Most of the the movie is cheerful and light, showcasing Mr. Hughes's knack for remembering all those aspects of middle-class American adolescent behavior that anyone else might want to forget.
Janet Maslin - New York Times
A sweet and funny movie about two of the worst things that can happen to a girl on her sixteenth birthday.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
As the girl, Molly Ringwald is natural and appealing, but she's lost in a world of blunt, vicious caricatures.
Dave Kehr - Chicago Reader
There's also a darkly handsome high school heartbreak kid (Michael Schoeffling), a merciful brisk pace, some quick humor (visual and verbal), and a solid music track.
Variety Staff - Variety
Some of the material works marvelously well, but the stuff that doesn't takes the movie down with it.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
The plotting is crude and haphazard, but the dialogue is amusing and the cast is appealing.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
...a sporadically amusing yet hopelessly uneven endeavor that simply isn't in the same league as Hughes' later classics.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
A high school film just smart enough to be special and bad enough that it could be improved upon.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
Racy, drunken, hilarious '80s high school comedy.
Randy White - Common Sense Media
Candles is a brazenly mischievous, consistently uproarious comedy that christens the devastating Hughes-fu with vivacious results.
Brian Orndorf - DVDTalk.com
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Susan Granger - www.susangranger.com
This funny, unpretentious film marked writer John Hughes's first time out as a director. The premise is ordinary, but the film is distinguished by funny gags and excellent performances.
Dean Essner - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Sly humour and an appreciative ear for the demotic improv of teenage chat completes an attractive package.
Derek Adams - Time Out
The first effort by writer/director John Hughes on his way to becoming the William Shakespeare of teenage angst. One really has to be aware of the climate of the early '80s to truly understand the impact that this film had among teens.
Brad Laidman - Film Threat
Broad, bubbly, and kind of adorable.
Scott Weinberg - DVD Clinic
Thomas Delapa - Boulder Weekly
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Dan Marcucci and Nancy Serougi - Broomfield Enterprise
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
a slightly over-sweet teen classic
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Ryan Cracknell - Movie Views
Andy Klein - Los Angeles CityBeat
Carol Cling - Las Vegas Review-Journal
So great I brought it on laserdisc years ago!
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
Chris Barsanti - Filmcritic.com
John Esther - Pasadena Weekly
Demonstrates writer and director John Huges's keen eye for the foibles, inner torments and social embarassments of adolescence
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Quintessential John Hughes viewing. Anthony Michael Hall, great as usual.
Brian Mckay - eFilmCritic.com
Molly Ringwald is radiant here as the eternal teen looking for love.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
The plot is kinda corny, yet really enjoyable. The predictable happy end actually make you grin with pleasure.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"a classic of its kind that's now a time capsule"
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)