While Roxanne is steeped in friendliness, Summer Heat is full of humid clichés; Personal Services is too pleased with itself, but The Big Easy has a hang-loose, big-spender quality.
Extreme Prejudice trips over its bloody missteps; Heaven climbs a staircase to the stars; Prick Up Your Ears delivers crisp witticisms and cruisy pickups; Ishtar completely lacks l’amour.
Everyone in Raising Arizona has a libido for the ugly, and the guys in Tin Men can’t see past their hood ornaments; Hollywood Shuffle loses its hip mind; Street Smart has a crazed, electric menace.
Radio Days is a nostalgic doodle; Black Widow needs fewer poses and more cheap lust; Dead of Winter is spookhouse-scary—but schlocky; The Good Wife is soapy yet strangely affecting.
The action in Platoon is brilliantly sustained, but The Mission falls with a stately thud; The Bedroom Window aspires to be as spellbound as an Alfred Hitchcock, but The Defense of the Realm is the engrossing thriller.
Crimes of the Heart is a warm spill of sunshine, but Betty Blues is a mindless lump of misery and ¡Three Amigos! isn’t friendly at all.
The Color of Money veers off into technique; Police goes flaccid; Menage succumbs to mystification; Round Midnight reduces jazz to a dirge; Something Wild has a lurid kick.
Technologically, Captain EO is a marvel, but the plot is banal to the point of retrograde; Touch and Go has drive and laughs; True Stories has no stories; The Men’s Club is a stag party with pretensions; Shanghai Surprise is a passable waste of time.
Revenge has seldom been so incendiary, but Heartburn fails to ignite; Blue Velvet is for the brave; Club Paradise is for the jolly.
Legal Eagles is guilty of being humdrum and hokey; Mona Lisa has some fine, gracing touches; Vagabond finds purity within the dirtiest packaging.
Top Gun is just a high-tech skeet shoot; Alan Alda shows a wet blanket over the fun in Sweet Liberty; Desert Bloom has a bittersweet significance; The Manhattan Project needs an attitude adjustment.
Violets Are Blue is swimming in heavy conflict; Wise Guys is mostly slob humor, Absolute Beginners is an absolute mess; At Close Range is a violent ambush.
A Room With a View takes in edifying sights; Gung Ho settles for schmaltz; Just Between Friends makes glib chat.
Hannah and Her Sisters is Woody gone schmaltzy; F/X is implausible but entertaining; 9 1/2 Weeks is an eternity; Power is oppressively didactic.
Down and out in Beverly Hills is Mazursky magic; Clan of the Cave Bear is Sheena of the Stone Age; Trouble in Mind is—never mind.
Out of Africa is lavishly done up but emotionally dehumidified; Young Sherlock Holmes is more Hardy Boys than Conan Doyle; Revolution is nothing but a megabucks disaster.
In Sweet Dreams, Jessica Lange is a dynamo of female gumption; Hail Mary makes the Immaculate Conception an inconsequential miracle; Joshua Then and Now is entertainingly busy and uncouth; Twice in a Lifetime is twice too often.
White Nights is too much cold war, not enough Baryshnikov; After Hours is overwrought Scorcese; Mishima is a mishmash.
Plenty isn’t enough; Year of the Dragon is a yellow-devil hysteria; uncompromised casting makes Compromising Positions click; Volunteers imposes eighties cynicism on sixties idealism.
Songwriter is like a great party; Kiss of the Spider Woman doesn’t connect; Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome runs out of gas; Key Exchange is too cute; Disney’s Black Cauldron isn’t for kids.
Prizzi’s Honor is a macabre satire of the two-career marriage; Cocoon can’t burst free of its nice-guy limitations; Pale Rider recycles all the wrong western riffs; St. Elmo’s Fire should have been doused from the start.
The Shooting Party hits the bull’s-eye; Rambo: First Blood Part II makes Viet Nam the Club Med of mass death; A View to a Kill should have considered suicide.
Alamo Bay gets in over its head; Lost in America finds itself through comedy; The Slugger's Wife strikes out.
Into the Night leaves you in the dark; The Breakfast Club’s teenagers are out to lunch, Witness is a solemn eyeful.
In The Purple Rose of Cairo, Woody Allen takes a cold look at movie-fed dreams; the late, great Sam Peckinpah gave us an impassioned view of a violent world.
