Jonathan Rosenbaum
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For 1,493 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 41% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 57% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Jonathan Rosenbaum's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Dolls
Lowest review score: 0 Showgirls
Score distribution:
1,493 movie reviews
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Shot on a year's worth of weekends on a minuscule budget (less than $20,000), this remarkable work--conceivably the best single feature about ghetto life that we have--was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry as one of the key works of the American cinema, an ironic and belated form of recognition for a film that has had virtually no distribution. It shouldn't be missed.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Unlike most horror movies, this chiller gives equal prominence to reality and fantasy, though the reality is far more frightening. The only precedent that comes to mind in terms of a lyrical treatment of a child's experience of terror is "The Night of the Hunter."
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    It has few stars familiar to Americans, and it shares with "Pan's Labyrinth" the rare distinction of being a mainstream commercial movie with subtitles.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Haggis's dialogue is worthy of Hemingway, and the three leads border on perfection.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This masterpiece, an art film deftly masquerading as a thriller, seems to celebrate small-town pastoralism and critique big-city violence, but this position turns out to be double-edged.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    David Lynch's first digital video, almost three hours long, resists synopsizing more than anything else he's done. Some viewers have complained, understandably, that it's incomprehensible, but it's never boring, and the emotions Lynch is expressing are never in doubt.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The movie's dreamlike spaces and characters are sometimes worthy of Lewis Carroll.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Hou's best film since "The Puppetmaster" (1993). It's also his most minimalist effort to date, slow to reveal its depths and beauties, and it marks a rejuvenation of his art.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Yes
    Beautifully composed and deftly delivered, it becomes the libretto to Potter's visual music, creating a remarkable lyricism and emotional directness.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The title of Jia Zhang-ke's 2004 masterpiece, The World -- a film that's hilarious and upsetting, epic and dystopian -- is an ironic pun and a metaphor.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    All this edginess, combined with the grandeur and sweep of a classic western, demonstrates that Jones clearly knows how to tell a story -- and how to confound us at the same time.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Whether the title refers to the baby or the thief remains an open question, and the viewer is left to decide whether the theme of redemption should be perceived in Christian terms. This builds to a suspenseful climax, and as in Hitchcock's best work, that suspense is morally inflected.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Both sad and darkly funny, the film is so sharply conceived and richly populated that it often registers like a Frederick Wiseman documentary, even though everything is scripted and every part played by a professional... This is only the second feature of Cristi Puiu, who claims to have been inspired by his own hypochondria, but he's already clearly a master.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Three Times, one of the peaks of his (Hou Hsiao-hsien) career, may be your last chance to see his work inside a movie theater.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A great film but also one of the most upsetting films I know.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The best documentary to date about the military occupation of Iraq.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A dedicated, charismatic, crack-addicted history teacher is the most believable protagonist in an American movie this year.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A lush piece of romanticism.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The period details and performances are uniformly superb (Bob Hoskins is especially good as MGM executive Eddie Mannix), and the major characters are even more complex than those in "Chinatown."
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    An excellent introduction to the singular vision of avant-garde stage director Robert Wilson.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Much as Emile de Antonio's neglected "In the Year of the Pig" (1968) may be the only major documentary about Vietnam that actually considers the Vietnamese, this film allows the people of Iraq to speak, and what they say is fascinating throughout.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    One reason Bamako feels like a blast of sanity is that the theoretical debates about the state of the world, particularly Africa and more particularly Mali, are only half of its agenda. The other half, broadly speaking, is the life of everyday Africans.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    So accessible and entertaining.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Like much of Verhoeven's best work, it's shamelessly melodramatic, but in its dark moral complexities it puts "Schindler's List" to shame. Van Houten and Sebastian Koch (The Lives of Others) are only two of the standouts in an exceptional cast.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This 1985 film's absolute freedom from cliches is genuinely refreshing; looking at it again after Van Sant's subsequent "Drugstore Cowboy," I found it every bit as good and in some ways even more impressive than the later film. It shouldn't be missed.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A masterful 168-minute piece of storytelling that never ceases to be gripping in spite of its measured pace.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Masterfully charted and acted.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Filmmakers Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen, and Nicole Newhman do a superb job of telling this neglected story in vivid detail.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    An early voice-over segment about the Casbah itself, before Gabin makes an appearance, is so pungent you can almost taste the place, even though the filming was clearly done in a studio.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    It's hard to think of many more galvanizing definitions of what it means to be an American than Cho's volcanic self-assessments.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Frightening, funny, profound, and mysterious.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The juxtaposition of liberal Jewish attorney Dershowitz (Silver) and von Bulow working together on the latter's defense makes for some engagingly offbeat drama, with some interesting insights into the legal process.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A highly emotional epic about what it means to be both Chinese and American.