For 598 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 1.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Pauline Kael's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 The Manchurian Candidate
Lowest review score: 10 Blame It on Rio
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 43 out of 598
598 movie reviews
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    The forced snappiness of the exchanges suggests two woodpeckers clicking at each other's heads. Irritability provides the rhythm in Neil Simon's universe.
    • The New Yorker
    • 84 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    An inflated sci-fi action-horror film...[Cameron] does it in an energetic, systematic, relentless way, with an action dicretor's gusto, and a shortage of imagination. The imagery has a fair amount of graphic power, but there's too much claustrophobic blue-green darkness.
    • The New Yorker
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    A virtuoso piece of kinetic moviemaking. Working with material that could, with a few false steps, have turned into a tony reality-and-illusion puzzle, the director, Richard Rush, has kept it all rowdy and funny -- it's slapstick metaphysics.
    • The New Yorker
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    Starts smart and ends dumb. [24 Aug 1987, p.79]
    • The New Yorker
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    The picture's only claim on one's attention is in the two sequences staged by Busby Berkeley.
    • The New Yorker
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    It's an ambitious movie made with an inept, sometimes sly, and very often equivocal script...But it's by no means a negligible movie.
    • The New Yorker
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 Pauline Kael
    All we have to look forward to is: When are these two going to discover fornication? The director, Randal Kleiser, and his scenarist, Douglas Day Stewart, have made the two clean and innocent by emptying them of any dramatic interest. Watching them is about as exciting as looking into a fishbowl waiting for guppies to mate. It's Disney nature porn.
    • The New Yorker
    • 69 Metascore
    • 30 Pauline Kael
    Neither the contemplative Zhivago nor the flux of events is intelligible, and what is worse, they seem unrelated to each other...It's stately, respectable, and dead.
    • The New Yorker
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    The film is said to be honest and about real people, and it affects some viewers very powerfully.
    • The New Yorker
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    It's like visual rock, and it's bursting with energy. The action runs from night until dawn, and most of it is in crisp, bright Day-Glo colors against the terrifying New York blackness; the figures stand out like a jukebox in a dark bar. There's a night-blooming, psychedelic shine to the whole baroque movie.
    • The New Yorker
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    Nicholson's fatuous leering performance dominates the movie, and because his prankishness also comes out in the casting and directing, the movie hasn't any stabilizing force; there's nothing to balance what he's doing--no one with a strait jacket. An actor-director who prances about the screen manically can easily fool himself into thinking that his film is jumping; Nicholson jumps, all right, but the movie is inert.
    • The New Yorker
    • 77 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    This is a film noir without malevolence or mystery. It's a Yuppie thriller: it has no psychological layers.
    • The New Yorker
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    The film wasn’t completed in the form that Welles originally intended, and there are pictorial effects that seem scaled for a much fuller work, but even in this truncated form it’s amazing and memorable.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    The film's nostalgic fixation on the ambiance of the war years seems to exclude any real interest in the lives of the women workers; this feminist fairy tale sees the characters as precursors of the women's movement of the 60s and 70s rather than as people.
    • The New Yorker
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    So klunky and poorly paced, and so loaded with sanctimonious moral lessons, that even the George and Ira Gershwin score doesn't save it.
    • The New Yorker
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    There are startling effects and good revue touches here and there, but the picture goes on and on, as if it were determined to impress us. It goes on so long that it cancels itself out, even out of people's memories; it was long awaited and then forgotten almost instantly.
    • The New Yorker
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    Elliptical, full of wit and radiance, this is the best movie ever made about what most of us think of as the Scott Fitzgerald period (though the film begins much earlier).
    • The New Yorker
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    The whole archaic big musical circus here surrounds a Happening -- Barbra Streisand -- and it's all worth seeing in order to see her.
    • The New Yorker
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    Cheesy low farce, with Danny DeVito as a thieving millionaire who wants to kill his heiress wife (Bette Miler) and is overjoyed when she's kidnapped.
    • The New Yorker
    • 100 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    Bergman is literally ravishing in what is probably her sexiest performance. Great trash, great fun.
    • The New Yorker
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    Robert Wise, who made this expensive version of the Michael Crichton novel, having chosen a fanatically realistic documentary style, has failed to solve the dramatic problems in the original story. The suspense is strong, but not pleasurable.
    • The New Yorker
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    It's a candied Mean Streets, evenly and impersonally directed by Stuart Rosenberg. It has no temperament -- it doesn't even have any get-up-and-go. But Patrick supplies colorful "ethnic" dialogue, and the actors run with it.
    • The New Yorker
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    It would be fun to be able to dismiss this as undoubtedly the best movie ever made in Pittsburgh, but it also happens to be one of the most gruesomely terrifying movies ever made.
    • The New Yorker
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Pauline Kael
    The movie is slight and vapid, with the consistency of watery jello...It isn't about teenagers – it's actually closer to being a pre-teen's idea of what it will be like to be a teenager. [7 Apr 1996, p.91]
    • The New Yorker
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Pauline Kael
    A rich-meets-rich picture, and worse than one imagines. Al Pacino gives a torpid performance as a spiritually depleted Grand Prix racing-car driver who falls in love with a well-heeled free spirit (Marthe Keller), a metaphysical kook.
    • The New Yorker
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    The Marx Brothers in their greatest movie.
    • The New Yorker
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    The director, Jean-Jacques Annaud, has his own primitivism: he doesn't seem to have discovered crosscutting yet. What's fun in the movie is the makeup, and the way that the faces of the three warriors are simian and yet attractive; the 60s have made the ape look seem hip.
    • The New Yorker
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    This muckraking melodrama has considerable power and some strong performances. The script, by W.D. Richter, has offhand dialogue with a warm, funny edge.
    • The New Yorker
    • 98 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    Though not as cleverly original as "Strangers on a Train", or as cleverly sexy as "Notorious", this is one of Hitchcock's most entertaining American thrillers.
    • The New Yorker
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    George Cukor directed--beautifully. It's as close to perfect as you'd want it to be.
    • The New Yorker

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