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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
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Was this sequel to The Hustler both unnecessary and inferior to the
original? Yes on both counts -- but hey, most films are inferior to The
Hustler, so that's less of a knock on The Color of Money than it is
an indication of how Paul Newman's first turn as "Fast Eddie" Felson has
endured. This time around, Newman returned to the pool halls with Martin
Scorsese behind the cameras, and with Tom Cruise and Mary Elizabeth
Mastrantonio providing some extra youthful box office drawing power. For a
handful of critics, it was little more than a crass attempt to cash in on a
classic -- but they were in the distinct minority, as The Color of Money
drew overwhelmingly positive reviews, and lived up to its name during its
theatrical run, too. Perhaps most importantly, Color finally netted
Newman that elusive Best Actor trophy. Pat Graham of the Chicago Reader said
it best when he called the movie "A solidly crafted entertainment that, for
the most part, strikes a successful balance between commercial necessity and
It slipped past most moviegoers during its time in theaters -- and given
its leisurely pace, nearly two-hour running time, and gently meandering plot,
it isn't hard to understand why -- but Nobody's Fool is a late-period
gem in Paul Newman's career, offering some of the actor's most finely
balanced, quietly nuanced work. Working with a cast that included Jessica
Tandy, Bruce Willis, Melanie Griffith, and Philip Seymour Hoffman certainly
didn't hurt, and Robert Benton's script (adapted from Richard Russo's novel)
is evenly stacked with insightful, contemplative moments and chuckle-inducing
zingers. Watching Newman and Willis together is a particular pleasure, but the
same could be said for Newman and Tandy -- or Newman and Griffith, for that
matter. It's a small picture with a big heart, and in the words of
eFilmCritic's Scott Weinberg, it "offers a hell of a lot more than just Paul
Newman at his very best, although that alone would make the flick worthy of
In what ended up being his final theatrical screen appearance, Newman
added an extra bit of gravitas to director Sam Mendes' adaptation of Max Allan
Collins' popular graphic novel, appearing as a quietly ruthless crime boss who
presides over a bloody struggle between his son and a man who might as well
be. Mendes' meditative approach was questioned by some critics, but most
appreciated Road to Perdition's exploration of violence's unpredictable
long-term consequences; ultimately, the film earned six Academy Award
nominations (including a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Newman) and over
$100 million at the box office. Though he isn't in many scenes, Newman's
performance here acts as a fitting capstone to a long career; his John Rooney
is a man smart enough to understand the terrible effects of his decisions --
and to understand it's too late for him to make up for his mistakes. Newman's
ability to convey these emotions with little more than a look was part of what eFilmCritic's Brian McKay was referring to when he said "the strength of the
performances lies in their subtlety."