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Duvall’s direction of a mix of professional and nonprofessional actors, especially in the extended church sessions, is never less than masterful.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This is truly a great film, recently celebrated at length in "My Voyage to Italy," Martin Scorsese's documentary about Italian cinema.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A heartfelt, passionate, tragic musical suite made up of these formulas, which the film both celebrates and wryly examines to discover their inner logic: how they actually work, what they do and don't do.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This 2002 German documentary (in English) by Marta Kudlacek is the best portrait of an experimental filmmaker that I know.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A veritable salad of mixed genres and emotional textures, this exciting black-and-white cold war thriller runs more than two hours and never flags for an instant...A powerful experience, alternately corrosive with dark parodic humor, suspenseful, moving, and terrifying.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Maddin takes on his first commissioned feature--an adaptation of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's production of Dracula--and succeeds brilliantly, making it his own while offering what may be the most faithful screen version to date of Bram Stoker's novel.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    All-expert cast.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This brilliantly and comprehensively captures the look, feel, and sound of glamorous 50s tearjerkers like All That Heaven Allows, not to mock or feel superior to them but to say new things with their vocabulary.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    "Heathers" may view teenagers more caustically, but this movie, incomparably better, actually delivers the goods.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    It's one of the best movies about revolutionary and anticolonial activism ever made, convincing, balanced, passionate, and compulsively watchable as storytelling.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Its special effects are used so seamlessly as part of an overall artistic strategy that, as critic Annette Michelson has pointed out, they don't even register as such, and thus are almost impossible to trivialize, a feat unmatched in movies.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The grafting of 40s hard-boiled detective story with SF thriller creates some dysfunctional overlaps, and the movie loses some force whenever violence takes over, yet this remains a truly extraordinary, densely imagined version of both the future and the present, with a look and taste all its own.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Riveting cinematic essay.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Combines live-action and animation with breathtaking wizardry... Alternately hilarious, frightening, and awesome.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The effect is riveting and telling--not always realistic (none of the characters carry cell phones) but often enlightening.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This is a masterwork by Ousmane Sembene, the 81-year-old father of African cinema and one of Senegal's greatest novelists.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Elliptical, full of subtle inner rhymes...and profoundly moving, this is the most tightly crafted Kubrick film since "Dr. Strangelove," as well as the most horrific; the first section alone accomplishes most of what "The Shining" failed to do.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A film that might make you cry watching it is just as likely to give you the creeps thinking about it afterward, which is as it should be.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Tarantino's mock-tough narrative--which derives most of its titillation from farcical mayhem, drugs, deadpan macho monologues, evocations of anal penetration, and terms of racial abuse--resembles a wet dream for 14-year-old male closet queens (or, perhaps more accurately, the 14-year-old male closet queen in each of us), and his command of this smart-alecky mode is so sure that this nervy movie sparkles throughout with canny twists and turns.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Guy Maddin has reached a new expressive plateau with The Saddest Music in the World.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Masterpiece.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A grand-style, idiosyncratic war epic, with wonderful poetic ideas, intense emotions, and haunting images rich in metaphysical portent.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Stylistically fresh and full of sweetness that never cloys, this is contemporary Hollywood filmmaking at its near best.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Wong Kar-wai's idiosyncratic style first became apparent in this gorgeously moody second feature.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Throughout the film cause and effect, the mainspring of most narratives, is replaced by a sense of spiritual synchronicity.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The overall mood is stately and melancholy, the selective use of color is ravishing, and some of the natural views are breathtaking.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    One of the most perfect endings of any film that comes to mind.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A Chayefsky movie isn't hard to identify, but I think it's safe to say that these days a Charlie Kaufman movie is even more recognizable.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Watts and Harring even turn out to be the hottest Hollywood couple of 2001. The plot slides along agreeably as a tantalizing mystery before becoming almost completely inexplicable, though no less thrilling, in the closing stretches--but that's what Lynch is famous for. It looks great too.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Jarmusch has said that the film's odd, generally slow rhythm -- hypnotic if you're captivated by it, as I am, and probably unendurable if you're not--was influenced by classical Japanese period movies by Kenji Mizoguchi and Akira Kurosawa.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Zwigoff not only presents a complex human being and the range of his art but also guides us through a profound and unsettling consideration of what it means to be an American artist. Essential viewing.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A clarion call for freedom and collective action both hopeful and energizing, it qualifies as a generational statement as Rebel Without a Cause did in the 50s, but without the defeatism and masochism. Not to be missed.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Mesmerizing.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Alain Resnais' 2006 adaptation of a British play by Alan Ayckbourn is a world apart from his earlier Ayckbourn adaptation, "Smoking/No Smoking"; that film tried to be as "English" as possible. But this time Resnais looks for precise French equivalents to British culture, and what emerges is one of his most personal works, intermittently recalling the melancholy "Muriel" and "Providence."
