Ishtar (1987)

Ishtar has taken on a life of its own, infamous for the $40-million production cost, with Director Elaine May being compared to Eric Von Stroheim in terms of legendary extravagance resulting in costly overruns. The movie was mercilessly… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Release Date: May 15, 1987
DVD Release Date: August 6, 2013
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Critic Score: 34% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Jason Bailey

It's a film that resists categorization, staking a claim on a weird, absurdist territory of its own. For that, in the maddeningly generic landscape of '80s multiplexes, it was crucified. Now it's celebrated. And rightfully so.

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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

Maybe [it's] actually okay; maybe parts of it [are] even great.

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Eric Melin

Besides droll supporting work from an excellent Charles Grodin, Ishtar also gets a lot of mileage out of its terrible and terribly funny songs.

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Cathy Burke
United Press International

This big, overblown comedy starring Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty is thoroughly likable despite all the hype.

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Dan Jardine

The performances are endearing enough, the pacing is actually quite crisp and there is no shortage of zany silliness in the story. It just never gels.

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Noel Murray
The Dissolve

If Ishtar has a personal stamp, it's not in what it has to say about Reagan-era militarism, but in what it has to say about collaboration, and how well-meaning people can goose each other to greatness-and folly.

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Josh Larsen
LarsenOnFilm undeniably messy movie that you nonetheless want to treasure just for its oddball existence.

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Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

The 1980s saw the release of so many truly atrocious films (Xanadu, Stroker Ace, Bolero, Shanghai Surprise, etc.) that it's absurd "Ishtar" became shorthand for the worst of the worst and continues to be blasted by folks who haven't even seen it.

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Jeff Beck
We Got This Covered

Ishtar is a failure on practically every level from its misguided narrative to its lack of humor to the absence of anything remotely entertaining.

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More reviews for Ishtar

Flixster Audience Score: 37% Flixster User Reviews
Leigh Ryan
Funny... I would watch it again.
Byron Brubaker
Recognized as one of the worst movies of all time. And it is!! But hilarious (in a head-scratching way) because of how bad it is.
Michael S
Not as bad as it's reputation; It's just NOT funny.
Steve B.
It's nowhere NEAR as bad as they say -- how could it be?