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 Pat and Mike
Lowest review score: 10 Revolution
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 42 out of 593
593 movie reviews
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    But the movie is in a stupor; everything is internalized. Duvall is locked in, and De Niro is in his chameleon trance - he seems flaccid, preoccupied...You have to put up a struggle to get anything out of this picture.
    • The New Yorker
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    Directed by James Fargo, this third in the series doesn't have the savvy to be as sadistic as its predecessors; it's just limp.
    • The New Yorker
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    The subject - the romantic life of an American Communist - may be daring, but the moviemaking is extremely traditional, with Beatty playing a man who dies for an ideal. It's rather a sad movie, because it isn't really very good.
    • The New Yorker
    • 94 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    The reputation of this John Ford Western is undeservedly high: it's a heavy-spirited piece of nostalgia. John Wayne is in his flamboyant element, but James Stewart is too old for the role of an idealistic young Eastern lawyer who is robbed on the way West, goes to work in the town of Shinbone as a dishwasher, and learns about Western life.
    • The New Yorker
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Pauline Kael
    The movie is a form of hysterical, rabble-rousing pulp, yet it isn't involving; it doesn't have the propulsion of good pulp storytelling.
    • The New Yorker
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    A frivolous masterpiece. Like Bringing Up Baby, The Lady Eve is a mixture of visual and verbal slapstick, and of high artifice and pratfalls.
    • The New Yorker
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    There's always something bubbling inside Arthur--the booze just adds to his natural fizz. This was the only film directed by Steve Gordon (who also wrote the script); he was a long way from being able to do with images what he could do with words, but there are some inspired bits and his work has a friendly spirit.
    • The New Yorker
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    Grandiose, emotionally charged musical version of the 1937 tear-jerker. This updated version is a terrible, fascinating orgy of self-pity and cynicism and mythmaking.
    • The New Yorker
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    The people in this serious Woody Allen film are destroyed by the repressiveness of good taste, and so is the picture. It's a puzzle movie, constructed like a well-made play from the American past, and given the beautiful, solemn visual clarity of a Bergman film, without, however, the eroticism of Bergman.
    • The New Yorker
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    Herbert Ross directed, unexcitingly; there's no visual sweep, no lift.
    • The New Yorker
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    Gavin Lambert summed it up: An all-star concentration-camp drama, with special guest-victim appearances.
    • The New Yorker
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    The movie is ungainly – you can almost see the chalk marks it's not hitting. But it has a loose, likable shabbiness. [19 Oct 1987, p.110]
    • The New Yorker
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    The movie doesn’t stick together in one’s head; this thing is like some junky fairground show—a chamber of horrors with skeletons that jump up.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    A funky, buoyant farce. The picture doesn't have the dirt or meanness or malice to make you explode with laughter, but it's consistently enjoyable.
    • The New Yorker
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    This is a visually claustrophobic, mechanically plotted movie that's meant to be a roguishly charming entertainment, and many people probably consider it just that.
    • The New Yorker
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    Is it a great movie? I don't think so. But it's a triumphant piece of filmmaking -- journalism presented with the brio of drama. [24 Sept 1990]
    • The New Yorker
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    It takes Malle a little while to set up the crisscrossing of the 10 or 12 major characters, but once he does, the film operates by its own laws in its own world, and it has a lovely fizziness.
    • The New Yorker
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    The gallows humor is entertaining, despite some rather braod roughhouse effects.
    • The New Yorker
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    The film's rhythm is startling -- you can feel the director's temperament. And there's an element of relentlessness in the way he sets out to demonstrate the hopeless cruelty of the "system."
    • The New Yorker
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    A mixed-up and over-loaded American spy thriller by Alfred Hitchcok, with the unengaging Robert Cummings in the lead and an unappealing cast, featuring Priscilla Lane and Otto Kruger. Nothing holds together, but there are still enough scary sequences to make the picture entertaining.
    • The New Yorker
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    The move may seem insipid to people who want something substantial, but there's a special delight about the timing of actors who make fools of themselves as personably and airily as Dudley Moore and Amy Irving do here.
    • The New Yorker
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    Despite Peckinpah’s artistry, there’s something basically grim and crude in Straw Dogs. It’s no news that men are capable of violence, but while most of us want to find ways to control that violence, Sam Peckinpah wants us to know that that’s all hypocrisy.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    Truffaut's The Wild Child is a more beautifully conceived picture on the same theme, but even with its imperfections and staginess this early Penn film is extraordinary.
    • The New Yorker
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    Bonnie and Clyde is the most excitingly American American movie since “The Manchurian Candidate.” The audience is alive to it. Our experience as we watch it has some connection with the way we reacted to movies in childhood: with how we came to love them and to feel they were ours—not an art that we learned over the years to appreciate but simply and immediately ours.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    Coppola's efforts to bring depth to this material that has no depth make the picture seem groggy. It's as if he were trying to direct the actors to bring something out of themselves when neither he nor anyone else knows what's wanted.
    • The New Yorker
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    The film is comatose; you're brought into it only by the camera tricks or the special-effects horrors, or, perhaps, the nude scenes.
    • The New Yorker
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    A dog of a movie about a horse.
    • The New Yorker
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    It sounds promising, but Bogdanovich attempts an exercise in style, and the result is sustained clutter.
    • The New Yorker
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    What gives this trash a life, what makes it entertaining is clearly that the director, Norman Jewison, and some of those involved, knowing of course that they were working on a silly, shallow script used the chance to have a good time with it.
    • The New Yorker
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    Though taken from a pulp best-seller, by Stephen King, the movie isn't the scary fun one might hope for from a virtuoso technician like Kubrick. It has a promising opening sequence, and there is some spectacular use of the Steadicam, but Kubrick isn't interested in the people on the screen as individuals. They are his archetypes, and he's using them to make a metaphysical statement about the timelessness of evil. He's telling us that man is a murderer through eternity. Kubrick's involvement in technology distances us from his meaning, though, and while we're watching the film it just doesn't seem to make sense.
    • The New Yorker

Top Trailers