88

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
It's clear that this movie has an affection for Popeye, and so much regard for the sailor man that it even bothers to reveal the real truth about his opinion of spinach.
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75

Boston Globe

One of the major problems facing Hollywood today is the lack of will and energy to make movies that can charm youngsters without boring their parents. Popeye is an important contribution toward the solution. It's not a sophisticated film. But it's a gratifyingly engaging one. [12 Dec 1980, p.1]
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60

The New York Times

By Vincent Canby
Miss Duvall is superb - genteely ladylike one minute, a woman of volcanic passions the next.
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50

TV Guide

The film's real star is its magnificent set (filmed and constructed in Malta), though Williams manages to screw up his face and eye in a credible imitation of the drawings, and Duvall is perfect as the gangly Olive Oyl.
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50

Variety

It is more than faint praise to say that Popeye is far, far better than it might have been, considering the treacherous challenge it presented. But avoiding disaster is not necessarily the same as success.
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30

Chicago Reader

By Dave Kehr
Robert Altman's busy, detailed mise-en-scene, flattened cartoon-style through space-compacting long lenses, does capture some of the frenetic atmosphere of the Fleischer cartoons, but it tends to crowd out, and neutralize, the story values.
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25

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Jay Scott
A shamelessly commercial and determinedly vulgar director, such as Flash Gordon's Mike Hodges, might have made the film work; it might have succeeded on one level instead of failing on many. [13 Dec 1980, p.E7]
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48 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.