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.
Although River Phoenix has distinguished himself as an actor ever since his second film, Stand By Me, nothing he has ever done before prepares you for his performance in Private Idaho as the motherless, homeless, loveless piece of human driftwood.
[Van Sant] disdain[s] narrative. He got away with Drugstore Cowboy because its band of drugged-out dodoes were engaged in a petty crime spree that almost passed for a plot. But My Own Private Idaho is a different story. Or rather nonstory.
One of the most original cinematic talents at work in this country, Van Sant has a knack for pulling disparate elements together and twisting them into wildly funny lyrical odysseys of the mind and heart.
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.
Van Sant takes a lot of chances, and, visually, the movie is so imaginative, so fiercely alive, that it carries us along. But when the over-all design of the picture becomes clear, we feel cheated rather than enlightened.
Van Sant photographs the story in his trademark dreamy-surreal style, fusing elements of Warhol with the classic American road movie, and interpreting the Western as the refuge of society's maligned fringe.