For 596 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 28% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 70% 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 Children of Paradise (1945)
Lowest review score: 10 Revolution
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 42 out of 596
596 movie reviews
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Pauline Kael
    The director, Herbert Ross, and the writer, Dean Pitchford, exhaust one bad idea after another, and build up to a letdown: you don't get the climactic dance you expect.
    • The New Yorker
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    The film has an original, feathery charm.
    • The New Yorker
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    The picture draws out the obvious and turns itself into a classic. [26 June 1989]
    • The New Yorker
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    Peter Hyams, who directed, knows how to stage chases and fights. But he also wrote this script, which deadens everything and doesn’t even make sense.
    • The New Yorker
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    It's genuinely funny, yet it's also scary, especially for young women: it plays on their paranoid vulnerabilities... Mia Farrow is enchanting in her fragility: she's just about perfect for her role.
    • The New Yorker
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    Richard Brooks, who adapted the novel by Judith Rossner and directed, has laid a windy jeremiad about our permissive society on top of fractured film syntax. He's lost the erotic, pulpy morbidity that made the novel a compulsive read.
    • The New Yorker
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 Pauline Kael
    There ins't a gleam of good sense anywhere in this picture.
    • The New Yorker
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    A fantasy with music for children that never finds an appropriate style; it's stilted and frenetic, like Prussians at play.
    • The New Yorker
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    In its B-picture way, it has a fascinating crumminess.
    • The New Yorker
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    It all looks fussed over. Parker simply doesn't have the gift of making evil seductive, and he edits like a flasher.
    • The New Yorker
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    Schroder inadvertently exposes Bukowski's messianic windbag sensibility at its most self-satisfied. You wouldn't guess at Bukowski's talent from this movie.
    • The New Yorker
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    This first American version, directed by Tod Browning, was adapted from a play based on the Bram Stoker novel, rather than from the novel itself, and it becomes too stagey.
    • The New Yorker
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    Entertaining, though overlong. The director, Tay Garnett, knew almost enough tricks to sustain this glossily bowdlerized version of the James M. Cain novel, and he used Lana Turner maybe better than any other director did.
    • The New Yorker
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    The director, John Badham, does a glamorous, showy job, and, what with all the stunt flying and the hair-trigger editing, this is the sort of action film that can make you fell sick with excitement, yet it's all technique -- suspense in a void.
    • The New Yorker
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    Wenders' unsettling compositions are neurotically beautiful visions of a disordered world, but the film doesn't have the nasty, pleasurable cleverness of a good thriller; dramatically, it's stagnant -- inverted Wagnerism.
    • The New Yorker
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    This thriller doesn't offer the pleasures of style, but it does its job. It catches you in a vise - it's scary, and when it's over you feel a little shaken.
    • The New Yorker
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    It's a strange, elating movie with the Iceman at its emotional center; his mystical fervor takes hold. The director, Fred Schepisi, is working with a weak script, yet he and his two longtime collaborators, the composer Bruce Smeaton and the cinematographer Ian Baker, achieve that special and overwhelming fusion of the arts which great visual moviemaking can give us.
    • The New Yorker
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    This movie is terribly uneven -- best when it's gaudy and electric, worst in its more realistically staged melodramatic moments, especially toward the end. Overall, it's an entertaining show.
    • The New Yorker
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    In spite of his problem of sentiment, it's a happy, unpretentious farce.
    • The New Yorker
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    Taylor looks very desirable, and the cast is full of actors whooping it up with Southern Accents.
    • The New Yorker
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    Martin and Tomlin are both uninhibited physical comics. They tune in to each other's timing the way lovers do in life, only more so.
    • The New Yorker
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    The film errs in many ways, and at times the editing seems glaringly poor, but Olivier's performance gives it venomous excitement.
    • The New Yorker
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    Some of the film's junkiness is enjoyable, but there's also an unenjoyable cultural fundamentalism at work. Marshall is telling us that the complications of the last two decades are unimportant.
    • The New Yorker
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    The film is honest and watchable. But, unlike Orton, it takes no real delight in misbehaving.
    • The New Yorker
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    The film is one continuous spurt of energy...But the picture is abstract in an adolescent way. Miller's attempt to tap into the universal concept of the hero (as enunciated by Jung and explicated by Joseph Campbell in "The Hero with a Thousand Faces") makes the film joyless.
    • The New Yorker
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    The Orson Welles film is generally considered the greatest American film of the sound period, and it may be more fun than any other great movie.
    • The New Yorker
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    Ritt takes his time in building the atmosphere and introducing the people, and lets an image stay on the screen until we take it in. The movie is impressive yet lifeless.
    • The New Yorker
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    The picture--which is almost surreally entertaining--is also famous for its madcap choreography; chorus girls dancing on the wings of planes, to the title song.
    • The New Yorker
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    The scenes inside the Institute have a chill, spectral beauty, yet the spookiness doesn't explode. The movie seems a little too cultivated, too cautious.
    • The New Yorker
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    No one has ever fully explained what gives this basically slight romantic comedy its particular - and enormous - charm.
    • The New Yorker

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