Critic Reviews

55

Metascore

Based on 13 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
It is a wacky, happy, daring, darkly comic tale of parenting outside the law. It celebrates the middle-of-the-road dreams of decidedly off-center folks. It's a bundle of joy.
90
Time
To their old fascination with Sunbelt pathology, to their side-winding Steadicam and pristine command of screen space, the Coens have added a robust humor, a plot that keeps outwitting expectations and a surprising dollop of sympathy for their forlorn kidnapers. [23 March 1987]
70
The New Yorker
Raising Arizona is no big deal, but it has a rambunctious charm. The sunsets look marvelously ultra-vivid, the pain doesn't seem to be dry - it's like opening day of a miniature golf course. [20 Apr 1987, p.81]
63
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
The whole caper loses its rhythm and its direction around the two-thirds mark. By the finish, the punch has left the lines, and the once-purposeful energy goes mindlessly manic - gone are both the point and the parody.
60
Cage creates a homey and thoroughly likable character who earns the respect of the audience, but Hunter is the real surprise. Appearing in her first starring role, the stage veteran displays so much energy that she forces the audience to pay attention.
50
Wall Street Journal
These fraternal film makers have a lot of imagination and sense of fun - and, most of all, a terrific sense of how to manipulate imagery... But sometimes they seem to be getting too big a kick out of their own shenanigans. By the end, the fun feels a little forced. [26 Mar 1987, p.34(E)]
50
Chicago Tribune
Quickly and fatally, the overlooked form peels away from the slight, frail content, and the film starts to look like an episode of "Hee Haw" directed by an amphetamine-crazed Orson Welles. [20 March 1987]
50
Christian Science Monitor
[The Coen Brothers] sweat and strain to deliver more of the same cinematic ingenuity, but the result seems more nervous than inspired. Relax, fellas! [13 Mar 1987]
38
Chicago Sun-Times
What Raising Arizona needs more than anything else is more velocity. Here's a movie that stretches out every moment for more than it's worth, until even the moments of inspiration seem forced.
25
San Francisco Chronicle
The big trouble with Raising Arizona is that the Coens overdrew their wild and crazy yarn, and overdo almost every gag and gimmick. [20 Mar 1987]

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