasio
    What follows is about as suspenseful as looking at your watch to see which minute will pop up next.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Paul Attanasio
    Not since the heyday of Frank Capra, perhaps, has there been a movie that so seamlessly combines screwball comedy with get-out-your-handkerchiefs heart. Peggy Sue Got Married isn't about solving life's problems, it's about accepting them, in a world where love doesn't conquer all, but conquers enough. And in the hands of director Francis Coppola, that message makes what could have been merely a delightful lark about time travel into something much more.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 10 Paul Attanasio
    If this guy tripped over a print of "Citizen Kane," he not only wouldn't know what it was, he'd hit somebody over the head with it. [24 May 1986, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
    • 49 Metascore
    • 100 Paul Attanasio
    Heartburn is a masterpiece, a collaboration of mature artists at the peak of their craft, and something of a summing up for Mike Nichols, who, more successfully than any other American director, has staked out the terrain where men and women meet as his own. Here it is -- a movie that is seriously funny.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Paul Attanasio
    She's Gotta Have It is Spike Lee's impressive first feature, discursive, jazzy, vibrant with sex and funny as heck. [22 Aug 1986, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Paul Attanasio
    There is some magnificent stunt work, which only underscores how inadequate Moore has become. Moore isn't just long in the tooth -- he's got tusks, and what looks like an eye job has given him the pie-eyed blankness of a zombie. He's not believable anymore in the action sequences, even less so in the romantic scenes.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    A double fish out of water structure -- first she's the fish, then he's the fish -- but the movie doesn't go anywhere with it, mostly because the characters are such nullities.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Paul Attanasio
    A lewd, gory, twisty-turny murder mystery swirling around Hollywood's porn industry, Body Double finds Brian De Palma at the zenith of his cinematic virtuosity. The movie has been carefully calculated to offend almost everyone -- and probably will. But, like Hitchcock, De Palma makes the audience's reaction his real subject; Body Double is about the dark longings deep inside us.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 40 Paul Attanasio
    The movie's smarmy condescension toward the Bushmen, how dainty and gentle and unknowable they are, is not at all foreign to the old American image of lovable blacks who were granted some sort of emotional superiority as a sop for the horrors they suffered. This kind of thing might spell liberalism in South Africa, but here it just leaves you reaching for your Rolaids. [05 Nov 1984, p.C6]
    • Washington Post
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    Romero has some fun with cackling frat-style boors in the background, all of whom get their comeuppance. But by and large, the acting is extremely flat and strident, and shot in a much more conventional style than Romero's other movies. Romero, in other words, seems bored by the whole enterprise, less interested in the story than in sausage-making. [23 July 1985, p.E2]
    • Washington Post
    • 38 Metascore
    • 25 Paul Attanasio
    Summer Rental is the kind of movie that could make you wish you had poison ivy -- at least the scratching would occupy your mind. [10 Aug 1985, p.D7]
    • Washington Post
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Paul Attanasio
    In Short Circuit, there's nothing at stake, either emotionally or artistically or howsoever -- and I mean nothing -- but the movie's so diverting, and so giddily oblivious to its own faults, that it almost doesn't matter. Funny and paced at a gallop, it's a melt-away movie made for summer nights. [09 May 1986, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 28 Metascore
    • 25 Paul Attanasio
    As you watch Howard the Duck, you get the vivid sensation that you're watching not a movie, but a pile of money being poured down the drain. [02 Aug 1986, p.G10]
    • Washington Post
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Paul Attanasio
    The Wraith is essentially a wall-to-wall car chase that writer/director Mike Marvin attempts to enliven with TV commercial visuals, tough-guy dialogue and modestly inventive casting.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    The Money Pit is Richard Benjamin's attempt to make a '30s comedy through the lens of Steven Spielberg -- there are contraptions and "smart" dialogue and, unfortunately, nothing to hold them together. [28 Mar 1986, p.D2]
    • Washington Post
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Paul Attanasio
    Ruthless People has an enchanting comic premise -- everyone in the film is either an S.O.B. or wants to become one. But ultimately, the black comedy is not pursued very far -- the movie's too good-natured for its own good. And the elaborately worked-out farce structure, involving a victim who may be either kidnaped or dead, is mostly wasted on a style of humor that, by comparison, makes Buddy Hackett seem the very soul of sophistication. [27 June 1986, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Paul Attanasio
    The action sequences are cloddishly orchestrated. And for the most part, the movie simply doesn't make sense.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 40 Paul Attanasio
    That's the problem with The Sure Thing. All the good lines are given to Cusack -- he's always "on," narrating his own life in the revved-up spiel of a sports announcer. For Cusack's Gib, life is performance -- his long quill of a nose even seems to look for his audience's ticklish spots. But why would he bother with Alison? Screenwriters Steven L. Bloom and Jonathan Roberts have sketched her as an annoying scold, leaving Zuniga little to do but bray disapproval at everything. [4 Mar 1985, p.B3]
    • Washington Post
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Paul Attanasio
    Heckerling directs this mess with no sense of pace and less sense of where to put the camera. There are pixilated, MTV-style sequences that simply slow up the story, car chases and car crashes, and, of course, aerobicizers boinging out of their leotards. The best thing in the movie is the catchy theme from the last Vacation, which, unfortunately, hasn't the slightest thing to do with Europe.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Paul Attanasio
    There are two Cocoons. One was directed by Ron Howard, and it has all the warmth of his comic touch, his respect for his characters, his way of plugging into the humanity of a situation. The other, a bloated special-effects extravaganza, seems to have been directed by a particularly slavish camp follower of Steven Spielberg. The two movies mix like sugar and sludge; the result is a terrific little movie ankle-chained to a gorilla. [21 June 1985, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Paul Attanasio
    A conventional cop thriller leavened with a tablespoon of style and a quarter-cup of garbagey fun.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Paul Attanasio
    Desperately Seeking Susan is just a woman's version of The Woman in Red, where Gene Wilder chased Kelly Le Brock because she was great looking and rich and he had the middle-class blues. The only difference is that Wilder felt guilty about it.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Paul Attanasio
    Heckerling seems lost and distracted here -- the framing is careless, and the film moves with a stuttering pace. Why is this talented director being channeled into projects like this?
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    Jarmusch likes to make movies that are slow and desultory and unresolved, and to beat him over the head with his vision would be unfair. In Down by Law, he's made that kind of movie, but he's worked from the outside in. He's made a Jim Jarmusch film instead of just making a film; his self-consciousness leaves you at arm's length.

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