Sheila Benson

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For 211 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 54% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 45% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Sheila Benson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Moonstruck
Lowest review score: 0 Shanghai Surprise
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 211
211 movie reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Sheila Benson
    A film of warmth, insight, humor and surprising originality… [It] isn't perfect, but when it's good, which is every moment John Cusack is on screen, it's a living joy. And when it's not-so-good--earthbound and not inventive enough--it s till almost single-handedly redeems the breed. [14 April 1989]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Sheila Benson
    Heart may be what the movie needs most, but a bit of clarity wouldn't hurt either. Even here in gangsterland, where random characters are cherished and non sequiturs are considered wisecracks, there is a difference between complications and impenetrability, and this plot is a bloody thicket.. [5 Oct 1990, Calendar, p.F-10]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Sheila Benson
    Biting and vicious, a styptic pencil on the battered face of "civilized divorce." It's also thoughtful, laceratingly funny, and bravely true to its own black-and-blue comic vision. [8 Dec 1989]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Sheila Benson
    Working Girl is the sparkling success that it is because of the sheer irresistibility of Melanie Griffith. [21 Dec 1988, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    Electrifying… As writer, director and editor, [Soderbergh’s] control is mesmerizing. It's also more than a little creepy; as though Soderbergh were drawing us, a step at a time, into a warm pool where intimate secrets flowed back and forth as simply as currents of water. [4 Aug 1989, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 66 Metascore
    • 30 Sheila Benson
    Without complexity to its characters, with little balance and without a hint of the personal, family or community issues involved, Colors becomes a movie that never has to ask "Why?"--a vivid, noisy shell of a film filled with eager young actors rattling along on the surface of a lethally important subject. [15 Apr 1988]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 53 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    Irresistibly funny… Just about the best holiday gift imaginable. [23 Dec 1988, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Sheila Benson
    Nothing works, except perhaps the sight of Julia Roberts' lean, well-tempered midsection and her roughly eight yards of legs that, in this frail comedy, are worked until they're almost a story point of their own. [23 Mar 1990, Calendar, p.F-14]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Sheila Benson
    Unfortunately, director Michael Lehmann's point of view is swivel-mounted: He doesn't have the courage of his cynicism. [31 Mar 1989]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    The performances of Close and Silver are flawless, but it is Irons' portrait that remains behind, an enigmatic after-image… Reversal of Fortune is a delectable tour through facets of the lives of the rich and famous that Robin Leach wouldn't touch with a forked stick. [17 Oct 1990]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    It's as engaging, as modest, as utterly American and as thrilling as the true-life story it's based on. [11 Dec 1986, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Sheila Benson
    With Manhunter, there seems to be some danger that style has overrun content, leaving behind a vast, chic, well-cast wasteland. [15 Aug 1986]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    Stirred up impassioned debate everywhere; it would seem the greatest compliment that could be paid a stunning entertainment. [30 June 1989, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    A convulsively funny affair.[15 July 1988, Calendar, p. 6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Sheila Benson
    But the climax of "Close Encounters" was breathtaking and the climax of The Abyss is downright embarrassing; in the light of day, its payoff effect looks like a glazed ceramic what's-it your 11-year-old made in crafts class. It's criminal. [9 Aug 1989, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    The summer's uncorseted, unqualified delight. [14 July 1989, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Sheila Benson
    You can't roll monstrous boulders straight at audiences any more and have a whole theater-full duck and gasp with fright--and pleasure. We may be plumb gasped out. And although Harrison Ford is still in top form and the movie is truly fun in patches, it's a genre on the wane. [24 May 1989, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Sheila Benson
    It's just that when a movie is this close, with so much of the sports flavor (co-producer Thom Mount is co-owner of the real Durham Bulls), you like to see it perfect. [15 June 1988]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    Dense, satisfying, feverishly inventive and a technical marvel… But--animation aside--the treasure of the piece is Hoskins' pungent, visceral comic performance. [22 June 1988]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Sheila Benson
    The production is as clean and effective as Red October herself; there's not one dial or glowing radar screen too many; the underwater hits and near-misses are clearly choreographed and the undersea intensity is captured perfectly by Jan De Bont's camera work. [2 Mar 1990, Calendar, p.F-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Sheila Benson
    Did you miss "Pretty in Pink," with the glowing Molly Ringwald? No problem. Some Kind of Wonderful, which has the same director -- Howard Deutch -- also has the same story... The real complaint, however, is that Hughes has absolutely nothing new to report -- no fresh perspectives, no gratefully received maturity, nothing added or depleted. [27 Feb 1987]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 68 Metascore
    • 30 Sheila Benson
    The astonishing thing about Raising Arizona is how it can move so fast, be so loud, and ramain so relentlessly boring at the same time. [20 Mar 1987]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Sheila Benson
    A smart, generous, genuinely funny affair. Sometimes, like the camel who almost ambles away with the picture, it's longish in the tooth, but it is based on an extremely astute vision of life. [15 May 1987]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Sheila Benson
    In all his athletic scenes, leaping through doors, leaping between uptown and downtown trains, leaping on an assortment of villains, Swayze is just fine. It's the movie's big cosmic questions that throw him; for these he's reduced to a look of total stupefaction--not the movie's finest moments. [13 July 1990, Calendar, p.F-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    To think of a film this assured, this unified and this dizzyingly potent, you have to go back to "Blue Velvet." [22 Sept 1988]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    Hopkins' insinuating performance puts him right up there with the screen's great bogymen. [13 February 1991, Calendar, p.F-1}
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    A clear-eyed vision. Authentic as an Edward Curtis photograph, lyrical as a George Catlin oil or a Karl Bodmer landscape, this is a film with a pure ring to it. It's impossible to call it anything but epic [9 Nov 1990, Calendar, p.F-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Sheila Benson
    In addition to its photography, the film's details of costuming (by "The Last Emperor's" James Acheson) and production design (by Stuart Craig of "Gandhi" and "The Mission") are ravishing. [21 Dec 1988, Calendar p.6]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Sheila Benson
    Diamond-hard and mesmerizing… Bening and Cusack are perfection at what they are doing, she twinkly as any rhinestone, he dangerously passive; it's hardly their fault that Huston is the motor of the piece and so ferociously seductive that one cannot look away from her. [5 Dec 1990]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 Sheila Benson
    Nicholson's Joker will be the pivotal point for many. It's his energy, spurting like an artery, that keeps the picture alive; it's certainly not the special effects, the editing, which has no discernible rhythm, or the flaccid screenplay.

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