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 14 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Paul Attanasio's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 50
Highest review score: 100 Aliens
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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 Paul Attanasio
    This new western is less than a success for Eastwood, who directs as well as stars. It's Eastwood riding on earnestness, and running on empty. [28 June 1995, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    Volunteers is a collection of one-liners, mostly good, wrapped around an undeveloped story, generally dull. Despite its frequent glimmers of intelligence, it's an unsatisfactory comedy that yawns to a close.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Paul Attanasio
    In the way it deemphasizes its script and consciously undercuts its star, Cotton Club adventurously questions the formulas of Hollywood; its success in doing so without a hint of boredom or pretension augurs a whole new way of making movies. It's the most entertaining art film of the year, the kind of movie you can't help smiling along with.
    • 17 Metascore
    • 12 Paul Attanasio
    It takes a director with a true genius for disaster to put together SCTV veterans John Candy and Eugene Levy, the fine character actors Kenneth McMillan and Robert Loggia and the delicious new comic actress Meg Ryan and come up with a movie without a single laugh in it. Indeed, who but Mark Lester could have pulled it off? Lester's idea of directing is to turn up the music and wreck a lot of cars -- this isn't a movie, it's a Volvo ad.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 25 Paul Attanasio
    Just Police Academy all over again, without laughs.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Paul Attanasio
    This is a movie about teen-agers that doesn't patronize them, which gives it a realistic, lived-in feel. [13 June 1986, p.D9]
    • Washington Post
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    The movie stands simply as an artful adaptation, and not an altogether engaging one. The repeated scenes of the rallying mob, chanting and howling at Big Brother on the screen, soon grow tiresome; like everything about 1984, they seem redundant.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Paul Attanasio
    Lucas is about as likable as this kind of movie ever gets.At the heart of Lucas is an interesting idea -- a Woody Allen movie for kids, with a bespectacled, nerdy hero -- that never gets developed. Still, director David Seltzer has kept it low-key, sweet and personal -- it's like a nice "Afterschool Special."
    • 32 Metascore
    • 40 Paul Attanasio
    Much of the problem lies with Howell, a dilute, rabbity actor in the Tim Hutton mold. Everyone acts Howell off the screen, including Jennifer Jason Leigh, who displays an easeful gruffness as the girl who joins Jim. With Howell's weightlessness, the deeper elements of the story -- the byplay between guilt and innocence, for example -- never accumulate.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 40 Paul Attanasio
    The only thing that is sustained in Sid and Nancy is a tone of clinical disinterest that leaves you asking why Cox would want to make a movie about them. By the end, you know more about Sid and Nancy than you care to, and about Alex Cox, quite a bit less than you'd like.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Paul Attanasio
    2010 is a one-man tour de fizzle, a yawnfest so plodding it seems to have been made by the famous monolith itself. [7 Dec 1984, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    A mostly tedious, cheaply made shoot-'em-up from the always classy Dino De Laurentiis. [07 June 1986, p.D5]
    • Washington Post
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Paul Attanasio
    This kind of macho bantering quickly wears thin, too -- I guess it's not surprising that men who spend most of their time with other men would lard their conversation with taunts of homosexuality and allusions to male gonads, but it's not particularly interesting either. And as a storyteller, Carabatsos is no better than a competent hack. The plot is schematic, the characters are cliche's.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 Paul Attanasio
    St. Elmo's Fire is about people who go to lunch and feel nostalgic for breakfast. The latest kiddie angst movie, it's thin gruel for introspective whelps.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    Lester doesn't have the sense of visual style that other directors, like Spielberg and Lucas, bring to their comic-book movies; harshly lit and sometimes amateurish, Commando doesn't last in your eye. And Lester doesn't pace his sequences, allowing the suspense to build -- it's all breakneck, and it tires you out. [04 Oct 1985, p.E3]
    • Washington Post
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 Paul Attanasio
    Director Jeannot Szwarc could have done more with the action scenes, but he has a snappy sense of pace and comic timing. Blond, blue-eyed Slater brings an engaging sweetness to Supergirl; and she plays Linda with an awkward, gawky girlishness, subtly different from her Supergirl role.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Paul Attanasio
    Such an attenuated plot might be fine if Hines were allowed to dance (he isn't) or the jokes were funnier (they're not). Director Peter Hyams has the comic timing of a tax auditor, but at least he can build a car chase, and if you stick around till the end (you shouldn't), there is an expertly photographed shoot-out staged in the Illinois State Building, a 14-story glass and metal bird cage that would have fit nicely into Hyams' previous film, "2010." [30 June 1986, p.C3]
    • Washington Post
    • 21 Metascore
    • 37 Paul Attanasio
    Some sort of combination of a teen-age Bewitched and a Police Academy for department stores.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    From the ongoing search to find new arenas in which Sylvester Stallone, against overwhelming odds, triumphs through exercise of the manly virtues, comes Over the Top, a movie about arm-wrestling. What's next? Crab soccer?
