Ishtar Synopsis
Booked in Marrakech, two New York singers stop in Ishtar, meet a beautiful rebel and alarm the CIA.
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Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings


Chicago Reader

By Jonathan Rosenbaum
The most underestimated commercial movie of 1987 may not be quite as good as Elaine May's three previous features, but it's still a very...
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Los Angeles Times

By Sheila Benson
A smart, generous, genuinely funny affair. Sometimes, like the camel who almost ambles away with the picture, it's longish in the tooth,...
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Chicago Tribune

By Dave Kehr
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. [15...
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The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Jay Scott
Is it worth seeing? Yes. The ability to charm in the modern world is rare, and Ishtar does charm. Essentially, it's a teen film for adults,...
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San Francisco Chronicle

It's worth seeing the movie just to observe [Grodin's] delicious blend of unctuous manipulation and anti-Communist sanctimoniousness. [15...
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TV Guide

By Angel Cohn
For all the bad press Ishtar received, it does have a certain odd charm... The biggest problem is that any attempted subtlety is swamped by...
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Film Threat

By Brad Laidman
The guys in Ishtar are the boring wallflowers of the world. They probably shouldn't be mocked, disgraced and beaten, but who really wants...
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Wall Street Journal

By Julie Salamon
Hoffman and Beatty are so tone-deaf they don't even know how to play the songs for deadpan humor. They seem old, white, and without shtick....
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Christian Science Monitor

The funny scenes are as far apart as oases in the Sahara. [22 May 1987]
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Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
A truly dreadful film, a lifeless, massive, lumbering exercise in failed comedy. Elaine May, the director, has mounted a...
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Ishtar lives up to its fame; or down, as it were.

By autofandango

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Rated PG-13