Mrs. Soffel weaves a tale of love and damnation; A Passage to India is a smooth, brocaded expedition; The Cotton Club offers pomp by the bale.
2010: a space travesty; Dune gets mired in pomp and slime; A Soldier’s Story is a murder mystery with soul; even Streep and De Niro can’t save Falling in Love; The Brother from Another Planet is woozily morose.
Body Double settles for facile thrills; Comfort and Joy offers moments of magical bliss; The Little Drummer Girl is off-pitch.
Country and Places in the Heart both heap on down-home moral uplift; Stop Making Sense is a joyous rockumentary; Amadeus spouts dingdong conceits.
Steve Martin’s new comedy All of Me is half-baked; The Gods Must Be Crazy is an amiable tall tale with giraffes; Tanya Roberts is sexy-heroic as Sheena, queen of the pulp jungle drama; Last Night at the Alamo is a rowdy last stand.
Prince’s Purple Rain is short on plot and dialogue but long on fancy anguish; The Bostonians is a namby-pamby treatment of Henry James’ biting novel.
Ghostbusters is funny but flawed; Streets of Fire is not the place to spend a care-free afternoon; plus three films from abroad.
Indiana Jones bashes us with unthinking cruelty: The Natural is a balk; Sixteen Candlesis lit up with tickling teenage talk.
In Greystoke, neither Tarzan nor the audience gets to have any fun; Moscow on the Hudson takes a wonderful comedy and runs; Racing With the Moon is nostalgic and sure, but the plot comes undone.
Against All Odds promises love, delivers yawns. Entre Nous repels rather than attracts. Footloose and Reckless aren’t. This is Spinal Tap is painless.
Ron Howard’s Splash is a refreshing frolic; Broadway Danny Rose gives us the old soft shoe; And the Ship Sails On is out to sea; Reuben, Reuben is a dark but funny double-decker.
Dread is the main character in Silkwood; To Be or Not to Be can’t make up its mind; The Dresser is a fussy failure; The Man Who Loved Women doesn’t.
Al Pacino carries on the gangster tradition in Scarface; the mystery in Gorky Park is not whodunit but who'll survive the investigation; Tentl is a Barbra Streisand tour de force.
Terms of Endearment features a Houston setting but also drab cinematography and cramped direction. The sickening Star 80 goes too far; the impressionistic Rumble Fish reaches too high.
Nick Nolte is a journalist dodging bullets and political involvement in Under Fire. The Right Stuff is about Americans, space, and manifest destiny. The Big Chill is a warm look at the cooling of sixties idealism.
In Daniel the hero has to bear the burn of his parents’ treason, while the audience must endure a lot of misery. The Moon in the Gutter is a film in search of eclipse. Education Rita is an enjoyable elective.
The tale of schlemiels schlemiel, Zelig is as funny, endearing, and slight as Woody Allen himself. Staying Alive is suicidal. The quick Grey Fox jumps nimbly the pitfalls of making a western.
The third time is not always the charm. In Superman III our hero finds himself in a blue funk, and his melancholia is the liveliest part of the show. The Survivors doesn’t make it. Escape your little gray cells and enjoy The Man With Two Brains. Trading Places exchanges wit
Return of the Jedi is a star shower of new creatures and old favorites that leaves you wowed but underwhelmed. Breathless is suffocating. WarGanes starts out with a bang and ends with a whimper. Flashdance has a certain twinkle.
What’s Exposed is the worlds of fashion and terrorism and the curves of Nastassia Kinski. Blue Thunder is nothing but noise; Tender Mercies, on the other hand, is practically a silent.
Local Hero is undiluted pleasure. Lianna is a little watered-down.
Martin Scorcese’s The King of Comedy is about the stock-in-trade of comedians, but who’s the laughingstock? You’ll be smitten with Lovesick. The Year of Living Dangerously teeters precariously between metaphysics and lust.
Gandhi presents its title character as all but a god and India as all but a paradise. Starstruck is a lark; Sophie’s Choice is a letdown.
Paul Newman stars as an existential ambulance chaser in The Verdict, a dismal study of law and disorder. Best Friends will alienate you; Heartaches will make you feel good. 48 Hrs. is dirty talk and deja vu.
Life is false fronts and fantasies to the women who flock to a dusty Texas town in Robert Altman’s Com Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. The Missionary won’t convert you. Still of the Night is still, all right.