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Paul Attanasio
    How maddening Dune is! As you would expect from visionary director David Lynch, it is a movie of often staggering visual power, the most ambitious science fiction film since "2001"; it's also stupefyingly dull and disorderly. Dune doesn't get going till fully two hours have elapsed, so only the most patient will wait for the images to build to their crescendo. Lax in its storytelling, Dune gives us sublimity unmoored.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    This may be catnip to a kiddie audience that, these days, would seem to know no other world. But it's hard to think much of a movie whose only point of identification with its audience is its utter superficiality. [05 Aug 1986, p.C10]
    • Washington Post
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Paul Attanasio
    And all this twaddle about how people are more important than dollars, in a sequel that was rushed out by producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus to capitalize on the summertime windfall of "Breakin' " is almost hilarious.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    The movie is adapted from David Mamet's play, "Sexual Perversity in Chicago," but it bears little relation to it -- screen writers Tim Kazurinsky and Denise DeClue nod to Mamet's structure, appropriate a couple of monologues and take off on their own. They and the director, Ed Zwick, could have done a better job of opening the play up -- outside life rarely intrudes on this foursome, as it needn't in the theater, but must in movies. [2 July 1986, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    Everything about this movie is backwards -- where Lindsey was fascinated by the way political and cultural themes were engrafted on what was essentially just a scam, Schlesinger starts with an idea of an era, then contends that his characters were the products of it. Instead of a story, there's just a lot of footage of the falcon flying around, toting his subjective camera, and, like the audience, at the end of its tether.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    My Beautiful Laundrette is quirky and fresh and ambitious and pretty much everything a movie should be, except good.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Paul Attanasio
    The Legend of Billie Jean is trashily manipulative and utterly preposterous, so much so that, until the end (when it begins to sour on you), it's a thoroughly enjoyable hoot. Add a splendid cast and good air conditioning, and it's a perfectly mindless way to spend a muggy summer evening.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 37 Paul Attanasio
    A ridiculous rabble-drowser with the heart of a bully and the soul of a thief.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    Perfect is a trashy movie about women jumping up and down in leotards, but it's also more (and less) than that, a look at the wages of the free press. Despite a number of fine performances, a few good hoots and more daunting bodies, it's far from perfect. It touts the First Amendment like a corny romance from the '40s -- stars and stripes in spandex. [7 June 1985, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 81 Metascore
    • 40 Paul Attanasio
    Overheated and recklessly violent.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Paul Attanasio
    Fabulously acted and written with zing and zong, it's one of the few enjoyable movies of the summer.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    Light of Day is crippled by its confused intentions, a crazy quilt of the good, the bad and the ugly.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Paul Attanasio
    The kids are uniformly godawful, particularly the lamentably named Phoenix; their wooden line readings play in long, flat scenes that look like some 12-year-olds' school project. And talking about the movie's sense of pace is like talking about Pikes Peak's sense of pace. Explorers is a veritable jungle of thematic and story threads that are never picked up. [12 July 1985, p.D6]
    • Washington Post
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    Mishima tries to make sense of both its subject's life and his work, and ends up illuminating neither.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 25 Paul Attanasio
    There are movies that make you want to mince words, and then there's Poltergeist II: The Other Side, a movie so ineffably bad, you can't even find the words to mince. [23 May 1986, p.D2]
    • Washington Post
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 Paul Attanasio
    Chong breathes some occasional life into Soul Man, as does Arye Gross, who displays a rich variety of comic attitudes as Mark's roommate. What surrounds them, though, is a black comedy with so little gumption, it ends up a vague shade of gray, composed of a collection of cheap jokes excused by smug platitudes about race -- in short, a movie called Soul Man whose soul, it seems, is quite lost.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Paul Attanasio
