For 593 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 29% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 69% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1 point lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Pauline Kael's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 The Right Stuff
Lowest review score: 10 Revolution
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 42 out of 593
593 movie reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    An existential thriller--the most original and shocking French melodrama of the 50s.
    • The New Yorker
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    Even though the movie retreats into its narrow story line, you come out with a sense of epic horror and the perception that this white master race is retarded.
    • The New Yorker
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    This lushly romantic creation, directed by Marcel Carne and written by Jacques Prevert, is a one-of-a-kind film, a sumptuous epic about the relations between theatre and life.
    • The New Yorker
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    The film, directed by Perry Henzell, is feverish and haphazard, but the music redeems much of it, and the rhythmic swing of the Jamaican speech is hypnotic.
    • The New Yorker
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    This piece of Pop Art Americana is a clever, generally engaging screwball comedy.
    • The New Yorker
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    It may be the most sophisticated political satire ever made in Hollywood. (As quoted by Roger Ebert)
    • The New Yorker
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    The script (John Farris's adaptation of his novel) is cheap gothic espionage occultism involving two superior beings--spiritual twins (Andrew Stevens and Amy Irving) who have met only telepathically. But the film is so visually compelling that a viewer seems to have entered a mythic night world; no Hitchcock thriller was ever so intense, went so far, or had so many "classic" sequences.
    • The New Yorker
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    This is a polished light comedy in the "continental" style -- a sophisticated romantic trifle, with Dietrich more chic and modern than in her von Sternberg pictures.
    • The New Yorker
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    An almost perfect visual equivalent of the Dashiell Hammett thriller...It is (and this is rare in American films) a work of entertainment that is yet so skillfully constructed that after many years and many viewings it has the same brittle explosiveness - and even some of the same surprise - that it had in its first run.
    • The New Yorker
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    A B-picture classic. This plain and inexpensive piece of science fiction employs few of the resources of the cinema (to put it mildly), but it has an idea that confirms everyone's suspicions.
    • The New Yorker
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    This slapstick adventure comedy is in the commercial genre of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it's a simpler, more likable entertainment than Raiders; it doesn't leave you feeling exhausted.
    • The New Yorker
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    Jane Fonda in possibly her finest dramatic performance, as Bree, an intelligent, high-bracket call girl, in Alan J. Pakula's murder-melodrama.
    • The New Yorker
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    Directed by Irvin Kershner, the film has a few shocking fast cuts, but it also has scabrous elegance and a surprising amount of humor.
    • The New Yorker
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    James Stewart is charming and even a little bit sexy as the mild-mannered Destry.
    • The New Yorker
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    It's intensely enjoyable--in some ways the best of Hitchcock's American films.
    • The New Yorker
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    The whole thing became amorphous and confused. Paramount did rather better by the romance than the politics; Ingrid Bergman is lovely and affecting as Maria.
    • The New Yorker
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    This is the fanciest, most carefully assembled enigma yet put on screen...Using du Maurier as a base, Roeg comes closer to getting Borges on the screen than those who have tried it directly, but there's a distasteful clamminess about the picture. Roeg's style is in love with disintegration.
    • The New Yorker
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    The story and the acting make the film emotionally powerful. And Nicholson, looking punchy, tired, and baffled--and not on top of his character (as he is often is)--lets you see into him, rather than controlling what he lets you see.
    • The New Yorker
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    Wonderful dumb fun.
    • The New Yorker
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    This romantic comedy-fantasy about a mermaid (Daryl Hannah) who falls in love with a New Yorker (tom Hanks) has a friendly, tantalizing magic.
    • The New Yorker
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    The director, Irving Rapper, is just barely competent, and the action plods along, yet this picture is all of a piece, and if it were better it might not work at all. This way, it's a schlock classic.
    • The New Yorker
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    The scenes involving Gould and Cannon are small miracles of timing; Cannon (who looks a bit like Lauren Bacall and a bit like Jeanne Moreau, but the wrong bits) is also remarkably funny in her scenes with an analyst (played by the analyst Donald F. Muhich). You can feel something new in the comic spirit of this film - in the way Mazursky gets laughs by the rhythm of cliches, defenses, and little verbal aggressions.
    • The New Yorker
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    It's about Scorcese and DeNiro's trying to top what they've done and what everybody else has done. Scorcese puts his unmediated obsessions on the screen, trying to turn raw, pulp power into art by removing it from the particulars of observation and narrative.
    • The New Yorker
    • 99 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    This exuberant satire of Hollywood in the late 20s, at the time of the transition from silents to talkies, is probably the most enjoyable of all American movie musicals.
    • The New Yorker
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    You're entertained continuously, though you don't feel the queasy, childish dread that is part of the dirty kick of the horror genre.
    • The New Yorker
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    Milos Forman trudges through the movie as if every step were a major contribution to art, and he keeps the audience hooked.
    • The New Yorker
    • 91 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    There's no denying that for many people sequences such as Bambi's birth have an enduring primal power.
    • The New Yorker
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    Magnificent romantic-gothic corn, full of Alfred Hitchcock's humor and inventiveness.
    • The New Yorker
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    The story, about the friendship between two lonely, vagrant ranch hands--the small, bedraggled, intelligent George and the simpleminded giant Lennie--is gimmicky and highly susceptible to parody, but it is emotionally effective just the same.
    • The New Yorker
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    The film has an original, feathery charm.
    • The New Yorker

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