Ralph Novak Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Ralph Novak

Ralph Novak
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
5% Nothing but Trouble (1991) After a few minutes, it's clear that this comedy is not enigmatic -- just hopelessly confused.‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2018
67% Antonia (Antonia's Line) (1995) Morbid and overwrought.‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2016
96% Boyz n the Hood (1991) While it's often as pedantic and square as an Army training film, this movie about black teens trying to grow up in a gang-plagued South Central Los Angeles area generates strong emotions.‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2016
54% Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991) Sorry, dudes: This is a totally bogus sequel. ‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Jul 29, 2016
41% Pure Country (1992) If it were any cornier or mushier, it would be chowder, but this vehicle for country singer Strait generates a charming sweetness, the music is lively, and both Strait and Glasser are ingratiating new faces.‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted May 18, 2016
67% Purple Rain (1984) Simplistic, superficial and surprisingly sentimental, Purple Rain is everything Prince's music is not.‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2016
91% The Big Picture (1989) Partly romance, partly fantasy, partly satire on what passes for life in Hollywood -- and all charm -- this movie even has a perfect title.‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2016
83% A Dry White Season (1989) This movie, directed by a black Martiniquan, Euzhan Palcy, is far more effective [than Cry Freedom] at keeping black actors -- and the essential problem of South Africa -- onscreen. ‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2015
36% A View to a Kill (1985) The strain is starting to show on 007.‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2015
64% Back to the Future Part II (1989) This is a sequel for sequel's sake - all title, no content. ‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2015
81% Jungle Fever (1991) You'll remember Sciorra and Snipes but wish you had learned more about them -- and the society that complicates their lives so cruelly.‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2015
68% Die Hard 2 (1990) One might think a movie with a reported budget of $62 million would have had a few bucks to spend on a gaffe spotter.‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2015
35% The Woman in Red (1984) The film drones on through all the clichés of infidelity to a resolution that isn't emotionally, morally or comedically satisfying.‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2015
94% The Crying Game (1992) [An] exhilarating whirlwind of a drama.‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Mar 9, 2015
90% Do the Right Thing (1989) If Lee is saying that racism is profoundly painful, frustrating and confusing, no one will argue. But this film states the case without offering any insight.‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2015
88% The Hunt for Red October (1990) This is first-rate adventure stuff, an all-missions-accomplished submarine movie. ‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2015
72% Cry-Baby (1990) Waters's writing is woefully uneven. It's as if Sam Kinison had decided to tell knock-knock jokes -- sterile, unfunny knock-knock jokes at that.‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Jan 21, 2015
67% Prancer (1989) It's a tribute to veteran TV writer Greg Taylor's script and, especially, to the acting of 9-year-old Ms. Harrell that the movie remains engaging and palatably sweet.‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2014
86% Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll (1987) Hackford just lets his cameras roll -- and the film rocks.‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2014
87% Light Sleeper (1992) While Dafoe has made a career of looking wasted, and does cynicism better than anyone around, he too is handicapped by his unsympathetic character and Schrader's clumsily unidiomatic script.‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2014
69% Jacob's Ladder (1990) Just when it's on the brink of becoming one of the most disturbing, disorienting and penetrating psychological horror movies, Jacob's Ladder -- in a self-deflating few minutes -- turns itself into a shaggy-dog story. ‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2014
32% Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II - The Secret of the Ooze (1991) This swindle of a sequel is so dim that it looks as if it were lit by candles.‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2014
40% Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie (1990) A movie that displays two traits nobody would ever associate with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: It is grim and it is no fun.‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2014
91% No Way Out (1987) As befits the title, it dead-ends long before it's over.‐ People Magazine
Posted Jul 26, 2014