    Technically brilliant though short on narrative, The Black Cauldron is a painless, old-fashioned way to take out the kids, and a triumph for the animation department at the Disney studio, where it has been in development for almost a dozen years.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    Karate Kid II doesn't give us any emotional movement in Daniel's character, or Miyagi's, or their relationship, either -- it just recapitulates them. The only character who changes in the story, in fact, is Sato, whom you couldn't care a fried fig about.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 40 Paul Attanasio
    When he crushes a patrolman's head between his hands, you think you're watching a happy campesino lusty for coconut milk; when he skewers a depraved camp counselor with a knife in the temple, he is the happy barbecuer on a sunny Sunday afternoon. "Soup's on!" he might have cried. Then he tears a girl's head clean off. Well, the head probably wasn't doing her much good anyway. [6 Aug 1986, p.D10]
    • Washington Post
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Paul Attanasio
    Aliens is a wow, a sci-fi war movie that gets you in its grip very early, and never lets go. In its "fasten your seat belt" storytelling, it invites comparisons to "Raiders of the Lost Ark," but Aliens, the work of writer-director James Cameron and his wife, producer Gale Anne Hurd, goes beyond such films in the darkness of its reality and the depth of its emotion. It doesn't get any better than this. [18 July 1986, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Paul Attanasio
    A gory and gorgeous cop thriller -- you'll forgive it almost anything, so full is your eye with the beauties of its design and photography, and your ear with its supercool electronic music. For all its faults, it's one of the most sensually thrilling movies of the year.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Paul Attanasio
    A slickly made, shoot-'em-up sci-fi fantasia, it stands for the proposition that, inside the most staid local theater, there is a drive-in yearning to be free. [29 Oct 1984, p.B4]
    • Washington Post
    • 71 Metascore
    • 30 Paul Attanasio
    In Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, a great deal of engine noise and clanking iron is drowned out by the audience's resounding ho-hum. It's comic books in a Cuisinart, all costumes and cute monikers and no story, a sort of case history of just what's wrong with sequelitis. [10 July 1985]
    • Washington Post
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Paul Attanasio
    Here's a science fiction movie where the special effects are in the background. And the effect is, well, rather special.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 88 Paul Attanasio
    Little Drummer Girl is the most trenchant, chilling vision of the psychological fallout of spying since Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Paul Attanasio
    The movie is one of those can't-miss projects that, uh, misses...Altogether, this is about the most listlessly paced thriller you could imagine: Ashby's penchant for letting his actors improvise just results in endless dithering; and the image is weirdly flat -- the movie's shot almost entirely in profile. Actually, there aren't just 8 million ways to die -- now we know there are 8 million and 1. [25 Apr 1986, p.D2]
    • Washington Post
    • 29 Metascore
    • 20 Paul Attanasio
    Here is a Neil Simon movie with all of his banality, but none of his humor -- a sort of "The Nod Couple." [30 March 1985, p.G3]
    • Washington Post
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Paul Attanasio
    From the opening shot, an endless, unmotivated dolly move up a corridor that conveys no information, establishes neither theme nor setting and serves no other purpose, you know that you are in the presence of true film ineptitude, which only deepens as The Decline of the American Empire continues.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Paul Attanasio
    For such a low-budget movie, Nightmare on Elm Street is extraordinarily polished. The script is consistently witty, the camera work (by cinematographer Jacques Haitkin) crisp and expressive.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    The movie, in short, rides on a revenge plot and a beauty-and-the-beast subplot, and there's some nice photography and production design; screen writer L.M. Kit Carson lends some Texas texture and funny lines. But mostly, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is straight blood and guts. [23 Aug 1986, p.D11]
    • Washington Post
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Paul Attanasio
    A playful, artfully made horror movie that shows there's life in Norman Bates yet, and death, too. [04 July 1986, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Paul Attanasio
    A delightful and frequently funny cartoon feature based on the characters of the Sherlock Holmes series. [07 July 1986, p.B8]
    • Washington Post
    • 67 Metascore
    • 37 Paul Attanasio
    True Stories is united not by narrative, but by Byrne's sensibility, and this is where it descends from being a boring piece of whimsy into something reprehensible.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    Without a story or, for that matter, any theme but a kind of aimless nostalgia, you peel and peel away at it only to find, in the end, nothing.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 40 Paul Attanasio
