(1986)

Critic Reviews

50

Metascore

Based on 12 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
70
Cuteness is never far off, though Badham has enough sense of pace, and the robotics are sufficiently inventive, to keep the laughs coming. Only Guttenberg's tongue-twisted Asian sidekick (Stevens) is off-key.
70
Washington Post
Short Circuit fizzles a little at the end when the script becomes even more predictable and mawkish. But Badham's technological know-how can't be denied, and the pleasures of Number Five are considerable. [09 May 1986, p.27]
60
A cheerful, inoffensive fantasy in which such attractive live actors as Steve Guttenberg and Ally Sheedy play second fiddle to machinery that, in this case, means No. 5, designed by Syd Mead and engineered and realized by Eric Allard.
60
Washington Post
In Short Circuit, there's nothing at stake, either emotionally or artistically or howsoever -- and I mean nothing -- but the movie's so diverting, and so giddily oblivious to its own faults, that it almost doesn't matter. Funny and paced at a gallop, it's a melt-away movie made for summer nights. [09 May 1986, p.D1]
50
Having succeeded at a persuasive, endearing anthropomorphosis, the film makers have come up with only a so-so picture to go with it. All that was really needed to make Short Circuit a more satisfying experience was to up the script a couple of notches and apply a lighter touch to it. Unfortunately, director John Badham and his fledgling writers have taken a very broad, heavy-handed approach.
50
Miami Herald
The running character of a dim-bulb scientist of Indian or Pakistani extraction, who is prone to malapropisms, badly accented English and Carson-esque wink-and-giggle innuendo, might not seem offensive in a better film. Here it seems designed only for cheap laughs. The laughs come. They are cheap. [09 May 1986, p.D5]
40
Safe, sentimental, and loved by kids, Short Circuit never tries to dissect it's predecessor (E.T.) nor outdo it in any way. Would have been nice to see a human-robot love triangle.
38
Too bad that robots, unlike humans, cannot be discovered in one movie and go on to star in another. I'd like to see No. 5 in a film more suitable to its talents.
25
The plot line is as simple as they come, and Badham's direction is as mechanical as his star. The human actors are secondary, for the real star of the show is Number 5. He's really pretty charming, though his unusual antics aren't enough to carry a feature-length motion picture.
25
Short Circuit is an obvious WarGames ripoff in which a robot steals every scene from wooden performances by the always-too-eager-to-please Steve Guttenberg and the usually likable Ally Sheedy.

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