The Goonies (1985)
This children's adventure yarn with something of a cult-following is remarkably giddy and insipid in tone and production values. It runs like a haunted-house attraction in a theme-park, and the noise-level is accordingly. Nevertheless, the film does have a childish charm and not insignificant entertainment value for kids in the right age group, meaning tweens, and middle-agers who were young in 1985. The script by Chris Colombus, based on a story by Steven Spielberg, feels like some sort of mock-exam for Home Alone. And apropos the latter movie, God knows that Robert Davi and Joe Pantoliano are more annoying than Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. The direction is by Richard Donner, who seems to have gone for effort over quality. The ensemble of child actors give it their all, with Sean Astin standing out as the most talented among them, but Donner cannot quite muster any naturalness out of his two comic-reliefs Jeff Cohen and Jonathan Ke Huy Quan.