    Silent Night, Deadly Night takes off from the notion that Santa Claus is an ax murderer, but it never quite lives up to the delicious perversity of its premise. An idea this shocking has to be earned; instead, director Charles Sellier Jr. ("The Boogens") gives us another casually constructed splatter flick that has more to do with morbid arithmetic (the body count continues!) than movies.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Paul Attanasio
    It's the usual dumb stuff -- he strives, he fails, he falls in love, he strives some more, he wins. You need strong hands and a heavy set of nutcrackers to break this tedious shell, but inside there are some surprisingly sharp insights into male teen-age psychology and a marvelous performance by Matthew Modine.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    Mischiefin other words, is echt teen sex comedy, hitting its marks in the way a skilled carpenter drives home his millionth nail. Even the deviations from the formula, like the movie's sweet, naive tone, are only predictable extensions of the formula.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Paul Attanasio
    Thrumming with the electric rapport between Jessica Lange and Ed Harris (and screen writer Robert Getchell's sparky dialogue), the movie's darn near irresistible.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Paul Attanasio
    The movie is full of half-witted Hollywood satire (the Devil's an agent -- get it?), lame wordplay, and easy moralism about family being more important than career blah blah blah. [09 Nov 1984, p.F8]
    • Washington Post
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Paul Attanasio
    Golan and Bruner, in other words, have made the Holocaust into just another tear-jerking tool for the Cannon Productions shlockenspiel. This is called "chutzpah." The unoffended will find that the movie doesn't even deliver on its own sordid level. There isn't any action till 70 minutes into the film.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 40 Paul Attanasio
    Invasion USA might actually be fun in a campy way if it weren't so dourly exploitative.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Paul Attanasio
    The screenplay, by Dan O'Bannon and Don Jakoby, is just one long passage of exposition: someone blows up or dries up or whatever, you wonder why that's happening, and then someone explains it. This they call suspense. [25 June 1985, p.C8]
    • Washington Post
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Paul Attanasio
    Runaway Train isn't just bad -- it's bodaciously bad, grotesquely overblown, lurid in its emotion, big ideas on its brain. And anyone with a taste for camp will have a glorious good time. [20 Jan 1986, p.C4]
    • Washington Post
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Paul Attanasio
    Reinhold has a face that is halfway between leading-man handsome and Donald Duck, and a relaxed, drawling confidence with a line -- he seems to float not above the action but on it, like oil on water. And he seems to survive Head Office, a comedy so confused and cowardly it makes television look daring. [4 Jan 1986, p.D4]
    • Washington Post
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    Director Michael Apted (Coal Miner's Daughter) settles for a movie of pat moralism, a pamphleteer's parable of how drugs destroy families.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Paul Attanasio
    The Mission is everything a movie should be -- magnificently produced, epic in scope, serious in theme -- everything, that is, but good. Hamstrung by an unworkable script, the disastrous casting of Robert De Niro and, presumably, the strain of shooting in the Colombian jungle, director Roland Joffe' has come up with an indigestible lump of sanctimony that rarely goes beyond its good intentions.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Paul Attanasio
    Re-Animator is splatter heaven. Based on the sci-fi novel by H.P. Lovecraft, Re-Animator's gore is exceeded only by its wit. Not since the heyday of Roger Corman, perhaps, have filmmakers had so much fun with an exploitation movie.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Paul Attanasio
    Krush Groove is a kind of "Purple Drizzle," partly because of the story, which is scattershot; mostly because of the music, which isn't music at all, but rap, that tired fad of worn-out rock critics. [1 Nov 1985, p.B4]
    • Washington Post
    • 23 Metascore
    • 20 Paul Attanasio
    Toward the beginning of Turk 182!, Terry the fireman (Robert Urich) brays, "Gimme annudda beeah, Hoolie." Audiences should understand that this is their cue to leave the theater. In the movie's condescending populism, The People are enshrined, The System is scorned. And The People say: phooey. [16 Feb 1985, p.C6]
    • Washington Post
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Paul Attanasio
    Easily the worst of the four movies drawn from S.E. Hinton novels to date, and that's saying a lot. [9 Nov 1985, p.G14]
    • Washington Post

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