• PG-13, 1 hr. 47 min.
  • Action & Adventure, Comedy
  • Directed By:    Elaine May
  • In Theaters:    May 15, 1987 Wide
  • On DVD:    Aug 6, 2013
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Ishtar
    2 minutes 8 seconds
    Added: May 9, 2008

Ishtar Reviews

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Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing
August 24, 2013

The 1980s saw the release of so many truly atrocious films (Xanadu, Stroker Ace, Bolero, Shanghai Surprise, etc.) that it's absurd "Ishtar" became shorthand for the worst of the worst and continues to be blasted by folks who haven't even seen it.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Eric Melin
August 9, 2013

Besides droll supporting work from an excellent Charles Grodin, Ishtar also gets a lot of mileage out of its terrible and terribly funny songs.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Noel Murray
The Dissolve
August 6, 2013

If Ishtar has a personal stamp, it's not in what it has to say about Reagan-era militarism, but in what it has to say about collaboration, and how well-meaning people can goose each other to greatness-and folly.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Jake Euker
F5 (Wichita, KS)
June 12, 2005

| Original Score: 3/5
Michael A. Smith
Nolan's Pop Culture Review
January 8, 2005

Better then you've heard. Paul William's songs are genius.

| Original Score: 3/5
David Poland
Hot Button
August 14, 2002

better than it's given credit for

| Original Score: 4/5
Bob Grimm
Las Vegas Mercury
July 26, 2002

Now come one, this movie was not bad.

| Original Score: 3/5
Scott Weinberg
July 26, 2002

| Original Score: 3/5
Dan Jardine
March 17, 2014

The performances are endearing enough, the pacing is actually quite crisp and there is no shortage of zany silliness in the story. It just never gels.

Full Review | Original Score: 50/100
Jeff Beck
We Got This Covered
August 5, 2013

Ishtar is a failure on practically every level from its misguided narrative to its lack of humor to the absence of anything remotely entertaining.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Emanuel Levy
April 19, 2009

A victim of its own hyped publicity and too harsh criticism, Ishtar is not the worst movie ever made or even a bomb, just a dim-witted silly comedy-thriller (with some good jokes) based on the casting against type of Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman.

Full Review | Original Score: C
JoBlo's Movie Emporium
June 24, 2006

Full Review | Original Score: 3/10
Chuck O'Leary
February 16, 2006

The intentionally bad songs and the early scenes in New York City are amusing, but the movie totally falls apart once Beatty and Hoffman arrive in the fictional country of Ishtar.

| Original Score: 5/10
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
February 9, 2006

A failed attempt at doing a modern Bob Hope-Bing Crosby "Road" picture.

Full Review | Original Score: C

Film Threat
December 6, 2005

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Cole Smithey
October 10, 2005

| Original Score: 0/5
Thomas Delapa
Boulder Weekly
September 9, 2005

| Original Score: 2/5
Jonathan R. Perry
Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)
May 19, 2005

| Original Score: 1/5
Andy Klein
Los Angeles CityBeat
June 19, 2004

| Original Score: 2/5
Daniel M. Kimmel
Worcester Telegram & Gazette
February 22, 2004

| Original Score: 0/5

Top Critic
September 3, 2008

Geoff Andrew
Time Out
Top Critic
February 9, 2006

May 24, 2003

Janet Maslin
New York Times
Top Critic
May 20, 2003

Hal Hinson
Washington Post
Top Critic
January 1, 2000

Desson Thomson
Washington Post
Top Critic
January 1, 2000

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