Janet Maslin

Janet Maslin
Tomatometer-approved critic
Publications: New York Times

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
89% Testament (1983) It's a simple and resourceful film and one that has been made with unmistakable conviction. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2021
100% Sugar Cane Alley (Rue Cases Negres) (1984) Euzhan Palcy brings so much warmth to her film Sugar Cane Alley that even a funeral scene midway through has an unexpected sweetness. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 7, 2021
50% Flashpoint (1984) Mr. Tannen's strength is his ability to grab his audience's interest quickly and to hold on to it, even by the most superficial means. Even when the movie doesn't entirely make sense, it manages to be effective. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2021
87% Bhaji On the Beach (1995) Yet even when the film develops a case of third-act-itis, leaving Ms. Chadha too busy tying up loose ends, it sustains its intelligence and charm. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2021
81% Clueless (1995) While Miss Silverstone guides Cher through the witty costume changes that serve as character development, she's backed up by a solid supporting cast. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2021
No Score Yet Reckless (1984) Contrived and cliched as it turns out to be, ''Reckless'' has enough vitality to carry it for a while, although it never stops recalling other films. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2020
100% The Garden (1990) Mr. Jarman's visual sense easily eclipses his conceptual talents. And The Garden has a burning, kaleidoscopic energy to compensate for the facile nature of some of its more unavoidable thoughts. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 27, 2020
No Score Yet The Bell Jar (1979) The script, by Marjorie Kellogg, is full of overwrought extremes, even though Mr. Peerce directs virtually all of it with an inappropriate evenness. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2020
71% Clockers (1995) A story told with mournful, epic vision that rises high above its grim setting. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2020
33% Maria's Lovers (1984) Mr. Konchalovsky, who is capable of anything from sweeping emotional overstatement to attention-getting symbolism to Altmanesque clutter, has quite an eye for eccentric talent. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2020
91% La Bamba (1987) As Valens, Lou Diamond Phillips has a sweetness and sincerity that in no way diminish the toughness of his onstage persona. The role is blandly written, but Mr. Phillips gives Valens backbone. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 24, 2020
93% The Bear (1989) No less amazing than the material Mr. Annaud has captured on the screen is the fact that he has gone to such crazily elaborate lengths to capture it at all. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2020
20% Richard's Things (1980) If it does nothing else, Richard's Things illustrates what dire trouble an actress can land in when she works with a director with no understanding of her talents. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020
78% Rollover (1981) The dramatic possibilities of the material are weak at best, and its satirical underpinnings are nowhere to be found. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2019
34% Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) It's much more violent than the first film's comparable set of dirty tricks. And Kevin, removed from his embattled home, seems much more cavalier, possibly even meaner than his bullying older brother, Buzz (Devin Ratray). - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2019
42% Billy Madison (1995) If you've ever had a yen to relive the third grade, this must be the next best thing. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 30, 2019
86% Sharky's Machine (1981) A tough, loud, bloody movie, and an enveloping one, too. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2018
69% Don Juan DeMarco (1994) It benefits not only from Mr. Brando's peculiar presence, but also from Johnny Depp, who again proves himself a brilliantly intuitive young actor with strong ties to the Brando legacy. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
45% The Portrait of a Lady (1996) The Portrait of a Lady risks being reduced to a quaint 19th-century Dating Game with adoring bachelors appearing at every turn. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2018
53% Light of Day (1987) Mr. Fox is very appealing here... Miss Jett is good too, snapping her way angrily through confrontational scenes and musical ones alike, and taking a sentimental turn just when the story does. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2018
63% The Plague Dogs (1983) The Plague Dogs makes such skillful use of computer animation that its principal characters develop an amazing doggy authenticity. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2018
86% Sign o' the Times (1987) Prince, whose ties to soul and jazz are clearer than ever before, whose willingness to embrace different musical forms seems to grow all the time, has never cast a stronger spell. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2016
No Score Yet Head Office (1986) Though corporate satire has been out of vogue for a while, it's ready for a revival. But while ''Head Office'' has its moments, it winds up much too understated to have a cutting edge. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2015
17% Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983) Mr. Reynolds is gone, and whatever was enjoyable about the ''Smokey'' formula went with him. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2015
