The good thing is that the principals and film makers make the absolute most of a conventional opportunity.
Peter RainerLos Angeles Times
But it's essentially a tour de force for Pacino, and he sustains us through the slow passages by working with a closed-in intensity that turns each scene into a kind of mini-movie complete with its own ticking time bomb. [23Dec1992 Pg. 1]
Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times
By the end of Scent of a Woman, we have arrived at the usual conclusion of the coming-of-age movie, and the usual conclusion of the prep school movie. But rarely have we been taken there with so much intelligence and skill.
If there's anything special about the film, it's that on this occasion, the emotional realism of the characters, especially Slade, is heartwrenchingly believable.
Owen GleibermanEntertainment Weekly
In the end, Scent of a Woman offers little more than lumbering simulation of Rain Man's nimble magic. But Pacino's performance-scabrous, tender, ripely theatrical-is a master showman's trick.
Hal HinsonWashington Post
This is a great performance from Pacino, who has the good luck here to work with Goldman's mostly wonderful, edgy script, but it might not become a beloved one because the man he plays is such a bitter pill.