The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Jay Scott
Ragtime itself twinkles with delight - perhaps only an immigrant, and a recent one, could have made this film, which looks squarely at the social problems gnawing at North America but which finds, within them and without them, cause for hope. [20 Nov 1981]
Full Review

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
Rgatime is a loving, beautifully mounted, graceful film that creates its characters with great clarity.
Full Review


The page-turning joys of E.L. Doctorow's bestselling Ragtime, which dizzily and entertainingly charted a kaleidoscopic vision of a turn-of-century America in the midst of intense social change, have been realized almost completely in Milos Forman's superbly crafted screen adaptation.
Full Review

TV Guide

Ambitious, but only sporadically engaging.
Full Review

The New York Times

By Vincent Canby
The movie is sorrowful, funny and beautiful. It is also, finally, very unsatisfactory.
Full Review


By Richard Corliss
Forman and Weller have created an impressive but strangely lopsided movie.
Full Review

Boston Globe

Except for the evocative sets and Randy Newman's upbeat musical score, Ragtime is better read than seen. [18 Dec 1981]
Full Review

Chicago Reader

By Dave Kehr
What's left is a curiously disconnected illustration of American racism, which nevertheless fails to realize the power and irony inherent in its pop-Marxist analysis.
Full Review
57 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.