The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
The script is notionally based on the old television series of the same name, but the screenwriter William Goldman, has produced something depressingly up to date in its incoherence, its crisis of confidence served up with a sickly grin.
By the time Donner crowds his climactic poker game with a bevy of veteran Western character actors, decades of movie tradition have been reduced to window dressing, and Maverick leaves you hungry for the real thing.
This movie doesn't have the wry kick of the TV show at its best. Too rich, too loaded, Maverick may have misplayed its cards, kept its eyes on the pot instead of the players. In movies, as in poker, you can't always trust a pat hand.
Goldman and director Richard Donner don't know when to stop mining a gag and to move on. That the film runs in excess of two hours is indicative of the filmmakers' love affair with scenes that don't work.
Maverick never takes itself seriously, which establishes the tone for serious fun. Goldman's screenplay is a model of ingenuity, setting increasingly complicated traps for the three leads, and rather amazed that they wriggle free.
Despite the attention of master scriptwriter William Goldman, this gentle tribute to the hit comedy western TV series missed a golden opportunity for a razor-sharp spoof. There's no doubt the stars had a ball, though.