Sheila Benson

Sheila Benson
Sheila Benson's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): L.A. Weekly Los Angeles Times

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
70% Scrooged (1988) It's not a bad notion for a satiric comedy and this one begins well, but then veers entirely out of hand until it's as over-inflated as its own Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come and as funny as a mugging. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2019
27% Over the Top (1987) The only diversion is keeping track of the shameless advertising plugs that dot the film, like toadstools after a rain. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
37% Road House (1989) But in deep "Road House" country... and the undefined made crassly visible, there isn't a whiff of romance anywhere, any more than there's a single jot of common sense. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019
38% Ishtar (1987) 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. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2019
40% A Chorus Line (1985) If you were one of that legion who saw A Chorus Line more than once in the theater, the film is enough to make you doubt your judgment. If you've never seen the stage piece, you may come out wondering what in the name of goodness all the fuss was about. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2019
60% Green Card (1990) [A]n effortlessly engaging love story whose ace in the hole is the almost indecent magnetism of Gerard Depardieu. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
52% Return to Oz (1985) Return to Oz doesn't soar when it so clearly should. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
50% Willow (1988) If it evaporates from memory with the airiness of a bubble bath, at least it leaves a friendly glow and a sense of a magical world lovingly evoked. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
83% The Bostonians (1984) James' story is so fascinating and Redgrave so urgently fine that you can lose sight of these lapses and have an eminently satisfying time. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
80% Dominick and Eugene (1988) Taking potentially sticky material...Young has held a hard line and has shaped a story of relationships that rings pure and fine as crystal. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2018
39% Beaches (1988) Beaches is bloodless, and Garry Marshall's direction, which might have given it style, is completely competent and entirely without personality. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
44% St. Elmo's Fire (1985) All speed and stylishness without a bit of emotional resonance beneath. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2017
98% The Right Stuff (1983) Kaufman has combined the resources and ingenuity of movie making with the freewheeling, damn-the-conventions style of of the New Journalism and come up with a generous, high-spirited look at the bravery and lunacy that was that era. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2016
75% Empire of the Sun (1987) The film's grave problem is a lack of central heating: We don't have a single character to warm up to. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2016
42% Everybody's All-American (1988) It's not exactly nourishing, but then again, its performances are so addictive that you may not even care. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2016
81% Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) With this last of the central Star Wars cycle, there is the sense of the closing of a circle, of leaving behind real friends. It is accomplished with a weight and a new maturity that seem entirely fitting, yet the movie has lost none of its sense of fun. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2015
71% The Living Daylights (1987) I feel just rotten about this, but I'm afraid I've outgrown James. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2015
85% The Hit (1984) "The Hit" is something special: thoughtful, perfectly performed and carrying the clear stamp of an extremely interesting director. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2015
53% Plenty (1985) Be a little patient: What builds beneath this quiet exterior, shot through with dark wit, is a haunting examination of the price that romantic idealism can exact. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 7, 2015
13% Arthur 2: On the Rocks (1988) The excruciating "Arthur 2 on the Rocks" should come with a surgeon general's warning: "This sort of stupidity may sap your will to live or to watch movies ever again." - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 24, 2015
72% The Land Before Time (1988) Do dinosaurs really lend themselves to ootsie-cutesiness? - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 8, 2015
40% Rocky IV (1985) This is grim and witless storytelling, and what makes it so depressing is that it hasn't improved by so much as a chemical trace since the days of the first Rocky. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2015
68% Die Hard 2 (1990) This is the most cheerfully preposterous film of a jaw-dropping summer, which is not to say it's not fun, it's simply orchestrated Looney Tunes. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2015
88% After Hours (1985) After Hours is dazzling movie making; you could get a giddy kick just from cinematographer Michael Ballhaus' shot as a set of house keys floats down toward the camera, tossed from a top-floor apartment. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2015
100% Tampopo (1985) Japanese films have commented before on the intrinsic connection between food and sex, but not with the erotic gusto of Juzo Itami's Tampopo and rarely with the comic lustiness of this broad-scale satire. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2015
