• R, 2 hr. 37 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Martin Brest
    In Theaters:
    Dec 23, 1992 Wide
    On DVD:
    Apr 28, 1998
  • Universal Pictures

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Scent of a Woman Reviews

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TV Guide's Movie Guide

Thanks to a landmark performance by Al Pacino, Scent of a Woman is an agreeably watchable film. If they'd made it half an hour shorter and re-written the ending, it could have been a great one.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 3/4

May 27, 2011


Pacino manages to shift smoothly from comedy to pathos, making the antipathetic character seem fascinating.

Full Review Source: Film4

May 27, 2011
Angie Errigo
Empire Magazine

While fairly predictable and unoriginal, it is nevertheless entertaining.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Original Score: 3/5

May 27, 2011
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An irascible bully who proves to have a heart of gold, Pacino's character seems manufactured by a computer programmed with box-office grosses.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

May 27, 2011
Ellen Dendy
Common Sense Media

Pacino's intense performance best for older teens.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 4/5

January 1, 2011
Variety Staff
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Scent of a Woman indulgently stretches a modest conceit well past the breaking point.

Full Review Source: Variety

May 21, 2008
Emanuel Levy

The guiding principle of Al Pacino's flamboyant performance (for which he finally received the Oscar) is that of revelation: Every scene discloses another facet of his mysterious, multi-shaded character.

Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Original Score: B

November 29, 2006
Derek Adams
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Corny and heart-warming, with O'Donnell proving almost a match for the master.

Full Review Source: Time Out

February 9, 2006
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

A great character-driven movie starring two well-rounded characters, a fun performance by Pacino, deft directing, a complementary score and plenty of human interest all the way around.

Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium | Original Score: 8/10

March 5, 2005
Christopher Null

Al Pacino got his ribbing for 'hoo-ahhh!'ing his way through Scent of a Woman, but underneath the scenery chewing, there's a sweet and watchable film to be seen.

Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com | Original Score: 4/5

January 15, 2005
Nell Minow
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies

Brilliant performances, spotty script, poor ending.

| Original Score: 3/5

July 16, 2004
James Sanford
Kalamazoo Gazette

Volcanic Pacino performance, but the drama drags

| Original Score: 2/5

January 11, 2004
Michael Dequina

Goldman's screenplay never becomes a complete disaster, thanks to the vastly interesting and original character of Frank.

Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 1, 2004
Fred Topel

Great drama. Pacino rules, but O'Donnell holds his own.

| Original Score: 4/5

August 13, 2003
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

A memorable drama about a young man's initiation into adluthood.

Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice

July 12, 2003
Janet Maslin
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The good thing is that the principals and film makers make the absolute most of a conventional opportunity.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

May 20, 2003
Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope

This is one of the best films of last year.

Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope | Original Score: B+

March 23, 2003
Widgett Walls

A masterful performance by Pacino.

| Original Score: 4/5

January 6, 2003
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Shameless Oscar-Bid movie.

| Original Score: 3/5

November 25, 2002
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

By the end of Scent of a Woman, we have arrived at the usual conclusion of the coming-of-age movie, and the usual conclusion of the prep school movie. But rarely have we been taken there with so much intelligence and skill.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 1, 2000
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