6% Mobsters (1991) To say that production designer Richard Sylbert, costume designer Ellen Mirojnick and cinematographer Lajos Koltai give the settings a handsome, authentic look is like saying that the Titanic had nice chandeliers.‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2014
19% Navy Seals (1990) Anyone in the market for some B-film Arab-bashing might find this movie tolerable entertainment. It's otherwise destined to make its biggest impact among Charlie Sheen archivists.‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2014
5% A Kid in King Arthur's Court (1995) This lame effort, Disney's latest live-action motion picture for children, owes a big, fat nod for its plot to Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. In no way, however, does it improve upon the original‐ People Magazine
Read More | Posted Jul 8, 2014
81% My Own Private Idaho (1991) The two actors create vivid characters, but they're so unsympathetic and Van Sant drags them through so many tiresome, pretentious scenes that it begins to look as if Phoenix's narcolepsy isn't part of the plot.‐ People Magazine
Posted Jun 2, 2014
77% Licence To Kill (1989) This series' record of maintaining an admirable level of quality stays intact, even if this film might best be used as a cinematic appetizer to see before renting a tape of one of the Connery or Moore classics.‐ People Magazine
Posted May 20, 2014
57% The Sandlot (1993) Any of Charles Schulz's baseball-oriented Peanuts strips contains more understanding of baseball and more insight into children, as well as more pointed fun.‐ People Magazine
Posted May 7, 2014
86% Field of Dreams (1989) Alden's script goes from charming to preposterous to preachy.‐ People Magazine
Posted May 6, 2014
78% A League of Their Own (1992) The movie drones along uninvolvingly, as if it were erecting a monument, not telling a story.‐ People Magazine
Posted May 6, 2014
82% The Natural (1984) The scouting report on The Natural has to read: lots of tools but no heart.‐ People Magazine
Posted May 6, 2014
65% Cobb (1994) A curiously gripping amalgam of Patton, Citizen Kane and Melvin and Howard.‐ People Magazine
Posted May 6, 2014
0% Bolero (1984) Is this a bad satire? No, it's a bad serious romance.‐ People Magazine
Posted May 5, 2014
4% Wired (1989) The reenacted Saturday Night Live routines that made Belushi a star seem grim.‐ People Magazine
Posted May 4, 2014
7% Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992) All right, maybe the world isn't flat. But this listless historical epic sure is.‐ People Magazine
Posted May 3, 2014
4% Problem Child (1990) The end is refreshingly less sentimental than it seems to be shaping up to be, but the film's ugly moments can't help but leave a bad taste.‐ People Magazine
Posted Apr 30, 2014
51% Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) This is a big, colorful, sharp-witted and beautifully photographed rendering of the tale of the olde English guerrilla fighter -- two solidly entertaining hours.‐ People Magazine
Posted Apr 25, 2014
86% Once Upon a Time in America (1984) The film, photographed by Tonino Delli Colli, is striking to look at, especially its New York street scenes, which were shot in Manhattan, Montreal and a back lot near Rome. The acting is stunning.‐ People Magazine
Posted Apr 22, 2014
96% GoodFellas (1990) While Scorsese generates vivid images, he covered this ground in the superb Mean Streets in 1973. Here there's nothing to learn, nobody to sympathize with.‐ People Magazine
Posted Mar 25, 2014
88% Platoon (1986) No sane person should want to get any closer to war than this film.‐ People Magazine
Posted Jan 21, 2014
91% Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) There is so seldom even one great performance in a movie that three is too much to expect. For that reason alone, this story of a couple battling for custody of their young son is a remarkable achievement.‐ People Magazine
Posted Jan 17, 2014
94% The Deer Hunter (1978) Robert De Niro is, once again, explosive in this stunning Vietnam movie.‐ People Magazine
Posted Jan 16, 2014
85% Gandhi (1982) Above all, Kingsley's astonishing performance, capturing both Gandhi's divine light and his irresistible simplicity, inspires this ambitious film.‐ People Magazine
Posted Jan 13, 2014
82% Dances With Wolves (1990) To say this movie is sporadically artful is to say that it is more interesting than most films around these days. But it is still a failure, if a glorious one.‐ People Magazine
Posted Jan 13, 2014
84% The English Patient (1996) When the movie penetrates to the heart of their buried past, Patient becomes even stronger, stranger, grander -- a threnody beneath a cloudless desert sky.‐ People Magazine
Posted Jan 6, 2014
82% Driving Miss Daisy (1989) [Tandy and Freeman] are so affecting they turn what could have been merely well-meant hokum into a touching tribute to compassion and human dignity. ‐ People Magazine
Posted Jan 6, 2014
72% The Ref (1994) While director Ted Demme seems to be trying to impose a Home Alone tone, he only succeeds in lending an air of desperation, with lame subplots blundering into the picture.‐ People Magazine
Posted Dec 6, 2013
74% The Santa Clause (1994) This is the most playfully amusing, inventive new cinematic Christmas fable in several decades.‐ People Magazine
Posted Dec 6, 2013