Ishtar Reviews

March 19, 2019
The film fails at every level.
March 19, 2019
It is a smart, generous, genuinely funny affair. Sometimes, like the camel who almost ambles away with the picture, it's longish in the tooth, but it is based on an extremely astute vision of life.
March 19, 2019
Reasonably genial and diverting.
March 19, 2019
Ishtar is a good movie, but you can't help but wonder if, lurking somewhere in those cans of outtakes, there isn't a great movie, too.
March 19, 2019
This Elaine May comedy was the most underappreciated commercial movie of 1987. It isn't quite as good as May's previous features, but it's still a very funny work by one of this country's greatest comic talents.
March 19, 2019
Though far from a masterpiece, the movie is often hilarious in a sly, seemingly improvisational way.
June 8, 2017
It's a film that resists categorization, staking a claim on a weird, absurdist territory of its own. For that, in the maddeningly generic landscape of '80s multiplexes, it was crucified. Now it's celebrated. And rightfully so.
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.
September 3, 2008
Desert sequences provide some of the film's high points as Beatty and Hoffman finally develop some genuine rapport under adverse conditions.
February 9, 2006
So bad it could almost have been deliberate. The faults are many, but the casting of Hoffman and Beatty as a talentless and tacky cabaret duo is fatal.
May 20, 2003
The worst of it is painless; the best is funny, sly, cheerful and, here and there, even genuinely inspired.
January 1, 2000
Ishtar doesn't attempt enough to be considered a magnificent failure. It's something far less substantial; it's piddling -- a hangdog little comedy with not enough laughs.
January 1, 2000
Ishtar is a truly dreadful film, a lifeless, massive, lumbering exercise in failed comedy.
January 1, 2000
Ishtar is an unabashed vamp for a pair of household names, and as such it works, often hilariously.