93% Do the Right Thing (1989) Do the Right Thing is complex, bravura movie making. It is also hugely entertaining, since fortunately for us, Lee's seditious method is to use humor to carry his biting message. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2015
89% The Hunt for Red October (1990) You may not be limp from accumulated tension when this hunt is over, but its cautiously upbeat global message leaves a satisfying glow and it operates with a crackerjack premise. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2015
55% Valmont (1989) Colin Firth's Valmont is pleasant, a dreadful thing to say about one of literature's most magnetic seducers. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2015
10% Revolution (1985) What's lacking in this heartfelt, well-researched, sporadically interesting movie is a master plan. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2014
95% Blue Velvet (1986) Shocking, visionary, rapturously controlled, its images of innocence and a dark, bruising sexuality drop straight into our unconscious where they rest like depth charges. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2014
67% Monanieba (Repentance) (1984) [Repentance] is lit with bursts of satiric humor, with music, bits of opera and great flights of surreal imagery, which only serve to intensify its growing horror. And it is never less than physically gorgeous. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2014
11% Club Paradise (1986) A frenetically unfunny and charmless movie. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2014
72% 3 Hommes et un Couffin (Three Men and a Cradle) (1985) A perfectly pleasant little piffle. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2014
15% Howard the Duck (1986) For all those who cottoned to the charm of the comic books, the duck stops here. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2014
79% Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) Just as you think you have its moves all doped out, a scene of such shocking beauty flashes before you that it takes your breath away. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 2, 2014
39% Days of Thunder (1990) Whoosh!! Days of Thunder just streaked in, fast as a race-car paint job and about as flat. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 20, 2014
No Score Yet Jaws: The Revenge (1987) Dumb beyond belief, hollow, bloody and nonsensical, it's Universal Studios' vanity movie, a way of providing employment yet again for its Great White icon. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2014
96% GoodFellas (1990) GoodFellas, which somehow mixes its horrors with a deep vein of mordant humor, flows with the exuberance of a filmmaker who has every detail nailed and a few new lovely moves he wants to show us. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 25, 2014
61% About Last Night (1986) Writers DeClue and Kazurinsky have created a recognizable geography for every age; you suspect that About Last Night will set off pangs of identification everywhere. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2014
91% Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) Perfection is boring, but boring is the very last word to describe Hannah and Her Sisters, which just may be a perfect movie. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2014
93% Moonstruck (1987) An American movie with foreign-film sensibilities, Moonstruck's depths come from their perfect balance of writing and direction. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2014
60% Out of Africa (1985) Streep may convince us utterly that she is in love with Africa, but our views of it are a little too stately to really feel the place. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 6, 2014
92% The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989) The sheer volume and invention of Gilliam's visual largess sets him apart, and his wit operates for the most part at a dangerously sophisticated level. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2013
4/5 85% Yaaba (1989) Yaaba's power sneaks up on you. At first it seems as spare as the airy African Savannah where it unfolds. It's only with a little distance from its muted beauty that the plan of the film becomes clear. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2013
87% Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is as fine a film as it is a brutally disturbing one. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2013
5/5 87% Presumed Innocent (1990) Intelligent, complex and enthralling. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 31, 2013
91% Parenthood (1989) The remaining cast, young, old and in-between, is lovely. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 31, 2013
2.5/5 88% Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) Even if he's considerably more battered than his nearest competitor, Indiana quits at the top of the heap. It's just that the heap isn't what it was eight years ago. It's been almost flattered to death. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 31, 2013
5/5 94% A Fish Called Wanda (1988) Low comedy at high speed, it pretends to be a caper movie about a smooth London jewel heist and its infinitely complex aftermath. Actually, it's a smart farce about ingrained cultural differences. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2013
2/5 84% Thelma & Louise (1991) Are we so starved for "strong" women's roles that this revenge, and the pell-mell, lunatic flight that follows, fits anyone's definition of strength, or even more peculiarly, of neo-feminism? - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2013