For 18 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 11% same as the average critic
  • 45% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 18.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Tom Shales' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 45
Highest review score: 100 Raising Arizona
Lowest review score: 0 Shanghai Surprise
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 18
  2. Negative: 9 out of 18
18 movie reviews
    • 10 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    Death Ship unfortunately turned out to be about as frightening as "The Love Boat." No -- less. Except for one grisly, chilling scene too horrible to describe, this one was an unintentionally funny stroll. And pity the poor actors -- George Kennedy, Richard Crenna, Nick Mancuso, Sally Ann Howes; it's the TV-jeebies. Strictly second-string city. [9 June 1980, p.B1]
    • Washington Post
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Tom Shales
    One of the darkest and bravest comedies ever released by a Hollywood studio. [25 June 1992, p.C7]
    • Washington Post
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Shales
    Once in the proper mood for Neighbors, however, the disappointing discovery is that there isn't a lot of movie there. Neighbors is by no means a laughless debacle like "Buddy Buddy," and as an ambiguous paranoid rattle around life's great cage, the film is funnier and less pretentious than "Being There." It's just too bad that it tends to send you home empty-headed.[24 Dec 1981, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
    • 23 Metascore
    • 25 Tom Shales
    It's a comedy to be laughed at rather than with, largely because the producers decided to dub Arnold's Teutonic voice with that of another actor, one who sounds like he's giving bus departure announcements at the Port Authority Terminal. [30 Jan 1992, p.C7]
    • Washington Post
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    Director Walter Lang does almost nothing to cinematize the show, but that's all right; King and I works fine as an act of theatrical preservation, and at some strange level the story, even with its abrupt ending, still has power. [27 Feb 1992, p.D7]
    • Washington Post
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Shales
    In retrospect, and viewed as either a once-topical curio or a nostalgic artifact from Hollywood's golden era, On the Beach doesn't seem lousy. It seems naively, even innocently, preachy. [28 May 2000, p.G01]
    • Washington Post
    • 30 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    As directed by Steve Miner and shot by Gerald Feil, the film's use of 3-D is spectacularly and viciously effective. (Gray-lensed Polaroid glasses are handed out at the door; this 3-D process works much better than that used on recent 3-D TV broadcasts.) Not only sabers and butcher knives are tossed into the movie house, however; there are also such relatively benign protuberances as popping popcorn, a leaping snake and a blue yo-yo. From the back of a van, a hippie reaches out with a joint, and very early in the film the audience gets poked at with a pair of rabbit ears atop a television set. An opening scene of sheets flapping on a clothesline is attractively eerie, and a later shot of a victim sitting on a pier that juts into a pool of water is actually pretty. The playfulness is so engaging it's really too bad that the gore has to be so unrelenting, but the producers of these films are now trapped in their own excess [17 Aug 1982, p.B1]
    • Washington Post
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    No one could accuse Dan Aykroyd of waiting around for the perfect script to come along. Doctor Detroit, now at area theaters, is as feeble a vehicle as any but the meanest mean spirit would ever wish on him. [9 May 1983, p.B12]
    • Washington Post
    • 13 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    "Halloween II" was funnier by accident than Saturday the 14th manages to be on purpose. Decidedly not a parody of all those very parodyable endangered teen-ager movies like "Friday the 13th" -- though that's what its misleading title implies -- "Saturday" merely resurrects a passel of haunted-house wheezes so antique that even the Bowery Boys would be driven to groans by them. [23 Nov 1981, p.C2]
    • Washington Post
    • 31 Metascore
    • 37 Tom Shales
    New World Pictures has been promoting the film not so much as a fright show but more as a campy romp (the comic trailer was more entertaining than the picture); unfortunately, it doesn't work very well on either level. [01 Oct 1985, p.E1]
    • Washington Post
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    Swamp Thing isn't completely successful at banishing the old corkers and stereotypes, but it's a harmless, watchable comic-book thriller, refreshingly suitable for kids of almost any age.[10 May 1982, p.C2]
    • Washington Post
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Tom Shales
    One problem is that the action in the film is restricted to a few basic locations; the medical supply house, a nearby cemetery and an adjoining mortuary. Romero made highly productive use of confinement. O'Bannon does not, but he does earn points with inventive gall, and there are enough lunatic thrills along the way to leave one with the giddy sensation of having been alternately scared silly and tickled even sillier. [19 Aug 1985, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    Even this garbage-can world deserves a better grade of junk. [7 Aug 1980, p.B4]
    • Washington Post
    • 16 Metascore
    • 0 Tom Shales
    Someone must have told Sean Penn and Madonna that people would come to see them in anything -- and poor fools, they believed it. "Anything" in this case amounts to nothing: Shanghai Surprise, a quintessentially misbegotten fiasco even in the year of "Under the Cherry Moon." [24 Sept 1986, p.D2]
    • Washington Post
    • 48 Metascore
    • 10 Tom Shales
    A manifest abomination on every measurable level, So Fine, the painfully threadbare comedy opening today at area theaters, is easily as transparent as the peekaboo jeans that give the film its nominal but squandered topicality. The film's only conceivable distinction is that it could be the worst that Ryan O'Neal has ever made, and that's saying something. [25 Sept 1981, p.C6]
    • Washington Post
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Tom Shales
    Raising Arizona is a prize package and a bundle of joy, one that puts a fresh, funny face on the American comedy movie. It's as encouraging as it is entertaining. [20 March 1987, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
    • 30 Metascore
    • 10 Tom Shales
    Legend may turn out to be legendary, but not in the way the filmmakers intended. As a flight of fancy, it has the balletic grace of the goony bird, crashing on takeoff and spending the next 90 minutes in a fluttering tizzy on the ground. [24 Apr 1986, p.D3]
    • Washington Post
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Tom Shales
    Edwards and his collaborators have wisely chosen to give an audience just what it wants and expects from a Pink Panther film - riotous slapstick, spectacular stunts and Sellers in a variety of accents and disguises that give him free reign and lead to inevitable uproariousness. [19 July 1978, p.E1]
    • Washington Post

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