(1985)

Critic Reviews

36

Metascore

Based on 11 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
80
Variety
Clue is campy, high-styled escapism. In a short 87 minutes that just zip by, the well-known board game's one-dimensional card figures like Professor Plum and others become multi-dimensional personalities with enough wit, neuroses and motives to intrigue even the most adept whodunnit solver.
63
Chicago Tribune
There's a movie here, and there's a gimmick. The gimmick undermines the movie and the gimmick is attached to the wrong part of the movie. Other than that, Clue offers a few big laughs early on followed by a lot of characters running around on a treadmill to nowhere. [13 Dec 1985, p.38]
63
San Francisco Chronicle
Unlike the game, Clue doesn't take murder seriously. Writer-director Jonathan Lynn has made a campy non-thriller rather than laying down the mystery and then having fun with it; the comedy kills the plot.
50
Lots of sight gags and one-liners are attempted, but few of them succeed. The cast is talented but stranded in weak material.
50
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
If you see Clue only once, and it's hard to imagine seeing it more than once, even for the five different minutes, the "A" is by far the best, featuring as it does (this does not give away the identity of the murderer) a splendidly funny shtick from Madeline Kahn. [13 Dec 1985, p.D5]
40
Los Angeles Times
Inspired by the Parker Brothers board game of the same name, Clue is more frenetic than funny, more strained than suspenseful or scary. In fact, it's not the least bit scary or suspenseful but instead quickly grows tedious. The more you struggle to keep track of the constantly multiplying plot developments, the harder it gets to care who did it. [13 Dec 1985, p.6]
38
Easily one of the most gimmicky films of all time, Clue must be the only movie in history to be adapted from a popular board game.
30
Chicago Reader
The murder-mystery board game becomes a frantic, unfunny spoof (1985) under the direction of British TV writer Jonathan Lynn. The script recycles Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians, with six guests invited by a mysterious host to spend the night in a creepy mansion, but instead of parodying the material Lynn simply surrounds it with extraneous pratfalls and wisecracks.
20
there is so little genuine wit to be found in ''Clue.'' The film does have a speedy pace, but that could hardly be confused with Mr. Hawks's madcap humor; instead, it involves a lot of running around through secret passages, and some slapstick routines involving dead bodies. The actors are meant to function as an ensemble, but that merely means that they often repeat the same line simultaneously.
12
Boston Globe
Clue the movie, not the board game, isn't so much a drama as it is a marketing gimmick. Presumably, Paramount Pictures believed that an audience was clamoring to see actors play one-dimensional figures from a game. [13 Dec 1985, p.57]

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