No Score Yet The Sting II (1983) Moves slowly, looks terrible and copies the first film shamelessly. Rather than a sequel, it's a retread, with David S. Ward's screenplay supplying hoodlum lingo you could cut with a knife and outlining a set of similar shenanigans. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 14, 2015
No Score Yet On the Right Track (1981) On the Right Track' is a vehicle for Mr. Coleman that depends entirely on the premise that he is lovable. Only his most ardent television fans are likely to accept this. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 8, 2015
33% Gabriela (1983) Whenever the film wanders away from Gabriela, it seems to dawdle aimlessly before finding her again. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2015
88% Experience Preferred... But Not Essential (1982) A gentle British comedy with a lot of charm. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2014
88% Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll (1987) This portrait of Mr. Berry is downbeat, and in some ways incomplete; it's very different from what might have been expected. But in its own way, Mr. Hackford's film is revealing. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2014
67% Monanieba (Repentance) (1984) Repentance would seem mordantly funny if its wit, like that of its central character, weren't also so cruel. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2014
85% Ms. 45 (2013) [Ferrera] is clearly a talented fellow. One can only hope he finds something else to make movies about very soon. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2013
No Score Yet Megaforce (1982) There is too much opportunity to notice the weak spots in Mr. Needham's direction. In the case of Megaforce, these include silly dialogue, poor matching shots, oafish staging, and one scene filmed between two silhouettes against a magenta background. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2013
3.5/5 No Score Yet Let's Spend the Night Together (1982) Let's Spend the Night Together is the classiest of concert movies, even if that sounds as if it ought to be a contradiction in terms. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2013
80% Copkiller (Corrupt) (1984) Mr. Lydon, who has just the right insinuating, runty quality for Leo, makes a strong impression, and in a better film would make an even stronger one. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2013
69% Never Say Never Again (1983) In Never Say Never Again, the formula is broadened to accommodate an older, seasoned man of much greater stature, and Mr. Connery expertly fills the bill. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2012
3/5 90% Ornette: Made in America (2012) A hazy but inviting glimpse of the great modern jazz musician and his world. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2012
4/5 86% An Unfinished Piece for Mechanical Piano (Neokonchennaya pyesa dlya mekhanicheskogo pianino) (1977) The film, only very loosely based on the early Chekhov play Platonov, is perhaps even closer to Chekhov than Chekhov was. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2011
2/5 14% The Concorde... Airport '79 (1979) Aeronautically and otherwise, it's a bumpy trip. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2010
3/5 90% The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (1988) For all the amusingly fatuous remarks heard here -- and Miss Spheeris has a great ear for these -- the overriding dimness of most of the fans and musicians is frightening. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2009
94% Beauty and the Beast (1991) It is a surprise, in a time of sequels and retreads, that the new film is so fresh and altogether triumphant in its own right. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2008
1/5 No Score Yet Oh Heavenly Dog (1980) Shows few signs of life, and many signs of depressing modernism. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 12, 2008
2/5 38% Amazing Grace and Chuck (1987) The film's style is as doggedly ordinary as its story is preposterous. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 24, 2008
4/5 94% Baby It's You (1983) A labor of love for everyone involved. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2008
4/5 No Score Yet Cat & Mouse (Le Chat et la souris) (1975) [A] specially nice surprise. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2008
2.5/5 67% Another Man, Another Chance (1977) The performances are helpful even when Mr. Lelouch is not. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2008
2/5 No Score Yet Under the Rainbow (1981) Mr. Rash has earnestness and a touch of eccentricity, but he doesn't have the lighthearted wit to keep this kind of comedy working. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2007
3.5/5 63% American Boy: A Profile of: Steven Prince (1978) There is a party atmosphere to the telling of these stories, as Mr. Prince holds forth in a smoke-filled room with a group of friends, Mr. Scorsese among them. But the film maker's conviviality takes on an element of regret. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2007
No Score Yet Vacación Fraternal (1985) As directed by James Frawley, the film has only two passable gags. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2007
2.5/5 78% Life is a Bed of Roses (1983) It's more memorable for various isolated witticisms and images than it is as a coherent whole. And its flightier touches can be deadly. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2007
4.5/5 No Score Yet Limite (1931) Limite is feverishly beautiful and desperately ambitious, even when it isn't clear. - New York Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 12, 2007