For 494 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 30% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 68% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Pauline Kael's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Dog Day Afternoon
Lowest review score: 10 Heartbreak Ridge
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 40 out of 494
494 movie reviews
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    The film, directed by Perry Henzell, is feverish and haphazard, but the music redeems much of it, and the rhythmic swing of the Jamaican speech is hypnotic.
    • The New Yorker
    • 22 Metascore
    • 10 Pauline Kael
    Travel-folder footage of Rio mixed with father-daughter incest (in a disguised form)...Most of the movie is an attempt to squirm out from under its messy erotic-parental subject.
    • The New Yorker
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    This piece of Pop Art Americana is a clever, generally engaging screwball comedy.
    • The New Yorker
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    It may be the most sophisticated political satire ever made in Hollywood. (As quoted by Roger Ebert)
    • The New Yorker
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    The script (John Farris's adaptation of his novel) is cheap gothic espionage occultism involving two superior beings--spiritual twins (Andrew Stevens and Amy Irving) who have met only telepathically. But the film is so visually compelling that a viewer seems to have entered a mythic night world; no Hitchcock thriller was ever so intense, went so far, or had so many "classic" sequences.
    • The New Yorker
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    William Shatner's Kirk is less stoic here than in III--he's pleasantly daffy. The others in the crew also have an easy, parodistic tone. But the picture doesn't have much beyond the interplay among them and the jokey scenes in San Francisco.
    • The New Yorker
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    This spoofy black comedy is thin-textured and it's sedated; it doesn't have enough going on in it -- not even enough to look at. The nothingness of the movie is supposed to be its droll point, but viewers may experience sensory deprivation.
    • The New Yorker
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    An almost perfect visual equivalent of the Dashiell Hammett thriller...It is (and this is rare in American films) a work of entertainment that is yet so skillfully constructed that after many years and many viewings it has the same brittle explosiveness - and even some of the same surprise - that it had in its first run.
    • The New Yorker
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    Penn is given so little to work with here that it's practically a pantomime performance. He's worth watching, even though the picture is singularly unimaginative.
    • The New Yorker
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    The script, by James Toback, is a grandiloquent, egocentric novel written as a film; it spells everything out, and the director Karel Reisz's literal-minded, proficient style calls attention to how airless and schematic it is.
    • The New Yorker
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    The jokes get rather desperate, but there are enough wildly sophomoric ones to keep this pop stunt fairly amusing until about midway. It would have made a terrific short.
    • The New Yorker
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Pauline Kael
    A B-picture classic. This plain and inexpensive piece of science fiction employs few of the resources of the cinema (to put it mildly), but it has an idea that confirms everyone's suspicions.
    • The New Yorker
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    Sentimental, without being convincing for an instant.
    • The New Yorker
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    The picture is so cautious about not offending anyone that it doesn't rise to the level of satire, or even spoof.
    • The New Yorker
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    This slapstick adventure comedy is in the commercial genre of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it's a simpler, more likable entertainment than Raiders; it doesn't leave you feeling exhausted.
    • The New Yorker
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    Ragged when it tries for philosophical importance, but it's fun to see so many stars at an early stage in their careers.
    • The New Yorker
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Pauline Kael
    Directed by Irvin Kershner, the film has a few shocking fast cuts, but it also has scabrous elegance and a surprising amount of humor.
    • The New Yorker
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    The film has many of the ingredients of a shocking, memorable movie, but it's shallow and earnest...It's a mess, with glimmerings of talent and with Newman's near-great performance.
    • The New Yorker
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Pauline Kael
    It's intensely enjoyable--in some ways the best of Hitchcock's American films.
    • The New Yorker
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    Is there a piece of casting more ineffably Hollywood than Cher as a busy, weary public defender? She's all wrong for this role: her hooded, introspective face doesn't give you enough--she needs a role that lets her use her body.
    • The New Yorker
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    It's intended to be a thriller, but there's little suspense and almost no fun in this account of a schizophrenic ventriloquist.
    • The New Yorker
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 Pauline Kael
    If you admired Bette Midler in The Rose and Down and Out in Beverly Hills, you may want to bash you head against the wall...The director, Garry Marshall, shows no feeling for the material - not even false feeling.
    • The New Yorker
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    The case itself had so many dramatic elements that the movie can't help holding our attention, but it's a very crude piece of work, totally lacking in subtlety; what is meant to be a courtroom drama of ideas comes out as a caricature of a drama of ideas, and maddeningly, while watching we can't be sure what is based on historical fact and what is invention.
    • The New Yorker
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    The story and the acting make the film emotionally powerful. And Nicholson, looking punchy, tired, and baffled--and not on top of his character (as he is often is)--lets you see into him, rather than controlling what he lets you see.
    • The New Yorker
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    Wonderful dumb fun.
    • The New Yorker
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Pauline Kael
    This romantic comedy-fantasy about a mermaid (Daryl Hannah) who falls in love with a New Yorker (tom Hanks) has a friendly, tantalizing magic.
    • The New Yorker
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    An aggressively silly head-horror movie, the result of the misalliance of two wildly different hyperbolic talents-the director Ken Russell and the writer Paddy Chayefsky.
    • The New Yorker
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Pauline Kael
    This one is really only for Trekkies; others are likely to find it tolerable but yawny.
    • The New Yorker
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Pauline Kael
    In the film's second half, Hudson twists the story into knots in order to deliver his "statement" that apes are more civilized than people; the movie simply loses its mind, and dribbles to a pathetically indecisive conclusion.
    • The New Yorker
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Pauline Kael
    A tacky, lighthearted parody of crime-wave movies--camp for kiddies.
    • The New Yorker

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