Personal Best Reviews

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Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
January 9, 2012
[VIDEO] Although screenwriter Robert Towne's directorial debut fell largely on deaf ears when it was released in 1982 "Personal Best" remains a powerful examination of high-stakes female athletes during the late '70s...
Full Review | Original Score: A
Jeremy Heilman
MovieMartyr.com
June 27, 2009
Endowed with remarkable performances, superb photography, and a clear vision of what matters to its characters, Personal Best is an underappreciated gem in a genre full of filler.
Full Review | Original Score: 72/100
Top Critic
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
August 4, 2008
Personal Best is likable precisely because it is so unembarrassed.
Top Critic
Variety Staff
Variety
August 4, 2008
Towne has a love of slow motion that's employed as if he's afraid you might miss one, rippling muscle. Worse than that, when people aren't exercising, they are often talking about exercising.
John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis
January 20, 2008
There's no questioning its authenticity.... However, the movie tends to make its points early and then repeat itself unnecessarily.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Top Critic
Derek Adams
Time Out
February 9, 2006
The sort of nerve required to produce an excellent screenplay like Chinatown seems to have deserted Towne in this, his directorial debut.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 23, 2004
This is a very physical movie, one of the healthiest and sweatiest celebrations of physical exertion I can remember.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Vincent Canby
New York Times
August 30, 2004
Unless you're fascinated by all of the prettified slow-motion footage of Chris, Tory and the other women athletes, your eye is likely to wander to your watch long before the end.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5

Film4
May 24, 2003
An unusual subject to get the Hollywood treatment though, and as such it should be commended, while Hemmingway is always worth catching.
Dragan Antulov
rec.arts.movies.reviews
April 17, 2003
Hemingway excels in a difficult and risky role.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Nell Minow
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
April 4, 2003
One of the best movies ever about competition, with wonderfully natural performances.
| Original Score: 5/5
Bob Bloom
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
October 11, 2002
A frank, honest portrayal of the sacrifices of Olympic-caliber athletes. it is tough and uncompromising.
| Original Score: 3/5
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
January 24, 2002
A robust and adventuresome film that is both tough and sentimental in its portrait of Olympic grade women athletes.

Movieline
November 6, 2001
It's a quintessential girl's coming-of-age story, and writer/director Robert Towne saw that Hemingway's uncanny ability to play both impressionable and stubborn, ingenuous and ambitious, naive and wise, was perfectly suited to this drama.
Top Critic
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
January 1, 2000
The characters have a fullness and vitality rare in American films of that period, but Towne has so much trouble establishing information visually that the film emerges as choppy, confused, ill-proportioned.
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
February 18, 2008
| Original Score: 4/5
Andy Klein
Los Angeles CityBeat
March 24, 2005
| Original Score: 4/5
Linda Cook
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
November 17, 2003
| Original Score: 3/5
Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope
September 20, 2003
| Original Score: 3/5
Brian J. Arthurs
Beach Reporter (Southern California)
December 6, 2002
| Original Score: 4/5
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