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 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.

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