Rita Kempley

Rita Kempley

Agrees with the Tomatometer 76% of the time.

Rita Kempley's reviews (from any publication) always count toward the Tomatometer because this critic is a Tomatometer-approved critic.

Movie Reviews Only

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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review

Under the Cherry Moon (1986)

"Cherry Moon had some potential as a cultish Trading Places. But it drowns in its pretenses. No doubt, Prince fancies himself an auteur in his directing debut. But he has no restraint, no true vision. It's as if we've all been mooned." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Apr 22, 2016

Murphy's Romance (1985)

"Martin Ritt directs the screenplay by Harriet Frank Jr. and Irving Ravetch, who cross the country wisdom of Tennessee Ernie Ford with the stale wit of the Johnny Carson joke team." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Feb 29, 2016

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

"Lucas's ingenuity is reaffirmed by Darth Vader's every asthmatic exhalation, by Princess Leia's cinnamon-bun chignons." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Dec 9, 2015

A Christmas Story (1983)

"It's a nostalgic comedy featuring a family of eccentrics who lovingly celebrate the holidays and life itself in Midwestern America in the 1940s." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Nov 30, 2015

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)

"Though the 1983 film's effects seem almost quaint by today's awesome standards, Jedi has something the newer movies don't: characters we care about, not to mention a plot that involves both them and us." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Nov 5, 2015

Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

"A zippy 007 romp that draws as heavily from the Asian action genre as from the formula that has served the series so well for 35 years." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Nov 1, 2015

Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

"If you've seen Porky's, Animal House, D.C. Cab, or Police Academy, you've seen Nerds. And if you liked the prototypes, you'll like the latest of the genre, low humor and all -- belching, mooning, panty raids, peeping at girls and booger jokes." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Oct 2, 2015

The Hit (1984)

"It is a dexterously balanced killer thriller by the idiosyncratic Frears, whose every scene becomes a matter of life and death. A lighter clicks, a gun clicks; life or death, it all sounds the same." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Sep 15, 2015

Lost in Space (1998)

"Boasting state-of-the-art gimcracks and a solid cast, the motion picture lifts off easily enough. Only it's not long before you realize that mission control forgot to load the Tang." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Sep 17, 2014

The Truman Show (1998)

"One of the smartest, most inventive movies in memory, it manages to be as endearing as it is provocative." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Aug 18, 2014

Batman & Robin (1997)

"In terms of new twists or narrative momentum. Poison Ivy, the sinuous villainess, is the only relief from the onslaught of spoofy humor, special effects and meaningless comic book mayhem." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jun 18, 2014

Striptease (1996)

"The film's premise is thinner than the heroine's G-string." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jun 18, 2014

Blast From the Past (1999)

"The 40-minute setup is deliciously nutty, with eccentric turns from Walken and Spacek. But the longer Adam remains above ground, the more plodding and predictable the scenario becomes." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Mar 21, 2014

Rushmore (1998)

"An inspired second feature from director Wes Anderson and co-writer Owen Wilson, the picture shares the offbeat rhythms and disarming humor of their overlooked debut, Bottle Rocket." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Mar 17, 2014

Office Space (1999)

"Office Space, a knowing, somewhat slight, often hilarious sendup of cubicle culture, exploits the yuks in the chronic misery of those routinely exposed to the monotonous gray of corporate minds and company decor." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Nov 2, 2013

The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

"Bridges is an old-fashioned "women's film" that pits the heroine's romantic urges against her matriarchal duties. In fact, the film is at its dramatic best when Francesca is finally obliged, like Sophie, to make her choice." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jul 31, 2013

The Crucible (1996)

"Handsome and well-acted, the film's ultimate success depends on the heat between Ryder and Day-Lewis, and it simply isn't there. The attraction is fatal alright, but it certainly doesn't seem mutual." ‐ Washington Post
Posted May 17, 2013

Some Girls (1988)

"The rest of the cast, like the D'Arc mansion itself, has problems with electricity. There isn't any." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Dec 17, 2012

Promised Land (1988)

"Gedrick and Pollan give character to the cliche's with their heartfelt work, and Sutherland and the show-stealing Ryan bring depth and weight to a potentially tiresome pair." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Oct 17, 2012

Apollo 13 (1995)

"Apollo 13, Ron Howard's soaring salute to space exploration, lifts off with a payload of the right stuff-courage, can-do, grace under pressure and other qualities derided as machismo by some and applauded as old-fashioned values by others." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jul 6, 2010

Spy Hard (1996)

"Never mind that the smutty, high-tech 007 capers already wink at the conventions of the bikini-clad, gizmo-strewn genre. If the martini is shaken, not stirred, why beat it to death with a swizzle stick?" ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jul 6, 2010

