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

52
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80

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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80

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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75

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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63

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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50

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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40

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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40

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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40

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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25

Christian Science Monitor

The funny scenes are as far apart as oases in the Sahara. [22 May 1987]
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12

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