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Writer Petr Jarchovsky and director Jan Hrebejk collaborated on the formidable "Up and Down" (2004), and this 2006 feature, which takes its title from a Robert Graves poem, is equally impressive for its mastery, intelligence, and ambition in juggling intricate plot strands and memorable characters.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Action-adventure pictures have a lamentable tendency toward mindlessness, but Edward Zwick's epic story has numerous virtues apart from suspense and spectacle.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The film is both wise and tender in its treatment of relationships -- between birds, between people, and between birds and people.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Unprecedented in its intellectual ambition, this is endlessly stimulating; it probably tries for too much, but it shames many other contemporary essays that try for too little.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    It's a welcome throwback to the carefully crafted family films of the studio era. The scenery is lovely, and the cast is entirely worthy of the enterprise (including the regal and athletic star).
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Cronenberg's follow-up to "A History of Violence" -- starring the same lead, Viggo Mortensen, in a very different part -- lacks the theoretical dimension of its predecessor, but it's no less masterful in its fluid storytelling and shocking choreography of violence.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This poses some tricky moral questions, and its troubling ambiguities rank a cut above the dubious uplift of "Schindler's List."
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This is a powerful story and a splendid spectacle.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A lot more imaginative and entertaining than one might have thought possible, a feast for the eye and mind.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    It's Tykwer's most assured picture to date, and like much of Kieslowski's best work it qualifies simultaneously as engrossing narrative and philosophical parable.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A finely crafted entertainment that works better than most current Hollywood movies.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    You feel it in your nervous system before you get a chance to reflect on its meaning.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The cast as a whole is astonishing--especially Gillian Anderson as Lily and Dan Aykroyd in his finest role to date.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This is absorbing throughout--not just a history lesson but, as always with Rohmer, a story about individuals
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Persuasive, intelligent, and provocative.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The tragic tale that emerges is full of powerful lessons and impenetrable mysteries
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Magical, visually exciting, affecting even in its sincere hokeyness, and extremely provocative.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Warren Beatty sounds off angrily and shrewdly about politics, delivering what is possibly his best film and certainly his funniest and livliest.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This remarkable British silent (1929) is special in many ways.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    An astonishing tour de force--especially for Irons, whose sense of nuance is so refined that one can tell in a matter of seconds which twin he is playing in a particular scene.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This offbeat and unpredictable comedy-thriller throws so many curveballs, one right after another, that I doubt I've had more fun at an American movie this year.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Dumont's film is unfinished in the sense that some paintings are.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The movie evokes Howard Hawks (in spirit if not to the letter) with its tight focus on a snug, obsessive world of insiders and camp followers where the exchanges between buddies and sexes have a euphoric stylishness and a giddy sense of ritual.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A stunning achievement in epic cinema.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    It's virtually guaranteed to make us squirm.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    To my knowledge there's no one anywhere making films with such a sharp sense of contemporary working-class life -- but for the Dardennes it's only the starting point of a spiritual and profoundly ethical odyssey.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Tarkovsky's eerie mystic parable is given substance by the filmmaker's boldly original grasp of film language and the remarkable performances by all the principals.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Despite some of the sentimentality that is also Woo's stock-in-trade, I was moved and absorbed throughout.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Not to be hyperbolic, but Richard Linklater's first big-budget movie may be the Jules and Jim of bank-robber movies, thanks to its astonishing handling of period detail and its gentleness of spirit, both buoyed by a gliding lightness of touch.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Caine has already been cited as a likely Oscar nominee for his performance, which is clearly one of the most nuanced to date from this first-rate actor, and Fraser is funny and effective as a foil to the old pro.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Impressive for its lean and unblemished storytelling, but even more so for its performances.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This sharp, convincing, and utterly contemporary political film calls to mind some of Ken Loach's work, full of passion as well as precision.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Kiarostami's brilliantly suggestive script, which is quite unlike anything else he's written and is marred only slightly by one of his obligatory sages turning up gratuitously near the beginning.

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