The Last Supper (1996)

"This sour, repetitive fare fails to feed our hunger for either laughter or enlightenment. It's all empty calories and reactionary chic." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jun 9, 2010

Oliver & Company (1988)

"Even as a cartoon poodle, Bette Midler stops the show." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Nov 13, 2009

Eye for an Eye (1996)

"This blatant button-pusher plays upon our most primal emotions as well as the increasing disdain for the criminal justice system." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Aug 4, 2009

Mrs. Winterbourne (1996)

"For a Cinderella story, it's sorely without magic." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Aug 3, 2009

Hercules (1997)

"Chock-full of celeb cameos, puns and contemporary camp, the movie is annoyingly hip." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Oct 17, 2008

Pocahontas (1995)

"All Disney has really done in its disappointing 33rd animated feature is revive the stereotype of the Noble Savage." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Sep 2, 2008

A Thousand Acres (1997)

"In many ways, it has less in common with Shakespeare's tragedy than with Stephen King's Iowa-set horror story, Children of the Corn." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jul 2, 2008

The X-Files - Fight the Future (1998)

"The X-Files movie is really just a two-hour teaser for the series's sixth season. And little else." ‐ Washington Post
Posted May 19, 2008

Dark City (1998)

"[A] stylish hybrid of futuristic thriller and film noir." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Apr 28, 2008

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

"The originals were spoofs in their own way, too, unless you really believe that secret agents look more like Sean Connery than Aldrich Ames." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Apr 1, 2008

Rounders (1998)

"The wholesome pup's poker face alone, however, hardly accounts for the film's failure to thrill. Damon's character doesn't really have that much stake in the story's outcome." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Mar 25, 2008

Space Jam (1996)

"Sufferin' succotash!" ‐ Washington Post
Posted Mar 24, 2008

Independence Day (1996)

"Maybe the moviemakers' mission was to boldly go where everyone in Hollywood has gone before: the bank." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Mar 5, 2008

Two Girls and a Guy (1998)

"An edgy, gabby, salaciously subversive sex farce." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Feb 12, 2008

The Last Seduction (1994)

"What Sharon Stone did for the ice pick, Linda Fiorentino does for the ice princess." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Feb 12, 2008
No Score Yet

Bandits (1996)

"A lot goes on, but the movie remains uneventful. It sizzles with soul-searching." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jan 15, 2008

Contact (1997)

"Contact takes forever to lift off." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jun 8, 2007

Jerry Maguire (1996)

"Cruise seems to have grown as much as Jerry, for he brings gentleness, warmth and lightheartedness to this role, qualities that we haven't seen since he played air guitar in his underpants in Risky Business 13 years ago." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Mar 26, 2007

When We Were Kings (1996)

"No comedian was ever funnier, no fighter ever faster than Muhammad Ali, who is caught at the top of his game in Leon Gast's valentine, When We Were Kings." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Mar 26, 2007

The English Patient (1996)

"The result is completely intoxicating." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Feb 5, 2007

Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach (1988)

"The real culprit is producer Paul Maslansky, the creator of the Academy films, clearly a man who can never be stopped, not even by a SWAT team of movie critics with blood in their eyes." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Oct 27, 2003

How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired (Comment faire l'amour avec un nègre sans se fatiguer) (1990)

"Meant as a commentary on racial stereotyping, the bestseller turned motion picture is little more than an offensively titled low-budget look at scoring with white women in Montreal." ‐ Washington Post
Posted May 21, 2003
4/5 81%

Liar Liar (1997)

"Like Robin Williams, Carrey has learned to do his side-splitting shtick in character. He's not only under control, but funnier than ever as the truth-impaired Fletcher Reede." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Apr 25, 2003

It Runs in the Family (2003)

"Has echoes of The Wonder Years to On Golden Pond, though with fewer laughs and less poignancy." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Apr 25, 2003

Levity (2003)

"So solemnly paced and deliberately performed that it seems to solidify before your very eyes." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Apr 25, 2003

Chasing Papi (2003)

"Mendoza alleges she took on the negligible project to demonstrate the diversity of Hispanic American womanhood. What she demonstrates is a clear grasp of stereotype." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Apr 16, 2003

The Good Thief (2003)

"Nolte is not only made for the role, he's also rehearsed it in real life." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Apr 11, 2003

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (2002)

"Wickedly clever French psycho-thriller about romantic obsession." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Apr 4, 2003

Head of State (2003)

"Though the comedy falls short of a debacle -- which is what such egocentric projects tend to be -- it isn't as sharp, fast or funny as Rock's stand-up routines." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Mar 28, 2003
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