Critic Reviews



Based on 15 critic reviews provided by
Well written, well made, well acted, St. Elmo's Fire is a quintessential film about the strange middleground between youth and adulthood.
Despite the often skewed story, performances under Joel Schumacher's intelligent direction are spirited and on-the-mark, most notably that of Lowe as the caddish pretty boy and Moore as the frazzled coker. The other leads: Estevez, McCarthy, Sheedy, Winningham and Nelson all deserve plaudits for their credible contributions.
St. Elmo's Fire is most appealing when it simply gives the actors a chance to flirt with the camera, and with one another. When it attempts to take seriously the problems of characters who are spoiled, affluent and unbearably smug, it becomes considerably less attractive.
Instead of real people, they've created fast-moving upscale wise guys, so thoughtless, so utterly self-absorbed that you're quite content letting them simply love themselves--they do it so well...The St. Elmo's Fire bunch, for all their wheel-spinning melodrama, is all surface--all speed and stylishness without a bit of emotional resonance beneath.
Cowriter and director Joel Schumacher keeps things moving, skipping adroitly from one narrative thread to another. Well he should, since it's unlikely any of the subplots could have stood on their own, and very few penetrate deeper into the human condition than the average magazine advertisement.
Washington Post
St. Elmo's Fire is about people who go to lunch and feel nostalgic for breakfast. The latest kiddie angst movie, it's thin gruel for introspective whelps.
The screenplay for this 1985 feature is so riddled with character inconsistencies and unmotivated behavior that it plays like science fiction: the unsuspected presence of body-snatching aliens is the only conceivable explanation for the bizarre twists of psychology the film proposes.
Beyond occasional mutterings of words like ‘love’ and ‘beer,’ there’s never any explanation in the dialog that would hint at motivation.
Barely has there been a group of more smug and obnoxious characters in a single film than in St. Elmo`s Fire.
Time Out
Estevez and Nelson are as unappealing here as in The Breakfast Club, though in fairness they're hampered by a script that seems to despise its characters. So, by the end, will you.

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