Vincent Canby

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For 844 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Vincent Canby's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 The Purple Rose of Cairo
Lowest review score: 0 Revolution
Score distribution:
844 movie reviews
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Vincent Canby
    Chaplin is to serious biography, even to Mr. Attenborough's Gandhi, what unfortified cornflakes are to real food. It's slick packaging around what is mostly warm air.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Vincent Canby
    So little goes on that it might be argued that The Burbs means to be a comment on the vacuity of popular entertainment in the television age, though it's much more an example of it. The film does nothing for the reputation of anyone connected with it, including Mr. Hanks, who deserves the Oscar nomination he has just received for his work in Big. This time he's attempting to act a role in a screenplay whose pages are blank.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 10 Vincent Canby
    Though the scenery can't be faulted, there's not a single funny or surprising moment in the movie. However, Blame It on Rio is not simply humorless. It also spreads gloom. It's one of those unfortunate projects that somehow suggests that everyone connected with the movie hated it and all of the other people involved.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Vincent Canby
    The idea is funnier than the execution. Miss Goldberg is only funny when she is being foul-mouthed, which seems rude since no one else is allowed to respond in kind or degree.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    At its best, which it frequently is, it's a lunatic ball, an extremely genial, witty example of what is becoming a movie genre all its own.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 Vincent Canby
    It's another example of the ever-widening gap between the real world and the fantasies of a kind of artistic temperament more concerned with random self expression than with the expression of coherent feelings or ideas about love, alienation, outrage, politics or even of movie-making. It shrivels the imagination instead of enriching it. [7 Oct. 1981]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    How each frees the other is the stuff of Free Willy, which is as engaging as such films can be without offering rude surprises.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    Even the special effects are more to the point of the comedy than they were in the first film. For some reason, this appears to leave more room for the sort of random funny business that Mr. Murray and his friends do best, or to which they react with most aplomb.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Vincent Canby
    Roger Donaldson's White Sands is set entirely in the vast painterly landscapes of the American Southwest, but it means to be a suspense thriller reflecting the scaled-down undercover realities of the post-cold-war era. In fact, it's almost as difficult to follow as the politics of the federation that replaced the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and as difficult to remember as that federation's official name.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Vincent Canby
    The director, who also wrote the original story and screenplay, hasn't succeeded in making a drama that is really much more aware than the characters themselves. The result is a movie that is as precise—and as small—as a contact print.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Vincent Canby
    Mr. Caan is generally convincing, except in those classroom scenes, but all of the other actors, with the exception of James Sorvino who plays a sympathetic bookie, seem defeated by the quality of the material.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 50 Vincent Canby
    The Double Life of Veronique doesn't end. About three-quarters of the way through, it starts to dissolve, like mist, so that by the time it is actually over the screen seems to have been blank for some time.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Vincent Canby
    Tank is as immediately forgettable as a lesser, made-for-television movie.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Vincent Canby
    Watching Children of a Lesser God, the screen adaptation of Mark Medoff's 1980 Broadway play, is like being on a cruise to nowhere aboard a ship with decent service and above-par fast-food. Everything has been carefully programmed so that there are no surprises, no discoveries, nothing to do except to sit -with eyes propped open - and applaud the crew's efficiency.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Vincent Canby
    The comic possibilities of this are generally ignored in Brian Taggert's screenplay and the direction of George P. Cosmatos, which features about as many shots from the point of view of the rat as of Bart Hughes.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 Vincent Canby
    The movie can't make up its mind whether it's a lighthearted comedy, set in what appears to be a posh New England-style prep school just outside Chicago, or a romantic drama about a teen-age boy who has a torrid affair with his roommate's mother. Either way it's pretty awful.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    A tough-talking street melodrama, both shocking and sorrowful, acted by Paul Newman and a huge cast with the kind of conviction that can't be ignored.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Vincent Canby
    Mr. Parker is an eclectic film maker. He seems to have no readily identifiable obsessions that define supposedly more serious directors. He's a very able technician who needs a good screenplay, which is what's missing here.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Vincent Canby
    Stuffed with plummy English accents and the most inauthentic classroom scenes since those of "Billy Madison," Life, Translated has a childlike innocence that seems targeted toward a preteenage audience.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Vincent Canby
    The movie seems to want to be a James Bond sort of adventure in black drag, but it's more reminiscent of Batman.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Vincent Canby
    At Close Range is never boring. There's something bold about the film's wealth of imagery, but it also so overstates the material of the screenplay that it eventually annihilates both it and the story, which might possibly have been moving and terrifying. This just looks like fancy movie making.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 30 Vincent Canby
    As an actress (Derek) displays the sort of fausse naivete that is less erotic than perfunctorily calculated, in the manner of an old-fashioned, pre-porn-era stripteaser who might have started her act dressed like Heidi. This isn't Tarzan, the Ape Man. It's ''Little Bo Peep.''..The kind of movie that might seem funny when seen after several martinis. Viewed stone-sober, it's a movie of more squirms than screams.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    My Cousin Vinny is easily the most inventive and enjoyable American film farce in a long time, even during those extended patches when it seems to be marking time or when it continues with a running gag that can't stay the distance. The film has a secure and sophisticated sense of what makes farce so delicious.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    Murder by Death is as light and insubstantial as one could wish.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Vincent Canby
    The only thing The Bedroom Window seems to be about is movie making - that is, it's about putting pieces of film together to create momentary effects that needn't signify anything at all. Sometimes this is called ''pure cinema.'' Sometimes, in fact, it's pure nonsense.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 Vincent Canby
    It's neither funny nor solemn. It has the personality not of a particular movie but of a product, of something arrived at by corporate decision.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Vincent Canby
    What we eventually see underneath this shell is not the study in dignity that Ashley Montagu wrote about, but something far more poignant, a study in genteelness that somehow supressed all rage. That is the quality that illuminates this film and makes it far more fascinating than it would be were it merely a portrait of a dignified freak. [03 Oct 1980, p.C8]
    • The New York Times
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    A Brief History of Time is a kind of adventure that seldom reaches the screen, and it's a tonic.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Vincent Canby
    Watching Frenzy is like riding a roller coaster in total darkness. You can never be quite sure when you're going to start a terrifying new descent or take a sudden turn to the left or right. The agony is exquisite.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Vincent Canby
    The action sequences are what the film is all about, and these are remarkably well done, including a climactic, largely bloodless shootout among helicopters and jet fighters over Los Angeles.

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